Just a quick note that there might not be a comic this week. My work schedule made a big change which needs to settle down a bit and I also bought a new computer last week (YAY).
I’ve also been on the receiving end of a little bit of criticism this week for the comic, because of its content, lack of story, lack of entertainment value, and other things that are generally associated with webcomics.…
" STRESSFUL events in early life can significantly increase the risk of a person suffering depression as they age, according to researchers in Trinity College. The stress can lead to changes in our genetic expression, which can in turn be passed on to another generation, the team from the Institute of Neuroscience and Department of Psychiatry discovered."
More evidence on the physicality of depression and a mechanism by which it can be expressed in succeeding generations.
I finally did it. I removed Google AdSense from the depcom site.
It seems strange since I fought so hard to get it. I even erased a questionable image because it stopped the application process. But in the end, I got it, and it was a happy event becxause it seemed it was the beginning of greater things, of newfound professionalism.
When I first entered the script, I waited for AdSense to do its…
I am a middle school student working on my science fair project. I love psychology, and for that reason I decided to work on an experiment to find the best coping methods for different disorders and illnesses. I have the surveys completed, but am having trouble with getting people to take my surveys (I kept getting kicked and banned from online forums for posting the link, so that isn’t an option). I was wondering if you could help me out and post the link to the survey? If you choose to, please mention that only those with depression should take the survey. If not, if you yourself could take the survey, that would be a tremendous help too. Every participant helps. Thanks for your time!
Here is the link:
I just finished putting the inks on the next strip, and I don’t have enough time to color it before I have to return to work, so I thought I’d pop off a quick message.
I do almost all my comic work in coffee shops. Before I used to do this kind of work at home exclusively, but it was always difficult to concentrate at home with so many distractions present. In a coffee shop, it’s difficult to…
In a previous post I said my goal for March was to do seven strips, and with the posting of #178 today that means I reached my goal. I still have ten days left, so maybe I can push it up to eight or nine.
Several kind and generous people have made tips/donations, and I would like to thank them here: Tonya Wollard, Heather, Jenn, and Eric. This comes at an especially good time, it looks like I’m…
Are you okay? Do you need someone to talk to? If you need someone to talk to I’m right here.
It isn’t uncommon that I open up mail mail box or my Tumblr ask box and find someone has left me a note like this. It’s always a little shocking, because as far as I know, I’ve never written any cries for help on the site, so it leaves me puzzled wondering what I said that would make complete strangers…
Because young Black men and Black men rarely find places where they can feel safe, they are on hyper-surveillance concerning their surroundings, and they are hyper-vigilant to any signs of danger coming from the police, or individuals who act like the police, such as a George Zimmerman, security guards following them in stores and other individuals in positions of authority, Dr. Johnson said. He added Feb. 16 that Black men always are under intense surveillance by others.
“While treatable, there are significant racial and gender differences concerning who gets treatment for depression,” Dr. Lindsey wrote. “Few children and adolescents, especially African-American adolescents with a depressive disorder, receive care.”
I’m taking a short break from asks as they have kind of exhausted me recently. If you would like to contact me, you can contact me through email at depressioncomix at gmail.com . I’m still working on new comics, and currently working on #176. Sorry, just a little burned out of thinking of responses.
I was wondering...how do you deal with friendships and cancelling plans? I do it less than I used to, I've been pretty good the last 6 months about not cancelling plans. But sometimes (on rare occasions since being on the right meds) I just have a bad week. When I cancel plans I feel REALLY guilty because I love my friends and I like hanging out, but I feel it's better to do that than be emotionally weird the whole time. How do you preserve those friendships? How do you explain it to them?
Perhaps someone with actual friends could better field this question. Any takers?
I don't know what made you start these comics. Don't know why you do it. But thank you. They actually explain a few things better than anything else I've found out there. So... yeah. Thank you very much.
You’re welcome, and yeah, I don’t know why I do them either.
I'm not sure if you saw it or not on another social media site, but with regards to #174, I had a buddy who had a girlfriend that he broke up with because he just couldn't handle her anymore. It was like she was depressed and bi-polar at the same time. She called him and said that not only would she kill herself, she'd leave a note stating that it was his fault that she did it. Unfortunately, they're now married. He's now gotten it in his head that he's happy with his current life.
