Beyond Blue

Beyond Blue

On April Fool’s Day: Laugh, People, Laugh

In this video, I go over a few of my humor rules–like you can make fun of yourself all you want, but unless you share the same neurosis with someone, you CANNOT make fun of him. The video was a response to all the folks I offended in the interview with Eric and Mr. Guardian Angel, “Being Married to a Manic Depressive,” when I used the term “whackjob” to describe MYSELF. I sincerely apologize for offending anyone by my use of that term. But here is why I use the language I do in “Beyond Blue,” and the importance of humor in my recovery from depression and addiction.


To get to my YouTube video, “Beyond Blue: Humor Heals,” click here.

Click here to subscribe to Beyond Blue and click here to follow Therese on Twitter and click here to join Group Beyond Blue, a depression support group. Now stop clicking.

  • Diane

    As a 53 year old woman who’s suffered with severe depression my whole life, I have never posted a comment to a blog until today, April Fools Day! I guess it’s because not too many people other than a spouse, sister and one good friend know. Your comments on laughter really struck home with me because when I start to think my meds aren’t working so well anymore, the one indicator is that I’m not laughing like I used to. When the laughing stops it’s time to go see the shrink!

  • Jill

    lol I liked that comedy/tragedy face, it made me laugh. I agree that humor does heal and I laugh whenever I can. :)

  • Ashley

    Loved the comedy/tragedy face! My boyfriend has an infuriating (yet freeing) habit of cracking jokes or making funny faces when I’m in the middle of the occasional rant. It feels so good to laugh instead of to continue to be angry. Thank you for this post. We all need to remember to have more fun.

  • Jarrod@ Optimistic Journey

    I a definitely agree Therese, humor does heal. Like you said in the video the angels take themselves lightly and so should we. We have to ask ourselves why are we afraid to let loose and laugh?
    There is a natural healing process and laughing. Just like the saying, sometimes we have to laugh to keep from crying. This reminds me to break down, let loose, laugh and most importantly, HAVE FUN!!
    Great article and great food for thought!
    Your friend,

  • Audrey Stubbs

    Haha am I really the only reply to this amazing read!?

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Kevin Keough

    More and more I am taking seriously the tip to become more like little children as they play and laugh and have fun. I believe that humor is one of the greatest weapons to use against fear and dread and all of it.

    The first therapists, who lived about 100 years after Christ decided that the greatest way to glorify God was to have fun, to attend to one another, to marry and have families, all of whom attended one to the other.

    Imagine…..The greatest way to glorify God is to have fun.

    It is so cool you have that memory of your Dad, maybe it diminishes the rough times you had with him. My relationship with my alcoholic father was conflicted.

    I got the dark humor when he shot himself in the chest but was so drunk he just missed his heart. When the call came from the hospital my mother and sisters started with the obligatory tears and fears. I suggested to them that my father would survive no problem; we weren’t going to have an end to the chaos he created that quick.

    I find the telling of unusual suicides to be good material for stories. For example, I worked with a married male patient who was having serious problems. I followed the playbook. He outsmarted me.

    Later that day he ran full speed into an oncoming Amtrak train. He was very Irish Catholic. We take pride in showing spirit and commanding presence. (certainly I mourn his death in ways beyond words). It takes a special kind of man to run full speed into an oncoming Amtrak train. Our attitude is if you going to be something you might as well give it your best as he did

    There isn’t much I don’t find humor in. Dark humor is the best when dealing with rough patches.

    So Therese, praytell about the fun you are having.

    You make me laugh

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Jen

    Great message and touching story to back it up! Thank you for sharing that.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment wendy

    humor is one of my greatest qualities. i am pretty funny. but those days where i feel ive lost my sense of humor are tough. i too have felt that need to suppress the laugh. thankfully i am currently smiling…. thanks for sharing.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Mike

    This is the best Therese vlog ever. I’d love to give it to every depressed, bi-polar, or just sad person I know. It is real. Thanks, Therese!

