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Depression and Comedy with Jessica Holmes


What is funny about depression? Especially the crippling kind! Join comic Jessica Holmes along with Frank King, The Mental Health Comedian, as they share the highs and lows of stand up while dealing with functional and often nonfunctional depression!

Frank King, Suicide Prevention and Postvention Public Speaker and Trainer was a writer for The Tonight Show for 20 years. Depression and suicide run his family. He’s thought about killing himself more times than he can count. He’s fought a lifetime battle with Major Depressive Disorder and Chronic Suicidality, turning that long dark journey of the soul into five TEDx Talks and sharing his lifesaving insights on Mental Health Awareness with associations, corporations, and colleges. A Motivational Public Speaker who uses his life lessons to start the conversation giving people permission to give voice to their feelings and experiences surrounding depression and suicide.
And doing it by coming out, as it were, and standing in his truth, and doing it with humor. He believes that where there is humor there is hope, where there is laughter there is life, nobody dies laughing. The right person, at the right time, with the right information, can save a life.

A Matter of Laugh or Death
Suicide, The Secret of My Success

Comedian Jessica Holmes had a great career and a happy family so it seemed a bit strange that she couldn’t get off the couch.

A member of the venerable comedy TV show Royal Canadian Air Farce, Holmes was also opening for the likes of Jerry Seinfeld and Ellen DeGeneres, and emceeing for Oprah.

But Holmes’ sofa slump didn’t abate. Finally she was diagnosed with depression. But as any good comedian knows everything has the potential to become material so Holmes took her mental health and made it the topic of her self-deprecating, candid, and emotional and funny new book Depression the Comedy: A Tale of Perseverance (Page Two Books, April 28, 2019).

Holmes talks about her postpartum depression and her second depression some years later, when she “became less of a June Cleaver and more of a David-Hasselhoff-when-his-daughter-videotaped-him-lying-facedown-on-the-bathroom-floor-unsuccessfully-trying-to-eat-a-hamburger.”

Recalling her frustration when “NBDs” (“Never Been Depressed”) would ask, “Well, why don’t you just get out there and do something?” Holmes points out that “one of the most prevalent symptoms of depression is not feeling like doing anything, ever.”

“It’s an illness,” she reminds us. “I’ve never met someone with Type 2 diabetes and thought: ‘See, I’ve always just eaten bags of delicious sugar and been fine, so I’m not sure why you can’t figure it out.”


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