11.4 Post-Convention Depression

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.


  1. Anthrocon 2015 Study, Artist Survey, and Post-Con Depression Study


  1. Colada

    I’m going to a furcon (Furry Weekend Atlanta) next month. Do you have any ideas or resources on how to cope with Post-Con Depression?
    Also, I’m not sure how to tell my parents that I’m going to this, as an 18 year old college student. I can provide more context if needed!
    Lovely work this website is! I would love to discuss more about this in other topics, or participate in a study!

    • Admin

      Thanks for your comment and questions 🙂

      There are resources specifically for parents on this site HERE, and for everyone who doesn’t really understand Furries, and probably through no fault of their own, misunderstands them, Dr Roberts has written a really accessible article HERE backed up by peer-reviewed science, but written for a general audience: this probably won’t help those impervious to facts, and determined not understand, but it will help those who have a good-faith misunderstanding of Furries.

      If you want to understand more about post-con depression, we contributed a chapter written in a book, called “Furries Among US 2,” published by a Furry HERE.

      We have no studies available for participation at this time, but the research never stops, new studies are coming out all the time, so watch this space and follow our social media links for new study announcements and links.

  2. James

    Hiya, I’m looking into something similar for fandom conventions and I was wondering whether you have a sense of the life-cycle for post-con depression? Whether it has troughs or how long it lasts?

    • Admin

      Great question! At the moment, we only really have evidence showing that post-con depression exists, but not data on its time-course. It almost certainly differs from person to person depending on a number of factors. One possible factor may be how content one is with their day-to-day life. We think post-con depression comes, at least in part, when there is a significant discrepancy between the “high” of a con and the “low” of day-to-day life. If a person enjoys their daily life (e.g., works a job they enjoy, has a good social support network, is able to live authentically), then I would imagine post-con depression would be fairly minimal. On the other hand, a person who returns from a convention and has to face the prospect of a job that makes them miserable, living alone and feeling isolated from others, and having to hide their interests or other aspects of themselves (e.g., their sexual orientation, gender identity), then it would almost certainly be the case that the depression would be both stronger and more prolonged. So while we probably can’t say exactly how long post-con depression would last, we can probably predict that factors like having friends and supportive others and being able to come back home to a living and work situation that one loves will certainly lessen its intensity. Something we often suggest – especially to new furs attending their first convention – is to meet people at the con, get contact information, and then keep in touch when they get home. This could give them an opportunity to build and maintain the social support networks that would help buffer / protect against post-con depression (e.g., by being able to stay in touch on Telegram or over social media, or to find local events to make it out to until the next con!) 🙂

  3. Jacob

    A few weeks ago, I went to Texas Furry Siesta by just exploring the city and coming across it, it was fairly fun for the two hours I got to stay there. I did meet a few furries, and when I got home, I somehow got post con depression? I really only stayed in the common areas.

    Also, Texas Furry Siesta was my first convention

    over the course of the few days after I went there, I got the feeling of that I should have stayed longer and other stuff. After about a week, it had mostly subsided, but like…


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