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Barbara Bowman

    Good stuff, Therese — and very touching about your dad. I’ve been thinking for a while that I haven’t been making time for fun — and silliness. It has got to be part of the fight, or the fight isn’t worth it…

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Nancy

    I have a niece who was best buddies with our daughter when they were growing up. She used to come stay with us for the weekend on occasion.
    The three of us (my daughter, niece, and myself) always ended up in my daughters room telling funny stories and laughing ourselves into tears—our stomach muscles hurt the next day! Most of the time, we were laughing at ourselves!

    I deal with severe clinical depression,anxiety, and PTSD. I’m taking medication, which is most helpful, but nothing can make me feel as relaxed and joyful as those weekends of “laugh therapy”

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Barbara

    Nearly 20 years ago I was eyeballs deep in therapy dealing with sexual abuse in my childhood. If I hadn’t had my sense of humor I don’t know how I would have gotten through. The recovery statistic for those with my diagnosis is 2%, I made it because I laughed all the way through, of course I cried and screamed a lot too. Never did have Oprahesque poise, when I hurt I say OUCH!

    People were very uncomfortable with my approach, particularly my schtick about the memoirs I was planning to write called “Father Knows Breast.” I thought the things I planned to say were darn funny, but on a few occasions I was lectured about the impropriety of my comments. My response was that it was my story to tell in my way, and I’d rather laugh than spend my life curled up, rocking in a corner crying, and whining through my memoirs; they should most certainly tell their story in their own way.

    At one point my therapist started a session by voicing a concern her supervisor addressed with her. She told her that everybody going by her office heard a lot of laughter when I was there; this was unheard-of in an office specializing in domestic violence and sexual abuse treatment. My therapist wanted to be sure I knew she cared and took my seriously, and that I wasn’t offended. I told her I’d be much more offended if she didn’t laugh, this was some of my best stuff! We kept laughing!

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Barbara

    Oops! *me

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Mary Anne Thompson


    I LOVE this video and I love you! I have a surprise for u…I will send u a private email later. Just wanted to let u know I am following Beyond Blue along with FB and your other writings.

    all my love, laughter and support


  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Joyce

    I also enjoyed the video, Therese. One thing I do want to say, tho, is that your comment, calling yourself a “whackjob,” doesn’t offend me in the least. It’s our right to make fun of ourselves if we so choose, altho nobody else should do it. JMHO.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment JenB

    Once again Terese, great job! You know just how to put into words the things I’m thinking or experiencing.

    I am constantly making fun of myself. As others have said there’s no way to make it through some of our awful “stuff” if we don’t make fun of ourselves/our situations.

    I’ve been told that I’m being negative by people who are on the “outside” of mental illness. If they only knew that it was one of the most positive things I can do! Sometimes it’s the only thing that makes me laugh.

    Would I be offended if someone called me the things I call myself? Absolutely! Don’t you dare call me names, judge me and joke about me the way I do about myself. Actually it can be fun to joke around with someone who shares whatever illness or physical attribute as me. I agree, I don’t find “whackjob” offensive at all – because I’m one myself!! I’m crazy, looney, bonkers, insane, a lunatic and a variety of other adjectives and “issues.” We all can enjoy those funny things!

    There is the question “what will people remember about you when you die?” Don’t we all want to be remembered as someone who actually lived life? It feels impossible as someone with a mental illness. When I’m hypomanic, I sure want to do as much as I can!

    My husband and I made a “bucket list.” I might want to skydive (haven’t decided on that one yet), or I want to travel and see thus and such, I want to rent a convertible and drive the Pacific Highway with the top down… I want to have fun!

    Thanks, Terese!

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment John S. Adams

    I agree and concur that “good humor” heals. However, it seemed to me the video also included the message that it’s “okay” to target particular groups as long as you are part of that group. I have trouble with that premise, because humor that promotes negative stereotypes should not be included in the definition of “good humor.”

    Isn’t it reasonable to believe that you don’t have to be Jewish to be offended by Jewish jokes? That you don’t have to be from Poland to be offended by Polish jokes? That you don’t have to be a woman to be offended by a joke that degrades the gender of your mother or sister?

    I wish I had all the answers and had the ultimate list of “rules of humor,” but I don’t. However, the “Twelve Principles of Epism” have helped me to logically approach this and many other difficult subjects and decisions.

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