Family

Depressed people often get bad advice. This satirical comic calls it out.

Sometimes it's just a matter of sorting out your feelings.

Depressed people often get bad advice. This satirical comic calls it out.

There isn't one cure-all for depression.

It's a difficult mental disorder that affects over 15 million people in the U.S., and there's no manual on navigating or beating it because it affects everyone differently.

But there are some things we can all relate to, especially if we've experienced depression ourselves. Visual "guides" to dealing with depression and understanding our emotions are all too common. But sometimes that advice can be a little bit ... dull and unhelpful.


That's why the artist in charge of Owl Turd Comix decided to call out some of his favorite depression advice mishaps.

These "cleaning" comics showcase the weird advice depressed people often get — advice that can be pretty much the opposite of what science says we should do with our emotions if we want to move forward. The comics poke fun of just how unhelpful this kind of advice can be.

Check them out below:

1. How easy would it be to just take a cloth to all those negative thoughts swimming around in your brain and wipe them away? Yeah, if only...

All illustrations by Shen/Owl Turd Comix, featured with permission.

I'm sure we all wish we could just consciously ignore the negative thoughts in our minds, replacing them with positive ones. But unfortunately, that usually doesn't work. The emotions are there, and they're there to stay. And they can actually help us sometimes.

Instead of ignoring tough emotions, endurance coach Christopher Bergland suggests practicing mindfulness by simply acknowledging that you're having thoughts that are unpleasant and then gently redirecting your brain, so you can move forward.

2. Storing up your anger? Again, that's a no.

Shelving your anger seems like it might help things. But research from places like the Mayo Clinic shows that holding grudges (and not processing your anger) can be detrimental to your mental health. Instead, if you can work to forgive someone who made you angry, that can be one of the best types of learning experiences.

These tips on anger management also suggest doing things like taking a time out instead to regroup your thoughts (yeah, it's not just for kids). You can even go take a run to calm down or come up with some possible solutions to what's making you mad.

3. Envy and regret be gone? Not so fast.

OK, maybe you can't physically grab all the envy and regret that lives inside you and throw it all away in a trash can. But it's an awesome metaphor, and this idea isn't so far off.

So what can we do if we're having these feelings of jealousy? We may not be able to simply toss them away, but we can acknowledge that we're having these emotions, then watch them pass like waves. When we become aware that they are harmful feelings, we can choose to redirect our thoughts to more positive ones.

4. Hide from your weird emotions? Again, no thanks.

Nope. Nope. Nope. As Owl Turd illustrates, this kind of advice is totally unhelpful. Running away from our emotions can feel empowering, but can hurt us in the long run. When you're choosing to ignore your feelings or run from your problems, you're essentially running from yourself. Plus, it can make us feel guilty when those feelings come sneaking back in.

Instead, most research suggests coming face-to-face with these perplexing feelings we can't make sense of and saying, "What's Up?" to find out what they want from us.

5. This is the most hilarious, albeit terrifying, metaphor ever.

Yeah, this illustration alone should be incentive enough for us to handle our emotions instead of throwing them somewhere where they're guaranteed to stare, haunt, and creep on us until we're forced to do something about them.

Don't let it get to that point.

It's important to remember that what works for one person may not necessarily work for the next person.

That's why Owl Turd's comics aren't a how-to guide to heal yourself of the mental disorder; they're a satirical commentary on the fact that people often suggest one-size-fits-all solutions that don't work.

The best way forward? According to research, it's all about practicing compassion, patience, and lots of self-love. Because you (and you, and you, and you) are worth it.

Courtesy of Tiffany Obi
True

With the COVID-19 pandemic upending her community, Brooklyn-based singer Tiffany Obi turned to healing those who had lost loved ones the way she knew best — through music.

Obi quickly ran into one glaring issue as she began performing solo at memorials. Many of the venues where she performed didn't have the proper equipment for her to play a recorded song to accompany her singing. Often called on to perform the day before a service, Obi couldn't find any pianists to play with her on such short notice.

As she looked at the empty piano at a recent performance, Obi's had a revelation.

"Music just makes everything better," Obi said. "If there was an app to bring musicians together on short notice, we could bring so much joy to the people at those memorials."

Using the coding skills she gained at Pursuit — a rigorous, four-year intensive program that trains adults from underserved backgrounds and no prior experience in programming — Obi turned this market gap into the very first app she created.

She worked alongside four other Pursuit Fellows to build In Tune, an app that connects musicians in close proximity to foster opportunities for collaboration.

