Anime depression (Is it real?)

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In this brief blog post, we will discuss what post anime depression is, why it happens. and how you can cope with it. 

What is Anime Depression?

While there is no conclusive evidence and definition of Anime depression, it is the alternative term given for Post-Anime Depression Syndrome. 

Post Anime Depression Syndrome or PADS for short, according to UrbanDictionary or the Anime Community is understood as 

“…A feeling of depression experienced after finishing a series of anime. PADS for short.”

It is not a medically recognised condition nor is it considered an actual researched condition in the field of science. 

However it is a common phenomenon that occurs within communities that are highly invested in the entertainment business- this includes anime lovers or also known as ‘Okatus’ and other people who are huge fans of various shows and series. 

People with this particular experience of Post-anime depression might experience the following:

  • Preoccupation of thought about the anime.
  • Feelings of sadness and emptiness
  • Lethargy
  • Grief
  • Social isolation
  • Inability to focus and concentrate on other work
  • Hypersomnia or insomnia

Why does post anime depression happen?

There is no conclusive evidence as to what causes post anime depression. Here are a few possible reasons that is suspected to cause it:

Grief

Most Anime series are often long with multiple seasons, great character development, and all consuming story/ plot lines. Each character in the series is likeable for their own growth and depiction.

These factors can cause viewers to become emotionally invested in the characters, their growth, their plot, and the challenges and victories they experience. All of this is a testament as to why anime has such a loyal following worldwide. 

Now, with this investment of emotions and time, when a series ends- it can lead to a deep grief of having lost something or of having something end. The experience of having something that has been with you for a long time and something that you have grown to love ends, can cause distress and deep grief. 

Often times, because the grief and loss is not well understood by other people who are not lovers of anime and who are not as emotionally invested as you are can cause you to question your own emotions, feel isolated, misunderstood and lonely, which can further make you feel worse, sadder, isolated, and low in mood. 

The experience of grief you feel is never isolated and can become worse- bordering on mental distress when the grief is not processed in a healthy and effective way.

Disillusionment

Now another reason why you might be struggling with depression, low mood, lack of motivation after ending a series could be because this particular show that has been an escape for you from the mundane world that you live in is now over. 

This ending of an escape experience can bring about disillusionment in your own life about the way things operate in your own life, work, relationships, friendships, and also your own sense of self. 

The disillusionment might lead you to feel other emotions other than sadness such as anger, anxiety, stress etc due to the fact that the anime world that you have been part of for so long is not your life nor your existence and that loss can have a profound impact on your motivation to engage with the world outside. 

This can lead you to isolate yourself, no longer engage with your responsibilities and the people around you and the quality of your life can diminish which can further make you feel unmotivated and depressed. 

Underlying life dissatisfaction

Another reason that goes hand in hand with your disillusionment and grief is that the end of the series is not the cause of your depression but rather it unveils what was already present- a deep dissatisfaction of your own life and yourself which is causing the depression.

It is to be said that most people who become invested in a series or an anime tend to use these creative mediums as an escape from their own lives which they find unhappy and might even be depressed over.

When a series ends, they are forced to go back to this distressing lifestyle which is caused by deep dissatisfaction of their own lies which can cause their sadness, hoesslin, worthlessness and demotivation to be magnified, 

How can we manage post anime depression?

Here are a few ways that we can cope with post anime depression:

Read the manga

Fortunately for anime lovers, most anime are adapted from manga or Japanese comics. So if you have finished off the series and are struggling to move past it, try reading the manga of which the anime was created. 

Sme completed anime usually have manga with more plot or spin offs as well. While completed anime usually have manga with chapter updates every week so that you can be upto date with the series even before the next season releases. 

Write about it 

Writing about the anime on your own blogs, on twitter threads, or sharing your thoughts about the anime on your social media accounts or blogs can be a great way to organize your experience of the anime and express or put into words how you felt watching the anime. 

Writing and sharing these experiences can help you get intouch with other anime lovers, make friends, get more recommendations from others that are similar to the series you have watched, and it can be an overall great way to reflect on your experience of the series. 

