The creator of Community and Rick and Morty got serious
Community and Rick and Morty are two of my favorite TV shows of the century.
They’re hilarious and whip-smart, and they were both created (in the case of Rick and Morty, co-created) by Dan Harmon. Because of those shows, and his traveling Harmontown podcast, the writer and showrunner has a cult following of fans, and the other night, one of them asked him a question on Twitter.
It wasn’t a joke, and Harmon didn’t treat it as one. Instead, he took the woman seriously, and delivered some seriously helpful advice about depression.
@danharmon do you have advice for dealing with depression
— colton lancington (@chojuroh) November 28, 2017
Harmon has been outspoken about his own battles with alcoholism and depression – in his documentary Harmontown and on his podcast – and it turns out that opening up about those struggles is one of his primary pieces of advice.
For One: Admit and accept that it’s happening. Awareness is everything. We put ourselves under so much pressure to feel good. It’s okay to feel bad. It might be something you’re good at! Communicate it. DO NOT KEEP IT SECRET. Own it. Like a hat or jacket. Your feelings are real.— Dan Harmon (@danharmon) November 28, 2017
Two: try to remind yourself, over and over, that feelings are real but they aren’t reality. Example: you can feel like life means nothing. True feeling. Important feeling. TRUE that you feel it, BUT...whether life has meaning? Not up to us. Facts and feelings: equal but different— Dan Harmon (@danharmon) November 28, 2017
Dark thoughts will echo off the walls of your skull, they will distort and magnify. When you open your mouth (or an anonymous journal or blog or sketchpad), these thoughts go out. They’ll be back but you gotta get em OUT. Vent them. Tap them. I know you don’t want to but try it.— Dan Harmon (@danharmon) November 28, 2017
The most important thing I can say to you is please don’t deal with it alone. There is an incredible, miraculous magic to pushing your feelings out. Even writing “I want to die” on a piece of paper and burning it will feel better than thinking about it alone. Output is magical.— Dan Harmon (@danharmon) November 28, 2017
She was starstruck, amazed he responded at all, and incredibly grateful for his comments.
sorry I'm kinda star struck rn so I'm having a hard time articulating anything other than thank you so goddamn much for all of this. Probably better than my therapist could've said it. (And my boyfriend: "TELL HIM THANK YOU AND THAT WE SUBSCRIBE TO HARMONTOWN")— braff zacklin 💖💜💙 (@tristmaus) November 28, 2017
Harmon’s ability to straightforwardly and succinctly tackle the topic is impressive, and his advice seems sound. Particularly the reassurance that feelings are real…
Thank you so so much for writing this. Especially the reminder that feelings are real. I needed to read this today.— Erin 🌈✨ (@JaxOfBo) November 30, 2017
The aforementioned documentary shows Harmon taking his podcast on the road and then hanging out afterwards to chat with the audience, and on Twitter he reaches an even bigger one. And many of them were just as grateful for his advice as the original poster.
Thank you for this. You did more for anxiety/depression sufferers than any pill or therapist. Own our feelings, quit hiding behind the fake smile. You're an amazing guy for taking the question so seriously.— samantha williams (@punkinmimi) November 30, 2017
The woman who asked the initial question was happy it had reached so many. Twitter FTW!
This whole thread's got me crying. Thank you. ❤️— 🥞Infinite House of Bitching 🥞 (@Magzdilla2early) November 30, 2017
Social media isn’t always a cesspool… but it usually is. Which might be why Harmon announced he was taking a break from Twitter the day after this exchange.
Taking another Twitter break, I’ll be back when I‘ve acquired enough happiness to quench our altar, So May it Please The Bird With No Eye
— Dan Harmon (@danharmon) November 30, 2017