Unhinged - Page 2 of 12 - Talking Mental

Unhinged Episode #056: Spectrum With Attitude

by Ed 3 Comments
Unhinged Episode #056: Spectrum With Attitude

This week we welcome special guest Avery, a friend of the show’s, and to us. Avery and Doug share a connection through both being somewhere on the spectrum. Technically, Avery is toward the Asperger’s side. We discuss when and how each of them were first diagnosed, and how they have managed to overcome some of their challenges.

We also chat about the “gifts” that many people on the spectrum have and how it can sometimes be more of a curse. We’ve talked about Doug’s hyperfocusing abilities, and Avery has an eidetic memory and can recall facts with extreme accuracy. We did put Avery to the test trying to recall what year certain songs came out, and he was impressive!

Ultimately, people on the spectrum learn differently, so early and accurate diagnosis can help put them on the right path. Awareness is key!

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Unhinged Episode #055: Perspective

by Ed 1 Comment
Unhinged Episode #055: Perspective

On this week’s episode, we discuss how important perspective is to live a positive life. Doug has been realizing how the little positive things in life make a big difference if you stop to appreciate them. Focusing on the positives, no matter how small, helps push out the negatives.

Doug also brings up whether he should ask his brother and sister why they did not visit him during his brain surgery in 2012. During that time, he was estranged from his family, partially due to a lack of understanding on their part about the disease, and partially because of how deep a depression he was going through then. With Doug’s newly found positive perspective, and his family coming around to what mental illness is all about, he feels it might be the right time to find out what was going through their minds during that time, with no judgment on his part. They are different people now who are part of Doug’s support system, and the past is “water under the bridge”. He plans to talk about it with them soon.

Quick note: This episode opens with a short guitar jam that Doug put together with his new Fender rig. It’s simply Doug letting loose and experimenting, which shows how far he’s come lately. Here’s to hope in 2018!

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Unhinged Episode #054: Open Your Presence

by Ed 3 Comments
Unhinged Episode #054: Open Your Presence

In our first episode of 2018, we start with a short and fun guitar jam, which highlights the mood for the new year. Doug is feeling much better, and after receiving the love and generosity from some of our friends and listeners, he’s entering the new year on a wave of positivity.

The bulk of this episode was recorded on January 2nd, which happened to be my birthday. Doug contacted me and said he had some things to say that should be recorded for the show, so I went ahead and recorded our conversation. For Christmas, I got Doug a Fender Squier guitar and a Fender amp. His acoustic guitar, though a beautiful instrument, was not totally filling his void for musical expression, and his last electric guitar had to be sold last year for financial reasons (plus it ended up not being the guitar he thought it would be anyway). In any case, getting a Fender back in his hands was enough to trigger a positive psychological change.

We mostly talk about music and guitars in this episode, but the underlying tone is one of hope. Doug talks about self-care and how to try to stay positive by surrounding yourself with a strong support system.

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Unhinged Addendum to #053: Meeting Your Monster

by Ed 1 Comment
Unhinged Addendum to #053: Meeting Your Monster

Our last episode, Episode #53: Hey Brother, was a powerful one for Doug. His mood was pretty low when we started recording, but by the end of the show, his mood had improved greatly, especially after a conversation he had with his sister Laurie. After hearing that episode back, he got to hear what he sounds like when his mood is very low, and meeting his monster directly led to a breakthrough.

In this addendum to that episode, we wanted to end the year with a positive note about what we have learned about psychology, neurology, and how each plays a part in your mental well-being. Everything Doug said in episode #53 was coming from a place of cognitive distortion. This is the monster that blocks out the reasoning parts of the brain and is a relentless beast of negativity.

Confronting that monster from a different, more positive perspective made Doug realize how closed-minded and stubborn that beast can be. Seeing how his mood improved so quickly after social interactions also brings to light how looking outside of yourself in trying times can help bring back positivity and hope.

This is a short 20 minute discussion that tries to make sense of all this, and, more importantly, gives us much renewed hope for a more positive and happy 2018!

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Unhinged Episode #053: Hey Brother

by Ed 2 Comments
Unhinged Episode #053: Hey Brother

We’re back for our final show of 2017 (we’ll be back in January). This episode is a little bit different since the bulk of it is an actual recording of our typical pre-show planning discussion. Doug had mentioned in the past that we should probably start recording these talks, and this week that’s just what I did. Since that conversation got pretty personal and fairly deep, we decided to just play it as the main topic of this week’s show.

