January 13, 2020
Gary Gulman is no stranger when it comes to depression, but unlike others who suffer from this disorder, he is one of the few notable male figures in media that’s open with his mental health. Gulman has dealt with depression for years and now finally feels as if he’s properly managing it to create his best work and get through the day.
If you’re someone who suffers from depression, Gulman’s realizations have helped him overcome depression and can help you too. To see what lessons Gulman has learned through his battle, keep reading below.
Gulman has stated that depression is not a solo act. After his girlfriend cared for him during his depression hospitalization and didn’t get any credit it opened his eyes.
When you’re depressed you’re not the only one that can be affected, those who love you and are around you are affected in their own ways. Gulman has noted that caregivers deserved credit because they have taken on a big burden.
When questioned about being a comedian that’s open about his depression and treatments, he doesn’t see it as groundbreaking where others do. When he talks about his medication or treatments he’s doing it because he’s seen other comics do the same thing and let people in the audience know they aren’t alone.
He looks at this as helping each other out, elevating one another. This elevation will happen with other comics or audience members that needed to know they aren’t alone in this.
Laughter is one of the things that helps Gulman get out of the house on bad days. It gives him a jolt of dopamine or serotonin that his brain might need to help shake off some of his depressive thoughts. Even if it’s making someone laugh or yourself, laugh often to help shake off the lowest times.
It’s easy to get caught up in a job. This can lead to stress and then lead to depression or make your depression worse.
Gulman’s advice is that when you let your work take over your life and mental health, then you aren’t doing your best work and wearing down your body. If this is the case take a step away and work on yourself. After finding clarity, go back to your work and see how it improves.
To maintain his mental health, Gulman does almost twenty things every day. This may seem like a lot but most of it is small things that help to keep him busy and happy.
Having a routine will hold you to some responsibility and help you to focus on yourself. He walks his dog, eats healthy meals, works out, reads for meditation, and then hangs out with friends if he doesn’t have a show. He also makes it a daily goal to do something nice for someone else because this lifts his spirits while putting a smile on someone’s face.
For the longest time, Gulman thought that if he was open about his mental health condition that people would stop listening to his stand-up and mangers wouldn’t hire him. In late 2017 he thought enough was enough and opened up about his depression on stage.
Gulman would have nervous ticks while performing and he knew it was obvious. So he told the audience that this was a symptom of his depression. He also went on to tell the audience how it was to feel depressed and how he acts when he’s feeling the full-blown effects of his mental health.
After opening up he was unsure if people would listen. But sure enough, fans appreciated the openness and continued to watch and go to shows. His fan base even went up because of how open he was with his mental health.
After opening up about his mental health, Gulman began incorporating more depression jokes into his routine. Even though the majority of fans like his act, there were a few that criticized it asking if his stand up was a therapy session.
The hecklers didn’t hurt Gulman’s feelings but rather helped him to reflect on his work. Writing and performing jokes is therapeutic for him and the audience members that are experiencing the same thing can find the jokes therapeutic too.
Gulman has given a Twitter tip that’s projected to the comedy community. It’s to review jokes and to ensure you’re nice to your friends.
Even though he has projected this towards his line of work, the lesson can be applied to any workspace, group, or friends. You should be kind to one another and help to encourage each other. Friendships and relationships are one of the best parts of life and can be genuine if you’re open, nice, and supportive of one another.
Depression is a hard thing to speak on, let alone create a whole comedy act around. Gary Gulman has conquered both of these and has shown people that they are not alone.
We hope you take these lessons that Gulman has discovered through his long run with depression and apply them to your life. For more information on depression be sure to check out our website here.