Post 13: How to use Humor to Deal with your Mental Health Issues

I’d like to give a key mention here to Allie Brosh’s Hyperbole and a Half.

This is her first book: Hyperbole and a Half: Unfortunate Situations, Flawed Coping Mechanisms, Mayhem, and Other Things That Happened (I haven’t read her other books, yet.)

Her Twitter: @AllieBrosh

She is my inspiration when I write and say humorous things about my mental health. Because, if we’re being honest, humor is a wonderful coping mechanism. And, falling off the couch trying to reach for the remote because you are too depressive to stand up and get it is hilarious.

I choose to use humor for my mental health. Many of my friends do the same for their mental health. However, there are many others who do not. It is perfectly okay to handle your mental health in whatever way is best for you, but this is my way. 

I have previously blogged about my use of the spoon metaphor, and how I choose to bend it to my humorous whims. This blog is a broader take on a similar mechanism for coping.

I’d like to give a key mention here to Allie Brosh’s Hyperbole and a Half.

This is her first book: Hyperbole and a Half: Unfortunate Situations, Flawed Coping Mechanisms, Mayhem, and Other Things That Happened (I haven’t read her other books, yet.)

Her Twitter: @AllieBrosh

She is my inspiration when I write and say humorous things about my mental health. Because, if we’re being honest, humor is a wonderful coping mechanism. And, falling off the couch trying to reach for the remote because you are too depressive to stand up and get it is hilarious.

I choose to use humor for my mental health. Many of my friends do the same for their mental health. However, there are many others who do not. It is perfectly okay to handle your mental health in whatever way is best for you, but this is my way. 

I have previously blogged about my use of the spoon metaphor, and how I choose to bend it to my humorous whims. This blog is a broader take on a similar mechanism for coping.

1. Realize that it is okay to laugh and cry at the same time. 

Emotions are weird because humans are weird. You can simultaneously be laughing hysterically while  sobbing miserably. It is okay. Mental health issues are a special kind of effed up, so expect the unexpected. If you made a terrible and horrifying joke that makes you laugh and cry in horror, go with it. I am pretty sure that laugh-crying is better that sitting in miserable silence or nothingness.

2. Have people with similar humor around you.

If you make a joke that genuinely horrifies someone, it won’t do much to help you feel better while they are trying to lecture you about how bad your joke is. Make sure that the environment around you matches the humor inside you. This includes your chosen internet destination. If you are chatting with people online, playing a game, etc, keep yourself away from people whose humor doesn’t match your own. 

3. Bad jokes are the best jokes.

Was your joke too easy? Overdone? Lame? GOOD! Things can’t really go poorly if they already suck. If I am on the couch dying of thirst next to an empty water bottle, I will feel no regrets over bad jokes. Yes, I have made that pun 3 times in the same day. I don’t care. It is funny. It makes me laugh. Water you gonna do about it???

Depressive time is time to enjoy stupid things – like stupid jokes.

4. Find entertainment from other people who are good at making jokes about their disabilities.

  • Allie Brosh is my prevailing example.
  • Toph from Avatar the Last Airbender makes tons of blind jokes about herself.
  • Enjoy the antics of hilarious people who joke about their missing limbs.
  • Follow my adventures, lol.
  • I’ll add more examples as I find them.

5. Don’t slip too far into the dark. 

I tend to stay away from suicide jokes as a personal preference. As a suicide attempt survivor, I recognize that words are powerful, and even talking about it jokingly gets me too close to the concept.

This is why it is important that humor is a coping mechanism, rather than a disguise for actual danger.

People who aren’t going through shit probably shouldn’t get to make jokes about it. No joking without experience. No joking about other people. If you lose a privilege, then you gain the right to joke about it. For instance, I get to make bipolar jokes, migraine jokes, cripple jokes, poor jokes, short jokes, mixed jokes, etc. I have all of those features. I don’t get to make Jewish jokes, autism jokes, tall jokes, blond jokes, etc. I think it is pretty simple. If you let your non-depressed friends make depression jokes, they are likely to hit an unintended nerve and defeat the purpose of the humor. 

7. You are not obligated to laugh.

You can find something funny and not laugh. Laughing is hard when nothing seems right. When you are down, it is okay to be down. The important part is that you find your way back into the light eventually. Things get better. They do; I swear. They get worse. They stay the same. But, they always get better. But while you are waiting, feel free to acknowledge the funny parts of your unfortunate brain predicament.

Tweet me @PandoraCray!

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