Comedian Jessica Holmes on living with depression

 


Women in Biz Network founder and CEO Leigh Mitchell will be interviewing Jessica Holmes on the Thrive in my Life podcast in February.  We were blessed to have Jessica as a keynote speaker at Women in Biz Network conferences both in Vancouver and Toronto and are so glad to have reunited with her. Jessica’s story is funny, touching and informative for those going through depression – especially if you are self-employed. Jessica also provides great advice for anyone supporting someone who is experiencing a mental health challenge and tells us what is also not helpful too. We are excited to sit down with Jessica next month and would love to know what questions you have for her so that we can make this interview as helpful and meaningful as possible. Email us at info@womenbiz.ca or leave a comment below.


 


More about “Depression the Comedy: A Tale of Perseverance”:

The book Depression the comedy by Jessica HolmesCelebrated comedian, actress and author, Jessica Holmes, has always applied humour as healing balm for life’s scrapes and bruises. Since childhood, Holmes has kept a “funny journal,” recording bizarre moments that remind her life is, most often, more comedy than tragedy. In this imaginative memoir, Holmes infuses deep reflections on mental health with her trademark wit, offering a relatable, unofficial guide to acknowledging one’s inner demons in an ongoing search for the silver lining.

Holmes first entered thousands of Canadian households when she starred in her own comedy on CTV: The Holmes Show. When she was the first new cast member added to Royal Canadian Air Farce, her career skyrocketed. She started booking high profile gigs such as opening for Jerry Seinfeld and Ellen DeGeneres. Her loving husband and two beautiful children were nothing but supportive of her newfound fame. From the outside, it seemed like Holmes had it all.

But on the inside, she was suffering in silence: after recovering from post-partum depression years earlier, Holmes entered a familiar slump. When she wasn’t glued to her couch surrounded by junk food, she was avoiding her agent and yawning through gigs—even when emceeing for one of her idols, Oprah Winfrey.

Depression The Comedy describes how Holmes eventually got diagnosed and dealt with depression: “the cold sore of the mind.” Writing with self-deprecating insight and emotional vibrancy, she speaks candidly about her condition, musing on everything from sex and marriage counselling to the bittersweet reactions of her kids to the funny (and scary) side-effects of medication.

Holmes also offers a thought-provoking perspective on the relationship between comedy and depression. Holmes asks: Which came first, the chicken or the egg? Is everything funny … eventually? Above all, she urges communities to de-stigmatize mental health, and offers a healing message for all: when we acknowledge the inherent humour of our human condition, we can begin to accept ourselves for who we truly are—jokes, junk-food and all.


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