Home » Blog » Listen to This if You’ve Ever Played the Mental Illness Suffering Olympics

Listen to This if You’ve Ever Played the Mental Illness Suffering Olympics

Gabe’s granny likes to say that the only thing you need to start a competition is two people. And while we all accept that people like to compete over their successes – who’s faster, prettier, or richer – it may come as a surprise to you that some folks compete over who is sicker.

Gabe dubs this contest “the suffering Olympics” and readily admits to having played this game, himself. “I wanted to prove I was sicker and it seemed important I was the sickest person in the room,” Gabe said after realizing what he was doing. “The reality is that we are all suffering, we are all afraid, and sharing those experiences doesn’t need to turn into a competition. In fact, it’s much, much healthier to not compete.”

In this episode of A Bipolar, a Schizophrenic, and a Podcast, Gabe and Michelle discuss who has it worse: Gabe for living with bipolar disorder or Michelle for battling schizophrenia. It shouldn’t surprise anyone how ridiculous such a discussion sounds. Listen in and learn from the two most competitive mentally ill people we know.





Google PlaySpotify



“Would you date someone with schizophrenia or bipolar?”


Highlights From ‘Mental Illness Suffering Olympics’ Episode

[0:30] Gabe and Michelle play the suffering Olympics.

[3:00] Gabe tells a ridiculous conference story.

[6:10] Michelle makes the case that people with schizophrenia “have it worse.”

[7:00] Gabe counters that people living with bipolar have a harder time and suffer more.

[10:00] The debate rages on, with each side describing the negatives of each mental illness.

[15:00] Gabe & Michelle take a moment to consider the appropriateness of this conversation.

[17:00] Michelle tells the story of how she made a woman cry.

[19:30] Gabe & Michelle discuss what makes them different from each other and take a moment to reflect on what they have in common.


Meet Your Bipolar and Schizophrenic Hosts

GABE HOWARD was formally diagnosed with bipolar and anxiety disorders after being committed to a psychiatric hospital in 2003. Now in recovery, Gabe is a prominent mental health activist and host of the award-winning Psych Central Show podcast. He is also an award-winning writer and speaker, traveling nationally to share the humorous, yet educational, story of his bipolar life. To work with Gabe, visit


MICHELLE HAMMER was officially diagnosed with schizophrenia at age 22, but incorrectly diagnosed with bipolar disorder at 18. Michelle is an award-winning mental health advocate who has been featured in press all over the world. In May 2015, Michelle founded the company Schizophrenic.NYC, a mental health clothing line, with the mission of reducing stigma by starting conversations about mental health. She is a firm believer that confidence can get you anywhere. To work with Michelle, visit Schizophrenic.NYC.

Listen to This if You’ve Ever Played the Mental Illness Suffering Olympics

Not Crazy Podcast

Not Crazy is the mental health podcast for people who hate mental health podcasts. The show is designed to explore all facets of our mental health -- without all the psycho-babble. New Episodes Every Monday on your favorite podcast player.

No comments yet... View Comments / Leave a Comment
APA Reference
Podcast, N. (2018). Listen to This if You’ve Ever Played the Mental Illness Suffering Olympics. Psych Central. Retrieved on November 26, 2020, from
Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 28 Oct 2018 (Originally: 29 Oct 2018)
Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 28 Oct 2018
Published on Psych All rights reserved.