Daredevil-How even superheroes struggle with depression

This article will center around the superhero Daredevil and what are the pieces of evidence that he may struggle with depression. The article will explain why that may be, and the ways that he could cope with it.

Daredevil- How even superheroes struggle with depression 

Daredevil, also known as Matt Murdock, has struggled with depression for many moments. Through his comics, it is possible to see how his depression manifests, how he copes with it, and even consider what may have been the causes of it.

In considering his life, the first thing that is possible to say is that his depressive episode may be related to genetics. His mother suffered from Postpartum depression, a condition that causes a new parent to become extremely sad, feel that they are worthless, constantly worry about the child’s well-being, and as if they are unable to be a parent.

Because his mother went through that, things got so dark to a point she considered killing. She was so paranoid, that it seemed like that was the only possibility. But thankfully she changed her mind, but with that, she abandoned him.

It is a known fact that depression has a genetic factor to it. So it is possible to say that this trace from his mother may have rubbed off on him. And as time went on, through the comics, it is possible to see different moments when he was depressed.

A perfect example of that was when his girlfriend Elektra was killed by Bullseye. Facing death seems to always be a negative experience, as it would be to most people. He feels deeply when his other girlfriend Karen Page dies, and he sees the emotional breakdown that his wife Mila Donovan goes through.

Another moment that had an intense emotional impact on him was when he had his professional reputation destroyed by Kingpin. For him, it seems that each moment of happiness will be quickly replaced by one of tremendous sadness.

He has a belief, especially because of his catholic background, and has even described his depression as a form of demon. In an edition of his comics called “ The SuperHero in Despair” pretty much all the angles of his depression are looked at.

In the very first line of this comic, Matt Murdock goes on like this: “This is what depression feels like.” And through that, the reader is taken into a deep and complex look at how depression feels to him.

He talks about feelings and being alone, and that it feels like it is something dark feeding on you. He says that depression won’t let the person enjoy anything positive. And as soon as there is a positive experience, depression will make sure to end it. 

The comic goes on to say how depression’s main goal is to isolate the person that is going through it. And it wants to make you feel paralyzed, as you may often feel numb and drained of things. 

On the drawing of this page of the comic, it is possible to get a sense of how crushing depression is being on him. It feels like the weight of the world is on top of him, and depression will never let him move. It makes him feel immobilized.

He talks about what may have triggered his depression, and that even though everything seemed fine up until that moment, some children triggered something in him, leading him to this dark hole. 

He even says that this could have happened anywhere. That he could have been in the middle of Times Square, but if something triggered them this deeply, he would still be unable to move.

This causes anyone going through depression to feel utterly powerless. Even more so if you are a superhero. There is nothing you can do with all your strength, no punches or kicks would make this better. But at a moment, when he is needed, he manages to come through and care not only for himself but for the people in need. 

Showing that even though depression takes so much away from a person, it won’t take away their most sincere beliefs if what is right and wrong. And if it is possible, because sometimes depression takes so much of you that it is just not, you will be able, like him, to do something great.

Why is it important that superheroes discuss depression?

It may seem strange, but it is extremely positive that nowadays we know so much about superheroes’ lives in-depth, their traumas, and their weaknesses. This is something that causes people to relate easier.

Show us they are not perfect, and like all of us, they are still trying to get better in so many things. Seeing a superhero speak about his depression, and about how he is emotionally affected by things allows the readers to not only go easier on themselves.

This means that knowing that even superheroes have their troubles, I can be more accepting of my troubles. It is also a great source of information. In this comic, Daredevil traces in a very profound way what it means to be depressed for him. 

And even though it can feel different to each person, someone can relate, and from that comic get the idea that they may be going through depression.

Knowing a superhero is struggling with depression, or any other form of mental illness can also have a positive impact on dismantling, even more, the stigma of mental illness. It certainly goes to show how it is not laziness, a choice, a sin, or something that should cause people to be cast from society.

Daredevil, although struggling, is a positive influence on the community he is a part of. He helps people, saves lives, and fights villains. But still, he has his dark moments, knows his triggers, and needs to deal with them as they are activated, as we all do.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ): Is Daredevil depressed? 

What are other superheroes that struggle with mental illness?

It is not only Daredevil that, unfortunately, struggles with mental health issues. Storm from X-men deals with claustrophobia, a condition that makes people fear being in closed spaces. This started with her because she was buried under tons of rubble.

The Hulk also seems to have a mental illness. He has Intermittent Explosive Disorder. This condition causes people to have many outbursts of rage, which means that they may have trouble controlling their aggressive impulses. 

Jessica Jones seems to have Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), and this has become her strength. She went through an abusive situation with Purple man, but she managed to bury those traumatic experiences.

Moon Knight seems to have Dissociative Identity Disorder, which means that he is not only fighting villains, but also his psyche. And finally, Deadpool seems to be psychotic. 

He has always tried to deal with his fractured psyche. And even though some people may call his behavior funny, it is important to keep in mind that this is a result of a mental illness.

Is Spiderman depressed?

Yea, it is possible to say that Spiderman, that is named Peter Parker suffers from Major Depressive Disorder, that is because he shows himself often angry, and irritable. He also shows he has problems with self-esteem, and often feels like he is worthless. 

It is common to see that he lost interest in many things. He doesn’t seem interested in photography, or in doing his schoolwork, even though he used to enjoy that. And because these seem to be going on for a long time, more than the 2 weeks that are needed for someone to be diagnosed as depressed, it is possible to say that he experiences a major depressive episode.

Is Daredevil a sadist?

It is possible to say that Daredevil is a sadist. But one should keep in mind that he doesn’t enjoy inflicting just any kind of pain. It seems that, for him, the joy in causing people to feel pain is usually related to causing pain to people that deserve it.

This can be connected to his catholic background. He may feel like there is a responsibility to him in the world, and that can be making it a better place. So when he deals with villains and brings pain to the people he feels deserves, he may be thinking he is doing some form of justice, and making the world a better place.

Does depression have a cure? 

No, depression doesn’t have a cure. Rather than that, mental health professionals will say that depression will go into remission. It is somewhat similar to what has been said in the Daredevil comic.

A person may be in remission and feel better in their life, but they can experience some situations that can trigger them to be depressed again.

What is important to keep in mind is that once you are in remission you will be able to feel joy again. And you might feel it is easier to have control over your emotions. Aside from that, you will regain interest in things. 

But you should know that even though you are in remission, you should still care for your mental health the best way you can. This is the only way you will be able to prevent, as much as possible, a relapse, meaning, a new depressive episode.

What are the most common symptoms of depression?

Depression has many symptoms, and it can manifest itself differently in each person. But it usually causes people to experience intense sadness. During that period, the person will lose interest even in things they used to love. They can feel empty, guilty, more irritable, and as if they lost their purpose in life.

This condition causes the person to feel more fatigued, and like they have less energy. It will also impair their ability to focus, and cause their sleep and eating patterns to change. One can cry a lot more when they are depressed, and they can become more isolated. 

Depression also leads people to have lower self-esteem and a decreased sense of self-worth. In some cases, it can lead people to self-harm, thoughts of death, or even suicidal thoughts. 


This article discussed how the superhero Daredevil may struggle with depression. It showed the best evidence of that, and what are the ways he could cope with depression.

If you have any questions or comments about this article, feel free to write them in the section below.



Siddiqui, Zaeem (2020): Depression and the Devil of Hell’s Kitchen: Exploring How Mental Illness Is Depicted in Daredevil Comic Books. Ryerson University. Thesis. https://doi.org/10.32920/ryerson.14650008.v1

Was this helpful?

Thanks for your feedback!