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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.








#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 about...

Duration: 02:42:26

#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...

Duration: 02:04:07

#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...

Duration: 01:59:53

#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...

Duration: 02:14:35

#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...

Duration: 02:08:46

#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...

Duration: 02:20:41

#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,...

Duration: 01:43:49

#354 Surviving Suicide - Kelechi Ubozoh

The 32 year-old poet, mental health advocate and daughter of a Nigerian immigrant father and Brooklyn mother opens up to Paul about her emotional and mental turnaround after years of feeling suicidal and several times attempting it. She details the ways her depression, disconnection and fear of taking off her "mask" as the perfect, popular girl played in leading her to believe it was a good idea. She and Paul discuss possible ways loved ones can reach out to someone who is talking about...

Duration: 02:21:36

#353 Andy Kindler - OCD, ADD, Twitter Fights & More

Paul's longtime friend, standup (Letterman) and actor (Everybody Loves Raymond) shares about his struggles with OCD, ADD and feeling the need to control people's opinions about his behavior even after lashing out at someone. He talks about his childhood and the negative self-beliefs and self-hatred that he's now understanding have been driving his behaviors and fears. For more on Andy go to or This ep is...

Duration: 01:35:38

#352 Caitlin Doughty: Death, OCD & Being a Mortician

The mortician, TED Talk speaker and author of Smoke Gets In Your Eyes, talks about her childhood OCD and fascination with death as a result of witnessing a tragedy, how she'd like to see the American funeral industry change and how death is viewed/embraced around the world via a read excerpt from her new book From Here To Eternity: Traveling the World To Find The Good Death. Follow Caitlin on Instagram @TheGoodDeath Follow Caitlin on Twitter @TheGoodDeath Check out her website...

Duration: 02:12:25

#351 Fears, Loves, Filth & Mortality w Greg Behrendt

The comedian, co-author of He's Just Not That Into You and longtime friend of Paul drops by to lighten his day up. They laugh at their fears, loves and thoughts about mortality and getting older. Check out Greg's PODCAN podcast network Here is the episode with Paul that he talked about Follow him on Twitter @GregoryBehrendt Check out his website Visit his Facebook Page This ep is sponsored by BetterHelp online therapy. To try a week of counseling...

Duration: 01:30:50

#350 Intrusive Thoughts OCD aka "Pure OCD" - Kimberley Quinlan LMFT

Specializing in treating clients whose self-judgement of their thoughts results in obsession and compulsions, Kimberley sits down with Paul and talks about the different forms OCD can take and how to treat it or support someone you love without enabling their compulsions. She and Paul also play a game she plays with clients called "One Up" where they try to outdo each other in sharing "disgusting" things that pop into their brains to show we all have thoughts pop into our heads that make...

Duration: 02:06:06

#349 Emotionally Coercive Sex - Perfectionism - Dissociating

Paul's support group friend Meredith opens up about being raised by parents who lacked a sense of privacy or sexual boundaries; being sexualized by her father, mother (who has a long history of "accidentally" showing her vagina) and step-mother in covert but damaging ways, being comfortable giving help but not taking it or asking for it; being a perfectionist, self-harm, being attracted to emotionally unavailable men ( #loveaddiction ) and being on both ends of manipulative/coercive sexual...

Duration: 03:06:57

#348 Manhattan Party Girl - Fielding Edlow

Raised in financial privilege but emotional poverty, the actor/writer/standup reflects on her "don't give a fuck" eating disorder, drug and alcohol years trying to stuff the real feelings of abandonment, not being good enough, anxiety, anger and feeling invisible especially in comparison to her golden-child brother. She gets honest about the "self-centered demon inside me" that drove her actions until sobering up almost 20 years ago and learning to deal with her insecurities, fears and...

Duration: 02:08:05

#347 Paul Rust - Anxiety, OCD & Embarrassment

The actor/writer/comedian known for the Netflix show Love, the movie Inglourious Basterds and IFC's Comedy Bang! Bang! opens up about his battles with anxiety, OCD, taking on other people's emotions, people pleasing, wanting attention, shame, fear of letting people down and the role vulnerability and therapy have played in him finding emotional stability and peace. Follow Paul on Twitter @PaulRust Follow Paul on Instagram @PaulRust This episode is sponsored by BetterHelp online...

Duration: 02:01:13

#346 Plane Crash Survivor: Carol E Miller

The author (Every Moment of a Fall: Recovery Thru EMDR Therapy) opens up in front of a live audience in Oakland about the years she abused herself through bad relationships, booze and sex before therapy and EMDR helped her confront her true feelings about her predatory father, passive mother, abusive step-father and the plane crash she survived as a 16 year-old. Visit Carol's website Buy her book Every Moment of a Fall: Recovery Thru EMDR Therapy This episode is...

Duration: 02:08:53

#345 Food, Porn, Shame, Vulnerability & Losing a Sibling - Matt Shepherd

Paul's support group friend shares about recovery and battles with binge-eating, shame, compulsive exercise, not knowing what he looks like, porn addiction, love addiction, fear of leaving relationships, feeling like he "is enough", growing up in a family where one sibling takes up all the parents' attention and energy, surviving the suicide of his brother and the huge impact learning to be vulnerable has had on his healing and life in general. Find out more about Matt at: Youtube:...

Duration: 01:30:52

#344 Anxious Hufflepuff & The Creepy Singer

YouTube personality Sarah Sterling is 26 and was obsessed with Harry Potter (and Disney) since day one. At a convention she met a singer who captivated her. He was 24 and she was 16. Looking back, she sees it as statutory rape and is processing that. What's possibly even harder to process for her is that she still hasn't told her overly-protective easily-overreactive mom. Sarah talks about how she has always felt the need to protect her mom from information that would set off her anxiety...

Duration: 01:22:28

#343 British Therapist Louise M

Louise (a pseudonym) shares about the moment in her otherwise mostly happy childhood that things changed. She shares about the abuse at a posh Harry-Potteresque school when she was six by a headmaster who walked the dark halls with a torch; her mom's drinking, letting go of childhood shame, fear of conflict, how parents can support an abused child, when kids sexually abuse other kids, inner child work, Britain's NHS, and trying to cope with past trauma thru drugs and sex. This episode...

Duration: 01:54:02

#342 Pain/Pleasure & The Fugitive Rabbi

Why do some people enjoy physical pain or become aroused by it? For Kal, the discovery came with a lot of complications; he was a young boy and it was at the hands of a powerful and sadistic pedophile Rabbi (Heshy Brier) who is now a fugitive living in Israel. Kal shares about his years of self-destruction and bottoming out before eventually getting sober and starting the process of healing and advocating for other survivors. This episode is sponsored by BetterHelp online therapy. To try...

Duration: 01:37:18

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