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Doug Ends Indiegogo (Generosity) Fundraising Campaign

by Doug 0 Comments
DBS for TRD

The very long and state-of-the-art brain surgery called DBS. There were more medical staff involved in the room, than I’ve ever seen before.

Friends,

As of this evening, I have decided to end the Indiegogo (Generosity) fundraising campaign. I am more than determined to do what it takes to work in an advocate capacity and push for necessary change in many areas of Mental Health. These of course include continuing to fund research in areas such as Genetics, Neuroscience, Peer Support and of course a much stronger commitment from governments to support those who are in dire need and who are fighting for their lives.

Awareness has definitely come a long way in the last several years, and this fundraising campaign was a testament to just that. In just 4 days, we received 7 donations that allowed us to reach 68% of our original goal…in my eyes and my heart that truly says something about the inherent goodness of people. I’ve met many special friends through social media and I’m extremely grateful for these selfless, wonderful people.

DBS Brain Surgery Saved My Life: Neurosurgery + Genetic Research + Digital Brain Imaging. I am deep in the heart of three clinical trials that are at the forefront and cutting edge in the areas of Neuroscience, Genetic Research, Neuropsychiatry and more. My case is a particularly rare one, and severely intractable, so at this moment I feel good & proud about the fact that these leading scientists & practitioners are learning and advancing in treatment due to my participation and the data that they’re collecting.

If you’ve been keeping up with the podcast, you know that right now, since the MEG Imaging, I am feeling better than I’ve felt in a lot of years. So now, it’s a matter of whether or not the remission continues and if and when I’ll be able to enjoy a meaningful quality of life. Thanks to these advancements in science, as well as the support of friends and family, I will remain hopeful, keep fighting, and will devote the rest of my life helping others get through their immense challenges dealing with this disease.

The Primary reason for ending the campaign early, or why I’d launched it in the first place, is because I’m finally in a place where life & living matters, and doing the podcast is not only therapeutic, it’s broadcasting, which I’d studied in the 90’s and even worked as a radio talk show host for spell. To me now, I feel that it’s my calling in a sense to couple my communication skills with exactly the type of subject matter we cover on Unhinged and I do not want to lose that opportunity to be a voice for those who feel alone, unimportant and ultimately feel they are not heard.

So the show MUST go on, it’s my turn to help & advocate for those in real need, but it was imperative that I found some, at least temporary was to somehow supplement my below-poverty level income, because for one it’s morally wrong, but when you face the prospect of not eating anything for days at the end of each month, it’s inevitable that fear & negative emotions will arise and I get psychologically down, even though I can tell the Neurology (DBS) is working…but I’m still faced with the realization every month not knowing where my next meal is coming from.

Once again, I send out a heartfelt thank you to our supporters and please be sure to tune into out Podcast every Tuesday, not only is it an important means of communicating our plans of advocacy, but it is subject matter that can help people on all walks of life deal with challenging & difficult times in their lives. Hope Lives!

Best,

-Doug Warren Rickel
Mental Health Advocate & Survivor

“You may encounter many defeats, but you must not be defeated. In fact, it may be necessary to encounter the defeats, so you can know who you are, what you can rise from, how you can still come out of it.’

~Maya Angelou

 

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“The Brain Pacemaker” Explained…

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ANNOUNCEMENT: Show Delayed…

by Ed 0 Comments

If you follow our show, you know that the last two episodes have been done without Doug since he was struggling with severe anxiety and was unable to participate. Normally, we record an episode every Sunday and publish it every Tuesday. This past Sunday was again a no-go since Doug’s anxiety was still very high.

Today (Monday) Doug is actually feeling slightly better and thinks he might be able to record an episode tomorrow night. If we can do that, we should be able to get a show out this week. This is what we’re shooting for right now, but like with any mental illness, nothing is a guarantee.

Doug feels very passionate about this, and as of last night’s discussion, he wants to fight through all the discomfort and put together a show not only to prove something to himself, but to prove something to the listeners that are all too valuable to us. He will not let this disease win.

So that’s where we stand right now. We’re hoping for a show this week, and will try our best to deliver. I don’t want to put out another show by myself since I think Unhinged works best when we’re both on. Worst case, we take a little break until we’re ready to pick up again. Hope you understand.

Stay tuned right here so you don’t miss a thing! Thank you for listening and for all of your support!

