'Rick and Morty' Creator Dan Harmon Has Damn Good Advice for People Dealing With Depression


Writer, producer and voice actor Dan Harmon is known as the brain behind quirky adult comedies like “Rick and Morty” and “Community.” But, as it turns out, Harmon is good at more than just making people laugh. When Twitter user @chojuroh asked if he had any advice for people dealing with depression, he answered her seriously, sharing a message anyone dealing with depression might benefit from hearing. 

In a series of tweets, he emphasized how important it was to accept your feelings and not keep your darkness inside. “The most important thing I can say to you is please don’t deal with it alone,” he wrote. “There is an incredible, miraculous magic to pushing your feelings out. Even writing ‘I want to die’ on a piece of paper and burning it will feel better than thinking about it alone. Output is magical.”

In response, one Twitter user wrote, “Thank you for this. You did more for anxiety/depression sufferers than any pill or therapist. Own our feelings, quit hiding behind the fake smile. You’re an amazing guy for taking the question so seriously.”

Another wrote, “Thank you! ‘Feelings are real but they aren’t reality’. You have no idea how much this helped me.”

It can be tempting to isolate when you’re struggling with depression, but as Mighty contributor Jacob Durn explained in his piece about the isolation cycle of depression and anxiety“The problem is, once you lock yourself up in your room and resist leaving, it can become extremely hard to ever do so.”

If you’re in a crisis and feel like you have no one to turn to, you can also always text “HOME” to 741-741 to reach the Crisis Text Line, or a find therapist in your area here. Whoever you reach out to, it’s important to remember you’re not the only one going through this, and you don’t have to face it alone.

We appreciate Harmon’s thoughtful reminder of this. Read his response in full below:

For One: Admit and accept that that it’s happening. Awareness is everything. We put ourselves under so much pressure to feel good. It’s okay to feel bad. It might be something you’re good at! Communicate it. DO NOT KEEP IT A SECRET. Own it. Like a hat or jacket. Your feelings are real.

Two: try to remind yourself, over and over, that feelings are real but they aren’t reality. Example: you can feel like life means nothing. True feeling. Important feeling. TRUE that you feel it, BUT…whether life has meaning? Not up to us. Facts and feelings: equal but different

The most important thing I can say to you is please don’t deal with it alone. There is an incredible, miraculous magic to pushing your feelings out. Even writing “I want to die” on a piece of paper and burning it will feel better than thinking about it alone. Output is magical.

Dark thoughts will echo off the walls of your skull, they will distort and magnify. When you open your mouth (or an anonymous journal or blog or sketchpad), these thoughts go out. They’ll be back but you gotta get em OUT. Vent them. Tap them. I know you don’t want to but try it.

Lead photo via Rick and Morty’s Facebook page and Dan Harmon’s Twitter.

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