“In the immortal words of Troy Bolton, we are all in this together.”
May is Mental Health Awareness Month, and to help normalise the concept of discussing mental health openly, Connie Glynn returned to talk candidly about her own experiences with depression, agoraphobia, and self-harm in recent years.
“It don’t think it takes a genius to see I haven’t been particularly interested in YouTube,” Connie starts, explaining whilst she’s still been making videos here and there, they’ve been performative and, subsequently, made her feel drained in general.
She aims to summarise her experience as succinctly as she can: “I went a bit nuts, basically,” she says, her jolly tone and sense of humour breaking the tension that’s subtly building in the face of a highly stigmatised discussion. “I lost my mind.”
Connie explains her recent experience began 2 and a half years ago when she was suffering with PTSD following a car accident, adding that her depression during this time was largely linked to the chronic pain she was suffering combined with the belief that, if she kept pushing through with work, it would all just disappear. “I completely burnt myself out,” Connie says, explaining she was struggling to keep on top of everything as she juggled writing her book and maintaining, “this happy persona [on YouTube], that people were so used to.”
Was there a time where she felt things were improving? Yes, although Connie’s quick to point out she was, in her words, kidding herself. After moving into a new flat and filling her time up with work, Connie admits she didn’t have to think about how she felt. However, it was upon her return from Buffer Festival where her situation worsened and she started to experience severe agoraphobia and paranoia. “I stopped dyeing my hair pink, I stopped wearing the clothes I liked, I just wanted to fade into the background,” she says.
Connie’s nervousness to delve into her ongoing condition is evident, but she’s adamant that, whilst she finds it hard to talk about, she’s contributing to an important discussion. Talking to others going through similar experiences helped her feel less alone. Connie explained she started to feel a permanent weight on her chest, which itself created more frustration after feeling she was improving. “I started to hate making YouTube videos, I hated people wanting to meet up with me, ” she says. “I hated feeling like I had any responsibilities to anyone.”
“Where I’m at right now is so much healthier and better than I have been,” Connie concluded, assuring she is recovering with agoraphobia whilst still dealing with anxiety and stress-induced self injury, adding she is doing better and hopes her mental health will continue to improve with therapy. She also reiterates how important it is to talk to other people who have similar experiences. “I want people to know it does get better,” she reassures, hoping that talking about her own experiences will help normalise mental health discussions for others. “I want to champion that!”