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Podcast: How Money Impacts Mental Illness

In this episode, our hosts discuss how the amount of money and resources a person has influences their mental health care. Listen now to hear how Gabe and Michelle tackle this difficult social discussion — and have a couple laughs along the way. 


“It’s so hard to get help with mental illness if you have no money, and that’s not ok.” – Michelle Hammer

Highlights from ‘Money and Mental Illness’ Episode

[1:00] How does money impact people with mental illness?

[3:00] Michelle’s epiphany on the subway.

[5:30] The difference between mental health and physical health.

[9:30] Insurance and the price of psychiatric medications.

[15:00] Michelle’s past job failures.

[18:30] Disability: does it help people?

[22:00] How can you recover from mental illness when you can’t afford healthcare?

[27:30] Michelle and other people living with schizophrenia in NYC.

Computer Generated Transcript for ‘Money and 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.

Gabe: [00:00:00] Hey, everyone, and thank you for listening to A Bipolar, a Schizophrenic and a Podcast. My name is Gabe and I live with bipolar disorder.

Michelle: [00:00:07] Hi, I’m Michelle and I’m schizophrenic.

Gabe: [00:00:10] And by process of elimination, our producer, Lisa, must be the podcast.

Lisa: [00:00:17] I like that.

Michelle: [00:00:17] Got it, Lisa.

Gabe: [00:00:18] Today, we are going to talk about money.

Michelle: [00:00:21] Money, money, money.

Gabe: [00:00:21] I feel kind of weird about it, because what is it? There’s like three things you are never supposed to discuss in civilized conversation, religion, politics, and money. We’ve already covered religion, now we’re going to talk about money. So politics is coming.

Michelle: [00:00:36] I like money. I’m a big fan of money. I like money.

Gabe: [00:00:38] Of course, we all like money. It’s not a question of liking money. Specifically, how does money impact people living with mental illness?  And, shocker, if you have money, you’re going to live better with mental illness.

Michelle: [00:00:49] I would agree with that, Gabe. The more money you have, the better you live with mental illness because you can afford a lot more stuff. Like there is psychiatrists, therapists, psych meds. Those are the most expensive things that you need with mental illness. Don’t you agree, Gabe.

Gabe: [00:01:01] I do. And let’s start there for a moment. Let’s consider the idea that if Gabe Howard has mental illness, and Michelle Hammer has mental illness, and then John Doe has mental illness, it’s reasonable to assume that all three of us would get the same level of care. Because we’re all three people living with an illness. So shouldn’t we all, and don’t we all deserve the same level of care and treatment?

Michelle: [00:01:30] Deserve. Yes. But getting it? Absolutely not.

Gabe: [00:01:35] Why do you think that is?

Michelle: [00:01:36] Money, money, money.

Gabe: [00:01:38] And do you think that the general public is okay with letting mentally ill people suffer just because they don’t have money or health insurance or because they don’t have resources? Because they don’t have money?

Michelle: [00:01:49] I think they must because they see these homeless people all over the place. Most people with mental illness just hanging out on the street and nobody seems to be helping them.

Gabe: [00:01:58] It’s true that homelessness has skyrocketed since the 80s with deinstitutionalization. And I don’t want to fall down any sort of rabbit hole discussing whether or not institutions are good or bad.  I’m just saying there’s not a log of help. Bigger cities will have things like peer centers or drop-in centers or consumer operated services. But even those are woefully, woefully underfunded and understaffed and in many cases under-utilized. We have the homeless shelters, but they seem to be very much warehousing. They’ll keep you out of the cold, but they’re not going to treat the underlying condition that led to your homelessness because there isn’t enough money.

Michelle: [00:02:40] Exactly. Let me share with you my train story, Gabe. I was living with my roommate at the time, Ben, and he used to catch me talking to myself a lot. And I had this very strange mannerism. And I would raise my arms up and down and I would just talk. I’m riding the subway one day and I look down the train and there’s a homeless man talking to himself in the exact same mannerisms that I did. And I realized to myself, what is the difference between me and this homeless man? Because they’re obviously both schizophrenic. And I realized I have a family, I have friends, and I have a doctor. And if I didn’t have those three things, I could be homeless, just like this man. Kind of a anything right there and made me think that I need to make a change and do something to try to advocate for the mentally ill.

