i thought dan's week in march might be about mental health issues but i was surprised by his level of detail when talking about it. any thoughts?
That week in March.. I’m really impressed with Dan for talking about something so personal to him!
i was surprised too. i didn’t even think about the week in march issue as potentially being tied to his mental health (at least not exclusively that) until last week’s live show when he said he would be able to discuss it after ‘tomorrow’ which seemed to indicate after his depression video came out. much like the video itself i think that his candor about the negative side-effects of antidepressants and the type of impacts that can arise if you suddenly stop taking them is incredibly helpful and informative. as someone who has personally experienced those sort of withdrawal symptoms, i thought that his willingness and ability to talk about it so openly was quite a brave thing, and something that i hope will remind people that staying consistent with medication usage is super important and that changing your dosage should only happen gradually and under strict supervision from a doctor. his anecdotal description of what he went through also generally serves to help dilute and break down stigma around discussing psychopharmaceuticals and i’m really grateful to dan for continuing to be brave with those discussions.
additionally, from the vantage point of someone who has obviously been following him quite closely, his explanation helped to shed light on some of his behavior in march. since the live show ended i’ve spent some time reading back a lot of my posts on his live shows from that month and so much of it just makes a lot of sense when viewed through the lens of someone going through severe withdrawal from his medication and a resultant delirious or dark headspace. he was starkly negative about his audience, and about himself, his work, and his career. he was also more ramble-y and more candid than usual about topics he wouldn’t normally broach including his definition of ‘love,’ the lack of importance in labeling one’s sexuality, his self-identification as a ‘formless blob,’ etc. he went silent for nearly a week on twitter from march 6ish to march 12, and at the same time phil delayed posting a video that he’d promised would be up on march 12 with no explanation. dan also teased a ‘big deal’ video that ended up being about his decision to drop the dinof user name but then decided not to follow through with making it and made isg instead, then responded in an unprecedentedly negative and open manner to people who were disappointed in the vid.
i’m not saying all of this was related to dan’s mental health at that time, and dan himself said both back then and in today’s live show that he was dealing with these mental health issues on top of an already really stressful and busy schedule. but given that these few weeks he went without meds took enough of a toll that he reiterated that he wanted to talk about the experience on three separate occasions, and he finally did today, it’s safe to assume it really did have a huge impact on the rest of both his and phil’s lives that month. in light of that, i think it’s all the more significant he followed through with discussing it. it was clearly an incredibly difficult and vulnerable time for him, and i’m honestly in awe of his ability to look back on it and laugh at himself a little (honestly how???) as well as decide that it’s something he’s okay talking about publicly. he’s a good dude and he continues to help so, so many people by displaying his vulnerability in these ways.