The Girl Gang Talks Mental Health | #35

The Conjuring Up Courage logo, a photo of Shohreh, Tiffany, and Ally, and the words, "The Girl Gang Talks Mental Health Episode #35"

Click here to access a written transcript of this episode.

CW: Discussion of suicide, self-harm, and symptoms of mental disorders

The Girl Gang returns to share our personal experiences with mental health in an effort to combat stigma and normalize these discussions. Shame, a lack of information, and dismissive and negative comments kept all of us from getting the care we desperately needed for far too long, and we want to help others avoid the same fate.

We chatted about missed diagnoses in childhood (ranging from depression and anxiety to ADHD), finding a therapist and going to therapy, medication, access issues, building the tools in our mental health toolboxes, and more. Hopefully you can learn something from our experiences or feel more affirmed in your own.

We discussed:

  • Our privileges so that people know where we’re coming at this topic from.
  • Our experiences with mental health growing up, including our understanding of what it was and how it affected us.
  • How things like self-harm and suicide in our respective schools and friend groups impacted us.
  • Our adulthood experiences with mental health, seeing therapists, and more.
  • The fact that it’s uncommon for children to be taught how to deal with their feelings in healthy ways which has longlasting effects.
  • What panic attacks can feel like.
  • The ways in which coping mechanisms can be simultaneously constructive and destructive.
  • Why the toolbox analogy is especially helpful for mental health.
  • Mental health access issues like money, time, and finding the right practitioner fit.
  • Other options besides therapy for improving your mental health since therapy isn’t accessible or right for everyone.
  • How you don’t have to be “broken” to get something out of therapy.
  • Medication and how the choice to take it doesn’t mean you’re weak.
  • Deserving help regardless of whether you have a traumatic past or some other “reason” to suffer from the mental health issues that you do.

Featured in This Episode

The Girl Gang is made up of Shohreh Davoodi, host of the Conjuring Up Courage podcast, as well as two of her closest friends, Tiffany Cunningham and Ally Ridnour.

Photos of Shohreh, Tiffany, and Ally side by side

Shohreh (she/her) was the host of the Conjuring Up Courage podcast during the show’s three-year run. Currently, Shohreh is focusing her attention on being a writer and creator. You can keep up with Shohreh by subscribing to her newsletter, The Queer Agenda, and following her on Instagram and TikTok.

Tiffany (she/they) is a graphic designer, aerial enthusiast, fanfic author, cat mom, gay fairy gothmother, and bisexual human disaster. An actual Austin, Texas native, she’s been keeping her hometown weird long before it was cool. She is proud to be friends with Shohreh, and their friendship has grown through their shared passions for aerials and pop punk, mental health struggles, and experiences as queer women thumbing their noses at the patriarchy. You can find Tiffany on Instagram.

Ally (she/her) is an aerialist, a horror movie enthusiast, and a proud member of the Girl Gang. She has been described as “actually a trench coat filled with snakes and chaos” as well as “literally a demon,” and she feels those are pretty accurate descriptions. When she’s not busy filling every space she encounters with chaotic energy, she can probably be found laughing about farts or giving long-winded speeches about her weird taste in music to unappreciative audiences. She has a lot of opinions. You can find Ally on Instagram.

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The Queer Agenda is a newsletter dedicated to uplifting LGBTQIA+ folks (where our accomplices benefit too) by sharing thoughtful tools, strategies, advice, and encouragement to help us heal and come home to ourselves. It’s equal parts warm hug, gentle kick in the ass, and queer magic.