EP 19: Does Being Quirky & Unique Mean You’re Mentally Ill?


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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.

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