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Question When do you think that Buffy stopped being depressed?

Giovanna

Townie
Joined
Apr 17, 2019
Messages
36
Age
26
Depression has many faces. And whether we like it or not, the intent of the writers was to portrait Buffy as depressed in S6 - as a consequence of being expelled from Heaven. Regardless of personal bias, if you follow the season, the depression arc is undoubtedly one of the big topics of S6.
 

Dora

Scooby
Joined
Apr 1, 2016
Messages
1,084
Age
53
Do we? Serious question. I appreciate that some folk draw strength from Buffy's "fight" but personally, I'm reluctant to accept terms like "clinical depression"* in relation to fictional texts unless a) the reader/viewer is a MD* or b) there's in-text evidence (such as a doctor making a diagnosis). If I'm going to use a term it would be melancholia. I'd use it because there's an aesthetic attached to it - it has a place in the arts. It's also related in critical discourse / theory to mourning and "the mother", and I think Buffy's state of mind always come back to her relationship with Joyce. (It's there before Joyce dies but look at the heaven imagery in AfterLife - it's intrauterine and rebirth). Melancholia explains everything in the text - form, content and function - and I don't think she ever gets over it. If she seems "better" it's because something has temporarily replaced the loss of the mother. The repressed simply returns in a different form. I think both @Ethan Reigns and @white avenger are right - except I think her sadness re-emerges in the comics. I don't think it's coincidence that S12 sees the reappearance of Joyce - which brings her some satisfaction - but I think it's fragile.

*even then, I'm dubious.
(A) low mood or sadness
(B) Feeling hopeless and or helpless
(C) Having a low self esteem
(D) Feeling tearful
(E) Feeling worthless or guilt ridden
(F) Having no motivation , interest or decreased pleasure in things
(G) Recurrent thought of death or suicide
(H) Feeling irritable and intolerant of others
(I) Finding it difficult to make decisions

Any five of the above would equal clinical depression....I think Buffy certainly had 5 of the above symptoms
And because Buffy had such low , negative and worthless feelings about herself she self harmed, punishing herself by using Spike then felt guilty about using him
 

HushSarah

Scorpio Slayer
Joined
Mar 8, 2006
Messages
58
Age
35
Location
California
I don't know if she ever stopped being depressed. Not really a moment in particular. Season 7 was where she started acting like Season 3 Buffy. Season 6 was all about Willow, as much as we saw of Buffy it didn't feel like Buffy was growing out of her depression, it seemed to get worse until the last few minutes of the finale.
 
Joined
Aug 2, 2019
Messages
30
Age
19
i think at the ver end of season 7 maybe? but depression can be on and off for a lifetime, so
 

katmobile

Scooby
Joined
Jun 17, 2018
Messages
1,274
Age
48
If Buffy had depression, then she'd never be cured of it, she'd just have good and bad days. Saying that, this is the same show that shows Willow addicted to magic but then the next season uses said magic without consequence or further addiction, so the show isn't that realistic in its portrayal of these kind of issues.

It's possible Buffy had PTSD rather than depression. She did have to claw her way out of her own grave which in itself would be quite a traumatic experience and is akin to something a vampire does. We know Buffy's greatest fear is being a vampire so that is almost like her living a part of her nightmare.
My understanding is that depression can be chronic or something that can get and be cured from or a combination of both. However I will admit I'm no expert.
 

