Creator of Community and co-creator of Rick and Morty, Dan Harmon, took to Twitter yesterday, December 1 when one of his followers asked him for advice on dealing with depression. His answers were very specific and helpful, and are clearly based on his own experiences with the mental illness.

Harmon's Advice

Among Harmon's answers is an overwhelming amount of advice to own your feelings, even if they're cumbersome. He tells the fan to remember that, though feelings are real, they aren't necessarily the reality of things.

Above all, he touts the importance of telling somebody or something about your feelings, even if it's difficult.

If you pay an undue amount of attention to certain episodes of Harmon’s creation, Rick and Morty, you might notice that his personal feelings shine through in the show.

Insights from the show

At the end of episode “Pickle Rick,” main character and smartest-man-in-the-Universe Rick Sanchez visits a therapist with his family.

Rick and the therapist duke it out. Rick argues that therapy is useless in a world where he is intelligent enough to change whatever he doesn’t like.

But the therapist points out that Rick has turned himself into a pickle because he descended so far into boredom that he invented a new (and stupid) challenge for himself. Too often, she says, people excuse illness if it is paired with intelligence.

Rick may be the smartest man in the universe, but he has serious mental issues that lead him to willingly endanger himself and his family.

Normalizing therapy

The therapist tells Rick that therapy to him is like basic hygiene to normal people. She says it’s all about “cleaning and maintaining. Because the thing about work is: there is no way to do it so wrong you might die.” Therapy isn’t supposed to be thrilling.

It just is.

Harmon and Roiland have admitted that a big part of the writing process for the show deals with the writer’s own experiences. Though “Pickle Rick” has Jessica Rao on the “written by:” roster spot, Harmon stated in an interview that the entire writing-crew creates episodes together and that each writer has a chance to do some of the heavy lifting.

Destigmatizing mental illness

And not to pick too deeply into a show on Adult Swim, but Rick and Morty has to be one of the first shows of its kind to call a spade a spade when it comes to mental illness. Therapy isn’t for the “crazies” or for the gullible. It’s for everyone. It’s boring. It’s normal. And that is such an important lesson.