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A Bipolar, A Schizophrenic, and a Podcast

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A Bipolar, A Schizophrenic, and a Podcast is a weekly podcast that explores life through the unique double lens of a young woman living with schizophrenia and a guy living with bipolar. Each episode explores their past and present experiences as shaped by mental illness.

A Bipolar, A Schizophrenic, and a Podcast is a weekly podcast that explores life through the unique double lens of a young woman living with schizophrenia and a guy living with bipolar. Each episode explores their past and present experiences as shaped by mental illness.
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A Bipolar, A Schizophrenic, and a Podcast is a weekly podcast that explores life through the unique double lens of a young woman living with schizophrenia and a guy living with bipolar. Each episode explores their past and present experiences as shaped by mental illness.




Goal Setting When You live with Mental Illness

Everyone, of every age and from every walk of life, has goals. Sometimes they are life goals (like get married and raise a family), career goals (such as start and run a successful company), or daily goals (as in just getting through the day). People with mental illness have all those, too, but often have specific goals related to their particular mental illness. In this episode, Gabe and Michelle share some of their personal goals, talk about how those goals have changed over time, and...


Should We Apologize for Symptoms of Mental Illness?

“Mistakes are part of life” is something that some older relative tells every single child after they’ve messed something up. Generally, this advice is followed up with, “It’s how you react to the mistake that matters.” Gabe Howard’s father taught him to apologize whenever he did something wrong, believing that it was important to own the mistake and make amends for it. “You can’t ask for forgiveness if you aren’t willing to make it right,” his father said. In true blue collar fashion, he...


Do People With Mental Illness Suffer from Trauma?

Many people don’t understand how mental illness, in and of itself, can be traumatic. Everything from the emotions, physical sensations, and even treatment – locked in a ward or a hospital, often against our will – is a recipe for trauma. While every person with mental illness is different, most people with serious and persistent mental illness describe being traumatized in addition to the impact of the illness itself. In this episode of A Bipolar, a Schizophrenic, and a Podcast, our hosts...


BS Podcast: Who Pill Shames People with Mental Illness?

Anyone with mental illness who has spent any time on social media has encountered pill shaming. A common example is a beautiful picture of a nature scene with the words, “The only anti-depressant you need” boldly pasted across the top. Whether you are in an online or in-person support group or talking to your friends, if you are a person taking psychiatric medications, you have probably encountered pushback. Some of these people are confused, some well-meaning, and some pushing their own...


EP 24: How Do We Deal With the Everyday Effects of Mental Illness?

In order to be diagnosed with any illness, a person must first show symptoms – in other words, something needs to go wrong. Living in recovery from mental illness doesn’t mean we are free from these effects; it just means that we’ve reduced our symptoms to a manageable level and learned to deal. So, how do we do it? What’s life like on a day-to-day basis living in recovery? Do bipolar and schizophrenia still cause issues for Gabe and Michelle? Listen to this episode of a Bipolar, a...


EP 23: All About Mania: 2 Truths and a Lie Edition

Mania has an odd place in our society. For people who have no experienced it, it’s seen has as exciting, productive, and desirable. For those of us who have been consumed by it, we are either thankful it isn’t depression or devastated by its impact. For most, mania is a dangerous symptom of mental illness and not something to be taken lightly. In this episode, Gabe & Michelle each share three stories about mania with two being the truth and one being a lie. Can you tell fact from fiction?...


EP 22: Psychiatric Medications and You: What You Need to Know.

“Just be ’med-compliant’ and you’ll be okay.” That’s the message that hundreds of thousands of mentally ill people hear every day from society and their treatment teams. The message is simple: as long as you take your medications as prescribed, you’ll be fine, healthy, happy, and symptom free. But, is that actually how it works? Is something as serious as bipolar disorder or schizophrenia so easily treated that doctors can just dole out pills and *poof* -- recovery? If it really is that...


EP 21: Mental Illness and Dating: Romance or Tragedy?

“Just because you’re mentally ill doesn’t mean you don’t want to get married,” Gabe quips to Michelle during a recent conversation about the discovery of dating websites and applications aimed directly at people living with mental illness. At this point, our hosts break into song and start singing the “Farmers Only” dating website commercial jingle, changing the last line to, “You don’t have to be lonely, at crazy people only dot com.” Michelle adds in, “Sane people just don’t get...


EP 20: Is Mental Illness an Excuse for Poor Behavior?

Living with mental illness often means you make many mistakes, especially when it comes to how you treat the people around you. Some people believe that, because they were symptomatic, no apology is needed. But is that actually true? Is not taking responsibility for the negative aspects of our disorders empowering. . . or not? Listen in! Highlights From ‘Mental Illness is NOT an Excuse’ Episode [1:30] Our first ever listener project! [3:00] Is mental illness an excuse? [4:25] Gabe’s...


EP 19: Does Being Quirky & Unique Mean You’re Mentally Ill?

