Squidward was our first actual lesson on depression

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Spongebob creator Stephen Hillenburg passed away today at age 57 due to ALS.

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NME.com

And while the rest of the world gave tribute to the late American animator by reminiscing about their fave moments, jokes, and memes from the iconic cartoon, some shared that the show actually gave them a deeper understanding of what it’s like to suffer from depression, via Bikini Bottom’ local grump: Squidward.

elitedaily.com

Twitter user Clarkisha Kent shared her story:

‘I count Squidward as one of five fictional characters who helped me grasp what depression was. And how it worked.’

 

Like most of us, Clarkisha didn’t know about the show’s underlying themes as it came out when she was still young.

‘I remember being young and going like ‘ugh wtf is SPITWAD’S problem??? He’s such a negative Nancy!’

 

It wasn’t until she experienced depression herself when she realized that Squidward was basically a summary of its symptoms.

Apathy. Occasional anger. Resentment. Existential dread. Hopelessness. A lot of my own lethargic behaviors.

‘I even remember the episode where he literally places flowers at a tombstone that read ‘Here lies Squidward’s hopes and dreams’ and I felt that shit then. I still feel it now.’

He also got me thinking about how annoying and soul-sucking it can be to have to perform joy and happiness in front of others (particular at the workplace) even when you’re not feeling it…’

 

More than just an entertaining children’s show, Spongebob Squarepants was low-key an insight on not only depression but also on current social issues, such as the LGBT community and labor conditions – all masked under a silly and joke-heavy facade.

All of this is due to Stephen Hillenburg’s undeniable brilliance.

 

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