Gabe: [00:03:22] One of the things that I love about that story is the fact that we realize, you realize, I realize, we realize how lucky we are. And I think that a lot of people with mental illness don’t realize how lucky they are to have health insurance, or family, or support, or just some sort of intervention. I had money and health insurance and resources. But I didn’t have support because my entire family didn’t think that I was mentally ill.  They thought that I was an asshole. They just thought that I was frankly just an asshole. They just thought that I was an asshole and that I would somehow grow out of it and I was lucky. I was lucky that somebody who recognized that I was sick intervened on my behalf. And then of course I was lucky that I had money health insurance and resources.

Michelle: [00:04:09] Well, something else I wanted to add was that I consider myself lucky as well. Also because my mom and everything. They noticed that there was a problem and they tried to get me help. And I would have never gotten help on my own. So who knows where I would be without that? And I was lucky that when I did go to college and realized there was a problem, the health center with therapist and psychiatrist, it was completely free for me to go. So I didn’t have that opportunity. I don’t know where I would be right now.

Gabe: [00:04:36] And it’s incredible that it was free. And its an opportunity that a lot of people don’t have in any health care space. A lot of people can’t get health care at all, period. Just period. You’re sick? Tough shit. We don’t care. We’ve sort of made having health insurance in this country like a moral value. And the morals don’t end up where you think they’re going to. We’re no longer in the mode of helping the sick. We’re in the mode of the sick should have thought about this before they got sick, and made goals, and gotten health insurance, and saved some money and fixed themselves. I don’t know how we got there. But even putting all of that aside, even if you’ve done everything right, you have insurance, you’re covered by insurance, there’ really not good mental health parity. We love to brag that we have mental healthy parity. And for those who don’t know, mental health parity is defined as treating mental health and physical health exactly the same. We pretend that we have it. There’s a lot of advocacy groups across the country who brag that we have it, but in actually, we don’t. We don’t have it at all.  Because you would never hear, Oh, you’ve been diagnosed with cancer? You can see your oncologist four times. But all the time we hear, Oh, you were diagnosed with bipolar disorder? You can see your therapist four times. There’re upwards limits. Even in my health insurance, which thanks to my beautiful, beautiful, beautiful wife is fantastic, I can only see a therapist 26 times a year before they stop paying. So if I’m not well at the end of those 26 visits? Tough shit. That’s not parity.

Michelle: [00:06:12] So what are you supposed to do then? Then I don’t even understand it. Also, think about it. What does that therapist are going to? What if they suck? Well,

Gabe: [00:06:20] Well, some of those visits will be wasted and I have to get a new therapist.

Michelle: [00:06:23] I know people that have gone to psychiatrist that are given to them through different programs. But I know these people and they’re not okay. Whatever psychiatry is they’re going to is not a good psychiatrist. They’re always switching meds. They’re trying new things are dying off things and they are not well. So that psychiatrist they’re going to is just wasting their time and it’s not doing good for it.

Gabe: [00:06:44] Let be fair to psychiatrist and medical providers. We’re not saying that they’re bad psychiatrists overall or a bad medical provider overall. We’re saying that it’s not a good fit. It’s not a good fit for that psychiatrist and that patient, and when it comes to the way that mental illness and mental health is treated in this country, treated medically, you have to have that good relationship. Because if you’re a person who lives with schizophrenia and you’re paranoid and for whatever reason you don’t trust your psychiatrist, you’re not going to share the correct information. You’re going to be fearful and scared and they’re not going to be able to get it out of you. I was very lucky; I had a psychiatrist that I was terrified of. He scared the hell out of me. So I just got a new psychiatrist. Do you know how lucky I was? Think about that for a moment. I don’t like this guy. I want a new person. Ok. Wow, just dripping, dripping with privilege.

