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Podcast: Bad Habits and Vices Related to Mental Illness

Everyone has bad habits. Even your sainted Granny who seems perfect to you has some bad habit that only your grandfather knows about. Bad habits, like everything, exist on a spectrum, from biting your nails to snorting cocaine – and everything in between.

In this episode, our hosts discuss bad habits that many people with mental illness seem to have – from smoking, to alcoholism, to drug use and, you guessed it, everything in between.



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“90% of people with schizophrenia smoke.”
– Michelle Hammer


Highlights From ‘Bad Habits Mental Illness’’ Episode

[0:30] Talking vices and bad habits: What are they?

[3:00] Gabe’s vice is something people don’t expect.

[8:00] Are vices okay?

[9:00] Michelle and her worst habit.

[12:30] How do bad habits help people?

[16:30] Michelle’s other vice that people hate.

[17:45] Vices, like everything, exist on a spectrum.

[18:30] How can you overcome a bad habit?

Computer Generated Transcript for ‘Bad Habits and Vices Related to Mental Illness’ Show

Editor’s Note: Please be mindful that this transcript has been computer generated and therefore may contain inaccuracies and grammar errors. Thank you.

Announcer: For reasons that utterly escape everyone involved, you’re listening to A Bipolar, A Schizophrenic, and A Podcast. Here are your hosts, Gabe Howard and Michelle Hammer.

Gabe: It’s now time for A Bipolar, A Schizophrenic, and A Podcast with your host, Michelle Hammer, schizophrenic.

Michelle: And Gabe Howard, bipolar.

Gabe: Today’s episode is all about vices.

Michelle: Vices.

Gabe: It’s about vices as they relate to mental illness. So Michelle’s vice of just being mean and cranky, that’s not because she’s schizophrenic. It’s because she’s mean and cranky. So we’re not talking.

Michelle: Is that a vice? Is mean and cranky even a vice?

Gabe: I mean, it’s very New York.

Michelle: A vice, though?

Gabe: I don’t know. What’s the definition of a vice.

Michelle: I don’t know. Maybe we should have looked that up?

Gabe: You know, with the magic of editing, people will think that we looked it up right –

Gabe: Now!

Michelle: Now!

Michelle: The definition of a vice is a weakness or character or behavior. A bad habit.

Gabe: Wait. So the definition of a vice is a bad habit? We had to Google that?

Michelle: Well, there’s many different definitions of vice’s here. Or an immoral or wicked personal characteristic.

Gabe: Basically, vices are bad habits. Smoking, drinking, promiscuous sex, over eating. These are the kind of vices that we’re talking about, right?

Michelle: Synonyms are shortcomings. Failing, flaw, fault, defect, weakness, weak point. Deficiency. Limitation. Imperfection. Blemish. Foible. Fallibility. Frailty, infirmity.

Gabe: I feel like this show is just you reading the definition of vice from wikipedia.

Michelle: Do you know that I know how to Google and when I Google things I know how to read? That’s right, guys. I know how to read. You might think I don’t know how to read.

Gabe: Nobody would accuse you of being illiterate.

Michelle: I’m glad because I am not illiterate and I know how to read.

Gabe: I read our show’s, emails, and they have called you a lot of things. Illiterate is not among them.

Michelle: No. But, I’ve gotten emails and I they’ve said, why did you pick that guy, Gabe? He must be very organized or something.

Gabe: I do remember that e-mail.

Michelle: That was a good e-mail. That was hilarious.

Gabe: I was so confused. Like, I’m listening to your show and I can’t decide why you partnered with Gabe. But I suspect maybe it’s because he’s organized.

Michelle: Yeah.

Gabe: Does my organization come through on the show?

Michelle: Apparently, somebody thinks that that’s the only reason why I picked you.

Gabe: I wonder why I picked you. Because you’re not organized.

Michelle: I picked you?

Gabe: I picked you?

Michelle: Who’s who? Who are you?

Gabe: I don’t know.

