Bill Hader talks anxiety with Dan Harris
January 10, 2024 1:02 PM   Subscribe

I don't know what I was expecting when I sat down to watch Bill Hader on Anxiety, Imposter Syndrome and Leaning Into Discomfort [1h20m], from the Ten Percent Happier podcast but what I got was a bare-bones confessional of a man who suffers deeply from anxiety even while he lives one of the most public lives in the country. I think I needed to watch this, and maybe you need to watch it also.
posted by hippybear (8 comments total) 34 users marked this as a favorite
Everyone is incompetent and unqualified, at least sometimes. If you're not then you're not operating up to your potential. The harder the thing is you're trying to do, the more you're going to fail at it.

Rockstars are a lie.
posted by Rev. Irreverent Revenant at 3:23 PM on January 10 [4 favorites]

This was a great interview - thanks for posting!

I will note that some folks (Bill Hader among them, apparently) use humor to help deal with very real fears and anxieties and mental illness. It may not resonate for everyone, but I don’t think it’s necessarily a bad or disrespectful thing.
posted by ourobouros at 3:24 PM on January 10 [7 favorites]

Mod note: A few deleted. Please do not make comments if they are not being made in good faith. Please remember there are users reading your comments who are directly impacted by what they are reading, especially in threads about mental health and personal experiences. Please be mindful before commenting.
posted by travelingthyme (staff) at 3:32 PM on January 10 [17 favorites]

The Ten Percent Happier podcasts and app are amazing, as are the books that have developed from Dan Harris's experiences working to tame his anxiety and make mindfulness and meditation accessible and affirming. Bill Hader is an absolute treasure. Thanks for posting the cast!
posted by but no cigar at 4:28 PM on January 10 [3 favorites]

Watched half of this so far. Very much hits spots for me. I've been anxious since I was a little kid. I used to curl my hair in my finger and rip it out. I remember feeling like being in a trace (I didn't know the term or meaning of trance, but looking back, that's what it was). I always feel like I need to fix things NOW. Had this so bad with work for literally two decades... I remember coming in the morning thinking "what can I start doing to get out of here at the end of the day at the earliest time possible?"

Of course I drank way, way too much. I didn't start drinking heavily until I was about 24 or so, but once I caught that train, I thought it was the only way to go. Not gonna get into the alcohol abuse details, but I know now I was always medicating myself, always "fixing" myself. It wasn't just about being/getting drunk, it was "How sick will I feel tomorrow if I drink this much? How much sleep do I really need? When can I get beer after work and pound it secretly, then drink a few normally?" It got to the point where it was almost a 24/7 of managing how sick I felt. And I never day-drank regularly until the last couple years when I was almost dead. It was all managing myself, fixing myself, thinking about how I will be in six hours, in ten hours, in two hours, the next morning, etc. Just horrible. And of course, alcohol withdrawal causes ultra-severe anxiety. Sleeplessness, shakes, sweats. Ugh.

Been sober for five years now. It's easy mode, but I'm still anxious quite a bit. Maybe not as bad as before. I just don't have a reliable "off" button. Three beers and my anxiety was GONE. I don't have that now. I need to learn something from this video. I was doing mindfulness for a long time and fell out of the habit.

I have an addiction/dependency on a legal drug these days. Not gonna bother mentioning it, but I can't live without it. I switched one addiction for another less deadly one, one where I can function at least. I can take my legal drug and no one would ever, ever notice. But it's starting to really bother me me, this feeling of having to manage my intake all the time. Having to hide it.

Anyway, thanks for the post. Depression seems to get all the media, the spotlight, the buzz. Anxiety still has an air of "just calm down, dude!... take some deep breaths!.. Don't worry about it!" I'd love to see more public awareness of anxiety and just how miserable it can be. I literally feel like I wasted 15 years being a nervous wreck. Better now, but not great.
posted by SoberHighland at 5:54 PM on January 10 [17 favorites]

Big fan of the Ten Percent Happier app, over here. I don't listen to the podcast often -- thank you for posting this.
posted by wicked_sassy at 6:21 AM on January 11

I love Bill and want to add this brief video of Bill sharing some tips for kids (but useful for all of us.) Thanks for sharing this interview!
posted by soonertbone at 5:36 PM on January 11 [3 favorites]

On balance fame sounds like absolute hell.
posted by dry white toast at 7:53 AM on January 12

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