"Feelings are real but they aren't reality"
Rick and Morty creator Dan Harmon has responded brilliantly to a fan asking for help with dealing with depression.
Twitter user @chojuroh tweeted ” do u have any advice for dealing with depression” at Harmon earlier this week, not expecting a response. Harmon did respond though, in a series of tweets that have been praised by fans and mental health advocates alike.
He wrote: “For One: Admit and accept that it’s happening. Awareness is everything. We put ourselves under so much pressure to feel good. It’s okay to feel bad. It might be something you’re good at! Communicate it. DO NOT KEEP IT SECRET. Own it. Like a hat or jacket. Your feelings are real.
“Two: try to remind yourself, over and over, that feelings are real but they aren’t reality. Example: you can feel like life means nothing. True feeling. Important feeling. TRUE that you feel it, BUT…whether life has meaning? Not up to us. Facts and feelings: equal but different.”
Continuing his message of support, Harmon wrote in two more tweets: “The most important thing I can say to you is please don’t deal with it alone. There is an incredible, miraculous magic to pushing your feelings out. Even writing “I want to die” on a piece of paper and burning it will feel better than thinking about it alone. Output is magical. Dark thoughts will echo off the walls of your skull, they will distort and magnify. When you open your mouth (or an anonymous journal or blog or sketchpad), these thoughts go out. They’ll be back but you gotta get em OUT. Vent them. Tap them. I know you don’t want to but try it.”
Check out the tweets in full below.
The response left @chojuroh shocked and starstruck, as she thanked the Rick and Morty creator for his help.
“sorry I’m kinda star struck rn so I’m having a hard time articulating anything other than thank you so goddamn much for all of this,” she replied. “Probably better than my therapist could’ve said it. (And my boyfriend: “TELL HIM THANK YOU AND THAT WE SUBSCRIBE TO HARMONTOWN”)”
Several other Twitter users chimed in to thank Harmon for his words. “‘Feelings are real but they aren’t reality’ you have no idea how much you just helped me. In an instant that statement put so much anxiety to peace. Thank you,” wrote one fan.
Another Twitter user replied: “I saw this thread being shared on FB and while I’m not really familiar with your work I just thought I owed you a thank you cus this is helping me during a real rough time.”
“I asked Dan Harmon because I wanted advice from someone who suffers, but is not a professional,” @chojuroh wrote, report Bored Panda. “This is the most basic, general advice I’ve been given so far, and it’s great. I participate in 4 separate therapies, and treating depression is the least of my worries. I know what works for me, but I knew it would help others for someone in the public eye to say something. Letting out your pain can do a lot of good in the long run, even if you don’t feel better right away.”
For help and advice on mental health issues, check out the below organisations: