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Mental Illness Happy Hour

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Weekly online podcast interviews with comedians, artists, friends, and the occasional doctor. All exploring mental illness, addiction and depression, especially among creatives.

Weekly online podcast interviews with comedians, artists, friends, and the occasional doctor. All exploring mental illness, addiction and depression, especially among creatives.
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Los Angeles, CA


Weekly online podcast interviews with comedians, artists, friends, and the occasional doctor. All exploring mental illness, addiction and depression, especially among creatives.








My Brain Hates Me - Jessie Dean Altman

The writer (Lady Parts, The Onion) and dog walker shares about the lifelong battle she has had with her brain and emotions including: Intrusive thoughts, OCD, treatment-resistant depression, procrastination, self-judgment, and anger. She shares how REBT was a game changer for helping her cope. Follow Jessie on Twitter at This episode is sponsored by BetterHelp. To get your first week of online counseling free go to Must be 18 To...


The Devil & James Bond - Michael Cannan

Paul's support group friend, recovering heroin addict and author shares about his upbringing on the Isle of Mann (UK) and the shame and anxiety he felt about secrets in his family and within himself. He opens up about his psychosis that convinced him that not only was he the devil he was also James Bond. He touches on his battles with depression, anxiety, panic attacks, codependency, religious delusions and grappling with the idea of what it means to be a man. For more on...


CC Sheffield aka Daisy - Fame, Money & Abuse

Originally recorded while speaking under the pseudonym "Daisy" to protect her from her abusive ex-fiancee, CC, a successful model, DJ and actress describes the abusive relationship she struggled to leave with a wealthy, powerful and manipulative drug addict/alcoholic who had turned increasingly violent and controlling. She talks about the emotionally difficult Mormon household she ran from at 17 to find herself sleeping in her car on the streets of LA, surviving a rape and using music to...


Heartbreak - Dr. Guy Winch

Renowned author & TedTalk speaker Dr. Guy Winch talks about different kinds of heartbreak, especially the ones some people minimize (loss of pets or non-married breakups). He gets into the science of how our brains react to loss, how we experience this emotionally and some tips for coping or supporting someone. More About Guy His new TED Talk about heartbreak: How to Fix a Broken Heart book on Amazon:...


Horror & Beauty - Witnesses to a Shooting

Paul is joined by two support group friends, Jonathan & Mukunda, to talk about their experience 3 weeks earlier when a shooting victim stumbled into their meeting and began bleeding out at their feet. Jonathan and Mukunda, both sober and ex-criminals, talk about how they were able to respond differently today than they would have when they were gangbangers. This episode is sponsored by To experience a free week of online counseling go to Must be...


#368 Female Sex Addiction - Erica Garza

The Salon contributor and author of Getting Off: One Woman's Journey Through Sex and Porn Addiction shares about her sex addiction, which began at age 12 after discovering masturbation as a way of soothing her anxiety and not having to deal with her feelings but over time escalated into riskier and more addictive behavior which she eventually sought help for. She shares about the odd relationship shame and pleasure have for her when acting out and how today she can have sexual experiences...


#368 - The Dark Grip of OCD - Dr Jenny Yip

She battled OCD as a child but when she gave birth to twins it gripped her again despite being a trained psychologist who specializes in...yes...OCD. A great episode about the power fear, dark thoughts and shame in fueling OCD but also the power of getting help. She tearfully recalls her obsessive monitoring of her newborns despite being exhausted; being gripped by fear, almost certainty of their imminent deaths if she left their side. Dr Yip shares about her postpartum OCD and OCD in...


#367 - Food Owns Me & Dad Issues - Jay Larson

The writer (HBO's Crashing) and stand-up (Me Being Me) opens up about his dad abandoning his family when he was 2 years-old and how that has effected his view of the world, himself and now his children. He talks about his struggles with food, anger, making mistakes, letting people into his life for fear of them disappointing him and he also discusses his need as a child to care for his overburdened mother after his father left. For more on Jay, including his new special "Me Being Me" go...


#366 Couple Troubles - Jen Elmquist LMFT

Couple's therapist Jen Elmquist sits down with Paul and answers questions about the most common mistakes and hurdles couples face and offers advice on how to value your partner and relationship without devaluing yourself. There are no surveys in this episode as Paul will explain in the opening 20 minutes. Moments before he sat to record he was at his usual Thursday night support group meeting when it was interrupted by a shooting outside their building and the bleeding victim taking refuge...


#365 Network Anchor Panic Attack - Dan Harris

Imagine having a panic attack live on-air while anchoring ABC news. That happened to Dan Harris in 2004. The Nightline anchor, Good Morning America Weekend Co-anchor, war correspondent and author (10% Happier) opens up about his history of anxiety, depression, drug abuse (he's now sober) and witnessing horrific scenes while reporting in conflict zones. He talks about being skeptical at first about meditating but after researching it like a reporter, interviewing scientists and trying it...


