The Good Place has been a runaway hit since it premiered in 2016, but those who don't have the luxury of catching up with the show's third season via NBC will have to wait until it officially drops on Netflix for binging sessions sometime this fall.
For those of you who've grown to love Eleanor, Chidi, Tahani, Jason, and Michael's trip through the wonderful world of ethics, here are some cool facts from behind the scenes of the show we think is really forking awesome.
Note: spoilers ahead.
Jameela Jamil's come a long way from T4
Jameela Jamil, who plays Tahani Al-Jamil, did not get her start as an actress. She began her career as an English teacher before moving into television, where she was a presenter on T4 from 2009 until 2012.
Jamil has also presented other shows, including The Official Chart and The Official Chart update. Jamil made radio history when she became the first sole female presenter of the BBC Radio 1 Chart show.
She landed her role on The Good Place after moving to Los Angeles to present radio shows. Her agent told her that show creator Michael Schur was looking for a British actress for a new comedy series. Jamil auditioned and won the role with no prior acting experience.
And so has Manny Jacinto.Giphy
Manny Jacinto––who plays the lovable idiot Jason Mendoza––wanted to pursue a career as a professional dancer and participated in hip-hop dance competitions before he got into acting.
Kristen Bell is an accomplished stage actress.
Kristen Bell (Eleanor) is an accomplished stage actress. She made her Broadway debut as Becky Thatcher in The Adventures of Tom Sawyer in 2001. She also appeared in The Crucible the following year, playing the role of Susannah Walcott.
"Can I just say something crazy?"
In the event you've been living under a rock, Bell is also the voice of Princess Anna in Disney's Frozen.
William Jackson Harper Considered leaving Hollywood before TGP.Giphy
William Jackson Harper, who plays ethicist Chidi Anagonye, considered quitting acting before landing his role on The Good Place.
I was burned out. I was doing a lot of theater and I love theater but I was also just so broke all the time that I was just frustrated, and decided that this season was going to be my last pilot season," Jackson explained. "I was going to start trying to transition out from acting. I hit a point where I was like, 'Okay, maybe it's time for me to be realistic and get a regular job and try to have some stability in my life.' Then this job happened and not only was it a job that gave me a little bit more faith, but also, I couldn't imagine a more perfect job and a more perfect show for me to be on this one," he said. "Sitting here with you talking is like a miracle to me, because I've been at this for a while, not nearly as long as some, but longer than others."
Kristen Bell and Ted Danson (Michael) were cast in early 2016. Bell has said she was aware of the first season's twist ending when she signed onto the show.
D'Arcy Carden (who plays Janet, the Good Place's artificial intelligence) was cast in a series regular role that was announced as "Janet Della-Denunzio, a violin salesperson with a checkered past." This was later revealed to be an intentional hoax.
The original plan for the series was considerably different.
According to series creator Michael Schur, the original plan for the series was to include religious elements into the series after doing research on various faiths and groups. This was scrapped in favor of the show's more universal philosophical approach.
"It is very important to make clear in the first 30 seconds of the pilot, this is not one religion's concept of the afterlife," Schur told The Hollywood Reporter in September 2016. "I did a lot of research."
"I stopped doing research because I realized it's about versions of ethical behavior, not religious salvation," he said. "The show isn't taking a side, the people who are there are from every country and religion."
The series' setting and premise was inspired by Lost, which was developed by Damon Lindelof.
"I took him to lunch and said, 'We're going to play a game [of] 'Is this anything?'" He then added "I imagine this going in the Lost way, with cliffhangers and future storylines," Schur told Variety in 2016.
Read it and weep.
The twist ending of Season 1––that the four leads are actually in The Bad Place––was inspired by the Jean-Paul Sartre play No Exit. The most famous line from that play: "Hell is other people."
It's a small world.
D'Arcy Carden, who plays Janet, once worked as a nanny for Saturday Night Live alum Bill Hader. The two of them have since become friends and colleagues; she has a recurring role as Natalie Greer on HBO's Barry, in which Hader stars.