littlemisscooby

That'll put marzipan in your pie plate bingo.
Joined
Mar 2, 2020
Messages
40
Location
Australia
It doesn't help that we're pressured to be happy (and to show it) by bosses or the public, and the like, so our survival can feel threatened if we have to often fake it (which creates resentment and thus hinders genuine happiness), and then when we really feel it that can seem a bit fake or at least rare. It doesn't help that people are often pushed to give more and more, which at first they can, but eventually tire while still expected to keep up the pace...exhaustion (even collapse) and depression seem a natural outcome of that. Despite faking it, they often seem unaware that others are also faking it, so they wonder what's wrong with themselves. Of course plenty have something to sell us to make us feel better (and thus "normal") from vices to pills to various products.
This is so true. I think Buffy's friends, especially Willow, got so wrapped up in just wanting Buffy to be ok again (as did the audience) to ease her own guilt and disrupted sense of normality (as normal as their lives could be living on the Hellmouth). She just wanted the Scooby gang to be back to their old selves. It was frustrating for both Willow & co (and therefore the audience) when Buffy couldn't just 'snap out of it', and this is exactly what it's like in real life when we're grieving, feel numb, or feel sad, or have full blown depression. People expect you to cry for a few days and just 'get over it', so they don't have to listen or see your pain.

In reality, I think Buffy's depression or numbness began when Riley left her and she realised that it was 'her fault' (I believe Riley was a bit emotionally abusive but that's a topic for another thread). I think she carried her feelings/grief (Riley, her mom, the constant confusion with Angel, Heaven, Tara) right through to the end of season 7 (even if the moments were more intermittent than in season 6). It was like a weight had been lifted off her shoulders given that smile at the end of the final battle. That she didn't have to fight for her life anymore (both literally and mentally).

P.s. I'm not sure if I'm replying properly, this is my first time posting on a Buffy Boards thread (so go easy on me lol!).
 

AlphaFoxtrot

Scooby
Joined
Sep 11, 2017
Messages
1,460
Age
38
Look, I'm no expert either. Being unhappy because your life sucks is just that, unhappiness. Being unhappy because of a chemical imbalance in your brain is depression. However, I will allow that unhappiness and depression have the same symptoms and possibly the same causes. But I really think it's important to keep depression as a disease of the mind, not as a feeling every one gets. I mean, a perfectly healthy person would long for the grey lands, where every day is a very well dressed hunt, every night is a fantastic summer garden party, and the Creator's wife has a really nice house he lets you crash in.
 

Priceless

Scooby
Joined
Jan 25, 2016
Messages
6,983
Location
UK
Isn't there something called 'situational depression', in that a person who does not have a chemical imbalance, or family history etc. has something happen to them that causes a depression. Joyce's death and being being bought back to life are two pretty huge situations that could cause depression. I think the person has to work through the situation, emotionally, possibly with therapy, or just with the healing of time.

I think seeing how low Willow had fallen because of her addiction and Tara's death, seeing Dawn be put into danger and perhaps most importantly, having Giles come back and he and Buffy being able to laugh at what had happened in the past year, released the pressure valve in Buffy and suddenly she had permission to be okay again and take control so she could help Willow and protect Dawn.
 

Dora

Scooby
Joined
Apr 1, 2016
Messages
1,084
Age
53
Isn't there something called 'situational depression', in that a person who does not have a chemical imbalance, or family history etc. has something happen to them that causes a depression. Joyce's death and being being bought back to life are two pretty huge situations that could cause depression. I think the person has to work through the situation, emotionally, possibly with therapy, or just with the healing of time.

I think seeing how low Willow had fallen because of her addiction and Tara's death, seeing Dawn be put into danger and perhaps most importantly, having Giles come back and he and Buffy being able to laugh at what had happened in the past year, released the pressure valve in Buffy and suddenly she had permission to be okay again and take control so she could help Willow and protect Dawn.
I posted earlier a list I found that showed diagnose clinical depression that you needed 5 symptoms out of that list , Buffy certainly had five......
 

atiredonnie

"What's a stevedore?"
Joined
Feb 7, 2020
Messages
20
I feel obliged to say that Buffy didn’t stop being depressed, as depression doesn’t tend to just completely and totally disappear, it just fluctuates over time. That being said, I think general consensus is that Buffy stopped being suicidally depressed by Gone, and by the beginning of season 7 her depression had subsided pretty significantly, although the stress of leading the Potentials and the emotional havoc the First wreaked on her probably did a good job in bringing some of that back.
 
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