Ted Talk – Kevin Breel
We need to talk about depression so that people realize they are not alone in their struggle.
In this video, comedian, Kevin Breel, powerfully shares his struggle with depression in an attempt to get rid of the stigma surrounding it.
“There is a life that everyone sees. And the life that only I see.” Can you relate to that? Breel says that most people see him as a friend, brother, son, athlete, comedian, and while he would say he is those things, he also sees himself as someone who struggles with depression.
There are a lot of misconceptions around depression. “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.”
Struggle with Suicidal Thoughts
Breel seriously contemplated suicide, but he didn’t follow through and considers himself one of the lucky ones who survived. Now he just has his story. And his story is this…four simple words…“I suffer from depression.”
Breel shares this, “I thought about it every single day, and if I’m being totally honest standing here, I thought about it [suicide] again since because that’s the sickness, that’s the struggle, that’s depression. And depression isn’t chickenpox. You don’t beat it once and it’s gone forever. It’s 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. And the scariest part is that after a while you become numb to it it. It becomes normal to you and what you really fear the most isn’t the suffering inside of you. It’s the stigma inside of others. It’s a shame. It’s the embarrassment. It’s the disapproving look on a friend’s face. It’s the whispers in the hallway that you’re weak. It’s the comments that you’re crazy. That’s what keeps you from getting help. That’s what makes you hold it in and hide it.”
Be Proud of Who You Are
Breel encourages anyone suffering from depression to remember, “You are sick you. You are not weak. It’s an issue. Not an identity.”
Breel’s advice is, “More than anything we need to learn to love ourselves. Learn to accept ourselves for who we are….the people we are…not the people the world wants us to be. Because the world I believe in is one where embracing your light doesn’t mean ignoring your dark. The world I believe in is one where we are measured by our ability to overcome adversities not avoid them.”
He ends with, “The only way we are going to beat a problem that people are battling alone is by standing strong together.”