Michelle: I pick Peppy.

Gabe: Remember when we tried to get Peppy on the podcast and now he’s afraid of the microphone?

Michelle: Yeah.

Gabe: Aww.

Michelle: Poor Peppy.

Gabe: Let’s get, we gotta get. Let’s get to the point here. Put your phone down. Okay, so.

Michelle: Okay. So I’m done. Gabe, you have a vice that I bug you about constantly. Constantly. You do not stop drinking Diet Coke. You can’t. Everywhere we go, of course we go where there’s free refills. You drink at least seven Diet Cokes. Am I exaggerating?

Gabe: You’re not.

Michelle: Exactly.

Gabe: I’m glad that we started with this one, because so many people think that vices have to be like something big. Alcoholism or smoking or drug use is a vice. But the reality is, almost anything done to extreme can become a vice. To put it a little perspective for those playing at home, I drink the equivalent of about 50 cans of Diet Coke a day. So I’m running through two twenty four packs a day.

Michelle: Do you believe Diet Coke is actually healthier than regular Coke? Because it’s not.

Gabe: You know, the data is wildly out on that. You know, that’s an awful lot of sweet and low I’m ingesting. But to say the drinking 50 cans of regular coke, all of that sugar, not to mention the thousands of calories that would be. That sounds healthier to you?

Michelle: It doesn’t sound healthy. But I do know that soda is bad for you. And I know I saw a commercial recently where they held up a pack of cigarettes and they held up a bottle of coke and they said cigarettes are just as bad as Coke. And they both both cause heart disease.

Gabe: Come on. You saw an ad, you know, where’s the research? Where’s the backing? But you don’t need to convince me that drinking this much Diet Coke is bad.

Michelle: Because it is something you use to cope.

Gabe: It is. That’s where I want people to focus, because somebody would say the dude drinks Diet Coke. Who cares? That’s a readily available commercial product. That can’t be a vice, but a-ha! It can be if it’s done to extremes. All things in moderation, of course, but I’m not moderate.

Michelle: Also, you used to weigh five hundred and fifty pounds. Wouldn’t you consider all the food you used to eat quite a vice?

Gabe: Yes. Even still to this day. Now that I’m at a reasonable, normal, mostly healthy weight.

Michelle: Through surgery, though.

Gabe: Yes. But people say through surgery, like I went in five hundred and fifty pounds and I got a magic surgery and then I came out. You know that the surgery was a tool that helped. That’s like saying that the only reason that you’re living well with schizophrenia is because of the medication. That you did no work on your own. Does the magic pill just save you?

Michelle: But I don’t see you exercise, ever.

Gabe: Well, no, but 10 years later, I still have the weight off. The average success rate of a gastric bypass at ten years is not high.

Michelle: Oh, really?

Gabe: It’s one of the reasons why it kind of fell out of favor. People would lose the weight initially, but then they’d gain most of it back within a decade. I still have my weight off.

Michelle: That I did not know. That’s very interesting.

Gabe: And while you may not see me exercise, have you ever seen me, and be honest, have you ever seen me eat an entire sheet cake?

Michelle: Good point. But have you done that in the past before gastric bypass?

Gabe: I ate an entire sheet cake routinely.

Michelle: Wow.

Gabe: I used to buy icing in a can and just eat it out of the can.

Michelle: You know, I have friends who’ve done that, but they wouldn’t eat the entire thing of icing. You would sit there and eat it all in one sitting?

Gabe: Well, not only would I eat it all in one sitting, this wasn’t like a rogue thing. This wasn’t like I mean, my girlfriend broke up with me. I’m gonna eat icing today. No. I would go shopping at the grocery store and I’d buy 10 cans and that would be my icing quota for the week. It’s not about drinking the Diet Coke. It’s not even about eating the cake or the icing. You really have to put like a hard look at it. Are you turning something innocuous into a pain point? For example, the amount of Diet Coke that I drink has become a vice. It’s not about the thing that you’re doing. It’s about the amount of time and energy you spend doing it. And if I can’t have it, I have withdrawal symptoms.

