“I Was Living the Life, Yet I Was on a Plane Hoping it Crashes,” Says Tyler Oakley
Tyler Oakley shares the moment he realized he needed to seek help for his depression.
For internet sensation Tyler Oakley, depression has been a part of his life since he was a young adolescent. “In middle school, I remember I was going through my parents’ divorce and dealing with body image issues, I was figuring out my sexuality. It was a lot of stuff I was going through all at once,” Tyler shares. That depression continued on, even after Tyler became a huge figure on the internet with the LGBTQ+ community. He felt like he had everything, but he still experienced depression.
“I am living the life that I really wanted to have, yet I am on this plane hoping it crashes,” says Tyler. And it took therapy for Tyler to realize that what he was facing was depression. “I had been going to therapy for a lot of my life and as an adult it was kind of the first time I was able to hear from a therapist that what I was dealing with was depression. For me it was really affirming because it was something I had felt all my life,” Tyler admits.
Tyler knows that treatment isn’t a “one size fits all,” and he’s worked to find the best balance of options for his mental health, advocating for others to find what works best for them. “Every mental health issue is so unique to the person going through it. It’s impacted by race and sexual orientation and how they navigate the world. So, for anyone thinking there’s a one size fits all solution, that’s not true,” Tyler advises. For him, Tyler has explored different treatment options and has even grown closer with his mom because of it.
“Working with antidepressants was brought up and I had my own judgments and my own reservations, so I talked to my mom. I asked her what she’s tried because she’s been very open about her depression. It made me feel more connected to my mom and made me feel like I could talk to her about that,” Tyler says. That strengthening of relationships and reaching out can be so important, especially because even people who seemingly have it all can also be dealing with depression, and that’s something Tyler will continue working on.
“I don’t know if I’ve overcome depression, but knowing that I’m doing the work and taking care of myself and trying to improve how I navigate through life with my depression or with my mental health issues, that is what I hope for anyone struggling with mental health,” Tyler shares.Trans Lifeline can be reached at (877) 565-8860. The Trevor Project is the world's largest suicide prevention and crisis intervention organization for LGBTQ+ youth (ages 24 and younger). Trained counselors at the Trevor Project Lifeline can be reached 24/7 at (866) 488-7386, by texting START to 678678, or via the TrevorChat instant messaging service at TheTrevorProject.org/Help.