A Bipolar, a Schizophrenic, and a Podcast

By Gabe Howard & Michelle Hammer

Listen to a podcast, please open Podcast Republic app. Available on Google Play Store.

Category: Personal Journals

Open in iTunes

Open RSS feed

Open Website

Rate for this podcast

Subscribers: 60
Reviews: 2

 Apr 1, 2019
Ive tried many bipolar podcasts but this is the only one that I keep going back to. Informative and funny, very valuable.

Gene Roberts
 Jan 18, 2019
great podcast, always learn something every time I listen


The first podcast for people with mental illness, by people with mental illness. Each episode explores the hosts past and present experiences as shaped by depression, schizophrenia & bipolar. Hosted by Gabe Howard and Michelle Hammer.

Episode Date
What’s So Inspirational About a Bipolar and a Schizophrenic?

Throughout our lives, we are inspired by many people, from our parents to our teachers to celebrities to great thinkers of the past and present. And sometimes, we find ourselves being an inspiration for others. Also, sometimes, this fact surprises us. In this episode, Gabe and Michelle talk about both being inspired by others and how it feels to be an inspiration to others.

Highlights from ‘Inspiration’ Episode

[00:30] Is Michelle amazing?

[3:30] Is Gabe an inspiration?

[7:00] Gabe is more organized than Michelle.

[9:00] But, what is success?

[12:00] Nobody wants to hear about hockey.

[14:00] Awesome social media swag.

[18:00] Gabe’s hero wasn’t really that great.

[19:00] Recovery doesn’t mean 100% symptom free.

[22:00] Don’t compare yourself to others.

May 20, 2019
Social Anxiety, Delusions, Rejection, and Mental Illness!

Most people suffer from certain social anxieties. Just the idea of speaking in front of a crowd can make otherwise confident people break into a nervous sweat. Fear of rejection is also very common in society… just ask any teenager who’s too afraid to ask out their crush. In this episode, Gabe and Michelle talk about these common feelings from the perspective of having additional mental illness thrown in, creating a blend that is no one’s favorite.

Highlights from ‘Social Anxiety’ Episode

[2:00] Where are you from?

[4:30] Social anxiety and the big city.

[8:00] Talking to important people is scary.

[10:30] Overthinking your whole day when you go to sleep at night.

[12:30] Delusions about the past.

[16:00] How can you be content with the past?

[18:00] Putting rejection in your own control.

[23:30] Google says people of our ages shouldn’t have social anxiety, anymore.

[24:00] How we get rid of anxiety and public speak!

May 13, 2019
Does Sleeping Alleviate Mental Illness Symptoms?

Not getting enough sleep impacts every single person. It makes us irritable, slows our reflexes, and reduces our ability to think and reason. When a person is sick or suffering from an illness, getting more sleep is beneficial to the healing process.

Mental Illness is no different. You will benefit from regular sleep. In today’s episode, we talk about sleep hygiene – what it is and why it is important. Trust us, if anyone can make a discussion about sleep engaging, it’s Gabe and Michelle. Listen Now.

Highlights from ‘Sleeping Mental Illness’ Episode

[0:30] Let’s talk about sleep hygiene.

[3:00] Good sleep, bad sleep, and more sleep.

[9:15] Sleeping and waking up with psych meds.

[13:00] Kanye West makes an appearance. . .  oy vey.

[17:00] Resetting your sleep cycle.

[19:00] Should you tell your doc if you are having trouble sleeping?

[21:00] The dangers of book lights.

May 06, 2019
Self-Care for Your Mental Health

Self-care is important for everyone, but our hosts feel it is extra important for people managing mental illnesses and other mental health issues. It stands to reason that, if you don’t take care of yourself, then the symptoms of an illness will have an easier time making our lives miserable.

In this episode, our hosts discuss what self-care is, what self-care isn’t, and what they personally do to care for themselves. Listen now!

Highlights from ‘Mental Health Self-care’ Episode

[2:00] What do Gabe and Michelle do for self-care?

[6:30] Why did Gabe and Michelle start a podcast?

[11:30] Why does Michelle watch “fail” videos?

[13:30] Gabe loves fidget spinners and believes they help with his self-care.

[17:00] Watching Jeopardy is an example of self-care.

[19:00] Michelle + Gabe + The Peoples’ Court = group self-care.

[22:00] Who thinks watching Buffy the Vampire Slayer is the BEST self-care?

[23:00] Is personal hygiene an example of self-care?

Apr 29, 2019
Helping a Friend with Mental Illness

Even if we live with mental illness, ourselves, we can be frustrated when we don’t know how to help a friend or family member who’s dealing with it. We may find that coping skills that work for us may not work for someone else. Medications that work for us may not work for the other person. In this episode, Gabe and Michelle discuss how to help friends with mental illness, including the help available through caregivers, medication, and more.

Highlights from ‘Helping a friend with mental illness’ Episode

[1:00] Fun stereotypes.

[4:20] Gabe reads a letter from a listener.

[6:30] How can you help a friend who is struggling with mental illness?

[7:30] What’s up with caregivers?

[9:30] How can you help yourself during a manic phase?

[13:30] How can psych meds help?

[22:00] When are we not okay?

Apr 22, 2019
Bad Habits and Vices Related to Mental Illness

Everyone has bad habits. Even your sainted Granny who seems perfect to you has some bad habit that only your grandfather knows about. Bad habits, like everything, exist on a spectrum, from biting your nails to snorting cocaine – and everything in between.

In this episode, our hosts discuss bad habits that many people with mental illness seem to have - from smoking, to alcoholism, to drug use and, you guessed it, everything in between.

Highlights from ‘Bad Habits Mental Illness’ Episode

[0:30] Talking vices and bad habits: What are they?

[3:00] Gabe’s vice is something people don’t expect.

[8:00] Are vices okay?

[9:00] Michelle and her worst habit.

[12:30] How do bad habits help people?

[16:30] Michelle’s other vice that people hate.

[17:45] Vices, like everything, exist on a spectrum.

[18:30] How can you overcome a bad habit?

Apr 15, 2019
Hypersexuality with a Bipolar and Schizophrenic

Hypersexuality is a very common symptom of bipolar mania and a potential symptom of schizophrenia, as well. Both Gabe and Michelle have experienced being hypersexual, but because of their ages and genders, it manifested itself in different ways.

However, their personal differences aside, there is one thing that both our hosts completely agree on. . .  Listen now to find out.

Highlights from ‘Hypersexuality’ Episode

[1:40] What is the correct definition of hypersexuality?

[4:30] The history of sex as we understand it.

[6:45] Why hypersexuality is not a good thing.

[10:00] Being hypersexual in the digital age.

[12:30] Gabe & Michelle explain Sex Bingo.

[16:30] Is hypersexuality a compulsion, like addiction?

[22:00] It’s important to have sex safe, no matter what.

Apr 08, 2019
Dwelling on the Past Mistakes Caused by Mental Illness

Once we reach recovery from mental illness, we tend to dwell on the mistakes of our past. Thoughts of failures and people we’ve hurt ruminate inside our head and make it difficult to move forward.

Why do we think about these things? Does it protect us, make us feel better, or is it way to keep us from moving forward? In this episode our hosts discuss their past failures in the hopes it allows our listeners to realize living in the past only really accomplishes one thing . . .

Highlights from ‘Ruminations’ Episode

[2:00] We are talking about ruminations today

[4:30] Ruminations feed delusions

[6:00] Gabe dwells on his past wives

[8:20] Michelle ruminates about how her brother treated her in the past

[11:00] Gabe tried to set up his brother to get in trouble

[13:00] We want Michelle to make amends with her brother

[18:00] Why ruminating is detrimental to your health.

[19:30] Gabe dwells about his biological father

[21:00] Why can’t we just get over things and move on?

Apr 01, 2019
The Warning Signs of Bipolar and Schizophrenia

In general, people with mental illness aren’t perfectly fine one day and suddenly symptomatic the next. It often feels that way to people with bipolar, depression, and schizophrenia, but many of us realize once we reach recovery that the warning signs were there all along.

Highlights from ‘Warning Bipolar Schizophrenia’ Episode

[1:00] March 30th is World Bipolar Day!

[2:30] What are some of the warning signs of mental illness?