Michelle: Really?

Gabe: I freak out. You’ve been with me. How many times have I been like, I’ve got to get a Diet Coke. You’re like, look, let’s just do half an hour more work and then go. I’m like, I can’t. I’ve got to go now. I’ve got to go now. I’ve got to go now.

Michelle: I never really realized that. I guess I just didn’t notice the need for the Diet Coke. I thought you were just thirsty, I guess. Could be like the dry mouth. Right?

Gabe: And that’s how it started. That’s really the biggest connection to mental illness that I have. I didn’t always drink this much soda. I didn’t drink this much anything. But my mouth is constantly dry.

Michelle: Why not water?

Gabe: That’s clearly why it’s a vice. Because a better option is available. I could drink more water.

Michelle: Ok.

Gabe: And I don’t.

Michelle: Just, I was just curious, you know, if you have dry mouth, you’re choosing Diet Coke over water. That’s your preference. That’s what you use as your coping mechanism of some sort. Do your thing. I think whatever you really need to do to help yourself cope with your illness and it makes you feel better, I think that’s OK. The Diet Coke, it isn’t really the healthiest thing for you, but you could be doing much worse things. I mean, you’re not smoking crack.

Gabe: That really is the thing that I think about. I know that I drink too much Diet Coke. But you know, before the Diet Coke, it was drugs, alcohol, women, staying out all night Long time listeners of the show, they’re like Gabe’s life wasn’t so great. Now Gabe’s life is pretty good, but he drinks too much Diet Coke. That might be a worthwhile trade. So a vice is not inherently bad. People do have to make choices. And, you know, it’s really tough. People are like no, a vice is inherently bad. It’s a bad habit. But sometimes it really is the lesser of two evils. It makes me happy and it keeps me focused. It gives me something to look forward to. I like the rituals surrounding getting the drink. I like putting my shoes on. I like going out in public. I like people watching. I like all of it. I like knowing that in a couple of hours, I’m going to go have something to do. And I’m describing almost to a tee the life of a smoker.

Michelle: You really, really are. Because there’s so much around that for a smoker. It’s more about taking a break from work, going outside, bonding with the other smokers, coming back inside, knowing that in a few hours you get to take another break. Otherwise, you’re just stuck at your desk all day long. People will go outside in 30 degree weather to smoke a cigarette when people don’t want to go outside in 30 degree weather. But they do it because that’s what they’re used to. That’s what they do to take a break. That’s their thing. That’s what they do. It just keeps you occupied, keeps you busy, lets you people watch, helps you make friends. Things like that.

Gabe: You’re an ex smoker, Michelle.

Michelle: Yes, I am.

Gabe: Let’s divide this conversation up real quick. First, let’s talk about your days as a smoker and you described all of the rituals around it. But what I want to specifically talk about is why did you start?

Michelle: I started because I had some bad influences.

Gabe: Was it Blanche? Please tell me it was Blanche.

Michelle: No, God, it wasn’t Blanche.

Gabe: Did Blanche make you smoke?

Michelle: No, no, no. And it’s just like I was struggling with schizophrenia and I was struggling with relaxing. I had a lot of anxiety. I wasn’t fully medicated as of yet. And I didn’t quite have my schizophrenia diagnosis. So I started smoking. I wasn’t loving it. I kind of stopped smoking. And then I lost my first job and I was like, I’m going to go get a pack of cigarettes. And then it just never ended.

Gabe: Well, it did end, though.

Michelle: Well, it ended. And then I started the vape pen. And you hate the vape pen. And everybody hates, hates that I’m always on the vape pen, it’s always in my hand. But that’s just how it is. And when I was looking up some information about like schizophrenia and smoking, I found this very interesting study that nearly 90 percent of people with schizophrenia smoke and most of them being heavy smokers. Interestingly enough, it said 60 to 70 percent of people with bipolar disorder also smoke. You don’t smoke. You do the Diet Coke?

