Jokes & Mental Health #AtoZChallenge

When people make jokes on suicide or depression around me, some people think that it might be offensive to me or that it might hurt my feelings but it actually doesn’t. I think something that a lot of people confuse is the difference between a joke on depression or mental health and treating mental health, in totality, as a joke.

Types of Jokes on Mental Health.

Of the many jokes that do the rounds on social media, it is important to first differentiate between which one is a joke about depression and which one treats depression as a joke. The former one is fine and may not seem funny to you but well, there is not a lot wrong in it but if you see someone treat depression or suicide as a joke, you need to have a little chat with the person.

How to Talk About Them.

When you do come across such people, it is important to have a talk with them in a right way; otherwise if you insult them or alienate them, they might end up generalizing your insults to the whole of the population which might make them make even more stuff which puts down depression as a joke.

People are going to make jokes but ignoring them is not going to help anyone. Ranting against them is going to alienate and infuriate them. It is more important to use a popular joke as a means to make people more aware about the gravity of the situation.

Humor is a powerful tool and it can shed light on some very important topics so when you do find someone treating a big issue as a joke, it is important that you take that opportunity, maybe not always at the same time as when the joke is cracked, to help people learn more about the topic.

Mental health doesn’t have an us versus them fight. It is not one of those fights. Everyone involved could fall prey so it is really important to spread our message to as many people as we can and that too in a friendly way. Losing your cool, abusing people into submission or writing long paragraphs is not going to help. A candid conversation might.

So the next time you see a person treating mental health as a joke, have a candid conversation with them, try to understand their point of view and you will probably have a more powerful effect than anything else. If they are in a group or don’t seem to be in a mood for a serious chat, wait, be patient. It is not going to be easy to change someone’s mind but it might be helpful to people you don’t even know.

30 Replies to “Jokes & Mental Health #AtoZChallenge”

  1. I feel like nobody should joke about mental illness, I do get upset when people joke about my mental illness, I cant help that I am this way, and if my family and friends truly know me they know not to because I will blow up, mental illness is not something to joke about. Funny or serious!

    1. I understand why you feel that and you don’t need to change that about yourself either. I personally would be ok with someone joking ABOUT mental illnesses. The joke may be targeted at something else but include mental illness as well. It is important that we learn to differentiate between the two.

      1. I know there is a difference but if you ever read my post it bugs me that I have this mental illness, with just today also, the post I made explains it and so does me story if you would like to read my

      2. I surely would. I have some classes right now. I will go through it after that. Thank you for interacting and sharing your opinions. When we have mental illnesses, I know how hard it can be.

    1. I don’t think blocking or reporting the people would help anyone. Their opinion won’t change and we will insulate ourselves than change someone.

  2. You are right about the way depression is treated in society. People are well aware that it is not by choice but still the person is treated like that.Made fun of irrespective of the fact that anybody can be it’s target.

  3. I was a medic for 20 years. Mental health patients are often treated like they should just snap out of it. Sad really. Much more could be done for awareness. So.. here’s an appropriate mental health joke. This guy goes to the doctor. Doc says I’ve got bad news, and really bad news. What do you want to hear first? The guy says give me the really bad news. Doc says, you’ve got terminal cancer. Guy says, wow, that is really bad. What’s the bad news? Doc says, you also have Alzheimer’s. Guy says whew! For a minute there I thought you were going to tell me I had cancer. 🙂

    1. 😁 that is a good one. I don’t understand why people think telling others to snap out of it would help anyone. It might be because they don’t understand the gravity of the situation

      1. Mental health issues are mildly understood by EMS. Scenes during mental health crisis are often difficult to understand, even for a professional provider. Just more awareness is needed and better training. EMS is about trauma and cardiac/respiratory. Not much goes into the mental health side even though we’re on the front lines of it.

  4. Never quite figured out the thing with jokes on femisnim, LGBT, depression etc. But I agree your your approach , no point in getting into heated arguments or posting something long and controversial on social media. I see many people doing the latter and I shake my head knowing this will serve no purpose

    1. People like making jokes. That’s not an issue for me. Heated arguments rarely lead to someone changing their minds. People will try to be funny, most of them will fail, some will excel. That cannot be changed.

  5. This reminds me the jokes we crack that are centered around Santa and Banta. Isnt that in bad taste too?
    Cracking jokes on some one’s disability is crude and cruel.

    1. It may be in bad taste but it is important to know whether the person sharing these jokes bases his/her whole idea of that construct based on theSe jokes or not. People can joke with Santa and Banta as characters and still be aware that they don’t represent the whole Sikh community.

    1. I was actually trying to create awareness about which kind of jokes are acceptable and which aren’t in my opinion. People can joke about mental illnesses and still be aware that they are a serious issue plaguing our society. The two things don’t have to be exclusive of each other.

    1. I was actually trying to explain how people can joke while knowing how big an issue mental illnesses are at the same time

  6. Your posts have been very informative and its so important for us to understand how to treat a person who goes through depression.

  7. you are touching varied topics related to mental health,for once try how people related to depressed one should one of your earlier posts you referred to some words which should not be used ,but you can give a vaster picture of what depressed person wants.

  8. I’ve tried doing this in a polite way to people who treat it as a joke but… they don’t learn, even by using empathy techniques. If they don’t learn after you kindly explain, then they’ll only learn if and when they suffer from mental illness.

    1. That’s the problem with people. We can o ly teach them or make them aware about something if they are willing to learn about it. We cannot force people to learn something.

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