[5:00] Will supplements and exercise fix everything?

[7:45] Michelle’s huge red flag that she had schizophrenia.

[12:15] The red flags that Gabe has bipolar disorder.

[14:00] Why our hosts didn’t get any help when they were younger.

[18:30] The obvious warning signs of schizophrenia that Michelle’s college roommates noticed.

[22:00] Common symptoms of bipolar and schizophrenia.

[24:00] Everybody goes to therapy.

Mar 25, 2019
Support Groups for Mental Illness - What are They?

Most people understand how doctors and therapists work, but many people can’t quite wrap their minds around support groups – especially peer-led ones. In this episode, our hosts dissect different types of support groups to make them better understood and more accessible. Listen Now!

Highlights from ‘Mental Illness Support Groups’ Episode

[1:00] Let's talk about support groups.

[3:00] Fountain House in NYC is awesome!

[6:00] Why it’s great to be around like-minded people.

[8:00] Support groups in hospitals.

[12:00] Peer-run support groups, hints and tips.

[18:00] Gabe became a support group facilitator — what does that mean?

[25:00] Sometimes people come to support groups just to listen.

[26:00] Gabe and Michelle recommend support groups to listen and share.

[28:00] Don’t like your support group? You can find another!

Mar 18, 2019
Talking Suicide with a Bipolar and a Schizophrenic

Suicide is something that most people think they understand, but there are many misconceptions about it. We say it’s a serious problem, yet will mention it casually and insensitively in certain settings. In this episode, our hosts openly discuss suicide and their personal stories with trying to end their own lives.

Highlights from ‘Suicide’ Episode

[1:00] Frankly discussing suicide.

[3:00] Don’t belittle a person’s suicide attempt.

[7:00] Why did Michelle try to end her life?

[10:00] Discussing families and suicide.

[12:00] Why did Gabe try to end his life?

[16:30] Michelle shares her suicide story.

[23:00] Michelle can’t understand how her mom did not know she had a mental illness.

[27:00] Gabe and Michelle agree that things get better.

Mar 11, 2019
What is Paranoia - Explained by a Bipolar and Schizophrenic.

We often use actual mental illnesses to describe behaviors that don't actually qualify. For example, if a friend thinks they failed a test, we might jokingly say, "Stop being paranoid." But what is real paranoia? What does it feel like? What can be done about it? In this episode, Michelle talks about her life with, and without, paranoia.

Highlights from ‘Paranoia’ Episode

[1:00] Michelle discusses when her paranoia started.

[4:00] The most amazing thing that Michelle could finally do: nap.

[7:00] Paranoia or scared of society?

[8:40] How did Michelle realize she was paranoid?

[10:30] How did Michelle stop being paranoid?

[15:30] Taking criticism and not caring.

[17:30] Michelle still gets offended on occasion.

[20:30] Seeing success in our future.

Mar 04, 2019
A Bipolar and a Schizophrenic Get Triggered by a Movie

We all realize that movies are fiction, but that doesn't mean that we should take nothing seriously. When a movie makes a portrayal of an individual, for example, that's full of racial stereotypes, we're justified in saying that it isn't okay. It's no different for portrayals of mental illness. In this episode, Gabe and Michelle discuss just such a portrayal in a movie that Michelle found highly offensive. Listen to see if you agree.

Highlights from ‘Triggering Movie’ Episode

[1:00] Michelle has been triggered by an 8-year-old movie called “The Roommate.”

[5:00] Why this movie makes no sense.

[6:30] How Gabe and Michelle handle talking about meds.

[10:00] Why did this movie make Michelle feel so offended?

[12:00] Why this movie is bad for the mental health system.

[16:30] Movies that show mental illness in a good way.

[19:00] How people interpret movies with mentally ill characters.

[20:00] Gabe is obsessed with Michelle’s cock ring.

Feb 25, 2019
Host Has a Panic Attack Live While Recording

Panic attacks have a way of popping up at the most inconvenient times – like when you are recording a podcast. In this episode, Gabe has a panic attack in front of the microphone and decides that the silver lining is showing listeners that even someone in recovery has symptoms.

Listen in to this episode to learn about panic attacks and see if Gabe makes it out okay. (Spoiler alert: He’s fine.)

Highlights from ‘Panic Attack Live’ Episode

[2:30] Gabe is having a panic attack and we recorded it.

[4:00] What caused this panic attack?

[7:40] Gabe’s history of panic attacks.

[11:00] Why does Gabe know so much about his own illness?

[12:50] Michelle’s presence and this show make Gabe stressed out.

[18:00] Is public opinion a stressor?

[25:00] Symptoms don’t entirely go away, even with meds.

Feb 18, 2019
Depression, Bipolar, Schizophrenia, and Valentine’s Day

Valentine’s Day comes but once a year and is experienced in different ways depending on your age, gender, or whether or not you are in a relationship. Not surprisingly, mental health status plays a role in the way this holiday is experienced, as well.

Listen in as our hosts play the ever-popular Two Truths and a Lie to describe all they went through being depressed while dating.

Highlights from ‘Bipolar, Schizophrenia, Depression, and Valentine’s Day’ Episode

[1:25] We are playing Two Truths and a Lie - Valentine’s Day edition

[2:40] Michelle’s 1st story, “Alabama Stigma”

[6:10] Gabe’s 1st story, “High-school Dating Suicide”

[10:00] Michelle’s 2nd story, “The true story that Michelle told already”

[11:44] Gabe’s 2nd story, “Married Chick”

[17:00] Michelle’s 3rd story, “Break up Because Michelle Bad Mom”

[18:50] Gabe’s 3rd story, “Stupid Mother”

[23:00] The guessing begins!

Feb 11, 2019
How to Tell Friends and Love Interests About Mental Illness

A mental illness diagnosis doesn’t mean you can’t date or make new friends. It does mean – at some point -- that you need to tell all the new people in your life that you’re living with depression, bipolar, schizophrenia, or whatever your mental health concerns are.

In this episode, our hosts discuss telling the new people in our lives about our health issues – including the people they’ve dated.

Highlights from ‘Mental Illness, Friends, Love Interests’ Episode

[2:20] Being public and vocal about mental illness.

[3:30] What is the right (and wrong) way to tell people you have a mental illness?

[4:00] How soon is too soon? How late is too late?

[7:00] Michelle shares her story of telling romantic partners.

[11:30] We discuss when would we not share our diagnosis.

[15:30] Some people don’t believe we have mental illnesses.

[18:30] If we talk more about mental illness, people will understand it more.

[20:30] People should still respect your boundaries when it comes to mental illness.

[23:30] Michelle’s friends all knew she was schizophrenic before she was diagnosed.

Feb 04, 2019
A Bipolar and a Schizophrenic Discuss Feelings of Loneliness

While depression is a common mental health issue, it’s not even close to being the most common. Listen in to hear our hosts discuss how loneliness can make a person feel unwanted and uncared for – even if they are standing in a crowded room.

Highlights from ‘loneliness’ Episode

[0:30] Loneliness kills more people than depression.

[3:30] Michelle explains loneliness she has experienced.

[5:20] Gabe explains loneliness he has experienced.

[8:00] We always bring up our moms – so why stop now?

[16:30] What can help people feel less lonely?

Jan 28, 2019
Bizarre Questions Psychiatrists and Therapists Have Asked

There is an assumption among many Americans that doctors are pretty darn smart and always know what they’re talking about. Psychiatrists work with the mentally ill, so they are certainly smarter than their patients. Because, after all, their patients are “crazy.” Right?

In this episode, our hosts discuss all the times that psychiatrists and therapists didn’t live up to the hype – or stereotype. 

Highlights from ‘Psychiatrists and Therapists Questions’ Episode

[1:00] What is the strangest thing a psychiatrist has ever said to Michelle about her illness?

[6:00] What is the strangest thing a therapist has ever said to Gabe about his illness?

[17:00] Michelle’s first psychiatrist was . . . not great.

[19:30] Gabe once had a legal issue with a therapist.

[26:30] What you should do if you’re dealing with a bad psychiatrist and/or therapist.

