Joey Pants talks to Aaron Stipkovich about mental illness, PTSD, politics, and religion. Pants and Stipko cover topics including fame, anxiety disorder, suicide, substance abuse, the wrong type of fans, and more. Here are a few highlights:
Who Has The Stigma
- (Politics and religion) will be the death of us.
- I'm a recovering Catholic.
- My wildest dreams came true, and I had this sadness that wouldn't go away.
- Food was my first drug of choice.
- I couldn't feel any joy. I couldn't compartmentalize my sadness without afflicting my joy.
- To the movie underwriters: Are you telling me you will insure my heart but not my brain? You're discriminating against my brain! Why doesn't my brain have the same Constitutional parody as my liver and my heart!?
- I can only afford to go crazy for an hour and a half.
- In between 'action' and 'cut' was the only time I really knew who I was.
- I could never allow anyone to treat me as badly as I treat myself. If I ever discovered how badly I treated myself, I would beat me up!
- If I could at least be the person that Bogie (Joe's dog) thinks I am, we'd be OK.
- I always knew that television dumbs down to the lowest denomination... It's nuts. It serves us right!
- On Facebook and Twitter: I'm getting closer and closer to strangers, and further and further from friends.
- Erectile dysfunction has become more socially acceptable than brain 'dis-ease' (decease).
Those suffering from brain dis-eases including anxiety disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), panic disorder, social anxiety disorder, specific phobias, depression, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, binge eating, pyromania, kleptomania, compulsive gambling, addictions, paranoia, multiple personality disorder, gender identity disorder, Down's syndrome, psychosomatic disorder, traumatic brain injury (TBI), tic disorders, and others.
Throughout human history, actors have made their living as entertainers ' on stage, the big screen, small screen, even the computer screen. During our journeys, we sometimes encounter roles where the characters exhibit mental issues. Just a quick thought to the most memorable moments in movies and on television over the last century will provide you with many depictions of individuals exhibiting mental illness ' almost all encountering seemingly insurmountable barriers.
As artists, what we learn as we become more knowledgeable about mental illness ' its symptoms, diagnosis and treatment ' is these barriers are not insurmountable and by stigmatizing those with mental illness, we are doing a grave injustice to them, ourselves and all of society.
Our goal is to educate the public about the wonderful possibilities that exist when we break down the societal barriers which hold us all back because we treat those afflicted with mental illness differently ' we label them and isolate them. What we passionately want to accomplish is to relieve the weight of millions of people who suffer this isolation.
In our roles as communicators, we have found that by infusing humor into a message ' by having a 'spoonful of sugar help the medicine go down' ' that the message not only grows faster but is retained longer. That is our hope. To use the humor in the name No Kidding, Me Too! to lighten the message, to cause people to remember the name, so when they are ready for the message, they will get it. To pay some recognition to the statistic that one in five adults in this country suffers from a mental illness. To allow people to have a conversation that includes, ''and I'm bipolar.' 'No Kidding, Me Too!'
There is an oft-quoted statistic that for every person who is diagnosed with mental illness, eleven loved ones are affected. The immediate short-term result is that the mentally ill person becomes isolated from the outside world because they are deemed unable to 'handle' it. And isolation breeds isolation which creates the stigma and discrimination we need to eliminate. The brain is an organ ' just like the heart, liver and kidneys ' and we need to encourage everyone to treat it as such from both a medical and social perspective.
So we will do what we do best ' communicate ' in the best way we know how ' through humor and direct dialogue ' the message that we need to remove the stigma and reap the benefits of a fully integrated society. The message of No Kidding, Me Too! is empowerment ' empowering those with mental illness to admit their illness, seek treatment, become even greater contributing members of society and obliterate this stigma.
We know this is a tough fight. We know years of ingrained socialization causes people to recoil or isolate anyone with the scarlet letter of mental illness. Just saying the magic words "mental illness" can cause a deep-seated defensive reaction in many people. However, we also know that by releasing the talents of those with mental illness ' by giving them the opportunity to use their outstanding artistic and intellectual skills ' we will vastly improve the world. And this is a cause worth supporting. We are ready for the fight and we ask you to please join us in the revolution and help us educate souls all over the world to 'Remove the Stigma!'
Founder & President