Broti Gupta, the Beatles, Andrew Garfield, and Taylor Swift but one of them is a murderer
Sounds like a great cocktail party! Unless you get murdered. Not so fun then.
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Let’s not hate jokes
I think I relate to Broti Gupta a lot in the latest episode of Depresh Mode. I too am a 27-year-old woman of Indian descent who grew up in Kentucky and writes for The Simpsons. Okay, maybe not those parts. But she talks about deflecting tricky emotions - or entire emotional states like anxiety and depression - with comedy. With bits. Take the hard thing, turn it into a funny thing so that others and maybe you yourself will laugh instead of really dealing with it in a serious way.
And yeah, that’s probably not a good long-term strategy. Trauma needs to be dealt with, cognitive distortions need to be steered around, mental illness needs treatment. But if you can throw a joke in there in order to get through a conversation or a transaction? Shit, man, go right ahead. And here’s why. Let’s make a numbered list:
When we can laugh during hard times, we assert our power over our circumstances. Maybe in a really shaky way! But still, it’s real.
If you understand a situation having to do with yourself enough to make a joke, there’s a very good chance you understand the situation. You’ve absorbed the meaning so there’s nothing wrong with the humor.
The joke might be a defense mechanism but there’s nothing wrong with playing some defense. Life is hard, mental health can be heavy, shit’s fucked up sometimes. Throw in a joke if it gets you to the next moment.
I talk about this in my book, The Hilarious World of Depression, WHICH YOU CAN BUY, in a section about when my family went to scatter my brother’s ashes in Puget Sound. We park the van at the marina, my sister gets the box of ashes out of the back, and my mom inexplicably asks if the box is heavy.
“He’s not heavy,” my sister says. She then allows a long pause. “He’s my brother.” We were still just as sad about his death but we had to admire the bit.
Do I have any mental health observations about the Beatles’ Get Back documentary?
I mean, I watched all of it. Even started in on a second watch, which I’m sure will not be the last one. For me, seeing something like the song “Get Back” get made is roughly akin to watching a video of the Rocky Mountains get formed or the moon put in place. Here’s a thing that, for me, and I’m not young, just always was. Always been there. And here’s a very clean audio/video capture of the big bang.
I’m not a therapist or doctor and wouldn’t presume to analyze or diagnose any members of the band. I doubt any contemporary therapist or doctor would either. Certainly John Lennon does a lot of deflecting through comedy bits and something makes him want to have Yoko by his side all the time. By all accounts, it wasn’t Yoko’s idea.
I think Ringo is very placid, which isn’t a mental disorder, or stoned, which isn’t a mental disorder either.
I guess for me, the mental health lesson in Get Back is more about the fact that the documentary exists and we can see that they are people and dealing with things we all deal with. I was watching it when my daughter came in and watched it with me. After a while, I said, “That Paul McCartney was totally foxy back then.”
“Wait, those are the actual Beatles?” she asked. “I thought those were actors.” Because they have taken on mythic proportions. She took a class on the Beatles in middle school.
But no, they were real Beatles and actual people trying to perform a difficult task in a tight time frame. Like lots of us do. They were very close friends but life was pulling them away from each other, as life does, especially to bands. They knew each other and loved each other and bothered each other. I think a lot of us have been there, even if we aren’t likely to write “Let It Be” in such a situation.
And so, when it comes to mental health issues, none of us are extraordinary. We all have the potential to struggle, whether it’s you or me or those other guys. And we all have the potential to create something greater than ourselves by connecting with other people. Maybe you and I can’t write “The Long and Winding Road” but we could probably at least write “Her Majesty”.
Well, maybe not. But we could write something.
Does depression cause social media use which causes depression which then causes, etc.
One review highlighted a study that found using the internet to communicate and play games for more than 4 hours a day predicts depressive symptoms 1 year later. The research also found that depressive symptoms predict increased internet use and decreased participation in nonscreen activities.
The article cautions that in most similar studies, the state of mind of the subjects is self-reported and that those symptoms may be very different from what is observed by researchers. So it’s hard to say.
And then there’s the chicken-and-egg situation of what’s causing what:
The researchers say that due to the observational nature of their study, they cannot ascertain why social media use may have links to depression. However, they identify possible mechanisms.
“One possible explanation for our results is that people who are at risk for depression, even if they’re not currently depressed, are more likely to use social media,” Roy H. Perlis, M.D., M.Sc., lead author of the study, told Medical News Today.
“Another is that social media actually contributes to that increased risk. With our study design, we can’t distinguish between the two. What we can exclude is the possibility that depressed people are more likely to report social media use, which was a limitation of some previous studies,” he added.
I’ve ended up talking about grief more than I expected to in my mental health work. It’s not really a disorder, after all, it’s an emotion. It’s a response. And it can be so incredibly painful that it can feel like something must be wrong, must be broken within you. But recent conversations with people like Ivan Maisel and Megan Devine have taught me that grief and love are very closely linked and also that there’s no such thing as a “wrong” way to be during this time.
Andrew Garfield has a beautiful description on Colbert.
I like the Taylor Swift song where she teams up with Haim to kill someone
It’s on her album Outdoor Braids. I can’t remember the name of the album right off the bat so I’m going with what I remember of the cover.
I’m afraid I don’t recreationally listen to a lot of her other music. But I have daughters and they love her and her music and I love that they love it because she’s such a badass.