Ja'mie: Private School Girl

Ja'mie: Private School Girl [archived]/Youtube

The origin of the ‘clinical depression’ sound on TikTok

It’s been used in more than 3,800 TikToks so far.


Audra Schroeder


Posted on Nov 16, 2023   Updated on Nov 17, 2023, 3:02 pm CST

That One Sound is a weekly column from senior internet culture writer Audra Schroeder that explores the origin of popular sounds heard on TikTok. Suggestions? Tips? Email audra@dailydot.com

Browsing TikTok can certainly make you feel like you have depression—or ADHD or autism—through self-diagnosing via TikTok is not advised

This week’s sound references depression, but it’s been applied to a wide range of behaviors and experiences.       

The sound

The sound is of someone saying, “Give me it! I’ve got fucking clinical depression, you fucking idiot.” 

In December 2022, the account @zzyzzxrd posted the audio, and it’s been used in more than 3,800 TikToks so far.

Quite a few people used the sound to soundtrack a specific experience: When you’re taking out the trash and the bagfights back.” Others used it for moments of overstimulation or annoyance with inanimate objects. 

“Me when I’m already overstimulated and sweating just from vacuuming and the cord snags,” said @dantejamees

Others used it for even more specific tasks, like pulling teeth from an animal skull. Or getting bangs

While clinical depression requires evaluation and diagnosis from a medical professional—not TikTok—the trend here seems to be using this sound for minor annoyances or inconveniences, like Starbucks not releasing its Pumpkin Spice Latte soon enough. 

Where’s it from?

It’s from the 2013 Australian mockumentary series Ja’mie: Private School Girl, in which comedian Chris Lilley played the titular character. 

Ja’mie is a spinoff of Lilley’s other popular series, Summer Heights High. In the clip posted to TikTok, Ja’mie has fallen into a depression after learning her crush is seeing her friend, and is stealing her mother’s antidepressants. Ironically, Ja’mie diagnoses herself with clinical depression. 

Lilley has always played a variety of characters in his shows, but some have been divisive. In another Summer Heights High spinoff, Jonah From Tonga, Lilley wore brownface to play him. He was also called out for wearing blackface for his character S.mouse, a rapper. 

He also saw some backlash for his 2019 Netflix series Lunatics, in which he plays six different characters, including one named Jana, who people thought was a woman of color. In 2020, Netflix Australia and New Zealand allegedly removed Summer Heights High, Jonah From Tonga, and two other Lilley shows from the platform. 

But in a March 2023 interview, Lilley claimed that “All of my shows have been and always are available. They never disappeared—skim through some headlines, you might think otherwise. But they’re still popular, and Netflix and I still have a great relationship.” 

Sound off 

The popularity of this TikTok sound—which has been used pretty steadily since December—might have made the show popular again. The character of Ja’mie—rich, entitled, delusional—is certainly right up TikTok’s alley, and there are several Ja’mie fan edits. There was even a Ja’mie Halloween costume this year. 

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*First Published: Nov 16, 2023, 6:00 am CST