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A Bipolar, a Schizophrenic, and a Podcast

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The first podcast for people with mental illness, by people with mental illness. Each episode explores the hosts past and present experiences as shaped by depression, schizophrenia & bipolar. Hosted by Gabe Howard and Michelle Hammer.

The first podcast for people with mental illness, by people with mental illness. Each episode explores the hosts past and present experiences as shaped by depression, schizophrenia & bipolar. Hosted by Gabe Howard and Michelle Hammer.
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The first podcast for people with mental illness, by people with mental illness. Each episode explores the hosts past and present experiences as shaped by depression, schizophrenia & bipolar. Hosted by Gabe Howard and Michelle Hammer.




Bad Habits and Vices Related to Mental Illness

Everyone has bad habits. Even your sainted Granny who seems perfect to you has some bad habit that only your grandfather knows about. Bad habits, like everything, exist on a spectrum, from biting your nails to snorting cocaine – and everything in between. In this episode, our hosts discuss bad habits that many people with mental illness seem to have - from smoking, to alcoholism, to drug use and, you guessed it, everything in between. Highlights from ‘Bad Habits Mental Illness’...


Hypersexuality with a Bipolar and Schizophrenic

Hypersexuality is a very common symptom of bipolar mania and a potential symptom of schizophrenia, as well. Both Gabe and Michelle have experienced being hypersexual, but because of their ages and genders, it manifested itself in different ways. However, their personal differences aside, there is one thing that both our hosts completely agree on. . . Listen now to find out. Highlights from ‘Hypersexuality’ Episode [1:40] What is the correct definition of hypersexuality? [4:30] The...


Dwelling on the Past Mistakes Caused by Mental Illness

Once we reach recovery from mental illness, we tend to dwell on the mistakes of our past. Thoughts of failures and people we’ve hurt ruminate inside our head and make it difficult to move forward. Why do we think about these things? Does it protect us, make us feel better, or is it way to keep us from moving forward? In this episode our hosts discuss their past failures in the hopes it allows our listeners to realize living in the past only really accomplishes one thing . . . Highlights...


The Warning Signs of Bipolar and Schizophrenia

In general, people with mental illness aren’t perfectly fine one day and suddenly symptomatic the next. It often feels that way to people with bipolar, depression, and schizophrenia, but many of us realize once we reach recovery that the warning signs were there all along. Highlights from ‘Warning Bipolar Schizophrenia’ Episode [1:00] March 30th is World Bipolar Day! [2:30] What are some of the warning signs of mental illness? [5:00] Will supplements and exercise fix everything? [7:45]...


Support Groups for Mental Illness - What are They?

Most people understand how doctors and therapists work, but many people can’t quite wrap their minds around support groups – especially peer-led ones. In this episode, our hosts dissect different types of support groups to make them better understood and more accessible. Listen Now! Highlights from ‘Mental Illness Support Groups’ Episode [1:00] Let's talk about support groups. [3:00] Fountain House in NYC is awesome! [6:00] Why it’s great to be around like-minded people. [8:00] Support...


Talking Suicide with a Bipolar and a Schizophrenic

Suicide is something that most people think they understand, but there are many misconceptions about it. We say it’s a serious problem, yet will mention it casually and insensitively in certain settings. In this episode, our hosts openly discuss suicide and their personal stories with trying to end their own lives. Highlights from ‘Suicide’ Episode [1:00] Frankly discussing suicide. [3:00] Don’t belittle a person’s suicide attempt. [7:00] Why did Michelle try to end her life? [10:00]...


What is Paranoia - Explained by a Bipolar and Schizophrenic.

We often use actual mental illnesses to describe behaviors that don't actually qualify. For example, if a friend thinks they failed a test, we might jokingly say, "Stop being paranoid." But what is real paranoia? What does it feel like? What can be done about it? In this episode, Michelle talks about her life with, and without, paranoia. Highlights from ‘Paranoia’ Episode [1:00] Michelle discusses when her paranoia started. [4:00] The most amazing thing that Michelle could finally do:...


A Bipolar and a Schizophrenic Get Triggered by a Movie

We all realize that movies are fiction, but that doesn't mean that we should take nothing seriously. When a movie makes a portrayal of an individual, for example, that's full of racial stereotypes, we're justified in saying that it isn't okay. It's no different for portrayals of mental illness. In this episode, Gabe and Michelle discuss just such a portrayal in a movie that Michelle found highly offensive. Listen to see if you agree. Highlights from ‘Triggering Movie’ Episode [1:00]...


Host Has a Panic Attack Live While Recording

Panic attacks have a way of popping up at the most inconvenient times – like when you are recording a podcast. In this episode, Gabe has a panic attack in front of the microphone and decides that the silver lining is showing listeners that even someone in recovery has symptoms. Listen in to this episode to learn about panic attacks and see if Gabe makes it out okay. (Spoiler alert: He’s fine.) Highlights from ‘Panic Attack Live’ Episode [2:30] Gabe is having a panic attack and we recorded...


