It’s no secret that mental health, and mental illness, aren’t talked about as much as they should be. Queer Eye’s Karamo Brown helps the show’s heroes by encouraging them to talk about their issues, and now Brown himself is opening up about his own struggles with depression. The Netflix star uploaded a video to Twitter, where he had recorded himself getting real about getting help.
“I just felt like life could not get any better, everything that was happening to me was never going to change, and I tried to take my own life,” said Brown. He described how, in 2006, he was dealing with a desire to harm himself, which was a symptom of his depression. Brown’s friends intervened to help him address his mental health problems and ensure his safety. “If it wasn’t for my best friends Raymond and Tre calling the ambulance, getting me off that couch, I probably would not be here today.”
Brown also offered his hope to those also struggling with mental illness. “If you get help and you do the work daily, your life can change. I’m living proof of that,” he said. He didn’t discuss the treatment he received, but the National Institute of Mental Health states that evidence-based treatments for depression include cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) and antidepressant and antipsychotic medications. Queer people, like Brown, are also at an increased risk of mental illness; the National Alliance for Mental Illness states that the LBGTQ community is three times more likely to experience depression and anxiety than their straight counterparts.
As a licensed social worker, Brown takes his role as an advocate seriously: “As you see me on Queer Eye helping people with their mental health, and you see me on my social media helping people, it’s because it’s important to me. I know so many of us suffer from mental health issues, and we just don’t know where to turn.”
Today in 2006 I was sitting on my couch alone & attempted to commit suicide. In my mind life was over for me. But I got mental health support & worked each day to believe again. And here I am happy & healthy. I made it and If you’re going through something you can make it too! pic.twitter.com/dKYj5ZsLAj— Karamo Brown (@KaramoBrown) August 30, 2018
If you are thinking about suicide, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255) or the Suicide Crisis Line at 1-800-784-2433.