Otis Carey: tackling depression with art and surfing

July 9, 2019 | Surfing
Otis Carey: he fought depression with art and surfing | Photo: Billabong

A powerful interview in which indigenous artist and surfer Otis Carey opens up about his journey with depression has released online.

The clip has received almost 22,000 views and has been shared more than 300 times on social media since being posted on the platform "Being Here."

In the video, Carey reveals the mental anguish he experienced in the aftermath of a racial vilification case and a combination of personal circumstances which left him on the brink.

"I didn't address it properly, and it was something I should have addressed," Carey admits in the video.

"Being a young man, to show emotion is to come across as being weak, and I think that's so wrong."

A Mixture of Negative Things

In the video, the pro surfer also shares the tools that have supported his recovery, including communicating his feelings with others and practicing art.

"I used to get frustrated and angry as a kid and as a teen. I didn't understand my brain and how it was working and what it needed," stresses Carey.

Otis Carey: he was racially vilified in a surf magazine | Photo: Billabong

"But when I found art, it calmed my mind down. I guess that really dark depression I went through was a mixture of things."

"I just came at the back end of a defamation case with a surf mag. I was racially vilified in a magazine [...] and then the partner I was with at the time packed and left."

"We always ask each other how you're going. People aren't ever honesty about the answer they. They don't want to be a burden," adds Otis Carey.

The video is an additional content piece associated with a new mental health video series called "The Common Thread," which launches in full on the "Being Here" social media channels.

The six five-to-eight-minute clips show Byron Bay filmmaker Darius Devas travel across Australia to meet young people from all walks of life.

They all open up about their mental ill health and share the tools and tactics that have supported their recovery.

Learn how surfing can help prevent suicide.