Why Are Funny People Depressed? – Humor & Depression Link

Laughter is a lifesaver when the darkest times hit. However, some studies suggest that the funniest people are most likely to be depressed or struggle with significant mental health issues.

All in all, this theory might not be true, or it might be a global misconception, and that’s why we are here to take a deep dive into the topic.

We couldn’t help but wonder two things:

  • what is the link between humor and depression?
  • and, if it’s a common occurrence, why are funny people depressed?

So today, we will be trying to get the answers.

Let’s start!

Why are funny people depressed?

Covering Up – Joking About Depression

Let’s clear up some misconceptions first:

The interpretation of depression is often associated with a feeling of deep sadness and lack of energy which often comes in combination with a sloppy appearance.

Even though this might apply to most people who are depressed, it’s not necessarily universal, and not all depressed people express or have an appearance like the one described. On the contrary, people struggling with depression may look like the most satisfied and fulfilled people you have ever met!

Now, some people tend to hide their depression by cracking up jokes with friends, looking like they have it all together like they are living their perfect life. But when they go home and are left alone with their thoughts, the feeling of deep sadness unexpectedly becomes dominant inside their heads. So, in reality, the logical assumption that the funniest people we know might be depressed can be valid.

Related: Why Did I Lose My Sense of Humor? (5 Eye-Opening Reasons)

Humor – The Ultimate Coping Mechanism

Depressed people are prone to hiding their true feelings for various reasons. That’s actually how this assumption started.

In other words, depressed people might look for a way to show others that everything is okay, even though deep down, they are suffering. And that’s when the exaggeration of humor and jokes can occur.

On the other hand, some people are just looking for an escape from this sort of feeling, so they pretend that everything is fine. They may not want to face the problem or are in a denial phase, thinking that this feeling will disappear soon.

There’s a chance that they might even fool themselves while trying to fool others that they are okay, which leads to an even bigger problem later on. Hiding behind the mask of a fake smile, truly depressed people tend to send a false signal to society that everything in their lives is okay and that there’s nothing to worry about.

Related: Can Humor Be a Defense Mechanism? (What Science Has to Say)

the link between humor and depression

Are Funny People Often Depressed?

Of course, we cannot say that all funny people are depressed – it is far from the truth. There’s no point in globalizing such a thing because all people are vastly different and depression is not contagious.

Therefore, we cannot say that all people with a good sense of humor or who often joke around are depressed. Some people are naturally funny and genuinely positive, so you shouldn’t assume they use humor as a coping mechanism.

But also, keep in mind that some naturally funny people might not know that they are dealing with depression. Some explain this type of feeling as just “a wave of sadness” while not knowing that this is a much bigger issue than just ordinary sadness.

The Link Between Humor and Depression

Back in 2017, a teenage drama show named “13 Reasons Why” was released. This show mainly targets the younger population, encouraging them to open up and speak about their problems. It deals with several mental health issues and tackles important topics which are often difficult to talk about during teenage years.

Yes, it is a bit controversial, and it came across very mixed reviews among the audience, but it still carried a strong message.

The point of the show is that we are rarely aware of what people are actually feeling, nor about what kind of problems they are going through in life.

The millennials are a generation vastly hit by the phenomenon of hiding away feelings through humor. They might come off as the happiest generation of all, but, in reality, mental health problems are a widespread occurrence with this age group.

People joke around on the internet all the time. We post funny photos, look at memes and videos, and spend hours every day laughing on Reddit. Still, there’s always a chance that the people behind the posts are struggling with some serious issue and their exaggeration of positivity is fake. Some even joke about having depression, which can often be a genuine feeling, just masked behind humor.

How to know if a funny person is actually depressed?

How to Know if Someone Funny is Actually Depressed?

First of all, you should never assume the state of someone’s mental health, no matter how well you think you know the person. Only mental health professionals can deal with these complicated issues properly.

Still, there are some signs you can look out for if you want to be able to help someone you love. Mostly, your gut is often right about these sorts of things. However, you should tread lightly and be careful not to react in the wrong way.

For example, suicidal thoughts are often associated with the feeling of depression. Therefore, if the funny person in your friend group often jokes around about suicide, self-harm things, or mentions depression-related feelings, maybe you should start wondering. 

In today’s world, depression has become one of the most common and severe problems the younger population deals with. Therefore, preventing and taking care of one’s mental health is majorly important.

So, if you have a feeling that someone in your environment is depressed, or is struggling with any problem related to depression, including suicidal thoughts, talk to them, tell them that you are there, and try to help out, if that’s what they need.

Your Turn

This is a very delicate yet important topic, and we would love to hear your thoughts about it.

Do you think that people with a good sense of humor are most likely to have or develop depression?

Moreover, do you have any person in your surroundings who you think has depression yet acts extremely happy?

This is one of the most intriguing topics we have had so far, so we would really like to hear your comments. Drop them down below!

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