Someone Says Depression Is A Choice, And Andy Richters Response Is Brilliant

Earlier this year we lost several beloved figures to suicide such as Kate Spade, Anthony Bourdain, and Avicii to name a few, re-starting a worldwide conversation on mental illness. However, despite the far from new dialogue surrounding depression many people still seem woefully uninformed on how it works and how it is treated. One of the most common uneducated ideas about depression is that it is something that can be willed away if you just try hard enough, and thanks to the internet those who have actually struggled with the disease have a platform to dispell this myth.

Comedian Andy Richter might be known for his hilarious one-liners on Conan O’Brien’s show, but behind the scenes, the entertainer struggles with depression

Image credits: Andy Richter

One Twitter user tweeted out a common misconception about the illness which set off the comic

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And prompted him to share personal details from his battle with depression

Image credits: AndyRichter

Image credits: AndyRichter

Image credits: AndyRichter

Image credits: AndyRichter

Image credits: AndyRichter

Image credits: AndyRichter

Image credits: AndyRichter

Image credits: AndyRichter

Image credits: AndyRichter

Others who have struggled with their mental health applauded his explanation

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And some even added their own explanations

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13 Replies to “Someone Says Depression Is A Choice, And Andy Richters Response Is Brilliant

  1. I think that depression affects most of us from time to time, and it certainly affects me! Life circumstances, such as disability, loss, changes can all affect us, but taking to alcohol, drugs, gambling and spending isn’t the answer. I feel that the only answer is to try and live through it. Find some beauty in the everyday. It’s not hard if you look for it. The smile from a stranger, the beauty of the natural world, the love of your family, all can lift you a little. The best description for me was Churchill’s black dog. Also writing, art, music can also be positive therapies.
    Yes, sometimes it does seem as if the whole world is against those who suffer from depression, but simply letting the misery wash over you is as good as taking any treatment.

  2. I too have experienced depression. It is obvious that people who say its a choice have never experienced true depression, so they can’t really understand it.
    But, that being said, ignorance IS a choice today. Everything you ever wanted to learn about depression and those who live with it every single day is right at your fingertips.

    Maybe they should understand what they are talking about before pissing a lot of people off.

  3. here is my 2 cents from experience: take up running and just wear yourself out in the endeavor also, take up Motorcycling and ride like the Devil ’till you are absolutely scared shit less ever time you climb astraddle the beast !!

  4. I am middle -aged & female & for most of my life I’ve felt at least, a low grade depression. Occasionally (once in a blue moon) I’ll awake with a mild anxiety/unease that transforms into a full-blown suicidal feeling of depressive vileness that I can’t even begin to describe.
    I’ve never been on meds, (nothing agreed with me) as my pharmacist suggested, it may be psychological with me, not chemical.(but I’ve also never bee into drugs or alcohol)I also did not have the happiest of upbringings as many others.
    Almost every month I would awaken from a suicidal depression, hormonal in origin
    When I was younger, found out my trusted partner was seeing someone for a whole year & continually lying to me, I fell into a heap. A deep ,dark, what I now know is a reactive depression , it took me weeks to climb out of.I swore that I wouldn’t go back there.- & I haven’t to date.
    Music helps & distraction etc
    I know that physical & mental health is very important to controlling it. Prayer has worked for me too ,asking God, to help.
    If I’m depressed now, I have faith that by tomorrow I’ll feel different.

  5. I was at the end of my rope and had been suffering for over 40 years from depression.Taking drugs and therapy for as long, It got so bad I was considering suicide. Fortunately, I was diagnosed as being drug-resistant. Fine but what to do? There were still two treatments available to me. TMS (Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation) which is non-invasive and approved safe by the FDA. There was also ECT (Electro Convulsive Therapy) which is an older more invasive treatment that has been considered by many to be the gold standard. Given the two options, in my case, ECT was the most effective option. ECT is nothing like the scenes portrayed in “One Flew Over the Coo Coo’s Nest”. It is a very carefully orchestrated painless procedure performed under anesthesia. It is more costly but it made a dramatic effect. After a few treatments, I was incredibly relieved of my symptoms in fact almost giddy. I also committed myself to a few years of maintenance. If your depression is as extreme and long-lasting as mine, you may want to consult a psychiatrist who has experience in both TMS and ECT treatments. You can also do your own research on both treatments on the Mayo Clinic website. You don’t have to suffer.

