It may seem counterintuitive that a comedian suffers from clinical depression, but Gary Gulman defies the stereotype by talking openly about his mental health struggles during his stand-up sets. Gulman spoke to CBS News’ Major Garrett for this week’s episode of “The Takeout” podcast.

As millions of Americans are being forced to stay at home to help slow the spread of coronavirus, Gulman addressed the feeling of isolation that could arise and recommended staying in contact with loved ones as much as possible, even if it’s a phone call and not an in-person visit.

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“In an ideal world, you could go visit a friend, and hug a friend, but I will say that I have had phone conversations in the past week that have been so lovely,” Gulman said, encouraging people to air their anxieties with their friends. “Just getting that out in the open and letting the air hit it sort of deflates it a little, and we comfort each other and we offer each other things — sometimes just an ear.”

Gulman recommended exercising for people stuck inside, especially those struggling with mental health issues. And he also suggested that it’s a good time to watch comedy specials.

“I’m hoping while people are sheltered in place, they’re connecting with comedians. We’ve never had better access to comedians, visually and audio-wise,” Gulman said.

Gulman’s critically acclaimed HBO comedy special, “The Great Depresh,” centered on his struggles with debilitating depression. Gulman spoke with Garrett about his difficulties and eventual success in finding treatment.

“It’s never a great time to be mentally ill, but there’s never been a better time than now to be mentally ill because there is so much being done, there are so many treatments and medications,” Gulman said. “Depression is a very strong enemy. It is defeatable, it is treatable.”

Gulman encouraged people in recovery from mental health issues to stay strong during this difficult time.

“I hope people who have recovered and were feeling well before the COVID-19 crisis, I hope they’ll be vigilant with what it took them to get out of it and not let this throw them off their course and off their path,” he said.

For more of Major’s conversation with Gulman, download “The Takeout” podcast on  iTunesGooglePlaySpotify and Stitcher. New episodes are available every Friday morning. Also, you can watch “The Takeout” on CBSN Friday at 5pm, 9pm, and 12am ET and Saturday at 1pm, 9pm, and 12am ET. For a full archive of “The Takeout” episodes, visit www.takeoutpodcast.com. And you can listen to “The Takeout” on select CBS News Radio affiliates (check your local listings).

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