In May 2018, recording artist Jeremy Zucker posted a music video to YouTube called, “All the Kids are Depressed”. The video features a story about the signs of depression and contains dialogue from teens and young adults wanting to share their experiences. To date, the video has received over 6.5 million views, over 450K likes, and over 13K comments, including one comment from Jeremy Zucker himself.
“Guys, just want you to know I see all your comments. I love you, stay strong.”Jeremy Zucker | YouTube | All the Kids are Depressed
You Are Not Alone
When Jeremy Zucker made his request for stories, hundreds of people responded. Only a few stories made it to his video, but the numbers don’t lie.
You are not alone in your fight against depression.
According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) website, and several studies, anyone can experience depression regardless of gender, age, race, or geographic location.
In fact, the World Health Organization says that:
“One in four people in the world will be affected by mental or neurological disorders at some point in their lives.”World Health Organization
All the Kids are Depressed, and Getting Better at Hiding It
The main purpose of Jeremy Zucker’s video, “All the Kids are Depressed” is to remind people suffering from a mental illness that they are not alone. But since no two people experience depression the same way, there are just as many symptoms of depression as there are stories. So, this is why every story matters, and why every story needs to be shared.
For some people, like Jeremy Zucker, depression means not wanting to get out of bed, let alone participate in life. For others, depression means constantly feeling inadequate, unimportant, and undeserving of happiness. Or, worse yet, not wanting to feel anything.
Substance Abuse and Addiction
Let’s be honest. Sometimes it feels easier to light up a joint or open a bottle of alcohol than it is to sit down with our thoughts. Or, to grab a pen and a piece of paper, and start exploring our feelings. Like most unwanted situations in life, it’s easier to deny a problem exists, rather than to deal with all the issues we’ve kept tucked away for years.
But what many people don’t understand is that drugs and alcohol often intensify hidden symptoms of depression. Then the same people go on a prescription anti-depressant because they “just can’t figure out what’s wrong.”
Also, constantly smothering or drowning our sorrows can eventually lead to addiction, making it even harder to dig ourselves out of a rut.
“The thing that frustrates me the most is that I can’t control how I feel. Even if everything’s perfect, I still find a way to feel like shit.”Jeremy Zucker | All the Kids are Depressed
Mental Health Stigma
We live in a society that stigmatizes mental health. We train ourselves not to act “crazy”, entertain crazy, and to simply ignore crazy people. Then we write off taboo opinions as “crazy”, like a person’s words mean nothing more than a nuisance. But we can learn a lot from each other, and from listening to ourselves. Because mental health issues are real, especially to the people suffering.
Like many people who suffer from depression, Jeremy often feels like he can’t talk to anyone about his mental health problems. So, he pretends like he’s O.K. by smiling and forcing his laughter. Sound familiar?
But what if there are healthier ways to cope with depression?
Combating Depression with Music
It’s no big secret that art and music connects people. Both forms of creative media allow for better communication and self-expression, which is why so many people choose to tell their stories creatively. And why it’s important for musicians and celebrities to interact with their fans and help support their creative endeavors.
In a Billboard interview, Jeremy credits the band, Blink-182 for inspiring him to pick up a guitar and start writing his first songs in fifth grade. He calls music a release for him, which allows him to express all the emotions that he feels everyday. He says he writes music to feel, and he encourages his fans to listen if they want to be honest with themselves about their own feelings.
Jeremy Zucker, along with many other known and unknown creative talents want you to know that you are not alone. Even though a mental illness like depression can make you feel that way. You just have to connect yourself with the right people, and find the right kind of music that speaks to you. But more importantly, never stop telling your story, or using your creative talents to inspire other people to tell theirs.
Peace and Blessings.