The Mental Illness Happy Hour is a weekly online podcast that interviews comedians, artists, friends, and the occasional doctor. Each episode explores mental illness, trauma, addiction and negative thinking.

“A perversely safe place in which [Paul] and his guests talk about their fears, addictions and traumatic childhoods.” -The New York Times

“Normalizes what so many others feel but have been too fearful or ashamed to express… remarkable.” -Psychology Today

Latest episodes

  • 3/17/2017Being Trans in a Red State – Olivia HaidarEpisode: 322
    The 29 year-old trans woman dispels myths about what it means to be trans, including those she used to believe. She shares about hormone therapy, gender reassignment surgery, the prejudice and stigma of "passing", feeling dysphoric growing up, coming out in her Indiana hometown and her upbringing by an overprotective mother, an absent father, and an alcoholic and emotionally abusive stepfather. Follow Olivia on Twitter @hitherehaidar Follow her on Instagram @ohaidarling Follow her on Facebook at www.facebook.com/ohaidarling This episode is sponsored by Young Health's probiotic Probimune. To get your first bottle free (plus $6.75 shipping) go to www.probimune.com and use offer code MENTAL This episode is sponsored by BetterHelp online counseling. To get your first week free, go to www.BetterHelp.com/mental  Must be 18 or older. This episode is sponsored by ZipRecruiter. To post jobs for free go to www.ZipRecruiter.com/first Support the podcast by becoming a monthly donor for as little as $1 a month. Get free rewards from Paul. www.Patreon.com/mentalpod Check out Earbuds, the great documentary about the power of podcasting featuring podcasters like Paul and many of his former guests/friends/fellow podcasters. Stream or buy DVD at www.comedyfilmnerds.com
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  • Being Trans in a Red State – Olivia Haidar

    The 29 year-old trans woman dispels myths about what it means to be trans, including those she used to believe. She shares about hormone therapy, gend...

  • Herpes from Date-Rape: Laura J.

    Laura J. shares about contracting herpes by being date-raped and how she has navigated managing it logistically, sexually and emotionally with partner...

  • Fantasy & Love Addiction: Maia Akiva

    Paul’s fellow support group friend shares about the huge role fantasy has played in her struggle to accept life; especially her love addiction. ...

About the Show

Comedian Paul Gilmartin hosts a weekly, hour-long audio podcast consisting of interviews with artists, friends and the occasional doctor.

The show is geared towards anyone interested in or affected by depression, addiction and other mental challenges which are so prevalent in the creative arts.

Paul’s hope is that the show and this website will give people a place to connect, smile and feel the return of hope. The biggest myth about mental illness is that you are alone and there is no help.

DISCLAIMER:

The Mental Illness Happy Hour is NOT a substitute for professional diagnosis or treatment.
For information on treatment please visit HelpGuide.org

The Mentalblog

  • Male Sex Abuse Survivor Websites

      Male Survivor web sites  Here is an excellent list of organizations that comes from MaleSurvivor.org, a group committed to preventing, healing, and eliminating all forms of sexual victimization of boys and men through support, treatment, research, education, advocacy, and activism. 1in6 – offers a wealth of......

  • Transferring Frequent Flyer Miles to The Podcast

    I really want to start recording people outside of America but need financial help to make it happen.   Transferring frequent flyer miles would be a big, big help as airfare is pretty expensive. There are three major airline alliances I belong to that allow......

  • Inside the Hearts, Bodies and Minds of Sexual Trauma Survivors

    If you want to understand what survivors think and feel every day, watch this video.  It’s text excerpts from the anonymously taken survey “Struggle in a Sentence”.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5BkH3moFgjQ&feature=youtu.be&a...

  • High-Fiving Male Sex Abuse Victims

    We’ve all seen the familiar story.  Hot teacher and young teenage male student.  One newspaper  used the word “romp” to describe a 24 year-old woman and a 16 year-old boy. I click on the links and read the stories even though I know the reader......

  • Scar Tissue by Paul Gilmartin

    Scar Tissue   I’m sitting here at my favorite coffee place wondering why I didn’t wear looser pants.  My junk is swollen.  Not with pleasure; with bruising and stitches and a Band-Aid. I had a vasectomy yesterday and like many of the twelve operations I’ve......

  • Come See Paul Speak

    March 25th at Lassen Community College is Susanville, CA.  There will be a screening of the California PBS documentary “A New State of Mind” followed by some speakers, one of whom will be Paul.   The event is from 5:30-8:30.  Admission is free and reservations......

  • How Sexual Abuse Affected My Mind: An Email from Katie M.

    So my story is kind of complicated (as if others aren’t).  When I was about 6 years old, I was continually molested by my brothers friend over the course of a month or so while my brother would be at band practice in our basement.......

