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Podcast: Joking About Suicide: Is It Ever Okay?

Is it ever OK to joke about mental illness or suicide? In today’s Not Crazy podcast, Gabe and Lisa welcome Frank King, a comedian who’s turned his fights with major recession and suicidal think into comedic material.

What do you think? Is joking about suicide too heavy? Or is humor a good coping mechanism? Join us for an in-depth discussion on gallows humor.

( Transcript Available Below )

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Guest Information for’ Frank King — Joking and Suicide’ Podcast Episode

Frank King, Suicide Prevention speaker and Trainer was a writer for The Tonight Show for 20 years.

Depression and suicide run in his family. He’s thought about killing himself more epoches than he can count. He’s contended a lifetime battle with Major Depressive Disorder and Chronic Suicidality, turning that long pitch-dark tour of the mind into five TEDx Talks and sharing his lifesaving revelations on Mental Health Awareness with associations, firms, and colleges.

A Motivational Public Speaker who works “peoples lives” assignments to start the conversation imparting people permission to give voice to their feelings and experiences bordering recession and suicide.

And doing it by coming out, as it were, and standing in his truth, and doing it with humor.

He believes that where there is humor there is hope, where there is laughter there is life , none dies roaring. The privilege party, at the right time, with the right information, can save a life.

About The Not Crazy Podcast Hosts

Gabe Howard is an award-winning writer and talker who lives with bipolar disorder. He is the author of the popular journal, Mental Illness is an Asshole and other Findings, available from Amazon; indicated facsimiles are too accessible directly from Gabe Howard . To learn more, please visit his website, gabehoward.com.

Lisa is the producer of the Psych Central podcast, Not Crazy. She is the recipient of The National Alliance on Mental Illness’s “Above and Beyond” award, has worked extensively with the Ohio Peer Supporter Certification program, and is a workplace suicide prevention trainer. Lisa has duelled dip her part life and has worked alongside Gabe in mental health advocacy for over a decade. She lives in Columbus, Ohio, with her husband; experiences international proceed; and lineups 12 pairs of shoes online, picks the best one, and mails the other 11 back.

Computer Generated Transcript for” Frank King- Joking and Suicide” Episode

Editor’s Note: Please be mindful that this transcript has been computer made and therefore may contain lapses and grammar errors. Thank you.

Lisa: You’re listening to Not Crazy, a psych central podcast hosted by my ex-husband, who has bipolar disorder. Together, we created the mental health podcast for people who hate mental health podcasts.

Gabe: Hey, everybody, and welcome to the Not Crazy Podcast. My name is Gabe Howard and with me, as always, is Lisa. Lisa, do you have a new beginning this week?

Lisa: Oh, you totally ruined my thing. I was gonna do hi, I’m Lisa, but like in a cute voice.

Gabe: You reflect using like a different inflection, but the exact same utterances is a new introduction for you?

Lisa: Yes, I’m going to do different inflections.

Gabe: That’s terrible.

Lisa: I’ve been thinking about it for a full seven days.

Gabe: It’s terrible. You know, I am very happy that you’re here and I’m pleased to see that the show is about comedy. We are going to talk about is comedy and being funny surrounding mental health concerns OK? Well, we kind of think it is. But Lisa, today we have a guest.

Lisa: Yes. Our guest, Frank King, lives with major hollow and suffers from suicidal ideation, and he describes himself as a warrior in his lifelong battle with mental illness. And before we get started, we are going to talk about suicide. And Frank is a comedian. So it’s going to come up pretty quick. So make preparations for that.

Gabe: And there’s your trigger warning, tribes, and after we’re done talking to Frank. Lisa and I will be back to tell you our thoughts, you are aware, behind his back.

Lisa: And recorded, so not really behind his back. He continued to listen to it.

Gabe: I’m glad you told me that, because

Lisa: You forgot?

Gabe: Yeah, yeah, that really yeah.

Lisa: Yeah.

Gabe: I often forget that people are listening

Lisa: Really?

Gabe: No. No, never.

Gabe: And we’re just going to strike him a entire knot. We’re gonna be like, that’s offensive. That’s awful. That’s terrible. People feel this way. And would you joke about murder? The react, of course, is that parties do joke about slaying. People joke about all kinds of things. But I feel like we should let Frank defend himself. Frank, welcome to the show.

Frank: Thanks, Gabe. Thanks for the warm welcome.

Lisa: Oh, expressed appreciation for being here.

Gabe: Are you glad you said yes?

Frank: Huh, do you want me to be honest or kind?

Lisa: Too soon to say.

Frank: No, I’m delighted to be here. Glad we could find a time to do this, although I haven’t got another booking till May 2021, so I got plenty of time.

Gabe: COVID has braked us all down. Frank, you’re a mental health comedian. That’s literally how you describe yourself. Frank King, the mental health comedian. Why? Can you tell us about that?

Frank: Yeah, I told my first joke in fourth position and the boys chuckled and I told my mama I’m gonna be a comedian. She said, because education is a big deal in our clas. Well, lad, you are gonna go to college and get a degree. Now, after college, you can be, I don’t know a goat herder if “youve selected”. But you, my lad, are going to be a goat herder with a degree. So I went to school in Chapel Hill. I got two units. One in political science, one in industrial relations.

Lisa: Oh, I didn’t know that was the thing.

Frank: I didn’t either.

Gabe: Can you get a job in that or did you have to fall back on comedy?

Frank: No. UNC Chapel Hill has a spectacular placements midst. I interviewed literally 77 times. No second interrogations , no chore offers. So they’re looking at me seeing this guy’s a idiot. And they were correct. So most people give up a good job to do comedy. But I was functionally unemployable. So my lover, high school girlfriend and college, her parent worked for an insurance company and he disputed me a responsibility as a marketing rep of an insurance company in Raleigh. And then we moved to San Diego. I should have never married my first wife. I knew going down the alley it was not going to work. I really didn’t have the testicular fortitude to back out. We had nothing in common, virtually. And you know what they say, opposites lure. She was pregnant. I wasn’t. So, we got married and, in La Jolla, California, which is a suburb of San Diego, although La Jolla would tell you that San Diego is actually a outskirt of La Jolla, the Comedy Store had a branch there, all countries of the world famed Comedy Store on Sunset.

Gabe: Yeah. Very cool.

Frank: And so I

Lisa: Yeah, I watched it when I was a kid.

Frank: And so I did what I tell comedians or intended to be comics to do. Go and sit through open mic darknes twice. See how bad everybody is, 75% of them. And that will give you the daring. I was downed, sat through two nights of it and sure as shooting, 75, 80 percent were gruesome. And I’m thinking I’m that funny just can walk. And so the third night I departed, I get up. I did my five minutes. It was all about moving from North Carolina to California because back then that was quite a bit of culture shock. The joke I recollect is I’d ever seen guacamole. I’ve never actually insured an avocado growing up in North Carolina. So I pick up a chipping and I’m headed for the container and I stop. I’m levitate over the container, staring at the guacamole. You know what guacamole looks like. The hostess comes running over. Frank, I’ll bet you don’t know what that is. You’re not from California. That is what we call guacamole. And it’s good. And I said, yes, I pot it was good the first time somebody ate it. And in my chief that night, it’s only happened a couple of terms in “peoples lives”. I had the judgment unbidden. I’m home on stage

Lisa: Aww.

