Monday, May 07, 2007

Depression and Art

I’ve been enjoying Planet Karen for quite awhile now and this comic was no exception:

In fact, this comic really affected me, for a lot of reasons.

I felt prompted to say something, so I clicked over to the boards and wrote

Today's comic is heart wrenchingly beautiful. I'm going through something
similar right now. Depression is simply awful.

And Betty hit it all right on the head:

I'm really impressed that you could use that to make a comic, Karen. When I'm
like that it's usually a battle to brush my teeth. I really appreciate that you
don't flinch back from talking about mental health. I think it's a bit of a
taboo, which doesn't really help you when you're already feeling like you're
alone and isolated.
Depression is hard to discuss, and is even more difficult to capture in art. There are not enough heartfelt attempts out there, and god knows I can’t write about it. Depression is even more difficult to respond to. I was taken aback by some of the other comments in the forum that “there’s nothing beautiful about depression” (I understand the sentiment, but who was saying that it is?) and that all that depressed folks need to do is to add some omega-3 to their diets. As though, for many of us, we haven’t tried everything imaginable: drastic diet changes, yoga, St. John’s Wort, anti-depressants, therapy. I’m not saying that any of those options aren’t helpful--they are. It’s just that treating depression is a process; there’s no quick fix available. Suffering from it is hard enough, but it’s exacerbated because depression is taboo, and too often those who haven’t or aren’t dealing with it make flippant (though well meaning) comments that add insult to injury.

We need more people to unflinchingly address this issue. We need people like Karen.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

hello everyone,
This comic is affected me also. I agree with you. I can understand feeling of depression.
Dual Diagnosis

Dual Diagnosis