Michelle: [00:07:42] Dripping. At my college when I was seeing a psychiatrist, there was just that one psychiatrist. So if I didn’t like her, there was no other option. I had to only speak to her. And I didn’t even know anything about psych, men’s or anything at that time. So I just did what she told me to do. And that’s what I thought was right. And that’s what I did.

Gabe: [00:07:59] And that’s very problematic, because, again, if you don’t make that connection, if it’s not working, its not reasonable to think that every single doctor is going connect with every single patient and I’m not speaking psychiatry or mental health. I just mean period, just period. You know, Michelle, you have a gynecologist. If you didn’t feel comfortable with your gynecologist, wouldn’t you want to switch gynecologists?

Michelle: [00:08:22] Absolutely.

Gabe: [00:08:23] Because feeling comfortable with you know, your lady doctor, is probably very important to you.

Michelle: [00:08:29] Yes, my lady doctor. I really love that you picked gynecologist Gabe, you know, not like internist or anything else, but you picked a gynecologist. You know, I like that.

Gabe: [00:08:39] One of the reasons that I picked a gynecologist is because, one, I just think that that is a specialty that you’d’ probably want to have some comfort. You’d’ want to be comfortable with your provider. And, two, gynecologists are a specialist.  A general practitioner, and internist, a nurse practitioner, there’s a lot of them. Those are easy to find. Those are a dime a dozen. I’m not insulting any of them, but you and I both know 20 places where we can see an internist or a general practitioner, no problem. But there’s less psychiatrists because it’s a specialty and your insurance company will cover less specialists. Some of those specialists, gynecologists, oncologists, psychiatrists, might not be on the list. So even if they’re fantastic and you love them, forget it. You can’t see them because your insurance won’t cover it.

Michelle: [00:09:25] Which is ridiculous. And also there’s insurance and covering psych meds as well. I take a lot of psych meds. Insurance covers some of it. If I didn’t have insurance covering some of my segments, I can’t even tell you the astronomical amount of money I would have to pay.

Gabe: [00:09:40] That is an excellent point. I have insurance and I have a really good insurance plan. And my quarterly bill for medication is about 400 dollars. That’s my copay. My copay is 400 dollars. So roughly one hundred and thirty three dollars a month I spend on medication. And the insurance company is picking up a large portion of the tab. So could you imagine? Let’s forget about the insurance company portion. Can you imagine asking somebody who can only work part time or somebody with very limited resources to come up with an extra one hundred and thirty three dollars a month? Just for their medication? We haven’t even seen the psychiatrists or all the copays or seen the therapist or anything like that.  We’re purely talking medications. That’s a lot of money.

Michelle: [00:10:34] That’s a lot. A lot of a lot of money. Yes. You go to the psychiatrist for help. They prescribe you medication for help. Can’t afford the money for the psych meds. You can’t even be helped. It’s just like an ever, ever going nonsense of help me. How can I get help? I have no money. It doesn’t make any sense. No. Nobody can get help. If you have no money, it is not OK. It’s not fair. It makes no sense. Mental health care needs to be free. It needs to be easier to access insurance. Something’s that a change. Gabe, I don’t even know what to say about it. It’s just not cool.

Gabe: [00:11:08] You’re a dirty socialist.

Michelle: [00:11:10] I guess so, call me Bernie. All right.

Gabe: [00:11:12] I am kidding obviously. I agree that it should be free because a lot of people are impoverished they don’t have the money to do this and another point that can be made about medications is let’s talk about the newly diagnosed. You’[re prescribed the medication, you’re on it for two or three weeks, and you have a bad reaction to it. And you need to go back to the psychiatrist and get a new medications. Well, that’s another copay to see the psychiatrist, and you have to buy medication again. One of the reasons that I can save money is because I can get the three month prescription and that is cheaper. But it’s still a lot fo money. And I’d like to point out, and I think this a good pro-tip for our listeners, I was able to save money by getting on the manufacturer’s web site and finding one of those discount cards. So one of my medications, my copay would actually be four hundred dollars for a 90 day supply. But I have that discount card and it lowered it to one hundred and eighty dollars for a 90 day supply. That’s my most expensive medication. The out of pocket cost, meaning the price if I had no insurance is about $1200 for a 90 day supply. So if I needed this medication and I didn’t have insurance, I best have $1200. That’s $400 a month. That’s a car payment. That’s a car payment with insurance and maybe even a tank of gas.

