Kimi Culp

Benefitting Crisis Text line

Our very own host, Kimi Culp, is interviewed by her friend and former Good Morning America colleague, Holly Gordon about a secret Kimi has kept for over twenty years: her diagnosis of bi-polar disorder. In this revealing and highly personal conversation, Kimi describes how she experiences the highs and lows of a manic episode (while balancing a demanding career in journalism!), and why she decided to finally share her secret on All The Wiser.

In Today’s Episode

  • After graduating from college, Kimi lands an internship with CNN covering Columbine paving the way for her first journalism gig at NBC news.

  • Kimi becomes a road warrior, traveling the country working as a booker for Good Morning America, and eventually moving on to The Oprah Winfrey show where she honed her skills as a storyteller.

  • Kimi produces Gleason, a documentary about her friends Steve and Michelle Gleason and their daily life together after Steve’s terminal ALS diagnosis.

  • Kimi reveals that at 19 years old she was diagnosed with bipolar disorder

  • What is bipolar? What are the symptoms, and how is it treated?

  • How bipolar has impacted her kids and family

  • The stigma of mental illness and the consequences of secrecy

  • Self care, staying well, and starting All The Wiser

Wise Words

  • “Totally fake it til you make it”

  • “I think it’s important to distinguish chemical depression versus circumstantial depression, because I have layered a lot of shame when I’ve been depressed on that because I think, ‘How can I be depressed?’ Especially listen to the stories I’m sharing like, ‘look what people are going through.’”

  • “I have three healthy kids and a great husband and I feel broken inside and it makes no sense. So that’s the chemistry of my brain and I have come to peace with, it’s not always correlated to your life circumstances and that’s okay.”

  • “Shame and secrecy are really weighty and heavy and if you’re already dealing with mental illness and managing that or just the stuff of life to layer on shame and secrecy is a shame.”

  • “I have to keep a bead on what’s happening and make sure I’m supporting myself with lifestyle choices. So that may be cutting back on caffeine, cutting back on alcohol. Even just going to bed earlier. All those things that affect the way we all feel.”

  • “I would say that this illness will not define you. Your family will define you. Your friends, your faith, your work in the world. So this is not something that will define you. And I would say, take it seriously. Get all the tools you can to take care of yourself. Don’t be ashamed. Don’t be ashamed. And basically that it’s going to be okay, and there’s going to be a lot of ups and downs and bumps in the road, but you got this.”

  • “Suffering is a shared human experience. Regardless of what your suffering is. And I think having real, raw, honest conversations, you can feel more connected to people. And so I hope people learn something new, I hope they feel more connected. I hope they get takeaways from the gifts that these people have on the other end of their circumstances, and that wisdom is passed along. Hence, All The Wiser.”

  • “If you’re crushing it at work but the cost is your personal relationships are a mess and non existent, then are you really successful?”