Way to go!
Carden first made her name as a member of the Upright Citizens Brigade. She enjoyed a sketch comedy show she saw so much that she signed on for classes and eventually progressed with the group, even touring with the UCB Touring Company.
All in a day's work.
Ted Danson practiced his flossing dance for weeks.
"We decided the saddest thing a desperate demon in a 70-year-old's skin-suit could do in that scenario was to start flossing. So that's what we went with," said co-executive producer Joe Mande. "Although it was weirdly important to me that Michael refer to it as 'the Backpack Kid dance.'"
"Ted read the line and it got a laugh, but he was clearly confused. So he stopped the read and politely asked, for his own edification, if he could see an example of this Backpack Kid dance," Mande recalled of the table read. "A bunch of the actors got up and started flossing for him at the table. Ted then went back, reread the line, and quickly attempted to floss himself. It was wonderful."
The show's "blend of comedy, morality, philosophy and jokes about robot sex" has continued to resonate strongly with critics, including writer Laura Turner, who in a piece for The Washington Post, said that the show is a vital commentary on our current political climate:
"Am I my brother's keeper?" is a question we all have to answer for ourselves, and our current political climate makes that question feel especially urgent. How are we responsible for each other, the show wants to ask.
"The Good Place" is not an inherently partisan or political show, but that question has incredible political consequences. If we are, indeed, our brothers' keepers, then we cannot in good conscience allow our brothers to be torn from their families at our nation's borders. If we are our brothers' keepers, we cannot stand idly by while they are banned from serving in the military, or lose the ability to put food on their table during a government shutdown, or are the victims of racism and violence. If we answer the question "Am I my brother's keeper?" in the affirmative — as "The Good Place" does — then we are responsible to our brothers. And the afterlife, and our admission to it, depends on how we answer this question.
Jesus said that whatever we do for "the least of my brothers," it is as if we have done it for him.
Believe it or not.
Show creator Mike Schur apparently told Kristen Bell how The Good Place will eventually end... but she forgot what he said.
"I was told, and… the funny thing is, uh, I got a lot going on, and I don't remember things very well, and I forgot. I legit forgot," she said.
When pressed, she responded: "I got two kids, guys! That's, like, a lot of work! There's so much work! They don't even tell you how much work they are! He told me. Last year, he's like, 'That's how I'm going to wrap it up. Yeah, that's the right idea.' And it has exited my brain."
Up close and personal.
William Jackson Harper has said that he, much like his character Chidi, is a neurotic person.
Speaking to Vulture this week, he said:
"Yes. Absolutely. One hundred percent. Neurotic, anxious. The major difference between me and Chidi is that he talks about it a lot. When I'm feeling neurotic and anxious, I just completely disappear. I don't want anyone to be dealing with that or see it. I remember I was on a date some years ago. We met at a party and we had a great time, and then we went on the date and I was really nervous. Eventually, after a couple of drinks, I started to relax. Then she said to me, "Oh, there you are. I was wondering when that guy was going to show up." Of course, that weirded me out again immediately. I was right back to where I was. It was like, Fuck, I thought I was covering. Hearing that I was like, Oh, so people do notice when I'm freaking out and I'm a little bit nervous and I'm not easy and I'm not free. I don't want to make people deal with that, so I tend to disappear."
Up close and personal, part 2.
Harper is rather buff––now––but he also opened up about his struggles with body issues:
The goal was honestly just to avoid ridicule. I was so afraid that I was going to be made fun of. And it's just going to be me getting dumped on on the internet for the way I looked. I was terrified. I got made fun of for how I looked when I was younger. Like, honestly, right up through college, enemies and friends would make fun of the way I looked with my shirt off. I mean, I was a little overweight, and then I've also had other body issues that I feel really self-conscious about.
