Episode notes

There is no shortage of self-help books in the world positing that the human mind can be explained, that there is a tidy order to things and a discernible reason why everything happens. These are books that claim to have answers. Rachel Aviv’s new book, Strangers to Ourselves, goes in the opposite direction. Through a series of profiles, she presents people and their behavior that defy easy explanations and who produce more questions than answers. Does Ray represent the triumph of medication over talk therapy or is his story more complex? Is Bapu experiencing religious ecstasy or schizophrenia? Ultimately, Rachel Aviv shows how any understanding of a person with a mental disorder shouldn’t begin and end with a one-word diagnosis because there are so many stories to be told.

Get your copy of Strangers to Ourselves: Unsettled Minds and the Stories That Make Us wherever books are sold. Follow Rachel on Twitter @RachelAviv.

Read Rachel’s most recent pieces for The New Yorker by going to: https://www.newyorker.com/contributors/rachel-aviv

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Help is available right away.

The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 988 or 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

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John’s acclaimed memoir, The Hilarious World of Depression, is now available in paperback. https://us.macmillan.com/books/9781250209566/thehilariousworldofdepression

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

John is on Twitter @johnmoe.

In this episode...


  • Rachel Aviv
  • Laura House

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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