Frank: There. And then my second thought was I would do this for a living. I has got no idea how because I had no idea how difficult it is to make a living doing standup humor. Had I known, I probably has not been able to have tried.

Gabe: Frank, I adoration that floor and that, of course, answers the second part, how you became a comedian, but why mental health issues? Why a mental health comedian?

Frank: Well, we’ll get there.

Gabe: Get there faster, Frank.

Lisa: Don’t, don’t.

Gabe: That’s what I’m telling you.

Frank: I realize, okay.

Lisa: Don’t, Gabe. It’s just like with you, if you try to perform him go faster, he’ll go slower. Exactly consider Zen.

Frank: Yeah,

Lisa: Be chill.

Frank: Yeah.

Lisa: See all these times, that’s why I let you talk, because otherwise it takes longer.

Gabe: That’s so sweet.

Frank: I did amateur night for about a year, and then I acquired a game in San Diego. Told us to my girlfriend , now my spouse of 32 years.

Lisa: Oh.

Frank: Look, I’m going on the road to do standup comedy. I had 10 weeks booked, which I thought was forever. You want to come along? And she said inexplicably, yes. So we placed everything into storage that we couldn’t are suitable for my insignificant little Dodge Colt.

Gabe: Wow.

Frank: No air conditioner. And we smacked the road for 2,629 nights in a row. Nonstop, brew rail, pool hall, honky tonk, comedy guild. And she just came along for the ride. We had no home , no domicile. No, well, you know.

Gabe: Now, generally speaking, when people are homeless, I contemplate maybe they’re not so good at what they’re doing. But?

Lisa: It’s apparently a different type of industry.

Frank: And it was a great time of our lives. I imply, back then they put you up in a humor condo, three bedrooms. So I worked with and devoted occasion, weeks at a time in condos with Dennis Miller and Jeff Foxworthy and Ron White, Ellen DeGeneres, Rosie O’Donnell and Dana Carvey and Adam Sandler. Back when they were just comics. So we go that billow for about seven years. And then I got a job in radio in Raleigh, North Carolina, my old hometown, and I took a number one morning show. I drove it to count six in 18 months. A friend of mine said you didn’t just drive it into the ground. You drove it into Middle Earth. So I did.

Lisa: Well, but in ultimate evaluate, that’s a, that’s a big up.

Gabe: I represent, six is a bigger number than one, congratulations.

Lisa: There “theres going”. Yeah.

Frank: So then my boss at the time, we’re still friends, said to me, well, you go back on the road make stand up. Well, standup was going away. More golf-clubs are closing than opening. So I’ve always been very clean. Which cost me in the one nighter beer rail status. But assemble the National Speaker Association, got to the rubber chicken circuit and journey that and made good money just doing HR friendly corporate clean humor until 2007 and a half basically. And then world markets, you are aware, the speaking sell dropped out 80% basically overnight. And my bride and I lost everything we worked for for twenty five years in a Chapter 7 insolvency. And that’s when I found out what the barrel of my handgun feelings like. Spoiler alert. I didn’t pull the trigger. I tell that story and a friend of mine came up subsequentlies, who never heard me say that before. And he goes, Hey, person, how come you didn’t pull the trigger? I disappear, Hey, humanity, could “youre trying to” resound a little less disheartened? So. And if you want to know why I didn’t pull the trigger, it’s in my first TED talk.

Gabe: I necessitate, sincerely, we. This is the crux of the show, right? That’s like certainly ponderous. Like when you said it, I was like, oh, my God, what can I do to save, Frank? You already told me that it was.

Lisa: Yeah, I was also thinking whoa whoa, did not see that coming. All right.

Gabe: Right. But you said it funny. I represent, there’s no other way to settle it. That was a joke about something certainly, really serious. And I imagine that there’s a scandalize appraise there. There’s a like that was unexpected.

Frank: Yeah, and it is there on purpose.

Gabe: Do you get shit for that? I convey, I has now spoke the symbols. I was trying to listen to your podcast. We were all having a good time. And then Frank made a joke about suicide that I wasn’t expecting. How dare you? And on one entrust, I want to agree with them, like, oh, like well unexpected. But on the other hand, I revalue humor. I embrace humor. It is healthy. How do you refute the people that tell you this?

Lisa: Well, first, I want to hear how he decided to talk about this, because this friend comes up to him and he tells the story. Is that because that friend thought it was hilarious and you were like, oh, this is definitely where the money is? I’m gonna go this direction. I mean, how did that happen?

Frank: Well, I had a mental health act at that point when he actually said that. So I exactly, as many comics do,

Lisa: Ok.

Frank: Added to that because everyone chortled. The actual original indication was bankruptcy, lost everything. And I had an itch on the ceiling of my speak I could only scratch with the front back on my nickel plated. 38, which people received a little graphic. So I,

Gabe: Yeah.

Lisa: Well.

Frank: I was put forward by the what the barrel of my shoot feelings like. It’s faster. And what I do is I do it on purpose for two reasons. One, anybody in the audience who has a mental illness who hears me say, I can tell you what the barrel of my artillery tastes like, you can see them bent forward because all of a abrupt, they realize that I get onto. And it scandalizes the neuro ordinary people, which is what I’m after, into paying better attention, because that’s why I’m there, is to let the mentally ill people know that they’re not alone and assisting the neurotypical beings decipher how someone can be so depressed that they would take their own life. And so, but then again, you notice I talk about taste of the barrel of my shoot and then I become, spoiler alerting, didn’t pull the trigger. So you get the shock and then you get the joke, even though it is simply gets a hesitant chuckle, that boundary, you are aware. Huh. And then the large-hearted payoff is friend of mine been put forward. Why didn’t you pull the trigger? Could you. Yeah. So it is fabricated that route on purpose. The outrage price. And then the first big laugh. Should we be laughing at the fact you applied a artillery in his opening? And then the big giggle with the guy who been put forward afterwards and said, you are aware, and I said try to sound a little less disappointed.

Frank: So but yeah, it’s, um, except for the fact that I was leave some grief about the original front, about the ache on the roof of my speak. Nobody’s ever complaints about the. I don’t know whether they I’ve appalled him into convulsion. They can’t. I’d like to say something, but I can’t. And there’s a comedy principle there in that if you give them something very serious like the grease-gun in the mouth and you follow orders with something cheering, then they’re much more ready and able to handle the next case of serious information that you give them, regardless of what it is. So there’s a pattern to and then the reason, you are aware, everything is where it is in that bit and in the in my speech. What happened was I would do standup comedy and I’d always wanted to make a living and a difference because when I went to work in insurance, I participated all the old school motivational chaps, Zig Ziglar and like that. I considered, male, I could do that if I just had something to school mortal. Well, when I came so close, and it runs in my family. My grandmother died by suicide.

Frank: My mother knew her. My great aunt died by suicide. My mother and I met her. I was four years old, I screamed for eras. I reviewed, I visualize I can maybe talk about it. And then I bought a notebook by the status of women referred Judy Carter called The Message of You: Turning Your Life into a Money Making Speaking Career. And I is entered into it considering, I’ve got nothing. And Judy saunters you through meeting your middle narration and what you should be talking about. And about halfway through, I reviewed I do have something to talk about. So I use Judy’s book to design my first TED talk. I exploited a volume called Talk Like TED to refine it. And then I extradited it and I came out to the world at 52 as somebody who’s depressed and suicidal. My wife didn’t know their own families, my friends , no one knew. Now to Gabe’s moment, the only thing I’ve ever gotten grief for about that TEDx talk was that I didn’t know that the preferred language around suicide was die by suicide, accomplished a suicide, in that I said committed suicide. And it actually cost me a gig. They insured that, and I said, well, look at the next three.

