Conquering depression: how I became my own hero | Hunter Kent | TEDxYouth@CEHS

Conquering depression: how I became my own hero | Hunter Kent | [email protected]

Translator: Leonardo Silva
Reviewer: Denise RQ I’m sure all of us can remember a time when we were sad,
upset, or discouraged: a pet died, you got a bad grade, you had a fight
with your best friend, and you’re sad. That’s natural. But eventually, a day,
a week, a month passes, and we feel better, and even though the pain
may not be completely forgotten, even though those brief periods
of unhappiness should still be taken seriously, it passes, we feel better. But when you’re living with depression,
it doesn’t just pass. It can strike after a tragedy,
or emerge out of the blue. It can come from stress and pressure
from school, friends, and family, bullying and emotional abuse, and the media that damages our perception
of self-image and self-worth. I grew up as a shy, quiet,
and introverted kid. I had friends, but in third grade, my sister,
who I was very close to, left to live with another family,
and after she left, I became lonely. My depression started
taking a toll on me in eighth grade. I rarely talked in school, and although my grades were good,
I had no motivation. I felt very lost,
and once I was in that rut it felt impossible to try and get out. I’d heard about cutting, how people hurt themselves
to try and cope with their depression. So I tried it, and it became a habit,
a go-to when I felt numb for three years. The rest of eighth grade was hard. I was irritable, angry at the whole universe
and angry at myself most of all. The voices in my head were awful,
self-loathing, and hateful. I cried almost every day,
at the littlest of things, and felt nothing. I would have happily stopped existing. When I went into freshman year,
my grades started to go down. I didn’t have the motivation
or energy to try harder. That year, I was sent to a therapist.
She really didn’t help me at all, though. In fact, she actually made me feel worse. Between freshman and sophomore year,
I created a secret Instagram account. I wanted to reach out to other people
also struggling with depression. Then, sophomore year started,
and my depression got worse, but I was chosen to be a part of the school’s
Natural Helpers Program that year. Natural Helpers. It had to be a mistake. All the other natural helpers
were outgoing and confident. Then, it occurred to me:
it was my Instagram, because reaching out to others on there was just as noticeable
as reaching out to others in school. However,
my self-destructive actions continued, forcing me to wear
long sleeves and thick bracelets, so no one would see, and I started depriving myself of food. I was sent to a different counseling place
which include group therapy. That didn’t help either, though, because I had no interest
in getting better. I just didn’t care. During these years, there were
many times when I wanted to die. I didn’t necessarily want to kill myself,
but I wanted to stop existing. I became unsafe. One night, the weekend before final exams, someone who still remains anonymous to me
was afraid for my safety and called 911. I had gone to bed and woke up
later that night to police officers in my living room, saying they got the call,
saying I had to go to the hospital. I spent the fear-racked night
in the emergency room, talking to various doctors and counselors, crying into the scratchy
and blue hospital gown. Talking to my parents was the worst part. I felt like I had let them down because I wasn’t as strong
as they though I was. School ended, summer began,
and I felt just as lost as before. I didn’t see a light
at the end of the tunnel. A few weeks into summer,
my parents decided to sign me to a summer camp called
Tanglewood up in Lincolnville, to do a three-week leadership program. Yeah, a three-week leadership program. Perfect!
(Laughter) Just what I needed.
I was furious. The thought of living in the woods with other teenagers who I didn’t know
was terrifying. Despite my pleading, I had no choice. There were five other kids
in the leadership program, two girls and three boys,
and one male and female counselor. At first, I tried
to isolate myself from them. I was scared to open myself up to them. But after all the challenge courses
and group-bonding activities, after eight days of hiking
and canoeing in the wilderness, I grew to trust them. They involved me
in games and conversations. They offered me a seat next to them. They paid attention to me
when I shared an idea. They went out of their way
to make me laugh. On the fourth night of our trip,
we were all sitting around the fire, and one of our counselors told us
we’d be doing PSs, personal stories. Every night, two of us would tell
our life stories to the rest of the group. I decided I was definitely going last. Every night, the eight of us would pack ourselves
into the boys’ tent which was only meant to hold three people. My turn finally came,
and I was extremely nervous, but I decided to take the chance
and tell them everything. I told them
about my depression and anxiety, I told them about the hospital night,
I told them everything. We stayed up
until three in the morning talking, and when our counselors
finally sent us to bed, I followed the other girls to our tent, and I remember just stopping for a moment and looking up at the sky,
at all the stars, and I realized
that I was smiling uncontrollably for the first time in years. I had hoped, at the very least,
they wouldn’t stop being my friends after I told them
about myself that night. I didn’t expect that for the rest
of the three weeks at camp, we would become even closer. We became a family. I realized that I was cared for,
and that I was loved. It hit me. I could be free from my depression. I didn’t have to just live with it
for the rest of my life. Since then,
things have only gotten better. In the fall of junior year, I learned to stop judging people,
and made dozens of new friends. Later in junior year,
I went into freshman health classes, and spoke to them about overcoming
pressure and judgment in high school. After receiving hand-written letters
from the freshmen, I knew that was my words and story
I could change the world. I still use my Instagram to post
encouraging quotes and personal stories to my almost 3,000 followers,
including lots of my classmates. Every day, I’m reminded
of the impact my kind words have. I’m beginning to fall in love with myself,
and I’m the happiest I’ve ever been. I know that there are people
in this audience who’ve experienced or are currently struggling
with depression. This is for you: you are not
in a bottomless pit. You are not in an endless tunnel
without light. You are not a hopeless cause. Help is out there. You are loved and you are cared for. You have the power and the right
to achieve everything you want in life. My life didn’t just get better on its own. With help from friends, old and new, I realized that I am worth so much more
than what I once thought, and that I have the power and the ability
to view the world in a new way, as a place full of endless opportunities
and amazing people. I’ve opened myself up
to what the universe has to offer, and I’ve created my own beautiful life. I have emerged. Thank you. (Cheers) (Applause) Thank you. (Cheers) (Applause)


