For the month of November I hosted a panel of fellow bipolar advocates and led a discussion on the ties (or lack thereof) between depression, mania, and creativity. Each panelist came from a different artistic background and shared their own background, beliefs, and creative process.
Danielle Hark is a writer and artist who lives with PTSD and bipolar disorder. She is the founder of the non-profit Broken Light Collective that empowers people with mental health challenges using photography. Danielle works in a variety of creative mediums, including mixed media, assemblage, painting, photography, and poetry.
Sarah Jickling is a Canadian songstress and mental health advocate known for her candid look into uncomfortable subjects, served with an indie pop smile. In 2017, Sarah released her first solo album,When I Get Better, which documents her journey through bipolar recovery. Jickling’s idiosyncratic songs have been featured on radio stations across the country and in independent films, and she has opened up about her experiences with mental illness on radio, local television, podcasts, blogs and at live speaking events. Her latest album, The Family Curse, deals with intergenerational trauma and mental illness in families.
Michaela Donohue is a U.S. Army Veteran, healthcare worker and artist. Donohue currently works as a Medical Scheduler for a home healthcare company in San Diego, California and is an avid advocate for mental health awareness and medication compliance. Donohue is the 4th generation in her family to be diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder and spends much of her free time studying the illness since receiving her diagnosis in the fall of 2019. Donohue utilizes her chosen medium of spray paint on canvas to not only manage her symptoms, but to better understand the depth and complexity of her own emotions and feelings.
Join me and three of my favorite mental health advocates Charlotte Kaufman, Julie Kraft, and Victoria Maxwell for an interactive discussion on the similarities and differences in how bipolar presents in males vs females. Special thanks to The Mighty for letting me use their large platform to host this important discussion.
Rudy Caseres is an award-winning mental health advocate, public speaker, and event producer. He has traveled the country delivering keynote presentations, worked with organizations such as the American Association of Suicidology, This is My Brave, Mental Health America, the National Alliance on Mental Illness, and has hosted various storytelling events in the Los Angeles area — and now, virtually. He was named one of The Mighty’s Mental Health Heroes of 2017, NAMI California 2017 Outstanding Peer of the Year, and Feed & Be Fed’s Cultivator of the Year 2019. He can be seen live-streaming monthly for The Mighty on various bipolar topics as well as on his own social media channels.
Julie Kraft is a Canadian author, artist, and mental health advocate devoted to spreading awareness and shattering stigma. Since her bipolar II diagnosis in 2010, Julie has come to a place of fully embracing her bipolar mind- she credits it with allowing her to live a vibrant and full life. Julie is thrilled to have published her memoir, The Other Side of Me, and most recently a children's book, Tilda Whirl- both in an effort to start the conversation on mental health at all ages. She has contributed to publications forPsych Central, Psycom, and BP Hope magazine, and currently co-hosts the This is Bipolar vlog and podcast. Aside from passionately advocating, her interests include painting, travelling, and scouring secondhand stores. Julie currently resides in Vancouver, British Columbia with her husband and three children.
Charlotte Kaufman received a late diagnosis of bipolar disorder at age 39. She is the founder of Women Who Sail, the largest online group of women sailors in the world. In 2014, en route to the South Pacific, a medical emergency necessitated her family’s rescue at sea. The rescue brought intense media scrutiny to the idea of parenting and living aboard. Her story was featured onThis American Life and she has written inHuffPost about the experience. She is passionate about the intersection of parenting, mental health, and adventuring.
Victoria Maxwell is an award-winning mental health speaker, actor and playwright. At the age of 25 she was diagnosed with bipolar disorder, anxiety and psychosis and has since become a self-proclaimed Wellness Warrior and Bipolar Princess! She speaks on the lived experience of mental illness, recovery, workplace mental health, creativity and wellness. She’s written four theatrical keynote shows and performs them along with various workshops at conferences, corporations and community events internationally.The Mental Health Commission of Canada rates her keynote ‘That’s Just Crazy Talk’ as one of the top anti-stigma interventions in the country. Learn more about Victoria and her work and how to book her as a keynote speaker at VictoriaMaxwell.com.
