BS Podcast: Do People With Mental Illness Suffer from Trauma?


Many people don’t understand how mental illness, in and of itself, can be traumatic. Everything from the emotions, physical sensations, and even treatment – locked in a ward or a hospital, often against our will – is a recipe for trauma. While every person with mental illness is different, most people with serious and persistent mental illness describe being traumatized in addition to the impact of the illness itself.

In this episode of A Bipolar, a Schizophrenic, and a Podcast, our hosts discuss their own traumas as they relate to living with – and getting help for – mental illness. They both recall their time receiving treatment in the psychiatric hospital and Michelle tells the story of her encounter with a police officer that ended less than ideally.

Listen in to understand that trauma and mental illness are two separate issues that often go hand-in-hand.





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“Just because something is for your own good doesn’t mean that it’s not traumatizing.”
– Gabe Howard


Highlights From ‘Trauma and Mental Illness’ Episode

[1:30] What is a layman’s definition of trauma?

[4:00] Gabe and Michelle’s traumatic experiences in the psychiatric ward.

[9:00] Michelle tells the story of her “run-in” with a police officer.

[15:00] They discuss Michelle’s feelings about what happened with the police officer.

[19:50] What should/could the police officer have done differently?

[21:00] Information about training police officers to help people with mental illness.


Meet Your Bipolar and Schizophrenic Hosts

GABE HOWARD was formally diagnosed with bipolar and anxiety disorders after being committed to a psychiatric hospital in 2003. Now in recovery, Gabe is a prominent mental health activist and host of the award-winning Psych Central Show podcast. He is also an award-winning writer and speaker, traveling nationally to share the humorous, yet educational, story of his bipolar life. To work with Gabe, visit


MICHELLE HAMMER was officially diagnosed with schizophrenia at age 22, but incorrectly diagnosed with bipolar disorder at 18. Michelle is an award-winning mental health advocate who has been featured in press all over the world. In May 2015, Michelle founded the company Schizophrenic.NYC, a mental health clothing line, with the mission of reducing stigma by starting conversations about mental health. She is a firm believer that confidence can get you anywhere. To work with Michelle, visit Schizophrenic.NYC.