How YouTube Helped My Mental Health AND Why I Make Videos
Updated: Aug 23, 2018
After college, I was in a weird place. I was doing better overall and it was a shock to my system to go from starting to get help and feeling empowered and finally feeling in control of my life to being a college graduate. I wasn't where I wanted to be career wise and I was living with my parents to save money. My friends from college were in Chicago (where I went to school) and my friends from high school had moved away. I was back in Boston, in my childhood bedroom, while it seemed everyone else was doing great things.
I had watched a YouTuber named Shane Dawson in high school and kind of forgot about YouTube through college. The fall after college, on a whim, I decided to look him up. I watched his older videos and they were hilarious. I was surprised to see that he was still making videos and at this time he was making new videos everyday. I binged his videos and then I looked forward to watching a new video every night. Through him, I started watching other YouTubers. Watching these videos I learned how to do my makeup, about other cultures, and that mental health struggles are normal!
struggles with anxiety and I felt less crazy. Gabriella spoke about her struggles with her weight, Shane Dawson spoke about his bulimia, Eva spoke about her rape. This is an image from her powerful video about her sexual assault. If you are able, please watch.
Shane and Colleen Ballinger spoke about therapy. It just got mentioned in their videos as a normal part of their lives. Gabriella spoke about taking medication for her mental health.
Molly Burke inspired me by sharing her story of going blind at 14, being horrifically bullied for it, and becoming an inspiration speaker. She talked about her struggles with self- harm and suicidal thoughts and her mental health in general. She was able to get through so much and if she could, I could too! She’s such a warrior and her story made me feel like anything was possible.
Drew Monson was able to share hilarious reviews, his incredible music (seriously watch this, one of the lyrics is “Shyness, depression, Trump is Prez, I can’t get out of bed” too relatable), and his struggles with depression and suicidal thoughts. I related so much to Drew and how he stated that all mental health struggles are different and that he wanted to, “help people feel less alone.” When he said, “sometimes you have to go to the bathroom because you don’t think you can be in a situation that it seems like everybody else is okay to be in,” it was like he was talking about me.
The people I was watching were makeup artists, comedy creators, reviewers and more and they just happened to struggle with their mental health.
No one in my life was talking about mental health, but on YouTube everyone was. I had felt alone. I was going to therapy, but still struggling. And these things were so normal on YouTube! People even complain that, “all YouTubers are depressed.” I’d found my people!
After watching videos from the fall of 2015 to the winter of 2017, I decided to start making videos. I joked about how I was going to start a channel until the day I was like, no I’m really doing this.
I really love to film. It is so fun to think of video ideas and edit them to create something I am so proud of. I have filmed vlogs, reviews, and cooking videos.
Sometimes it’s like a video diary, sometimes I don’t post what I film- most of the time I don’t post what I film. The videos take ages to edit for one thing and sometimes just the act of filming is enough for me. As of today, I have 22 subscribers and I’m so grateful to have them. I’ve had a video get 90 views! 90 views! That’s 90 people who took the time to view something I created! Amazing! I know YouTube is hard to break into. I get it. I’ll keep making content as long as it makes me happy. I work hard on my videos and I’m so proud of what I create.
Recently, I filmed a video on life updates/an apartment tour of my old apartment and my moving process (spoiler, moving is very stressful). In the video I spoke about how I had a big announcement coming and that announcement was about my book!
I am so excited to document my book journey and my journey in general through my blog and through my videos. I hope I can inspire others to not be ashamed of their mental health struggles and that I can do for someone what Shane and YouTube did for me.
Making videos has helped my confidence and ripped me out of my comfort zone. Anyone can be a creator. We all have story and I am so happy to be sharing mine.
Thanks for reading,