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Four TED Talks That Will Help You Understand What It’s Like To Have a Mental Illness

Mental illness, for all the awareness and information that the internet can now spread, is still a condition fought in silence. There is only so much you can learn from the facts and statistics presented on paper. Often times, the only thing that one can do to gauge a true understanding is to listen to the stories and real life experiences of people with mental illnesses. So here are four vulnerable, intimate and powerful TED talks that elucidate the experiences of a mind gone wrong.

1. Depression, the secret we share by Andrew Solomon

A writer and public speaker, Andrew Solomon takes you through the downward spiral of depression that took over his life after the death of a parent. Intimate and heartbreaking, it traces his journey of relapse and recovery, and what he discovered about the very human need to confess and to share one’s experience with other people.

2.  The Voices in My Head by Eleanor Longden

Dealing with one of the most confusing and misunderstood mental illnesses, Eleanor Longden recounts her experience as a young adult during the time she was diagnosed with Schizophrenia. It is dark and it spares a few details, giving the listener an close look into a debilitating condition. But like all these stories, this one does not dwell in the darkness of the mental illness, and instead, presents a hopeful path to potential recovery and happiness.

3. Living With Bipolar Type 2 by Laura Bain

Bipolar disorder is one that affects thousands worldwide and is categorized by alternating periods of depression and mania. In her informative talk that blends insight and experience, Laura Bain takes us through the euphoric highs, the painful lows of bipolar disorder, and the destruction it can leave in its wake.

4.Confessions of a Depressed Comic by Kevin Breel

In an illuminating talk, Kevin Breel confides to the audience about the struggles he faced while tackling his depression and the time he almost took his life. By thwarting misconceptions of his disease, he cements in the audience this one salient fact: depression can torment you even if your life is perfect on the surface. And by rounding off the sentiment of this article, Breel implores us, his audience, to be honest with our struggles, and to acknowledge our struggles. Mental illness is a silent, fearful beast that lives within many of us, and the only way to heal is to give it a voice.

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An avid reader and pop culture enthusiast, Vidhisha spends her time writing, volunteering for the Teen program at her library, and ignoring her calculus homework.

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