#364 My Fair Junkie - Amy Dresner

The author (My Fair Junkie) details her jaw-dropping and often hilarious descent from a nice (but spoiled) Jewish girl from Beverly Hills to shooting coke into her neck, bottoming out on meth and sex and being assigned to a chain gang after threatening her ex-husband with a knife and ultimately having to rebuild her life. She shares on her struggled with self-harm, BDD, depression, anxiety, sex addiction, suicide attempts, psych ward stays, fear of growing up, the danger of relying on her...


#363 - Asperger's, Nerd Culture & Anime - Luke Palmer

The young writer/director (2 Kawaii 4 Comfort) shares about the intersection of people on the autism spectrum (especially Asperger's) and nerd culture especially anime. He opens up about his diagnosis as a child, different therapies his parents tried and what it feels like to be on the spectrum. He talks about a lot of the myths and stereotypes of people on the spectrum and how he has changed from an angry, withdrawn non-verbal child to an adult who is able to function easily in mainstream...


#362 Born Into A Notorious Criminal Family - Nicole Y.

Born mixed-race to a white prostitute mother and a black, pimp father, Nicole grew up belonging to one of the most notorious families in the Boston underworld. Having seen and experienced unimaginable things, she found an outlet in music and finally gained a sense of self until drugs and alcohol stepped in. She shares about her new path in healing the PTSD, staying sober and trying to realize her artistic dreams. She also touches on being a lesbian, having a nervous breakdown and a dogged...


#361 Military PTSD & Sexism - Marc & Sonja Raciti

Marc and Sonja Raciti both served in the military; he as a medic, she as a psychologist. They talk about PTSD myths and the PTSD he struggles with from fearing for his life to seeing unspeakable carnage to having survivor's guilt. She weighs in as his supportive partner, a therapist, and an ex-officer who witnessed and experienced both overt and subtle sexism while she served. They also address how Marc has been able to heal thru exposure therapy and EMDR. Buy Marc and Sonja's book...


#360 High School Tornado/Author Seamus Kirst

In a live show recorded in Oakland, the 26 year-old writer (Shitfaced) discusses the loving but strained atmosphere growing up and his teenage years attempting suicide, drinking his way to rehabs and an eating disorder. He shares about making peace with being gay, therapy and the importance of writing and using other emotional tools today to keep him sane. Buy ‘Shitfaced’ on Amazon: Follow Seamus on Twitter and...


#359 - The Absent Father Wound - Daria Polatin

The award-winning playwright, t.v. writer (Jack Ryan)and author (Devil in Ohio) opens up about feeling abandoned by her father and the effect it has had on how she views herself, her place in it and the conscious decision she has made to become the hero of her own story by dealing with her fears of not being enough or taking chances. She shares about the catharsis of putting dark parts of herself in some of her characters and she and Paul talk about the awful feelings of jealousy or envy...


#358 Alt Depression Treatments - Shane Mauss

The standup/podcaster (Here We Are podcast) shares about taking unconventional approaches to his battles with depression and hopelessness. He opens up about his kind but very religious and uncommunicative parents and the hometown where things weren't questioned and getting help was considered weak or weird. For more about Shane and his A Good Trip tour go to Follow Shane on Twitter at @ShaneComedy Listen to his podcast at or on Apple Podcasts...


#357 Kelly's Shame and Secrets

Growing up Kelly McCarron's home life wasn't chaotic or abusive but she still struggles mentally and emotionally. After filling out the show's Shame and Secrets survey she reads it aloud, touching on the issues of self-esteem, the aftermath of being sexually assaulted by a co-worker at 18, binge eating, social anxiety, BiPolar, loneliness, being bullied in middle school and giving up on a painful relationship with a sibling. Follow Kelly on YouTube Check out her standup on Open...


#356 - Success-Obsessed Parents & The Scapegoat Child

30 year-old Mary M. left America for Europe to escape not only an American culture that was wearing on her but a family where she was tired of being the scapegoat to her golden-child brother. An all-too-common scenario where her parents can only seem to support her financially but not emotionally. She discusses the prejudice she experiences as a queer woman of color, what she has learned by having a fiancee who is a trans man and the subtle politics of skin color within the black...


#355 Afraid To Leave The House - Sam Harriman

Panic attacks, agoraphobia, anxiety and depression had brought Sam to a very dark place a few years ago and he decided he needed help. Bit by bit he began to see how his childhood and negative self-beliefs had to be re-examined. A new clarity on the dysfunction in his family (a disinterested workaholic dad and a controlling, angry mother) gave him the hope to began protecting himself from the pain of having them in his life. A great episode on self-care, cutting contact with parents,...


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