Why we need to talk about depression | Kevin Breel


For a long time in my life, I felt like I’d been living two different lives. There’s the life that everyone sees, and then there’s the life that only I see. And in the life that everyone sees, who I am is a friend, a son, a brother, a stand-up comedian and a teenager. That’s the life everyone sees. If you were to ask my friends and family to describe me, that’s what they would tell you. And that’s a huge part of me. That is who I am. And if you were to ask me to describe myself, I’d probably say some of those same things. And I wouldn’t be lying, but I wouldn’t totally be telling you the truth, either, because the truth is, that’s just the life everyone else sees. In the life that only I see, who I am, who I really am, is someone who struggles intensely with depression. I have for the last six years of my life, and I continue to every day. Now, for someone who has never experienced depression or doesn’t really know what that means, that might surprise them to hear, because there’s this pretty popular misconception that depression is just being sad when something in your life goes wrong, when you break up with your girlfriend, when you lose a loved one, when you don’t get the job you wanted. But that’s sadness. That’s a natural thing. That’s a natural human emotion. 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. And to be totally honest, that’s hard for me to stand up here and say. It’s hard for me to talk about, and it seems to be hard for everyone to talk about, so much so that no one’s talking about it. And no one’s talking about depression, but we need to be, because right now it’s a massive problem. It’s a massive problem. But we don’t see it on social media, right? We don’t see it on Facebook. We don’t see it on Twitter. We don’t see it on the news, because it’s not happy, it’s not fun, it’s not light. And so because we don’t see it, we don’t see the severity of it. But the severity of it and the seriousness of it is this: every 30 seconds, every 30 seconds, somewhere, someone in the world takes their own life because of depression, and it might be two blocks away, it might be two countries away, it might be two continents away, but it’s happening, and it’s happening every single day. And we have a tendency, as a society, to look at that and go, “So what?” So what? We look at that, and we go, “That’s your problem. That’s their problem.” We say we’re sad and we say we’re sorry, but we also say, “So what?” Well, two years ago it was my problem, because I sat on the edge of my bed where I’d sat a million times before and I was suicidal. I was suicidal, and if you were to look at my life on the surface, you wouldn’t see a kid who was suicidal. You’d see a kid who was the captain of his basketball team, the drama and theater student of the year, the English student of the year, someone who was consistently on the honor roll and consistently at every party. So you would say I wasn’t depressed, you would say I wasn’t suicidal, but you would be wrong. You would be wrong. So I sat there that night beside a bottle of pills with a pen and paper in my hand and I thought about taking my own life and I came this close to doing it. I came this close to doing it. And I didn’t, so that makes me one of the lucky ones, one of the people who gets to step out on the ledge and look down but not jump, one of the lucky ones who survives. Well, I survived, and that just leaves me with my story, and my story is this: In four simple words, I suffer from depression. I suffer from depression, and for a long time, I think, I was living two totally different lives, where one person was always afraid of the other. I was afraid that people would see me for who I really was, that I wasn’t the perfect, popular kid in high school everyone thought I was, that beneath my smile, there was struggle, and beneath my light, there was dark, and beneath my big personality just hid even bigger pain. See, some people might fear girls not liking them back. Some people might fear sharks. Some people might fear death. But for me, for a large part of my life, I feared myself. I feared my truth, I feared my honesty, I feared my vulnerability, and that fear made me feel like I was forced into a corner, like I was forced into a corner and there was only one way out, and so I thought about that way every single day. I thought about it every single day, and if I’m being totally honest, standing here I’ve thought about it again since, because that’s the sickness, that’s the struggle, that’s depression, and depression isn’t chicken pox. 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, 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, 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. It’s the stigma. So you hold it in and you hide it, and you hold it in and you hide it, and even though it’s keeping you in bed every day and it’s making your life feel empty no matter how much you try and fill it, you hide it, because the stigma in our society around depression is very real. It’s very real, and if you think that it isn’t, ask yourself this: Would you rather make your next Facebook status say you’re having a tough time getting out of bed because you hurt your back or you’re having a tough time getting out of bed every morning because you’re depressed? That’s the stigma, because unfortunately, we live in a world where if you break your arm, everyone runs over to sign your cast, but if you tell people you’re depressed, everyone runs the other way. That’s the stigma. We are so, so, so accepting of any body part breaking down other than our brains. And that’s ignorance. That’s pure ignorance, and that ignorance has created a world that doesn’t understand depression, that doesn’t understand mental health. And that’s ironic to me, because depression is one of the best documented problems we have in the world, yet it’s one of the least discussed. We just push it aside and put it in a corner and pretend it’s not there and hope it’ll fix itself. Well, it won’t. It hasn’t, and it’s not going to, because that’s wishful thinking, and wishful thinking isn’t a game plan, it’s procrastination, and we can’t procrastinate on something this important. The first step in solving any problem is recognizing there is one. Well, we haven’t done that, so we can’t really expect to find an answer when we’re still afraid of the question. And I don’t know what the solution is. I wish I did, but I don’t — but I think, I think it has to start here. It has to start with me, it has to start with you, it has to start with the people who are suffering, the ones who are hidden in the shadows. We need to speak up and shatter the silence. We need to be the ones who are brave for what we believe in, because if there’s one thing that I’ve come to realize, if there’s one thing that I see as the biggest problem, it’s not in building a world where we eliminate the ignorance of others. It’s in building a world where we teach the acceptance of ourselves, where we’re okay with who we are, because when we get honest, we see that we all struggle and we all suffer. Whether it’s with this, whether it’s with something else, we all know what it is to hurt. We all know what it is to have pain in our heart, and we all know how important it is to heal. But right now, depression is society’s deep cut that we’re content to put a Band-Aid over and pretend it’s not there. Well, it is there. It is there, and you know what? It’s okay. Depression is okay. If you’re going through it, know that you’re okay. And know that you’re sick, you’re not weak, and it’s an issue, not an identity, because when you get past the fear and the ridicule and the judgment and the stigma of others, you can see depression for what it really is, and that’s just a part of life, just a part of life, and as much as I hate, 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, fight back against intolerance, and more than anything, 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’re measured by our ability to overcome adversities, not avoid them. The world I believe in is one where I can look someone in the eye and say, “I’m going through hell,” and they can look back at me and go, “Me too,” and that’s okay, and it’s okay because depression is okay. We’re people. 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. So we need to stop the ignorance, stop the intolerance, stop the stigma, and stop the silence, and we need to take away the taboos, take a look at the truth, and start talking, because the only way we’re going to beat a problem that people are battling alone is by standing strong together, by standing strong together. And I believe that we can. I believe that we can. Thank you guys so much. This is a dream come true. Thank you. (Applause) Thank you. (Applause)