It’s often postulated that people with unique skills, artistic abilities, or phenomenal talents must have a “touch of mental illness.” Thinking differently, they reason, is mental illness and, in order to be so unique, one must clearly think differently. Gabe’s personal fictional hero, The Mad Hatter, is often credited with responding to Alice’s questioning whether or not she had gone mad with the answer, “I'm afraid so. You're entirely bonkers. But I will tell you a secret. All the best...


EP. 18: We Discuss Wanting to Die By Suicide (& Other Facts)

Suicide is tragically common in our society and yet it’s seldom discussed outside of the mental health community. The media will cover high profile suicide, since they draw attention, but they devote little-to-no time to preventive coverage, since it’s not sexy. Gabe (bipolar) and Michelle (schizophrenic) dive deep into their thoughts about suicide, their suicidal pasts, and what they feel society gets right and wrong when it comes to preventing people from dying by suicide. [3:00] Why do...


EP 17: A Bipolar, a Schizophrenic, and a Big Brick of Soap

Fan favorite, Two Truths and a Lie, is back again. In this edition, our hosts share past mistakes they’ve made because of the symptoms of bipolar disorder and schizophrenia. Gabe’s stories involve past regrets and soap, while Michelle sticks to young men named Stephen and Karl – and lacrosse, because that’s her thing. Listen in to learn all about living with bipolar and schizophrenia or to figure out what our hosts lie about when they play games. Highlights From ‘Bipolar, Schizophrenic,...


EP 16: Violence, Schizophrenia, and Bipolar. Oh My!

Many people believe that violence and mental illness are linked in such a way that all mentally ill people will – eventually – be violent. Some people go as far as to believe that violence is only perpetrated by people with mental illness. In this episode, Gabe & Michelle explore these assumptions, thoughts, and ideas from their perspectives as people living with bipolar and schizophrenia. They discuss the president’s views on people with mental illness being responsible for seemingly all...


Ep 15: How We Acted Before Recovery from Bipolar and Schizophrenia

In ways that are both extremely flattering and exceptionally stigmatizing, Michelle and Gabe are often told that they don’t really have bipolar and schizophrenia, that they are too mature, intelligent, or well behaved to be that sick. They are told that they may have “a mild case” or are “high functioning,” without acknowledging their past struggles. In many ways, our hosts understand why people feel this way. They weren’t advocates with a podcast when they were at their sickest. They were...


Ep 14: A Bipolar, a Schizophrenic, and Their Mothers

Our mothers are incredibly naive when it comes to what it's like to live with bipolar and schizophrenia -- or are they? In this episode, Gabe interviewed Susan Hammer and Michelle interviewed Susan Howard about their child's illness. Each mother was asked the same five questions and given the opportunity to answer in their own words. Then our hosts came together and quizzed each other about how they thought their mothers replied. Is Michelle's mother the detached woman Michelle fears? Is...


Ep 13: Stupid Shit said to a Bipolar and A Schizophrenic

One of the drawbacks to talking to people for a living about bipolar and schizophrenia is that the people often want to talk back. While most of the conversations are supportive and caring, some of the questions and comments Gabe and Michelle hear are less than inspiring. As anyone who leaves their house already knows, going outside means you have to endure some level of ignorance. Women and minorities have spoken for years about the stupid comments they’ve had to put up with from the...


Ep 12: 4 people, 3 mental illnesses, 2 hosts, 1 advocacy goal

After having way too much fun at the HealtheVoices conference, Gabe and Michelle welcomed two of their fellow advocate conference-goers to join them on the show to continue talking about the ups and downs of their advocacy efforts. They recount some of the unusual methods they use to spread the word, from riding around in Herbie the Love Bug, to airing YouTube videos of being set on fire, to standing in the streets of New York City selling clothing. Listen in as they share stories of...


Ep 11: Listener Feedback: Criticism on our Mental Illness Advocacy

Haters gonna hate and don’t feed the trolls are common phrases anyone who has an internet following has heard – or said – a dozen times. For reasons that aren’t entirely clear, Gabe and Michelle decide to discuss some of their ”favorite” less-than-positive feedback. They discuss how the comments made them feel, what they learned from them, and what they honestly think of the people who wrote them. Suffice to say that mental health advocacy isn’t for the weak. “You can send me the...


Ep 10: Schizophrenia & Bipolar Symptoms: 2 Truths and a Lie Edition

Listener favorite Two Truths and One Lie returns, but with a twist. Gabe and Michelle each share three stories about specific symptoms they have of schizophrenia or bipolar disorder (respectively). All six of these examples are believed to be factual by many people, but only four of them are accurate. After sharing the examples, Gabe and Michelle challenge each other to guess which two of their symptoms are real and which one is a lie. “Just because you’re acting normal doesn’t mean...


Ep 9: Celebrities Out About Mental Illness: Helpful or Not?

More and more famous people are coming out about their own mental health issues. Everything from bipolar, depression, OCD, and anxiety. The struggles of living with bipolar and schizophrenia are something our hosts know a lot about. In the wake of all this media attention, Gabe and Michelle wonder if this has had a positive or negative impact on their cause. They discuss celebrities like Mariah Carey and Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson. The conversation meanders around positives, negatives, and...