A number of furries colloquially made reference to a condition referred to as “post-con depression” (PCD)—a feeling of malaise and lowered mood in the days following a furry convention. While PCD was assumed to be a fact among furries, we aimed to test whether the data supported this condition using a number of existing psychological measures of well-being. These measures were given to furries both at Anthrocon1 and again, 3 or 7 days post-Anthrocon. We assessed differences between these scores and tested whether there was a statistically significant change in scores between the two time points. Without exception, furries reported less psychological well-being following the convention as compared to at the convention, which may be indicative of post-con depression.
These data show not only that furries feel sad in the days following a furry convention, but that they also experience symptoms of fatigue, inability to focus, and irritability, all of which suggest a depressive mood. Moreover, there was little to no difference between those furries completing the survey 3 days after the con to those completing it 7 days after the con. This may suggest that post-con depression may last longer than we had initially thought—perhaps
spanning weeks instead of days, and may even suggest that, rather than being construed as an aberrant “low point,” the phenomenon may be thought of as an aberrant “high point”—at-con mania. These data are, to our knowledge, the first empirical evidence demonstrating the phenomenon commonly referred to as post-con depression. Future studies will aim to not only better understand what this phenomenon entails and how long it lasts, but will also be focused on trying to reduce its effects.