Podcast Archives - Page 3 of 5 - Unhinged

Unhinged Episode #027: Electric Avenue

by Ed 0 Comments
Unhinged Episode #027: Electric Avenue

In this episode, we catch up with Doug’s progress with his DBS. Still going strong, even after a stressful few days. The neurological corrections (based on MEG brain imaging) are still in place and seem to still be working their magic a full month after altering the DBS settings.

Deep Brain Stimulation has already helped patients with Parkinson’s disease as well as dystonia. We play a couple of excerpts from Dr. Andres Lozano’s TED talk where he shows in real time how switching the DBS on totally stops a Parkinson’s patient from shaking, and essentially cures a child from severe dystonia. Tapping into the brain and sending an electric charge into very specific regions can kickstart malfunctioning neurons and bring hope to those who suffer from all sorts of mental illnesses.

Show resources:

DBS helps a Parkinson’s patient


DBS helps a patient with dystonia
 
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Unhinged Episode #026: Baby Steps

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Unhinged Episode #026: Baby Steps

Though Doug’s mood continues to improve from the new DBS setting, the end of the month financial struggle rears its ugly head again. In desperation, he started a crowdfunding campaign, only to suspend it early since we both felt uncomfortable with a plea for money with nothing in return.

From this, we decided to add a donate button on our website as a means to help keep the podcast going. Every month, when Doug’s disability money runs out and he goes days without food, his mood is understandably low, which makes recording the podcast a much lower priority than finding his next meal. So if you’re a listener and want to make sure we can continue doing the podcast, please donate however much you feel comfortable donating. No one with a mental illness should have to worry about basic sustenance.

On the betterment front, Doug is considering doing peer support for others who struggle with mental illness. Having been through it himself, he can provide a unique perspective that can help others going through similar issues.

Lastly, we discuss how real progress is made one step at a time. Looking forward too far makes tasks seem insurmountable, but focusing only on the small steps currently in front of you produces more wins and will lead to accomplishing what seemed impossible.

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Unhinged Episode #025: Carpe Diem

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Unhinged Episode #025: Carpe Diem

In this episode we continue discussing Doug’s progress and how the MEG brain imaging has helped dial in his current DBS settings, which seem to be holding so far. Doug goes into a bit of detail about the differences between the types of brain imaging currently available and their specific uses.

We also talk about Dr. Harry Frederick Harlow’s emotional experiments with rhesus monkeys, the ethical concerns surrounding his methods, and what we learned from his results. Also, we bring up Robin Williams again and discuss a few more details about his mental illness, and the similarities to Doug’s intractable depression.

Lastly, we talk about how we need to seize the day and appreciate everything we have right now and not stress out about what we cannot control. As Doug is improving, he is seeing the world through new eyes, hungry for everything positive the world has to offer.

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Unhinged Episode #024: Happy Days

by Ed 0 Comments
Unhinged Episode #024: Happy Days

Doug’s new setting on his DBS seems to still be working its miracles. Since the MEG scan pointed to three settings that showed promising neural activity, Doug has been on the first setting, and so far so good! No more shooting blind… with brain imaging, we now have a more reliable method of determining effective treatment.

We’re cautiously optimistic about this, and really hope it lasts into full remission, unlike the roller coaster setting he had previously. The best part of it all is that he now not only has hope, but is looking forward to a more “normal” future.

Show resources:

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Unhinged Episode #023: Helplessly Hoping

by Ed 0 Comments
Unhinged Episode #023: Helplessly Hoping

We’re back! In this episode, Doug talks about the results of his MEG scan and how he’s feeling after weeks of unbearable anxiety. His scans show that there are three DBS settings that were showing activity, so at least now, when adjusting the DBS, it can be done with some intelligence behind it rather than trial and error guessing. This new setting holds some promise, and we’re hoping it sticks.

We also talk a bit about the pros and cons of socialized medicine, and how quality healthcare should be available for all, not just those who can afford it. Doug’s life was saved by Canadian healthcare, but at the same time, there are struggles when it comes to long waits for appointments, and finding doctors who will treat patients as humans and not lab rats.