Join a forum

Now, animes with large and also small followings usually have discord servers, subreddits, and twitter fan pages that garner a lot of following and interaction. 

Join a few of these forums and engage with the community that loves the same anime as much as you do. You can learn more about the anime, the creation of the anime, the studio that created it, the writers, and the original manga from these forums.

Forums also plan out various events surrounding the anime series or the manga, and engaging in these activities can be a great way to experience and enjoy the love you have for this anime. 

Engage with other anime lovers

There are a lot of people who love anime, manga, and overall Japanese pop-culture. Engaging with anime lovers on various online websites, forums, chat rooms etc, can be a great way for you to meet with other anime lovers. 

Anime lovers and other otakus can also help you explore the world of anime, get you attuned with more animes that are similar or different for you to engage with this creative world. You and other otakus can also hold events called cosplays and other anime festivals that can help you relive the experience and enjoyment of the anime you love.

Watch something else

Now, if you have done your best to engage with the anime and have mailed the experience for all that it is worth, you can consider watching another anime from the same studio, author, creator, or genre.

Watching something else does not mean you let go of what you love but rather what you love can open you up to a world that has so much more to give and this is also the same for anime. 

Go outside

As much as you love staying in watching anime, playing games, and meeting up with your virtual friends, if you find that your “depression” after watching an anime has kept you in for too long and has isolated you to the point where you have forgotten how the sky looks like, it is perhaps time for you to engage with the outside world.

You can choose to meet your friends who may or may not be fellow otakus or you can go to a manga cafe and bookstore, go for a picnic with your mangas in tow or, you can do things that are anime related or not related at all to anime. 

Do something else other than anime or manga related activities

As much as you love anime and mangas, try to bring in some other aspects that you love and try doing them like meeting up with your friends who may or may not like anime, go to an art gallery, go to watch a movie that is not anime related. 

You can even hang out with your family, go for dinner with them, go for a walk, ride a bike, or go to the gym. Taking your mind off the anime world for a few hours can be a much needed break and also gives you a whole other appreciation of the anime and manga world.

Talk to a therapist.

If you notice that your mood has been low for more than two weeks conseuetively, and it has cost you your ability to take care of yourself and your needs- eating, going to work, engaging with others, and even to the point of suicide and thoughts about death- it is advisable that you consider taliking to a professional. 

While low moods after watching a loved series might be common, thoughts about suicide, utter hoplessness, social isolation persisting for more than two weeks is indicative of a larger problem. 

Talking to a therapist can help you figure out whether it is the anime itself or something more that is causing the depression related symptoms to arise. 

Conclusion

In this brief blog post, we have discussed what post anime depression is, why it happens. and how you can cope with it.

References:

Kincaid. C. 5 Ways to Handle After-Anime Depression. JapanPowered. August 18, 2019. Retrieved on 26th November 2021. https://www.japanpowered.com/anime-articles/5-ways-handle-end-of-anime-blues

Kumar. A. 7 Best Ways to Handle Post-Anime Depression. Otakus Mart. 24th September 2021. Retrieved on 26th November 2021.

FAQ related to anime depression

Why does finishing a show make me sad?

Finishing a show that you thoroughly enjoyed can make you sad for two possible reasons: grief of having to let go and say goodbye to the experience of watching the show and it can also be a form of mentally checking out from the stressors of your own life and having it end can force you to go back to your original state of sadness and discontent.

What is that feeling when you finish a series?

This experience is called post-series depression, which describes the sadness felt after reading or watching a really long series or story.

Why am I crying over a TV show?

It is quite normal that you are crying over a TV show, we tend to get attached to the characters and empathise their experience and struggles.At times one of the reasons why you might be crying over a TV show is because of the similarities of the show and its characters to your own experiences and life. 

Can a TV show make you depressed?

Although there is no conclusive evidence that indicates that binge-watching television causes depression, it suggests a connection  between guilt and isolation. 

Watching shows for too long while shunning responsibilities and isolating oneself from other people can lead to a negative state of well-being- not necessarily depression. 

What was missing from this post which could have made it better?

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