Join me and three of my favorite mental health advocates Julia Stabler, Logan Noone, and Anja Burcak as I host an interactive discussion on the state of bipolar advocacy including what has been achieved, what still needs to change, and our goals for the future.
Rudy Caseres is an award-winning mental health advocate, public speaker, and event producer. He has traveled the country delivering keynote presentations, worked with organizations such as the American Association of Suicidology, This is My Brave, Mental Health America, the National Alliance on Mental Illness, and has hosted various storytelling events in the Los Angeles area. He was named one of The Mighty’s Mental Health Heroes of 2017, NAMI California 2017 Outstanding Peer of the Year, and Feed & Be Fed’s Cultivator of the Year 2019. He also hosts the Open Excellence Podcast where he educates people on new innovations, current hot topics, and promising reaseach in mental health care and can be subscribed to on all major podcast platforms.
Logan Noone is a fourth year medical student at Pacific Northwest University in Yakima, WA. He is currently in the process of applying to psychiatry residency. He was diagnosed with bipolar disorder in 2011 while working in the insurance industry. He went back to school to pursue medicine, and became a mental health advocate. He hosts the podcast, Talk Mental Health with Logan Noone, and most recently released a children’s book, We ALL have Something.
Anja Burcak is a writer and social media manager (The Support Network) with a passion for mental health advocacy. Her essays and articles have been featured on her personal mental health blog The Calculating Mind and sites such as The Mighty, BP Magazine, and Yahoo. Being diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder during college has given her insight into the struggles many college students face while battling mental health conditions. She currently is involved in victim advocacy and suicide research. Anja aims to educate others and start more open, honest conversations around mental health.
Julia Stabler (Julia Lives Bipolar) : Six years ago when she was 25 years old, Julia suffered a bipolar psychotic break. She spent a night in an ER psychiatric unit (partly in solitary confinement), a week at a nearby psych ward, and then a month in an aftercare outpatient program before moving home to live in her parent’s basement. She had arrived at rock bottom. This event changed the course of her life. In the weeks, months, and years to come she had to find a way to accept that she had bipolar disorder, figure out how to best treat it, heal the trauma inflicted by her illness, and rebuild a life she wanted to live. Six years ago she wasn’t sure she could do that, but she stands here today to say that "I did. You can too!"
NOTE: I usually post all episodes of SPSM Chat - Suicide Prevention Social Media at SPSMchat.com but since this was my last episode as host and it was such a special moment for me and everyone involved I wanted to share it on my personal blog as well. Thank you to my co-hosts Joelle Marie, Marie Shanley AKA Mxiety, Hudson Harris, Joel Schwartz, Danielle Glick, and Carly Larson as well as to all of our past guests over the past year (too many to name) for making this experience one I will always be proud of and will never forget. I took a gamble by stepping away from my previous show No Restraints with Rudy Caseres but it more than paid off.
What's next for me, you ask? Well.........
Recently, I hosted a live virtual storytelling event called Quarantine & Healing: Your Stories of Strength, Sickness, and Suckiness. I had previously hosted a handful of storytelling events with themes ranging from suicide to summertime at The Garden Church in San Pedro, CA but, sadly, COVID-19 and lockdowns prevented that from happening for the foreseeable future. However, with the help of some amazing friends I was able to successfully make the transition to online-only. The theme was personal stories about life during the COVID-19 pandemic. This was also a fundraiser for the Feed & Be Fed Neighborhood Relief Fund which benefits families and local businesses in the Harbor Area of Los Angeles, CA who are most negatively impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
You can donate directly to the fund here: feedandbefed.org/harbor-relief-fund
FEATURED STORYTELLERS (in no particular order):
Never forget that time after everything locked down and I transitioned from interviewing in person the leading mental health advocates in the world to playing Animal Crossing: New Horizons (poorly) from inside my kitchen. Sadly, a career in video game live-streaming was not in the cards. That said, I had fun with this and I got to differentiate myself from the other Mighty live-streamers at the time. If anything, I can definitely call myself multifaceted. Maybe I'll try something like this again in the future....