Gabe: Yeah.

Frank: But they didn’t want to hire me because I exercised the word committed suicide.

Gabe: We talk about this a lot. Everywhere I move. I used to be the legion of a podcast announced A Bipolar, a Schizophrenic, and a Podcast and all of our forward. OK. I should back off that a little. Not all of our forward but, but probably 75% of our mail, was your communication is offensive. It should be called a person living with bipolar, a person living with schizophrenia and a portable digital enter that you can listen to at your rest. And I thought that’s just so bulky. But what really struck me about this speech debate is, for the record, I agree that we should say ended suicide or attempted suicide. I don’t like the expression commit because it determines it announce. I made in accordance with that deepen. But so what? You probably made in accordance with the imagine behind it as well. And you merely didn’t know at the time. We’re not educating people if we start, you are aware, shelling beings each time they make a mistake. I make, just heaven forbid.

Frank: Well, here’s the slew. I said there is no bigger commitment than blowing your brains out. Two, there’s an old joke about breakfast, bacon and eggs. The chicken is involved. The pig was committed. Still didn’t get the gig. But I felt better.

Gabe: I understand. Look, I’m not saying that there’s not an iota of truth in the way we talk to each other and the nature that we speak to one another and the words that we choose to use. It’s one of the reasons that you’re probably a comedian because, you know, that speech is likely to be controlled in a way that makes people pay closer attention.

Frank: Oh, yeah.

Gabe: Or a style that makes people giggle or that, you know, ruffles people’s plumages. We’re all aware of this. But I still have to point out time and time again, if we leant as much effort into going beings with serious mental illness assistance as we do in deciding how to discuss people with serious mental illness, I reckon the world would be a better place. I had to take a lot of shit about that, Frank.

Frank: Yeah. My radio co-host, had an expression, is that the hill you want to die on? And no, that’s not the hill I want to die. That’s not where I was necessary to expend my struggle. I’ll implementation proper usage. But I’m not you know, right before I came on with you guys, I was on a dental podcast because dentists have a high rate and several have died recently, high profile. And the gentleman I spoke to said is suicide. And I just let it go. I wasn’t going to school him. I mean, if I ascertain him later, I’d say, hey, serviceman, merely a memorandum, you know, just for your own edification and to avoid trouble in the future. And I have said and done with other people. You know, people say something. I said, inspection, you are aware, when you figure person has mental illness, you need to avoid this or that. It is not always lingo so much as it is. You know, I choice joy.

Gabe: Yeah.

Frank: Ok, well, one of the guys who’s involved in our volume are largely a positive motivational loudspeaker sort of fellow. And he supposes, he said anything about the cognitive state, that positive state of mind and choice positive conceptions is the antidote to hollow. And I said, you have to be very careful about that because there are those of us who are organically predisposed. And I am the most positive person who’s suicidal you’ll probably ever fulfill. I have a great attitude. You know, I have chronic suicidal ideation so I could blow my psyches out tomorrow. But, you know, it’s not such matters of attitude.

Lisa: Positive thinking only makes you so far.

Frank: Yeah, it’s like saying to a parent of a child who has a problem depression and guess of suicide to hire a coach. A life manager. It’s like , no. And the pushback I get the most on, Gabe, is somebody will challenge me. How are you able joke about mental illness and suicide?

Gabe: Yeah.

Frank: An overarching question, an in the macro question. How are you able joke about dip and conceptions of suicide? I say, so here’s the agreement. In comedy, maybe you know this, you can joke about any group to which you belong.

Lisa: Right.

Gabe: Exactly. Yes. Yes. I ever hate it when people tell me how to talk about myself

Frank: Yeah.

Gabe: Or when people tell me how to react to my own trauma or my own experiences, like you can’t talk about their own lives that space. What I

Frank: What?

Gabe: I merely. Listen, having mental illness. I live with bipolar disorder. And it is rough and it is tough. And society is constantly on top of me telling me what to do, how to behave, how to act. You know, this medicine is good. This therapy is bad. Anti psychiatry, pro psychiatry, med simulate. Simply everywhere, just like everybody has an opinion about “peoples lives”. And then beings start having opinions of how I’m supposed to think and discuss my life. It’s bad enough you all have sentiments on everything else I do. But now you’re trying to control how I think about my own experiences and explain them to others. Now , now I want to fight.

Lisa: Well, they think they’re helping.

Gabe: I know they think they’re helping, but they’re not.

Frank: The epithet your previous podcast was something of a bipolar? It was a?

Gabe: A bipolar schizophrenic and a podcast.

Frank: Yes, I thought it was so three guys walking into a bar.

Gabe: Yeah, we stole it from three chaps in a pizza place

Frank: Yeah. Exactly.

Lisa: Well, the refer of this one is Not Crazy, so if the question at the beginning of the episode is, is it OK to joke about mental illness? I think we’ve already answered it with the title.

Frank: Yes.

Gabe: Yeah, we get pushback on the entitle. Parties suck.

Lisa: I know.

Frank: So do I. I get. I just got off the podcast with the dentists, and I said, glance, before I leave, let me give you my phone number, my cell phone number, and I give it to him twice, and I say given it in the prove documents. And here’s the cope. The ground I do that, I do it every keynote that I do. I apply my cell phone number.

Lisa: Truly?

Frank: Yep.

Lisa: Ok.

Frank: I say, looking, if you’re suicidal, call the suicide prevention lifeline or text HELP to 741741. If you’re just having a really bad day, call a crazy person like me. Because we’re not going to judge. We’re just going to listen.

Gabe: Yeah.

Frank: As a friend of mine says, co-sign on your B.S. and I’ve gotten pushback on you shouldn’t utilize message crazy. So, here’s the thing. I’m taking it back.

Gabe: Yes.

Frank: As lesbian people made back the expression lesbian and originated it not a pejorative. I’m taking crazy back because I own it. I’ve paid off it. It’s my text if I want to use it. And so, yeah, that comes my dander up. It’s, you know.

Gabe: Here, here’s the thing about comedy that I cherish so much better. And I agree with you and Lisa and I talk about this all the time, for some reason, we’re so hung up on oaths that we’re not at all hung up on context.

Frank: No.

Gabe: Do you know how many unpleasant things have happened to me with the right terms being used? Mr. Howard, I’m sorry. I’m going to have to fire you from your work because you’re person or persons lives with mental illness

Lisa: But we’ve talked about why that is.

Gabe: Why?

Lisa: Because it’s easier. Do you know how much trouble and effort it would be to end homelessness or specify an adequate mental health safety net or suicide prevention programs? Those are hard and they’re expensive. Telling beings to start talking in a different way is much, much easier and free.

Gabe: And you can do it on Facebook.

Lisa: Yeah, that helps, more. You don’t have to leave your house.

Frank: And I get together once a month, sometimes more, on a Monday with my crazy humor klatch, anywhere from two to six of us who are all crazy. All have a mental illness of one stripe or another. And we get together for an hour. We taken away from our competition face and we are only ourselves and say things that they are able to. One morning mortal comes and croaks, you are aware, a chap pranced off a six story building downtown. I travel, six narrations? Not a chance in hell. You could subsist six fibs. Simply leave you a quadriplegic. I’m going at least 10.

