Depression and anxiety are some of the most common mental health issues in the world. Millions are impacted by either or both, finding challenges in handling even the most basic aspects of life.
Daniel Howell, one half of the YouTube duo Dan & Phil, recently came out about his experiences with depression and anxiety. In his story, there are a lot of important points about managing mental health and how anyone, even someone who seemingly has it together, can struggle with their mental health.
Daniel Howell and His Book
The story of Daniel and depression came to light with the promotion of his book, You Will Get Through This Night. Despite being a part of a famed YouTube duo with his partner and friend Phil Lester, Howell has opened up about his experiences with depression.
He has been open about his mental health, promising to “bare his soul” in his book. The book is meant to be a practical guide to managing mental health with the help of trained psychologists. It is the hope that Daniel Amen can help with healing anxiety and depression.
Daniel Howell’s Background
Before the story of Daniel and depression can really be told, it helps to know where he comes from. He is one of the most popular YouTube stars out there. He has garnered millions of followers thanks in part to a self-deprecating sense of humor. Compared to some of the braggadocious nature of the channel, it helped set Daniel apart.
He has also been open about his battles with depression with his young audience. This, in turn, has produced a sizable response from those who follow him. It is what has led to him writing his book.
The book itself is a mix of advice, laughs, and information. It is a great addition to a platform that is seeing mental health get the national attention that it deserves. It also manages to connect with a younger audience in a major way, which is where a lot of the mental health struggles that have recently come to life emanate from.
Dealing with Depression
Despite the act that he puts on for his channel, Daniel and depression came to light because he began sharing details of his life. Part of that was opening up about being gay, something that he had struggled with for years.
But the “Daniel and Depression” video that was uploaded in 2017 became a pivotal moment for him. Even back then, openly discussing mental health was still taboo. Coupled with his feelings about his sexuality, it was a major moment for bringing the discussion to the table.
In the five years since his video was uploaded, the narrative and discussion has changed exponentially. It can be seen as one of the pioneering moments where mental health, primarily from someone in a public spotlight, began to get the attention that it deserves.
In the introduction to his book, Daniel explains that he was hiding behind a façade in order to deal with the issues in his life. “I found myself wading aimlessly through a dense fog of stress, panic, panic and low energy, which eventually sent me sliding down into a black hole that I couldn’t climb out of. I came to learn that I wasn’t looking after my mental health, and in reality I was stressed, anxious and severely depressed.”
Struggles with Ending It
It is in his book that Howell also opens up with attempting to take his own life as a teen. He was struggling with not only his own mental health but trying to come to terms with his sexuality as well. Attending an all-boys school, fully engrossed in a society that still greatly struggled with homophobia, he felt that he was “defective.” That there was something inherently wrong with him.
This is what carved out the foundation for his internal struggles even in the face of a burgeoning YouTube career. He eventually became tired of feeling like an outcast and experiencing both the physical and verbal abuse of being gay in that time.
Though he attempted to take his life, he thankfully failed. It became a galvanizing moment for him, something that could be a learning experience to benefit from. He has since used his experiences to not only craft his book, but to take his message to his followers.
Where Howell has become a pioneer is in being open and honest about his issues and how they have impacted his mental health. Though there has been a shift in perception about mental health, things aren’t where they need to be.
Howell and others are working to create normalcy behind sharing mental health struggles. They are working to remove the stigma that had previously been attached to mental health issues. It will take time and a continued effort by notable public figures.
They are necessary because it is that type of person that can bring those struggling in the shadows out into the light. Daniel Howell is at the forefront of the fight to improve mental health awareness. He is using his platform to help many others like him to find peace and to work to improve their mental health.