Jan 21, 2019
A Bipolar and a Schizophrenic Talk Self-Sabotage

Most of us are to blame for our failures, believe it or not. We didn’t practice enough, plan ahead, or work hard enough. If we are honest, we could have done more to succeed, but something stopped us. In this episode, our hosts, Gabe and Michelle discuss why people sabotage their own success and fess up to whether or not they are sabotaging their own.

Highlights from ‘Self-Sabotage’ Episode

[2:00] Do we sabotage ourselves?

[3:00] Some reasons for self-sabotage.

[6:30] Private rejection vs. public rejection.

[11:30] Failure and self-sabotage.

[17:30] As is our way, our mothers come up.

[19:00] Working hard and yet not succeeding.

[20:00] How do you stop self-sabotaging?

Jan 14, 2019
A Bipolar and a Schizophrenic Discuss Psychiatric Medications

Psychiatric medication gets a bad rap when it isn’t deserved, while simultaneously being seen by some as the end-all treatment for people living with mental illness. Our hosts both need their prescribed medication to live well, and that makes people around them ask questions ― some of which are weirder than others.

Tune in to this episode to hear what they have to say.

Highlights from ‘Meds’ Episode

[1:00] What happens when Gabe and Michelle don’t take their medications.

[4:00] People just love to ask us for our medications.

[8:00] Stigma from medical professionals.

[14:00] Please don’t buy pills from people to self-medicate.

[16:30] Michelle’s medication journey.

[19:00] Which works better: treadmill, yoga, or medication?

[21:00] Anxiety of the day makes it hard to get up in the morning.

[24:00] Gabe and Michelle both admit to stigmatizing themselves about their own medications.

Jan 07, 2019
New Year’s Resolutions from a Bipolar and a Schizophrenic

Just because your living with mental illness, doesn’t mean you don’t believe in all the weird superstitious customs our society loves so much. In this episode our hosts discuss their hopes for the new year, the resolutions they made, and how to have a good 2019 in spite of living with bipolar or schizophrenia.

Listen in now!

Highlights from ‘Bipolar & Schizophrenic New Year’s Resolutions’ Episode

[1:00] What are a Michelle and Gabe doing For the New Year?

[3:00] What are our New Year’s resolutions?

[9:00] Personal opinions on New Year’s resolutions

[14:30] Gabe and Michelle pick resolutions for each other (hilarity ensues)

[21:00] Should we thank people from the past?

[23:00] What are some nice things we can do for ourselves?

Dec 31, 2018
Can You Actually Recover from Bipolar or Schizophrenia?

“I’m in recovery from mental illness,” is a common phrase in our circles. Sure, mental illness is replaced with the specifics – schizophrenia, bipolar, or depression, to name a few – but the idea that people consider themselves to be living a life free from the symptoms of mental illness is a common one. However, is it true? Is recovery actually a thing? Or are all these people just deluding themselves?

Gabe and Michelle discuss this – and more – on this episode of A Bipolar, a Schizophrenic, and a Podcast.

Highlights from ‘Recovery’ Episode

[1:40] Are Michelle and Gabe in recovery?

[4:30] What is recovery and where did that term come from?

[7:00] Should we be policing language or context surrounding mental illness?

[11:00] What’s all the fuss over person first language?

[16:30] Why do we think people dislike the word “recovery”?

[19:00] What word should we use instead, if not “recovery”?

Dec 24, 2018
Speaking to a Schizophrenic Before and After Daily Medications

Resident schizophrenic, Michelle Hammer, is a different person when she first wakes up. Before taking her psychiatric medications, she isn’t as coherent, engaged, or energetic as we are accustomed to her being. For this episode – in a controlled environment – Michelle speaks with Gabe before taking her morning psychiatric medications so she can give the audience a small glimpse of how she feels when she starts each day.

Listen in to this episode of A Bipolar, a Schizophrenic, and a Podcast now!

Highlights from ‘Schizophrenic Before Medication’ Episode

[0:30] Recording first thing before Michelle (schizophrenic) has taken her psychiatric medicine.

[2:00] Michelle answers a list of questions from Gabe.

[8:00] Gabe explains to listeners how Michelle is behaving while off her medications.

[09:50] Show is paused and resumes after time has passed; Michelle has now taken her meds.

[12:00] Michelle answers more questions from Gabe – this time, medicated.

[15:00] How does Michelle feel about the ‘off med’ recordings?

[19:00] Michelle has confidence in her recovery, but still has feelings.

Dec 17, 2018
Can People With Mental Illness Be Happy?

Those of us with mental illness are asked many questions about our feelings. For a lot of us, the most difficult one to answer is, “Are you happy?” It’s a difficult question to answer because happiness isn’t an easily defined concept.

Most people assume that in order to be in recovery from mental illness a person must be happy. But is that really the case?

Listen in to this episode to hear our thoughts on happiness, regret, and even a side story about Gabe’s first marriage.

Highlights from ‘Happiness’ Episode

[1:00] Gabe & Michelle discuss happiness and mental illness.

[3:30] The most annoying questions we have ever been asked.

[5:00] Gabe’s story of never being satisfied with his life.

[10:00] What makes Michelle unhappy.

[12:00] What makes Gabe unhappy.

[17:00] Do people try to ruin our happiness? – A discussion.

[19:00] Michelle says she has confidence – but does she?

[23:00] Dealing with mental illness and negativity.

Dec 10, 2018
Why People With Mental Illness Should Remove Toxic People From Their Life

Living with mental illness means accepting that some things are out of our control. It also means tolerating annoyances like pillboxes, regular doctor visits, and the symptoms we just can’t quite get under control.

But, does living with mental illness mean we have to keep toxic people around us? Do we, as people who are managing a severe and persistent illness, just have to take the abuse that people heap on us because at least we aren’t alone?

In this episode, Gabe & Michelle explore tolerating toxic people and whether or not it’s a good idea. Listen now!

Highlights from ‘Toxic People and Mental Illness’ Episode

[1:00] Michelle and Gabe talk about toxic people.

[3:30] Michelle shares how her mental illness improved after removing a toxic person from her life.

[14:30] Gabe tells a story of removing a toxic person from his life to improve his mental illness outcomes.

[25:00] A touching story from someone who loves this podcast.

Dec 03, 2018
Visiting a Psych Ward as a Guest after Having Been a Patient

For many people living with mental illness, being committed to a psychiatric hospital is one of our deepest fears. Even people who aren’t mentally ill fear psychiatric hospitals – something that is on public display during Halloween.

Recently, Michelle had to take a friend to the hospital because of her friend’s thoughts of suicide. This was the first time Michelle had experienced the mental health system from any viewpoint other than that of a patient. In this episode, she describes everything she experienced and how it made her feel.

Our hosts, Gabe & Michelle, have discussed their experiences as patients in a previous episode titled Ep 6: Were You Ever in a Psych Ward? WE WERE! Stories from a Bipolar and a Schizophrenic. But they’ve never discussed what it was like the first time they visited a psych ward as a guest, advocate, or as someone who wasn‘t a patient.

Listen to this episode of A Bipolar, a Schizophrenic, and a Podcast to learn more.

Highlights from ‘Psych Ward’ Episode

[2:00] Michelle shares a story about taking her friend to a psychiatric hospital

[4:00] Specific things that triggered Michelle while at the psychiatric hospital 

[6:00] Gabe’s experience visiting a psych ward

[10:00] Frustrations and experiences with psychiatric hospitals

[14:00] Michelle's most triggering experience

[20:00] Discussing the problems with mental health care

Nov 26, 2018
Coping with Mental Illness Over The Holidays

Turkey. Stuffing. Families sitting down to dinner and…  arguing? For many people, Thanksgiving Day isn’t a day to be thankful, but a day to dread, especially for people with mental illness who feel judged by their families.

In this episode, Gabe and Michelle talk about how things can go wrong during the holidays and share some of their best and worst moments during family gatherings. The show also includes practical advice that you can use and share with your loved ones. 

Take a moment to relax and laugh this coming Thursday and – on behalf of all of us at A Bipolar, a Schizophrenic, and a Podcast – Happy Thanksgiving and enjoy listening!