So when this episode came up, I was just like, No. Oh, God … Oh, grocery shopping. Oh, sprinkler. Oh, f**k. I was like, there's no way I can hide. I also didn't want to have the conversation of, "I'd feel really self-conscious taking my shirt off." I don't go to the beach. I don't go swimming. I don't do sh*t like that because I'm that nervous about it. I only do it when I absolutely have to.
I don't know where that started. I mean, obviously during puberty your body freaks out. And maybe I never really sort of grew up in that respect. Maybe that part of my brain just stayed 14 and awkward and feeling weird and a little bit scared all the time like that. I think that maybe something didn't progress the way that it was supposed to. I can't really pinpoint anything that was the moment that I remember, that it was like, Oh, okay. I don't see myself the way the world sees me at all.
But the real positive thing from all of that, beyond actually getting complimented on how I looked physically, was just the fact that it was like, Wow, I'd worked toward something that felt like I couldn't get there. And I actually got there. That sense of control was nice. Like, I worked out and I dieted. It yielded an unexpected result, but still a positive one. That was a nice feeling, because at least physically, I never really had that sort of feeling where I'm in control of this.
You go, girl!
Jameela Jamil has used her platform to rally for feminist causes. She recently received a Voices of the Year award at a BlogHer Health conference where she discussed what it means to be a "feminist in progress":
"I think we are all feminists-in-progress," she said. "I believe that we don't all have all of the answers, and I think that there's a great power in admitting to that, because then you create space for yourself to grow, and to learn, and to change. I'm someone who didn't understand feminism;
I didn't even know the term intersectional feminism, I think because I just thought, 'Well, I love all people, so therefore I am an intersectional feminist.' But my feminism wasn't specifically targeting and helping and elevating cultures that weren't mine. I was focusing on the plight of brown women, and therefore ignoring the plight of black women or women with disabilities or women who are deaf, or blind, or trans."
"I think feminist-in-progress is a term I use that rallies against cancel culture, which I don't think is helpful because then you never give someone a chance to evolve—and fair enough, I understand that not everyone deserves a chance necessarily—but I think if someone genuinely wants to learn and grow, you shouldn't always hold their old mistakes against them," she continued. "I think we could try, at least, to rehabilitate people and give them a chance to go away and learn and read and watch things that will illuminate them."
You have to start somewhere...
Show creator Michael Schur said that he came up with the idea for the show after Parks and Recreation ended while making some observations about "annoying" behavior.
He said he devised the show's point system while observing people in Los Angeles do things like cut each other off in traffic.
"Like if anyone was keeping score—'What you did right there, sir, cutting me off in traffic, you just lost eight points,'" Schur said. "And I started thinking about a world where actions have actual point values that can be measured and analyzed and broken down, and that led me to the afterlife. And I thought what if it's a game and the people with high scores get into the good place and people with the lowest scores get into the bad place."
Schur told Vulture that he named Michael after an archangel, noting that originally, he did not know what to name Ted Danson's character. But then he visited Paris's Notre-Dame Cathedral, where he learned about the archangel Michael, "the angel who weighs people's souls and decides whether their souls are good or bad."
"I was like, 'What's the name of that archangel?' And the tour guide said, 'That's archangel Michael.' And I was like, 'Well, that's the answer.'" he recalled. "The answer is that he's named Michael because in the world of the afterlife that makes perfect sense."
The more you know.Giphy
Kristen Bell says the show's concept has given her an education on ethics––and that she now uses it to debate with people.
"The subject matter is ethics, all the things we need to fix," she once told the Los Angeles Times. "Earth's current bad mood—it's all in this show." She explained she takes lessons taught in The Good Place and adapts them in her conversations. "Everyone is debating something nowadays, and now, I can actually say at a dinner party: 'Well, I disagree with that because, you know in moral particularism, cited by [British philosopher] Jonathan Dancy'—like, I actually have a sound argument as to why I believe certain things."
D'Arcy Carden has some pretty eclectic taste in music.
