Hyperbole and a Half Does “Adventures In Depression”

If you don’t already read Hyperbole and a Half, you are depriving your internet life of the internet-equivalent of peanut butter (unless you’re allergic to nuts, in which case you should come up with a different metaphor in yourself). She is really fucking funny and this is the best thing on the entire internet after These Cashews. Anyhow her latest work, entitled Adventures in Depression, is relevant to your interests. It’s also a great example of how everything is funny.

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Riese is the 41-year-old Co-Founder of Autostraddle.com as well as an award-winning writer, video-maker, LGBTQ+ Marketing consultant and aspiring cyber-performance artist who grew up in Michigan, lost her mind in New York and now lives in Los Angeles. Her work has appeared in nine books, magazines including Marie Claire and Curve, and all over the web including Nylon, Queerty, Nerve, Bitch, Emily Books and Jezebel. She had a very popular personal blog once upon a time, and then she recapped The L Word, and then she had the idea to make this place, and now here we all are! In 2016, she was nominated for a GLAAD Award for Outstanding Digital Journalism. She's Jewish and has a cute dog named Carol. Follow her on twitter and instagram.

Riese has written 3178 articles for us.


  1. SHE UPDATED! I feel like my life has been stuck in neutral for the last few months.

    Truly, the day I discovered Hyperbole and a Half was one of the best in my life. I can’t really remember having laughed so hard for so long as I did that day reading through the whole thing in one sitting. It was the dentist and the party that started it all for me. My mother and I still wisper “Parp!” to each other randomly to make eachother bust up laughing at really inopportune moments.

    • It was the dentist and the party for me too! I laughed until I cried and then choked…and then cried a bit more. The one where she moves house with her dogs, oh and the 4 stages of unwanted social interaction both had me in fits as well. Oh Allie. Oh we love thee. Hope she feels happier soon :(

  2. this is so very relevant! see, this is why i rarely post stuff online, cause chances are there’s someone out there that has the exact same feelings and who’d do a better job putting it into words.

  3. Ah, so happy! I’ve been checking every day, and I was starting to lose hope. She can literally make anything funny. It’s like a superpower. Parp!

  4. “[T]rying to use willpower to overcome the apathetic sort of sadness that accompanies depression is like a person with no arms trying to punch themselves until their hands grow back.”


  5. I loved this. I was cracking up and crying a little bit at the same time because this was me about a year and a half ago, to a T, complete with the following myself around narrating in a bullying way.

  6. “I’ve always wanted to not give a fuck. While crying helplessly into my pillow for no good reason, I would often fantasize that maybe someday I could be one of those stoic badasses whose emotions are mostly comprised of rock music and not being afraid of things.”

    While I was trying to copy and paste words that describe my whole life, I accidentally copied and pasted all of the text and just now finished deleting it all.

    … Maybe I should have kept it there.

  7. Hyperbole and a Half is my absolute faaaavorite webcomic! I’m an English/writing peer tutor, and every time I see a student use “alot” I laugh silently to myself.

    Love her take on depression – I could definitely relate.

  8. This made me really sad. But maybe that’s because I’ve spent most of the day feeling like the first part of the comic.

  9. Having had depression since the age of 10, I have to say this is one of the best summaries of it that I’ve ever seen. Reading this bit: “But trying to use willpower to overcome the apathetic sort of sadness that accompanies depression is like a person with no arms trying to punch themselves until their hands grow back. A fundamental component of the plan is missing and it isn’t going to work” was, for me, kind of a relief because it’s the one thing about depression I’ve never been able to explain without basically saying, “I just feel lazy and I can’t help it” (which seems fucking pathetic).

    • Yeah, I totally agree that this is an excellent portrait of what it’s like to be inside that kind of depression. I’ve been struggling with it my entire life and when I was in pysch classes in college, I’d look at the textbook discussions of depression and I’d be like “Well, kinda.” I really wish they’d print “Adventures in Depression” in the textbooks so people could see what it’s really like!

