Hyperbole and a Half Returns and Totally Nails It

Illustration for article titled Hyperbole and a Half Returns and Totally Nails It

Fans of the web comic/blog Hyperbole and a Half rejoiced Wednesday when the founder of the site put out a teaser saying she would post something new today. In it, Brosh included a drawing of an airplane and hyped that her next piece would be about depression.


"In parts, it might get a little flinch-y and uncomfortable, and if I succeed in making you laugh during those parts, you're going to feel real weird about yourselves," wrote Brosh. "But it's okay. Just let it happen. I WANT it to happen. Because it makes me feel powerful, and also because there are flinch-y, uncomfortable things everywhere. Seeing them is inevitable. If we can laugh about some of them, maybe they'll be less scary to look at."

Brosh's wrote a piece on depression in October of 2011, but since then, she's been off the grid (save for talking a bit about her issues on Reddit). In her new blog post, she lays out the many stages of depression, like how you can feel at the beginning when people don't understand you:

"And that's the most frustrating thing about depression. It isn't always something you can fight back against with hope. It isn't even something — it's nothing. And you can't combat nothing. You can't fill it up. You can't cover it. It's just there, pulling the meaning out of everything. That being the case, all the hopeful, proactive solutions start to sound completely insane in contrast to the scope of the problem."

Read/look at the whole thing – even the comments, which for once on the internet are the not the worst thing you've ever read and are actually a great addition to the work.

Brosh's book Hyperbole and a Half: Unfortunate Situations, Flawed Coping Mechanisms, Mayhem, and Other Things That Happened will be published in October. You can pre-order it on Amazon, if you so desire.



Maybe you can all help me, because there seem to be a lot of people who relate to her post very well. I relate too, but I'm like the people trying to help her find the dead fish, or the lady on the couch (although I've never told anyone to fucking do yoga and look at a sunset). Most of my immediate family has struggled with depression their entire lives. I haven't. I can wrap my head around depression, I understand it, I can recognize it (although this post did a really great job of articulating some of the specific feelings and drawing up some amazing metaphors/similes).

My question is, what the fuck do you want people to say? That sounds a little ragey and I apologize, but truthfully after 27 years of a depressed parent and two depressed siblings, it's turned into - what the fuck do you want me to say? I don't know what to say to you. I feel like I've tried all the responses. Nice things, mean things. Get help. Talk to someone. Are you thinking of hurting yourself? Do you have a plan? (note: I am not afraid to ask anyone that and I've asked my family multiple times) Yeah that does sound bad. I'm sorry. Have you thought about medication? You should talk to someone. You know, your life isn't really that bad, objectively. A lot of people have it worse off than you. No, I know, that is really frustrating. Yeah. Can you talk to someone? Yeah I guess that therapist wasn't helping. No I guess I wouldn't want to feel like a zombie on medication either. Yeah, that sounds hard. I'm sorry. What if you apply to a different job? You should talk to someone. Nope, you're right, you have the worst life ever. I'm sorry, I'm not trying to be mean. No, I understand. Yeah, I am really lucky that I don't have to deal with this. I'm sorry. I'm here for you. I love you. Yup. Okay. So about those Yankees.

So what helps? What's the appropriate response? What's the right thing to say? Not that I've deluded myself into thinking there's any one phrase or sentence I can speak that will fix it all, but I sure don't want to exacerbate it more. Do I throw some corn under the fridge and hope for the best?