Oct 09

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 that no speaker who came to his school ever talked about mental health or depression. So he decided after graduation to offer something he’d been missing. Eventually he was invited to do a TEDx; other opportunities also arose. “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.