Over the last couple of years, we’ve lost a number of successful and beloved public figures to mental illness. Each time such news breaks, the conversation surrounding mental health begins to chatter louder, and we are once again reminded that much of the stigma and misunderstanding surrounding anxiety, depression, and other mental illnesses runs flagrant.
One of the most common misbeliefs surrounding depression is the idea that it is just sadness, and that those afflicted by it are lazy or not trying hard enough to “be normal.”
Comedian Andy Richter is best known for his role as Conan O’Brien‘s sidekick, but few know that the entertainer struggles with depression.
Richter recently responded to Twitter user @_asiastabler, who tweeted out the ignorant and blatantly wrong statement that “depression is a choice.“
depression is a choice— a$ia (@_asiastabler) November 12, 2017
She followed it up with an “explanation” based neither in fact nor in logic.
Richter was one of the many who responded to this tweet.
In fact, he responded with an entire thread because he was still angry after having read it, 30 minutes later.
Richter revealed he’d been battling depression his entire life, which he aptly called “an ever-present amorphous sadness.”
Though he knows he is incredibly lucky, this doesn’t offer much of a respite from emotional devastation.
“No one did this to me. It is just how it is. I am just unlucky,” he writes, advising those lucky enough to go through life without the burden of this illness to never take it for granted.
He finishes the thread by thanking his fans…and with a joke, of course.
Twitter exploded with support for Richter as people shared their own stories and personal struggles.
Many thanked the entertainer for giving them hope for the future.
It’s incredible when celebrities share their own personal struggles and advocate for the understanding of illnesses and disorders so many suffer from. It makes people feel seen and understood. If you or anyone you know is struggling with suicidal thoughts, don’t hesitate to call The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255. They are available 24/7.