100 comments

  1. I didn't quite understand. I know depression well. It's pain, but it's usually caused by something. What was he hurting over?

  2. Jesus Christ Kevin, you've put such good words to depression and are completely right about speaking up about it. Online communities especially can be so negative and frankly cancerous

  3. I have depression and I tried telling my friends about it, but they just gave me advice on how to be happy by "seeking the Lord". Recited Bible verses as if it could cure me. I never felt to rejected and humiliated my whole life. I know it was supposed to make me feel better, but I felt so alone. I never told anyone about that side of me to anyone, and they just thought that I was back to my normal happy self, but the truth is I am putting a show everyday 'cause I wanted to feel that I belong and I have friends who understands me. I didn't consult a doctor because I also don't want my parents to know

  4. And then we have the emos…
    The ones who insult the people who have REAL depression.
    Not some teenager that thinks he/she is bi and LIKES to be depressed and is a pervert with instagram, snapchat, you name it.
    The one who is a furry and wants to be a fucken wolf.
    You make the world a sadder place. Stop it. You DON'T have depression. Stop watching Soul Eater, Naruto, or SAO. Because half of thoes anime characters are edgy and have black costumes.
    Instead of you getting inspiration from animation, get inspiration from your parents. You hate your parents because they don't understand you? Deal with it, break the ice. MAKE them understand the new world. But stop being who you aren't.

  5. Depression : is wat u want doesn’t match with wat God wills for u…..be happy with watever God decides for u coz in His remembrance heart will find peace

  6. This one is my favorite. I related so much. All of these quotes spoke to me, and made me tear up. Because I look down off the train platform every time I go to college and I hang my head low when I can't just step off. And unlike every other video on this site, this video made me go to my school's counseling center for help. I thank God that suicide isn't my only option.

