Episode 18 – Ryan Heffernan
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In this episode, Paul interviews Ryan Heffernan, a highly-regarded Australian author and journalist. His latest work is the Clown & I: Riding the Wildling Spirit — A Bipolar Memoir, a confronting exploration of Ryan’s magical and magnetic life with bipolar disorder. Ryan uses writing to explore the beauty of people confronting life-changing situations. Together, they talk about mental health, mind health, and bipolar disorder.
Podcast Show Notes:
- Introduction to The Man Bits Podcast
- Join our Facebook Community
- Today’s episode is mental health, mind health, and bipolar disorder
- Ryan has been a journalist for a long time
- Ryan was 36 when he was diagnosed with bipolar disorder
- Journalism and television production are environments where bipolar people can flourish
- After his diagnosis, Ryan did some research and that gave him a sense of relief
- The psychiatrist asked Ryan about any instance where he has been manic and he remembered the time when he was researching about clowns – the psychiatrist fell about laughing.
- “It’s not all bad, it’s an absolute beauty”
- Ryan shares what a clown really means to him
- Ryan built his life around storytelling
- “Ultimately, I’m telling a story — I’m a storyteller”
- Being ‘the clown’ allows Ryan to articulate the mania that comes with bipolar disorder
- ‘The clown’ is something that resonates with people in the bipolar community
- Bipolar 1 vs Bipolar 2
- Bipolar 1 gets fewer mania and can sometimes become obsessed with ‘religious like’ affiliations
- Bipolar 2 gets hyper manic
- Managed bipolar 2 allows people to be functional
- What gets lost in mental health is the idea that you are still a human being regardless of your disorder
- Everybody’s journey is different from each other
- The Middle Bits
- What is your #1 tip in achieving kickass mind health? – “Work”
- What fundamental piece of advice would you tell your 15-year old self? – “Go your own way”
- What useful or inspiring book or resource that you could recommend to our
Audience?– On Writing by Charles Bukowski
- If there’s one word to set your intention for 2018, what is that word? – “Write”
- Ryan talks about how the mind can change through a number of manic episodes
- Alcohol has been a pain for Ryan
- Paul talks about Ryan’s article, Creative Love & Fatherhood Catastrophes
- Having a mania affects Ryan’s fatherhood
- It’s his son that knows when he’s turning “sick” or having an episode
- His son understands that Ryan’s absences have nothing to do with his love for him
- Kids are the most non judgemental persons in the world
- The greatest source of empowerment for Ryan is reading people’s books
- Ryan talks about his book, Clown & I: Riding the Wildling Spirit — A Bipolar Memoir
- Connect with Ryan on com, Twitter and Instagram
- Ryan is excited about the fact that he knows exactly want to do this 2018 – Write
- Send us your comments, suggestions, or feedback at firstname.lastname@example.org
- If you feel vulnerable, please go to com/support
- Having a diagnosis doesn’t mean your life will go all bad — there’s always going to be something to look forward to.
- Regardless of your diagnosis, never forget that you are still a human being.
- We have to understand that no person is on the same journey.
- Clown & I: Riding the Wildling Spirit — A Bipolar Memoir – Ryan’s book
- On Writing by Charles Bukowski – Ryan’s recommended resource
- Creative Love & Fatherhood Catastrophes – Ryan’s article
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Disclosure: This post may contain links to products or services with which I have an affiliate relationship and may receive compensation from your actions through such links. However, I don’t let that corrupt my perspective and I don’t recommend only affiliates.
Disclaimer: Some of the content of this podcast may contain topics of a sensitive nature such as depression, anxiety and suicide. Whilst I have experience in coaching, training and remedial therapy I’m not to provide mental health advice or counselling. Therefore, engaging with the content of this podcast should not be considered a substitute to professional therapy.