Lisa: Good thinking.

Frank: And there’s somebody at the counter behind me is like, did you just? I go, it’s a math question. You know, you just have to reach terminal velocity. Give me a snap. But that’s how you are aware. Somebody said something about suicide. And I said, sound, if you going to die by suicide, don’t jump off a connect and land on some poor civilian’s automobile and ruin their lives forever. Get a rocket vest, find some jackass and wrap your limbs around him and then pull the trigger. Do, you know, perform the world a better place.

Lisa: That’s actually super good advice.

Frank: Yeah.

Gabe: That is atrocious advice and Not Crazy, is not is not condone assassination in any way.

Lisa: I precisely can’t believe. I have spent a great deal of go to be considered suicide. I have never thought of that.

Gabe: Listen, what we’re talking about is called gallows feeling, it’s dark feeling. Now, I am a big fan of it. In my darkest instants, the things that, honest to God, saved “peoples lives” were the person or persons that looked at me and told me jokes like we just talked about here. But not everybody likes them and not everyone understands them.

Frank: No.

Gabe: I convey, it doesn’t matter if we’re talking about mental illness, mental health or. You know, my family. OK, here’s what this reminds me of. My dad got in a unpleasant accident. I want, he had to be life flighted like it was really serious. We got a call. We had to get in the car. We had to drive 12 hours because we live in Ohio. He lives in Tennessee. And we go there. And my dad is 70 years old and he’s listen, he’s drum to shit. And the nurse needed him to sign a consent form. And, of course, you know, my papa, he’s on painkillers. He’s scared. He’s in research hospitals. Did I mention he was, you are aware, like, actually physically messed up from the accident? And he’s presenting the wet-nurse misfortune. He’s like, I don’t want to. I don’t want to. I don’t want to. And I said, you know, Dad, you need to sign that. And he goes, I don’t want to.

Gabe: And I seemed my daddy in the eyes and I said, if you don’t mansion that, I’m going to beat you up. And there was this awkward moment of stillnes for like a few seconds. And my father really starts laughter. He time starts cracking up. He’s chuckling so hard that he’s like, don’t. Don’t build me laugh. It hurts. It hurts. And he grabs the clipboard and he signs it. Now, I’ve told that legend, I don’t know, a thousand times and about 50% of the time parties choke like, oh, my God, this sounds like a really serious emergency. Your dad had to be life flighted. Why would you say that to him? What various kinds of a atrocious, nasty lad are you? Look, I know my pa. This is how we talk to each other. It cheers the mood. My dad thought it was funny. And listen, we didn’t have a lot to laugh at, so we had to laugh at the only thing that was in the apartment, which was the fact that my father came in an accident that approximately killed my husband and had to be life flighted and his son had to drive 12 hours to see him. I think it’s the same way with mental illness. I think that’s what we need to jest at. I think if we’re not tittering, we’re crying.

Lisa: Humor is a way to deal with dark topics that are awkward, it’s a way to attain you feel better about things that are sucky.

Gabe: But not everybody believes that. How do you outweigh that? Because in any area, extremely your chambers, Frank, they’re big rooms, there’s five hundred a thousand people in those apartments. And better than average peculiars are, there’s a couple of hundred people that think that you’re a jackass that’s making fun of mentally ill parties and you’re doing a great disservice.

Frank: Yeah, well, you know, that’s the difference between being a speaker and a comedian. As a comedian, I’m very careful. You’ve got to know your audience.

Lisa: Well, that’s really the key. Knowing your gathering.

Frank: Yeah.

Lisa: It eliminates this entire discussion.

Gabe: Yeah, but you’re hired at corporate events. The gathering doesn’t opt themselves. This offsets it a little more difficult. Right, Frank? I entail, if you’re.

Lisa: Well , no, because he doesn’t actually need to please the audience, he exactly needs to please the people who hired him.

Gabe: Now, is everything all right, that that’s.

Lisa: Those two things is more likely to frequently go together, but not always.

Gabe: We’re not playing solicitor dance here, Lisa.

Lisa: I’m just saying.

Frank: Yeah, the I’ve got a friend is a funeral director, mortician, so is his dad, and they have the darkest sense of humor. I go into a motivational speech for the Selected Independent Funeral Homes. They call me up and they said.

Lisa: This is a good joke. I can tell. It’s going to be a good, good setup.

Gabe: Well, this isn’t a joke, it’s a story, right?

Frank: True story.

Gabe: It’s a true story.

Lisa: It’s going to be funny in the end, though, I can tell.

Gabe: Everything Frank says is funny.

Frank: A month ahead of time they announce me. What do you call your motivational lecture for morticians? And I was kidding. I said I call it Thinking Inside the Box. And they liked it so much. I had to have my first slide is, you know, Thinking Inside the Box. The son and papa are frantic. And then his daddy is on a ship. I’m doing 10 dates on a 115 date nature cruise. And I don’t know if you guys know this, but the longer the sail, the older the passengers.

Gabe: Certainly?

Lisa: Well, that moves gumption. They have the time.

Gabe: I predict. Yeah, they don’t have hassles. Yeah, that induces sense.

Frank: Yeah. One hundred fifteen epoches, we’re talking aged parties and their parents. Every night, same thing for dessert: oxygen. Yeah. Did a show in an 800 set theater, it was packed. I call my wife, sugar, there was so much white hair in that theater, it was like a Q-tip convention. So in my accomplishment I have this history about how every industry has a favorite joke. And I tell one about the grain industry. There’s one about my favorite actually is ophthalmologists and optometrists. Their favorite joke is this is my impression of an ophthalmologist or an optometrist making love. How’s that? How about now? Better or worse? One or two? Yeah. And I said, people like if you’ve never tattered glasses, ask person because that’s funny.

Lisa: Well, yeah, I was going to say merely people who wear glasses are gonna come that.

Frank: Well, then there’s a mortician joke and the mortician joke is what’s the most difficult thing about being a mortician? And it’s trying to look poignant at a $35,000 funeral. So I tell the joke

Lisa: That’s not a joke, though. That’s real.

Frank: It’s true, but I tell the joke and I say

Gabe: Well, but it is funny.

Frank: It is funny, and the public chuckles. And I say is anybody here in the audience, a mortician, retired or active duty? And a chap on the balcony promote his hands. I travel, what’s a mortician make on a 115 era macrocosm sail? He stands up, movements his arm across a multitude and goes inventory. And it kills.

Gabe: Oh.

Frank: And I’ve been, and it’s been killing ever since. And it is capable of being, Gabe, because he delivers the punch line.

Lisa: It’s entirely because he hands it.

Frank: Yeah, exactly.

Lisa: Otherwise, it’s not funny. Otherwise, it’s just mean.

Frank: Yes, comedy, there’s an arts and a discipline. Humorists should always be shooting up , not down.

Lisa: Exactly. Yes.

Frank: So if I was neurotypical, I couldn’t make any of the jokes I make about dimple and suicide because I’d be shooting down.

Gabe: Right. You’d be “re making fun” of people below you on that. Yeah.

Lisa: Yeah, “re making fun” of a subjugated radical is not funny. It’s just piling on to the problems that are already there.

Frank: It’s like, wives should always prevail in a joke. And that’s why gentlemen shouldn’t make fun of, or minorities. It’s difficult being a white comedian. Six foot towering, brown haired white-hot person because I.

