The 10 Best TED Talks On Mental Illness That You Need To Watch Today!

by | Feb 26, 2018 | Behaviour, Mental Health | 1 comment

Mental illness impacts 1 in every 5 people. This means that you are impacted either directly or indirectly by mental illness. In order to best support those in your life who are struggling, it is important to educate yourself on mental health issues. Below are 10 TED Talks on mental illness. These stories are presented by people who have a mental illness, where they share their powerful stories of struggle and recovery. These TED Talks on mental illness will inspire you and will show you the realities that so many people face.  


1. Lessons From The Mental Hospital   

Glennon Doyle Melton, author of
Carry On, Warrior, uses this TedTalk as a space to share her story of living with addiction and eating disorders. She talks about the many struggles she faced, her moment of understanding the severity of her illness, and her process of recovery and reaching out for help. Glennon discusses how important it is to share your story honestly, no matter how messy it may be, as every person is struggling in one way or another.


2. Why We Need To Talk About Depression

In this TedTalk, Kevin Breel Talks about his experience as a teenager with depression. Now an adult, and author of
Boy Meets Depression, he shares his story of battling depression in silence as a teenager because he didn’t ‘look’ like he would be depressed. His strong social circles, active athlete, and confident, outgoing personality masked his suffering from everyone around him. Reaching out for help in his darkest hour saved his life, Kevin says, and he hopes that sharing his story can save others who are struggling.  


3. Living With High Functioning Anxiety   

Creative director, comedian, and musician, Jordan Raskopoulos, shares her story of living with high functioning anxiety in this TedTalk. As a performer, she often is perceived as being outgoing, and she’d be the last person someone would think of as being anxious. However, when she is off the stage she struggles deeply with her negative thoughts and her life takes a toll as a result. Jordan shares her experience living amongst society’s misconceptions, and the strategies she has used in her recovery.


4. Living With OCD  

Obsessive compulsive disorder is a commonly misunderstood mental illness, and Samantha Pena strives to change this by sharing her story of living with OCD in this TedTalk. She discusses what living with OCD is like through various life stages, from being a young girl to a woman. She also talks about the myths surrounding OCD, and the dangers of it becoming synonymous with “organized” or “clean freak.” Samantha compares the most popular myths of OCD to the reality of the illness, and the ways that OCD impacts her life – even the positive ways!


5. I Witnessed A Suicide

In this TedTalk, Joseph Keogh shares his story of living with post traumatic stress disorder, after he witnessed a classmate die by suicide as a teenager. He discusses the event itself, and shares his feelings after the traumatic incident took place. Like many, he believed he should be able to push the event from his mind and keep living his life, but soon realized how much this experience was impacting him. Joseph focusses on his journey to recovery, and wants to raise awareness about the reality of life after these events. He also talks about the importance of being self-aware, listening to your body and mind, and reaching out for help if you are struggling.  


6. I Am Not A Monster: Schizophrenia  

Cecilia McGough opens up in this TedTalk about living with Schizophrenia, which is a very misunderstood mental illness. She shares the misconceptions that society has about this illness, and how people fear anyone with Schizophrenia due to these misconceptions. She shares her experiences disclosing her illness, and describes how people react to her diagnosis of Schizophrenia. Cecilia’s story demonstrates the importance of education, empowering young people who have Schizophrenia to reach out for help, and ensuring that accessible resources and supports are available to those in need.


7. Why We Choose Suicide  

Mark Henick shares his story of being a teenager with mental illness in this powerful TedTalk, and opens up about his multiple attempts of suicide. He shares the changes in his perception that he noticed during this time of his life, and describes how his feelings of anger and darkness took over his world. Mark says that he struggled in silence for a long time because he appeared like an average teenager, and many would not have expected him to struggle with mental illness and suicidal thoughts. He wants to change this by using his survival to educate others on what living with mental illness is like, and encourages others to join him in fighting for accessible and available treatments and therapies.


8. After Anorexia: Life’s Too Short to Weigh Your Cornflakes

In this TedTalk, Catherine Pawley shares her experience with anorexia nervosa and disputes the many myths of this disorder. She talks about how her eating disorder began developing, and how her attempts of gaining control led to the worsening of her condition. Catharine openly and honestly shares her internal struggles, as well as the way her disorder impacted her parents and young sibling. At her breaking point, Catherine reached out for help and began her journey to recovery, which was and continues to be bumpy. However, she wants to share her story to let those struggling know that there is life after recovery, and they are not alone. 


10. Let’s Talk about Postpartum Depression

Lisa Abramson opens up in this TedTalk about her experience with postpartum depression and psychosis. She describes how unexpected her postpartum mental illness was to not only herself, but also her family and friends, as she had always been a happy and successful woman. Like most women who struggle with mental illness after giving birth, Lisa struggled in silence because she believed she was not doing enough and that she was doing something “wrong.” After her family and friends took action, Lisa received the treatment she needed and is now passionate about sharing her story to help others – especially new mothers!


Final Thoughts:

If you or someone you love is struggling in the area of mental health, check out our previous posts on how you can support your loved one with mental illness, and find out the facts by reading about the myths and misconceptions of therapy.

Comment below if you have a favourite TedTalk on mental illness!