And she revealed where she got her stage name from:
I put an apostrophe in my name that wasn't there before, like Smashing Pumpkins bassist D'Arcy Wretzky, because of how influential this band was to me. D'Arcy was just the epitome of cool to me. In 1993, I was really into alternative and grunge music, and whereas the Nirvanas and the Pearl Jams felt so masculine, there was something sweeter and lighter about Smashing Pumpkins. The fact that they had a girl in their band was huge for me and my friends. I learned the guitar part to "Today," and it made me feel like such a badass. It was like, "Wow, I can play guitar!" But, of course, anybody can play the beginning of "Today."
Jameela Jamil is taking a stand against celebrity ads for "detox" fads.Giphy
In addition to her "I Weigh" movement, Jamil has recently started a petition asking celebrities to stop "promoting toxic diet products on social media." It reads, in part:
In the last few years we have seen a scary rise in the marriage of celebrity and diet/detox endorsement. There's little to no information about the side effects or main ingredients, the harm they may cause or any of the science behind how these products are supposed to work. They are instead, flogged in glossy paid adverts by celebrities and influencers with no expertise or authority in nutrition/medicine/biology.
While you wait for Season 4...
...just know that Kristen Bell and her husband Dax Shepard have announced their new baby product line, HelloBello. The organic products are sold at a third of the price of other premium products in the baby market.
For those of you who don't know...
You can only watch the first two seasons on Netflix. The third season will likely drop on the streaming service by the end of the year.
The final five episodes of the show are available on Hulu, and all of them are available on NBC.com. You'll need a cable login to watch the first seven episodes of the season, however. The final five, as with Hulu, are free to view.
And don't worry...Giphy
Season 4 is on its way.
According to Decider:
NBC hasn't officially announced a premiere date for Season 4 of The Good Place, but based on recent history, it's not difficult to predict a release date.
Season 1 premiered on September 19, 2016
Season 2 premiered on September 20, 2017
Season 3 premiered on September 27, 2018
With those dates in mind, we imagine Season 4 of The Good Place will debut on NBC in late September of 2019 (Thursday, September 26th perhaps?).
And there are just as many grievances for which we are not at all sorry.
Curious to hear about people's track record of their questionable behavior, Redditor NanoPKx asked:
"What is something bad you have done with no regrets?"
Is it petty theft or flat out stealing? You decide.
The Parting Gift
"'Forgetting' to bring back a company ipad after they forgot about me having it. Actually they never asked for it back so I still have it and use it."
"I stole a barn kitten while delivering packages for FedEx. He kept climbing my legs and getting into the van, sitting under the wheel when I tried to back out (it was a steep driveway, no way to swing the van around). I called the number on the package, looked the name up on facebook, called the local non-emergency to get contact info, all failed."
"So I took him. Now, if you're not from a rural environment, you might not understand that barn cats like that are 'no-man's-cats.' For all the owners know, he got sick or got got by a coyote. And he would have died, because when we got him to the vet he had a nasty upper resp infection and some other nasties."
"Now, one deformed nasal passage and the cutest snore later, we have a bonkers little orange cat with the heaviest penchant for snuggling I've ever seen (his name is Monty btw)."
"Edit: I forgot to pay my Cat Tax: https://imgur.com/a/HIXS4us"
"Edit Part 2: Monty loves the attention. Thank you for loving him as much as we do :3"
"MmmmMMMMRrrrrrrrrrrAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAW" -Montgomerey Valentine, 2022
The Dirty Treat
"A housemate of mine kept eating mine and my girlfriends food and even though I asked him to stop the only thing he would ever say is 'I thought it was mine' then keep eating it."
"Well I bought my girlfriend some ice cream she really enjoys and she put the half she didn’t finish back in the freezer. Well when she want to get the rest it was gone and it made me madder than I think it probably should have."
"The very next time I saw him and somehow keeping a straight apologetic face I told him how he accidentally ate our sex ice cream and that bits of it had been on our parts etc. I told him I felt guilty not to tell him and that I had to apologise for him to eat such a thing."
