So, how many of you have ever had a panic attack while at work? Have any of you had compulsive thoughts about a person, thing, or event? If so, The Mental Illness Happy Hour podcast should be on your must-listen-to list.
Paul Gilmartin, a talented comedian, helms The Mental Illness Happy Hour. Gilmartin started the show to give people who are “affected by depression, addiction, and other mental challenges” a place to kickback, listen, and cringe. The hour-plus long podcast typically consists of an interview Gilmartin does with a listener, another comedian or creative type, or a professional. He and the interviewee traverse, in depth, on the guest’s mental bug-a-boos.
I’ve only listened to this podcast for a month or so, but I can say, as a card-carrying nutty person, that Gilmartin’s work is amazing. He is incredibly open with his guests and has shared his story on more than one occasion. The way he handles sensitive issues and mental illness is spot on. He never talks down to a guest or shames anyone for his or her thoughts or feelings. It is truly one of the safest, most cathartic pieces of art I have ever heard. I can’t count the number of times he’s had a guest on and I’ve said to myself, “Holy crap — other people do that, too?” Apparently, depression, anxiety, and weirdness aren’t all that uncommon!
Gilmartin founded the podcast to give listeners a place to connect because no matter how alone people with mental illness feel, they aren’t alone. To help facilitate an open conversation, he also has created a message board where people can converse. He also allows listeners to fill out surveys. The surveys allow people to share their inner turmoil in an open, anonymous, and non-judgmental way.
Along with providing an awesome, weekly podcast, Gilmartin also has a blog where professionals post to and give advice.
While this podcast is totally killer and should be part of your weekly playlist, remember: it’s not a substitute for therapy. However, it’s a great therapy companion. Think of it as adding 10mg to your daily antidepressant (or choice of herbal supplement), or getting an extra therapy session a week that’s free!
If any of this appeals to you, head over to The Mental Illness Happy Hour and get listening. I recommend starting with Lauren Ashley Bishop’s interview. It’s raw, hilarious, and amazing.
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Image: Bernard Goldbach