Superheroes suffer from mental illness too

Has anyone ever made you feel weak because of your depression or mental illness?

Has your depression ever made you second guess your own strength?

Well, tell me this: Would you consider superheroes, like Batman or Thor, weak?


Well, get this. They have suffered from depression too, at least according to their comic books this year. 

Batman #12, which was released earlier this month, reveals that Bruce Wayne cut his wrists with his dad's razor blade and attempted suicide at age 10.

Batman writer Tom King told Inverse, “When you’re in that kind of depression, the first thought is ‘I’m the only one who’s ever experienced this’ and if that’s your last thought, you drown under it."

Kotaku Australia writer James Whitbrook says, "The contrast between the machismo of the action and emotional vulnerability of someone who attempted suicide is palpable. ... It was the metaphorical death of Bruce Wayne which allowed him to be reborn as the person who would become the Dark Knight."

And, this year, Thor lost his title and his ability to lift his hammer in the series Unworthy Thor.

"Reading the Unworthy Thor drink and fight his way through his self-loathing seems almost too relatable for many of us," writes Matt Kim in Inverse.

 These storylines humanize the characters. But they don't make them "weak."

After all, approximately one in five American adults experience mental illness in a given year. And depression has many different causes, including impaired mood regulation by the brain, genetic vulnerability, stressful life events and chronic health problems, according to Harvard Health Publications -- all of which are outside of a person's control. It has nothing to do with being "strong" or "weak."

While it may not seem like a heroic task, what makes a person strong is choosing to get out of bed in the morning when every fiber of your being is telling you to hide under the covers. It's putting on pants, when all you want is to stay in pajamas all day. Strength is going into work or taking that exam, when you'd rather stay home. It's choosing to go to that AA meeting or see a psychiatrist or ask a friend for help. Strength is finding the silver lining in your mental illness and using it to help others.

And, most importantly, strength is choosing, each day, to keep living.

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