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  • 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)

For a long time in my life,

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TED】ケビン・ブレル。落ち込んだ漫画家の告白 (【TED】Kevin Breel: Confessions of a depressed comic)

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