Why Elyse Myers' Mental Health Content Is Dominating Your FYP: It's 'Not Weird, It's Just a Part of the Story'

The comedian has shares her own struggles with depression, anxiety and ADHD with her 4 million followers to create a safe space to talk about mental health.

Elyse Myers
Elyse Myers.

During the pandemic lockdown, 28-year-old Elyse Myers found herself watching more and more TikTok videos, and in June 2021, she decided to post one herself.

One year later, she has become perhaps the best-known mental health advocate on Tik Tok, with more than 4 million followers tuning in for her relatable, actionable videos.

"It's just something that is very hard to talk about, and it shouldn't be," she says of her philosophy toward sharing mental health content. "It should be as easy as talking about what you had for lunch."

She lives in Omaha, Nebraska with her husband, Jonas, and her 18-month-old son, August. Before her runaway success online, she owned a web developing company. Now, the comedian is working on a podcast, recording an album and writing a book.

She wakes up at 4:00 a.m. every day to film her TikTok videos, talking openly about ADHD, anxiety and depression.

"I love that I can teach people that you can show up as yourself — exactly as yourself — and people can love you for it," she says. "That makes me really happy because I spent a lot of my life just masking the things that I was dealing with, thinking that it took me out of the running of being a successful human being. And learning that in this season I am successful because I am transparent with all of it, has been very cool for me. The fact that I can share that with other people is pretty powerful."

She strives to create a safe space for young people to talk about mental health that she wishes "I would've had that when I was younger," she says.

The response she has gotten "is overwhelming," she says. People are constantly DM-ing her and sharing their stories.

"It's sometimes hard to read because it can feel just so heavy," she says. "It's so cool, but people will reach out on all platforms, talking about how they've shared with their family that they have an addiction, or they went to therapy for the first time today because of me, or they're learning how to love themselves because of me, or if they're having a sad day, they watch my videos. It's so wild to me to read that, but it's really encouraging."

Below, she shares her story with PEOPLE in her own words as part of PEOPLE's year-long Let's Talk About It campaign.

I had my first panic attack when I was 7.

My family just wasn't very stable. I was the youngest and only girl of four kids, with seven years between me and my youngest brother. A lot was happening by the time I came around.

My parents were separated when I was born, and then it took 10 years, I think, for them to finalize their divorce. But I never grew up in a home where they were both together.

In that chaos, I think that my anxiety was just at the height of all of it. It was bad.

Sixth grade was when I started going to therapy for my anxiety and depression, and I ended up getting diagnosed with ADHD at the same time, which helped me understand where a lot of the anxiety was coming from. And then I started getting medicated, which was really awesome, and really helpful for me. I was in therapy pretty much from then on. I never stopped.

For a while, I believed that it would get better, and that it would stay better forever once I figured out how to fix it. I quickly realized that it was always going to be something that was up and down, and I would have to learn how to live life, and be productive, and engage with the people in my life, even if I was in a down season and learning what that means when you don't feel well.

Elyse Myers from Rep; Credit is Lauren Wade
Elyse Myers. Lauren Wade

My son was born in January 2021, and I struggled with postpartum depression. It wasn't something I expected, because I was so familiar with depression. I thought that the postpartum part was just when you got it, not what it was. That was really hard for me, because it hit me like a freight truck. I didn't know how to process it.

I went in very cocky because I struggled with depression and had those really difficult seasons in my whole life. It was the one that took me the most off guard; I felt very unprepared, and almost like 'I don't even want to fix this, it's so bad' — where you don't even know what questions to ask to get help.

Having a baby, it should have been the best thing that's ever happened to me, and it felt like I was the most broken I had ever been. Honestly, I felt like around the one-year mark, when August had his first birthday, that was when I was just starting to feel like I could take a deep breath again, and see the light at the end of the tunnel.

That threw me for the biggest loop in my life, because it was so surprising. I didn't expect to feel overwhelming sadness, during this time that I felt like I should be so happy. I'm so thankful that I had my husband to go through that with, and a therapist — it was unlike anything I had ever experienced in my life.

I tend to try and compartmentalize a lot of my life and try and make sense of it before I deal with it or before I reach out or talk about it, and that kept me very, very hidden. That kept my pain, and my struggle, very hidden from people and myself. I couldn't put words around it super well, so I didn't want to talk about it yet.

I want to encourage people: It's never too early to start talking about how you're feeling and your mental health — even if you don't have the right words to describe how you're feeling, talk about the color of what it looks like, talk about where you feel it in your body, anything that you can to point to what you're feeling.

Somebody asked me, "How can you explain your anxiety?" and I couldn't. Someone said, "What shape is it?" And someone said, "What color is it?" I've never forgotten that question, because that really helped me understand when I couldn't understand this huge, scary monster of anxiety or depression.

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The earlier you can chat about it, the easier it feels like it can be to get people to help, so don't be afraid to talk about it; people want to help you. Find a person that you really trust, that isn't going to judge you, and isn't going to think that you're weird for struggling with things.

And if you are on the other end of someone's mental health journey, if you are the one that's listening, I think that oftentimes we feel like it's our burden to fix this person or to heal them — you cannot take this burden of someone's struggling mental health away from them. You can just get in the trenches, and be in it with them.

I've seen so many people overcome with sadness that they can't take this struggle away from people they love. Just sit and listen, and be there for somebody. Not a lot of people want to just sit and listen; they want to take action, they want to fix it. That makes us feel like we're a burden, and you're not a burden. Just sit and listen — I think that's the best advice I can give. And then you can point them to the help that they actually can get from professionals.

Being able to weave my mental health struggles, both past and present, into my stories makes it not weird. It makes it just a part of the story. It's not this whole thing you have to focus on. It's just one aspect of me, and my personality, my life, and among all of the other things that are going on in my life. That's just always been something that's important to me with my content.

To keep myself healthy, I stay close to a therapist. I'm medicated. I make sure that I try and protect my schedule as much as possible, both in up and down seasons. I try and give myself as much margin as possible. I make sure that I am ending my work day at the right time, getting enough sleep, spending enough time with my family. Those are all really, really big deals to me.

Now, therapy is a place that I can say all of the things that I feel like I can't say. ... Most of the time, the thoughts that you think in your brain are not the truth, and so I think if you have a space that is safe enough to say them out loud and also is with a person that knows how to deal with them, and isn't related to you, I think that that's really important.

Because while your family loves you and wants to be there and will listen, I think that having somebody in your life you can share all of those struggles with, that knows how to help, is the most important, because then it protects your relationships with your family, as well.

If you or someone you know needs mental health help, text "STRENGTH" to the Crisis Text Line at 741-741 to be connected to a certified crisis counselor.

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