As we often hear from members of The Depression Project's community, sometimes, people with depression may develop a "dark sense of humour" (or resort to "dark humour" from time to time). And, to help add some understanding and clarity around this topic, in this blog post, we'd like to share with you four reasons why people with depression may develop a dark sense of humour.
Are you ready?
Reason #1 Why People With Depression May Develop A Dark Sense Of Humour: Their Depression Is So Heavy That They Use Humour As A Way To Make It A Bit Lighter
Depression's symptoms can be very, very intense, and can include, among other symptoms, emotions such as misery, shame, hopelessness and self-hatred for example; as well as negative thoughts such as "I'm a failure", "I'm worthless", "I'm a burden", "I'm not good enough", "my life is a disaster", "I'll never overcome depression and be happy again", "the world would be better off without me" and/or "I wish I was dead". And, when this is what people with depression are dealing with, to get some relief from this heaviness, they may resort to making dark jokes in order to make what they're going through feel a little bit lighter.
Reason #2 Why People With Depression May Develop A Dark Sense Of Humour: Their Depression Has Become A “Constant” For Them, And So Familiar That Various Dark Topics Lack The Same “Shock Value” That They Have For Other People Who Don’t Have Depression
As a result of being constantly confronted by dark subject matter, some people with depression may find that they become desensitised to it, and therefore feel much more comfortable making "dark jokes" than somebody who doesn't have depression and who is therefore likely to be much more sensitive to dark subject matter.
Reason #3 Why People With Depression May Develop A Dark Sense Of Humour: Bringing Up Depression Via Dark Humour Can Be A Comparatively “Light-Hearted” / “Easier” Way For Someone To Open Up About Their Struggle
As we often talk about at The Depression Project, it can be really, really difficult for people to open up about their depression because, for example:
- It can be extremely difficult for people to put their depression into words, and try to accurately explain to their loved ones what they're going through;
- They may be scared of being a "burden" to their loved ones, "bringing their mood down", "ruining their good time", and/or making their loved ones "worried about them";
- They may want to maintain the perception that other people have of them - such as in the case where, for example, they're known to others as being the "funny one".
Consequently, when this is the case, then according to members of The Depression Project's community, dark humour can be a way of broaching the topic of depression in a somewhat indirect, light-hearted way that may feel a bit more comfortable for them than more direct, "serious" ways of opening up about their depression.
Reason #4 Why People With Depression May Develop A Dark Sense Of Humour: Alternatively, Dark Humour May Be Used By Some People To Try To Hide / Mask Their Depression
While some people may use dark humour as a way of trying to broach the subject of their depression with their loved ones, according to members of The Depression Project's community, other people may try to use dark humour as a way of "masking" / "hiding" / "minimising the severity of their depression" when the topic of conversation gets too close to it.
We hope you've found this blog post about dark humour informative ❤️
All our love,
The Depression Project Team.
P.S. If you have depression yourself and you use dark humour, then please know that you are not alone - as evidenced by the fact that when we at The Depression Project posted about dark humour on our Instagram channel, the post was "liked" by 30,000+ people.
Furthermore, we'd also like to share the following resources with you:
- Firstly, if you use dark humour because it's how you feel most comfortable broaching the subject of your depression with your friends and family members, then you may find our How To Explain Depression Bootcamp really helpful - since it will give you a variety of additional ways to open up and discuss your depression with others.
- On the other hand, if you use dark humour as a way of hiding your depression, then we encourage you to read our blog post titled: MASKED / HIDDEN DEPRESSION: An In-Depth Guide.