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What You Don’t Know When You Say I Watch a Lot of Netflix

I love Netflix. I mean, who doesn’t? When I talk about Netflix shows, I can go on for hours. Days, probably. The amount of shows I’ve watched over and over is innumerable. You name it, I’ve probably seen it.

Due to my social anxiety, I tend to struggle to relate to others and find myself coming up with mundane topics to bring up in conversation when there’s a lull. Netflix is on the top of my list because the majority of people can relate. When I start talking about my Netflix habits with someone, the typical response is “Wow, you watch a lot of Netflix.”

Yes. Yes, I do, and it’s not for the reason you may think.

Of course, I enjoy a good story line full of twists, turns, and maybe even a love interest or two, but, to me, Netflix is my escape.

I started my sophomore year of college pretty much just like everyone else. I reunited with friends, took new classes, and joined more clubs on campus. But my second year was extremely different than my first: I was horribly depressed.

I felt like I was drowning. Suffocating. I didn’t want to be at school, but I didn’t want to be at home. I was stuck in a situation that I felt I had no control over. Eventually, I went to my University’s counseling center and realized the wonders of psychotherapy. Crying for an hour to some dude I had just met was frankly the best thing ever to happen to me. I was instantly hooked and was at the counseling center at least once a week from that point on.

But, obviously, there is no magic cure to depression. Therefore, most of my days consisted of lying in bed, crying and sleeping. I didn’t want to be around people, and I didn’t really want to be alive at that point. During these times of pure despair, I needed something to distract me.

And along came Netflix.

Those shows were my hideaway from my dark, scary thoughts. I needed Netflix to keep me sane; to keep me from drowning. The characters were the friends and family I was too depressed to reach out to in real life. They were my solace during my most fragile time. Netflix was how I coped.

I’m not saying that Netflix is what saved me throughout the beginnings of my depression. I worked hard in my therapy sessions, took antidepressants and put a lot of time into myself. But Netflix was one of the few things that made me calm and happy during that horrible, tumultuous time. I am honestly so thankful for it.

Yes, many of us love Netflix. But I needed Netflix as a vital tool in my recovery. Some people choose to read, knit, listen to music or work out. Everyone’s recovery is different.

For me, I choose Netflix.

If you or someone you know needs help, visit our suicide prevention resources page.

If you need support right now, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255, the Trevor Project at 1-866-488-7386 or text “START” to 741-741.

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