      • I know! I’ve never actually seen a clinical description that did it justice, even in college psych classes. This one was like a one-two punch for me, too, because I’m reading “Unholy Ghost,” a collection of essays in which various writers talk about depression, and it was also giving me a lot of “uh-huh, yep, exactly” moments. So it’s just nice to see that SOMEONE out there gets it.

  10. It is just great to see that other people, even ones who are more awesome than I am, go through these same feelings. Helps cut down on the endless loop of self-belittlement she illustrates so well. I’m mostly fine these days, but there were . . . several years? where this was my day-to-day cycle of emotions.

    • It is just great to see that other people, even ones who are more awesome than I am, go through these same feelings.

      YES. That’s how this made me feel

  11. Hyperbole and a Half is one my favorite things and this rang so true for my experiences with depression, except I have yet to get a fear-proof exoskeleton.

    • I went through the whole process and grew that kind of exoskeleton… And I still think I am not okay. I feel like this feeling of being all powerful as another kind of dangerous, and that really, you can not get out of this without getting professional help. This may just be me though.

  12. I read this yesterday and was like “Holy shit, it’s like she’s in my brain!” I absolutely LOVE and adore Hyperbole and a Half and can’t wait for her book!

  13. So, I have a friend who’s suffering from depression at the moment.. would this be a useful/funny/nice thing to send her to read? Cause reading it made me feel mostly sad, and I don’t want to make her sad..

    • I would love it if a friend did that, cos lots of people are so uncomfortable about mental health issues that it would be nice to have a friend show that they so were so comfortable talking about depression they could laugh about it with me (in a nice way). But I guess everyone is different, and you know your friend better than any of us.

    • I agree with Dizzy. If I received this from a friend during one of my depressive episodes I would find it comforting that 1. Someone has been able to articulate what I’m feeling and 2. My friend doesn’t find my depressive state totally unsettling and maybe from reading this comic understands it a little more.

      • good call ladies, thank you :) my friend said she thought it was a good representation of how she’s feeling and it made her laugh.

  14. this made me feel weird. it was funny, but if it were true it just makes me think that it’s a cover for something else. i hope she’s okay.

      • hm, i guess i just find it more true than funny. laughing about it is good, and helpful, i think, but maybe it’s just a bit too close to reality. and obviously allie’s had time to reflect on whatever it is that’s been making her depressed for the past 5 months and i feel like she neatly painted it into a blog post, but never actually told us what’s wrong (and that’s totally fine, she doesn’t need to tell us anything). i mean i just think that there probably is a reason why she felt/feels that way.

        • yeah, i felt a lot of things while reading it. I identified with a LOT of it and thus did find it (darkly) funny, but mostly I just kept thinking “this is the reason she hasn’t been posting lately” and “I hope she’s okay.” :/ i kept putting myself in her shoes… i mean i feel guilty about completely abandoning some of my social networking sites that hardly anyone cares about; can’t imagine the added guilt on top of everything else in her life if i were to have a billion readers looking for updates.

          • hopefully the reason why she hasn’t posted much lately is because she’s working on her book, not bc she’s still super depressed

        • As someone who has depression, I would guess that the reason she doesn’t tell us what’s wrong, is because there isn’t anything actually wrong. That’s what depression, as a mental illness, is. Although it can obvs be fueled or triggered by bad stuff happening irl. It’s just this overwhelming apathy and melancholy that you can’t shake, and then all of the guilt that comes with feeling like such a loser bc you’re sad and lazy for no reason. To me this blog post does a really good job of explaining what depression feels like, and is just hilarious. Of course I can’t really say what this girl is feeling, that’s just my take on it.

  15. you guys the moment when she’s plunking away at the keyboard and she managed to draw, with stick-arms, the act of defiantly typing despite the demons is just amazing

  16. My favorite part is when she asks the video rental clerk to load her up after being so defiant. Freedom!

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