Lisa: Yeah, yeah, you poor dear.

Gabe: We’re sorry, Frank. At least God gave you a mental illness so you had something to talk about.

Frank: Yeah, I’m well aware of being born a lily-white male, heterosexual Protestant in the US gives you a huge advantage. But frankly, if you have born that action in a relatively stable family and you haven’t supplanted at something, you’re doing it wrong.

Lisa: Yeah.

Gabe: Yeah.

Frank: Yeah, so, if you are gay or black or Mexican, you can joke about all those. Comedy is tragedy plus term or hurdle plus term. So, you know, because minorities have more difficulty. If you’re minority communities, you can joke about all minorities. If you’re a lily-white chap , not so much. So there are comedy rules and regulations that bleed over into my speaking. I try to school my speaking coaching students this. There should not be a word in there that doesn’t serve a purpose, including moving the narrative forward. I imply, you got to be very careful how you word things, because in radio, they say it’s not what you told. It’s not what they heard. It’s what they thought they heard. And nowadays it’s all filtered, more so, I see, than in the past because of the partition. You know, the right and the left and the P.C. and the preferred pronouns. And I was on campus, Gabe, at University of Montana, Billings, two delightful young men drive me around to radio stations. And one of them said, you are aware, Frank, comics have a tough time on campus nowadays because people get offended. Do you worry about people getting annoyed? I said, well, if I was a comedian, I’d be worried. However, I’m here on campus to save lives. So my thinking is. And then there’s an F and an’ em. F’ em.

Lisa: Hmm.

Frank: I don’t care whose toes I tread on if it entails I’m saving people.

Gabe: Exactly. It’s always to your point about everybody being offended. If beings are piqued, I don’t think that’s undoubtedly a bad thing. And again, I want to be very, very clear. There are offensive statements

Frank: Oh, yeah.

Gabe: That go too far. But if beings are sitting around discussing what you said and they’re passionate about what you said and they differ passionately with what you said, they’re applying their critical foreseeing talents to what you said and determining if they like it or scorn it, agree with it, don’t agree with it. And I think that there’s power in that. If after I leave a whole knot of beings come together and discuss everything that I said, I think that a lot more beings will be helped than if everybody’s like, well, he didn’t do anything. I signify, literally merely it sucks to not be remembered. Don’t get me wrong. I want to be remembered for good things, Frank.

Frank: Yeah.

Gabe: But I want to be remembered.

Lisa: Well, but it’s interesting what you said there, that there are some things that go too far. But isn’t that your locate proposition, that vary your gathering, there’s not? That there is, in fact , good-for-nothing that “re going too” far?

Frank: Well, there’s too soon.

Lisa: Ok, too soon.

Frank: Yeah.

Lisa: All right. Not exactly the same.

Frank: But yeah, I recall Gabe’s right. I think if you leave them talking and I have no problem with person, who comes up afterwards and says to me, glance, I have a problem with blank. And so we talk about it. Well, here’s my thinking. Here’s why I was indicated that. Here’s why I pick those oaths. Now tell me why you find that? What do you find offensive about that? Because I know I can learn things too. I mean it’s.

Lisa: Has that happened? Can you think of any? I make, one of these discussions has perhaps led to you modifying up a joke with or rethinking something or gaining brand-new info?

Frank: Back in the day during the AIDS crisis, back in the Reagan times, a great deal of comics, male, heterosexual, represented jokes about AIDS because it was the gay haras. Back then, regardless. When it became affecting heterosexuals, it wasn’t quite as funny, but I told a joke in the punchline involved AIDS and a friend of mine make me aside. He travels, Look, I know you don’t have a convey bone in your person, but I don’t think you understand how destroying this epidemic is among groups and communities. And so, I think if you knew or if I can impress upon you how wrong that joke is, that you wouldn’t do it. And I slipped it immediately from my act once he explained why it was so wrong. So it has happened. It doesn’t happen a good deal. And I’m very careful about, you know, getting there.

Lisa: Clearly, you’ve thought it through or you would be using the joke in the first place.

Frank: Yes. Yeah. So I am open to criticism and changing things. Like with is suicide, I said, OK, that’s the preferred usage. Or live with bipolar. That’s a well-liked lingo that’s less offensive to some people, you are aware. What does it expenditure me to be modified?

Lisa: That’s an interesting point. Yeah, that’s a good point, what does it cost you?

Frank: Yeah,

Lisa: You to change it?

Frank: But I’m with Gabe, I don’t think that should be our focus.

Lisa: Right. Right.

Frank: And, Lisa. I’m with you on this. That’s easy to do. Solving a homeless problem or much more difficult.

Gabe: Right. That’s where I am.

Lisa: Do you feel that some of the disapproval you got is, you know, when I learn people who are using incorrect terms, et cetera, that you are interested in, OK, they don’t know any better, this is your chance to educate. This is your chance to inform. Do you feel that the recalling was, hey, if you’re going to broach the topic, you are able to once is currently under that tier? Like, is that part of the criticism that people feel like you, of all people, should know better?

Frank: Yeah, I would say so,

Lisa: Would you not get that same sum of review if you yourself did not have a mental illness?

Frank: Yeah, exactly. And I have, as Gabe does I’m sure, that depth understanding of the. I don’t know, Gabe, if you do this, but I invest a lot of period by myself in self thought inside my own top and.

Gabe: Of route I do. Constantly.

Lisa: That’s mental illness.

Frank: Yeah,

Gabe: That’s pretty much the only place I live.

Lisa: Yeah.

Frank: Well, I’m driving one day and I deemed to myself, I’m not going to use the term battle depression anymore because combat suggests I can win. I cannot acquire. I can bind. Uneasy truce like North and South Korea. I can lose. Kill myself, but I cannot prevail. And I’ve had arguments with beings , no you can be antidote. No. No. For me, there is no cure.

Lisa: Right. Exclusively treatment.

Frank: I live with it. I take sort of an aikido coming. Aikido is a martial art where you blend with your being coming at you rather than go up against their intensity, you blend with the vitality, make their poise. Because depression is a great power and force. And so rather than bump up against it, I try to blend with it and move forward with it. You use that vigor to continue to move forward. It’s difficult, but that mindset of rather than, you know, combating it.

Lisa: We’ll be right back after these messages.

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Lisa: And we’re back talking about whether or not it is OK to joke about mental illness with comedian, Frank King. Frank, I have been wondering, after watching some of your achievements, where does your slapstick come from?

Frank: I trust my humor duration, resource is simply the flip side of my major depressive disorder and chronic suicidal ideation. I coached a class announced Stand Up for Mental Health. You have to have a diagnosis to get in, a diagnosis to teach it. I got to tell you, they were the best students I ever lived. Okay, here’s a light one. These are jokes. This is the way it came out of her pate. Most comics got a whole page, and they have to like redact two one-thirds of it. She goes I went to see my therapist. I become, Camille, what did the analyst say? Well, he asked me if I was chilled? I said yes. He asked if I had any judges of suicide? Yes. He said, do you have a plan? I said, I have five means. Five schedules? She goes, Yeah. You want to hear them all or really the ones that involve you? It’s dark, but there’s not a word in that that doesn’t move the narrative forward. Here’s one. Tosh. She said, My boyfriend said he wanted to break up with me. I said, well, why did he want to do that, Tosh? She goes, because he wishes to other people. I said, What did “youre telling”? I said, I’m bipolar. Give me a time. Exactly that’s the way it came out of her pate. And here’s a cope, I can school you to write standup comedy.

