View Full Version : Depression, Suicide, and Black Humor


Doug!as
06-29-06, 01:40 AM
I dealt with suicidal tendencies during two times in my life. The first time was when I was 15 and the last time was around my 25 year. That's not to say that suicidal thoughts haven't crossed my mind from time to time, but that those were the periods in my life where I wasn't able to brush them off. But brush them off I did, or otherwise I wouldn't be typing here. ;) In fact, I ended up developing a wicked black sense of humor to deal with life's little knobbly bits. So when I came across the latest NIMH study that declared that people who killed themselves were likely to have been depressed I'm afraid I laughed out loud. What's next? "Scientists have proven that getting burned is painful. Read our 10 sizzling tips on how to avoid getting the hot foot!" "Study shows that people with hay fever use more tissues than average consumers" It just all seemed so silly.

So I cheekily blogged about it <a href="http://thesplinteredmind.blogspot.com/2006/06/depression-its-bummer-and-other.html">here</a>. I wonder if other people who have suffered depression and suicidal tendencies only to live to tell the tale have developed a black sense of humor as I have done? I imagine that joking about death is at best considered tacky in mixed company, but I'm not really in mixed company here, am I? We're all dealing with depression, or have loved ones who are...

Do any of you use black humor, or pink and fluffy humor for that matter, to fend off the black moods? Are you ever accused of being insensitive when all you're doing is fighting off depression, and perhaps even suicide, in your own way?

Scattered
06-29-06, 01:30 PM
I've fended off depression in ways a lot less healthy than humor (black or otherwise). Did you know that the return of humor is one of the indicators therapist look at when assessing mental health status? It's a good thing! When I used to work at a hospice, we had a lot of dark humor -- it kind of helped us face the reality of what we worked with every day.

Scattered

Doug!as
06-29-06, 01:57 PM
I've fended off depression in ways a lot less healthy than humor (black or otherwise). Did you know that the return of humor is one of the indicators therapist look at when assessing mental health status? It's a good thing! When I used to work at a hospice, we had a lot of dark humor -- it kind of helped us face the reality of what we worked with every day.

Scattered

Actually, I didn't know that per se. But I knew it by experience. People who are drowning in their problems hardly kid around and smile. ;) The fact that I can laugh at myself has always seemed to me to be very healthy. And it was better than berating myself endlessly like I used to.

I wonder why dark humor is frowned upon by American society. Watching Britcoms I can see that they almost celebrate it. I think that Hollywood is bad for our culture in many ways because dark humor requires a bit of cleverness and is not compatible with the lowest common denominator. I thank God for the internet because it helps balance the monoculture that we tend to have here in the States - dictated by Hollywood and its acolytes. :rolleyes: But Hollywood isn't the only culture to frown upon black humor. I live in Utah, am Mormon myself, and I can't say that Mormons as a whole appreciate or even understand black humor. I find that many other Christian religions also have a lack of appreciation for black humor. Perhaps because sarcasm is a large component of black humor and sarcasm is generally thought of as mean-spirited. I wonder if people confuse sardonicism with sarcasm. :soapbox:

I'm not passing judgement here. Just musing out loud. I should probably just get back to work. Thanks for your thoughts.

Princess-of-Chaos
08-08-06, 11:23 AM
Sometimes, I have a very black humor, too. :D:D:D. Not everyone likes it though.
A colored friend of my boyfriend told him once, he could say one word he wasn't allowed to say : n****r.
Recently, I refered to an anorectic girl as "perpetuum mobile", which is really nasty, I know, I also know she is suffering, as I've been anorectic myself.
But I feel that I can make jokes about it with close friends or my boyfriend, as they know I do not want to hurt anyone or make fun of their pain.

however, I'm most nasty to myself. Recently I really had to laugh about eating 1kg of cereals when I was bulimic... :p:p:p:p:p :faint:

It was really hard work, but nothing else there with which I could satisfy my need for binging... How stupid!!!!

I don't know about German attitude to black humor/ political correctness. It's certainly not as pronounced in America, although we really try to avoid being nationalist, and other countries seem to be very proud of themselves to us.
Maybe we're somewhere in the middle between England and America????

