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Woman Reveals How Spongebob Squarepants Helped Her Beat Depression

Squidward more than just an octopus who lives under the sea.

On November 27, Stephen Hillenburg, the creator of the hit animated show, "Spongebob Squarepants," died from ALS at the age of 57. As with Stan Lee, people took to Twitter to mourn the loss of this creative icon, who made what is billed as a children's cartoon so relatable to adults.

In a thread that has now gone viral, Into columnist Clarishka Kent explained how one of the show's most central characters, Squidward, helped her grasp the realities of depression.

Like many of us, Kent was very young when the popular Nickelodeon show first aired in 1999, and didn't fully comprehend the messages it was trying to send.

She viewed Squidward, an anthropomorphic octopus who lives between the houses of Spongebob Squarepants and Patrick Star, the way most people view someone with mental health issues: bitter, hostile, chronically dissatisfied, and incapable of seeing all the good life has to offer.

This continued until college, when something happened to Kent that led her to be diagnosed with depression and PTSD. Suddenly, Kent found herself deeply relating to this much-maligned character, and the depressive symptoms he espoused, such as feelings of "apathy. Occasional anger. Resentment. Existential dread. Hopelessness."

While it was meant to be funny, she was particularly moved by an episode in which Squidward places flowers on a tombstone reading, "Here lies Squidward's hopes and dreams." His antipathy toward having to put on a "happy face" at his job at the Krusty Krab also hit home.

So it seems like the show, which was silly on its surface, was deeper than you might think.

And many people related to Kent's thoughtful analysis of this misunderstood character.

For what it's worth, the other four characters who helped Kent understand depression were: Dr. Cox from Scrubs, Eeyore from Winnie the Pooh, Bojack from Bojack Horseman, and Sailor Saturn from Sailor Moon.

For more on ways to fight this common disorder, read about how studies have shown Reddit can actually help you fight depression.

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Diana Bruk
Diana is a senior editor who writes about sex and relationships, modern dating trends, and health and wellness. Read more