Highlights from ‘Thanksgiving with Mental Illness’ Episode

[1:00] Michelle and Gabe get ready for Thanksgiving

[4:30] Michelle loses her damn mind over the word “proud”

[9:00] People with mental illness want to be treated equally

[11:00] Our hosts debate traditions vs. obligations

[17:00] Someone once had a massive panic attack during Thanksgiving dinner

[21:00] Practical advice on how to have a better Thanksgiving

Nov 19, 2018
Listen to This if a Doctor Has Ever Told You That a Physical Illness was All in Your Head

Most people with mental illness are diagnosed between the ages of 16 and 24. This means that many people managing severe and persistent mental illness – like major depression, bipolar disorder, or schizophrenia – have never faced serious physical illnesses before.

So what happens when someone with a long history of mental illness reports symptoms of a physical illness, especially if that illness is hard to diagnose, treat, or see? Is it possible that the symptoms we believe we are having are just symptoms of mental illness – or could it be something more?

Moreover, how do doctors react when someone with such a history reports these symptoms? Do they take our concerns seriously or do they suggest we follow up with our mental health providers? And are they wrong to think this way?

What happens when a person with an invisible mental illness develops an invisible physical illness? How do we get the medical community to take us seriously? We discuss this – and so much more – with special guest Rachel Star, a young woman who lives with schizophrenia – and who went to her doctor to report that she had the symptoms of the plague.


Highlights from ‘Doctors’ Episode

[0:30] Michelle and Gabe welcome the “Schizo Stunt Girl” Rachel Star to the show.

[4:00] Rachel tells us how, for the first time in her life, her physical health has failed her.

[8:00] Rachel explains how her doctors marginalized her concerns because she has schizophrenia.

[13:00] Was Rachel Star put in isolation because of physical or mental illness?

[18:00] Do people with mental illness struggle to get good physical health care?


Yes. That plague.

Nov 12, 2018
Listen to This if You’ve Ever Dealt with Regret, Fear, or Grief

On the same day as Gabe’s father-in-law’s memorial service, a synagogue was attacked in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Gabe wonders if Michelle, as a woman of the Jewish faith, is processing the synagogue attack differently than he is. During the discussion, it is evident that both events affected our hosts, but in different ways.

Gabe listens as Michelle warns about living life in fear of danger. Michelle listens as Gabe discusses delivering the eulogy for a man he didn’t particularly get along with when he was alive. 

Whether you live with mental illness or not, everyone deals with regret, fear, and/or grief. So, this episode should really be listened to by everyone on earth. If you’re wondering if this episode is meant for you, Gabe and Michelle feel confident the answer is “yes.”


Highlights from ‘Regret, Fear, or Grief’ Episode

[1:00] Gabe and Michelle talk about the recent shooting targeting a Jewish temple.

[5:00] Gabe and Michelle discuss things that scare them.

[7:30] Gabe’s story of a friend dying by suicide.

[11:00] Our hosts discuss dealing with fear.

[12:00] Gabe discusses his father-in-law’s funeral.

[21:00] Stigma and judgment about mental illness is discussed.

[27:50] Michelle discusses being triggered at a wedding.

Nov 05, 2018
Listen to This if You’ve Ever Played the Mental Illness Suffering Olympics

Gabe’s granny likes to say that the only thing you need to start a competition is two people. And while we all accept that people like to compete over their successes – who’s faster, prettier, or richer – it may come as a surprise to you that some folks compete over who is sicker.

Gabe dubs this contest “the suffering Olympics” and readily admits to having played this game, himself. “I wanted to prove I was sicker and it seemed important I was the sickest person in the room,” Gabe said after realizing what he was doing. “The reality is that we are all suffering, we are all afraid, and sharing those experiences doesn’t need to turn into a competition. In fact, it’s much, much healthier to not compete.”

In this episode of A Bipolar, a Schizophrenic, and a Podcast, Gabe and Michelle discuss who has it worse: Gabe for living with bipolar disorder or Michelle for battling schizophrenia. It shouldn’t surprise anyone how ridiculous such a discussion sounds. Listen in and learn from the two most competitive mentally ill people we know.


Highlights from ‘Mental Illness Suffering Olympics’ Episode

[0:30] Gabe and Michelle play the suffering Olympics.

[3:00] Gabe tells a ridiculous conference story.

[6:10] Michelle makes the case that people with schizophrenia “have it worse.”

[7:00] Gabe counters that people living with bipolar have a harder time and suffer more.

[10:00] The debate rages on, with each side describing the negatives of each mental illness.

[15:00] Gabe & Michelle take a moment to consider the appropriateness of this conversation.

[17:00] Michelle tells the story of how she made a woman cry.

[19:30] Gabe & Michelle discuss what makes them different from each other and take a moment to reflect on what they have in common.

Oct 29, 2018
Listen to This to Hear “2 Truths and a Lie” About Life with Depression

Fan favorite Two Truths and a Lie is back again! Listen to our hosts play the ever-popular game with the caveat that all the stories must center around depression and depression symptoms.

Michelle kicks us off telling stories of her college days and skipping class; Gabe follows up with his high school days of being too depressed to go to class. In round two, Michelle discusses her religious experiences, while Gabe recounts the potentially true story of calling his insurance company to make sure his life insurance will pay out on his death.

Finally, Michelle brings death, taxes, and guns into the mix, while Gabe tells the daring story of driving 100 miles per hour while manic.

Stories aside, the biggest question is to determine which stories are true and which are entirely fictional.

Is life stranger than fiction? You be the judge on this episode of A Bipolar, a Schizophrenic, and a Podcast. Listen Now!


Highlights from ‘Depression Truths and Lies’ Episode

[1:25] Round One Stories: “Didn’t go to class due to depression” & “Too depressed to go to class 2.”

[5:30] Round Two Stories: “Preacher saved Michelle’s life” & “Called insurance company to ensure payoff after suicide.”

[12:00] Round Three Stories: “Overdosed/Death/Taxes/Guns” & “Car crash temptation.”

[19:00] Can Gabe and Michelle figure out which stories are true and which one is the lie?

Oct 22, 2018
Listen to This if You’ve Ever Been Depressed (or Know Someone Who Has)

Depression is an inconsiderate illness. It doesn’t care whether you have nothing going on or a lot going on. It will strike whenever it feels like it. Depression doesn’t care if you have a home filled with people, family obligations, or even a podcast to record. If this symptom of mental illness wants out, it’s coming out.

In this episode of A Bipolar, a Schizophrenic, and a Podcast, our hosts attempt to record an episode, but Gabe breaks down and confides to Michelle that he isn’t doing well. The recorder was running and Gabe’s attempt at faking it until he makes it backfired. However, a vulnerable and honest look at depression resulted.

Listen in to find out what Gabe is like depressed and how Michelle rises to the occasion to support her co-worker and friend.

Highlights from ‘Depressed’ Episode

[0:30] Michelle helps Gabe with his depression.

[7:00] What triggered Gabe’s depression?

[9:00] Society's reaction to mental illness and/or depression.

[18:00] Is Michelle mad at Gabe for being depressed on the job?

[21:30] Gabe explains his frustrations and concerns and Michelle listens.

Oct 15, 2018
Listen to This if You’ve Ever Fibbed and Said You’re OK When You’re Not

People are constantly labeling people who live with mental illness as dramatic, liars, and actors. Society, in general, often thinks people who live with bipolar, schizophrenia, and depression are being insincere when it comes to their illnesses.

The reality is that people with mental illness are often being misleading, just not in the way most people think. They will say they are “fine” when they are not. They say they’ll be okay, when they don’t believe that at all.

These people don’t want to lose friends or alienate people, and they are afraid of being judged. By saying they are okay when, in fact, they aren’t, they can keep the status quo. And while the status quo might not be all that great, at least they have someone asking if they are okay – and that beats accidentally running them off.

Listen to this episode of A Bipolar, a Schizophrenic, and a Podcast now!


Highlights from ‘Fibbed About Being OK’ Episode

[0:30] Gabe and Michelle discuss lying about their mental illnesses.

[7:00] What should we do better in a crisis situation?

[12:30] How did Gabe end up in the psych ward?

[22:00] How do friends and family help in crisis situations?

[26:00] Continue to educate yourself about mental illness, even after you have recovered.

[29:00] Can anyone have a panic attack?

Oct 08, 2018
Help! I’m Mentally Ill and I Want to Act Normal

Normal. It’s one of those words that we all pretend to understand, but honestly, none of us really do. People living with mental illness are usually striving to be normal, or act normal, or feel normal – but how do we know when we’ve succeeded? What is normal?