Frank: I could learn you accomplish standup slapstick. What I cannot teach you to do is process. So if anybody said, Frank, one pill one time, never be chilled again, never another suicidal meditated. The only side effect is you’re not going to process as a comedian. Then keep the pill, I’ll live with the downside to hang onto the upside. That is where my comedy comes from. And heckler wrinkles, parties run, how did you think up? I’m on the bus. I was in Cambodia. We were on buss to go to the airport to catch a plane to come home. And the woman in front of me, an older woman on a sail. Go figure. I was doing a podcast from my phone in the seat behind her and she goes, hang up the phone. I depart, it’s not a telephone call, it’s a podcast, I’m working. Hang up, eh. So I went back another sequence, impeded my articulation down. Well, it didn’t delight her at all. It didn’t soothe her. So we’re getting ready to get off the bus. We all stand up. I’m several steps behind as she turns. She goes “drop dead.” And where this come back here, I can’t tell you. I said, generated your age, I’m guessing you’re going first. People say, well, how do you think that up? I didn’t think that up. The first time she heard it was first time I listen. I has got no idea. But that’s my, that’s. You don’t have to be mentally ill to write comedy or play-act comedy. But it don’t hurt.

Gabe: I ever hear these jokes where people say, did you have a good childhood or are you funny? You know, I’ve read a lot of journals that say, you know, some of the best comedy comes from harrowing experience.

Frank: Yeah, yeah.

Lisa: Absolutely.

Gabe: And I. Mental illness is a distressing know. And I’m not speaking for all the listeners and I’m apparently not speaking for Lisa and Frank, but for me, the humor is all I have some daylights. If I can’t laugh at it, I’m going to cry. And that’s why these inappropriate and I’m making the, you are aware, I wish it was a video podcast

Frank: Air quotes.

Gabe: So people could see how often I can make air quotes. If it wasn’t for the feeling that I can find in this, it would be nothing but darkness. And that’s the way I see it.

Frank: One last illustration, I had a heart attack, I was in the lumbers half mile up a logging line with the dogs, I had T-mobile, so I didn’t have cell work. And that never fails to get a laugh and.

Lisa: I used to have T-Mobile, yeah.

Frank: Oh, God.

Gabe: Yeah, it sucked.

Frank: Yes. Sucks out loud. Anyway, I got back to the car. Back to the house, hollered at my bride. I’m having a heart attack, dial 911. I sounds she came out, got me in an ambulance. I’m at research hospitals. Here’s the delightful thing about a heart attack. No waiting. Nobody leaves a shippa about HIPPA. I’m in the back. And the tragedy plus age equals comedy. But the longer you do comedy, the shorter the time. I’m doing slapstick in real time.

Lisa: I could see that.

Frank: That wet-nurse told me to, I’m in great deal of agony. I’m having a heart attack. She goes, Frank , no paperwork. But I just got one question for you. And I said, I’m married, Honey, but I love the way you think. And she’s trying not to titter. It’s like, Gabe, if I didn’t have my comedy, what the hell is I have? She goes, No , no , no , no. Your full word is Frank Marshall King, the third largest. But what do you like to be called? And I said, through the aching, Big Daddy. And to this day, when I go back to Oregon Heart& Vascular and somebody sees me from that morning, hey, Big Daddy, how’s it hanging? So, yeah, Gabe, if I didn’t have the feeling. I intend, if I didn’t have that style of dealing with the pain, whether it’s a heart attack or mental illness or whatever it happen to be, it’s you know, it’s just the way we cope.

Gabe: You know, Frank, apparently I live with bipolar disorder, but I’ve also had physical questions. I was scurried in an ambulance to the emergency room. I had a surgery that kind of didn’t turn out so well. And now I am in the emergency room and Lisa is trying urgently to find me.

Lisa: Well, the woman said to me, are you sure he’s here? I know he’s here. I followed the ambulance. He is here. And then she said something and I said, he is a six paw three redhead. He can’t be that hard to find.

Frank: Yeah.

Gabe: And the nurse said, you’re looking for Gabe?

Lisa: He’s only “re out there” like fifteen inutes.

Frank: Well, he makes an impression.

Lisa: That actually happened.

Gabe: I do. I make an impression.

Lisa: He’s not clear that that tale up. That actually happened.

Gabe: Now, here I am. The rest of that is true. And Lisa is now yelling at me because I’m so popular.

Frank: No, my ex-wife would tell you, glance, Frank, he had a lot. He had a lot of mistakes, but I never went to a party with him where we didn’t have a good time.

Lisa: I can see that.

Gabe: Now, the reason I’m telling that narrative is because everybody adores that narrative. I tell that story all the time. People are like, oh, Gabe, it’s so good that you can keep your humor. It was shocking. And that helped Lisa. And, oh, that’s so beautiful talking about it in that lane. But whenever I do that for mental illness, beings are like, that’s unwarranted stop. And I’m like , no, wait a minute.

Frank: What?

Gabe: Why? What’s the. “Its one” of those, you are aware,

Lisa: Because it’s not as scary.

Gabe: Stigmatizing things. You know, making fun of me, approximately dying from a surgery, going wrong and nearly bleeding to death at home. People are like, yeah, he’s tough, but joking about mental illness, about bipolar affective disorder. And parties are like I don’t know that you’re making it gravely. And it’s a very scary illness. And I think you might be hurting other people that suffer from this. And I simply point that out because we want mental illness and physical illness to be treated exactly the same. And I guarantee there’s nobody that heard your story about, you are aware, the big-hearted daddy story

Frank: Yeah.

Gabe: About the heart attack. That wasn’t like hell, yeah, he was. You’re a tough guy. But then I sounds some of the stuff about suicidality, depression, and like, I don’t know, perhaps I don’t like this. And let’s consider time, you are aware, you don’t have to agree with me immediately. Let’s reviewed and considered the whys of that. Why do we feel that way? And I think that will allow us to move forward. Look, feeling is funny. We needed most. We like it. If it’s not for you, don’t listen to it. Frank’s not for everybody.

Frank: It’s a way of broken off impediments and having a meeting of the minds. Because a laugh is something where your minds have to meet. You have to be in the same place at the same time. You know, verifying the same thing. I tell my humor students, cover the picture, it’s gotta be very colourful. So they can be there with you. Right there with you.

Gabe: Well, that is awesome. You are awesome.

Frank: Well , thank you very much.

Lisa: Yeah, we really experienced it. Where can public find you?

Frank: TheMentalHealthComedian.com is my Web area. My phone number’s there and sometime in the next, I’m guessing the coming week, there will be an audio book version of a work that Gabe and I are in.

Gabe: Yeah, I actually I recall I’m in work two and you’re in loudnes one. I didn’t make the cut, but Guts, Grit& The Grind, you can find it on Amazon. It’s a collecting of floors from guys about their mental health concerns, personality disorder and only the whole concept, we’ve got to give a shout out to Dr. Sally, was that men only don’t talk about their mental health enough and there’s getting to be more humankinds. But I like to joke that I got into this business because it was chiefly women.

Frank: Yes. And Sarah Gaer, whose meaning it was and who schools QPR to first responders, mainly humen. She went to the bookstore to find a bible on men’s mental health, couldn’t were identified. Went on Amazon, couldn’t were identified. So she

Gabe: Now we go.

