On Episode 129 of You, Me, Empathy, New York Times bestselling author Esmé Weijun Wang and I explore the exercise in empathy that is this Coronavirus pandemic, how constraints can be a useful force in our creativity, managing feelings of despair, 90s online communities, how beautifully resilient humans are, hallucinations as kidnapping the senses, and Esme’s stunning part-memoir and part-deep dive into schizophrenia, The Collected Schizophrenias.
This episode was recorded just as the Coronavirus pandemic really took off, and so Esmé and I talk about the collective anxiety of it, herd immunity, the 24-hour news cycle, how this time is impacting people with chronic illness and mental illness, and how this time illuminates the fact that we, as feely humans, are not meant to be individualistic; we’re meant to be connected and together.
We also gab about constraints and creativity, Daphne the dog (!), managing chronic pain by breaking it down into smaller, more manageable parts (“I can get through the next 5 seconds”), healing as a spiral staircase, 90s online communities like Prodigy and Live Journal, mental health stigma in Taiwanese culture, Cotard’s Delusion, the sensory overload of hallucinations, our medical understanding of schizophrenia, and Esmé’s award-winning book (which I think you’ll absolutely love!), The Collected Schizophrenias.
Thanks to Esmé for sharing her story!
- Esmé Weijun Wang
- Esmé on IG: @esmewwang
- Esmé on Twitter: @esmewang
- The Collected Schizophrenias
- The Border of Paradise
- Care Calendar
- Mental Health Association of San Francisco
- The Center Cannot Hold by Elyn Saks
- Day By Day Facebook group
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You, Me, Empathy: Sharing Our Mental Health Stories
You, Me, Empathy is the official podcast of The Feely Human Collective! On this show, we explore the struggles, the triumphs, the brights and the darks we face as humans trying to get by on this wondrous and overwhelming pale blue dot.
The intent of You, Me, Empathy is to talk openly, without judgment, about our mental health, our neuroses, our shared anxieties and worries, to create a dialog that is vulnerable and deeply human and empathetic—and to share that dialog with others to inspire emotional and cognitive collaboration and insight so we can, hand in hand, break down the stigma that make us feel shame and guilt for struggling, for feeling our feelings, for being feely humans.
Created and hosted by Nōn Wels.
The You, Me, Empathy podcast is for informational and/or entertainment purposes only and is not a substitute for medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment.