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Mental Health Disorders and Authenticity

Feeling isolated during the pandemic? You are not alone. It is very hard to feel connected during this time. Having a mood or thought disorder adds another layer to this feeling. With a lot of mental disorders, you spend a lot of time in your head. You can get caught up in a thought cycle and be really challenged to break out of it. Then you have the added pressure of people thinking you are “crazy”. Another thing I hear a lot of is “Cathy you need to chill”. Telling someone with General Anxiety Disorder to chill does not help. How often do you think someone with a mental health disorder has heard crazy, chill, snap out of it, and are you listening to yourself? Those are some of the quips I do not enjoy hearing.

How does improv help? I create a really safe space, a space where your child can be totally themselves, unforgivingly themselves. I encourage people to explore parts of themselves they have not explored before. Have you always been on the quiet side? Take part in a 30 second rant on a topic of your choosing. Feel like you need to better advocate for yourself? Be in a scene where you need to justify why a pickle is your best friend with conviction (hey things get weird in improv). But what I am trying to point out is, the more you stand up for yourself and speak out, the better you can advocate for yourself.

Be you, truly you. Embrace who you are and don’t apologize. I think that my mental disorder has helped drive me to succeed in many ways. But they that is a topic for another blog post!


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