Out of the mire and into the macabre: Pikeville firefighter channels PTSD into new YouTube channel

Published: Jul. 8, 2020 at 6:49 PM EDT
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PIKEVILLE, Ky. (WYMT) - Nicholas Potter has been a firefighter in Pikeville for 11 years. In those years, he has seen a lot of things that still weigh on his shoulders.

”It can be a very rewarding job,” Potter said. “But, in the same time, there are days and moments where you’re just wading through the muck and mire of human suffering. And you see terrible things. I saw terrible things.”

Those things became too much for Potter, who was diagnosed with PTSD in 2016 after responding to a call involving a young child.

“And it was a very traumatizing event, you know, for all parties involved,” Potter said.

In that same year, Potter and his wife were expecting twins, but one of their daughters died. Since then, the weight on Potter’s heart has continued to build.

“In March of this year, I had a pretty significant mental breakdown,” he said. “And my wife, who was instrumental in helping me get back on my feet, you know, set me up with a doctor, and I started going to a therapist,” said Potter.

Since seeking help, Potter said he has seen great improvements in his mental health. Now he is finding ways to channel the PTSD.

”I mean, you might never get over some things, but you can get through them,” he said.

So he started a YouTube channel called Macabre Overload, which looks into local lore, spooky stories, and true crime.

“And, you know, it gives me an outlet to sit down and look up some things and research things that I’m interested in. And that has improved my mental health significantly,” he said.

He said he is also hoping to spread the importance of mental health awareness since it is often overlooked, saying he would not be in the same headspace if he had not stepped back to examine his own wellbeing.

“You know, for the longest time, I was afraid of being considered weak for seeking help. But you have to seek help. And that is the first step in recovering,” he said.

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