What follows below is a timeline of how the episode is structured. We start with a song clip and a discussion of the past two weeks. The full pre-show discussion starts nearly 19 minutes in.

0:00 – 00:57
Clip of original song “Hey Brother”

00:58 – 01:20
Unhinged Intro

01:21 – 18:55
We explain a bit about why we were absent for the last two weeks. Doug talks a bit about his struggles this holiday season so far, and we briefly chat about traumatic brain injuries in sports and the death of a UFC fighter.

18:56 – 01:07:02
Recording of pre-show discussion. This is the meat of this episode where Doug and I talk freely, usually to prepare the show for the day, but this time we discussed Doug’s slight downturn in mood in the last two weeks. He starts the conversation in a pretty low state, upset about his lot in life and feeling insecure about his future. We go back and forth for a while on feelings, distortion, and socialization. The conversation gets interrupted by a call from Doug’s sister. We ended our pre-show discussion after Doug talked to Laurie, and at that point recorded the opening to the this show.

01:07:03 – 01:08:25
I explain how Doug’s mood had shifted noticeably after our discussion and his interaction with his sister. The social interaction had improved his general state greatly. This is good data.

The next day (Monday), Doug and I talked again and his turnaround was even more pronounced. He even admitted how he felt better after hearing his sister’s voice the day before.

UPDATE:
We just posted an addendum to this episode! Check it out!

Holiday Gifts

 

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Rerun: Holiday Episode 2016

by Ed 0 Comments
Rerun: Holiday Episode 2016

Hello listeners! The holiday season is upon us, and this is typically a hard time for a lot of people, especially those who suffer from mental illness. Depression can easily set in while being surrounded by celebrations, festive lights, and commercialism. Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) is a real thing and can be very serious. Last year, in episode #33, we discussed SAD and some ways to help overcome some of its symptoms.

This year, as the season creeps in, both Doug and I have had some personal challenges. My dental work has not been particularly fun, but more importantly, Doug has been taking on a lot recently and has definitely felt the energy drain. He’s been volunteering more often at the MDAO… this time of year is tough for many and peer support is crucial. On top of that, he’s had his own mood struggles.

All this has made getting a show done very difficult this month. Again, this week we cannot find the time or the mental wherewithal to do a show justice, so instead we decided to put out our first rerun! This is episode #33, from December 13th, 2016, titled “Don’t Be SAD”. In it we discuss the challenges of the season and try to offer some ways to help get through it unscathed. Our recommendations and opinions about SAD are still the same as last year, so this episode is still very relevant.

Please enjoy last year’s SAD episode. We hope to be back next week with a holiday episode for 2017!

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Another Podcast Delay This Week

by Ed 1 Comment
Another Podcast Delay This Week

Hi again, listeners! Sorry to say we were not able to produce a show again this week, for a couple of reasons. First, I finally got my tooth extracted and I’m still recovering. My jaw is sore and talking doesn’t help. Secondly, Doug has been facing a few challenges of his own this week, both in mood and in his day-to-day life. We hate to cancel two weeks in a row, but hopefully by next week, we will both be fully recovered and ready to go.

Thanks for understanding!

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Podcast Delayed This Week

by Ed 1 Comment
Podcast Delayed This Week

Howdy, Unhinged listeners! Ed here, just letting you know that we will not be recording a podcast this week due to the fact that I had some dental work done and can’t really talk that much without some pain. I am also coming down with a bit of a cold, so it’s a bit of a double whammy.

We are still planning to do a show for next week. I do have more dental work that will be done on Friday, so hopefully that won’t interfere with our plans for the next show. We’ll have to play it by ear for now, but the plan is to forge ahead! Thanks for understanding, and see you next week!

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Unhinged Episode #052: Undun

by Ed 2 Comments
Unhinged Episode #052: Undun

We start this episode with some interesting documentary suggestions and more discussions about curcumin, the wonder supplement. But more importantly, we welcome another special guest this week. In Episode #37, we talked to Doug’s nephew Mitchell Drew. This week we welcome Mitchell’s mother, and Doug’s sister, Laurie Drew.

Listeners will know that Doug has recently started the healing process with his family. Laurie is a big part of that and she explains how it all went down. An open line of communication is the key to a healthy and loving family relationship, and now that the line has been opened, the healing can begin.

Laurie also gives us good insight into how Doug and his siblings grew up and how each dealt with their own challenges. We also discuss how this disease can take a toll on friends and family, especially back when much less was known about mental illness. Now it’s about awareness and education. The more people know about it, the better equipped they become to interact with sufferers in non-damaging ways.

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