On heroic melancholy.

Dear Coquette,

My boyfriend is reluctant to seek professional help for his severe depression because he believes it will hinder his creativity. What are your thoughts on the idea of depression as a “heroic melancholy” rather than a dangerous mental illness?

“Heroic melancholy” is just a stupid cliché for drama queens who want to romanticize their insufferability. Unless your boyfriend has already sought out professional help and knows firsthand the effects of treatment, he’s just talking out of his ass.

Antidepressants might very well have a noticeable effect on whatever your boyfriend considers to be his creativity. Then again, they might not. That’s not even the point, really, because the problem here isn’t that your boyfriend is legitimately concerned about side effects of medication. The problem is that he’s clinging to severe depression like it’s a part of his identity.

You can’t let him get away with that kind of thinking.


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