With One Picture, Patton Oswalt Gave Meaningful Advice for Anyone Living With Depression
It can be hard to find the right words to describe depression, and in the pursuit of getting across what it’s really like, people write poems, craft metaphors, draw pictures and even play songs. There’s no “right” way to express what depression feels like — just like there’s no right way to cope and live with it.
On Tuesday, comedian Patton Oswalt — who has been open about his journey with depression and grief after his wife died suddenly in 2016 — shared an image that not only describes what depression can feel like but gives some advice for those trying to fight it.
Accompanying a picture of a rainy street in Paris, he wrote:
If you can, make your depression look like this street. Bleak and rainy but there’s music and art and even comedy hiding in its lonely cafes and you can use those to escape.
If you can, make your depression look like this street. Bleak and rainy but there’s music and art and even comedy hiding in its lonely cafes and you can use those to escape. pic.twitter.com/uu3XgzLK8U
— Patton Oswalt (@pattonoswalt) April 3, 2018
Many of Oswalt’s followers were grateful for the perspective. One Twitter user said, “I needed that today, thank you.”
???? I needed that today, thank you.
— Laura ✌️ (@RoarSoftly) April 3, 2018
that's… a VERY good metaphoric thought.
— Parker (@jeffparker) April 3, 2018
This may be the most profound thing ever written on Twitter. But don't get a swelled head, it's Twitter.
— Ed the Sock (@EdtheSock) April 3, 2018
That thought could save someone. Sometimes you just need the right escape and this is a nice one.
— BriBri ???? (@bmiriani) April 3, 2018
Others pointed out that for some, it can be hard to “hear the music” when you’re deep in depression.
Unfortunately, when I am depressed (like I am right now), music/art lose all meaning. It's horrible to be unmoved by a song one once loved or plagued with inability to appreciate art. I did compare my depression to having a Nickleback earworm so I guess I still have comedy
— erin ???? pdx (@lolaswolf) April 3, 2018
No matter what works for you, finding little outlets or holding onto moments of joy is sometimes all you can do during a period of depression. In a piece called, “25 Unexpected Coping Techniques That Help People With Depression,” Mighty community members shared little ways they coped with depression. Their answers might help you on your own journey down a rainy, bleak street.
“Being in the outdoors by myself. There’s something calming about the quiet with just nature around me with fresh air.” — Tess B.
“[I do] whatever I don’t feel like doing. If I don’t want to study, I do that. If I feel like skipping gym and sleeping all day, I get my boxing gloves ready. Music helps. A shower helps. Just ruffling my own hair or giving myself a hug or a compassionate pat helps.” — Basma A.
“Dancing. I teach Zumba classes, and as long as I consistently teach, my anxieties and depression stay away. It forces me to be around other people who are ready to have a great class and depend on me to pull them through it. Plus the music is so uplifting and I try to choose music that empowers myself to be a better ‘me’ every day.” — Kara K.
“[I] go to the flower nursery… to be around all those beautiful and colorful flowers. [It] makes me feel happy, and if I get to buy one, even better! I love doing this with my fiancé.” — Kim S.
What would you add?