Hello Internet. Today, I’d like to talk about something that I’ve never shared before. And I know that this may come as a shock to literally everyone, I’m sure, But I’ve suffered from depression, And I’m not gonna do an awkward laugh, because there’s nothing funny about that. What is wrong with me? I haven’t talked about this before, because I’ve always felt like it was something I was still going through, Not something I was over and suddenly ready to talk about. Hey guys, I’m better. Who wants tips? But I’m in a reasonably good place right now, And it’s a huge part of my life that I just think is weird for me to not talk about. So, today, I have decided to upload this, and share my story in the hopes that it may help others. So, what is depression? In case anyone watching this doesn’t know. In short, it is a mental illness that makes you feel low all the time. It’s different from feeling sad when usually something you understand makes you feel bad for a period, like when you watch The Notebook, and do this afterwards for two hours: (Intense sobbing) When a bird poops in something you’re about to eat: WHYYY? And how? I’m inside! Or when nobody turns up to the birthday party that you threw for your laptop: Listen, ok? You are valid, and I love you, no matter what anyone else says. Just me? Okay. (Light crying) And feeling sad is real, and crap, but usually you know why it happens and how you can feel better. With depression, you feel bad all the time, and usually for no particular reason, and you can’t help it. You can’t just make yourself feel better, And you could be the “happiest person in the world” with all of the things that you think makes someone’s life good, And still be depressed. It affects people differently, but this is my experience. Depression is like I’ve fallen into a hole, that normal life, and everybody else, is out of reach, and I’m stuck on the floor in the dark. I don’t feel sad. I don’t want to cry. It’s that I don’t feel anything at all. As if life has desaturated. When I’m depressed, I have no energy, I have no will to do anything other than lie lifelessly in bed for hours, or sometimes on the floor which is so much more less comfortable and ergonomic. I totally lose interest in doing any of the things that usually I find fun or really care about. Dan, it’s Sunday, you can literally play games all day, come on. (Crickets) Dan, the final episode of Game of Thrones is about to start. You’ve been looking forward to this for seven years! (Crickets) I even lose my appetite, which for me is crazy, ’cause food is, like, literally the most important thing in my life. Ah, Dan, look what I’ve got. Some freshly microwaved popcorn. (Sniffs) Mmm. Don’t you want to eat some? (Crickets) Oh, no, Dan it’s falling all over your head. (Sarcastically) It’d be a shame if some went in your mouth. And everything in my mind is completely negative. I feel worthless, like no one likes me. As if everything I want to do will fail, and that life is just pointless. All rational thought just completely goes out the window. As if the sun has been eclipsed. And the only way I feel I could escape is by completely hiding from reality. I would lock myself in my room for days. I would just go off somewhere without telling anybody, Or often overeat just to distract myself, because, hey, if I’m chewing something that means I’m not thinking. That dark hole I fall into? Ya, I literally try to fill the hole with pizza, as if I could just float to the top on a wave of cheese and crust. Turns out ‘D’ stands for ‘D’epression, and ‘D’omino’s! (YAY) 😀 Just kidding, I eat a lot of pizza all the time. Now, everyone can feel depressed if you have a traumatic incident, or you’re grieving. It is totally natural to be depressed for a while as a reaction. But, if it’s a persistent problem in your life that won’t go away, that is Clinical Depression, which is what I’ve had. Now, why? What caused this? Well thankfully, there’s loads of reasons (Harp sounds). It could be biological. Not having enough of these magical happy hormones like serotonin, or dopamine, Or having a problem with your frontal lobe, or hippocamp- it’s complicated. It could be genetic. I had an uncle with bipolar disorder who may have passed something down. (Sarcastically) Thanks Uncle. Don’t worry, he won’t be offended. He’s dead. But it can just as much be psychological or sociological. When I was younger, I used to get bullied every single day. I was struggling with my identity. Pretty much all of my environments were bad, And when life keeps you feeling constantly defeated, That’s when you can fall into depression. I used to think it was just who I was, and how I felt, and it was normal. But, I went to different doctors at different points who told me: I think you may be depressed. And I thought: Mhm, really? Ok, well, I think I can deal with it. But I kept going through it until one day, only a few years ago, I thought: I cannot deal with it. This is holding me back in life. This is not how I’m supposed to be, and I want to overcome it. So I looked back at my life, at the things that may have made me this way, that I could change, The baggage that I was holding onto, and said, (deep, altered voice) I don’t need you anymoooore. (sad music) And my journey began. Now, I am not a professional, okay? I am not about to give you advice. Don’t listen to me, listen to an expert. This is just what I’ve done. When I’ve been depressed, it’s like my life totally falls of the rails, And I really have to force myself to get back on, and that means taking basic self-care very seriously, Which sounds really stupid and obvious, But if you don’t there’s no point in even trying. Having a shower. Staying hydrated. Trying to eat well, and getting a good sleep, everyday. Which, as a “night owl”, aka someone who stays awake until 3:00 a.m. looking at obscure memes instead of sleeping, is challenging, but literally essential to being a functional human being. And I couldn’t do it alone. Once I acknowledged this, I told people I trusted about it, and that I wanted to work to get better And just being able to tell someone: Yeah, I’m really depressed. Can I come to yours and watch you play Zelda all day? Sure thing, fam-a-lam. Or: If I don’t go outside for three days, will you just break into my apartment and help me out? I will run you the sickest bubble bath, and have you in bed at 6 p.m. Can make all the difference. Then there’s therapy. I’ve