People don’t often talk about mental illness. This doesn’t change the fact that it is there, and statistics tells us that 1 in 5 Australian’s are impacted by it every year. So when someone stands up and shares their story, we tend to listen. This was the case for 20 year-old Canadian Kevin Breel. Last year he stood in front of a room full of strangers and shared his story- the story of how a popular student who seemingly had it all together thought about taking his own life.
Kevin’s words are powerful; his honesty about his own experiences in his TedX talk ‘Confessions of a Depressed Comic’ have reached nearly 2 million views. In his talk, Kevin shares the truth about Depression, why he chose to live, and why we are a crucial part in breaking the stigma that tells people they are too far gone. We’d invite you to watch Kevin’s TedX talk and have included some of his most memorable points for you to read, mull over and then show to your friends. Depression is real, but so is hope.
“Real depression isn’t being sad when something in your life goes wrong, real depression is being sad when everything in your life is going right. That’s real depression, and that’s what I suffer from.”
“[Depression is] something you live with. It’s something you live in. It’s the roommate you can’t kick out. It’s the voice you can’t ignore. It’s the feelings you can’t seem to escape, the scariest part is that after a while, you become numb to it. It becomes normal for you, and what you really fear the most isn’t the suffering inside of you. It’s the stigma inside of others, it’s the shame.”
“As much as I hate some of the places, some of the parts of my life depression has dragged me down to, in a lot of ways I’m grateful for it. Because yeah, it’s put me in the valleys, but only to show me there’s peaks, and yeah it’s dragged me through the dark but only to remind me there is light. My pain, more than anything in 19 years on this planet, has given me perspective, and my hurt, my hurt has forced me to have hope, have hope and to have faith, faith in myself, faith in others, faith that it can get better, that we can change this, that we can speak up and speak out and fight back against ignorance.”
“We’re people, and we struggle and we suffer and we bleed and we cry, and if you think that true strength means never showing any weakness, then I’m here to tell you you’re wrong. You’re wrong, because it’s the opposite. We’re people, and we have problems. We’re not perfect, and that’s okay.”