Breel’s talk, given at TEDxKids@Ambleside, has been watched about 1.5 million times so far. In it, the 19-year-old reveals that, while he seemed to be living a great life as a high school basketball player, he was actually contemplating suicide. He urges people to break the silence that surrounds depression because “as much as I hate some of the places that my depression has dragged me down to, in a lot of ways I’m grateful for it.” On the Today Show, interviewer Willie Geist asks Breel about this bold statement.
“Life is about duality,” Breel says. “There’s happiness; there’s sadness; there’s light; there’s dark; there’s hope; there’s hurt. And I think that, for me, nothing in my whole life has ever helped me understand more about myself, more about others, more about life than dealing with depression.”