  1. I was suffering from a chronic kidney disease and getting treatment from almost last 4 years.
    But suddenly once its started become more painfull , its become difficult for a normal urine pass so i went to one of the best doctor of my city. He is M.S in nephorology, after few tests , he said you need a urgent operation and your kidney has to be operate out because of infection and its only way to save your life.
    His words made me more weaker then different doctors said you may have cancer. In india a normal uneducated family don't know how to deal with such situations. I went to a deep dipression , i lost my everything , didn't feel safe , never even tiny smile on face on heavy jokes. Daily i plan to suicide bcoz no one in my family wants me to die so easily because operations bwas very risky as said by doctor in a very cruel way. I lost complete hope.
    But things started improving with constant efforts of my family , friends who started living with me at the peak of their semester.
    And finally i am continuing my studies with a positive approach.
    Its a real life story and may be i am not able to express it in a better way.
    Those who are suffering from any such conditions please talk to me 8090986361. I dont want anything but i will feel very happy if will be able to help even a single person.

  2. People Don’t Want to
    Kill Themselves They Just Don’t Know How to Kill the Pain!!!!!!!!!

    Every Thunderstorm
    Runs Out of Rain!!!!!!

  3. You feel better????? May be that will work for woman, but for man like us, it worse with every day. It is like non curable cancer in mind which you can't diagnose, expose or cure; but always feel the pain and wrost part is you have to carry it in your inside till the last second of your life.

  4. Thank you so much!!! I also suffered from depression. I understand how you felt. But loss, grief, and pain, they could be our strength. They could empower ourselves.

  5. Was in a major accident, long story short I lost my memories and it took me a year and a couple of months after my accident to seek help. Whatever anyone wants to label it as. I just wish everyone could be happy. I myself am trying my best to be myself and fight this internal battle inside me. I wish you the best for anyone who is also having an internal battle with themselves.

  6. Omg she’s describing me exactly, that’s scary to me. Everything she’s saying is me in every way right now.

  7. She feels so warmhearted to me. I hope she and everyone are or will be ok soon. Life has so many more options as what we believe. So much more.