Anyhow, I try to be cautious with that, as it might hurt others.

Crazy~Feet
08-08-06, 11:51 AM
Actually, I didn't know that per se. But I knew it by experience. People who are drowning in their problems hardly kid around and smile. ;) The fact that I can laugh at myself has always seemed to me to be very healthy. And it was better than berating myself endlessly like I used to.
Well, here I come to muddle the issue yet again! :rolleyes: I would be able to kid around while drowning in problems and I am grateful that I now know why I am able to do that...for me, that stems directly from my warped and zany sense of humor, one of my own ADHD gifts. It has helped me and also hurt me. It has helped me move out of the black pit of despair, and it has made others fail to see my black pit as something real at times.

I wonder why dark humor is frowned upon by American society. Watching Britcoms I can see that they almost celebrate it. I think that Hollywood is bad for our culture in many ways because dark humor requires a bit of cleverness and is not compatible with the lowest common denominator. I thank God for the internet because it helps balance the monoculture that we tend to have here in the States - dictated by Hollywood and its acolytes. :rolleyes: True, true. Of course my family (we like to call this household Nuerodiversity University, since nobody here is neurotypical and we are in a constant state of education) jokes many times that we really ought to hang webcams in every room and spin our lives as some kind of reality show. American society can be so morbidly nosy! So why not make money from our pain and strife?

But Hollywood isn't the only culture to frown upon black humor. I live in Utah, am Mormon myself, and I can't say that Mormons as a whole appreciate or even understand black humor. I find that many other Christian religions also have a lack of appreciation for black humor. Perhaps because sarcasm is a large component of black humor and sarcasm is generally thought of as mean-spirited. I wonder if people confuse sardonicism with sarcasm. :soapbox:Heh...I moved from PA where I was raised as a Catholic with Old World Paganistic qualities (nope, no ADHD there, huh??) to the Deep South. Thanks to my upbringing, the first response that pops into my mind when I am asked "Have you found Jesus?" is always "Oh, yes. I was vacuuming, and when I moved the furniture, he was behind the couch!" :o. Irreverent humor is not appreciated in all places. The woman who told me that wearing men's clothing was forbidden and that I ought to be in a skirt or a dress since pants were men's clothing got told that I would be running off to Sears to buy myself a bathrobe!

I'm not passing judgement here. Just musing out loud. I should probably just get back to work. Thanks for your thoughts.Muse on, its all good. We do that, ya know. Steve Harvey calls it the Third Eye of Comedy and I believe most ADDers have the same Third Eye. Getting out it may help you to not explode in a shower of giggles the next time someone knocks on your door with "Good News" ;).

Crazy :cool:

MrBean
05-17-09, 12:02 AM
If you are having suicidal thoughts you need to seriously think about getting help. Suicide is not the answer to any problem. You must always ask yourself, do I really have no chance of getting better. I have felt like I wanted to committ suicide because of my frustrations due to my learning disabilities. However, if I did that there are so many wonderful things in life I would have missed. If you want to chat please write me a private message.

Retromancer
05-17-09, 12:56 AM
Um, Herr Bean you may want to do a double-check of the date on post you replied to. The previous posters have quite possibly resolved their issues -- one way or another...

Y'know I always found a bit amusing when mental health professionals would repeatedly ask if I was "contemplating suicide". I would wonder if they were possibly suggesting it as an option. I would not have been surprised if they had handed me a pamphlet with a title stating: "Suicide. Is it for you?"


Resume

Razors pain you;

Rivers are damp;

Acids stain you;

And drugs cause cramp.

Guns aren't lawful;

Nooses give;

Gas smells awful;

You might as well live.

-- Dorothy Parker

If you are having suicidal thoughts you need to seriously think about getting help. Suicide is not the answer to any problem. You must always ask yourself, do I really have no chance of getting better. I have felt like I wanted to committ suicide because of my frustrations due to my learning disabilities. However, if I did that there are so many wonderful things in life I would have missed. If you want to chat please write me a private message.