Lastly, we mention that Doug and I are collaborating on some music that we plan to release in the future as an album available for purchase from our website. We provide a small taste of something we’re working on (hint: see the title of this episode).

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Unhinged Episode #022: Trepidations

by Ed 0 Comments
Unhinged Episode #022: Trepidations

Doug is back! But only briefly to explain what he’s been going through and what it means for the future of our podcast. Don’t worry, we will continue in one form or another, but we must now consider Doug’s mental health and whether talking so personally about his daily struggles is a potential trigger or source for stress and anxiety. It’ll take us a couple of weeks to figure out, but we definitely want to continue the show. We may just not be able to be as rigid with our release dates, and the show format may change. We just don’t know the details yet.

Thank you to our listeners for sticking around and for all the well-wishes!

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Unhinged Episode #021: Fear

by Ed 1 Comment
Unhinged Episode #021: Fear

Last episode, we discussed how Doug was unable to join us due to his off-the-charts anxiety. This past week, his anxiety has continued like a roller coaster. Unfortunately, his disease is again keeping him from participating. We chatted a few days ago and he told me that the past week has felt more like years. Having been in what’s essentially a weeks long panic attack, he said he’s starting to wonder if anxiety is more than just a side effect of the DBS. What if it’s more of a base aspect of his personality, or at the very least a co-symptom of his mental illness? Is the anxiety caused by the depression, or is the depression caused by the anxiety?

This is just a quick update episode, so it’s very short. We’re hoping to do a full, proper show next week if Doug’s disease allows it. Thank you for understanding.

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Unhinged Episode #020: Return to Pooh Corner

by Ed 2 Comments
Unhinged Episode #020: Return to Pooh Corner

If you’ve been following the podcast, you’ll know that Doug has been on a roller coaster ride with his treatment resistant depression, being in remission for quite a while, then falling back down, then coming back out of it again. In our last episode, he was on an upswing, having just come out of a deep downward spiral that lasted 3 weeks. So things were looking good again. Unfortunately, that brief glimpse of normalcy has not lasted, and he is again suffering.

He was hoping to be better enough to do the show today, but his anxiety right now is through the roof. So instead of trying to do the show by myself today, I think I’ll play some highlights from our past 19 episodes.

There’s also a surprise song I recorded at the end of this episode. It’s a song that Doug taught me on guitar several years ago. I’m dedicating it to him in hopes of another remission, and one that lasts.

-Ed

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Unhinged Episode #019: A New Hope

by Ed 1 Comment
Unhinged Episode #019: A New Hope

After a long three weeks of relapse, Doug is finally starting to emerge from the darkness. In this episode, Doug recalls some of what he was feeling during that time… the anger, the frustration, the hopelessness. We also respond to a couple of emails we received about Episode #18: Relapse Part 2 – The Call. Apparently, the frankness and reality of our last episode struck a chord with some listeners in a good way. Hearing that our show has actually helped anyone is a huge validation of everything we’re trying to do. Thank you!

Lastly, we talk about Doug’s recent magnetoencephalography (MEG) session, where multiple settings were dialed in on his DBS, then his brain scanned. Being able to image his brain activity with differing DBS settings should hopefully provide some insight into what exactly the DBS is doing and how his brain is reacting. Now we wait for the analysis of his results.

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Unhinged Episode #018: Relapse Part 2 – The Call

by Ed 2 Comments
Unhinged Episode #018: Relapse Part 2 – The Call
NOTE: This episode contains very strong language and disturbing subject matter. This is a real life documentation of a person in a desperate state, wanting his pain to end. Listener discretion is advised.

Since the 4th of July, Doug’s mood has been steadily dropping, effectively ending his two-month remission from his treatment-resistant depression. On July 16th, he called me in a very low state to warn me that I should be prepared for the worst.

This episode is a recording of that phone call… totally raw, emotional, and unscripted. He was unaware that I was recording our conversation until I revealed that to him at the end of the call.

We then agreed that it would make a powerful episode to show just how this disease can bring someone to the brink of desperation.

We apologize for the length of this episode, but we felt we had to show the distorted thinking and circular discussions of someone in this state. We also apologize that the audio quality is not quite up to our standards, but since this was impromptu, Doug was not on his podcast mic at the time.

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