The Benefits of Depression

Are you feeling depressed, anxious? Are you unable to sleep at night? Sounds like one of the many brilliant ad campaigns by pharmaceutical companies, their genius being the sheer numbers of people who could say yes to those questions. Psychologists call depression the common cold of mental dysfunction since it is one of the most prevalent problems they encounter.

Depression is like anxiety but without the enthusiasm. At first, the problems – death in the family, unemployment, disease – have your full attention, keep you tossing and turning, pacing the room like a caged animal in fight or flight. Then you get tired of the panic and get lost in Gossip Girl reruns or gorge on buckets of fried chicken. So I challenge all of the depressed people out there – why not make depression fun again? Consider the following benefits of being depressed and then cheer the hell up already!

One of the common symptoms associated with depression is loss of appetite. In fact, in a recent survey I did, I found that five out of 300 million people reported that they had trouble eating after a bad breakup. Like many Americans, they were all over weight, so after a month of lying on the couch looking at the ceiling they came out of their heartbreak-comas with rocking bodies. So you won’t even have to work out at the gym or count calories like all those so-called happy people. Obesity is an epidemic in America right now, so depression could really help fat people shed some pounds.

On the other hand, you may over-eat in the depths of your despair, and while you may come crawling out of your house eventually, your body will probably look like a deformed manatee. Still, when you’re waiting in the chicken nugget line and show no intention of hiding your blatant path to diabetes and heart disease or concealing the muffin top spilling out over your pants, you won’t be wasting food, you’ll boost the food chain industry, and you’ll get all the calories you need to survive. Also, if there is an apocalypse and food production comes to a halt, you’ll have plenty of fat reserves to
keep you alive if a heart attack doesn’t kill you first.

Since depressed people don’t do much and rarely leave the house, you can also save money by not doing your usual activities. If you’re depressed in Detroit you’ll probably be depressed in Hawaii, so at least you won’t waste your money on an overpriced vacation.

Depression also can give you a serious demeanor, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing. In fact, it can be the perfect time for self-reflection and contemplation. In other words, depression gives you the chance to cultivate your self-loathing and how your bad decisions led to your life being in shambles. Some of the best songs, art, and literature were born out of these down and out moments, so don’t waste your sadness but use it to write an album or at least play the guitar poorly.

So next time somebody asks you why you’re not smiling, stare them down with your well-practiced scowl and say in your best Tony Soprano voice, ‘I am smiling.’

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