Streamers and content creators are there to entertain their viewers. At times, this is with total disregard for their mental health. NIJISANJI VTuber Mika Melatika opened up about this facade, saying it can be tough because “being depressed… isn’t content”.
Streamers have been much more open in talking about mental health, with many detailing experiences with burn out and the grind behind the screen.
VTubers are not immune to this. They might be virtual models on a screen, but there’s a person behind them. And sometimes with the high-energy, bubbly attitudes in the space, it can be quite hard to keep up that upbeat emotion.
While going through some of her viewers’ “unpopular opinions”, NIJISANJI’s Mika Melatika spoke at length about one touching on VTubers trying to “avoid repressing their true selves but also [keeping] that air or facade to be happy and successful.”
This was echoed by Mika, who opened up on her own struggles with imposter syndrome after she exploded in 2022 to become NIJISANJI’s biggest Indonesian VTuber.
“As a VTuber, who is working for a company, I will have to say this is true,” she said on stream.
“I had a phase where I did have imposter syndrome [at] the start. I had imposter syndrome early last year, but that was because I had a massive boost in subscribers suddenly, and because of that, I felt like I don’t deserve it and they like me for someone who isn’t myself.”
Dealing with the external pressures of numbers and viewer expectations ramping up does take a toll on streamers. After all, behind the virtual model is a human entertaining and creating content.
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In an agency, there’s a bit of added pressure to keep the content ticking over even if you’re not feeling 100%. But there’s no point being downtrodden live on stream either as that just “isn’t content” in Mika’s eyes.
“There are a lot of times where during that day I am like ‘I have to stream today, but I am so insanely depressed,’” she continued. “I can’t get out of bed, I have no motivation to live, I’m just depressed that day.
“Am I a liar for being happy and having this happy facade? No, because that’s content. I’m not here being like ‘hi guys, I’m your bestie.’ I’m not. I’m a content creator. Being depressed on stream for four hours isn’t content.”
Streaming can help in some regards, she admitted, in terms of giving her a routine to follow: “Sometimes I’m like ‘I have to get out of bed because I have to stream’ and because I get out of bed, I’m already out of bed and I forget about it. It does make me feel better, so it’s not like it’s a bad thing.
“There are some games where it’s so bad where after my stream I’m like ‘I just have to go to bed. I can’t do it today.’ There have been those days, but 90% of the time, I feel better. So it’s fine. You’re going to have to force yourself to do basic normal tasks when you have issues, right?”
But it’s a wave she and many other influencers have to ride, and the mental toll can rack up even if it’s hard to explain.
“It’s called a disorder for a reason. People don’t just say depressed because they’re sad for a reason, you know what I mean? It just happens.”