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Elyse Myers' TikToks are funny, yet insightful anecdotes on her mental health

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

You may have come across Elyse Myers on Instagram and TikTok, recounting an embarrassing moment from her life.

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ELYSE MYERS: Why am I afraid to leave the house? Great question. I would love to tell you. Yesterday, I thought it would be a really nice idea to go to a coffee shop, order myself...

SIMON: The web designer has turned her platform into a running commentary in which she shares funny, ridiculous and insightful parts of her life with a growing audience.

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MYERS: I give her my brother's order. She goes, we don't make that drink here. And I was like, OK. I don't want to be that person. You are standing directly in front of a menu where half the entire menu is just a picture of that item. But if you don't make it here, I will never ask for that drink again. That drink is dead to me.

SIMON: Part of being herself includes talking about her mental health struggles with ADHD, anxiety, depression and eating disorders.

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MYERS: I am introverted - like, so introverted it's almost painful. But if I'm in a social situation, I'm not going to be in the corner, like, alone. I'm going to be right next to you. We'll probably be having the best conversation you've ever had in your entire life. You'll be thinking, I just made a best friend. And I'll be thinking, I'm dead inside. At some point in the conversation, I'll accidentally tell you that I am introverted, and you'll go, you're definitely not introverted. And I'm not going to have the emotional energy to fight you on it. I'll walk away, and I probably won't leave the house again for 14 days. Thanks.

I've struggled with that stuff pretty much my entire life, and there wasn't enough space for me to talk about it. I decided as soon as I kind of became an adult and was out on my own that I was going to talk to anybody and everybody that would listen to me, just weaving it naturally into conversations that I have with people so that if I'm not weird about it, they're going to realize, oh, this isn't weird.

SIMON: The World Health Organization says the number of people who suffer from mental health disorders, including anxiety and depression, has increased over the pandemic, especially for teens and women. And while social media can make those feelings worse, Elyse Myers says her platform has given her and others a base of support.

MYERS: I think that the most common response I see in the comments that starts a conversation between strangers is, oh, my gosh, I thought I was the only one. I've never been a part of something like this, ever. I wish it existed when I was a kid. And so I'm going to do everything in my power to protect this community and continue to build it because it's very, very needed in other people's lives and my life.

SIMON: Elyse Myers tries to bring levity to her mental challenges and, along the way, share some of the power she's discovered within herself with her audience.

MYERS: I forget that people don't actually know they have control over what they, like, take in in their brain. And just giving people permission to say, like, I heard you with my ears, I heard that you feel that way, but I do not receive that or I don't want to believe that about myself - teaching people that has given me so much joy because it really radically changed my life and my self-image and the way I love myself. And so being able to give that gift to people has been really special for me.

SIMON: Elyse Myers - you'll find her on Instagram and TikTok.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC) Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.