Depression, Bipolar, Schizophrenia, and Valentine’s Day

Valentine’s Day comes but once a year and is experienced in different ways depending on your age, gender, or whether or not you are in a relationship. Not surprisingly, mental health status plays a role in the way this holiday is experienced, as well. Listen in as our hosts play the ever-popular Two Truths and a Lie to describe all they went through being depressed while dating. Highlights from ‘Bipolar, Schizophrenia, Depression, and Valentine’s Day’ Episode [1:25] We are playing Two...


How to Tell Friends and Love Interests About Mental Illness

A mental illness diagnosis doesn’t mean you can’t date or make new friends. It does mean – at some point -- that you need to tell all the new people in your life that you’re living with depression, bipolar, schizophrenia, or whatever your mental health concerns are. In this episode, our hosts discuss telling the new people in our lives about our health issues – including the people they’ve dated. Highlights from ‘Mental Illness, Friends, Love Interests’ Episode [2:20] Being public and...


A Bipolar and a Schizophrenic Discuss Feelings of Loneliness

While depression is a common mental health issue, it’s not even close to being the most common. Listen in to hear our hosts discuss how loneliness can make a person feel unwanted and uncared for – even if they are standing in a crowded room. Highlights from ‘loneliness’ Episode [0:30] Loneliness kills more people than depression. [3:30] Michelle explains loneliness she has experienced. [5:20] Gabe explains loneliness he has experienced. [8:00] We always bring up our moms – so why stop...


Bizarre Questions Psychiatrists and Therapists Have Asked

There is an assumption among many Americans that doctors are pretty darn smart and always know what they’re talking about. Psychiatrists work with the mentally ill, so they are certainly smarter than their patients. Because, after all, their patients are “crazy.” Right? In this episode, our hosts discuss all the times that psychiatrists and therapists didn’t live up to the hype – or stereotype. Highlights from ‘Psychiatrists and Therapists Questions’ Episode [1:00] What is the strangest...


A Bipolar and a Schizophrenic Talk Self-Sabotage

Most of us are to blame for our failures, believe it or not. We didn’t practice enough, plan ahead, or work hard enough. If we are honest, we could have done more to succeed, but something stopped us. In this episode, our hosts, Gabe and Michelle discuss why people sabotage their own success and fess up to whether or not they are sabotaging their own. Highlights from ‘Self-Sabotage’ Episode [2:00] Do we sabotage ourselves? [3:00] Some reasons for self-sabotage. [6:30] Private rejection...


A Bipolar and a Schizophrenic Discuss Psychiatric Medications

Psychiatric medication gets a bad rap when it isn’t deserved, while simultaneously being seen by some as the end-all treatment for people living with mental illness. Our hosts both need their prescribed medication to live well, and that makes people around them ask questions ― some of which are weirder than others. Tune in to this episode to hear what they have to say. Highlights from ‘Meds’ Episode [1:00] What happens when Gabe and Michelle don’t take their medications. [4:00] People...


New Year’s Resolutions from a Bipolar and a Schizophrenic

Just because your living with mental illness, doesn’t mean you don’t believe in all the weird superstitious customs our society loves so much. In this episode our hosts discuss their hopes for the new year, the resolutions they made, and how to have a good 2019 in spite of living with bipolar or schizophrenia. Listen in now! Highlights from ‘Bipolar & Schizophrenic New Year’s Resolutions’ Episode [1:00] What are a Michelle and Gabe doing For the New Year? [3:00] What are our New Year’s...


Can You Actually Recover from Bipolar or Schizophrenia?

“I’m in recovery from mental illness,” is a common phrase in our circles. Sure, mental illness is replaced with the specifics – schizophrenia, bipolar, or depression, to name a few – but the idea that people consider themselves to be living a life free from the symptoms of mental illness is a common one. However, is it true? Is recovery actually a thing? Or are all these people just deluding themselves? Gabe and Michelle discuss this – and more – on this episode of A Bipolar, a...


Speaking to a Schizophrenic Before and After Daily Medications

Resident schizophrenic, Michelle Hammer, is a different person when she first wakes up. Before taking her psychiatric medications, she isn’t as coherent, engaged, or energetic as we are accustomed to her being. For this episode – in a controlled environment – Michelle speaks with Gabe before taking her morning psychiatric medications so she can give the audience a small glimpse of how she feels when she starts each day. Listen in to this episode of A Bipolar, a Schizophrenic, and a Podcast...


Can People With Mental Illness Be Happy?

Those of us with mental illness are asked many questions about our feelings. For a lot of us, the most difficult one to answer is, “Are you happy?” It’s a difficult question to answer because happiness isn’t an easily defined concept. Most people assume that in order to be in recovery from mental illness a person must be happy. But is that really the case? Listen in to this episode to hear our thoughts on happiness, regret, and even a side story about Gabe’s first marriage. Highlights...


Why People With Mental Illness Should Remove Toxic People From Their Life

Living with mental illness means accepting that some things are out of our control. It also means tolerating annoyances like pillboxes, regular doctor visits, and the symptoms we just can’t quite get under control. But, does living with mental illness mean we have to keep toxic people around us? Do we, as people who are managing a severe and persistent illness, just have to take the abuse that people heap on us because at least we aren’t alone? In this episode, Gabe & Michelle explore...