This was my last in-person interview for The Mighty from their Burbank, CA office. Just two days prior, the World Health Organization had declared COVID-19 a worldwide pandemic and just one day after this interview, the White House would declare a National Emergency. Seemingly overnight, all "non-essential" businesses closed down and required their employees work from home. I would eventually make the decision to move out of my home in Los Angeles and relocate with wife and dog to the Denver, CO area where I currently reside and work out of. Thankfully, I was able to keep my connection with The Mighty and continued to live-stream for them from the safety of my own home. I currently host a monthly panel where I lead discussions with the leading bipolar advocates in the world.
My guests this week were Julia Broglie and Dustin Belt, co-founders of Broglie Box. Julia Broglie (alongside co-founder) Dustin Belt created BroglieBox after experiencing their own mental health challenges & losing Julia’s brother to suicide. His passing inspired them to create a platform that delivers mental wellness resources via care packages to those struggling in today’s hectic & impersonal world. Many people utilize BroglieBox to strengthen connections by sending it as a gift to show their support to loved ones who might be suffering.
Get your own curated care packages of mental wellness products and resources, delivered straight to your loved one's doorstep at BroglieBox.com.
Today I interviewed comedian/author/relationship coach Greg Behrendt for The Mighty. Greg Behrendt is a New York Times bestselling author, comedian, musician life coach, and positivity trainer. He most notably co-authored He's Just Not That Into You: The No-Excuses Truth to Understanding Guys. As a relationship author he has appeared on the Oprah Winfrey Show multiple times as well the Today Show, Anderson Cooper, and The View. We'll be discussing Greg's recent life experiences of beating cancer twice in the past 5 years and his continuing recovery from alcohol and opiate addiction which caused him to turn his attention to coaching in the area of relationships and positivity.
I had met Greg before at a couple comedy shows and seen him on TV and loved his style of comedy. After learning about his story I knew he would be a great fit for The Mighty’s audience someday. I’m glad we finally made it happen and discuss issues such as alcoholism, relationship health, and bipolar. And I even got Greg to sign my copy of He's Just Not That Into You! Thanks, Greg.
Mental health public speaker Rudy Caseres interviews comedian/actress Maria Bamford for The Mighty. Topics discussed include Maria's battles with bipolar disorder, OCD, intrusive thoughts, suicidal thoughts, psychiatric hospitalization, and the mental healthcare system. We also discuss her family, friends, thoughts on religion, marriage, and why Maria likes to create voices in her stand-up act.
For speaking bookings, please contact Maria's manager, Bruce Smith, directly At Bruce@Omnipop.com.
Business Inquiries: Rudy@RudyCaseres.com
I'm happy to announce that I am the new host of SPSM Chat. SPSM (Suicide Prevention Social Media) Chat is targeted at people with lived experience, loss survivors, and mental health and communications professionals using social media and used to generate, curate, and share the best information and innovations in suicide prevention. I'll also be curating and distributing a blog chronicle of the evening’s tweets each week at spsmchat.com.
When I first got involved in suicide prevention felt intimidated by all these amazing people with fancy titles and a bunch of letters at the end of their name. Thankully, i had some incredibly selfless mentors to help me feel like I was in the right place. As someone who has been live-streaming for the past couple years I feel like this is one of my biggest opportunities yet.
But, of course, I'm not going it alone. I'm lucky to have a dream team of co-hosts consisting of Hudson Harris, Marie Shanley AKA Mxiety, Joelle Marie, and Danielle Glick. All four have something special to bring to the table and I know you'll come to love them all very quickly.
Stay posted for more updates including the first show date which is coming *very* soon!
NOTE: With this new responsibility my other show No Restraints with Rudy Caseres will now go on hiatus for the foreseeable future. You can watch all past episodes at NoRestraints.net.