How to Laugh at Depression With Comedian John Moe

This week we find humor in our troubles with the help of John Moe, host of the Merry 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 are struggling. John’s latest book, The Hilarious World of Depression , is now.

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Highlights from this week’s series

From an interview with John Moe

On the importance of overcoming the stigma of the word “depression” and other mental disorders:

[Y] You can call it what you want. You can use clinical terms or country or blues terms as if they all describe the same thing. But if what’s going on in your head interferes with your life as a person, then it’s a mental disorder. And if people can get over the social image of a mental disorder that means you are in a straitjacket and think you are Napoleon, then we can take care of many of those things.

On how to distinguish between depression and transient mood:

I think this is a big misunderstanding that you may be sad when something happens, but that does not mean that you are unwell. This means that you are healthy because you are not depressed. If your team lost the World Series, this is how you feel here. You have an average emotional life. But this is when you feel sad out of nowhere for no reason, or in my case, as if I have never been, I have never had such a cliche of depression, as you say, you know, close the windows and listen to the Smiths. I don’t even like the Smiths. So for me it always came in the form of excitement, anger, or many other things. So I thought, well, it can’t be depression, because I’m not like that. But such a mood. The mess is that everything is muted and reduced. And your ability to deal with it has diminished, as if it were more like a kind of universal fader.

On the importance of getting help, regardless of whether you think you have a problem:

[T] It’s very important for me to just listen, to listen to your mind the same way you listen to your body. And unfortunately, people who do have depression are at a higher level because you don’t value yourself enough to test it … As you know, after reading the book, my brother died a lifelong suicide. depression, which he considered deserved. You know, he felt that he was not worthy of treatment, because this is an evil trick that he is playing with you. So my post is just check it out. And if they say no, you’re just a little upset. What great news. And if they say no, you have a chronic mental illness, here’s a way to cure it. What great news.

To hear more from John, we recommend that you listen to the entire episode!

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Episode transcript


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