Mental As Anyone

MAA #091: With Liza Dezfouli

Feb. 22, 2020

Interview with the wonderful Melbourne Comedian Liza Dezfouli, who is on a mission to challenge ageism and sexism with her comedy. Liza is involved with a theatre ensemble featuring older women, who perform a show called Unhoused, which references some of the cast’s genuine experiences of homelessness.

We discuss: The invisibility of older women in society, the experience of long-term depression and techniques to manage it, the importance of reminding herself that the situation always changes, treating mental illness like the flu: give yourself time and space to go to bed, rest and absolve yourself of the responsibility of engaging with the world for a while, the benefits of gardening, the relentless positive images from modern society that falsely imply people’s lives are perfect and how this can wear us down, giving her disordered/depressed thoughts a voice by writing them down, challenging and refuting negative thoughts, the importance of finding a way to not be threatened by negative emotions, the power of gratitude, being gentle and kind to yourself, the shame of showing depressed moods and the difficulty of authenticity and showing people all aspects of yourself, the simplicity and power of comedy and laughter, advice Liza received about recalling the intensity of a great belly laugh for healing, being open to alternative therapies, The Happiness Trap by Russ Harris, the notion of dead person’s goals, it being okay to be grotty and unproductive at times, Liza’s super power, the stages of change model in relation to behaviour, and Liza’s message for women to be good to each other and support the sisterhood.

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