Frank: She applied it together. Yes. And if you go to my website, sometime in the next week or so, they’ll be a, put your email in, and you get a free duplicate of the audio record that I voiced.

Gabe: Nice. Nice. If you want to hear Frank’s voice even more, you know what to do. That would be awesome, Frank. It’s always fun.

Lisa: Oh, expressed appreciation for again so much.

Frank: Oh, my pleasure. Bye-bye people, you all is all very well.

Lisa: All title, thank you, bye-bye.

Gabe: Uh-huh, bye-bye. Lisa, what do you think? You didn’t say a whole lot. I signify, it is probably hard with Gabe and Frank on the line.

Lisa: Well, I thought he fostered some interesting points. I anticipated his humor was pretty funny, that was good. If I were at a meet, I’d want to go see that.

Gabe: Well, you know that that’s interesting because when you started off talking, I thought you were gonna say this suctions. I don’t think we should joke about mental illness. But then you ended with if we were at a powwow, I’d want to go see it. It sounds like you’re conflicted, like you’re not sure.

Lisa: No.

Gabe: Whether this is okay or not.

Lisa: Well, I would say that the broader question of is comedy about bad things okay or not has a lot of grey-haired in it. I think that humor and laughter is a noticeable acces to deal with dark things. I use it myself. Approximately everyone I know uses it. I think this is a universal part of the human condition. We all utilize laughter to get through dark ages or to address dark themes. So, if this is something that you’re unpleasant with, formerly he is laughing at his own mental illness, that indicates to the audience that it’s okay to giggle. He’s cozy with it. So we’re comfy with it.

Gabe: Lisa, you and I have been friends for forever, and I know that you like gallows humor. I is a well-known fact that you like pitch-dark humor.

Lisa: I do, I really do.

Gabe: We both like it. But I noticed that when Frank was telling some of the darker jokes and I imply, he exactly sounded out of nowhere. You seemed embarrassing. I felt awkward.

Lisa: I don’t know that I’m so much disagreeable, as merely startled and you’re not sure how to react. You know, like, what do I do? What do I say? What comes next? And, today, whoa, he exactly went straight-shooting for it. There’s no lead up , no buildup. I think maybe that’s what it was. It was just it’s so shocking to be right in front of your face so fast.

Gabe: But let’s say that I did that. Let’s “re saying you” and I were we’re sitting in my front room, it’s 3:00 in the morning and I just I pop that joke. Would you know what to say then?

Lisa: Well, it’s different.

Gabe: Would you have laughed?

Lisa: Yeah, but it’s different when you’re with someone you literally know. I’ve met this humanity for the first time just now.

Gabe: But why? I think that’s an interesting notion, because kind of what you’re describing is that gallows humor is okay among close friends, privately, but publicly,

Lisa: Well.

Gabe: Maybe it’s not OK? I’m just curious as to why?

Lisa: Well.

Gabe: Listen, I did the same thing. I chuckled uncomfortably. Everybody just heard it.

Lisa: I didn’t think about that as whether or not it was one of those things where it’s more for close friends and family or. But that’s not really a practical way to go about things simply because most of my friends and family merely aren’t that funny. So if I want to hear said feeling, I’m gonna have to turn to some sort of mass media.

Gabe: But you’re alone.

Lisa: Oh, okay.

Gabe: You’re doing that mass media alone.

Lisa: Well, what if I were in the audience?

Gabe: There’s no make. There’s no makes. There’s no Psych Central hovering. There’s no, there’s no recording.

Lisa: Right.

Gabe: However, you acted, is being recorded right now.

Lisa: Right.

Gabe: On enters that you don’t sovereignty. Did that impact the course that you answered?

Lisa: Absolutely.

Gabe: Why?

Lisa: And I think it’s probably, I’m assuming it impacts the course that his audience answers as well. Because you’re looking for society to tell you that this is OK or this is not OK. You’re trying to do your cue from other beings as to, because you don’t know how to react. It’s so unique and it’s so startling that you’re just not sure what to do.

Gabe: Isn’t this what gets us in trouble, though? Listen to what you just said. You’re looking around to make your cues from civilization to decide how you should react. Now, let’s settled that in an analogy for people living with mental illness, maybe the guy that you meet with bipolar disorder, you don’t have a problem with it until all of your friends and family say, whoa hoo hoo hoo hoo. You should

Lisa: Oh.

Gabe: Not date him. He’s mentally ill. So you look around to civilization to decide how to react. And unexpectedly the chap with bipolar disorder can’t have friends or get a job or have a shot because everybody is sharing in the same nucleus of misinformation. You had an opportunity to laugh at a joke that I know you find funny. I had an opportunity to laugh at a joke that I know that I discovered funny. And we opted to skip it because we weren’t sure how our listeners would react.

Lisa: Well,

Gabe: Wow. We’re breaking down walls.

Lisa: Well, OK, but that’s not exactly a fair likenes, because we do have a vested interest in how our listeners react. It’s not like we were at a humor organization with a knot of people and who cares what they think of us. We care very much about what the people listening are thinking. So I don’t think that’s exactly a fair resemblance. So let’s use that resemblance, though, where. Yeah, that’s a good point. If it was just about a bunch of strangers or about the larger society and not people who, you are aware, control the purse strings, we would in fact be saying, yeah. You’re right. That is part of the culture of discrimination. I had not thought of it that way. Good point.

Gabe: Obviously, we’ve talked about a lot. I like this type of humor because if it wasn’t for this type of laughter, I don’t know that how I would have gotten through. And I do adopt feeling is healthy. I do is of the view that sometimes joking about it breaks down hurdles. It’s like the analogy that I told about my papa. There are people who are frightened to hear this story. I’m sure that some of them are listening right now. But it’s my dad. And we talk to each other that course. He would say the same thing to me if I was in that situation. And we’d laugh together and we’d cry together and we’d be a family together. And maybe you shouldn’t walk up to a stranger and threaten to beat them up. I kind of agree with that. But.

Lisa: Well, of course, you agree with that. Everything is in context.

Gabe: And there. There is my big-hearted target, I is of the view that sometimes people miss the context of some of Frank’s jokes or some of the jokes that I tell as a loudspeaker. Where “theyre saying”, you are aware, that’s not something that you are able to joke about. But different contexts is education. The situation is wreaking it out of the shadows and uttering it something that we can point at, laugh at, discuss and will not be afraid of. If we’re paying attention to the context, I review a guy

Lisa: Well, but.

Gabe: Like Frank is perfectly fine. If we pay attention to the words, m aybe Frank has gone too far. I am working on the all discussion is good discussion bandwagon.

Lisa: Ok, but that same thing could be said about any contentious comic or any controversial comedy theme. It’s all about the context. We would never have any of this commentary of someone’s material ever if they knew for sure the people in the audience would be okay with it. You know, it’s all about deciding if this particular group of people is comfortable with this humor or not. And I can see I know what it is you’re going to say. You’re going to say that if they’re not pleasant with it, we need to induce them comfortable with it. And one of the ways we do that is exposure.