When she learned about and applied to Pursuit, Obi was eager to be a part of Pursuit's vision to empower their Fellows to build successful careers in tech. Pursuit's Fellows are representative of the community they want to build: 50% women, 70% Black or Latinx, 40% immigrant, 60% non-Bachelor's degree holders, and more than 50% are public assistance recipients.

Keep Reading Show less

Yesterday I was perusing comments on an Upworthy article about Joe Biden comforting the son of a Parkland shooting victim and immediately had flashbacks to the lead-up of the 2016 election. In describing former vice President Biden, some commenters were using the words "criminal," "corrupt," and "pedophile—exactly the same words people used to describe Hillary Clinton in 2016.

I remember being baffled that so many people were so convinced of Clinton's evil schemes that they genuinely saw the documented serial liar and cheat that she was running against as the lesser of two evils. I mean, sure, if you believe that a career politician had spent years being paid off by powerful people and was trafficking children to suck their blood in her free time, just about anything looks like a better alternative.

But none of that was true.

It's been four years and Hillary Clinton has been found guilty of exactly none of the criminal activity she was being accused of. Trump spent every campaign rally leading chants of "Lock her up!" under the guise that she was going to go to jail after the election. He's been president for nearly four years now, and where is Clinton? Not in jail—she's comfy at home, occasionally trolling Trump on Twitter and doing podcasts.

Keep Reading Show less
Photo by Tim Mossholder on Unsplash
True

Glenda moved to Houston from Ohio just before the pandemic hit. She didn't know that COVID-19-related delays would make it difficult to get her Texas driver's license and apply for unemployment benefits. She quickly found herself in an impossible situation — stranded in a strange place without money for food, gas, or a job to provide what she needed.

Alone, hungry, and scared, Glenda dialed 2-1-1 for help. The person on the other end of the line directed her to the Houston-based nonprofit Bread of Life, founded by St. John's United Methodist pastors Rudy and Juanita Rasmus.

For nearly 30 years, Bread of Life has been at the forefront of HIV/AIDS prevention, eliminating food insecurity, providing permanent housing to formerly homeless individuals and disaster relief.

Glenda sat in her car for 20 minutes outside of the building, trying to muster up the courage to get out and ask for help. She'd never been in this situation before, and she was terrified.

When she finally got out, she encountered Eva Thibaudeau, who happened to be walking down the street at the exact same time. Thibaudeau is the CEO of Temenos CDC, a nonprofit multi-unit housing development also founded by the Rasmuses, with a mission to serve Midtown Houston's homeless population.

Keep Reading Show less

Eight months into the pandemic, you'd think people would have the basics figured out. Sure, there was some confusion in the beginning as to whether or not masks were going to help, but that was months ago (which might as well be years in pandemic time). Plenty of studies have shown that face masks are an effective way to limit the spread of the virus and public health officials say universal masking is one of the keys to being able to safely resume some normal activities.

Normal activities include things like getting a coffee at Starbucks, but a viral video of a barista's encounter with an anti-masker shows why the U.S. will likely be living in the worst of both worlds—massive spread and economic woe—for the foreseeable future.

Alex Beckom works at a Starbucks in Santee, California and shared a video taken after a woman pulled down her "Trump 2020" mask to ask the 19-year-old barista a question, pulled it back up when the barista asked her to, then pulled it down again.

Keep Reading Show less
True

*Upworthy may earn a portion of sales revenue from purchases made through links on our site.

With the election quickly approaching, the importance of voting and sending in your ballot on time is essential. But there is another way you can vote everyday - by being intentional with each dollar you spend. Support companies and products that uphold your values and help create a more sustainable world. An easy move is swapping out everyday items that are often thrown away after one use or improperly disposed of.

Package Free Shop has created products to help fight climate change one cotton swab at a time! Founded by Lauren Singer, otherwise known as, "the girl with the jar" (she initially went viral for fitting 8 years of all of the waste she's created in one mason jar). Package Free is an ecosystem of brands on a mission to make the world less trashy.

Here are eight of our favorite everyday swaps:

1. Friendsheep Dryer Balls - Replace traditional dryer sheets with these dryer balls that are made without chemicals and conserve energy. Not only do these also reduce dry time by 20% but they're so cute and come in an assortment of patterns!

Package Free Shop

2. Last Swab - Replacement for single use plastic cotton swabs. Nearly 25.5 billion single use swabs are produced and discarded every year in the U.S., but not this one. It lasts up to 1,000 uses as it's able to be cleaned with soap and water. It also comes in a biodegradable, corn based case so you can use it on the go!

Keep Reading Show less