TikToker Jake "Octopusslover8" Shane Shares How Amassing Millions of Followers Impacted His Mental Health

TikTok star Jake "Octopusslover8" Shane reflected on the downsides of garnering a large following on social media amid struggling with prior issues: "I have really, really bad anxiety."

By Alexandra Bellusci Apr 21, 2023 9:33 PMTags
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Jake "Octopusslover8" Shane is getting serious.

The TikToker, who is known for his comedy videos and collaborations with celebrities such as Nick JonasAlix Earle and Sofia Richie, recently revealed the impact his newfound social media fame has had on his mental health.

"I was loving it. When it happens, at first, you're not thinking, All right, well, I'm going to be a TikTok star now. You just think it's fun. You don't think anything is going to happen," Jake told GQ in an interview published April 20. "So I started posting on TikTok 10 to 20 times a day, anything I could think of. I would just grab my phone, be like, "dududu, post" and put it down."

However, as his following grew, so did his mental health struggles.

"I wouldn't do a caption half the time because I have really, really bad anxiety and really bad OCD, so creating captions is sometimes hard for me. It really triggers part of me," he continued. "So I decided to not have captions and people can do what they will with it. Slowly, slowly, slowly, it started climbing."


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In fact, Jake's follower count quickly ballooned—faster than he could comprehend.

"I think when I realized the growth wasn't normal is when my mental health got bad. I gained a million followers in a week and I really truly thought that is what happened to everyone with a following on TikTok," the comedian explained, "but people started to be like, "This is exceptional, Jake, and what happened to you was very fast."

But the more praise he got for his comedy sketch videos, the more he would overthink and second guess his videos.

"I catastrophize a lot of things," the 23-year-old confessed. "Part of my anxiety has always been that when something is going good, all I can think about is how it could go bad. So when you have a lot of people on the internet saying that they think you are funny and that they love you, the only thing that I could think about was that moment that they decided they don't anymore."

And these types of thoughts became all-consuming.

"It kept me up at night, even right now," he said. "It's so scary because it feels so good when everyone loves you, but I can only imagine how bad it feels when everyone hates you."



These days, Jake realized that sharing his struggle with anxiety and OCD with his 1.8 million TikTok followers would be beneficial.

"I'm going to laugh and see if anyone else is anxious too," he shared. "It genuinely makes me feel so much better when we all talk in the comments. It makes me feel less alone. I don't know if it makes my followers feel less alone—I call them my pussies—I don't know if it makes the pussies feel less alone. But it really makes me feel less alone when I realize that other people are going through it too."

As part of this, he takes the time to talk to his followers and make sure they are doing okay. "I do this thing on my Instagram Story where I ask if people are tents up or tents down today," he continued. "It's just like a check-in. I never understood the shame around saying I'm anxious or I am really sad today."

Its this kind of honesty that attracted Jake to TikTok in the first place.

"I feel like that's the good thing about TikTok," he noted. "It gives you that platform to be like, I'm really anxious or depressed today, without people being like, 'What?' That is what makes me interesting and that is what makes me me, and that is what makes me relatable."


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