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.

Before you go! Autostraddle runs on the reader support of our A+ Members. If this article meant something to you today — if it informed you or made you smile or feel seen, will you consider joining A+ and supporting the people who make this indie queer media site possible?

Join A+!


Riese is the 40-year-old Co-Founder and CEO 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 California. Her work has appeared in nine books including "The Bigger the Better The Tighter The Sweater: 21 Funny Women on Beauty, Body Image & Other Hazards Of Being Female," 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. Follow her on twitter and instagram.

Riese has written 3037 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. “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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

      • 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.

Contribute to the conversation...

Yay! You've decided to leave a comment. That's fantastic. Please keep in mind that comments are moderated by the guidelines laid out in our comment policy. Let's have a personal and meaningful conversation and thanks for stopping by!