In this episode of A Bipolar, a Schizophrenic, and a Podcast, Gabe and Michelle discuss the various ways that people living with mental illness typically react to different events in their lives versus the way people living without mental illness may react.

In every scenario, our hosts talk about mistakes they’ve made, do-overs they’d like to have, and in some cases question whether the typical reaction is really all that reasonable to begin with.


Highlights from ‘Normal’ Episode

[1:30] Gabe and Michelle are discussing “Normal” Reactions vs. How People with Mental Illness React.

[2:15] What Michelle was first taught about Mental Illness. Gabe explains the accurate definitions.

[4:50] “Normal” person vs. mentally ill person:  Reactions to a mistake at work

[6:30] “Normal” person vs. mentally ill person: Friends cancel plans on them

[7:50] “Normal” person vs. mentally ill person: How to make their momma happy

[9:20] “Normal” person vs. mentally ill person:  Losing a lacrosse game

[14:00] “Normal” person vs. mentally ill person: How to be successful at school

[20:00] Exploring the different ways we grieve death before and after recovery.

[23:00] How should we react? Is there a correct way?

Oct 01, 2018
Goal Setting When You live with Mental Illness

Everyone, of every age and from every walk of life, has goals. Sometimes they are life goals (like get married and raise a family), career goals (such as start and run a successful company), or daily goals (as in just getting through the day). People with mental illness have all those, too, but often have specific goals related to their particular mental illness.

In this episode, Gabe and Michelle share some of their personal goals, talk about how those goals have changed over time, and discuss why goals themselves are important – especially for those of us living with mental illness.

Highlights from ‘Goals with Mental Illness’ Episode

[:30] Michelle and Gabe designed a shirt! (And you can buy it here!)

[2:00] Discussing the goals we have in our lives, careers, and advocacy.

[7:00] Gabe and Michelle would both love to not be mentally ill.

[14:00] Discussing unreached goals.

[20:00] Acknowledging the goals that got us to this point in our lives.

[22:00] People with mental illness make future plans, too.

Sep 24, 2018
Should We Apologize for Symptoms of Mental Illness?

“Mistakes are part of life” is something that some older relative tells every single child after they’ve messed something up. Generally, this advice is followed up with, “It’s how you react to the mistake that matters.”

Gabe Howard’s father taught him to apologize whenever he did something wrong, believing that it was important to own the mistake and make amends for it. “You can’t ask for forgiveness if you aren’t willing to make it right,” his father said. In true blue collar fashion, he would follow up with, “The mark of a good man is his willingness to say he’s sorry.”

But, what happens when the mistake isn’t something you chose to do? What if, during depression, mania, or hallucination, you made a mistake or hurt someone?

Are people with mental illness expected to apologize for mistakes caused by an illness? In this episode of A Bipolar, A Schizophrenic, and a Podcast, Gabe and Michelle discuss this and much more.


Highlights from ‘Apologizing for Mental Illness’ Episode

[1:00] Michelle shares a story about a romantic argument.

[4:00] Gabe explains what he thinks about caretaking.

[7:00] Honestly, Michelle is just losing her shit.

[8:30] Should you apologize after you freak out?

[12:45] Gabe and Michelle’s working relationship is . . .

[18:00] Michelle’s delayed dating due to schizophrenia.

[21:00] Michelle has fear of success?

Sep 17, 2018
Do People With Mental Illness Suffer from Trauma?

Many people don’t understand how mental illness, in and of itself, can be traumatic. Everything from the emotions, physical sensations, and even treatment – locked in a ward or a hospital, often against our will – is a recipe for trauma. While every person with mental illness is different, most people with serious and persistent mental illness describe being traumatized in addition to the impact of the illness itself.

In this episode of A Bipolar, a Schizophrenic, and a Podcast, our hosts discuss their own traumas as they relate to living with – and getting help for – mental illness. They both recall their time receiving treatment in the psychiatric hospital and Michelle tells the story of her encounter with a police officer that ended less than ideally.

Listen in to understand that trauma and mental illness are two separate issues that often go hand-in-hand.

Highlights from ‘Trauma and Mental Illness’ Episode

[1:30] What is a layman’s definition of trauma?

[4:00] Gabe and Michelle’s traumatic experiences in the psychiatric ward.

[9:00] Michelle tells the story of her “run-in” with a police officer.

[15:00] They discuss Michelle’s feelings about what happened with the police officer.

[19:50] What should/could the police officer have done differently?

[21:00] Information about training police officers to help people with mental illness.

Sep 10, 2018
BS Podcast: Who Pill Shames People with Mental Illness?

Anyone with mental illness who has spent any time on social media has encountered pill shaming. A common example is a beautiful picture of a nature scene with the words, “The only anti-depressant you need” boldly pasted across the top.

Whether you are in an online or in-person support group or talking to your friends, if you are a person taking psychiatric medications, you have probably encountered pushback. Some of these people are confused, some well-meaning, and some pushing their own agendas, but one message comes through to people with mental illness: You are different for taking medications.

In this episode, Gabe and Michelle discuss pill shaming openly and honestly. They cover what exactly it is, why it happens, and how it makes them feel. They even discuss how they have pill shamed themselves.

Listen Now.

Highlights from ‘Mental Illness Pill Shaming’ Episode

[1:00] Is all mental illness pill shaming malicious?

[4:00] How many Americans have taken psychiatric medications?

[6:00] Are psychiatric medications over-prescribed in America?

[12:00] Michelle’s story of being pill shamed by professionals.

[14:00] Michelle’s story of flipping out at the pharmacy.

[16:00] The struggles of picking up controlled substances.

[18:00] Idiots who pill shame people with mental illness using pictures of nature.

Sep 03, 2018
EP 24: How Do We Deal With the Everyday Effects of Mental Illness?

In order to be diagnosed with any illness, a person must first show symptoms – in other words, something needs to go wrong. Living in recovery from mental illness doesn’t mean we are free from these effects; it just means that we’ve reduced our symptoms to a manageable level and learned to deal.

So, how do we do it? What’s life like on a day-to-day basis living in recovery? Do bipolar and schizophrenia still cause issues for Gabe and Michelle? Listen to this episode of a Bipolar, a Schizophrenic, and a Podcast to find out.

Highlights from ‘Effects of Mental Illness’ Episode

[1:00] Dealing with the effects of mental illness.

[4:00] How Gabe deals with fidgeting at work.

[7:00] Mental illness as an excuse in the media (anger ensues).

[8:30] Gabe and Michelle have the same symptom (excitement ensues).

[11:00] When people tell us to take our medication (unhappiness ensues).

[14:00] Words vs. Context.

[16:00] How do Michelle’s symptoms impact in her life?

[20:00] What works best for Gabe and Michelle?

Aug 27, 2018
EP 23: All About Mania: 2 Truths and a Lie Edition

Mania has an odd place in our society. For people who have no experienced it, it’s seen has as exciting, productive, and desirable. For those of us who have been consumed by it, we are either thankful it isn’t depression or devastated by its impact.

For most, mania is a dangerous symptom of mental illness and not something to be taken lightly. In this episode, Gabe & Michelle each share three stories about mania with two being the truth and one being a lie.

Can you tell fact from fiction? Listen now.

Highlights from ‘Mania’ Episode

[0:00] Gabe and Michelle play two truths and a lie, mania edition.

[2:30] Michelle tells a story titled, “Manic No Pants Elephant.”

[5:00] Gabe tells a story titled, “Manic Drop In, Drop Out, Drop In . . .”

[7:30] Michelle tells a story titled, “Manic Invincibility.”

[9:15] Gabe tells a story titled, “Manic Property Management.”

[11:30] Michelle tells a story Gabe titled, “Michelle’s Lie.”

[14:20] Gabe tells a story titled, “Gabe’s the worst homeless man of all time.”

[16:50] Guessing begins and the truth is revealed.

Aug 20, 2018
EP 22: Psychiatric Medications and You: What You Need to Know.

“Just be ’med-compliant’ and you’ll be okay.” That’s the message that hundreds of thousands of mentally ill people hear every day from society and their treatment teams. The message is simple: as long as you take your medications as prescribed, you’ll be fine, healthy, happy, and symptom free.