Gabe: I think that is a good point, but I wasn’t going to say that at all. What I was going to say is that beings have a right to discuss their lives and their pain and their mental illness in any way they want. And while you may not agree with Frank or even find Frank funny or like Frank or I don’t know why I’m shitting all over Frank, all of a sudden. We adoration him. We had him on our prove. But I think the answer here is to understand that Frank is describing his outing in the way that he is cozy with. And if you don’t like it, don’t listen. What I worry about is when people say, listen, you have a mental illness, but you can only talk about your mental illness this highway. You can only describe your experience in this manner. You can only describe your pain employing these texts. I think that really makes a system where people can’t define their own recovery and their own existence. And people can’t be who they want. Yeah, I’m well aware of controversial comics that that say all kinds of horrific things, but they’re saying them about other beings. They’re not saying them about their souls.

Lisa: Well, yeah. That’s why.

Gabe: One of the things that I love about Frank is that Frank discusses his life. And yeah, some people don’t like the behavior that he does it. But I gotta tell you, I’ve been in his audience. The majority of the person or persons love it. It just seems like the people who don’t like it are really loud.

Lisa: Well, you would prefer they just weren’t there at all. Everyone has kind of the inalienable liberty to define their own narrative, to discuss their own thing the lane they was necessary to, to position it into the words they prefer. And I want to just go with that. I want to just be done there and just stop. Full stop. Done. But then I start guessing well, but, how far does that depart? I get that you have mental illness and therefore you various kinds of have the permission slip to talk about this. But there is a non-zero point where I would say, OK, stop it.

Gabe: Well, but I think that what you’re discussing is that you don’t want Frank to tell you what to do with your life. And that’s the great thing about Frank King. His comedy is very personal. He exclusively talked about his experiences, “peoples lives”. I’ve never seen Frank say I am a person living with depression. And here’s what every single person with feeling needs to do. I don’t know what the joke at the end of well, but yeah, yeah, I’d display right up and I’d be like, buster, you’re not the elected spokesman for beings with sadnes.

Lisa: But that’s why people would critique it, because there’s a finite number of spokespeople. There are so few singers out there representing us that when one of them says the following thing, that is extra damage. It’s not like there’s a thousand of these people out there. There’s only a handful. So I believe countless people feel like you need to tightly regulate that narrative. If they feel that narrative is incorrect or detriment and other beings be understood that. And he has that cover of, hey, he’s mentally ill. You can’t blame the acces he speaks of it, because, after all, it’s his own experience. But they feel that that is damaging to the overall progress. So I don’t know where to go with that.

Gabe: Well, but people can critique it and say that isn’t their experience, but it is, in fact, Frank’s.

Lisa: OK.

Gabe: I can tell you that being a mental health speaker, I’m not a mental health comedian. I’m a mental health speaker and I don’t even have the mental health speaker fleck com. So I don’t know.

Lisa: Well, that was a clear oversight.

Gabe: Yeah, I don’t know where that foliages me. But I can tell you, being a mental health speaker, I desire it when people tell me I’m wrong. I adoration it when I get emails where people tell me that I missed the mark. I affection it when people are discussing the things that I say. Being a podcaster or I feel the same way. Respectful emails where people are like, Gabe, I be interested to hear your totality podcast. I listened to your point of view and you are completely wrong. Mental health issues Month is in fact, incredible. You shouldn’t have insulted in any way. It is exclusively goodness. I listened to everything that you say. I perfectly are not in accordance with you. You, sir, are wrong. That is my favorite email ever. They be interested to hear what I said. They considered everything that I said and they are now put forward by in the world that Gabe Howard is wrong. There is nothing wrong with that. We should be very, very clear. I simply want to take a moment. Frank is not make any of these things. We’re just employ him as a

Lisa: Well, yeah, because he’s the one who’s here right now.

Gabe: Yeah, he was just dumb enough to come on the indicate. I gamble he’s rethinking that now that he’s listening to it.

Lisa: Yeah, we’re gonna have trouble getting clients after this.

Gabe: But dangerously, these discussions are potent. Right, Lisa, I understand what you’re saying.

Lisa: Yes.

Gabe: You don’t want to be on the Gabe train because then it’s all one path or all another.

Lisa: Because where’s the line?

Gabe: I’m telling you, there isn’t a line. It would be nice if we lived in a world-wide where this is the stuff that was appropriate. And this is the stuff that was inappropriate. That nature does not exist. I feel very strongly that the best we can do is allow for respectful dialog and respectful disagreement. I think that mental health advocacy would move forward at an extraordinarily rapid rate if all the people who disagreed could get on board, find the stuff we have in common and push that forward. Because, listen, we’re never going to agree. The direction that a middle aged white guy experiences bipolar affective disorder is j ust different than a 70 year old woman who’s been living with bipolar disorder, which vary than 20 year olds who are being diagnosed, that differs from people below the poverty line, above the poverty line.

Lisa: Yeah, we get it. It’s all different. Everyone’s different, yes.

Gabe: I just I haven’t even scratched the surface of changes more. I know that you think that I’m just going on and on and on and on and on. But you know as well as I do that I haven’t even shielded 1 per cent of all of the differences with beings bipolar disorder.

Lisa: Well, obviously not. Because all of the person or persons with bipolar disorder represent all of the available differences in the population.

Gabe: Exactly. This applies to more than precisely mental health.

Lisa: Yeah, It’s a universally applicable discussion.

Gabe: And I genuinely wanted to remind my listeners that, you are aware, so often people living with mental illness feel that the bar is different for us. And it is.

Lisa: Yeah, it is.

Gabe: The saloon is different for us. But, you know, sometimes the bar is exactly the same. It’s exactly the same as everybody else. People are trying to decide the best way to discuss all kinds of contentious topics, scary topics, misunderstood topics. And they’re all running into the same troubles that people who are advocating on behalf of people living with mental illness are running into. It is one of the things that bind us. It’s difficult to know how to get the word out there, because as sure as I’m sitting here, you’re going to tread on somebody’s toes.

Lisa: Yeah. Here, now. Gabe.

Gabe: Lisa, did you have fun?

Lisa: Yes. A real give to have Frank with us today.

Gabe: It was genuinely, really awesome. Now, Lisa, you have seven days to come up with a brand-new course to start the show. If you say hi, I am Lisa, I.

Lisa: It’s hard. I need help here, beings, assistant me, cure me. Give me some advice.

Gabe: Genuinely? You want people to e-mail show @PsychCentral. com to tell an experienced podcaster how to start her own support?

Lisa: Yes, I feel that people should definitely e-mail show @PsychCentral. com to let us know what it is I should be saying.

Gabe: You sounds the maid; I’m not going to argue with her. Listen up, everybody. Here’s what I was essential to do. If you love the display, please give us as numerous starrings as humanly possible. Use your words and write about how much you affection us. Oaths genuinely, truly cure. And share us on social media. Use your words there too. Really this whole thing comes down to using positive words to share us and subscribe and to move us far-famed. Like, wouldn’t it be cool if we were as famous as Frank King,

Lisa: Oh.

Gabe: at mental health comedian scatter com?

Lisa: I believe that’s TheMentalHealthComedian.com, Gabe. He’s just not a mental health comedian. He is the mental health comedian.

Gabe: Once again, thank you, Frank. Thanks, everybody, for listening. And we will see you next Tuesday.

Lisa: Bye. See you then.

Announcer: You’ve been listening to the Not Crazy Podcast from Psych Central. For free mental health resources and online support groups, stay PsychCentral.com. Not Crazy’s official website is PsychCentral.com/ NotCrazy. To work with Gabe, go to gabehoward.com. Want to see Gabe and me in person? Not Crazy trips well. Have us record an chapter lives at your next happening. E-mail show @psychcentral. com for details.

Read more: psychcentral.com

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