Humor can be one of the best weapons against depression, and John Moe is hosting The Hilarious World of Depression, a podcast that’s become very popular since debuting last year.
John Moe hosted a previous comedy show, Wits, and he was surprised at how much depression kept coming up, even though a lot of comedians are famously troubled. As Moe told Mother Jones, “Comedians are able to describe the experience much better than anybody else because a comedian’s job is to put into really succinct words what people are thinking but not talking about.”
Moe has had Dick Cavett, who suffered from depression, on the show, and many others. Moe also suffers from depression himself, and he wants people to know that depression is a “common cold” of mental health problems that hits a lot of people, 1 in 5 people actually.
Moe first became aware of his own depression in junior high but he didn’t get officially diagnosed until he was an adult. “My life was going well. I had a good job. I was happily married. We had a house. I thought, Well, this has got to be in my brain, so I went to the doctor. They said, almost right away, ‘Oh yeah, you’re depressed.’ It was wonderful to hear that – this thing you just thought was a weirdness has a name and has available treatments.”
Moe hopes his show will take away the stigma of depression. “We’ve treated mental illness as this exotic thing, where it’s people in padded rooms and people dressed up as Napoleon- just all this bullshit. You think, If I own up to having a mental illness, am I going to be committed? Are people going to see me as unstable? What the stigma fails to own up to is that people with mental illness are your friends and neighbors and co-workers, living regular lives.”