Immanuel Jones has bipolar depression. You wouldn’t assume that from his outgoing and positive demeanor.
“A lot of people think that if you see someone looking happy all the time, that they’re always happy,” Jones said. “But that’s not always the case.” Throughout his life, Immanuel has struggled managing the dramatic highs and lows often associated with bipolar depression. But after a difficult breakup with his longtime girlfriend, his depression worsened.
He nearly commited suicide. Fortunately, he did not succeed.
Since the attempt, Jones' reflections on that dark event helped him realize that ending his life was not the answer to his problems. Instead, he got inspired and decided to use the power of social media, leveraging YouTube to create content dedicated to sharing his insights and experiences about depression.
Immanuel’s initial foray as a content creator on YouTube was more in line with his upbeat and personal demeanor.
His channel, at the time, was focused on topics related to relationships, lifestyle and personal development. After his suicide attempt, however, Jones took a break from his channel and made a hard pivot, dedicating himself to creating content on the subject of depression in hopes of helping others who are also suffering from mental illness. “This tragic thing happened, and it changed my life, my perspective,” Jones said. “It helped me understand that I’m not the only one going through this and that I don’t want other people to go through this alone.”
“Depression Talks with Immanuel” launched in January 2018.
Jones’ candid authenticity is a huge part of his appeal and has played a major role in his channel's success over the past year. According to Immanuel, people on social media tend to portray themselves in a less than authentic way. He said, “As long as you’re being authentic with yourself, you’re going to be in a good place mentally. It’s when you only post the good stuff that you realize this perception isn’t your real life.” Jones goes out of his way to post content on his channel that presents the good and bad aspects of his life. But there's a downside to being so forthright and candid. Although “Depression Talks” addresses sensitive subjects in Jones’ life, he acknowledges how vulnerable it can be to put his personal business online for everyone to consume. He suggests that people who post on social media find a balance in how much personal information they want to reveal in the content that they publish.
Since he started his channel, Jones has amassed an impressive following, with over 9000 followers on YouTube, 4500 followers on Instagram and a spin-off podcast. Looking forward, Jones hopes to turn “Depression Talks with Immanuel” into a full-time gig. Jones has always had entrepreneurial tendencies and would like to expand his "Depression Talks" platform into the real world by speaking with schools and organizations. He would also like to make it easier for his viewers to speak with mental health practitioners during his show. He currently hosts a live-stream every Sunday at 12 p.m., where viewers can discuss matters pertaining to mental health on his YouTube channel.
“You never know the impact you can make on somebody just by allowing them to talk about what they’re going through,” Jones said.
Sometimes a little pivot in life can change your entire velocity. It does not take a to-do list with a billion things to change your direction in life. If you have dealt with suicidal thoughts, Jones strongly recommends calling the suicide prevention hotline (1-800-273-TALK) to speak with a live counselor who will talk with you about any problems you are going through. Jones noted that suicidal thoughts don’t just happen suddenly – what may feel like small talk about suicide can gradually increase until it’s too late. If you are experiencing an increase in these mental health issues, Jones suggest contacting a mental health practitioner or professional that can assist you. “It sometimes feels like there is a fog in your head and you don’t know how to find your way out, but you will get out,” Jones said.
More information about Depression Talks with Immanuel can be found by visiting the YouTube channel here. If you are dealing with suicide thoughts, call the suicide prevention hotline at 1-800-273-TALK.