Depression can often be an all-consuming feeling that makes you feel totally alone in the world. Even so nearly everyone has experienced depression at one time or another in their lives, and sometimes the best way to understand depression is to watch how others deal with it. In our current age of television, there's no shortage of shows that star characters with depression written in utterly compelling, human ways that can go from heartbreaking to empathetic to hilariously satisfying all in one episode.
Shows about depression can be therapeutic for those suffering from that seemingly endless black cloud, but they can also be cathartic for everyone else. Sometimes there's nothing better than a good, dark binge of other people feeling like crap and the best shows about depression understand that sense of schadenfreude, though they often do so while humanizing and explaining the disease. Much like the illness itself, these TV shows about depression (and the lives of those who suffer from it) can whisk you from hopeless lows to a small ray of light, all before crashing the whole thing down on you before one episode is through. From prestige dramas to network sitcoms to big-budget genre epics, the shows on this list all manage to say something unique about depression and show the variety of ways that mental illness can affect us. Whether these shows are full on cry-fests or manage to wrap up the central themes in a happy ending, they understand the complexity of depression in all its forms and are able to turn that complexity into endlessly riveting television.
Genres (Tv): Medical dramaHouse, M.D. (Fox, 2004) is an American television medical drama created by David Shore. An... more on Wikipedia
Character James Wilson suffers from clinical depression, and believes Dr. House does as well.
Genres (Tv): Drama, Techno thriller, Psychological thrillerMr. Robot (USA Network, 2015) is an American drama-thriller television series created by Sam... more on Wikipedia
Elliot Alderson suffers from depression, among other mental illnesses.
Genres (Tv): Adult animation, Sci-fi, Comedy, AdventureRick and Morty (Adult Swim, 2013) is an American adult animated science-fiction sitcom created... more on Wikipedia
Rick is in a constant state of existential crisis, and his depression is documented throughout the series.
Genres (Tv): Comedy, AnimationBoJack Horseman (Netflix, 2014) is an American animated sitcom created by Raphael... more on Wikipedia
The titular character's struggle with depression, among other possible mental illnesses, is a main plotpoint throughout the series.
Genres (Tv): Comedy-dramaThe End of the F***ing World (Netflix, 2018) is an eight-part British absurdist dark... more on Wikipedia
Other mental illnesses are covered as well, but Alyssa spends the second season battling depression.
Genres (Tv): Comedy, DramaShameless (Showtime, 2011) is an American comedy-drama television series developed by John... more on Wikipedia
Fiona, among other members of the Gallagher family, struggles with depression throughout the series.
Genres (Tv): Comedy-drama, Romantic comedy, Black comedyYou're the Worst (FXX, 2014) is an American comedy-drama television series created by Stephen... more on Wikipedia
Season two reveals Gretchen's struggle with clinical depression.
Genres (Tv): ComedyRussian Doll (Netflix, 2019) is an American comedy web television series created by Natasha... more on Wikipedia
Genres (Tv): Comedy, Family dramaThis Is Us (NBC, 2016) is an American television series created by Dan Fogelman. Follows a... more on Wikipedia
Genres (Tv): Teen drama, Mystery13 Reasons Why (Netflix, 2017) is an American television series based on the 2007 novel... more on Wikipedia
The first season is predominantly about Hannah Baker's depression. However, later seasons show other characters also struggling with depression, such as Justin Foley in season two.
Genres (Tv): Teen dramaDegrassi: The Next Generation (CTV, 2001 ) is a Canadian teen drama television series created... more on Wikipedia
Genres (Tv): Comedy DramaPlease Like Me is an Australian television comedy drama series starring Josh Thomas. The... more on Wikipedia
Genres (Tv): Comedy, Psychological dramaManiac (Netflix, 2018) is an American dark comedy television series created by Patrick... more on Wikipedia
Genres (Tv): SitcomOne Day at a Time (Netflix) is a 2017 sitcom loosely based on the 1975 Norman Lear series of... more on Wikipedia
Genres (Tv): Black comedy, Drama, Comedy-dramaSix Feet Under (HBO, 2001) is an American drama television series created and produced by Alan... more on Wikipedia
Genres (Tv): Action, Crime, DramaJessica Jones (Netflix, 2015) is an American web television series created by Melissa... more on Wikipedia
Genres (Tv): DramaA Million Little Things (ABC, 2018) is an American family drama television series created by... more on Wikipedia
Genres (Tv): DramaThe Leftovers (HBO, 2014) is an American supernatural mystery television drama series created... more on Wikipedia
Genres (Tv): Black comedy, Comedy-drama, SitcomFlowers (Channel 4, 2016) is a British black comedy-drama television sitcom. The series... more on Wikipedia
Genres (Tv): Comedy, MusicalCrazy Ex-Girlfriend (The CW, 2015) is an American romantic musical comedy-drama television... more on Wikipedia
Genres (Tv): Sitcom, Medical dramaScrubs (NBC, 2001) is an American medical comedy-drama television series created by Bill... more on Wikipedia
Genres (Tv): Romantic ComedyLove (Netflix, 2016) is an American romantic comedy web television series created by Judd... more on Wikipedia
Genres (Tv): Sci-fi, Action, Horror, Drama, SuperheroLegion (FX, 2017) is an American cable television series created by Noah Hawley, based on the... more on Wikipedia
Genres (Tv): Drama, Political thrillerBodyguard (Netflix, 2018) is a British television political thriller drama series created by... more on Wikipedia
Genres (Tv): SitcomUnbreakable Kimmy Schmidt (Netflix, 2015) is an American web television sitcom created by Tina... more on Wikipedia