Thomas Sanders Spreads Important Message about Mental Health

Thomas Sanders Spreads Important Message about Mental Health

Kerala Bannister, Editor

Thomas Sanders, who first made himself known on the app Vine, is by no means done making content, though Vine itself is no longer running. Today he runs two YouTube Channels as well as consistently posting on his Twitter and Instagram. Out of all the content Sanders has created, the series that is arguably the most popular and influential is “Sanders Sides.” Sanders Sides is a scripted series that follows Sanders and the aspects of his personality, or sides, as they work through problems in his life, which often relate to his mental health.

“The idea of the series was just so creative and cool!” Rachel Etter, an Oakdale freshman, replied when asked what stood out to her most about the series. “I was drawn in immediately by Thomas’s personality and how he interacted with his sides.” Etter describes herself as a fairly new fan, only having watched the series for about a year.

In each episode Sanders talks with his sides to solve a problem he is having. When asked if she identified with any of the sides, Etter said “Probably Logan and Virgil. I guess Virgil’s just misunderstood. Logan may be behind on trends, but he still knows how to have fun. They both do.” The characters mentioned, Logan and Virgil, represent Sander’s logic and anxiety respectively. His other sides are Patton (his sense of right and wrong), Roman and Remus (his creativity), and Deceit.

The show has helped people understand mental Illness in a way they wouldn’t otherwise. “It helped me realize what some people are going through, and I want to find a way to help,” Etter announced. Depression, anxiety, and intrusive thoughts are all real, and some people deal with them on a daily basis. There are ways people can deal with them, but they don’t really ever go away.

When asked what drew her to the series, Deanna Vissari, a sophomore at Oakdale, explained that it was “the way the characters are shown with flaws that are still balanced out.” Because of this, the only way the sides come to a helpful conclusion is by working together. Listening to any one of them too much can be harmful and make the problem even worse.

Many fans relate to certain episodes more than others because of the content, whether that be intrusive thoughts or struggling to move on from a relationship. “The one I relate to the most is probably Fitting In,” Vissari commented. Fitting In is an episode of the series where each of the sides explore where they belong. This is shown by Hogwarts Houses. 

Virgil, however, does not find himself fitting comfortably in any of the houses. Vissari went on to say that the reason she related to this episode was “Virgil coming to terms that he’s complicated and different.”

Vissari and Etter relate to the series in different ways, but they also took away different messages about mental health. While Etter saw it as a lesson on mental illness in general, Vissari saw something else. “It has helped me understand that not everyone with the same mental illness acts the same.”

No matter who you relate to from the series or what you take away, everyone seems to agree on one thing. No matter who you are, you matter.