Gabe: I never smoked because the anti-smoking message in the 80s was so good. It was so good. My parents talked to me about smoking. I never saw anybody smoke. And anytime my parents, saw somebody smoke, they would like, oh, that’s disgusting. Like good people don’t do that.

Michelle: My parents did the same thing to me.

Gabe: But it’s fascinating for me because that message took so much in me that I did heroin. I did cocaine. I did every drug that was handed to me. But one time somebody offered me a cigarette and I said, what the fuck? Are you crazy?

Michelle: That’s hilarious.

Gabe: And I’m pretty sure that I shot heroin. Sincerely, looking back on it, I don’t know what the cognitive dissonance was that smoking bad drugs good. But that’s what I believed.

Michelle: But a lot of people do believe that. They think drugs are OK, but cigarettes are bad.

Gabe: Right. Because we’ve got a whole drugs are natural. You realize that cigarettes are tobacco, right? They’re natural, too.

Michelle: They’re full of chemicals.

Gabe: Of course.

Michelle: There are full of things like formaldehyde.

Gabe: And so are drugs. How do you think drugs are cut? You honestly believe that your local area drug dealer has purity standards?

Michelle: That’s a very good point. There’s a very good point.

Gabe: Your dealer is doing all of this, like above board and making sure that it’s organic? Are you kidding? If they can make an extra nickel, they would make us drink their cat’s piss.

Michelle: Hang on one second. We’re going to take a break.

Announcer: This episode is sponsored by Secure, convenient, and affordable online counselling. All counselors are licensed, accredited professionals. Anything you share is confidential. Schedule secure video or phone sessions, plus chat and text with your therapist, whenever you feel it’s needed. A month of online therapy often costs less than a single traditional face to face session. Go to and experience seven days of free therapy to see if online counselling is right for you.

Gabe: Want us to answer your questions on the show? Head over to questions and fill out the form.

Michelle: And we’re back talking about vices. But the thing is, 90 percent of people with schizophrenia smoke. That is incredibly interesting.

Gabe: It really is. And it tells you the way that these things impact our bodies, because clearly the reason that so many people with schizophrenia are smokers is because they are getting something out of it. It’s relieving something. It’s helping them in some way. It might not be the best thing for them to do. It might not be a good idea. But clearly they’re getting something positive out of it. Right?

Michelle: It’s a coping mechanism.

Gabe: Exactly.

Michelle: It is a coping mechanism.

Gabe: And nobody is saying that it’s a good coping mechanism.

Michelle: It’s not a good. No, no. But I might, I used to be a cutter. Would you would you rather me be a cutter or use my vape pen? And use that as my vice? Or can I smoke my vape pen?

Gabe: Well, I mean

Michelle: I’m just saying, weigh the options.

Gabe: Of course with those two options. That’s a no brainer.

Michelle: I know it. And then I would, what really bothers me is that I was smoking cigarettes and then I turned onto the vape pen and I’m thinking, you know, this is healthier. And then people say, oh, you know, the vape pens, not healthy at all. It’s worse for you. I’m like, let me have my thing. I stopped smoking. I turned to the vape pen. It’s not smoke anymore. I’m trying to be healthier. People had to go, that’s not even healthy for you. Leave me alone, I’m trying. OK, I’m trying. Why do people always have to put in their two cents?

Gabe: Oh, you know what I love the most? I used to weigh 550 pounds. Food was a vice for me. In many ways, food is still a vice for me. I still abuse food. I want to be the first to admit it. I’m so much better. But I don’t want anybody to think that I have a healthy relationship with food. I struggle constantly. But what I always used to love when I weighed five hundred and fifty pounds is the number of smokers that would tell me I need to lose weight.

Michelle: Oh, yeah?

Gabe: You’ve got to be kidding me. You’re literally sucking smoke into your lungs and you’re telling me about health?

Michelle: Have you ever seen a doctor smoke? Yes. Isn’t that hilarious?

