The Importance of Mental Health

On TikTok, Instagram and YouTube, we can’t see his knowledge as an expert on mental health.
Learn his thoughts and advice through the podcast!

On August 27, 2021, Zach Dereniowski (MDMotivaortor) appeared on  Inside the Feed
According to their homepage,  the podcast is about taking an in-depth look into the influencers that shape our culture. It is created and curated to motivate all human beings through the power of storytelling! Whether you are a filmmaker, content creator, or working in retail we boil down the basics to give you practical advice to leverage your skills.

What’s up, everybody? Welcome back to another episode of Inside the feed. 

I got Zach (MD motivator) on. He is a mental health activist. I’m so excited to have him on the show today. How are you doing?

I’m really, really excited about this opportunity.
How are you?

Good, good to have you on.
Please give the people what you are, what you’re doing and all that.

He explained his history and why he started posting videos on TikTok.

If you don’t know his background, click the image and read another post for more information.

The transitions made you feel alone, even though you felt like you had things going for you, grew up in Canada and you went to Sydney to pursue a new medical school, right?

Why do all of a sudden you feel alone?

I guess so.
When I was 18, I think it was just a lot of freedom and no structure.
And I was just immature at that point in my life. And then that was a strong reflection to go against like my family and my brother.

I’ve always loved trying new things and exploring and putting myself on the side of my comfort zone. But when five or six negative things happen at once, I just commit to a breaking point and do not even realize it was a breaking point

Fortunately, I was confident I’ll still be okay, this isn’t right, and I sought support.

I think that a really big thing for people is that they don’t want to seek support when they’re feeling that bad. Or they have sought support, and they’ve been rejected or dismissed.

And then that just puts them farther into a hole. So I guess the biggest thing I could tell someone is ’’just say I’m not okay you don’t have to say everything. For example, Just play basketball with your friends and say it’s been really shit lately.  Also, visiting a therapist’s room with your best friend or your parents just chats it up like we’re doing right now.

Why do you think people either are not aware of it or are scared to say that they’re not okay?

Because it seems like your whole thing is like opening a platform.
And then opening the conversation and making people feel comfortable that they’re not alone. And you’ve gotten so much support. But what are the reasons why people hold back?

That’s, that’s a really good question. I think there are a lot of reasons for that. But I think as humans, we’re really complex. And we each have different identities for different spaces of our lives. You’re different at work as you are at home as you are with your friends or whatever. 

And I think we put on this mask of like, we can do work, we’re invincible or we’re super social. It’s easy to turn those facets off from those. they just turn off from those people than it is to say that I have a different face to me right now. I was going through this. So I think that the challenge is our perceived perceptions of others.

That’s a huge thing.
 And we’re not really taught from a young age to be vulnerable

Yeah. There’s something that you said that was so powerful and I want you to talk about it a little bit. You said that vulnerability is your superpower.  Can you explain that more? 

Thanks. when I failed at college and I got to a point where I was about to start medical school, I realized that I got kicked out of college, and I was kicked out of my house. And my story wasn’t that I was a successful student, my story was, that I was vulnerable about being kicked out of college and making it to the point. 

So I knew that I created a formula. And I use the academic for that formula academically and now use it with mental health. So it’s vulnerability equals relatability equals empowerment. So I feel like when we’re vulnerable, we can relate when we can relate, we can empower. So whether that’s from saying I’m depressed with that, saying, I’m a college dropout, whatever your situation is, when you’re okay with you’re in your own skin, that’s when you really I guess change the lives of others. And I learned that through being kicked out of college, and then I just applied it in the mental health space.

Amazing. That’s a formula that needs to be on a billboard. That’s something that people don’t want to know, but need to know.

So you started TikTok. What made you do that?
It’s obviously made us in touch and you’re crushing it and creating an amazing community. So walk us through like, that first day when you posted that video. what was the purpose?

Yeah, on the first day, I posted it with my best friend who is named Jake Goodman but now he’s Dr. Jake Goodman and the co-founder with mental health. He was on TikTok for about like three or four months before. 

And he told me ’’Zach, just post one post a video on there’’. I was hesitant for a few weeks as anyone’s with any new thing, right?
But I just posted it. It wasn’t actually about mental health. The first video I posted was about being a college dropout, and getting into medical school. I remember going back to the app a few days later and had six likes and two comments from the two friends. 

@mdmotivator 0.59 GPA ➡️ M.D. Acceptance #everydayscience #premed #doctor #medicalstudent #fyp ♬ Ooh Ahh (My Life Be Like) [feat. Tobymac] – Grits

I was like, Oh, this is stupid. This isn’t impacting anyone. And it just, I don’t like being in a video. I actually don’t like watching my videos after I post them.

And then I come back like four days later. That video has about half a million likes. I’ve never gone viral on social media before that. 

More importantly, people were sending me messages like I was just about to quit college or this helped me. 

And people were just like, I was blown away that social media can be used for so much good because when I see social media I see it as like this filtered these filtered stories, not even filtered photos but filtered stories of people. And when people were connecting to random strangers for 15-second videos.

 I was like I can connect with people way more than I’ll ever be able to hit like in person ever in my life
 I knew I’m not alone and hoped we can get through this together.

And then it wasn’t until like a month later that on TikTok, I started posting, I guess, like mental health videos.

And it got to a point where I would see these like, hundreds or 1000s of comments on videos. And these videos are connecting with people. But I thought how can I make this more impactful? So what I did was I started in the thing was July of last year, for about a month and a half every single day, I would always say you matter or you’re not alone at the end of the videos.

And people will be always in the comments like ’’I matter, but I don’t really matter or like not me, I don’t matter or whatever’’.  

I thought ’’No, you matter most’’.

So what I would do is I’d pick someone if they’re saying real share, like people say I just lost my partner, or I’ve gone through I’m going through stage four cancer. Some of these people who have commented on these videos have actually passed and what I would do is I would pin make the comment and just say, everyone shows Candice why ma’am, sure. Love. Hundreds of 1000s and 1000s people in the chat be like why ma’am? Candice? Candice? Candice, Candice, and I just like flood people with love, in ways that they didn’t know, was possible. And I thought that was a really powerful way, I guess, of using this community to just send it in on one person. And I would send around one person every single day for about, like, I think 45 days. 

Listen to the rest on Podcast! 

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