"I will never forget the face he made when I told him. A face of pure self disgust and shock to which all he had to say was 'I wish you never told me that' and proceeded to move out around a month later."
"Although he didn’t actually eat sex ice cream, like why the f'k would you put it back after use anyway? Sometimes I wonder if I went to far but in that moment I just did not care at all. He still doesn’t know it isn’t true and I’ll probably never see him again."
"F'k you Vitas buy your own food."
Vengeance is sweet.
"A drunk driver hit my parked car, left a huge dent in the front driver’s side door, and then drove away. I happened to be looking out the window at the time and saw the whole thing, including his plate number. Cops got there not long after and took my statement. After a couple days and a couple phone calls, I found out nothing was going to come of it because he was the son of the sheriff the next county over."
"Fast forward a couple months, I see his car parked behind a local bar within walking distance of my apartment. I got out my hunting knife and sliced all four of his tires, and made a couple trips around it destroying the paint job. Yellow Pontiac Sunfire, and I still remember the goddamn plate number even after almost 20 years."
For The People
"I was a GM for a retailer that was going out of business. During the liquidation I let my employees that worked until the end store product they wanted to buy in a closet I claimed I didn't have a key to. Oh the final days I sold them all the items they requested for 95% off. 70" tvs, ipads, gaming laptops whatever they requested."
"Years ago I worked for a wealthy dude who was married to someone semi-famous. He would waltz in every morning and talk about the fantastic dinner he had the night before, how he hung out with some other famous person or whatever else."
"He paid me peanuts. I had a hard time making ends meet."
"I was the office assistant and IT guy. So it comes time to get a new computer for one of the designers. I spec something out, and show it to him. It was a ripper of a machine for the time (early 2000s). But it wasn’t expensive enough for bossman."
"So I added a really high end graphics card. Boss was happy then. The card added nothing for the designer: they only did illustrator and photoshop."
"So I came in that weekend and swapped the graphics card for my aging one from home."
"No one ever knew. Or cared. And I got a new graphics card."
When times are tough, people had to do what it took to survive.
"In college I was so poor I would steal toilet paper from the supply closet in our major building."
Hungry College Buddy
"I stood watch for a college friend who was going hungry because he’d been disowned and his roommates had made living with him intolerable after he came out."
"I was loosely affiliated with an off campus program with local churches that gave free student dinners on Thursdays. We would go to church to eat, then bring dishes into the kitchen."
"Anyway, he would go in there and steal stuff like peanut butter, literal bread (not an allegory), granola bars etc. while I watched out for the pastor."
"Eventually we both got caught, the pastor for the college students got a bit mad because he was responsible for us while we were there to eat. And I think it was offensive on some level to steal from church. But then he saw what my friend was taking, and asked him if he had enough to eat. My friend shamefacedly said no, not usually."
“'Okay, fine. Put the food back, and come with me.' Took my friend grocery shopping instead, got him connected with the food pantry and community garden at church instead."
Based on these examples, people didn't twice about their actions in the heat of the moment.
Within reason, we all gotta somehow get by.
But do you think their actions deserve punishment?
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When a person sees someone they care about going through a struggle or crisis, their instinct is to uplift them with positive advice.
But sometimes, the wisdom imparted by friends isn't always helpful or relevant to the situation.
Curious to hear from strangers online who could do without specific knowledge, Redditor Saibotnl1 asked:
"What life advice can just f'k off?"
These Redditors have a problem with how certain people have on outlook on life.
Time To Rest
"Sleep when you’re dead."
"Cool, but you’re going to be dead a lot sooner."
"People have it so much worse than you so don’t be sad!"
"To that I like to say, 'people have it so much better than you so don't be happy!'"
Your Life Path
"Almost anything relating to what age you must be in order to buy a house, have children, marry, have a profession, or do anything else. Seriously, everyone's life is different from everyone else's. Make your life the way you want it to be. If you so desire. Up to you."
