Rachel: As a comedian, why are you interested in humour and mental health? Fiona: I got sick in 2014. I was in bed for 4 months, my business was failing, my relationship was failing, life was bad. I had depression. I was crying in the middle of the night and stuck in bed. I’d had depression years earlier when I remembered my sexual abuse. At that time, I drank and smoked too much to cope. When I had depression in 2014, I never went back to that terrible depression like before, because I sought help. That’s when I started to use humour properly.
This blog post has been inspired by the lovely comedienne, Jordan Kadell. Six years ago, Jordan’s family suffered a devastating loss when her brother died in a terrible accident while overseas celebrating finishing high-school.
Dark moments from our childhood – divorce, emotional neglect, a parent’s mental illness, witnessing violence or addiction, being abused – can stay with us as adults, even though we ‘feel fine’ most of the time. Research shows that adverse childhood experiences produce toxic levels of stress hormones that can affect the development of the neural networks in a child’s brain. In the past 20 years, researchers have shown that high scores on the Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) survey are highly predictive of adult mental, social and physical health problems later in life. The effects of these ACEs may be invisible, but they can weigh upon us decades later.
LAUNCH TIME: I have been working on this ABC series over summer with Ashwin Segkar where we ask a comedian to share an issue they struggle with, and I offer ideas to them and the rest of us about coping with similar situations. Laughter and storytelling plus psych tips! In Episode 1, our guest was comedian Stav Davidson from B105 radio, where he discusses his chaotic childhood. Not quite “Comedians Get Therapy”, but almost! Click to listen to our first episode. More to come. Rachel
In case you missed it or aren’t on Facebook, I posted a video yesterday about my own trauma story (see below). Actually, just one piece of my story that came back to me after 20 years. I was inspired because many survivors of trauma who I meet are still carrying around feelings of shame. Which is understandable, since shock and trauma can leave us disoriented, frozen, fearful, and ashamed. But I believe in the power of stories to…