A Portrait of Depression

18 Nov

Allie Brosh is a writer whose skillful storytelling and wonderful comic art have earned her blog, Hyperbole and a Half, an enormous following.  In a moving interview on NPR’s Fresh Air, she provides a revealing portrait of depression by sharing her own experience with this condition.  When asked to describe her depression, she says:

The first part was all sorts of feelings and a lot of self-loathing. … And then slowly it transitioned to feeling nothing and feeling very detached and bored with everything because I couldn’t connect in a meaningful way to the things I enjoyed or the things around me. …


I’ve always sort of secretly thought of feelings as a weakness. I think growing up I always wanted to be someone tougher than I am, and so when I first started not having feelings anymore I thought, “I’m finally this person who doesn’t react. I’m not sensitive anymore.” I enjoyed that for a short time, especially when I hadn’t lost my feelings completely, where I just felt like I was emotionally very strong. And then once all of my emotions disappeared, I very quickly realized that emotions are the only thing that provide variation in your life.


I think there’s a common misconception that depression is about something or depression is sadness or some form of negativity. It can represent a sadness or a self-loathing, as the first half of my depression did. It sort of circled back on itself and made me dislike myself more because I was so sad, and I didn’t know why, and I felt like I needed a reason. … It took me a long time to figure out that something was broken on a fundamental level. There was no reason behind it; it was just the way things were.


One of Brosh’s most beloved blog posts is one she wrote about her experience with depression and Here is a link to it.


Posted by on November 18, 2013 in Uncategorized


4 responses to “A Portrait of Depression

  1. christa

    November 18, 2013 at 5:42 pm

    Dr. M, I do not see the link you mentioned at the end of your post. It may be on my end. Does everyone else get the link? As I look back on other postings, I have the same problem.


      November 19, 2013 at 2:22 am

      Hi, Christa. The links are the highlighted words. When you click on the highlighted words, the articles they link to should come up. As least, they are for me. Sorry about any confusion. Let me know if it’s still not working. Thanks.

  2. christa

    November 20, 2013 at 2:26 am

    I see what you mean. Now that I look very closely I see the word “Here” is a slightly different color, sort of green, and that is a link. Live and learn !


      November 20, 2013 at 4:13 am

      Glad to know it works, Christa. I’ll see if there is a way to make the highlight font more visible.


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