For years John Moe, critically-acclaimed public radio personality and host of The Hilarious World of Depression podcast, struggled with depression; it plagued his family and claimed the life of his brother in 2007. As Moe came to terms with his own illness, he began to see similar patterns of behavior and coping mechanisms surfacing in conversations with others, including high-profile comedians who’d struggled with the disease.
... could be a particularly useful tool for those who grew up in homes where seeking therapy was seen as weakness, those who don’t have the language for mental illness, and particularly for men age 50 and older. If you’re looking for a Father’s Day book for a depressed dad who is aware of his condition but averse to seeking treatment, this is the one ... Moe’s humor is more universally astute when describing the depressive’s propensity for faulty reasoning, particularly in terms of negative self-attribution and self-defeating thoughts ... This exploration of impostor syndrome is where the book really shines ... Unfortunately, these sound bites often feel cursory — small blips in Moe’s overarching narrative. The book would be better served if it included longer, deeper takes from these podcast guests ... Yet the message of the book is a good one: that mental illness is not a cause for shame, and that sharing honestly (and even humorously) with fellow sufferers can be a path to healing. If there are readers out there who still believe, as Moe once did, that 'mental illness is for people in the booby hatch doing sad craft projects with safety scissors' as in Girl, Interrupted, this book could be their path to deeper understanding and openness, by way of laughter in the dark.
... [a] combination of heart-wrenching honesty and silliness. It works, creating a warm relatability that normalizes the many insidious aspects of living with depression ... by the end of the book, readers will be convinced that Moe is exactly the right person to give an attentive, irreverent voice to those suffering with depression.
Despite his suicidal ideation and his struggle to move past his guilt after his brother’s suicide, Moe’s story is not bleak. While he does not come out on the mythical other side, he learns—with the help of medication, dogs, listening to music, and therapy—to break the 'habit of converting stress into bleak, goth-eyeliner-wearing despair.' Such side-eye commentary separates Moe’s story from the 'trite ’70s self-help' he loathes, as does the inclusion of quotes from podcast guests Maria Bamford, Patton Oswalt, and others. Moe’s edifying, enjoyable take on the realities of living with depression will uplift any reader.