What are Joe Rogan’s thoughts on depression?

This article will center on discussing what are the main thoughts Joe Rogan has around depression. Those will be put in comparison to what mental health professionals understand on the matter.

What are Joe Rogan’s thoughts on depression? 

Joe Rogan has often talked about depression during his podcasts. This happened as he talked to his friend Ari Sharif, and they discussed Ari’s depression. And he talked about how it is to have a friend that is depressed. 

In that, he talked about how helpless he felt in the whole situation. That he didn’t know what was the right way to act, and he tried to help the best way he could, by helping his friend get a better psychiatrist, and even offering financial support. 

During that conversation, when recollecting that Sharif was having suicidal thoughts, Rogan talked about the fear of receiving the call that his friend ended his life, and how it would lead him to think about what more could he have done.

Aside from that, during the COVID-19 he left to post on his Instagram talking about how he was managing the stress and mental health struggles of social isolation. In that, he talked about how late-night exercises were helping him through this trying time. Highlighting once again the importance of exercising in caring for your mental health.

Another time in which depression was the central topic of his conversation was when he had, as a guest, in his podcast Johann Hari that he interviewed to talk about his new book Lost Connections.

This interview seems to bring to a perspective that depression is not only a sign of a chemical imbalance in the person’s brain. Rather than that, Johann is saying in his book how depression is also connected to the way we live our lives and not just biology.

In this interview, the duo discusses how, nowadays people may want to say that depression is just related to a chemical imbalance in the person’s brain, but how this may be something that discards the thoughts and emotions that we are going through.

According to the information in this podcast, 87% of the people don’t like their jobs, and this is the thing they will spend the longest doing. This leads us to think that people are getting depressed not just because of a chemical imbalance in their brain, but also because they are unhappy.

In this podcast, Joe Rogan and Johann Hari have an extremely honest conversation about how societal expectations can lead us to feel a lot of pressure. And that, with time, can lead to unhappiness, and depression.

To that, Joe Rogan begins to talk about how people are now encouraged to do things in a way to find financial stability. Parents are suggesting their children pursue a career that will give them that, instead of what will fulfill them.

And even though that can be understood as people are struggling to make ends meet, there is a lot that is implied in this line of thought. This says a lot about the financial anxiety people may have been going through in their life, which can often lead to depression.

Being constantly worried if you will be able to support your family, and give them comfort, is what will cause you to stay in jobs they hate, living lives they are not fulfilled with. And it seems that this is telling us that there is something wrong with the way our society has been dealing with money and the sense of realization.

According to Johann Hari, research was made in Canada in which the researchers choose one town by chance. Once they decided which town, they talked to the people living there, and said they would care for their basic life needs.

What was seen after this is that people that had a connection to the career they were in, didn’t quit their jobs. But people that felt like they hated their jobs, or were being exploited by their bosses quit them. This led the employers in town to improve the quality of the work they were offering.

Aside from that, in a brief period, there was a decrease in the depression rate of around 9%. Through this research, it was shown exactly what Joe Rogan was talking about. 

It showed how depression may often be not only connected to the chemical imbalance in the person’s brain but is also connected to the way the person feels about the life they are living.

This discussion between Joe Rogan and Johann Hari is extremely relevant to try and find some middle ground in what science has shown us about depression. It is related to a chemical imbalance in the person’s brain, but that is not all.

Other matters will affect the person becoming depressed. And that is often related to the way they are living their lives, and in what type of community they are living.  Having your basic needs fulfilled, such as the research in Canada, leaves space for people to care for other matters in their life.

And those seem to be the ones that cause people to feel happier, and often get less depressed such as spending time with their loved ones, caring for the community they live in, and caring for their desires, not for things, but ultimately for experiences.

Changing the belief that depression is mostly related to a chemical imbalance in the person’s brain is not discarding this idea. 