But, is that actually how it works? Is something as serious as bipolar disorder or schizophrenia so easily treated that doctors can just dole out pills and *poof* -- recovery? If it really is that simple, why are so many people suffering?

The obvious answer is that no, it’s not that simple. In this episode, Gabe talks about the sexual side effects of his medications, Michelle discusses her reasons for initially refusing medications, and both hosts share the good, the bad, and the ugly about being “med-compliant.”


Highlights From ‘Psychiatric Medication’ Episode

[0:00] We have been nominated for a WEGO Health Award.  You can vote at Schizophrenic.NYC/wego

[3:00] Can emotional distress or grief be relieved with medication?

[6:00] How many medications do we take?

[7:50] What to do about medication side effects.

What is the most common side effect of medications? (Spoiler Alert: Sex!)

[17:00] Does your life get better right when your start medication?

[19:00] Where can a person turn for support?

[25:00] Accepting medications in your life.

Aug 13, 2018
EP 21: Mental Illness and Dating: Romance or Tragedy?

“Just because you’re mentally ill doesn’t mean you don’t want to get married,” Gabe quips to Michelle during a recent conversation about the discovery of dating websites and applications aimed directly at people living with mental illness.

At this point, our hosts break into song and start singing the “Farmers Only” dating website commercial jingle, changing the last line to, “You don’t have to be lonely, at crazy people only dot com.” Michelle adds in, “Sane people just don’t get it.”

This conversation sparked the topic for this episode of A Bipolar, a Schizophrenic, and a Podcast. Listen in to hear how Gabe managed to find three women to marry, about Michelle’s experience on one of the online dating sites targeting people with mental illness, and their thoughts on when you should tell a romantic interest about mental illness.

We really think you’ll fall in love with this episode.

Highlights from ‘Dating with Mental Illness’ Episode

[2:00] What do Gabe & Michelle think about the mentally ill dating?

[2:30] Michelle signed up for a dating site specifically for the mentally ill.

[6:30] Should two people who are mentally ill date each other?

[13:00] What has Gabe learned from 3 marriages?

[15:00] Would Michelle make a good wife?

[16:30] When do you share your mental illness to a potential romantic partner?

[21:30] Can people with mental illness sustain long-term relationships?

Aug 06, 2018
EP 20: Is Mental Illness an Excuse for Poor Behavior?

Living with mental illness often means you make many mistakes, especially when it comes to how you treat the people around you. Some people believe that, because they were symptomatic, no apology is needed. But is that actually true? Is not taking responsibility for the negative aspects of our disorders empowering. . . or not? Listen in!

Highlights From ‘Mental Illness is NOT an Excuse’ Episode

[1:30] Our first ever listener project!

[3:00] Is mental illness an excuse?

[4:25] Gabe’s story of apologizing after being diagnosed.

[7:15] Michelle’s story of flippin’ out when she was off the meds.

[8:00] Are people who don’t take responsibility for their mental illness empowered?

[11:45] Does our illness control us?

[15:00] If we do something wrong from a symptom of mental illness, do we have to apologize?

Jul 30, 2018
EP 19: Does Being Quirky & Unique Mean You’re Mentally Ill?

It’s often postulated that people with unique skills, artistic abilities, or phenomenal talents must have a “touch of mental illness.” Thinking differently, they reason, is mental illness and, in order to be so unique, one must clearly think differently.

Gabe’s personal fictional hero, The Mad Hatter, is often credited with responding to Alice’s questioning whether or not she had gone mad with the answer, “I'm afraid so. You're entirely bonkers. But I will tell you a secret. All the best people are.” (Mr. Hatter, of course, never said this, but rather Alice’s father . . . And only in the movie version)

Is mental illness the same as madness? Are people who are different and interesting also mentally ill? If so, is mental illness actually a good thing? How do Gabe and Michelle feel about people co-opting mental illness to describe talent or unique in thought and action?

It’s a complicated conversation, so listen in to this episode to found out!

Highlights From ‘Is Quirky Thinking Mental Illness’ Episode

[1:00] Is mental illness a super power?

[5:00] Is mania positive or negative and why Gabe is not dead.

[7:00] Gabe & Michelle put things into perspective.

[11:00] Michelle’s brutally honest assessment of her career issues.

[15:00] Gabe brings up The Mad Hatter – and his famous quote.

[19:00] People don’t understand the horrors of mental illness.

[21:00] How we turned negative mental illness symptoms into positive ones.

Jul 23, 2018
EP. 18: We Discuss Wanting to Die By Suicide (& Other Facts)

Suicide is tragically common in our society and yet it’s seldom discussed outside of the mental health community. The media will cover high profile suicide, since they draw attention, but they devote little-to-no time to preventive coverage, since it’s not sexy.

Gabe (bipolar) and Michelle (schizophrenic) dive deep into their thoughts about suicide, their suicidal pasts, and what they feel society gets right and wrong when it comes to preventing people from dying by suicide.

[3:00] Why do we not talk about suicide until celebrities take their own lives?

[5:00] Gabe and Michelle's first thoughts of suicide.

[8:30] Why parents need to talk to their children about suicide.

[12:25] How can we lower the suicide rate in America?

[14:30] How can we prevent suicide?

[17:30] Is suicide a selfish act?

[20:00] Signs of suicidal ideation.

Jul 16, 2018
EP 17: A Bipolar, a Schizophrenic, and a Big Brick of Soap

Fan favorite, Two Truths and a Lie, is back again. In this edition, our hosts share past mistakes they’ve made because of the symptoms of bipolar disorder and schizophrenia.

Gabe’s stories involve past regrets and soap, while Michelle sticks to young men named Stephen and Karl – and lacrosse, because that’s her thing.

Listen in to learn all about living with bipolar and schizophrenia or to figure out what our hosts lie about when they play games.


Highlights From ‘Bipolar, Schizophrenic, Soap’ Episode

[1:30] Round 1: “Is Steven Real?”

[3:40] Round 1: “Gabe’s 80’s Action Movie”

[6:40] Round 2: “Crazy Karl”

[11:30] Round 2: “Big Ass Bar of Soap”

[15:40] Round 3: “Run Michelle Run”

[20:30] Round 3: “Michelle Mocked Gabe’s Pain”

[25:50] The guessing begins!

Jul 09, 2018
EP 16: Violence, Schizophrenia, and Bipolar. Oh My!

Many people believe that violence and mental illness are linked in such a way that all mentally ill people will – eventually – be violent. Some people go as far as to believe that violence is only perpetrated by people with mental illness. 

In this episode, Gabe & Michelle explore these assumptions, thoughts, and ideas from their perspectives as people living with bipolar and schizophrenia.

They discuss the president’s views on people with mental illness being responsible for seemingly all gun violence. They discuss why society is so quick to believe that mental illness and violence are intrinsically linked. But, ultimately, they discuss how these beliefs make them – as people living with bipolar and schizophrenia – feel.


Highlights From ‘Bipolar, Schizophrenia, and Violence’ Episode 

[2:00] Michelle talks about her aggressive lacrosse playing. Was it mental illness?

[6:10] Gabe talks about police and mental health crisis interventions.

[10:50] What the courts and society say about mass shooters and mental illness.

[16:00] What if the media is right about mental illness and violence?

[20:00] Why does society believe that violence is only caused by people with mental illness?

[21:30] Unpacking schizophrenia and privilege.

Jul 02, 2018
Ep 15: How We Acted Before Recovery from Bipolar and Schizophrenia

In ways that are both extremely flattering and exceptionally stigmatizing, Michelle and Gabe are often told that they don’t really have bipolar and schizophrenia, that  they are too mature, intelligent, or well behaved to be that sick. They are told that they may have “a mild case” or are “high functioning,” without acknowledging their past struggles.

In many ways, our hosts understand why people feel this way. They weren’t advocates with a podcast when they were at their sickest. They were hidden away in their homes or hospitalized, not even understanding that they were sick.

In this episode, our hosts share stories of what they were like before they received treatment for their mental illnesses.

Highlights From 'Before Recovery We Acted Sick' Episode

[1:40] Michelle shares her story of when God spoke to her in Israel.

[6:10] Gabe tells the story of jumping off his roof and onto the lawn.

[10:15] Michelle talks about self-harm (trigger warning).

