In his since-deleted tweets, the 23-year-old told Twitter followers on Monday to “remember anxiety is created by you. Sometimes you gotta let life play out and remind yourself to be happy and that the answers will come.”
“Chill your mind out. Go for a walk. Talk to a friend,” he wrote.
Paul, who has nearly 20 million subscribers on YouTube and nearly four million Twitter followers, was quickly called out for his “harmful” remarks. Many people on Twitter said Paul’s comments were insensitive and belittled the seriousness of anxiety and panic disorders.
Body-positive YouTuber Sierra Schultzzie tweeted that Paul’s comments are “doing actual harm” to his followers and pointed out that “mental illness is not the fault of the sufferer.”
Others shared their own experiences with mental health conditions, saying that you can’t just “cure” anxiety by going for a walk.
Others mocked Paul’s comments, joking that they were now anxiety-free thanks to his advice.
After the backlash, Paul deleted his original tweet and shared resources for people dealing with mental health issues.
The YouTuber tweeted that his remarks were “spreading more awareness about anxiety” and said that he has had the mental health condition his whole life.
There are a variety of recognized anxiety disorders, according to the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH), including panic disorder and generalized anxiety disorder.
Symptoms of anxiety disorders have both mental and physical symptoms, including irrational and excessive fears, apprehensive and tense feelings and difficulty managing daily tasks, CAMH says.
READ MORE: Getting through work when you’re depressed
This isn’t the first time that Paul has been called out for his remarks.
In 2018 he defended his brother, fellow YouTube creator Logan Paul, after he published footage to YouTube showing a corpse in Japan’s “suicide forest.”
Logan uploaded the video to his YouTube page but then took it down amid serious backlash from around the world. Among the most outraged were various suicide prevention groups, who said Logan was making light of the seriousness of the situation and paid tremendous disrespect to the man who died.
If you or someone you know is in crisis and needs help, resources are available. In case of an emergency, please call 911 for immediate help.
The Canadian Association for Suicide Prevention, Depression Hurts and Kids Help Phone 1-800-668-6868 all offer ways of getting help if you, or someone you know, may be suffering from mental health issues.
— With a file from Chris Jancelewicz