Comics prove laughter really is the best medicine when it comes to mental illness

JOKING about mental illness may not seem the most obvious way of breaking down taboos and tackling discrimination.

But that is exactly what a group of comedians are hoping to achieve as Scotland battles to reduce the stigma around a problem which affects a quarter of the population. Yesterday saw the launch of Scotland's first Mental Health Arts and Film Festival.

As well as films, debates and exhibitions, comedians are using humour to address what is still a very sensitive issue despite being such a massive problem. It is hoped that by doing so they can bring in a new audience and help to change attitudes to mental illness.

While humour is now being used to address mental illness, many top comedians have suffered their own very personal experiences of the problem.

Entertainers including Stephen Fry and the late Spike Milligan have suffered depression while maintaining high-profile careers.

Yesterday Raymond Mearns, one of the comedians taking part in the festival, said he thought comedy would make people listen to a subject they would otherwise ignore.

"It helps to add a wee bit of sugar to the medicine," he said. "If you ask someone to listen to a talk about depression, they will just say, 'That is too boring'.

"But if there is a bit of humour, a bit of comedy, people will be more willing to sit up and take notice. I think using comedy is a fantastic idea and I really believe in this project."

Source - Scotsman

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous9:00 am

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    • Laughter boosts our immune system. So by laughing we become less susceptible to illness. In fact if we like laughing we can easily recover from illness. Laughter makes us physically strong. Laughter increases the count of antibodies in the system. We are well equipped, if we laugh often, to fight against diseases.

    • Laughter gives us the zeal to life. It makes us more confident and lively. Laughter activates the chemistry within us to face life with a positive outlook. Laughter improves our attitude towards life greatly.

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    • Laughter can be a part of your weight loss program. The reason is that when you laugh considerable amount of calories are burnt.

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    In addition a whole bunch of physical benefits laughter offers other benefits that ensure good mental health. Laughing is a strong and powerful emotional medicine.

    • Laughter reduces stress and other stress related problems like depression and anxiety. Laughter decreases stress hormones in the body. A sweet little smile cools of your temper (and other’s as well!) and changes the mood completely.

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    Laughter opens the door for socializing. This brings a great deal of positive changes in your life.

    • Laughter brings family and relatives close to each other. Even if you learn to laugh at the face of frustrating difficult situations, you can earn success, contentment and happiness. Laughter makes you see things in a different perspective and you get the emotional strength to cross the crisis at hand.

    • Laughter has a feel good effect on us, which sustains even after the laugh has ended.

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