[16:30] Gabe talks about pulling out his hair, weighing 550 pounds, and staying in bed for days at a time.

[21:50] Michelle discusses being delusional and hallucinating in a Starbucks.

[26:00] Gabe talk about living with “demons,” and his fear of skyscraper window washers.

Jun 25, 2018
Ep 14: A Bipolar, a Schizophrenic, and Their Mothers

Our mothers are incredibly naive when it comes to what it's like to live with bipolar and schizophrenia -- or are they? In this episode, Gabe interviewed Susan Hammer and Michelle interviewed Susan Howard about their child's illness. 

Each mother was asked the same five questions and given the opportunity to answer in their own words. Then our hosts came together and quizzed each other about how they thought their mothers replied.

Is Michelle's mother the detached woman Michelle fears? Is Gabe's mother as clueless and he often says she is? Find out all this and more when our mothers are put on the hot seat!

[1:50] Question #1: At what age did you suspect Michelle/Gabe was mentally ill?

[5:30] Question #2: When you learned that Michelle/Gabe was sick, what did you first think?

[9:50] Question #3: What is your definition of recovery from schizophrenia/bipolar and does Michelle/Gabe meet your definition?

[13:25] Question #4: In your own words, what is your understanding of Michelle’s/Gabe’s schizophrenia/bipolar?

[18:30] Question #5: When considering all of Michelle’s/Gabe's accomplishments, as they pertain to mental health advocacy, which one are you the proudest of and why?

[22:30] Gabe and Michelle talk about their moms and their answers to the questions.

Jun 18, 2018
Ep 13: Stupid Shit said to a Bipolar and A Schizophrenic

One of the drawbacks to talking to people for a living about bipolar and schizophrenia is that the people often want to talk back. While most of the conversations are supportive and caring, some of the questions and comments Gabe and Michelle hear are less than inspiring.

As anyone who leaves their house already knows, going outside means you have to endure some level of ignorance. Women and minorities have spoken for years about the stupid comments they’ve had to put up with from the public. We are not talking about blatant sexism or racism either, just little irksome comments that would otherwise go unnoticed – if they weren’t so damn annoying.

Jun 11, 2018
Ep 12: 4 people, 3 mental illnesses, 2 hosts, 1 advocacy goal

After having way too much fun at the HealtheVoices conference, Gabe and Michelle welcomed two of their fellow advocate conference-goers to join them on the show to continue talking about the ups and downs of their advocacy efforts. They recount some of the unusual methods they use to spread the word, from riding around in Herbie the Love Bug, to airing YouTube videos of being set on fire, to standing in the streets of New York City selling clothing. Listen in as they share stories of encounters with the public, both appallingly rude and amazingly heartfelt. You won’t regret it.


Lets stop making people feel bad for feeling different.
- Michelle Hammer


[0:30] Gabriel Nathan of the OC87RecoveryDiaries.com and Rachel Star Withers The Schizo Stunt-girl join us on the show.

[7:00] Gabe explains what platform he uses for his mental health advocacy

[8:30] Rachel explains why she became a YouTube sensation (hint: She sets herself on fire)

[12:50] Gabriel owns a Herbie The Love Bug – is it the real one?

[19:10] Michelle’s advocacy is completely different from Gabe, Gabriel, and Rachel – find out how.

[26:00] Gabriel speaks about professionals and mental health care.

Jun 04, 2018
Ep 11: Listener Feedback: Criticism on our Mental Illness Advocacy

Haters gonna hate and don’t feed the trolls are common phrases anyone who has an internet following has heard – or said – a dozen times. For reasons that aren’t entirely clear, Gabe and Michelle decide to discuss some of their ”favorite” less-than-positive feedback.

They discuss how the comments made them feel, what they learned from them, and what they honestly think of the people who wrote them. Suffice to say that mental health advocacy isn’t for the weak.


“You can send me the nastiest emails, I still know I’m fabulous.”

- Michelle Hammer


Highlights from a Mental Illness Advocacy Show 

[0:20] Gabe and Michelle talk about negative feedback they receive about their mental health advocacy

[2:25] Gabe reads a negative email that Michelle received about her brand and advocacy.

[8:20] Michelle reads an email Gabe received about her stating that her diagnosis is incorrect.

[11:58] Gabe reads a comment Michelle received on her WebMD Video saying she is faking Schizophrenia.

[16:35] Michelle reads an extremely angry email that was sent to Gabe about his views on a piece of mental health legislation.

[22:45] Michelle and Gabe each read a negative email about the podcast.

[28:00] Gabe’s tells the story of scary “gift” he received at his home

May 28, 2018
Ep 10: Schizophrenia & Bipolar Symptoms: 2 Truths and a Lie Edition

Listener favorite Two Truths and One Lie returns, but with a twist. Gabe and Michelle each share three stories about specific symptoms they have of schizophrenia or bipolar disorder (respectively). All six of these examples are believed to be factual by many people, but only four of them are accurate. After sharing the examples, Gabe and Michelle challenge each other to guess which two of their symptoms are real and which one is a lie.


“Just because you’re acting normal doesn’t mean you’re not sick.” - Gabe Howard


[1:26] Michelle shares how she hears her name being called as a symptom of schizophrenia.

[2:10] Gabe shares a story about chronic masturbation as symptom of bipolar disorder.

                “Say My Name” vs. “Bipolar Bop”

 [3:05] Michelle shares a story about a simple delusion snowballing into something much bigger.

[5:12] Gabe talks about living with the extremes of bipolar mania and depression with no middle ground.

“Exaggerated Memory” vs. “Heads or Tails”

[7:00] Michelle speaks publicly for the first time about  her other personality, “Hammer.”

 [8:50] Gabe talks about bipolar irritability and the little things that make him angry.

“Sybil” vs. “Gabe Gets Annoyed at the Most Basic Things”

[13:00] Michelle guesses which symptom of bipolar disorder Gabe is making up.

 [14:50] Gabe guesses which symptom of schizophrenia Michelle is lying about.

May 21, 2018
Ep 9: Celebrities Out About Mental Illness: Helpful or Not?

More and more famous people are coming out about their own mental health issues. Everything from bipolar, depression, OCD, and anxiety. The struggles of living with bipolar and schizophrenia are something our hosts know a lot about. In the wake of all this media attention, Gabe and Michelle wonder if this has had a positive or negative impact on their cause.

They discuss celebrities like Mariah Carey and Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson. The conversation meanders around positives, negatives, and they dive deep into whether celebrities are the heroes in mental health advocacy or a distraction.

Highlights From 'Celebrities Out About Mental Illness' Episode

“If all these famous people have mental illness, how bad could it be?” - The public?

[1:10] Gabe and Michelle begin the discussion about the ‘Queen of Christmas’ being bipolar.

[8:45] Are celebrities helping the cause and can someone actually bully The Rock?

[15:00] When celebrities come out about mental illness, does society misinterpret the struggle?

[19:00] Gabe talks directly to parents about their mentally ill children.

[28:30] They finish up by discussing Mariah Carey’s recovery as well as others’.

May 14, 2018
Ep 8: Common Questions Asked of a Bipolar and a Schizophrenic

We answer listener questions in this episode of A Bipolar, a Schizophrenic, and a Podcast. Gabe and Michelle both have stories of their experiences with mania, and also discuss which they feel is worse, mania or depression.

When does Michelle tell the people she dates that she has schizophrenia? A listener wants to know why Michelle doesn’t act like the stereotypical schizophrenic. Michelle has the most fantastic response, according to Gabe.

Hear them share what it’s like in recovery living with bipolar and schizophrenia.

Finally, the age old question is asked: How can I get my loved one to be doing as well as you?


Highlights From 'Answering Listener's Questions' Episode

[1:10] Question #1: What is it like to be manic?

[5:45] Question #2: How does being bipolar and schizophrenic in recovery affect your everyday life?

[9:15] Question #3: How does being mentally ill affect your dating life?

[12:20] Question #4: If it existed, would you take the pill to cure your mental illness?

[15:45]  Question #5: Michelle, people with schizophrenia are often out of their minds, rambling, drooling…why aren’t you?

[19:00]  Question #6: How can I get my loved one to be doing as well as you?



