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Comedian Taylor Tomlinson is not afraid to talk about her mental health. She’s great at destigmatizing therapy and talking about her journey.

She talked with ENews about how she felt embarrassed about her condition and being diagnosed with bipolar 2.

“I had all this shame because when I was a kid, my parents were like, ‘You don’t get on medication. That’s weak. That’s not good for you,’ ” Tomlinson told the outlet. “So I think I felt weak for needing that.”

People

The National Institute of Mental Health estimates that 4.4% of adults are going to experience an episode of experiencing bipolar at some point in their lives.

In the first clip, she discusses being on anti-depressants, and in the second she chats about her bipolar 2 diagnosis.

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Oh my God, it’s so good to be here. It has been a rough couple of years. I got bangs at one point. Things got dark. I didn’t even want bangs. I just needed people to check on me, and it works by the way.

You post a selfie and bangs, and everybody’s like fire emoji. “You go, girl!” then they text you like,”You, OK?”

Here’s what I did. I got bangs and then two days later I did mushrooms for the first time. And as soon as I did those mushrooms, I was like I should have done these first. Probably wouldn’t have gotten these bangs if I forgave myself, huh? But you know what? Having bangs feels exactly like being on mushrooms the whole time. You’re just looking at your friends, “Like, do I look weird? You guys would tell me if I looked weird, right?” Really don’t tell her. She’ll freak out.

I finally found an antidepressant that works for me, which is great. A lot of my friends scared me about getting on them. I had a lot of friends who were like, “I tried to get on antidepressants. I just didn’t like how I felt on them. I didn’t feel like myself on them.” And now that I’m on them, I’m like, yeah, me neither. It’s the best. And I do feel like myself. I just feel like someone sitting on me going, “Stop talking. We are trying to help you. You will ruin everything. Go to sleep. Choose a different adventure.”

I didn’t know antidepressants were an option when I was growing up. When I was in high school, I was like, “Dad. I think I’m depressed.” And he was like, Usually some protein. Get a scoop of peanut butter.”

Yeah, there are a lot of conservative dads out there, just white-knuckling it through life right now, clinging to a jar of chunky Jiff like it’s the answer. Just a buoy in the storm like it’ll pass.

The only mental health advice my dad ever gave me is I was having panic attacks in high school and I didn’t know what they were. And I was like, “I feel like this. I don’t know what to do. I don’t know what to do.” And he goes, “All right. All I can tell you is it is when you feel like this. Get as far away from the people you care about as possible until you feel different.” Which is advice you give a werewolf. Just run into the woods until you’re not a monster anymore. Don’t let them see you change. They won’t accept you for what you truly are.

I did read something recently that said if you had a difficult childhood, you need to learn how to parent yourself as an adult. So I’ve been trying to do that, I’ve been trying to parent myself, but I kind of feel like I got pregnant with me in high school and I was not ready for this responsibility. Not supposed to shake me, just found that out.

Now every day I wake up totally overwhelmed. Just like, “OK, if I let you watch TikTok on my phone for 40 minutes, will you please stop crying?” My friend’s like, “Are you OK?” I’m like, “No, I think I have colic. I kept me up all night.”

A lot of my friends are settling down. Some of them are just settling. End of sentence. You guys have those couples in your lives? Yeah, where one person in the couple is way hotter and cooler than the other person in the couple. I like to call those couples chocolate-covered raisins. Because you’re like, sure, you could put those two together if you want. But every time you see them, you’re like, “Chocolate. What are you doing? Like, you could have been with anybody, you could have Carmel, you could be with Marshmallow, you could have been with Peanut Butter, who I heard cures depression. And you wanna be with Raisin forever? Like, no offense Raisin, you’re great. Nature’s candy! To be honest, you belong with oatmeal. Aren’t you scared every day that someone’s going to come along and suck Chocolate right off of you?”

I love doing that show cause I like to see couples in the audience get nervous like, “Am I Chocolate or Raisin? We’re both Chocolate, right? We’re chocolate-covered chocolate. We’re like the little Lindor guys in the foil, you know, I’m the creamy part and you’re the shell because you’re so strong. And if you leave me, I’ll be a mess!”

Thank you so much!

YouTube video

It was a cycle that I didn’t realize I had been repeating over the years and I just didn’t know. I just thought I was really motivated. And look at this like burst of energy I have.

I used to think my dreams were telling me things. I thought my dreams told the future. Like I just was so, you know, and then I would crash and it would be terrible. And it’s very disorienting. Because you feel like you’re hiding. You’re these two different people and you’re just kind of hiding this depressive version of yourself. And you can be so amazing during these periods of energy that it’ll make up for these points when you’re really, really sad and really, you know in your mind, unbearable to be around.

So my therapist said I had this week of making a lot of huge decisions and doing a lot of things. She was a little bit like, “Hey, maybe cool it for a sec.” And “It sounds like you had some hypomania.”

I saw her the next week, and she said, “Well, that [hypomania] usually has to last like four days or longer.” Oh, that was longer than four days. That was like a week and a half. And she goes, “Oh, then we should talk to your psychiatrist,” who she also knows and speaks to. They worked together on me, I suppose.

They talked me through it. My therapist I started seeing during COVID, she had never seen me not on mood stabilizers. I think we upped my dosage. We might have doubled it to a point now where I feel great, and I had already felt so much. I just needed to up it.

I remember I said to my psychiatrist I said that because of the first phone conversation I had with her about it [the diagnosis]. I think I was in Philly and I was driving around. I was in some city, and I was crying. My psychiatrist was like, “It [the diagnosis] is just information about you. It’s not this judgment on your character, who you are. And it doesn’t mean everything’s been your fault or and it doesn’t mean that everyone’s been right about you. It’s just information about you that helps you understand. How to take care of yourself.”

I say that in the special which I completely stole from her, and that was really helpful for me.


Taylor Tomlinson is on The Have it All tour and you can see her live. Check and see when she is in your area here. If you’re interested in seeing Taylor talk more about her religious dad, check out this clip.


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