Who would laugh at depression, trauma, and work disaster? Are you a monster! Well…Sometimes the best way to deal with the worst is to laugh in its face.
And learning about telling jokes is a great way to face the bad stuff and maybe chuck a few pies!
The Laughing Like Crazy program brings together people facing work, mental, and emotional challenges to create comedy out of personal experiences. I was lucky enough to participate in 2014…and …I did not die from speaking in public. Yet…
The Mood Disorders Association of Ontario (MDAO) presents a 16 week program on stand-up comedy. The secret is that the program is actually a great big ball of peer support. We were peers as joke writers, as people who had faced some serious mental health, addiction and personal challenges, and as people who almost universally were terrified of public performance.
Joking about mental health is different than laughing at someone in distress.
Who volunteers to do stand-up comedy when you have social anxiety? My friends and family couldn’t understand how I could perform, but my strength came from knowing that the other comedians had the same worries and that we could do it.
We were reclaiming the bad thoughts and words that underline stigma around mental illness and addiction.
Joking about mental health is different than laughing at someone in distress. Do not be afraid to confront those bad thoughts and feelings with humour. Just make sure you make the jokes about yourself rather than other people.
Note: My jokes are a bit too awkward so I included a video by two women answering the question “How Do You Deal With OCD? (Mental Health)”
Just Between Us Gaby Dunn, Allison Raskin