That last sentence — HOW THE FCK DID HE DO THAT I’VE BEEN DOING THE OPPOSITE FOR DECADES HE MUST TEACH ME THIS WITCHCRAFT
Hi Clay, I know you've had lots of responses to the latest post. I don't care if you reply to this at all - I just wanted to say thankyou. I work in mental health but have never experienced depression myself... but the "love of my life" did... when I was 16 and unequipped to deal with even knowing what it was. He was very manipulative and gaslighted me a lot - I always felt like I was drowning due to him, anchored to him, yet whenever I thought of leaving I felt SO guilty.. I was so stuck (1/2)
(2/2) but I couldn’t face leaving. I felt guilty and awful for leaving even when he’d do things like lock me out of the house and tell I was the worse thing that ever happened to him. It was due to learning about manipulation and gaslighting that gave me the power to face up to what was happening… He needed professional help, not mine. I managed to escape. My self esteem isn’t what it used to be, but I survived and I’m working on it. These people aren’t bad, we can all be them…but its not us
It is very rare that someone thinks they are doing something bad when they are actually doing it — they think they are doing what they have to do. And we’ve talked about how depression and mental illness messes up your perception of things, making things seem bad when they are really okay and making things seem okay when they are really bad. It doesn’t make them a bad person, it makes them a person who needs help. But people who are too close to them may not be able to help them at all, either because they don’t have the strength, they are too close to the person emotionally, or they are themselves entangled in the web of negativity that the sufferer has created. as you said getting professional help is so important in these situations.
I’m glad you got out of it and I hope you can build your self-esteem up. Self-esteem can be easy to lose but very difficult to get back once you’ve lost it.
I’ve received more asks about #174, but instead of private answers, it has been suggested to post them here. So instead of six individual posts, I grouped them into one. Most of these are stories and don’t seem to need my reply.
I also really sympathize with #174. My abusive ex back in high school constantly threatened to kill/hurt me or himself if I left him. Finally I shared all the messages he had sent me with his parents & mine since I really couldn’t handle the turmoil any longer. Haven’t heard from him since. Part of me still wonders if he’s okay and it took me a long time to say this but I refuse to take blame if he followed through on his threats. There was only so much I could do for him w/o destroying myself.
So I read your latest comic and I think a lot of people don’t realise that unless you’re a professional, most people aren’t equipped to deal with someone else’s depressive issues so it is actually very cruel to emotionally blackmail someone like that no matter what your intentions/state of mind. You can’t have someone else fight your demons for you. They can be there for you but it’s unfair to expect someone (who is ill equipped to do so) to deal with your problems and ignore their own feelings
What I got from that comic was that is was about of emotional abuse in relationships where one person threatens suicide because the other person is walking away, unable to deal with their abuse any longer. I thought it was a great comic showing the emotional conflict the person walking away feels as they are torn with doing what they need to do to look after themselves and what the other person wants them to do to keep them at their will. I connected (helpfully) to it as the person walking away.
I think people have a right to leave a relationship where the mental illness of the other person is just too damaging to them. Of course I’m not coming from this as someone who has never experienced mental illness; I know it all too well as well as DV and am studying to become a counsellor. I strongly believe a person should feel to choose to leave or stay as their own, healthy for them choice. Anyway, thanks for the great comic, I appreciate it.
I want to thank you for defending the right to escape situations where being emotionally tied to a person is damaging. People talk about preventing suicides by sticking it through but there’s the flip side of being dragged down with them could cause suicides as well. I’ve had to run away from a friendship that was suffocating me because I wanted so badly to help while not looking out for myself… Thankfully, we’re both still here, but less fortunate endings weren’t unlikely at the time.
I know someone who is depressed and used to be a lot more manipulative but she’s gotten much better at not doing that. A couple years ago, she threatened to kill herself when I was too emotionally spent to help her, and I was also an hour’s drive away, so I called her mother so someone could watch her and help her. Just thought people could use this tip. It’s dangerous to ignore a suicide threat, but if you can’t help and you’re scared for them, contact someone who can help.
I want to thank everyone who gave their two cents on this topic, it has given me a lot of food for thought on the topic. (Some of the survivor stories are horrific if one reads some of the reblogs on the original comic.) I thank everyone who shared, it means a lot to me that you did.
I got flooded with asks about 174 and as I’ve been trying to answer them all I’ve also been flooded with people asking me not to flood them with answers to asks. The remainder of asks I will answer but privately. I am sorry about this, but I do want to respond to them all even if I can’t post them all.
EDIT: some people have suggested tagging the asks but I use Tumblr mainly from a cell phone and tagging responses to asks is not an option on the Tumblr app.
