This week, we’re finding the humor in our woes with help from John Moe, host of The Hilarious World of Depression podcast. John helps us understand what is funny—and sometimes even good—about depression, how we can recognize depression within ourselves and others and what to do about it when we find ourselves struggling. John’s latest book, The Hilarious World of Depression, is out now.
Highlights from this week’s episode
From the John Moe Interview
On the importance of getting past the stigma of the word “depression” and other mental disorders:
[Y]ou can call it whatever you want. You can use clinical terms or you can use like country music or blues music terms, like it’s all describing the same thing. But if it’s impeding your life as a human being, what’s happening in your mind, then that’s a mental disorder. And if people can get past the image of the societal image of a mental disorder, meaning that you’re in a straight jacket and you think you’re Napoleon, then we can take care of a lot of those things.
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On how we can distinguish between depression and a passing mood:
I think that’s the big misunderstanding, is that you may be sad when something happens, but that doesn’t mean you’re unhealthy. It means you’re healthy because you know, you’re not depressed. If your team lost the World Series, that’s that’s how one would feel like here. You’re having an average emotional life. But it’s when you’re sad out of nowhere for no reason or in my case, like I’ve never been I’ve never had the kind of cliche depression, like you say, you know, cover the windows and listen to the Smiths. I don’t even like the Smiths. So for me, it always came in the form of agitation or anger or a lot of these other things. So I thought, well, it can’t be depression because I’m not like that. But that’s the mood. The disorder is everything has been muted and diminished. And your capacity for dealing with it has been ratcheted down like it’s it’s more of like a sort of a universal fader kind of thing.
On the importance of getting help, whether or not you think you have a problem:
[T]he big thing for me is just to listen to listen to your mind in the same way that you listen to your body. And unfortunately, people with who really do have depression, that’s a taller order because you don’t value yourself enough to to get that checked out…As you know, from reading the book, my my brother died by suicide after a lifelong depression that he felt he deserved. You know, he felt that that he wasn’t worthy of treatment because that’s that’s the evil trick that it plays on you. So my my message is just go get it checked out. And if they say no, you’re just a little bummed out. What wonderful news. And if they say no, you’ve got a chronic mental illness, here’s a way to treat it. What wonderful news.
To hear more from John, we encourage you to listen to the full episode!
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