  8. If anyone's reading.. Just wanna tell you I'm 20 years old and I had depression since I was a kid… Went through a lot of hospitalizations and all,…but now,in this age, I'M MOSTLY FREE OF DEPRESSION. There's always hope. Never lose it

  9. Something that helped me a ton was to embrace it. Trying to fix depression can never work. Trying to fix an emotion(which is now a state) labels the emotion as bad and now you feel bad about feeling "bad". The change starts when you stop trying to change it. I know it's hard but a question you can ask yourself is can i be with this emotion for just now, not 10 mins not an hour but in this moment can i embrace what I'm feeling. Nothing lasts forever, why add further pain to what you're experiencing right now. Imagine your whole life people told you feeling depressed was amazing, you'd feel good about feeling depressed.

  10. The problems she mentioned made me understand first world people get depressed for very small stuff, my life us far worse than what she described. I find no help in what she said

  11. Damnnn her S stutter is soo adorable n cuutee ?❤️❤️❤️❤️? my heart ?????

    I would die for a woman like her … soo deep and inspiring!!!

  12. O really respect her. We is an amazing person. There is no way that I could ever do what she did here. I'm probably the shyest person alive. But I thank her for her courage because I know she has helped a lot of people out by doing this video. I m struggling real bad right now and I really don't know what to do.

  13. Get together of people having depression, that's what this video is all about and it is not happening in India. May be some instances here and there. All etiologies of depression are not in the mind, instead social discrimination and judgements complicates a simple depression. Being sorrounded by toxic people also can be suffocating.They cheat you of your money and possessions. And your employment chances. They misbehave. How can a therapist be of help here.

  14. I just found this talk more than four years after it happened. Hunter, you are amazing. I am now 66 years old, suffering from depression since I was 12, finding out what it was at 45, and now just getting to the point that you were when you gave this talk. Your wisdom, knowledge and perseverance is absolutely incredible. Thank you for sharing your journey.

  15. My depression affects me, sometimes I'm really happy, but suddenly I'm grumpy. I keep getting mood swings, and my mom and dad was angry at me for not being able to smile so they did abuse me. I felt like I wanted to disappear forever. I've cut myself and tried to break my skull, and after that, my depression faded when I had some new amazing friends. I just wanted to say that I might've overreacted a bit. even though I was experiencing stress i shouldn't have been so hard on it. i know i really disappointed my parents and hopefully i would be happy with them again.

  16. " She (therapist) really didn't help me at all though, in fact, she made me feel worse." Searching for the right therapist is torturous! When you find a great one, hope they never retire, change careers, or pass away before you.

  17. We who face depression are never taken serious because people are not here to help other people,

    Only our LORD and Creator know what each of us need, only Christ and Christ only.

    He is Love, Our Father in Heaven will Love us no matter what, we need Him above all else, this world is a trap for us humans, it is programmed for demons, not humans.

  18. People dont understand that so many more would commit suicide if there was a painless way. I definately would have. You become so jealous of people who die. Life feels like the punishment, death is the reward.

  19. I feel like, sometimes, an event can make you happy, an 'eye opener' can occur, which is what I think happened to Hunter, I think she was lucky in finding something that gave her that spark of life back that she clearly deserved.
    And as much as her words are wonderful, helpful and just all-around nice to hear, we cannot all be that lucky lil' bean, who made it through the day.
    So, while this video may not be for me, I wont be bitter about it, I think it's nice this exist, to spread the word, and at least be a bit relateable to my own case of depression.

  20. It is nice to hear from you that u are out of it…
    But my depression is cyclically affecting me since last 5 years..
    from a year my 6 months are wasting in depression..
    What to do i don't know but still i hope that one day i will b happy

  21. A courageous and compassionate young woman with an important central message, depression is a treatable condition, not a fatality – Where there is love and will there is a way.

  22. Sending lots of love & Positive energy to everyone who's going through depression. I wore that fake smile mask all to well around friends & family until I got home and felt empty and cried for hours ?❤?

