YouTube star Dan Howell opens up about living with depression and why he decided to tell fans about his mental health

Daniel Howell has been living with depression since he was a teenager. Credit: YouTube/Dan Howell

Daniel Howell's comedy videos on YouTube have racked up more than a billion views and he has millions of subscribers.

But he has also used his social media platform to talk about mental health, revealing that he has suffered depression since he was a teenager.

Speaking on ITV's Britain Get Talking podcast, he told host Kylie Pentelow that he chose to speak about his mental health on his YouTube channel to challenge misconceptions.

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"For me I was in this strange place because I had this career as a comedian who was known for sharing these things from my life and being very open," he said. "And yet it felt like there was this huge big secret dark cloud in my life that people didn't know about.

"I just decided that for several reasons, really, I had to get it out there just so people would know this fundamental thing about me."

He said that creating the video was a "huge moment" for him but adds that he remembered being "terrified when I hit that upload button."

"The response I got was just so much more positive and powerful than I could have ever imagined," he said. "Not only because people were saying this is so much more compelling because it's real and you're being honest, but so many people had never really had depression explained to them."

The 29-year-old said part of his struggle with depression was cause by difficulties in his childhood associated with him coming to terms with his sexuality.

Last year, he came out publicly in a video entitled Basically I'm Gay which was viewed 11 million times.

"I ran away from this entire subject of sexuality because it was just so difficult and there was so much wrapped up in it," he said.

"You know, it's called internalised homophobia and it's basically from growing up in such a homophobic environment, I was brainwashed really to kind of hate myself and to not accept the fact of who I was.

"And this was such a huge part of my mental health, my entire life, to the point where I onlyacknowledged it truly a few months before I made that video."

Mr Howell, who has written a book exploring mental health entitled You Will Get Through This Night, said that he came out to his family by writing them an email after spending months trying to find the right time to tell them.

"The reception that I got from my family was very kind and loving, accepting, and it wasreally kind of wonderful," he said. "And it felt like this huge colossal weight had been lifted from me."

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