World Mental Health Day is a time when people come together to tell their stories, offer support, and share resources to help others.
In his latest video, Daniel and Depression, Daniel Howell shares his very own experiences with mental health, and in typical Dan style, manages to make the video as self-deprecating as it is heartfelt.
As Dan puts it, depression is a mental illness that makes you feel low all the time. It’s different from feeling sad – something temporary that can be caused by, for example, watching The Notebook, seeing a bird pooping in something you’re about to eat, or no-one turning up to the birthday party you threw for your laptop (yes Dan, that last one is specifically for you).
“You know why it happens and how you can feel better,” Dan observes about that kind of feeling, “but 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.
“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,” he adds, “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.”
Dan isn’t the first creator to open up about how mental illness has affected them. In 2013, Zoe Sugg made a video talking about how dealing with panic attacks and anxiety had affected her life. She spoke up in support of Dan on Twitter:
This was really great Dan 👍🏼 loved it & this will help so many people 💗 https://t.co/x25enGLqYs
— Zoella (@Zoella) October 11, 2017
A stigma surrounding the legitimacy of mental health issues persists even today, so no matter how “famous” you are, coming forward to openly talk about mental health can make a massive difference in how it is perceived and treated in our society.
In his video, Dan talks about how practising basic self-care is incredibly important to improving your mental health. This can include having a shower, eating and drinking healthily, getting a good night’s sleep, and exercising – something that Dan is not too happy about! Seeking help from professionals and reaching out to friends for support can also make a huge difference.
“I want other people who have mental health issues to know that they can talk about it, and that they can get better,” says Dan. Whatever you may be dealing with, know that you are not alone. The world is here to support you.