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How Dodie’s Openness About Mental Health Reminds Me I'm Not Alone

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Dorothy Clark, commonly known as dodie, is a refreshing new voice in both the music industry and on YouTube. Whilst she is gaining popularity on several platforms, she remains incredibly intimate, personal and transparent with her fans regarding her mental health. Dodie struggles with depression, depersonalisation and dissociation.

On her Snapchat stories, she speaks out about and displays her struggles with mental health in her daily life. This can include chats on how she feels “drunk,” as if she’s not experiencing the world as she should. Or pictures and videos of her trying out treatment methods, such as rTMS treatment, along with whether she thought it helped or not. She doesn’t glamorize mental health issues at all either. She portrays the whimsical roller coaster of mental illness as what is really is — sometimes scary, sometimes happy, but nevertheless unpredictable and not something that we can just “get off” of.

Sometimes keeping your hands and feet in at all times during this roller coaster can be hard, and dodie portrays that beautifully. She was recently very honest and open about her struggle with starting an antidepressant. She shared how it made her feel too numb so she had to lower the dose. In posting simple, but constant updates like this, dodie is doing so much for mental health awareness. She’s demonstrating that mental health issues are not so straightforward to treat. Dodie is unknowingly answering questions her followers may have about treatment options, breaking the barrier and making her communication with followers a human-to-human interaction rather than idol-to-fan.

Dodie creates beautiful YouTube videos and songs about her battles with depression, which really helps people like me to feel less alone in some of the darkest battles I face with anxiety, depression, dissociation and depersonalization. I find dodie’s complete transparency and honesty so endearing. It’s this realism that’s vital in today’s world where everyone seems to filter their lifestyles to blend into a “perfect” society. These filters seem to just put more and more pressure on today’s young people to fit the status quo. By highlighting the tricky, as well as amazing, parts of her life, dodie is helping her young followers (and me) feel better about any mental health struggles they may be going through themselves.

Dodie’s music explores her feelings towards dissociation, anxiety, depression and depersonalization. Her song “Secret for the Mad,” encourages people to persevere through mental illness. She shows an in-depth knowledge of how harrowing, stigmatizing and alienating the experience can be with the line, “I get that I don’t get it.”

Nevertheless, she encourages listeners to open up about such difficulties with the line, “There are a hundred voices who will listen to you cry.” She includes the repetitive, reassuring line, “I burned my way through and I don’t regret it,” to reassure people that there is hope from her own experiences of battling through. In another song titled, “When,” she sings about her struggles with mental health with the lines, “Never caught up in the moment, busy begging the past to stay,” and, “Teach me how to think.”

Thank you, dodie, for helping me to understand that I’m not alone when it comes to mental illness and for being so open with your experiences.

Picture via dodie’s Facebook page

Originally published: February 1, 2019
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