Gabe: A vice overcomes our knowledge base. We understand that a lot of this stuff is bad. There is nobody in the world eating a Big Mac that thinks it’s a health food. But we love Big Macs.

Michelle: Yeah.

Gabe: You know, splurging is OK. It is OK to have cake, but it’s not okay to have a sheet cake and it’s not OK to have a sheet cake every day. It’s OK to have a Big Mac and fries. No, nobody’s saying that you can’t. But if you’re doing that three times a day, every single day and many people with mental illness turn food into a vice. A lot of us aren’t eating healthy because of depression. When you’re depressed, you’re not grilling chicken breasts and steaming broccoli. I would say you’re eating Doritos out of a bag and ordering pizza.

Michelle: Every single time I lost the job, I went to the grocery store and bought chocolate gelato. Yeah, that was my thing. Every time I lost a job, it’s chocolate gelato time. We’re eating a pint. There we are.

Gabe: And it became a vice.

Michelle: One time I came home crying and said to my roommate Ben I lost my job. He goes, You want me to go to the grocery store for you? And I go, Yes, please.

Gabe: But see, the problem there is if you would have lost your job three times in your lifetime, who cares? Nobody would have called it a vice. You lost nine jobs in a year.

Michelle: No! Asshole, it wasn’t nine in a year. It was from age twenty two to 27.

Gabe: Really?

Michelle: Really.

Gabe: That? That’s deserving of you calling me an asshole?

Michelle: Shut up.

Gabe: Yeah.

Michelle: It wasn’t one year.

Gabe: Oh, I’m sorry, my bad. It was enough that your roommate developed the pattern. I mean, seriously, he like Sherlock Holmesed that shit. He’s like, oh, my God, every time she gets fired, she wants gelato. He figured it out. This isn’t like your romantic partner. He’s just some guy that shares space with you in New York City. Because he doesn’t make enough money to have his own place.

Michelle: Listen, don’t make fun of wannabe be actors.

Gabe: Oh, why are you making fun of wannabee actors? Why didn’t you just say actor?

Michelle: He because he never had a principal role.

Gabe: A principal role? Now we’re judging the types of roles.

Michelle: That’s what he would say to me, OK? He would say to me that he wants to get principal roles. He was on an episode of Law & Order one time.

Gabe: He played the corpse, right?

Michelle: Yes.

Gabe: Did you buy him gelato?

Michelle: I’m just saying he was trying. Do you feel that I have any other devices that you’ve noticed? Like, I bite my nails, I pick my fingers. I’m like a skin picker, though. Would you consider that a vice?

Gabe: Yes, I would.

Michelle: My nails are disgusting. I cannot stop biting them. I cannot stop picking at my cuticles. I cannot stop picking at my scabs. I can’t stop picking at it. I just can’t stop. I’m a skin picker. Anything like that when I pick something, it gives me satisfaction. The people around me look at me disgusted when I start biting my nails or picking my skin and like, what are you doing? It’s gross because only little kids bite their nails and stuff like that. And yet I’m 30 and I do these things.

Gabe: I really like how you said that, that it’s not good for you, but it gives you satisfaction.

Michelle: It does.

Gabe: That might be the best definition of vice that we’ve come up with. It’s not good, but it makes me happy.

Michelle: Yeah.

Gabe: Drinking this much Diet Coke is not good, but it makes me happy. Picking your skin is not good when it makes you happy. Smoking is not good, but it makes you happy. You know, we talk about things existing on a spectrum on this show. Vices are also something that exists on a spectrum. Somebody overeating could be on the lower end of the spectrum. If they’re a little bit overweight, maybe they indulge in sweets too much. Or it could be on the higher end of the spectrum, like when I weighed five hundred and fifty pounds. And you know, Michelle, you and I are really illustrate that. Well, you had gelato when you were fired, but you never weighed four times your natural body weight. I think that people don’t understand that anything can be a vice. We’ve got to get this idea out of our head that certain things are inherently bad and other things are inherently good. Things don’t have a moral value. For example, knives, knives are good. We use them to cut meat. That’s very valuable. We use them to cut our food like bread and eat them. But you can also use a knife to stab people. So is a knife good or is a knife bad? Well, depends on how you use it. It’s the same thing for vices. Picking on your nails isn’t an inherently bad thing. What if you have a hangnail and you’re trying to get it off? I do that too. I wouldn’t say that I have a vice. But you go further.

