*editors note: Kevin Breel’s speech was not an actual TEDx Teen talk as previously stated. I have made the appropriate edits to the blog and in the tags.
Real depression crosses our threshold every day at Visions. We see it, treat it, and experience it firsthand. When I saw Kevin Breel’s speech where he openly speaks about his depression, I was deeply moved. He bravely talks about the alienating stigma of mental illness. He talks about the societal push to empathize with what is comfortable (broken bones, sprained ankles), and the deep seeded fear of mental illness. This 19-year-old names the pain, and he sheds light on the darkness that haunts him.
In his speech, Keven Breel says, “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. That’s the stigma. We are so so so accepting of any body part breaking down, other than our brains.” He goes on to say, “Depression is one of the best documented problems we have in the world, yet it’s one of the least discussed.” In his speech, Breel recognizes that his hurt allows him to hope; his darkness allows him to recognize light.
I’ll leave you with one of my favorite quotes from this speech:
“The world I believe in is where where embracing your light doesn’t mean ignoring your dark. The world I believe in is one where we are measured by our ability to overcome adversities not avoid them.” Amen to that. Watch the whole thing. It’s only 11 minutes and well-worth your time.