  • I’m Not Strong Enough: Thoughts From An Overwhelmed Mother

    Paul, Sleep is a challenge lately. Life is…hard lately. Not bad, quite good in some ways, but hard and exhausting. A long while back you said something that’s stuck with me…how the word “enough” can be so damaging. “Not good enough, not cool enough, not......

  • Cutting Contact With Her Mom: An email from Barbara in NC

    Hi Paul- I have tried to start this letter to you so many times (and here I go again!), but listening to what you said about missing your mom on a recent show finally got me to do it. I don’t think anyone that has......

  • Weird Phobias email

    The following is an email correspondence between myself and “Marie”, a listener who messaged me via Facebook.   She gave me her permission to post this. Marie Please have a show about weird phobias. I have a fear of answering the telephone  along with a......

  • Email of the Day: Listener Ryan on coping with his trauma

    Paul   I am 40 yrs old. My last memory of feeling normal was at about age 5. That day a neighbor asked me if i wanted to come see his train set, and i naturally obliged. Not until age 26 did i start to......

  • Email of the Day: Pretending it Wasn’t Rape by Anne Marie

    Hi there, I was listening to episode 118 (Kulap Vilaysack Returns) and heard the survey from the woman who said she wasn’t sure if she had been sexually abused and that she went back to the man who she’d told no to after to make......

  • Trypophobia: WTF is it? A Guest Blog by Lue

    Trypophobia is a condition I’ve had since I can remember. In a nutshell it is a nervous, flesh crawling response to particular patterns and textures, typically organic and often involving small holes. It’s especially bad when associated with skin. It’s a known condition (although obviously......

  • Witness PTSD : Guest Blog by Michelle H.

    *Disclaimer: There are some parts to my story that are pretty out there, new agey, woo-woo if you will. Some may call BS, perhaps I would have called it that at a time in my life too. But it is my truth and resonates with......

  • My Brain Helped Me As a Little Girl By Leaving My Body: Guest Blog by Ashley B.

    This is a typical night when I was a little girl. I am describing the night backwards chronologically. Dissociating distorts a sense of time and so often people who experience it find themselves going backwards chronologically, not only in their mind but sometimes temporarily in......

  • The Negative Voice in My Head: Guest Blog by Carly C.

    Occasionally when I’m writing, I run into a mental roadblock. It starts innocently enough: what’s the point here, why am I writing this, what do I want the reader to gain from this? This is common for writers or creators of any type, and it’s......

  • I Can’t Stand Up To My Sexually Abusive Dad & I’m 29: Nikki’s Story

    I think most people are aware of or can imagine, how awful it is to experience abuse. For me and a lot of survivors that’s just the beginning of a long, isolating, painful journey. My dad started sexually abusing me around 10, I’m 29 now.......

  • Inside the Mind of a 27 year-old with BiPolar II by Hannah Blum

     You are coasting along a straight path, then you struggle to get up that hill. The pain is almost a high. In a moment you have no energy, another too much. You feel like you are about to break, but you don’t stop, you know......

  • Most Popular Eps of 2014

    Most popular Eps of 2014 #1 Todd Glass #2 Lauren Ashley Bishop #3 NHL Goalie Clint Malarchuk #4 Low Self-Esteem with Guy Winch PhD #5 Mick Betancourt #6 Loneliness with Guy Winch PhD #7 Chris Gethard #8 Matt Oswalt #9 Rumination with Guy Winch PhD......

  • Favorite Episodes of 2013 as Voted By Listeners

    Top Listener-Voted Eps of 2013 1. Maria Bamford 2. Emily Gordon 3.David Hirohama: Counseling Sexual Predators 4. CPS Worker Ray 5. Aisha Tyler live at LA Podfest 6. Elizabeth Laime 7. Kulap Vilaysack Returns 8. Chemda 9. Sara Benincasa 10. Lynn Chen To view the......

  • Favorite Episodes of 2012 as Voted By Listeners

    Top Listener-Voted Eps of 2012 1. Dr. Jessica Zucker #1 2. Dr. Jessica Zucker #2 3. Chris Hardwick 4. Rob Delaney 5. Nadereh Fanaeian 6. Kerri Kenney-Silver 7. Steve Agee 8. Dave Holmes 9. Laurie Kilmartin 10. Policeman Andy...

  • Just in time for the holidays, Mental Illness Happy Hour coffee, beer and travel mugs. Click here to view or buy....

  • Listeners Voted Their Ten Favorite Episodes of 2011

    Check out the listener-voted Top 10 Favorite Episodes of 2011! 1. Teresa Strasser 2. Adam Carolla 3. Paul F. Tompkins 4. Marc Maron 5. Kulap Vilaysack 6. Eddie Pepitone 7. Ex-Con “Murph” 8. Karma 9. Beth Littleford 10. Jimmy Pardo...

  • Take our new survey!

    We’ve released a new survey! The Shame & Secrets survey is entirely anonymous, and will only share with others what you share with us. For more information check out the Surveys Page....