• Entry
  • Reader's guide
  • Entries A-Z
  • Subject index

Depression

  • By: Nicholas A. Kuiper
  • In: Encyclopedia of Humor Studies
  • Edited by: Salvatore Attardo
  • Subject:General Media, Communication & Cultural Studies, Sociology of Culture

It is commonly assumed that there is a strong inverse relationship between humor and depression. Thus, if one is very depressed, they will experience little humor. Conversely, those showing lots of humor cannot be depressed. This popular belief is reiterated in numerous self-help books, Internet sites, and blogs, with humor often being cast as the antithesis of depression. Psychiatric writings reinforce this view by proposing that an ancillary characteristic of depression is a diminished humor response. Those with depression lack the motivation and positive affect to engage in humorous interchanges.

It has been further suggested that humor is a natural antidote or treatment for depression. Anecdotal reports of well-known individuals who have fought depression with humor abound in the popular media, along with lists of humor-oriented ...

    • Loading...
    locked icon

    Sign in to access this content

    Get a 30 day FREE TRIAL

    • Watch videos from a variety of sources bringing classroom topics to life
    • Read modern, diverse business cases
    • Explore hundreds of books and reference titles