Michelle: My nails bleed.

Gabe: Right? So clearly in the realm of vice.

Michelle: Yes.

Gabe: What do you do to get rid of these vices?

Michelle: People yell at me to stop me, but I don’t.

Gabe: Everybody with mental illness has people yelling at them all the time. I wish this worked. You know, look at our show. We reach thousands upon thousands of people every month. So if we started yelling at people to stop doing stuff, we could just solve this whole problem. So clearly yelling doesn’t do shit.

Michelle: Nobody write in and tell me, use that bad taste stuff. Because I’ve used the bad taste stuff. And you know what happens? I just get the bad taste stuff in my mouth as I’m biting my nails.

Gabe: You realize there’s somebody out there halfway through that e-mail that’s like click, click.

Michelle: And then you just get used to the bad taste and you start liking the bad taste. I’ve done it. It’s happened. I’ve tried it. It doesn’t work for me. Maybe I need to have hypnosis or something.

Gabe: No, no. Oh, no.

Michelle: It doesn’t work?

Gabe: Hypnosis is just straight up fraud.

Michelle: Why are you saying that hypnosis is fraud? Now we’re going to get letters, Gabe.

Gabe: I’m OK with that.

Michelle: Can somebody please hypnotize Gabe to not be a ginger anymore?

Gabe: How would that even work?

Michelle: I’m just saying.

Gabe: Let’s say the hypnotism was even real. How would it change my hair color?

Michelle: I’m just making things up, Gabe.

Gabe: Literally, there is an example of something that could also be a vice, chronic lying. Chronic exaggeration. People with mental illness, they can get pegged with things and maybe fall into roles that they don’t realize. Maybe the reason that you’re lying or exaggerating was because of a defense mechanism before you were treated or when you were younger. Maybe you had to make stuff up to get your parents to pay attention to you. But now you’re a 30 year old adult and you’re still one upping or making stuff up etc. This would be a vice to bring up in therapy. Vices tend to exist for a reason, and maybe the reason that the vice started was pure. There is no doubt in my mind that the reason that I started overeating was to comfort myself.

Michelle: Yeah.

Gabe: Food is readily available and it was comforting.

Michelle: I you know, it’s really interesting. My psychiatrist allows me to smoke the vape pen in his office and he said it’s great because people used to smoke in their therapy sessions all the time.

Gabe: I do think that vaping is much healthier for you than smoking cigarettes. The research so far is confirming that, it also doesn’t smell as bad because cigarette smoke just smells awful.

Michelle: Yes. What I find interesting is that when I used to walk by people smoking and it smelled like secondhand smoke, I’d want a cigarette. Oh, I want a cigarette so badly. But now when I walk by and I smell secondhand smoke, I’m like, oh, that’s just not good. That’s disgusting.

Gabe: But it took you a while to get there, right? Rome wasn’t built the day. You didn’t decide on Monday, you’re gonna stop smoking on Tuesday. The problem is licked, right?

Michelle: It is more just people around me kind of like, don’t smoke. It’s gross. And then every time I saw my family I had to sneak out to sneak off for, then I would smell like smoke. And then every time my mom would hug me, she would sniff me ridiculously. Sniff me. Blanche died of lung cancer and she was never a smoker. Her husband was, my grandfather.

Gabe: So you feel this second hand smoke really contributed? And that’s something that vape doesn’t have, second hand smoke.

Michelle: And my other grandmother had emphysema. You know, my mom was like, you remember your grandmother? She couldn’t walk 100 yards. And like, really, that wasn’t the biggest problem she had.

