As you know, we recently adopted a comic. As it turns out, our new family member, Chris Gethard, is a really nice guy. And like many really nice guys — and sadly, many comics — Chris Gethard sometimes gets depressed. In fact, Chris has spoken openly about his struggles with anxiety and depression, so it wasn’t completely out of the blue when an anonymous fan took to The Chris Gethard Show Tumblr to ask him a question about feeling suicidal. The fan asked:
I’m curious if you ever had suicidal thoughts. I admire you and your show and have just been in a really bad place lately. I used to see your show as the last thing I had to look forward to but I haven’t even been back for months and can’t even bring myself out the door to get there without panicking. I’d appreciate any advice really.
Instead of getting all internet-y about it and a) ignoring the guy or b) laughing at the guy and then ignoring him or c) publicly mocking the writer, Chris responded with a kind, caring and sincere essay about his own struggles with depression and not giving a single @$&* about how long of a post he just added to his Tumblr. Chris started his essay by apologizing to the author for not being able to respond privately to the note, but we’re glad that he didn’t, because the result is an essay that could help hundreds or thousands of people struggling with depression. From the first line of his note — “The first thing I need to say is don’t do it” — Chris then launches into a searingly heartfelt note about his own struggles, “To answer your question directly – yes, I have had suicidal thoughts in my life. You are not alone.” The whole essay is well worth reading and sharing. National Suicide Prevention Day was on September 10th, but there’s never a bad time to talk openly about depression and suicide. Go read it now. Post it on Facebook. Tweet it. We’ll wait. Chris ends the essay by reminding the author that life is hard and a struggle but absolutely worth living:
Always remember that beautiful experiences and massive amounts of love are on their way. If you are able to feel pain and sadness this profoundly, more than most people can ever imagine, remind yourself that you can feel happiness and joy and love this profoundly as well, and that’s our little reward as depressed people. We feel things harder than other people do, and when those things are negative they are complete and total torture. But while we feel pain harder than other people have to, we feel beauty and joy and love harder than anyone else gets to, and that’s the victory that’s waiting on the other side of this pain for you. Hang on. Be tough. Better times are coming. Beautiful things and loving people are already out there, and when this cloud passes you get to experience them all so, so deeply.
Please know that you are loved. Please know that there’s help. It’s right there, right now for you. It is as close as your phone. Call a hotline. Go to a hospital. Don’t wait. Don’t feel stupid. Don’t feel defeated. Most of all, don’t think you can shoulder this on your own. Take action right now and help yourself.
We’re proud and grateful to have you in the family, Chris.
Need help? In the U.S., call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255