Comedian Susan Stewart Talks about tackling mental health one laugh at a time

Tackling Mental Health One Laugh at a Time

The Healing Power of Comedy: Unpacking Mental Health with Susan Stewart

In a world where mental health conversations are still tiptoeing around the periphery of our societal dialogue, one comedian and author, Susan Stewart, is breaking the mold and spotlighting the incredible healing nature of laughter. I had the honor of hosting Susan on my podcast, Suicide Zen Forgiveness, where we dove deep into the interplay between comedy and mental health. Her insights not only entertained but illuminated the path for anyone struggling to find light in the darkness.

Comedy as a Beacon of Hope

Susan Stewart has been gracing stages across North America, wielding her unique brand of humour to cut through the heavy fog of life’s challenges. With a repertoire that spans over 15 years, she’s become a beacon of hope, showcasing the untapped power of laughter in tackling mental health hurdles. As she shared on the podcast, her journey wasn’t without its own share of battles. A severe bout with depression and anxiety once led her to quit comedy — the very essence of her existence. Yet, it was this confrontation with her mental health that eventually molded her advocacy, underscoring her message that even in our lowest points, there’s a glimmer of humour to be found.

Unpacking the Comedian’s Mindset

During our conversation, Stewart highlighted a fascinating aspect of comedians’ psyches. Many, including herself, gravitate towards comedy as a mechanism to gain approval and navigate through underlying issues. This drive often stems from a natural inclination to find humour in dark places, adopting it as a coping mechanism. It’s a poignant reminder of the complexity behind the laughter, where each joke carries the weight of unspoken struggles.

Laughter: The Ultimate Resilience Tool

One of the most compelling parts of our dialogue revolved around the concept of resilience. Stewart eloquently painted laughter as not just a fleeting moment of joy but a profound exercise in resilience. Embracing the comedic take on our flaws and missteps doesn’t belittle our struggles; instead, it provides a ladder to climb out of despair. Her approach redefines self-deprecation, transforming it from a sign of weakness to a shared human experience that connects and heals.

The Interconnectivity of humour and Healing

Amidst our laughter and shared stories, Susan touched on a scientific reality that often goes unnoticed — laughter as a form of medicine. It’s not just about the momentary escape from reality but the physiological impact, from the release of serotonin to the alleviation of physical pain. In her words, comedy is akin to a “free wonder drug,” a declaration that resonates with anyone who’s felt the afterglow of a good laugh.

Taking the Stage Against Stigma

Perhaps the most inspiring takeaway from our discussion was Susan’s resolve to leverage her platform for greater good. Her new show, “A Bit More Than a Rough Patch,” embodies this mission, intertwining humour with heartfelt narratives about mental health. By shining a light on anxiety and depression through comedy, she aims to dismantle the stigma, offering solace and solidarity to those in the audience. It’s a testament to the transformative power of sharing our stories, where vulnerability becomes our collective strength.

A Call to Action: Embrace Your Narrative

As our conversation came to a close, Susan left us with a powerful reminder: “Remember what’s true. You can do hard things.” In every joke, every story, and every moment of laughter, lies an undercurrent of resilience, strength, and hope. Whether you’re on stage or in the audience, navigating your mental health journey or supporting someone who is, there’s immeasurable value in embracing your narrative, with all its imperfections and triumphs.

In a world often darkened by silence and stigma, voices like Susan Stewart’s shine brightly, guiding us through the power of comedy. It’s a journey of laughter, learning, and healing, reminding us that even in our most profound moments of despair, a laugh can light the way forward.

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