TedTalk, video, Kevin Breel, comedian, depression, mental health, mask, stigma, advocate, inspiring, storytelling, mental illness

Behind the Smile

Kevin Breel is a Canadian comedian, writer, and mental health advocate. In his TedTalk, “Confession of a Depressed Comic,” he bravely opens up about his struggles with mental health, shedding light on the silent battle many face. Through his candid storytelling and compelling talks, Breel strives to break down mental health stigma. Breel talks about living two lives—one that everyone sees and another that only he experiences.

He starts by sharing the two sides of his life: “There’s the life that everyone sees, and then there’s the life that only I see.” Breel, known as a stand-up comedian, reveals that beyond the smiles and laughter, he grapples intensely with depression. His message revolves around the need to talk openly about mental health.

“Real depression is being sad when everything in your life is going right,” he states, challenging the common belief that depression is just about feeling down during tough times. Breel wants people to understand the real struggle, emphasizing that it’s more than just sadness.

Breel discusses the global impact of depression: “Every 30 seconds, somewhere, someone in the world takes their own life because of depression.” He points out that despite its prevalence, depression remains a silent issue. Rarely discussed on social media or in the news.

Breel addresses the stigma around mental health, acknowledging the fear that keeps people from seeking help: “It’s the stigma inside of others, it’s the shame, it’s the embarrassment.” He highlights the judgment and misunderstanding that often surround those suffering from depression, preventing them from reaching out.

The comedian shares a personal struggle with suicidal thoughts, emphasizing that even someone who seems successful on the outside may be fighting a hidden battle. He urges people to speak up: “We need to speak up and shatter the silence. We need to be the ones who are brave for what we believe in.”

Breel concludes with a message of hope, stating, “We’re people, and we have problems. We’re not perfect, and that’s okay.” He encourages self-acceptance and mutual support, emphasizing that acknowledging one’s struggles is a sign of strength.

Kevin Breel delivers a crucial message about the importance of discussing mental health openly. By sharing his own experiences, he aims to break the silence surrounding depression, urging everyone to be understanding and supportive. The talk is a call to create a world where people feel okay to talk about their struggles.

Watch the full TedTalk here

Image Credits:
Feature Image: Madison Oren, On Unsplash. Creative Commons.