How Comics Can Save Your Life

Webcomics can entertain, educate, and enlighten, but can they also save a life?

After looking at this list of webcomics that offered a look at some real experiences with mental illness, one commenter told us the story of the time when a comic did exactly that. The comic in question came from Allie Brosh's Hyperbole and a Half (also published in the superb book of the same title).

From commenter Paulie76:

There are times when I feel as though Hyperbole and a Half literally saved my life.

My depression never quite reached the depths that she described. But I came close. For many years I lived in denial because when I got divorced, the last words my ex-wife spoke to me was to tell me that I was depressed and I needed help.

I would be damned if my ex-wife would ever be right about anything, and so I flatly refused her assertion. No matter how many things went wrong in my life that I could directly attribute to my lack of motivation, my apathy and my utter contempt for myself and for being a part of the world around me, I refused to see it for what it was. Because that would mean admitting that my ex was right all along.

About halfway through reading her second blog post. Somewhere around the picture of the dog, and realizing that she woke up one morning wishing that no one loved her so that she didn't have to feel obligated to go on living... I burst into tears. The damn burst, I guess. And from that moment onward, I admitted to myself that I had a problem.

I thankfully don't need medication. I talked to a therapist for a while, and I changed some aspects of my life; created rules for living that help to make the frequency and duration of episodes both shorter and less severe. But if it hadn't been for that blog post. That line. That drawing of a dog looking over his shoulder at me with a look of unconditional love on it's face, I honestly don't know how far down that rabbit hole I would have gone, or if I would have eventually reached the point where I simply couldn't climb back out.

Thanks for sharing, Paulie76!

Image: Allie Brosh, Hyperbole and a Half