(1) Social relationships are important for anyone in maintaining health, but for the mentally ill it is especially important.

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People with severe mental illness are probably the most isolated social group of all.

They are judged, disrespected and made into pariahs.

Over the last several years Maria Bamford has become one of the most acclaimed and original stand-up comics in the country.

Along with Patton Oswalt, Zach Galifianakis, and Brian Posehn, Bamford was part of the , a brilliant web series from 2009 that was screened last year at the Museum of Art Design in New York.

The premise of the series was that Bamford had had a nervous breakdown on stage and ended up back in Minnesota living with her parents.

Bamford played every role in the series: her mother, father, sister, coworkers, and old high school acquaintances. I brought up some props on stage and did what I deemed to be a funny speech. ” But I don’t know if the arts are special that way.

They fear rejection from others, who may be afraid of the mentally ill, so the mentally ill person may feel overwhelmed by the thought of attempting to form new friendships. Or, they may make a great effort to conceal their condition from others, which results in additional stress from worrying about their true condition being discovered.

It is sometimes the case that the severely mentally ill person becomes homeless.

Have you read Moshe Kasher’s new book, Kasher in the Rye? And I didn’t go through rehab at 16, like he did, but my first couple years of college, I was kind of a screw-up. I think you can lose yourself in any creative activity—if you enjoy your job or enjoy a task, you can lose yourself in that. I’d tell a joke, or say something slightly shocking, and then go into a little “ba-dump-bump-a-buh-boo-boo” on the violin.