At the height of his career, Yousef ‘FouseyTube’ Erakat was one of YouTube’s most synonymous stars, with massively-viewed pranks and vlogs that ultimately netted the 28-year-old upwards of 10 million subscribers and even starring roles in digital feature films.
However, since this summer, Erakat has all but disappeared from the internet after a very public battle with mental health issues. In April, Erakat announced that he was checking into rehab for addiction, depression, and bipolar disorder.
Then, in September, two months after attempting to organize a Los Angeles concert in just seven days that was dubiously purported to feature Snoop Dogg and Drake — and which ultimately resulted in police asking the 1,500 attendees to depart the venue due to a bomb threat — Erakat announced he was giving up his YouTube channel and turning it into a community platform that would feature nascent creators. He also spoke of developing suicidal thoughts due to negative YouTube comments, reports The Verge.
On New Year’s Eve, Erakat posted an update message for followers, sharing that he had suffered a manic episode over the summer after stopping prescribed medications and deciding, on his own, to resume Adderall. “In a single summer, I managed to lose all my money, cars, public respect, self-respect, love, worth, and even almost my parents’ home,” he shared on Instagram. “I managed to flush a decade’s worth of work down the toilet and was back to square one.”
Despite the update post, Erakat says he’s still not ready to return to social media full-time. During his hiatus, he went on a spiritual retreat (where he ultimately returned early due to his mental state), participated in “countless therapy sessions,” tried different medications, and enrolled in outpatient rehab. “Even writing this, I am not in the right mental state nor healthy enough to be on social media,” he shared. “I am still on the path to recovery, with no end date in sight.”
You can check out the update in its entirety below:
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This summer I suffered a very public and humiliating manic episode that really flipped my life upside down. I had just come off of my medications for the first time in years and foolishly used adderall as a substitute. What I thought was new found motivation and inspiration was really an out of control manic episode that took control of me and changed my life forever. There’s much to the story that is yet to be explained. I’ve fallen many times in my life. But this year was the first time I actually hit rock bottom. They say that when you hit rock bottom, you experience something magical in your life that is forever life changing. I’ve yet to see the magic it brings. In a single summer, I managed to lose all my money, cars, public respect, self respect, love, worth and even almost my parents home. Most importantly I lost the identity that I had built for myself to mask who I really was since the age of 21. I grew up in my 20’s living and hiding behind a camera. Using social media as a drug to escape from my real problems. I managed to flush a decade worth of work down the toilet and was back to square 1 lower than when I began. Thankfully, I still have family, food and my parents roof over my head. Since the Summer, I have been trying my best to get help. From going on a spiritual journey (only to return early because they felt I wasn’t safe to be alone in my mental state and advised me to fly home to family), countless therapy sessions, getting on and off different medications looking for the right one and even outpatient rehab. I have yet to find my resolve. Even writing this, I am not in the right mental state nor healthy enough to be on social media. I am still on the path to recovery, with no end date in sight. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ All in all, I’m posting this to say I am very grateful for 2018 to be over. Enough has happened in my life publicly and even more behind the scenes where my prayers are for nothing new to creep into 2019. To anyone struggling and battling their own demons, just know you’re not alone. Life is a constant battle of ups and downs and the key is..well I don’t know the key yet.. but there is a key. Happy New Years. ❤️