On The Contrary
“Cheaters never prosper”
"Yes, they f'king do."
People can get out of any situation they find displeasing.
But others feel people should just "stick it out."
"Just ignore bullys or get someone else to handle it for you. I have never seen this work, only makes it worse. The only effective way I've seen to deal with them is by not making yourself an easy target and make them scared to f'k with you again. If going psycho on their a** is the only thing they'll respond to that's their fault. Also want to add in schools they will punish you for self defense but that punishment is only sitting around a few hours in detention or sitting around at home with a suspension. The punishment is temporary boredom, it's absolutely nothing compared to being bullied and when it's over the important message will still stand that you will not tolerate being a victim."
– User Delted
Remain to be Miserable
"Stick it out"
"Whether that's sh**ty jobs, shi**y relationships, shi**y living situations..."
"By all means don't just give up on things when you face challenges, but if something feels wrong or is wrecking your peace then take some control and change it if you can!"
"Easy for you to say," might be an auto-response to these suggestions for many people.
Invitation For Recklesslessness
"Live like everyday was your last"
Yall know what people do when they learn they have a single day left to live?"
A Possible Consequence
"I did that as a teenager and ended up homeless and addicted to heroin. Didn’t pan out for me too well."
"19 years sober though today."
A Practical Approach
"If I knew with certainty that I had one day left, I'd double-check all my financials, my will, and my insurance policies, make sure my wife had all of my passwords and knew where all the money was, spend the rest of the day with her and the kids, then call the medical examiner and ask to lie down on the gurney so that when I die they won't strain their back moving my remains out of my house."
Nose Stuck In A Book
"Work while they sleep. Study while they party"
"That's not a recipe for success, that's a recipe for a lot of white hairs, burnout syndrome and a stroke before your 40s..."
Doesn't Apply To Everyone
"Do what you love and money will follow"
"I love walking my dogs and grilling food for my friends but That sh*t doesn't pay the bills as well as my engineering degree!"
While people's intentions are good, they're better off keeping their two cents in their own pockets.
Not everyone likes to hear platitudes.
Sometimes, people just want to know they're not alone with their problems over listening to unlikely solutions that are nothing more than superficial pick-me-ups.
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Kids start going to school from the age of five, and for the most part, they spend more time at school than at home. Because of that, teachers can become very important figures in the lives of their students.
Some students don't have the best home lives. Some keep it to themselves, but others confide in their teachers.
Curious about various situations, Redditor Delicious_Mastodon83 asked:
"teachers of reddit what is the saddest thing you found out about a student?"
In Need of Parents
"Not a teacher but was a school-based therapist. Had a student (7 -8 y/o) I didn’t know knock on my office door and ask if I’d adopt her and “if you have room, my brother too, but if not, that’s ok, we can be split up. We’re split up now. And I don’t take up space. I just need a sleeping bag”. Broke my heart."
Heartbreaking, But Industrious
"My mom taught at a school in a bad neighborhood in Chicago in the mid 90’s. There was a second grader that would save his milk and ketchup packers from lunch for his mom so she had something to eat when she got home from work."
"Not a teacher but a parent with a 9 year old son. Every day I pack extra in my sons lunch because he tells me he has a friend that never has anything to eat. It's winter and my son came home and told me his friend was turning up with shorts and shirt and holes in his shoes. So I sent in a jumper and long pants for him to wear and some slightly used but good condition shoes. I have been up to the school recently and the teacher pulled me aside and thanked me profusely for helping this child. Apparently teachers are not allowed to aid kids they teach here in Australia and they have already reported the issue 3 times to child welfare without results so I was the only one helping this child. The teacher told me before I started sending in more food and clothes, this child would steal others food from their lunches and look through the bins because he was so hungry. They doubt he gets fed at home. So now I make sure to always send an extra lunch and some school clothes/supplies when I can. I can only hope child welfare eventually does something but it breaks my heart."