  7. Having to get up in the morning is the first hurdle, everything else is another one, going to the shower getting out of it, getting dressed, going to school. All of those look like chores at this point, my friends would tell me "it's okay, give your ploblems time, they'll figure themselves out" "you can keep going". But they don't know that every single time I go to the hand rail of the 3rd floor of our school I can only think, "I could just jump and make everything go away, I'm too tired for this crap, I'm gonna fall asleep in class anyway so I might as well sleep forever after breaking my neck because of the fall". But then I remember the person I love and I say "one more day" but that day is no better, and I seemingly get worse, and now I csn barely go to train and can't focus enough to study for more than 2 seconds at a time. I just want to sleep man, just sleep and never wake up, just, I want this, I want me, to end. Maybe then I will finally rest when I sleep.

  8. THIS Guy…..f-ing NAILED IT!!!! Well Done my friend!!!! Pulling for you….don't EVER stop speaking and inspiring….you may not know it, but, 100% chance you're saving lives!!!

  9. "It's for attention."
    "You'll get better."
    "Life is great!"
    "Go outside!"
    "Exercise!"
    "But you're so happy."
    "Yeah, right."
    "Sure, buddy."
    "Get over it."
    "Cheer up!"
    "You'll be fine."
    "You're fine."
    These words are the words NOBODY who struggles with depression wants to hear. They came out and told you, because they are trusting you. With a secret that is endangering them, anyone who tells you that they self harm. They could end up in a mental hospital.

  10. how could anyone dislike this video….. its because they are too overwelmed and cant see the reality, this stuff is real.

  11. Thank you Kevin for sharing your story. It takes courage to be vulnerable and truly authentic, and you did this publicly. THANK YOU!! I'm glad you didn't take those pills and you are here to help others and to help de-stigmatize what is so common in our world! To all those suffering with depression my heart goes out to you, I've been there and understand. May you find strength and inner peace…YOU matter!!

  12. I do not have depression, but I know a lot of people who do struggle. Those of you that struggle, what advice can you give a friend or family member of a person who suffers with depression on how to help? I mean, I reach out, let them know I'm there, but what if they don't reach out? I don't want to impose myself or make them feel uncomfortable, I just want them to know I support them and I'm here if they need me, but what else can I do?

  13. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gmKgnV-K9Ug

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1c-3W0pBj7E

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HSATOECyIYw

    God Loves All Creation: God Loves Every Individual, no judgment, no conditions, Just Unconditional and All-Forgiving Love, as each and every individual person and all in the world was/were, is/are and will be <3 <3 <3 There is a saying, "Ask and you shall receive", a short and less believed and understood version of the more complete and better understood meaning of such that is stated in the following paraphrased and quoted statement: "Asketh, Believeth, and Accepteth Help from me in humble tone (with your God-Counted tears of pain and weeping, if need be, in times of need/crisis/depression/suffering/pain) and Thou Will & Shall Receiveth my Help"

  14. It´s the passenger. It travels with you the rest of your life and you need to keep your eye on it. Till your last breath.

  15. Feeling depressed exists… even with different ways to get there. Kevin is very brave to speak out.. Yes, … by standing strong together. We can!

  16. I never want to hear this at my school bc I will cry and whenever I show signs of depression and suicide. Everyone thinks nothing about it so why should I cry at school when someone talks about depression

  17. La depresión; escuché tantos diálogos distintos y me siento identificado con todos, que yo diría que la depresión es el cáncer de la mente. Ésta de pronto se niega a luchar por vivir y deja que se instale el miedo. Con el miedo la existencia se vuelve siniestra y desapacible. La depresión es la dictadura de la tristeza. La auténtica tristeza tiene el rostro de Medusa y cortarle una cabeza no sirve de nada porque le nacerán cientos… Hay que saber sobrellevar ese «cáncer» hasta que un día nos abandone o nos destruya pero yo me pregunto por qué ahora, por qué a cualquier edad, por qué no necesita un motivo concreto y por qué después de diez años no quiere abandonarme todavía. Somos presos de una mente enferma cuya extrema sensibilidad nos incapacita para llevar una vida con cierto ánimo.