  6. I don’t think any of us were consciously trying to become depressed but we did and I learned that there a comes a time when you do get to choose. You choose positive affirmations over damning your self. You choose to live your life based on your own standards and not the ones set by our societies. You choose to forgive your shortcomings and praise your accomplishments no matter how small or big. This is my own personal dealing with it though. I was put on antidepressants when I was 13. I thought I couldn’t live or function without them. When I became pregnant at age 30, almost 2 years ago now.. I was so depressed I was damn near suicidal. I didn’t want to live because I couldn’t deal with the pain. When I found out I was pregnant I got off all the meditations they recommended, which was all of them. I started reading anything pertaining to self help that I could get my hands on for free. The library, online, YouTube.. I made a shocking discovery. Most medications are designed causing more health problems than health benefits. (And we’ve all heard that your Dr will make recommendations claiming that the benefits outweigh the risk).It’ll benefit big pharmaceutical companies and your Drs pocket lining) because medicine only works until it doesn’t. You have to up your dose, or be changed to a completely different one. Our thoughts become our words and our words become our actions. That if we think we cannot do something, guess what? We think that we cannot do it. We live in a country that preys on stressing us out to consume more.. “that if I could only get _____, then I’ll be happy”. I learned that happiness comes from within, that’s another reason why there is a saying money doesn’t make you happy. I’m sure a lot of people aren’t going to agree with this and I also know that a lot of people do. It’s whatever you believe. Because whatever you believe will have power…

  7. I just want to thank everyone who posted on depression, though I wouldn’t wish this on anyone, it is nice to know that I’m not alone in this. Keep fighting and keep moving forward. God bless.

  8. dont know why some people actor took thier lives , robin Williams, Superman, and other like Michael J fox battle it same with John Crawford, I lost 2 high school friends because of depression and yo never knew they had it.

  9. My son is struggling with depression, and it took me a long time to understand how it wasn’t his choice. Now I am beginning to educate myself so I can support him better. I wish there were more education on mental health for parents even before there are issues, so we can be better at spotting the problem and being there for our kids.

  10. Depression is a choice: those who want to live, let them fight, and those who do not want to fight, do not deserve to live.
    Getting into depression is just giving up on trying and eventually giving up on life.

  11. I am so grateful for all of the comments I have just read for in the expressions of your darkness I have found some light and for that I’m thankful. I’ve been low for a while and started believing I had proper depression but from reading from youse and getting a glimpse into how horrific true depression is and where it takes you I now see that I’m not proper depressed at all I’m just a drug addict. THANK GOD

  12. I was told to “get over it” by a family member who has never learned one damn thing about depression. Does he think I’m faking it? Why in the world would one fake this omnipresent malaise?

  13. I did not know Andy Richter until now..As a sufferer with major depressive disorder diagnosed 16 years ago by the head of psychiatry at a major hospital and a professor of internal medicine at UTSW, I know what real depression is, what it does, and how it feels. Shallow people who believe that one can will it away or that one is seeking a pity party do not know what this feels like: You hit the low-low place and nothing means anything anymore, no one means anything anymore, and even the thought of your family members being murdered or dying naturally makes has no effect on you; the distance from where you are standing to the opposite corner of the room or across the street is insurmountably far away, far away, far away, far away; the horror of vacancy inhabits the cradle of your dying mind. Depression cannot see a way out. Only the miracle of God in my life and a child’s dose of an antidepressant keep me alive. People, tge closest folks to me, are unreachable sometimes. It is no one’s fault anymore than snow or rain are someone’s fault. . . I wish I could drive this home to you who read this comment. My best friend blew his brains out after planning to do so well in advance. Why? A 15-year-old raving beauty with the singing voice of an angel blew her brains out in my neighbor’s house. Her aunt found her and stuffed her brains back into her head the best she could. Depression is REAL.

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