Sometimes social media can be a vessel for useless chatter and negativity. And sometimes it can create a situation so unexpectedly profound that it might actually help lift people out of depression.
That’s what happened this week, and it unfolded like a scene from a romantic comedy.
Depressed young woman tweets at celebrity she admires. Celebrity gives her life-altering advice as the public looks on stunned, then everyone feels all the feels together.
Using the Twitter handle @chojuroh, Oregon resident Chelsea Sargent tweeted at Los Angeles-based writer Dan Harmon that she was depressed. Harmon, one of the creators of “Rick and Morty,” an adult animated science-fiction sitcom, took her seriously.
@danharmon do you have advice for dealing with depression, Sargent tweeted on Tuesday.
Here’s his response in four tweets:
Sargent could barely barely believe what was happening.
“I didn’t think he’d reply at all,” Sargent, 25, said in an interview Friday. “I was totally blown away.”
On Twitter, she replied:
Harmon’s advice was shared and retweeted thousands of times. People were grateful.
Lots of people said they were moved to tears, and Sargent weighed in again.
Sargent said she tweeted at Harmon on a whim when she was “in a mood” as she sat in her bedroom alone thinking about her depression. She’s suffered from the condition since she was 8 years old, she said, and remembered that she’d heard Harmon mention his therapist and talk generally about mental health issues on his podcast, Harmontown.
“I was thinking it would be interesting to hear from someone who is not a therapist,” said Sargent, who works in retail.
What she got was advice that resonated far beyond her bedroom.
Harmon, it seems, is a pretty introspective guy himself, and also funny. His Twitter bio says, in part:
“I take four deep four-second breaths four times a day and it makes me better than you so eat it.”
Sargent has always thought Harmon was cool, but at least for now, he’s got hero status in her world.
“I don’t want to put him on a pedestal,” Sargent said. “But now he kind of is.”
Staff researcher Magda Jean-Louis contributed to this report.