Michelle: [00:12:31] You can’t always get everything on track that you’re on for 90 days because some are controlled substances that don’t allow that. So you have to actually go to the doctor every single month to get that new prescription so you can get it for that month because of the cold controlled substance thing. Right?

Gabe: [00:12:46] Right. Which is another co-pay to the psychiatrist and you’re not saving by buying in bulk. This is why Sam’s Club and Costco are a thing. You can get a thousand pickles for sick bucks.

Michelle: [00:12:57] You know, I’ve always wondered. A thousand pickles for six bucks. Thanks, Gabe.

Gabe: [00:13:00] I believe you have a pickle barrel in your house. I don’t know why, but I am positive it is there.

Michelle: [00:13:05] I think you need to go see your psychiatrist about that.

Gabe: [00:13:08] There is another co-pay. We’ll be right back after we hear from our sponsor.

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Michelle: [00:13:11] And we are back talking about this crazy shit.

Gabe: [00:13:15] We’ve covered that crisis is expensive, we’ve covered that health insurance is important, we’ve covered that it is expensive to be sick. I don’t think that anybody is surprised by that. But I think that people are surprised at how expensive it is to be well. We are in recovery. Gabe and Michelle live in recovery. So, we have a podcast, we have relationships, we live by ourselves, we got on vacation. So people look at us and think, well this is not a problem, you are okay. But the maintenance drugs, the maintenance care, because there is not cure for serious and persistent mental illness. No cure, no cure. Are you cured from schizophrenia, Michelle?

Michelle: [00:13:52] I am not cured. No way, dude.

Gabe: [00:13:55] And I’m not cured from bipolar. There’s not cure for anxiety, no cure for major depression. You need maintenance treatment, and that’s really expensive. And I don’t just mean the cost of the medication. We’ve already covered that. Let’s talk about opportunity cost. Let’s talk about how expensive it is to not be able to do the jobs that you were trained for because you need accommodations. And, Michelle, you are an excellent example of this. Because you were hired by New York City graphic design firms. You have a college degree; you are exceptionally talented. You got hired, what, like 8 times at 8 different firms?

Michelle: [00:14:30] Firms. Yes. Eight jobs, which I was fired from. Yes. I love that. You always love to bring it up, Gabe. But yeah, I was fired from 8 jobs and it was never because of my design ability. It was always because of symptoms of schizophrenia. I had a huge dream of being amazing creative director at an agency. But I couldn’t do it. I couldn’t handle working. So I had to work for myself. Who knows where I’d be right now if I had that amazing creative director job that I’ve always wanted to have? Maybe I’d be making tons and tons and tons of money like I always thought I would even making. Maybe I have that huge apartment that I would always thought I wanted and everything like that. But I’m not because I couldn’t do it.

Gabe: [00:15:13] Michelle, about all the pie in the sky creative executive, master director, living in the giant Manhattan apartment. I don’t know if you could have gotten there or not. Screw that. Let’s talk about the eight jobs that you got. On day 1, were these full time jobs? Full time jobs that cam with health insurance?

Michelle: [00:15:31] Yes. Yeah.

Gabe: [00:15:32] Yeah. And isn’t health insurance something that, oh, I don’t know, we discussed is really, really helpful to people who have, I don’t know, chronic illness?

Michelle: [00:15:39] Oh, most definitely, sir.

Gabe: [00:15:40] But your chronic illness prevented you from working full time at the jobs that offered the benefits you needed in order to be well.