Amazing Big Sister
"It was right after winter break and before class started I was just talking with some students and asked if they got anything fun for the holidays. One girl said on no, I don’t ever get presents, my mom is a drug addict. But I went out and got some stuff for my little sister so that she can have a real Christmas."
"She just said it so matter-of-fact. She was so used to being the parent to her little sister that she didn’t even care about her own childhood. It totally broke my heart."
The Importance Of Human Affection
"Second hand story from my mom, elementary teacher for 30ish years. She had a hug or a handshake out the door policy, just some small contact and a proper goodbye, and had this young boy who always picked the hug. She wondered why he always went for it, most kids would go back and forth depending on their mood that day, so she asked him why he was always so excited for the end of day hug? His answer, "It's the only one I ever get.""
Coming Out The Other Side
"Two teenage boys (16/14) with learning disabilities were on my caseload, they never missed school but often ditched class. They were homeless mid-year after they went home from school to find the locks changed, their Mom had abandoned them for a new boyfriend. She didn't leave an address for them to find her."
"*Edit: both eventually dropped out, however a couple of years later the younger brother came back to visit. He and his brother were both working construction, and his brother had gotten married, had a child, and was living with his wife’s family."
"The younger had roommates and was saving for a car. He told me it was a shame I didn’t have kids, because I would make a good Dad."
"People often persevere, even with the odds stacked against them."
"Not me but my daughter is a teacher, she has lots of stories but one that stands out for me is one of her kindergarten kids saying she was tired and her asking why, the little girl explained that she had been up all night with her mums newborn baby. She did this every night, fed her bottles and everything."
Luckily, He Was Resilient
"This year I had a 17 year old kid enroll at my school. He was sitting in my math class and I could tell he was struggling. After class I took some extra time to go over a concept with him. I asked him to read the question to me, and he sat there silently. He then looked at me and said “I’m not going to lie to you, I cannot read. I have no idea how to say these words""
"Turned out at age 17 he was illiterate and had been kept out of school by his very religious, controlling parents. Over the past few months he has worked very hard! Now he can finally read at an 8th grade level and he is STILL improving!!"
– User Deleted
A Heroic Teacher
"I worked in an inner city charter school. One of my students (`M10) had a sib (M8) in a lower grade. The mom was there every day in the beginning of the year encouraging them, helping them and generally being very supportive... until a CPS agent spoke to me asking about her behavior. After CPS left things went downhill. The boys showed up late to class even though they lived a half block away from school. When in school both boys were tired from sleeping in the car while their mom "went fishing". She also had two very young girls which she dragged around making the boys take care of them. One day the boys didn't show up and their teacher walked over to the house to find the mom had loaded up the fridge, paid the rent for the month and abandoned them. The teacher (a candidate for sainthood btw) took them in, adopted them and grew them up to be great men."
This is really heartbreaking stuff! Luckily, teachers aren't just another adult in your life; they can be your saving grace as well.
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TRIGGER WARNING: This article contains sensitive content about depression and mental health.
As the stigma around mental health lessens (however slowly), people are more forthcoming about the problems they are facing. One of the most common mental health issues is depression.
Depression can affect many different types of people. Factors such as gender, race, nationality, and even age have no bearing on whether someone suffers from depression or not.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), globally, "...an estimated 3.8% of the population affected, including 5.0% among adults and 5.7% among adults older than 60 years..."
Depression displays in certain patterns, such as mood changes, physical difficulties, and social isolation. However, depression manifests differently in different people and feels different to different people.
Reddit users divulged what depression felt like to them when Redditor iodineseaspray asked:
"What does depression feel like to you?"
Some of this is sure to sound familiar.
The Worst Kind Of Boredom
"Like being more bored than you could imagine but also not wanting to do anything at all, even breathe. So you want to do something, but you can't imagine anything that you would like to do so you're just sort of stuck."
