Episode notes

Podcast listeners know Janet from the JV Club podcast here on Maximum Fun. Television audiences know her from You’re The Worst and Stan Against Evil, among many other credits. And fans of live comedy might know Janet as one of the founders of SF Sketchfest.

But there was a time in Janet’s life when she didn’t know her as much of anything. As a young person, she dealt with depression and anxiety as well as a condition that you don’t hear talked about nearly as often: DPDR, or depersonalization derealization disorder. It’s a condition that brings about periods where you feel like you’re separate from the body that you’re traveling around in and like the world you’re in isn’t necessarily real.

Janet says the movie Being John Malkovich was a revelation in that she saw a big screen depiction of what this felt like.

We learn about Janet’s girlhood goth phase, wearing lots of black in the hot Arizona sun, an exciting move to California, a dispiriting foray into live journalism, and, well, figuring out who she is.

Listen to Janet Varney’s podcast The JV Club on the podcatcher of your choice. Follow Janet on Twitter @janetvarney and on Instagram @thejvclub.

Thank you to all our listeners who support the show as monthly members of Maximum Fun

Hey, remember, you’re part of Depresh Mode and we want to hear what you want to hear about. What guests and issues would you like to have covered in a future episode? Write us at depreshmode@maximumfun.org.

Help is available right away.

The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-8255, 1-800-273-TALK

Crisis Text Line: Text HOME to 741741.

International suicide hotline numbers available here: https://www.opencounseling.com/suicide-hotlines

The Depresh Mode newsletter is available twice a week. Subscribe for free and stay up to date on the show and mental health issues. https://johnmoe.substack.com/

John’s acclaimed memoir, The Hilarious World of Depression, is available here.

Find the show on Twitter @depreshpod and Instagram @depreshpod.

John is on Twitter @johnmoe.


In this episode...


  • Janet Varney

About the show

Join host John Moe (The Hilarious World of Depression) for honest, relatable, and, yes, sometimes funny conversations about mental health. Hear from comedians, musicians, authors, actors, and other top names in entertainment and the arts about living with depression, anxiety, and many other common disorders. Find out what they’ve done to address it, what worked, and what didn’t. Depresh Mode with John Moe also features useful insights on mental health issues with experts in the field. It’s honest talk from people who have been there and know their stuff. No shame, no stigma, and maybe a few laughs.

Like this podcast? Then you’ll love John’s book, The Hilarious World of Depression.

Logo by Clarissa Hernandez.

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