Comedian Brian Wetzel had the audience in stitches as he conveyed a message of hope about chronic depression, something he knows about first hand and spoke to PCC about on Monday in the Creveling lounge.


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Comedian Brian Wetzel had the audience in stitches as he conveyed a message of hope about chronic depression, something he knows about first hand and spoke to PCC about on Monday in the Creveling lounge.

 “It is important to be honest and proactive,” said Wetzel spoke to PCC on His first thought of suicide was at 19, he comically describes shaking and calling the suicide hotline.  After the call, he figured the attempt was just a one-time thing, an “episode.”

It wasn’t an episode. 

“Depression is a ghost you can’t put your hand on it but it is there,” said Wetzel.

Mayra Jaimen, history, went to the lecture because she was able to get extra credit but she got more than that.  “I am realizing depression is in existence with me but I am encouraged now to know there are resources,” said Jaimen.

Wetzel kept the audience laughing as he talked about the many jobs he had during his depression.  One of them was at a chocolate factory where the depressed side of him wanted to cut the heads off of the chocolate Santa Claus’s but he had to keep going and making money. 

At one point in his ongoing quest to deal with depression he was told he needed to be pulled back to the edge to get better. His response was, “better for what? ” He realized in time that he needed a reason to get out of bed in the morning.  “You have to find a purpose for yourself,” said Wetzel.

That purpose came nine years ago in a show titled “Side by Side: a journey with depression, a funny look at serious survival.” Wetzel performs for colleges, hospitals and theaters.  This is his second visit to PCC put on by student health services in honor of mental health month

“It is amazing (being back at PCC) I was here 5 years ago and I am reaching people,” said Wetzel.

“He relates to students well, if you can laugh at something so serious it breaks the ice,” said Bianca Richards, counselor disabled student services.

He wants people to get help, which he calls “the big H”, though that isn’t all that needs to be done.  “Don’t just get help, take the help and open yourself up,” said Wetzel.

 

 

 

Brian Wetzel speaks to students about his experience as a comedian and depression at the Craveling Lounge in Pasadena City College in Pasadena,Calif. on Monday, May 21,2012. (Daniel Nerio/Courier)

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