An important message re: suicide. The average person isn't equipped to really help a person who is suicidal. Indulging in some hero/martyr fantasy isn't doing jack to resolve the issue at hand. Call in the pros, and then focus on keeping *yourself* healthy and safe. There's nothing "heartless" about admitting your limits.
I’m adding the second part of your ask here:
PS: I’m sorry you’re getting so much shit from people about that comic, Clay. I’ve been on BOTH sides of the issue, and I thought you did an exceptional job of illustrating how excruciatingly painful and exhausting it can be. I think you were right in your earlier response about depression making it hard for people to see the larger picture. Thank you for helping to make it more clear.
I agree completely: get the pros involved. If it’s someone close to you or someone you’ve been romantically linked with you’re not going to have the emotional distance to do any good anyways. Furthermore, if there is a weapon involved like a firearm you may be in real physical danger yourself.
I’m not getting a lot of shit about it, actually, and in all honesty it motivates me to make a better comic. A little bit of controversy never hurt anyone.
Thanks for responding to my criticism... Mainly that wasn't directed at you, it was directed at anyone currently reading this blog, who read that comic and felt triggered, & felt guilty about every time they'd opened up (whether they deserved to feel guilty about it or not... ***---depressed people are not the best judge of their guilt or lack thereof!!!---***). Everyone deserves to speak up. Of course it's best if it's professional help, but some people can't afford that. Thanks for your comic.
Although some people can’t afford professional help, they can get people to talk to for free (for example seven cups of tea has trained listeners). Naturally, people should open up, especially if they need help, as long as they respect the choices of the person they open up to. I think that is all anyone here is saying.
if someone threatens suicide, you can call 911. you are most likely not a professional and not trained to deal with this kind of crisis and suicide is technically an emergency. as long as you have a phone number, or a name, or an address, you can send help to them no matter where you are and start the process of getting out of this kind of toxic relationship
I think it's spectacular how people missed the point of that last comic. Honestly, I felt it was a good move for your comic. It may be the first time that you showed how depression can be used for a selfish reason, even from people who suffer from it. It was a very smart, insightful decision in the context of your comic.
Thank you for the kind words. I think it was an uncomfortable comic for a few people because of that reason you said. Most comics about depression are autobiographical, hence they tend to display a sense of self-pity and estrangement from others and one would get the sense that they suffer alone and in isolation (and it does feel that way). I did a comic a long time ago that suffered from that very same problem, and it’s a problem in other webcomics about depression as well. Depression not only affects us but those around us, and it tends to make us very difficult people and … well, sometimes we do things that aren’t very nice to put it mildly. But it’s all part of the picture.
disregard my previous asks, i was confusing you with the person who added their comment to the comic and got upset. i'm really sorry if i upset you or any of your followers, and now after looking at your replies to the asks and the comic again i understand what the comic was trying to convey better. again, i apologize.
No problem, I felt it was just a misunderstanding, after all, you were saying stuff I completely agree with.
regarding memory: do you believe the studies that show psych. medication has negative effects on memory? or is it the depression itself that limits memory? lately i'm unsure
It’s science, so it’s not a matter of belief, it’s a matter of it being the best evidence we have until proven otherwise. I don’t see any reason why both can’t be right, and there might be some interaction between the two. Depression and memory is still a recent area of study and I’m sure we’ll learn more as research progresses.
I want to also say that that "suicide guilt" comic was a good and necessary one. I'm depressed, but I've also had depressed friends pull that on me. I don't think I've done it much before--maybe a sentence or two, and never that severe--but it can be hard to identify such behavior in yourself and make sure you're being fair. It hurts to hear things like that though, and it's good to try not to hurt people as a result of your own pain.
Thank you for the kind words. It is difficult to identify the behavior in yourself, I think that’s one reason why some people are having trouble with this strip.
I think some people are upset with your most recent comic b/c they may have emotionally manipulated someone in the past due to their depression, & it's uncomfortable to look at it that way. I've been emotionally manipulative before, & at the time I thought it was necessary to survive, but when I'm more stable I know it's not right or kind. Sometimes it's the only way sufferers know how to ask for help or show how deeply they're hurting, but I think it's not productive for either party.
Yes, same here. Maybe it’s one of those things you need some distance to see properly.
As someone who was emotionally blackmailed into staying in a manipulative relationship (he cut himself then tried to guilt me by posting about it on facebook), I really relate to your latest comic, so thank you. It's hard enough looking after someone else depression let alone your own, and you do need to look after yourself first.
I’m sorry that happened to you. Because of that comic, I’ve heard a number of horror stories both on here and the other sites this is posted at, and this is a common phenomenon that affects a lot of people.