So you just recommended Bo Burnham’s comedy special Inside to your non-mentally ill friends and don’t know how to explain why you loved it so much without a wellness check getting called on you – we’ve been there! Here’s how to avoid ruining a post-quarantine night out with anecdotes of how once you didn’t leave your room for twelve days and almost accidentally replicated the kidney infection scene in Euphoria.
Focus on how catchy the songs are.
It is, after all, a musical special. Music is something everyone with or without a chemical imbalance can enjoy. Stick to very surface-level commentary. Say things like, “There’s this one funny song where he recreates the absurd things white women post on their Instagrams but like not in a misogynistic way,” or “OMG he had a sock puppet in this one scene and dunked on neoliberals it was great.” No mention of how major depression runs on both sides of your family necessary!
Explain that it’s just a metaphor for quarantine depression, not real clinical depression.
Clinical depression is gross and scary, but quarantine depression is chic, artsy, and relatable. The room Bo Burnham was stuck inside symbolized how the pandemic confined us to a literal physical space. It certainly was not a metaphor for how mental illness can imprison us in our own minds and deny us the catharsis that we so desperately need to avoid putting a bullet through our sk— nevermind. You and your friends can bond over how great it is that the pandemic is over, public spaces are opening back up, and you’re no longer depressed and stuck inside!
Just film a Tiktok of you snorting Lexapro on the restaurant table.
If the success of Bo Burnham’s special taught you anything it’s that public breakdowns are lucrative. If a white man can profit from his mental anguish, so can you! So, the next time you don’t shower for nine days, just grab your camera, lights, and microphones and record every disturbing thought that enters your brain. Call it performance art.
In a society that stigmatizes mental illness, it can be risky to be vulnerable with even your closest friends. No one wants to be the buzzkill who trauma dumps during a get-together. So, save that personal information for strangers on the internet who will eventually pay to watch you document your mental stability coming undone.