Why does society romanticise Depression?

22 Answers
Last Updated: 05/29/2018 at 3:53pm
1 Tip to Feel Better
United States
Moderated by

Andrea McDonald, MSW, LICSW

Clinical Social Work/Therapist

It is important to know that you are not alone, life can be difficult I am here to help you navigate and resolve issues that can feel overwhelming.

Top Rated Answers
Anonymous
May 15th, 2015 11:58am
Depression is romanticized because people think depression can be taken away if a cute boy tell you he loves you or that you're beautiful, which is not the case.
Kaylanc31
September 21st, 2015 3:52am
When you're depressed its dark and deep real thoughts you are having. Romance is dark and intimate and real too. Also, a lot of society doesn't understand depression for what it actually is or how serious it is.
Talulah22
April 11th, 2015 5:25pm
I believe because that gives other people the chance to 'save' a depressed person, with love, even though thats not something that can be done or must be done.
Claire91
May 30th, 2016 6:36am
This is a super important question! I was actually just reading a book that had an essay on female pain and how it is sometimes romanticized, and your question reminds me of that (not to say that male pain and pain of individuals who are non binary isn't important too!). I think part of the romanticizing of depression may have to do with how depression is depicted in various art forms. A fair amount of well known artists (from authors to painters) have/had depression, and whether it actually helped their work in some way, I think depression may sometimes be seen as something that fueled their work. Depression can be connected to the concept of catharsis - such as if one cries when they're depressed, and feels a catharsis from crying. While this is tangentially related, I think that catharsis is also by nature romanticized, as it almost has a spiritual element to it. Additionally, society sometimes seems to view depressed individuals as deep, artistic, philosophical - all qualities that can have a romantic element to them. Of course, there is also so much stigma surrounding depression, that some people stigmatize depression instead of romanticizing it. But romanticizing depression isn't helpful either - I would imagine that romanticizing depression can invalidate those suffering from the illness, and perhaps even slow down their treatment and recovery
ahasbeamer
April 2nd, 2015 4:57pm
In my opinion, people who romanticise Depression often haven't experienced it themselves or studied it. In reality there is nothing glamorous about depression, it feels like drowning and trying to keep ashore with support.
Anonymous
April 18th, 2015 1:11pm
Society romanticizes the idea of being lonely and they don't understand what it actually feels like to be depressed. I think they that someone will come and save you and make everything go away just by saying I love you.
aenimae
May 28th, 2015 4:22pm
Depression rates are getting fairly higher in these days' society. Most of the world is about exploiting, anyway. Seek what is "popular", whatever that is, try to make the best out of it. Depression has become just another way to sell people something.
Waterbear
June 12th, 2015 1:48am
All strong emotions can be romanticized, not just depression. Depression as a mental condition, however, has a history of glamor because it provided an outlet for members of the upper (and later the middle) class to express the pain and frustration they felt at society's harsh rules and conditions, without actually suffering the consequences of rebelling against it. A lord's daughter couldn't escape her arranged marriage to the scary 50-year-old man that had been her family's enemy the year before, but she could suffer the illness of melancholy, and as long as she bore heirs people would generally understand if she wasn't well enough to come out and be social most of the time. The poor experienced depression too, of course, but they were forced to go to work and pretend to be well if they wanted to live. The romanticization of depression was also a response to industrialism, a resistance to the idea that people are just robots in an assembly line--it asserted the realness and essential humanness of feelings, it asserted the right of people to feel sad feelings instead of putting on a fake placating smile, and it called attention to the way that society was damaging people.
Anonymous
July 7th, 2015 11:17am
Because it is seen as a trend by some people who haven't expierienced it. I can tell you though, the important people probably don't.
Anonymous
August 4th, 2015 4:11pm
