Thomas Sanders
Thomas Sanders makes difficult subjects more approachable. (Image via Instagram)
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Thomas Sanders

The YouTuber creates videos that explore mental illness by using different characters to voice different parts of his brain.

Thomas Sanders is a famous YouTuber who began his career on Vine. He is known for his videos about music, mental health, the LGBTQ+ community and comedy. One of Sanders’ most popular series is “Sanders Sides,” in which he uses different characters to represent different aspects of his brain. In this series, he most commonly features Morality (Patton), Creativity (Roman), Logic (Logan) and Anxiety (Virgil).

Patton, Roman, Logic and Virgil represent how the different parts of the brain react to events. Patton is often referred to as the “dad” of the group because tries to make the others think positively and be nice to each other. He’s also the best at dad jokes.

Thomas Sanders expresses his imaginative side through Roman, who inspires him to create new ideas. He also represents the side of Sanders that loves to perform in the spotlight.

Logan always fights for the most logical solutions and is the “book smarts” of the brain. He encourages Thomas Sanders to do what makes the most sense rather than what seems adventurous.

Next, Virgil keeps Sanders safe and explores the dangers of everyday experiences that he comes across. While this character sometimes plays too strong of a role for Sanders, it accurately represents anxiety and its life-altering effects.

Also, Thomas Sanders occasionally includes evil characters from the darker parts of his mind, like Deceit and The Duke. These characters represent negativity and worried thinking and often trigger Virgil and Patton in questioning Sanders’ ability to be a good person.

Using these characters, Thomas Sanders tells stories that illustrate what the humans brain does when it’s trying to process situations. He also dives into some bigger life questions that are never solved but leave viewers pondering an important lesson at the end of the videos.

In Thomas Sanders’ newest video, “Dealing with Intrusive Thoughts,” he uses his characters to explore the reality of intrusive thoughts.

As Logan continually points out during the video, it is often Virgil and Patton’s overanalyzing of these thoughts that causes them to spin out of control.

Sanders portrays how intrusive thoughts are created through The Duke, who is Roman’s negative side. The Duke imagines dark, negative situations that leave Virgil and Patton worried.

Intrusive thoughts are something that many people deal with, whether they are a side effect of other mental illnesses (such as depression or anxiety) or just the brain trying to deal with day to day life. These mental processes are rarely discussed, but Sanders explores them in a way that is educational, creative and comedic.

This video is just one of many where Sanders explores such scary mental processes. By openly discussing topics that are often difficult to confront, Sanders addresses the question: Why are we here and experiencing these things?

In many of his videos, Sanders discusses how his anxiety can be more intense than the average person’s. A recent study revealed that 19.1% of Americans have suffered from an anxiety disorder in the last year, making it no surprise that Virgil resonates with a lot of fans.

Sanders videos that are more focused on anxiety include “Taking on Anxiety” and “My Negative Thinking.” Each one portrays how anxiety interacts with events and other emotions to alter one’s perception and how Sanders himself works through these thoughts.

Sander’s also explores the importance of anxiety and how being anxious is beneficial for evolution and keeping you on task in his video series “Accepting Anxiety Part 1: Excepting Anxiety!” and “Accepting Anxiety Part 2: Can Anxiety be Good?

Sanders uses these videos to explore mental illness and the mental process. He also touches on many of these big ideas in “Learning New Things About Ourselves,” “Why do We Get out of Bed in the Morning?” and “Selfishness v. Selflessness.”

Thomas Sanders has built an amazing way to explore mental health and share his story of coming to acceptance. He discusses personal struggles and important morals that inspire people to authentically be the best versions of themselves.

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