Michelle: [00:15:48] Yeah.

Gabe: [00:15:49] So you had to work on your own, which is, I’m so glad you were able to reach recovery with schizophrenia and start your own business.  But does your business come with free health insurance included in the package?

Michelle: [00:16:01] It does not. I have to get my own health insurance. So

Gabe: [00:16:04] So you have to make enough money to not only support yourself, but to also pay for the health insurance?

Michelle: [00:16:11] Yeah, it’s fun.

Gabe: [00:16:12] And pay all the addition costs.

Michelle: [00:16:13] Fun costs.

Gabe: [00:16:14] Costs. You know, the medication, the co-pays, and just out of curiosity, and remember that beautiful, beautiful wife that I have? My health insurance ins included in my wife’s job and is like really inexpensive. And your health insurance costs a lot fo money that you have to pay for every single month. And which one of us, Michelle, has better health insurance?

Michelle: [00:16:37] Yeah, you.

Gabe: [00:16:37] With lower copays and lower deductibles?

Michelle: [00:16:40] You.

Gabe: [00:16:41] So even though I have more resources, you get less.

Michelle: [00:16:46] Yeah.

Gabe: [00:16:47] That’s the system. This is the system that we have created to help sick people in America. Get a job so that you can have health insurance so if you get sick, you’ll be covered. But of course, if you’re already sick, nobody is going to hire you because you can’t work. So you’re going to have to find another way. Now, let’s forget about starting a business. Because not everybody can start a business.  But many people living with mental illness, and we know the, they’re great people, they can work part time.

Michelle: [00:17:13] But part time does not get you health insurance,

Gabe: [00:17:15] But you need health insurance because you’re chronically ill.

Michelle: [00:17:18] Hello, governments. OK,

Gabe: [00:17:19] Ok, OK, but thankfully, there’s the safety net. We’re so happy there’s a safety net. Just get on disability and you’ll be fine. Because being on disability comes with really great benefits and enough money to live, right?

Michelle: [00:17:33] Right. Disability gets you about 16 grand a year usually. And if you go over 16 grand, you lose your disability.

Gabe: [00:17:44] Wait a minute. You’re saying that disability doesn’t cover the expenses to live even a meager life?

Michelle: [00:17:50] No, no, no, no, no. If you make more, you’ll lose your disability. You live in poverty. You live in poverty or you live in poverty.

Gabe: [00:17:59] But you could get a job and then like you can get a part time job with your disability.

Michelle: [00:18:04] Yeah, but if you go over 16 grand, you’ll lose your disability. So basically you have to be poor or you have to be poor or you have to be poor. You can’t be poor with more money. Yes, rich, poor or poor. The poor are poor and poor and poor. Poor. When you’re on disability, you can usually get on Medicaid. That then turns into Medicare. You really utilize that with all of your psychiatrist, therapist and psych meds. So

Gabe: [00:18:30] So you get health insurance to take care of your illness.

Michelle: [00:18:33] Yes, but if you make more money, you’ll lose it all.

Gabe: [00:18:38] Wait, wait, wait, Hang on. So you’re telling me the system is set up so that people get disability and then Medicaid and then are discouraged from working? Because if they work they will lose their health insurance and then get sick and all kinds of bad things will happen to them?

Michelle: [00:18:54] Yes. Yes.

Gabe: [00:18:55] And we call this a safety net?

Michelle: [00:18:57] If you are on Medicaid or Medicare and disability and you happen to get married to someone who makes, say, who knows, 30 grand a year, let’s just say that you get married. Guess what? Your benefits go away by benefits. You now make too much money with your household income

Gabe: [00:19:14] Because it’s tied in to their income?

Michelle: [00:19:15] Yes. Because you know that I belong to Fountain House. I know people there are partners. The reason why their partners are not married, because if they got married, they’d both lose their benefits.

Gabe: [00:19:24] So now we’re discouraging people from getting married?

