Author:Paul Gilmartin

Sex and Politics – Jamie Varon

The 31 year-old writer discusses feminism, sexual violence and misogyny in the context of partisan politics, and her personal life. She shares about the complexities of marrying a Muslim, growing up being told “you’re too sensitive”, avoiding her emotions by achieving, hating her body, fighting the drill sergeant in her head and learning the power of being vulnerable and letting go of shame.

Jamie’s links




All my published writing:

Writing workshops:

This episode is sponsored by Madison Reed.  For 10% off your first color kit (and free shipping go to and use the offer code HAPPY

This episode is sponsored by Young Health’s Probimune.  To get your first bottle free (plus $6.75 shipping) go to and use offer code MENTAL

This episode is sponsored by ZipRecruiter.  Listeners can post jobs free by going to

For information about the In This Together Festival in LA on Nov 13th, go to  Paul will be interviewing former NBA player Royce White.

Books mentioned by Jamie are: A Return to Love by Marianne Williamson,  Ask and It is Given by Esther Hicks, and When Things Fall Apart by Pema Chodron.


Jeff Rosenthal

Jeff is Paul’s friend of 28 years and the son of former guest and Holocaust survivor Kristine Keese. He shares about her recent passing, their deep but complicated relationship, how he made peace with her being “a terrible mom but a great friend” and the book she wrote Shadows of Survival: A Child’s Memoir of the Warsaw Ghetto.


Visit Jeff’s Facebook page here.

Buy Kristine’s book here.

Follow Jeff on Twitter @Jeff_Rosie

This episode is sponsored by Meundies.  For 20% off your first order go to

This episode is sponsored by Young Health’s Probimune.  For a free bottle go to and use offer code MENTAL when you sign up for automated delivery.

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For tix or info on the In This Together Festival Nov 13th in Los Angeles at the Avalon go to



Freshman College Meltdown: Jen Curran’s Story

The writer/improviser shares about the mental/emotional breakdown her freshman year of college at NYU that left her living in her car and squatting in empty buildings in New York City.  She looks back on her childhood and the familial love that was so often conditional, based on her weight and appearance.  She opens up about the body shaming women in her family unconsciously modeled for her, her relationship with food, difficulty setting boundaries with toxic people and finding out what she really wants instead of living to meet other people’s expectations of her.

Follow Jen on Twitter @JenCurran

This episode is sponsored by Young Health’s Probimune.  For your first bottle free (plus $6.75 shipping) go to and use offer code MENTAL

This episode is sponsored by Casper mattresses.  Go to

This episode is sponsored by  Listeners can post jobs for free by going to


What Not To Say to Someone Who Has Depression: A Guest Blog by Dr. Susan J. Noonan


I was recently asked by a journalist what I would recommend “never” to say to someone who has depression. That’s a very good question. In my recent book When Someone You Know Has Depression: Words to say and things to do (2016), I focus mainly on the positives. By that I mean statements that are encouraging and received well by a person in the midst of a mood disorder. Today I will turn things around and give you some examples of what doesn’t work, and why.


There are about three dozen negative comments I can think of off the top of my head, and they fall into several categories. Most family members and close friends mean well and are trying their best. It’s hard to stay positive when you are fatigued, stressed, or frustrated in dealing with the illness, but you want to avoid accidentally saying these things or blurt out snap clichés. They are not helpful to the person and often times make things worse by breaking down the trust and communication you are trying to build.


The first is to avoid saying anything that is dismissive or invalidating. Your family member who has depression has a right to his or her feelings and thoughts, even if you don’t agree with the content. When you recognize and disagree with the person’s impaired thinking, negative or distorted thoughts, don’t tell him how to think and feel. Gently show him that the errors in his logic are inconsistent with his life experiences. Instead of saying “No you don’t’”, or “How could you possibly think…” in response to something he says, it would be preferable to respond with “I hear you feel you’re ___. That must feel awful. Where do you think that comes from? What about the time___?” and offer some concrete evidence in his life that counteracts his statement.


Invalidating statements are things like “There are people worse off than you,” or “It’s all in your head.” This disregards her symptoms as being valid and imposes guilt upon the person for having them. It ignores the fact that 41,000 people who have depression died by suicide in the United States in 2015. Minimizing her thoughts and feelings by saying something like “Oh, everybody has a bad day” or “I was depressed for 3 days once” is another way of sending the message that her situation is not serious and legitimate. Another, “Don’t be so depressed,” “You have it so good – why can’t you just be happy?” or “Snap out of it” gives the message that he or she could just “will away” the illness, and dismisses it as the biologically based medical condition of the mind and body that it is.


Another category to avoid are statements that are judgmental, blaming or critical. These are comments such as “It’s your own fault,” “You’re just looking for attention,” “You need to get a job [or hobby, boyfriend, volunteer].” Or “You should get off those pills and stop seeing that quack doctor,” and “You should go to church and pray.” Try not to impose your personal opinion on your family member’s life and decisions during an episode of depression.


