Depression Has Stolen My Sense of Humor

Of late, life has become pretty humorless. I don’t find anything funny; on the contrary, I cringe at jokes that get laughs out of most people. If others’ jokes have this effect, it’s a given that I cannot see the funny side of things myself. And to think I used to be a mischievous twentysomething. Well, my grim outlook and lack of a sense of humor are more a result of depression than a side effect of growing up.

Depression Makes Life Humorless and Colorless

When I say that depression makes life colorless, I mean that it prevents one from appreciating the good things in life. According to research conducted by Ohio State University, this is why:

“it isn’t helpful to tell people with symptoms of depression or anxiety to simply be more grateful for the good things they have.”1

In my case, depression makes me someone hard to amuse. And that is a shame because laughter has many health benefits, and I’ve found that it helps me forget all my worries and problems. When I’m laughing, my mind, body, and soul are at peace, albeit temporarily. Wan smiles and polite laughs don’t do anything for me; only genuine laughter enables me to achieve this state. Unfortunately, it’s been a while since I’ve had a good laugh.

Humor Is an Effective Coping Mechanism for Depression

Many of us have heard of the adage “laughter is the best medicine,” and it seems we believe it. It’s probably why, according to research in the Journal of Psychiatric Research,

“adults with depression symptoms used more humor and sarcasm as a potential coping strategy during the Covid-19 pandemic. Humor use was greater in those with psychiatric disorders, perhaps due to self-preservation mechanisms during times of distress.”2

What this suggests is that humor helps one cope with depression. As long as one is not being self-deprecating, I think humor is highly effective in the war on depression. Not everyone has it, but as a quick Google search will reveal, there are many ways to improve your sense of humor.

Laughter Will Reenter My Life

I was born with a weird sense of humor, and depression cannot steal it from me forever. This isn’t the first time it has disappeared, and I know it will come back to me. It always does; sometimes, it returns in full force; other times, it is barely alive. But I know it will be a part of me again. All I can do till then is wait.

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