Michelle: [00:19:27] It makes no sense. It just doesn’t make any sense that disability means you have to stay poor to be on disability. I don’t understand the safety net. There is no safety net.

Gabe: [00:19:38] The important thing is that society needs to remember is that we’re going our part to care for the mentally illness, and if they’re not getting better, it’s their own damn fault for being lazy. That’s the takeaway, right? Can we all agree that that’s the takeaway?

Michelle: [00:19:51] The safety net is already on the ground. Safety net is too low. The safety nets almost underground. I think you have to go through the ground to hit the safety net. And then they’re like, oh, we maybe we should raise it a little bit and then maybe it’s on the grass.

Gabe: [00:20:05] No, the reality is, as many people who get on disability, they can’t get off of it. And the reason that they can’t get off of it is not because they’re not trying. It’s not because they don’t want off of it. It’s because they can’t make enough money fast enough. Because their choices are to either not have a job and have a little bit of money, a little bit of resources, and health insurance. Which is just vitally important to people who are living with serious and persistent mental illness.  But if they get that part time job, they get go to work at McDonald’s, if they go, well anybody can flip burghers. You’re right, anybody can.  But the minute they take that job, they make too much money and the minute they make too much money, remember, part time jobs, they do not have to give you health insurance. And in fact, they don’t. So now, the person is making, we’ll say elven dollars and hour. You know what? I’m in a generous mood. They’re making thirteen dollars an hour. Which I don’t know where these McDonald’s that are paying thirteen dollars an hour are across the country. But let’s pretend that they are, they don’t have insurance. and because they don’t have healthy insurance, they can’t afford the full costs of medication, of psychiatrists, of case management. They can’t afford any of these things. So all of the sudden, their wellness starts to slip because they can’t afford it. So before you know, instead of living in recovery with mental illness, they’re just mentally ill.  And they have nothing. And they know this is going in. So your choice is to live on disability and mind your own business, or to get off of disability and immediately start making forty five thousand dollars a year with benefits. I don’t know many people that can go from disabled to working full time with benefits. Most people need a ramp up. They need help. They need support, they need vocational training.  And many of these things do not exists for people We are creating a society of helpless people because we will not give them the resources that they need. Listen, it’s expensive to be mentally ill. And we’re not providing people with what they need. But we are there standing over them calling them lazy and telling them they are not trying.

Michelle: [00:22:16] When my friend was on the phone with disability and they were telling her that she can only make 16 grand a year and they were asking how am I supposed to live on this amount of money? The woman on the phone said, I understand this is why you should call your congressman.

Gabe: [00:22:31] So great. Now in addition to being sick, we also have to call politicians and argue with them. Because everybody knows that people living with mental illness have a lot of clout with politicians.

Michelle: [00:22:43] Yeah, yeah. Call the congressmen and complain. That’s really going to get you far. Yeah, just OK. And every mentally ill person on disability. Yeah. They should all complain and call their congressmen. OK. What are you what? Could

Gabe: [00:22:55] Could you imagine if all the mentally ill people in the world started calling politicians? One, that would be hilarious, but, two, they wouldn’t give a shit.

Michelle: [00:23:03] Yeah. Seriously?

Gabe: [00:23:05] Oh, my gosh. I figured it out. We just need to hire a lobbyist. I mean, politicians listen to lobbyists. We need a mentally ill lobbyist.

Michelle: [00:23:12] Let’s do it.

Gabe: [00:23:13] If only we were a voting bloc.

Michelle: [00:23:15] If only. Yeah,

Gabe: [00:23:15] Yeah. But people just don’t care. People just don’t care and that’s why we need more people to speak up and we need more people to stop saying shit like, Oh, my God, you’re so lazy. Just get a part time job. There are huge barriers that we did not erect. In our way.

Michelle: [00:23:30] Not erect.

Gabe: [00:23:30] These are not our fault. We are trying. Trying to get over them.

Michelle: [00:23:36] If you’ve been listening to this podcast, call your congressman.

Gabe: [00:23:39] And say what? Just out of curiosity.

