Kevin Breel, A Young Comic Sharing His Depression

The following quotes are from a TED Talk by Kevin Breel.

  • 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. 
  • Unfortunately we live in a world where when you break your arm, everyone runs over to sign your cast. But if you tell people you’re depressed, everyone runs the other way. 
  • The world I believe in is where where embracing your light doesn’t mean ignoring your dark. 

Who is this remarkable young man? At 20, he’s a stand-up comic and mental health activist who admits that his social, academic, and athletic successes during high school masked intense struggles with depression and suicidal thoughts. And now he’s sharing his story with others.

Breel tells Mission TV about his experience in school:

During that time, we had a ton of speakers coming in and out to talk to our classes, but not one of them ever mentioned a word about mental health or depression. When I finished high school, I wanted to change that because I knew first hand just how difficult it can be dealing with depression—especially when you are all alone. So I decided to start sharing my own story and speaking at schools. That was where it all began for me.  Then as time has passed, and people have become aware of my mission and my message, more doors have opened like getting the chance to speak at TEDx and other events. A little less than two years ago, my worst fear in the world was telling someone I was depressed. Now I do it a couple times a week, in front of hundreds of strangers. The irony of that is something I think about a lot. But it’s been truly amazing to see how many people have reached out to me and shared their struggles along the way—and that’s what keeps me motivated to keep getting up and doing it.

That TED Talk by Kevin Breel became viral and can be seen below:

Amy Judd, Global News, reports that when asked what’s the best thing to come out of his talk, Breel says it’s that it’s enabled people to converse more readily about this topic.

When asked how sharing his story has changed him, Kevin Breel has stated that it’s been significantly freeing.

Some of the things that have helped Breel cope with his depression include addressing his feelings more regularly, not being afraid to ask himself needed questions, meditation, and physical exercise.

With his mental health advocacy a major priority for him now, Breel’s currently on a speaking tour that will take him all over the world.

Tomorrow, October 10th, is National Depression Screening Day. You can check out your own state of mind at HelpYourself, Help Others.

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