been seeing a therapist for nearly three years now, and it’s not the stupid stereotype that I imagined before. And why do you think this is? (exhale) Well… It’s your father. Eh? Your dad. N-no I wouldn’t say- Yup, ya daddy! Being able to be completely honest about anything with someone I can trust, Who is professionally trained to give advice, and help me to understand myself better Has completely transformed my life, and stops me feeling alone in my darkest thoughts. I’m worried that I might be a bit of a furry. That’s totally understandable. Oh, good. (intense scribbling) I could make a whole other hilarious video about therapy, And then there’s these guys, antidepressants. Wow, sounds so magical, almost like a cure. No, not really. The purpose of the drugs is to give the brain the chemicals it needs, Just to make up for what the brain should be doing if you weren’t depressed. It’s not cure, or a permanent solution, or something you’re supposed to take forever, it’s just there to keep you stable while you work on the rest of your life, So that one day, when you feel ready, you can stop. Which I have. A professional will decide what to prescribe, But I took these guys called Citalopram. Pretty common one. Catchy name. Like anything, it warns of serious side affects like: Insomnia, or anxiety, or painful erections. Didn’t get any of those. It did make me gain loads of weight really quickly which was annoying, But it kept me functional, so, you know. I started with a tiny dose, but it didn’t do much, So I took a huge dose, and it turned me into a zombie, and made me feel sick, So I settled for a middle ground which, honestly, probably wasn’t enough to keep me stable all the time, But it’s what I felt comfortable with. Everyone’s bodies have different reactions to drugs, so, It was an adventure that I had to go on to find out what worked for me, But it did. And, speaking of bodies, this brings me on to the next point. (inhale) (exhale) Exercise. Honestly, the most depressing thing about this whole ordeal is realising exercise helps in so many ways. It releases the hormones that make you feel happy, It usually means you have to socialize with other humans, which keeps you tethered to reality, It uses energy so you go to sleep easier, It makes you have more energy, so that you can do things throughout the day, and generally makes you feel healthier and more confident. But, so often I just can’t be bothered, So I have to force myself to do it by making plans with other people. For about three months now I’ve been doing seven hours of training a week. Phil: Extend your spine, Dan. Which is horrendous, but I will admit that even though that I would never do it if I was left alone my life is so much better for it. Now, getting my life to the point where I’m doing all of these things, and I feel like I don’t need the drugs anymore, has taken years. Literally. And it’s not like it’s over and I can just drop it. This is the minimum that I need to keep up to stay afloat, and, even then, I’d say a couple times a month I can have depressive episodes that are bad, like, what I described earlier. Sometimes, I’ll just wake up in that black hole and there’s nothing I can do about it. The day is just a write-off, no matter what. I’m this ghost version of myself, and I just have to hope that when I wake up the next day, I feel better. And one of the hardest things, honestly, is that like other mental illnesses, they’re invisible. So, to other people, I seemed perfectly fine. I could hang out with friends, film a video, go to an event, and no one would know, because it’s all in my head. And when people don’t know that I’m like this, they wonder what the hell I’m doing. Friends wonder why I haven’t replied to them for days. You wonder why I haven’t tweeted or uploaded a video. People I work with don’t know why I haven’t gotten around to doing that thing yet. So, I personally felt uncomfortable telling people about it, because, I mean, generally I’m a pretty awkward guy, and it’s a weird thing to bring up, but I didn’t want it to be seen as an excuse. I didn’t want sympathy, because I don’t want to be defined by it. I don’t identify myself as Dan: likes pizza and memes. Depressed. I am everything I am in spite of this thing constantly holding me back. I think about who I could be in what I could have done if I didn’t go through this. and it makes me mad. I like jokes about it, because it objectifies it is this thing that isn’t who I am, that I’m not alone in. But, as I said at the start, I thought I should share this now, because it is a big part of my story that I think people should know, and understand, and I want other people going through mental heath issues to know that they can talk about it, and it can get better which, for me, it has. These days it can sometimes seem, like, surely everybody knows about depression, and everyone’s open about their mental health, which is a great thing, right? Like, I wish that was the case ten years ago. But, there is still such a stigma about being open about your vulnerabilities and asking for help, and there are so much misinformation, and, let’s be honest, there are so many morons out there that just talk sh*t. So, depression is a thing. It’s an illness that people can’t control. It’s not cool or mysterious. It sucks and if you don’t have it you should be glad, and learn how to be there for people that do. So, here I am, sharing the story with you with no shame, ’cause, hey, if I can let strangers on the internet pick apart and consume my life like candy floss made of black clothes and self-deprecation, you can do it too. Thanks for watching this. Remember, I’m just talking about my experiences here. I’m not an expert, and I haven’t begun to talk about all the things that you can. So, if you’re interested, I have linked to some really good YouTube videos down in the description on the same topic that I recommend. If you have any wholesome messages of support on the topic of mental health, then, please, leave a nice comment down below. Or, if you want me to talk about any more things like this, then let me know. You can subscribe to my channel to be told when I make a new video, and remember to ring that bell to get notified whenever I do. You can watch my last one over here, and, yeah. I’ll see you next time I ride that pizza wave out of the hole. Bye. (giggles) Mmmm, bird poo. Phil: Ghost. Phil: Enjoy sleeping in that.
Dan: I’m in heaven.