This Twitter Thread Perfectly Nails Why Depression Isn't 'A Choice'

by Cassandra Stone
Image via Twitter/Andy Richter

Comedian Andy Richter shared the perfect education on what being depressed really means

There are an exhaustive amount of misconceptions surrounding depression, one of them being that it’s a “choice.” This notion in particular is typically brought forth by people who have never experienced what it’s like to be depressed — so, probably not the most reliable sources to make that kind of call. Thankfully, comedian Andy Richter delivered a profound Twitter thread in response to anyone who feels people “choose” to be depressed.

He’s well-known for being Conan O’Brien’s right-hand man and being overall hilarious on Twitter. But when an overly-simplistic and baseless tweet that literally just said “depression is a choice” started gaining Twitter traction, Richter stepped in and clapped back.

He went on to explain how his lifelong battle with depression has manifested throughout his life in a variety of ways.

This is an incredibly important thing to understand about depression: it can and will present itself in varying degrees. For example, sometimes a significant trauma can trigger a deep, lengthy darkness. Sometimes there is no trigger. Sometimes it’s just feeling numb 24/7, to the point where you’re not sure you’re capable of feeling anything at all anymore.

Isn’t that so true? It’s really all about their discomfort and how they project it onto you. Which is honestly harmful.

If I could, I would kiss Andy Richter square on the mouth for this exemplary string of words. Oh how I wish people who haven’t lived with the burden of depression, anxiety, or any other mental health struggle would just kindly shut the fuck up sometimes.

I, like Richter, have gone through life with my own “emotional limp.” Starting from puberty and ending… well, never. I’ve felt every variation of depression he describes. I consider myself lucky to have a few trusted, close friends and family members who were there for me in my darkest moments. I’m lucky I haven’t felt true despair in a long time. But I once heard someone — an acquaintance who was unaware of my own struggle — complain about depression and it went a little something like this: “We all have bad days. You can’t sit around and cry forever.”

Bad days. BAD DAYS. Some people will never, ever understand.

But Richter’s directives for those who don’t “get it” are clear: if you are lucky enough to not be intimately familiar with depression in your own life, you can educate yourself more about it and deepen your empathy and understanding. Or you can just not offer an opinion as ill-advised as “it’s a choice” or any variation of such a thing. Ever. Because it’s not.