Gabe: Even though, you know, I can tell you you’re irritated with your mother for trying to make you a better person, the horror. But your mother’s reasoning is because of people that she loved were in harm’s way.

Michelle: Right, no.

Gabe: You realize she keeps bringing it up because she is worried about you?

Michelle: But I hated that I was smoking, but I couldn’t stop. I hated that I was doing it. But it was my vice. I hated it. I wanted to stop, but it was too hard.

Gabe: But how did you? How did you?

Michelle: I found, I just, I got on the vape pen. I just transitioned to the pen.

Gabe: Because the research shows that the best way to defeat a habit is to replace the time with another one. Just quitting cold turkey and just having that free time, you’re just going to ruminate on what you used to be doing.

Michelle: It’s true. And people, they just don’t like smokers unless you’re friends with smokers. They like look down on you so badly. It’s not just smoking.

Gabe: People look down on vices that they don’t understand. And as somebody who lives with bipolar disorder, I know that many of the people in our community have developed various vices, smoking being a big one. 90 percent, 60 percent, 90 percent of schizophrenic smoke rate, 60 to 70 percent bipolar smoke rate. We’ve developed this as a coping mechanism to try to get help. So it makes it hard to look down on people who smoke when I know that their vice comes out of a place of trying to save themselves. Nevertheless, I don’t want people in our community to all die of lung cancer at 50 and I don’t want you to die, which is awkward because you’re just a pain.

Michelle: Oh, shut up. You’re a pain.

Gabe: You think I’m gonna die of like Diet Coke poisoning?

Michelle: Everyone’s gonna die. Eventually.

Gabe: We really should address our vices. I mean, you agree with that, right?

Michelle: Yes.

Gabe: We want to have the best quality of life that we can. We don’t want to annoy the people that we care about. Even you, Michelle, who is the most curmudgeonly, cranky person I know. You want the people around you to be happy and you want to be happy.

Michelle: I am not curmudgeonly, cranky, but I do want everyone to be happy.

Gabe: That’s something that a curmudgeonly, cranky person would say.

Michelle: I don’t think I’m curmudgeonly cranky. I’m a New Yorker.

Gabe: And what is the definition of the behavior of a New Yorker?

Michelle: Oh, they were always angry?

Gabe: Yes.

Michelle: Because tourists don’t get out of the goddamn way.

Gabe: I love how it’s our fault.

Michelle: You stay to the right. Stay to the right. Do not walk in a line on the sidewalk. I’m rolling my bag down the street. And these people are blocking the dip. So I can’t get my suitcase on the dip. And I just say, hi, guys. Can I use that? Use what? The sidewalk, please. Oh, well, we’ll move. don’t take up the sidewalk. I’m gonna be an asshole if you’re taking out the sidewalk. The sidewalk is for walking, not side stand. Sidewalk. Not.

Gabe: That sounds like a curmudgeonly, cranky person, ladies and gentlemen, that is a very reasonable thing to say. She’s not even in New York right now and she’s pissed at people that aren’t here. That is very emotionally healthy. My name is Gabe Howard. With me, as always, is Michelle Hammer. And we will see you next week on A Bipolar, a Schizophrenic, and a Podcast.

Announcer: You’ve been listening to A Bipolar, a Schizophrenic, and a Podcast. If you love this episode, don’t keep it to yourself head over to iTunes or your preferred podcast app to subscribe, rate, and review. To work with Gabe go to To work with Michelle, go to Schizophrenic.NYC. For free mental health resources and online support groups, head over to This show’s official web site is You can e-mail us at Thank you for listening, and share widely.

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.

Podcast: Bad Habits and Vices Related to Mental Illness

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.

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APA Reference
Podcast, N. (2019). Podcast: Bad Habits and Vices Related to Mental Illness. Psych Central. Retrieved on October 26, 2020, from
Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 14 Apr 2019 (Originally: 15 Apr 2019)
Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 14 Apr 2019
Published on Psych All rights reserved.