  18. Oversaturation has severe consequences on the mind.

    Oversaturation of darkness causes psychosis.
    Oversaturation of light causes ignorance.
    Oversaturation of meaninglessness causes depression.

    The acute side-effects of all involve a loss of consciousness. For light and darkness, this simply means losing your self-awareness or sanity – mental facilities that are hard to but can be recovered from – but the acute side-effect of depression is suicide.

    Depression's primary symptom is final.

  19. What a beautiful soul…
    During the past decade I have had one year free of depression. August 2017- August 2018. On 8/7/18, the person I loved, ghosted me. That day happened to be the anniversary of the day I got blown up in Iraq. It snapped me right back into the darkness.
    I hate the days and cherish the nights. Sleep is the best because you are in a different reality.

    Everyone thinks you can snap right out of it. Here…. consume some pills or find new friends. Go do something! Well, somedays getting out of bed is the only something you got going on; a victory for those of us who got it goin' real bad.
    Prayers to all my brothers and sisters facing depression.

  20. I understand this is an issue and many people suffer from it. I myself believe I have slight depression. My question is, what do the friends of the ones who are depressed and suffering from anxiety do to help them? I've tried reaching out, supporting and being there for one of my best friends but she refuses to talk about anything and when faced with confrontation she shuts down. As mentioned in the video, at the end of the day it's about your choice (the one who is suffering), so what do the ones who witness it do for them?

  21. I am depressed I have no one to talk to. I got depressed since I became obese and it's hard to find a job. Since high school I was introvert. I just wish everyday I hope I will not wake up anymore. I hope I am not breathing anymore. I attempted to suicide before many times but still I feel like I'm scared. I lose my interest. I don't want to talk to people. I prefer just in my room or listening to music. 😭

  22. This is SO TRUE. Why doesn't this video have more views? IT NEEDS TO BE SHARED, IT NEEDS MORE EXPOSURE TO THE WORLD. Solving the tricky mystery of depression is one of the key things that will lead us to a better future!

  23. I don't want to make this guy feel bad but this doesn't hold up anymore. Depression is normalized in society now and people help other people out even though they don't know them as much.

  24. Tengo depresion y nadie me cree! Que mas puedo hacer? Duele no poder dormir, duele pensar en el pasado, duele pensar en el futuro y no disfrutar el presente ;( me siento tan vacía y sola

  25. There is no stigma arround depression, I constantly see people complining about their insipid, pointless existence.

  26. i am Breaking, i won't make it,i need help.i don't want to live,but i love my family.my father my mother my sister help

  27. This cannot be put into better words to describe even my very own story, or anybody else’s!

    Can I use the foundation of your speech for my senior high school Baccalaureate speech?

  28. This guy says what I've thought over and over. But usually I give up trying to be open about it and changing the culture.

  29. I learned as a police officer how to discern to subtitles of a depressed person. I try to sit down next to the person and just listen. And listen, and listen. In the end I try to lead the to a place where they can get help. Sometimes just listening so they know they are not alone. Sometimes, often times I't did make a difference.
    This young man speaks a powerful truth.

  30. You're a brave and heroic young man, and you've already done so much. I think you're destined for greatness. Stay positive (to you and all out there!), and be well.

  31. People runaway because depression is contagious. "Depression isn't like Chicken Pox, you have it for life."

  32. My CAT Decided What I ATE for 24 HOURS (And This Is What Happended…)
    https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/threelly-ai-for-youtube/dfohlnjmjiipcppekkbhbabjbnikkibo

  33. Imagine you re not a good swimmer and you have to swim everyday against the waves in the ocean as you set out to swim. And as you swim you barely can keep your head above water and the breathing becomes tigher and tougher and then in the middle of the ocean life asks you to juggle a couple of balls in the air … that what it feels. To struggle in a major way to accomplish the most basics things in life.

  34. Most Amazing TALK…i ve seen….. Wisdom from a 19 yearr old….wow. I m just going 2 shut up ….and listen …and take in. Thx bro.