Oh, and by the way, today is Doug’s birthday 🙂

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Doug’s Follow-up information on his own Genetics & Digital Imgaging

by Doug 0 Comments

I promised during the last couple of UH podcasts that I would clarify what I’ve been learning in regards to the latest gene testing and digital imaging that I’ve been involved with, specifically based on my individual disease…

The following excerpt is from one of the latest studies from the National Psychiatry Association. This will help explain the ‘S’ (or ‘Short’ Allele), my predisposition to it as well as how it affects specific parts of the/my brain. We will continue to follow-up and elaborate on the subject matter during upcoming shows:

Serotonin Transporter Gene

The serotonin transporter gene may affect neural circuits connecting the amygdala and the cingulate and cause depression.

People with anxiety disorders or depression complain not so much about the emotion itself as its unceasing nature, says Daniel Weinberger of the National Institute of Mental Health. Now he and his colleagues may have found why their experience is continuous, according to work published in the June issue of Nature Neuroscience. Scientists know that the serotonin transporter gene, which encodes a key protein for neurotransmission in the brain, comes in a long form and a short form. People who have the short form are susceptible to developing depression or anxiety, though the gene does not actually cause it.

To find out how the short form affects emotional health, Weinberger’s team looked at 94 healthy individuals, some who have each form. Using brain imaging techniques, they found that two regions involved in emotional responses, the amygdala and the cingulate, were smaller in people with the short gene. Also, the neural circuits connecting the amygdala and the cingulate were weaker in people with the short form than in those with the long one. That is important, says Weinberger, because the amygdala controls a person’s response to fearful situations, evaluating whether they should react or not, and then the cingulate vets the amygdala’s response. If a fear signal put out by the amygdala is not justified, the cingulate turns it off.

But in people with the short form of the gene, the cingulate is not able to perform this editing function as effectively, so it is as if the amygdala is going off all the time. “If you can’t shut off fear, it is much worse than just feeling it for the first time,” Weinberger says. The new evidence suggests that this phenomenon happens in people with the short gene, which would explain why they are more prone to depression and anxiety.

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Important News

by Ed 0 Comments

Hello Unhinged fans and listeners. This is Ed, co-founder and co-host of the podcast. As you may have noticed, we haven’t posted much in the last few days. There’s a reason for that, and it’s unfortunately not great news.

As many of you have seen, Doug recently posted about his two-month remission and how he’s been cautiously optimistic about recovery. As a matter of fact, our next show, episode #16, which is scheduled to be released on July 12th, is all about his remission and some interesting new facts he learned about the origins of his mental illness. The show has already been recorded, and it’s a mostly positive discussion.

However, for the past several days, Doug has taken a turn for the worse and is again experiencing debilitating symptoms. He is very angry, depressed, and frustrated to say the least. He has no energy to move and even skipped out on going to a baseball game that someone gave him tickets to, which he was excited about just last week. I’ve been trying to motivate him to change his routine to no avail. We’ve talked, but all that comes out of his mouth is negativity and anger, which makes it very difficult to have a productive conversation.

Underneath it all, he knows and understands that it is the disease talking, and I get that too. But I won’t lie and say it’s easy to take. It’s not. I miss the real Doug, the one who had me in tears laughing when we recorded some of our silly bits in episode #13. I miss the Doug that I can talk to for hours about music and comedy. And I miss the Doug that is positive and thinking about how well he is doing fighting to get his life back. The Doug I’ve been talking to the last few days is a false one, taken over by an evil beast of a disease. The hardest parts are those fleeting moments where his true self bleeds through, if only for a sentence or two. Like he’s fighting to get a message out to me that says “don’t listen to him, that’s not me!”

I hear you, brother. And I’m still here for you, waiting.

In the meantime, I am trying to get an update recorded and added to our next show to explain to our listeners that the remission has decided to take a little break for now. Not sure what we’ll do for the show after that, but we’ll take it one day at a time.

Thank you all again for your continued support.

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Stephen Fry on Depression

by Ed 0 Comments

If you know someone who is depressed, please resolve never to ask them why. Depression isn’t a straightforward response to a bad situation. Depression just is, like the weather.
Stephen-Fry-depression-07-01-2016

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An Unconditional Thank you to Mr. Unconditional

by Doug 0 Comments

I IMG_20160623_180359want to send a special thank you to my best friend Ed Caggiani for helping me get through the last couple of days which have been quite difficult, to say the least.

He was, as usual, unconditionally supportive and helped me through a difficult time financially as well.

He was also an ideal “enabler” (Not in the traditional sense!)

Sorry, but you’ll have to tune in to Episode #14 of Unhinged Podcast, to be released on June 28th, for more gory details, as well as other open, honest and unedited confessions…true talk amongst true friends.

For us and for you, don’t miss it!

UnhingedPodcast.com -Talking Mental

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