Society romanticizes depression because depression is one of the most unexpressed, negative of the emotions. Also, each and everyone of us has experienced some level of depression at one or many points in our lives, therefore, everyone can relate. Depression is rarely discussed openly for fear of negative repercussions as well as being labeled. There is much that is not know about depression, it's causes, effectively dealing with it, and even less is known regarding a cure. There are probably as many books written about depression as there are types and degrees of depression.
tjb28
October 27th, 2015 10:25am
some people do not understand the term depression if they havent experienced that feeling themselves ,If a person knows nothing about the subject it may be hard from them to understand
sadcactus
October 27th, 2015 10:27pm
Because they read magazines about their favorite celebrities going through eating disorders, depression, anxiety, etc and they think it makes them more real if they can say they've been there too. It doesn't it only makes everything more painful.
Angellene15
October 28th, 2015 7:32am
For some reason people think boys/girls will come waltzing into our life and "save us" from what we are feeling, experiencing and doing. But in reality it's us who save ourselves, maybe sometimes there are people who enter our life and makes us feel happy again and thats good.
charmingDaisy65
November 2nd, 2015 7:03pm
Romanticise? I can honestly say in my own experience it's still heavily stigmatised and judged, and in no way romanticised.
Pastelfairy
November 23rd, 2015 10:05am
Because It is really hard to understand if you have not experienced it yourself. Before I have it, I once read about it and I felt like it was very scary and wonder how did such things happen, but then I have it and I felt like it's understandable and not strange at all.
Anonymous
December 15th, 2015 1:55am
Society romanticizes depression because in stories, movies etc. depression plays a part in the main characters' relationships. In these stories/movies one partner usually helps the other through depression. It isn't even about the depression, it's about the love and wanting to "help" and take care of your partner that makes depression play a part in relationships. In reality, people just want someone to take care of them or be able to take care of someone else with their problems while also being romantically affiliated with them.
Hope114
March 1st, 2016 6:39pm
because some think it is the solution of depression while in most cases it is not .. There is a lot of kinds of depression but approximately most of them depend on the affected person to get him/her self from that darkness .. but i can't deny that the help of beloved people is really so efficient.
Anonymous
August 9th, 2016 1:36am
Sadness is a deeply intriguing emotion. Many people, who've learned to cope with their depression, have also learned to be deeply profound with their experiences. The tragic poet, the redeeming artist, the resurrected justice worker... all are seen as rejuvenated through depression in their works. But, we fail to realize that depression is a serious condition -- it debilitates and demoralizes oneself -- and instead focus only on the soulful sensitivities that we can/want to identify with. Thus, depression becomes romanticised through a skewed vision of the condition.
HeartyWelshGirlxo
December 13th, 2016 9:43am
I think because you can't physically see depression, people act as if it isn't a "real" issue, and therefore don't see it as "important" to help those with depression, or think that people with depression will "just get over it"
cannoninvienna
December 19th, 2016 2:24am
I think society loves the idea of being saved or rescued. Because of that, we tend to romanticize mental illnesses. Ive noticed that it's almost seen as "cool"/trendy to have depression. Why, I do not know. But it's important to spread the message that depression and anxiety and other mental illnesses are NOT fun. They aren't feelings that just come and go. They are actual disorders that heavily impact people's lives.
FromDrewWithLove
February 5th, 2018 6:46pm
People love the idea of struggle, but not actual struggle. They love the 'happy ending' storyline, where the person magically gets better, ignoring the fact that that's fiction, sadly not reality. It's the idea of saving someone or having someone save you. It seems to make love stories more 'realistic' and 'break out of the mold' of too-sweet love stories. It's also based on a warped understanding of depression itself. Some people are just weird and know all these things but do it anyway. But really, as a society, we have a savior complex, but we also love to be cared for. 'Depression' storylines seem to give both of these, but are usually horribly unrealistic. I obviously can't talk for everyone, but that's my view on it.
Anonymous
May 29th, 2018 3:53pm
I think society likes to always have an answer to everything, especially things it doesn't understand. By romanticising or sexualizing mental disorders, it just makes it stylish or 'cool'.