This is a relevant idea and has been scientifically proven, but we need to open ourselves to the possibility that depression is also connected to how our society is living, and maybe looking through that lens, we can find a way to handle the ever-growing number of depression cases.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ): What are Joe Rogan’s thoughts on depression? 

Does depression have a cure? 

No, depression doesn’t have a cure. That is because depression can be related to genetic factors, which can’t be cured through treatment. So it wouldn’t be possible to affirm that the person will never get depressed again in their lifetime.

So, instead of saying that the person’s depression is cured, mental health professionals will say that the depression will go into remission. This means that the person will be able to have control of their emotions again, and will be able to regain their ability to feel joy, and interest in things.

But it is important to highlight that when you are in remission you should keep caring for your mental health as a way to prevent yourself from going through another depressive episode in the future.

What are Joe Rogan’s thoughts on depression?

What are antidepressants? 

Antidepressants are a type of medication that will be prescribed to people that are treating depressive episodes. But not only that but it can also be prescribed in association with other medications to people that are treating other forms of mental illness.

Through time there have been many forms of antidepressants developed. The most prescribed nowadays are Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) because they usually have fewer side effects, such as Citalopram.

Another form of antidepressant is the Serotonin-noradrenaline reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs). They are similar to SSRIs but were created to be more effective than SSRIs. An example of SNRIs is venlafaxine.

Noradrenaline and specific serotonergic antidepressants (NASSAs) are recommended for people that can’t take SSRIs. They may have stronger side effects. An example of it is mirtazapine.

There are also older forms of antidepressants, such as tricyclic antidepressants (TCAs). Those can be prescribed to people with major depression that are resistant to other medications. An example of it is amitriptyline. 

Serotonin antagonists and reuptake inhibitors (SARIs) are a form of antidepressants that is also prescribed when other forms haven’t worked. An example of it is trazodone. 

There are Monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs) that are an older type of antidepressant. It has a lot of serious side effects. The most known example of it is tranylcypromine.

What are the forms of depression? 

Depression can happen in four forms. It can be mild, moderate, major, and persistent depression. The first one, as the name says, will manifest itself with mild symptoms that will go on for a short period, making it hard to diagnose. But to treat it, the person will often just need to change some of their lifestyles.

Moderate depression is one in which the symptoms will begin to impact the person’s life, since they will be more intense, and go on for longer. To treat moderate depression, people will often need therapy, and in rare cases, people will need medication.

Major depression, which is also known as clinical depression, can present itself as the most intense form of depression. The symptoms of it can be so intense that it can be impossible for the person to do the simplest things such as getting out of bed. Major depression can also cause the person to experience hallucinations, or even become delusional.

To treat major depression the person will often need to go to therapy and take medication. This also happens to people that are going through persistent depression. This means that they will have a depressive episode that can go on for as long as 5 years, in which they will swing between symptoms of mild, and major depression.

Can my brain heal itself after depression?

Yes, although depression will have an impact on the person’s brain, leading it to inflammation, and even shrinking of some areas, after you start to feel better, your brain will begin to heal itself.

This happens because our brain has a characteristic called plasticity, which means it can heal itself after some form of trauma. So it can take a while, but as your condition begins to improve, you will notice, little by little, that your cognitive functions will begin to improve, meaning your memory, and ability to focus will be better.

Can antidepressants work in the same way for everyone?

No, antidepressants will often work differently from one person to the next. There can be two people that have the same diagnosis and are taking the same medication, in the same dose, but because each organism is different, they will respond differently to it.

To one of them, it can be that the medication works great, and they quickly experience an improvement in their condition. But to the other one, it can cause them to have such intense side effects that the doctor may consider changing their dosage, or even their medication.


This article showed what podcaster Joe Rogan has on depression. Aside from that, the article explained how it differs and in what ways it is similar to what mental health professionals say on the matter.

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


Depression and Anxiety Are NOT Chemical Imbalances (Joe Rogan Interview with Johann Hari)