Review: On being 'normally abnormal'

So i went to see this comedian, he was doing a show on campus for free! I've never heard of him before but from the minute we walked in, albeit late, he made us laugh. He was funny. Like laugh out loud kind of funny. Now, Alan Carr is my favourite comedian and i always think comedians should be funny as people not just putting on a funny show, with funny jokes if you know what i mean. One review of his show says 
"A capable comic who is able to hold a room with his personality' – The List". 
And i couldn't agree with this more! But, what i liked most about this show was the fact it had a point. It had a purpose, which at first seemed like it was just about taking the piss out of his self (and others) misfortunes but, the big take home was... we're all abnormal, we all have our weaknesses or things that we have to deal with but that's normal and that's what makes us us.
So Dave a 'manorexic' (he hates that word and so do i) spoke openly about his experience with anorexia alongside some rather hilarious anecdotes such as, spilling coffee all over images on deadline day and shouting,
"they're coming all over me, it's going everywhere"
to demonstrate the effect it can have a persons life. Some examples he gives are , decreased cognitive control, isolation, low testosterone and zero sex drive (he wanted to create a karmaspoontra). It was all laughs from the audience but deep down it hit a nerve in myself and a lot of others watching. If you've experienced eating disorders yourself, you'll recognise these effects on your life and not just that, you'll know how it feels and what the reality is like but, on the other hand if you haven't experienced it first hand he gives a light-hearted overview of how eating disorders can impact a persons life in ways you'd never even think of. I think it's a brilliant way raise awareness because anorexia is not just about weight loss, theres bigger impacts that go beyond vanity and looks and really impact a person mentally and socially.  

From this he then goes on to talk about depression and being completely and utterly honest mentions his continual management of this mental illness. It is an 'illness' yet there are a lot of negative connotations associated with it for reasons i won't discuss. Theres is a very biological basis of depression (Nestler et al., 2002) we can see differences in the brain of a depressed person and there is some genetic basis but. However, he discusses how he doesn't like the word suffering used when dealing with depression and hates being call braved as it implies there is something to be ashamed of. Managing is a better term - it's a continual process, a movement towards becoming the best version of yourself, learning from your experiences and being able to overcome the 'hands you've been dealt'. It's what makes us 

"normally abnormal"

Overall, i thought it was a wonderful way to spend an hour. His down to earth honesty was really quite refreshing. It really hit a nerve for me and made me question my own relationship with food and dealing with my own issues i have regarding eating. It made me realise that it's nothing to be ashamed of, we all go through these challenges in life and you know what, it's highly likely we'll come out the other side a stronger person. No matter what it is, don't be afraid to speak up and talk about whats going on in your life. If Dave can tour the country and tell everyone his inner battles, whatever they might be, then why should we be afraid of what others are going to think and say?

For more information:

Nestler, E., Barrot, M., DiLeone, R., Eisch, A., Gold, S., & Monteggia, L. (2002). Neurobiology of Depression. Neuron34(1), 13-25. (if you cannot get access i have a pdf version). 



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