  23. I realized I was done trying when I took 19 diet pills and tried to kill myself, I told my mother and she told me to drink milk and vomit. She left me in her bed all day I honestly think I died that day and came back.. she did nothing for me.. later in life my mother did the unthinkable and blackmailed me to get my child taken from me. As of today I do nothing. No motivation no attention span no happiness I am just nothing. I'm also a recovering addict so I take nothing to help me, I'm just slowly wilting away here.

  24. I can't even do that….I am only 11 and lost,and away and alone even tho I have the who,e school friend of me…. It's just so personal

  25. I hope this quote helps you: “Life is a book, and the pages are each event in your life. As you flip through the pages, changes happen. Chapters and chapters on, problems can occur. But please, do not let those ungrateful pages control you. Always flip through”.

  26. That's so similiar like my life… 95%
    Thanks for the girl in this video, you make me realize and open my eyes from this depression. You cheer me up.

  27. A way to get out of depression is –
    To do what you are SUPPOSED to do or what you have PLANNED to do for the day without ANY fail.

  28. Depression, OCD and multiple anxiety disorders i lived 6 years of life with all these mental discomforts it went out of control when i started experiencing panic attacks last year.
    Thankfully i came out of them all, wrote a book on my struggle and remission and now i am counselling young people suffering from depression or anxiety.

    Nothing is out of your reach if you really work for it

    Kudos to Kent for opening up here so courageously.

  29. Abu Huraira reported : The Messenger of Allah , peace and blessings be upon him, said , “ To declare the glory of Allah , the praise of Allah, the oneness of Allah , and the greatness of Allah is more beloved to me than anything over which the sun rises . ”
    Source : Sahih Muslim 2695

    I have been doing Uwais Al Qarni Dhkir as written on the website veyselkarane . com and my life has changed completely. I started to love Allah and His Messenger more. I found permanent peace in my heart. Do the dhikr morning and evening. Taste and see the favors.

  30. This story is kind of same as mine but not the friendspart what I want In live is to injoy my life and have fun with family and friends and may be get my favorite dream jobs

  31. many people want to die, it is natural, not all of us are supposed to be here, there is nothing in life to live for. we should make it easy for people to leave, euthanasia should help. please help end the painful life. people do not understand that many of us want to go in peace. by trying to prevent suicide . we are making things more difficult.

  32. You got to find that optimism. You’ve got to find that you don’t live for yourself only. But for the person on your right or left. You wouldn’t stop watching a movie you loved kid way right? Watch how this story ends. You won’t regret it

  33. to anybody who needs a helping hand, whether you think so or not, i'm here for you to talk to. please do. i want to help.

  34. For those of you saying this hasnt helped you really, thats the thing, thats the endless tunnel she is referring to. you are looking for specific stories to help you, not principles. sometimes you have to take responsibility for your life. you think its a bottomless pit, like you cant do anything about it, u think you cant do anything about it, that u have to wait for something ti happen to u for you to get better. sometimes you have to take responsibility and make things happen, put yourself out there. Watch jordan peterson he has helped me a lot

  35. Happiness is obeying Christ. Forget loneliness too! You get to see his Omnipresent bearded face. I prove it on my channel. I suffered from depression until I started obeying Christ. It makes sense. Christ loves us = He wants to see us happy. His doctrine is the divine path to happiness and eternal life. Don't forget you cannot obey Christ's divine doctrine without his help.

  36. This is really good for me to be able to speak openly I am so depressed I feel empty inside all I wanna do is stay in bed and sleep when you sleep you can’t think about life I try to commit Silicide but I don’t know what to do but I know I want to be here it’s this constant pain it’s like if you broke your arm you would feel pain but depression it’s inside you only people that suffer from depression Can understand hopefully anyone that reads this can give me some advice..

  37. Dont listen to her! Your actually supposed to bully an torture people going through a hard time, duh

    Ive been taught about this method, thats why I didn't listen, cause this is the most logical thing to do.

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