May 07, 2018
Ep 7: What do our Families Think of us Being so Open About Living With Mental Illness?

On this episode, we welcome guest Vincent M. Wales from The Psych Central Show podcast! Gabe and Michelle first talk about what their families think of the podcast, so far.

Gabe’s 80-year-old grandmother shares her thoughts the show, while Michelle’s Jewish mother has concerns about Gabe. But what would Michelle’s grandmother Blanche think? Vincent shares his stories of editing the show. He also shares some hilarious outtake stories. 

Gabe, Michelle, and Vincent are enjoying being in Chicago and are so glad they got to do this recording together.

“Dinner and a show…no hanky panky. ~ Michelle Hammer

Highlights From 'Open About Mental Illness' Episode

[4:20] Gabe and Michelle decide to discuss what their families think of the show.

[7:40] Gabe shares his 80-year-old grandmother’s comments on his story about strippers from the first episode.

[9:20] Michelle talks about what her “wild” grandmother Blanche would think of this podcast.

[12:55] Gabe is still mad that his mom yelled at him for something he did at Christmas in 1991.

[17:30]  Vincent shares his opinion of the podcast.

[20:00]  Vincent talks about editing the podcast and the feedback be gives us on each episode.

[24:00] Silly outtake stories.

[26:00] Gabe gets caught saying something stigmatizing.

[29:00] Vincent speaks about his persistent depressive disorder and how others don’t understand.

Apr 30, 2018
Ep 6: Were You Ever in a Psych Ward? WE WERE!

Gabe Howard (bipolar) and Michelle Hammer (schizophrenic) have a real, honest, and open discussion about their time spent in the psych ward. Do you think the psych ward is like what you have seen in the movies? According to our hosts, it is NOTHING like it!

In this episode, Michelle speaks openly about her three involuntary detentions, twice for suicide attempts and once for suicidal tendencies. Gabe talks about his one experience in the psych ward, where he was on suicide watch. He discusses why he never realized he was sick until he went to the hospital. Gabe and Michelle then look back upon their time spent, and share what they’ve learned.

“I just started cursing at them in Yiddish, and they weren’t very fond of that.” ~Michelle Hammer

Highlights From 'Ever in a Psych Ward' Episode 

[1:45] Gabe and Michelle discuss real psych wards and movie versions.

[4:00] Michelle talks about her first, brief experience.

[13:30] Michelle talks about the reasons behind her second psych ward experience.

[17:04] Michelle talks about what she learned in the psych ward.

[19:45] Gabe talks about his time spent in the psych ward.

Apr 23, 2018
Ep 5: Round Two of 2 Truths and A Lie

Gabe Howard (Bipolar) and Michelle Hammer (Schizophrenic) decide to play two truths and a lie for the second time. Each tell three unbelievable stories of the past in an effort to trick each other into thinking which one could be true. There are slightly new rules to the game this time regarding the fake stories. Gabe tells stories of psych ward experiences, including making a dream board about wanting a Rolex, a bearded woman trying to have sex with him, and falling asleep in the shower because he was afraid of his psych ward roommate. Michelle shares college stories of getting in a fight in a lacrosse game, flipping out on a cheating boyfriend, and lastly, being picked up and tossed out of a bar. Which ones do you think are real?

“Where was the secret place to have sex in the psych ward?” ~Michelle Hammer

[2:27] New rules of the game.

[3:15] “Tried to Score With Michelle” vs. “Flipped Off Rolex”

[10:00] “Something’s Fishy” vs. “Bearded Lady Sex”

[14:40] “Drunk People Thought Michelle Was a Lady” vs. “Buck Naked Shower Fiasco”

[20:00] Gabe and Michelle question each other on the stories.

[23:30] The big reveal.



Apr 16, 2018
Ep 4: Uncommon Things We Dislike About Living with Bipolar and Schizophrenia

Gabe Howard (Bipolar) and Michelle Hammer (Schizophrenic) discuss personal and public topics that bother them in society.  Michelle shares her frustration with being accused of lying about having schizophrenia.  She describes how people leave comments on her social media saying she is too competent to have a mental illness, despite her saying publicly that she takes seven medications. Gabe talks about feeling like a marked man when he applies for jobs because of his bipolar disorder. 

Both try to come up with a new name for medication classification anti-psychotics, and discuss frustration with other people’s opinions of potentially spreading mental illness to their children. Finally, they discuss how mental health care is not easy for everyone to access and that is unfair.

Show Highlights:

[1:50] People accuse Michelle of not being schizophrenic.

[6:13] Rejection from jobs because of mental illness.

[9:20] Let’s change the name of medications labeled “anti-psychotic.”

[12:30] Being told you are so lucky to be married when you have a mental illness.

[15:30]  Intrusive questions about having kids and potentially spreading mental illness.

[19:45]  Psychiatric treatment is not available for everyone.

Apr 09, 2018
Ep 3: Don't Discriminate Against Me. (Discussions From a Bipolar and a Schizophrenic)

Gabe Howard (Bipolar) and Michelle Hammer (Schizophrenic) talk about mental health in the current media and pop culture. Michelle talks about stigma and tells a story of Instagram insults.  Gabe talks about being accused of not being bipolar and shares his story of binge eating disorder. Both hosts disclose and discuss what it feels like to lead a public life with mental illness -- and how being discriminated against feels badly.

Highlights From 'Don't Discriminate Against Me'

[2:00] Michelle is looking at prisoners on Tinder
[4:50] Media bias about mental health
[10:00] Schizophrenia bias
[13:10] Bipolar bias
[18:30] Why is there so much stigma if mental illness is so common?
[26:00] Gabe’s recovery from bipolar disorder

Meet The Hosts of #BSPodcast

GABE HOWARD was formally diagnosed with bipolar and anxiety disorders after being committed to a psychiatric hospital in 2003. Now in recovery, Gabe is a prominent mental health activist and host of the award-winning Psych Central Show podcast. He is also an award-winning writer and speaker, traveling nationally to share the humorous, yet educational, story of his bipolar life. To work with Gabe, visit gabehoward.com

MICHELLE HAMMER was officially diagnosed with schizophrenia at age 22, but incorrectly diagnosed with bipolar disorder at 18. Michelle is an award-winning mental health advocate who has been featured in press all over the world. In May, 2015, Michelle founded the company Schizophrenic.NYC, a mental health clothing line, with the mission of reducing stigma by starting conversations about mental health. She is a firm believer that confidence can get you anywhere. To work with Michelle, visit schizophrenic.NYC.

Apr 02, 2018
Ep 2: He Said/She Said: Questions from a Bipolar and a Schizophrenic
Gabe Howard (bipolar) and Michelle Hammer (schizophrenic) ask each other questions that they must also answer themselves.  They ask about their diagnoses, dealing with symptoms, telling other people about their diagnoses, and where they think they would each be today if they weren’t straddled with mental illness. Find out what Michelle’s friends said when she told them about her schizophrenia. What do you think both of their moms think about their grown children's medication? 
Show Highlights:
[5:00] Question #1. “When did you first realize something was wrong?”
[12:52] Question #2. “Have you experienced delusions, psychosis etc.?”
[23:00] Question #3. “When you were diagnosed, how did your family take it?”
[29:45] Question #4. “Where do you think you would be today, if not for your disease?”
Mar 26, 2018
Ep 1: Two Truths and One Lie: Stories from a Bipolar and a Schizophrenic

Gabe Howard (Bipolar) and Michelle Hammer (Schizophrenic) decide to play Two Truths and a Lie. Each tells three remarkable stories of the past. The other tries to guess which are true and which are not. Hear Gabe’s stories of Demi Lovato, after-hours strip clubs, and bar fights. Hear Michelle’s of dating hell, apartment fires, and medication hallucination. Which ones do you think are lies?

Michelle Hammer Quote

Show Highlights: 

[2.15] Rules of the game.

[3.00] First Stories: “DEMI L” vs. “CRAZY CHICK”

[6:50]  Second Stories: “GABE’S FIGHT STORY” vs.  “FIRE WEED”

[14:20] Third Stories: “STRIP CLUB MANNERS” vs. “SPIDER TIGER”

[20:00] Gabe and Michelle question each other on the stories.

[25:00] The big reveal.


Official Website: psychcentral.com/bsp


Mar 15, 2018