It is also not helpful for you to make assumptions or jump to conclusions about the person who has depression, how or what he feels or thinks, especially without the full facts. This is definitely not helpful and can ruin your relationship with him or her. One example is “You must have your period,” or “It’s PMS.” The comment “Just try a little harder” assumes that the person is not making an effort, which is also judgmental, critical and dismissive.


Here are a few additional comments in the “DON’T DO” list that you would do well to avoid.


  • Stop feeling sorry for yourself
  • Pull yourself together
  • Get your act together
  • Lighten up
  • Have you tried herbal tea? [or vitamins]
  • Just don’t think about it
  • Quit whining
  • But you look so happy all the time
  • This too will pass

And top on my list of personal disliked comments, merely saying…

“Hang in there!”

Susan J. Noonan MD, MPH is a physician and certified peer specialist, author of two books and blogs on managing depression for her own website, Psychology Today and The Huffington Post, and a patient with firsthand experience in mood disorders. Her recent book, When Someone You Know Has Depression: Words to say and things to do (JHUP 2016), is a companion to Managing Your Depression: What you can do to feel better (JHUP 2013). She can be reached at






#298 Lora B

The 33 year-old listener was the woman who comforted Murray Valeriano during our live episode last week.  From a blended family with every kind of abuse imaginable, including her church elder step-grandfather who molested her, her descent into meth and drinking, finding sobriety, and getting therapy for her traumas.

This episode is sponsored by Casper Mattresses via LAPodfest.  Visit

This episode is sponsored by Criquet Shirts.  For 20% off your first purchase and use offer code MENTAL

This episode is sponsored by New Health’s Probimune.  By signing up for automated delivery you’ll get your first bottle free (plus $6.75 shipping and handling) Go and use offer code MENTAL at checkout.

Click for free tickets to the UC Berkley panel Paul is participating in on OCT 17th.


#297 Murray Valeriano at LAPodfest

The comedian/writer/podcaster had never talked much about losing his virginity at 15 to a 32 year-old tutor.  Tonight that changed and so did his view of the event and aftermath.  He also opens up about being a preacher’s kid (who wasn’t even allowed to see Footloose), being a father and the role “forbidden” music played in helping him cope as young man.

If you would like to watch video of this episode, it will be archived at (with all the other shows at the festival) until Oct 25th.  For $5 off use offer code HAPPY

Listen to Murray’s podcast Road Stories (or Itunes)

Follow Murray on Twitter

Check out his tour dates and his album Rusty Cow at Murray’s website

His Facebook page is

For info on the Out of The Darkness Walk go to

This episode is sponsored by Young Health’s Probimune.  For your first bottle free (plus $6.75 shipping) go to and use offer code MENTAL


Glynn Washington

The producer/host of WNYC’s Snap Judgment shares about being raised in a fundamentalist Christian cult, strategies he’s used to survive racism, what he learned by visiting Japan as a college student, his struggles with bipolar and his family’s history of mental illness especially his late brother.

This episode is sponsored by Young Health’s Probimune.  For your first bottle free (plus $6.75 shipping) go to and use offer code MENTAL.

For more information on LAPodfest go to and use offer code HAPPY for $5 off.   The festival is Sept 23-25 in LA.  Our podcast records Sun Sept 25th at 9pm.  It can be watched in person, live streaming or up to 30 days archived.

For more information on the In This Together Festival, where Paul will be interviewing NBA player Royce White, go to  The festival is Nov 13th in LA.


Mara Wilson

You probably know her as the little girl from Matilda or Mrs. Doubtfire but you probably don’t know that’s around the time she lost her mom, developed OCD, anxiety, depression and panic attacks and that today she is an advocate for mental health.  She is also a playwright, author (Where Am I Now?) and still occasionally acts.

This episode is sponsored by Probimune.  For your first bottle free and just $6.75 Shipping/handling go to and use offer code MENTAL

Buy Mara’s new book Where Am I Now?

Follow Mara on Twiiter @MaraWilson

Visit her webpage and blog at

For tickets or info about LAPodfest (Sept 23-25) visit  The podcast will be doing a live recording Sunday night Sept 25.


Dr Laura Dabney

The psychiatrist and therapist talks about sexual trauma in the military, powerful men who fear intimacy, meds, treating personality disorders, doing therapy via Skype, the therapy process and why insurance companies suck.

Check out Dr Dabney’s site follow her on Twitter @DrLDabney

Buy tix to see MIHH at LAPodfest Sept 23-25  (MIHH is recording Sun. Sept 25th at 9pm)

This episode is sponsored by Chicagoland Out of the Darkness Walk by the American Foundation for Suicide Prevent

This episode is sponsored by BlueApron. To try your first three meals free with free delivery go to

This episode is sponsored by Young Health’s Probimune. For 50% off your first purchase of Probimune go to  and use offer code MENTAL