  35. Thanks for being a speaker on here who is real and says it how it is.Realistic nice to hear! Tired of hearing it's in people's head but exercise and diet are ways to change it.ugh

  36. People Don’t Want to Kill Themselves They Just Don’t Know How to Kill the Pain!!!!!!!!!

    Every Thunderstorm Runs Out of Rain!!!!!!

  37. Ty. This has helped me immensely. I was going to take my life. And certain YouTubers make fun of me and tell me to do it and talk about me on their platforms like it’s a joke. Ty you’re brave

  38. Except a depressed person doesn't think anything in their life is going right…thus, enabling the cycle of depression, sincerely, a depressed person.

  39. This was just in my home list of recommended video's section. Depression is ignored way too much. I've been suicidal for way too long, but I continue for a reason I can't find and there is no cure for it except to accept it. Even though it's not something that can be easy to be happy about, that's what i'm recently told to be about it. I talk about it openly on Facebook, from not fearing what other's think of me. It is what it is. We're not crazy or psychotic for it, that's what professionals only want to label you as. It's part of being human! People can judge all they want, but it's up to us in how to react. I feel better when I mention it, for it helps release it and it doesn't stay bottled up. I also deal with chronic back, neck and hand pain from a original fall on ice in 2009. My neck and hands got hurt trying to get better from these professionals. I'm told it's all in my head, well yes, da! I feel the pain which makes a thought, that thoughts causes sadness. The sadness isn't causing the pain, or can it. Depression is a different sadness, or is it the same? The main reason for depression is not having something to live for! You must find a passion in something that motivates you to go do it! If it's painting, or building something, or being a nurse to help someone that can't; but the difficulty is getting a job or client's if you can't be seen, or recommended. For my depression, it's not about not having any money, I know how to get it. It's about not feeling inspired or having the desire to wake up and do the same thing over and over every day. It's stress that comes with it from your boss, customers, not making enough for your electric bill, or barely having enough gas in your car, there's always something for whatever it is. If I could take something and not wake up, I would. After seeing numerous doctors and therapist, Dr. Phil doesn't even write me back. They're all the same and we're just a number on their list to prescribe something that only makes you feel worse! The meaning of life is to live it! I have that as a bumper sticker. It's hard to though when you don't want to and you're lonely from people not relating, giving you a chance or not talking to you. Except I don't care to talk, so how do we have anyone to want to? I have so many unanswered questions, yet I feel like I know it all, but have trouble succeeding at what I want to do. I seek peace and love for myself and all, but left empty and depressed. How do we find who we want to be when we've failed at trying to? Thank's for making this video, it's hard to express what we feel when it's ignored…✌❤

  40. My friend broke her friendship with me because she feels I'm suicidal (which is true) and she feels that I'm not good for her. She told me" for me dead u can't exist in my life…"
    I broke down….
    Right after school I went and overdosed on pills
    I went to the hospital
    It seems my friends told that I was faking to have depression just for attention….
    Schools should help us…
    But even my counselor can't understand me

  41. If you don't fit in, you are probabely doing the right thing. Reality is going the wrong direction. Most think we are evolving forward. I wonder what has to happen before we realize it. The greatest prison we live in is what people think of us.https://youtu.be/LXPk2b_57P4

  42. I think he should study psychology to understand depression better. He mentions losing a loved one is just sadness. I had situational depression from losing my mother. Not everyone gets it but it can happen when bad things happen. It’s not just when your life is going right.

  43. this got me
    I remember my mother telling me that I was crazy wanting to see a psychiatrist
    and I'm still stuck in the thought of planning to suicide despite my trying to pick myself up
    but I was afraid to do that
    one time I told my friend that I was scared to die (an our ago my other friend accidently cut my wrist ) and he said it was because I had reasons to live
    he helped me realize I have so many things to do and I can't give up.
    I don't know.
    it's getting harder everyday. And I wouldn't write this comment if I had someone I can talk to, and just listen to me.
    I cry whenever I see or think or feel something I think would be sad or bad or unfair. And people say I'm too sensitive, they say I will be okay and happy again the next day. I want them to know that I'm not okay, I'm so weak here and I need you to understand why I'm in that way all the time.
    but then I started to think that maybe you have r
    serious problems
    , too.

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