Michelle: [00:23:40] You can just say hi. Hi, Congressman. How are you doing today? I think that disability should be raised. You’re doing good. If you’re doing good or don’t be a congressman anymore. That’s what I think. Congressmen, male or female, whoever I’m speaking to. There you go. Yo, Peace.

Gabe: [00:24:00] Clearly, I think we need a more refined message. I do not think that congress people and senators and politicians are aware. I don’t think they’re aware. I think they think that the safety net is sufficient. And that it’s helping people and then it’s saving people. But it’s not. It’s not. More people are slipping through the cracks than are being helped by the safety net. And this is why we have revolving doors. This is why we have people who are in and out of the hospitals. This is why we have homelessness. This is why we have people getting on disability and never getting off. This is why we have people not living up to their full potential. And this is how come Gab and Michelle are rare. Because we’re in recovery. We should not be rare. We should not be rare. We should be status quo.

Michelle: [00:24:45] I don’t understand how people walk all over the city and see these mentally ill homeless people and just walk by and don’t see that it’s a mental health issue and that it’s a money issue and that it could be solved if there would just be free mental health care. I just can’t understand it. They just brush them off. Would they’re just drug addicts and crazy. And it could be fixed. It could be fixed, but it’s just stigma. Oh, they’re telling us. And crazy. No, no. It could be fixed. And people ignore it, ignore it all the time. And that’s what I try to show people. There are people with mental illness like. Well, when they have help and there’s people with mental illness living unwell and they have no help, it’s not OK. It’s not cool. Things need to change.

Gabe: [00:25:24] If treatment is available, recovery is likely. It really is. But so many people can’t access basic care. It’s shameful. Richest country in the world and we have people sleeping under bridges and freezing to death in the winter.

Michelle: [00:25:37] Absolutely. It’s disgusting.

Gabe: [00:25:39] Michelle, I don’t want to end the show on a hopeless note. New York City is where you live. Didn’t you go out on a photo shoot?

Michelle: [00:25:45] Yeah, totally. My friends, Cecilia McGough and Joy Irving, we are all schizophrenic. And we did a little photo shoot at Oculus, which is right near the new World Trade Center. And I post a lot of posts and I wrote schizophrenics are taking over the city and it’s just really awesome. I really had a lot of fun. What

Gabe: [00:26:03] What kind of reaction did you get? Because you’re three attractive young women and you’re wearing clothing that says, “Don’t be paranoid, you look great.” And you know, you’re making a lot of commotion and noise. Did you gather a crowd?

Michelle: [00:26:14] We gathered kind of a crowd. People thought it was pretty cool. They were asking us about it and we just told them the whole deal. We live with schizophrenia. We live well. We’re trying to change what people think about mental health. It was fun. We had a good time. You’ll see more photos soon. Yes. It was pretty cool.

Gabe: [00:26:30] And you can check out the pictures on your Instagram, which is?

Michelle: [00:26:32] Is just like the website schizophrenic.NYC.

Gabe: [00:26:36] Thank you, everybody, for tuning into this week’s episode of A Bipolar, a Schizophrenic, and a Podcast. Maybe next week we will let our producer, Lisa talk more. But frankly, it’s Gabe and Michelle’s show. Subscribe to our show on your favorite podcast player and share on social medial. Or hell, how about just email it to your mom? Moms love us. We don’t know about dads yet. We haven’t done the research project. We will see you next week!

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: How Money Impacts Mental Illness

Gabe Howard

Gabe Howard is an award-winning writer and speaker who lives with bipolar disorder. He is the author of the popular book, Mental Illness is an Asshole and other Observations, available from Amazon; signed copies are also available directly from the author. To learn more about Gabe, please visit his website,

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APA Reference
Howard, G. (2019). Podcast: How Money Impacts Mental Illness. Psych Central. Retrieved on November 28, 2020, from
Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 11 Aug 2019 (Originally: 12 Aug 2019)
Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 11 Aug 2019
Published on Psych All rights reserved.