Mental health should always be taken very seriously, but for those who’ve been through dark times, such as 20-year-old Celeste Araslanian, it can be cathartic to find solidarity with others in humour.
There are Facebook pages dedicated to these kinds of memes, notably Nihilist Memes, and Celeste uses them to relate to others who share her experiences.
Except Celeste wasn’t paying attention when she shared one ‘dark’ meme recently, actually sending it to her family’s group chat by accident. Naturally they were concerned at the out-of context message.
Speaking to UNILAD, Celeste, from San Diego, explained how the misunderstanding of her bid to find therapy in humour escalated very fast:
I have a group chat for my friends in therapy and we usually share self-deprecating memes, so I saw that one online and I was like ‘they’ll love this’ and I was in such a rush I hadn’t noticed I sent it to the group chat with my sister and mom.
My mom immediately messaged me asking if I needed to go to the hospital because I’ve been hospitalized for depression before.
It took a while but Celeste eventually spoke to a professional about her unconventional means of battling depression:
Anyway, my sister ended up basically forcing me to go to the hospital and I spent two hours explaining to a psychiatrist what memes were and how they help me cope with my depression.
I reassured him I wasn’t actually going to kill myself. Interesting night I must say.
The meme which caused so much concern among her relatives depicted a dog holding a noose and was captioned, ‘I’m ready to f*cking die now’:
Celeste explained why humour is important in these dark situations:
My mom still believes it was a subtle cry for help because she’s older and she doesn’t really understand memes.
I think it was fair for them to worry given the fact that I’ve been hospitalized before and I agree, suicide jokes shouldn’t be taken lightly, but sometimes, they help you cope.
Laughing at the situation helps me and a lot of my peers in therapy would agree that it normalizes the situation in a way.
I know for me it lets me know I’m going to be okay because, if I can laugh at it now, it means I’ll get over it later.
Celeste made it clear mental health isn’t a laughing matter but for her, it helps to send memes to the other people in her therapy group who are all going through similar things.
The important thing is that Celeste and her friends are confronting the battle head on and sharing their thoughts, even in meme form, rather than suffering in silence.
If you need help or support, you can contact the Samaritans for free from any telephone on 116 123. Don’t suffer in silence.