"So you then spend literally hours staring at a blank wall hating yourself, your life, and everything around you. Well, as much hate as you can summon in the absolutely mentally numb state you find yourself sat in day after day."
Lack Of Motivation and Energy
"Complete lack of motivation."
"Ignoring people that I love, and who are trying to help."
"I feel it extra at work. Letting things slide until you either get into trouble or trying last minute to prevent it."
"Funny those times when I'm working to save my butt, the depression goes away and i feel super focused and motivated."
"I try to carry that energy over but no, it's rinse and repeat."
"Insecure about absolutely everything, no hope for the future, dissociation from society and not knowing how to “act” anymore, feeling like I’m not as good at the things I always thought I was good at or that the “talent is wasted on me”, only food cheers me up and sometimes even that doesn’t work"
Loss Of Creativity
"This. It's like some numb fuzziness you feel in your brain. It's the worst thing ever for an artist who just wants to create but your brain comes up dry with a dense fog that wants to just lie down for a few hours"
A Mental Inability To Breathe
"For me, it feels like I’m in a lake with a ball chain tied to my feet, desperately swimming up for air, the only problem is the chain isn’t long enough. I can only get an inch of my head out of the water to breath, and as soon as a high tide comes, the water just floods over me and I feel like I can’t breath again. I live like this, constantly feeling like I’m struggling to breathe, weighed down by my own mind. It’s a struggle and I can’t really describe it in any other way, I’m jealous of people who don’t worry about depression"
"Like suffocating under a heavy cloak"
"Like being crushed. Like if the air was crushing my muscles and bones and I can’t breathe because I’m being crushed…"
"Kinda like that."
"Scrolling thru your steam library. Thinking you want to play something, either not settling on anything or not wanting to put the effort into the game. Going back to the scrolling."
"It feels like you're forced to play a game of Monopoly (represents life) and your just rolling the dice to appease everyone but you genuinely don't care about where you go, where you land, what you pick up, what you pay, what you gain."
"You kind of just watch it happen without interest and while people are cheering or oh no-ing for you, you genuinely don't care. Everyone is a piece on this board that hardly matters and you feel like we're all just running in a circle over and over again and it's boring and disinteresting as hell."
"You lose all curiosity for everything and just let everything happen and pass by you. No motivation, hardly any love, hardly any care. Feels like the world is in black and white and your waiting for the game to end became it's so absolutely boring and disinteresting, but it never does."
"You come to resent the game and eventually hate it because it feels like you're being forced to play it and suffer it's consequences when you never asked to play it in the first place."
"That's what depression felt like for me. Since then I've been medicated and recieved therapy. I'm doing a lot better now and I don't feel this way anymore, thankfully."
A Relation To Fantasy
"You know that scene in the Lord of the Rings where Bilbo is describing to Galndalf what having the Ring all those years felt like? "I feel thin. Like too much jam spread over too much bread." That's honestly the best way I've seen to describe it."
"I always say the closest thing to compare it to is a dementor in harry potter. It sucks every ounce of happiness out of you until there is only darkness left."
"Side note: chocolate always helps"
Fear Of Lack Of Justification
"Like someone close to you died yesterday. Expect no one has, and nothing has happened to justify how you feel."
A Physical Pain
"Physical pain in my heart, will start crying just by attending to the physical sensation in my body."
"I've always described it as having a shadow fixed to your brain which fuels things like indecision and negativity. You can do things to temporarily help but you can't truly shift it. Previous normality is forgotten. But it's amazing how much you can mask it."
"I found I didn't realise how bad I was until I started to get better"
"For anyone suffering with depression. Please, please speak to someone. Best thing I ever did"
Depression isn't something you can just deal with or get over. Learning to cope is not easy. However, as Redditor DavosLostFingers pointed out, talking to someone can literally save your life.
If you or anyone you know is struggling with depression, contact the American Psychological Association by phone at 800.374.2721 or 202.336.5500.
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