Unhinged - Page 4 of 8 - Talking Mental

Unhinged Episode #026: Baby Steps

by Ed 0 Comments
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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Doug Finds Bravery Inside…

by Doug 0 Comments
Doug Finds Bravery Inside…
I hope I don't soil myself!
TLC: Toronto. Laughs. Comedy.

TLC: Toronto. Laughs. Comedy.

TGIF Comedy Open Mic Night!

Friday, Oct 7, 2016, 7:30 PM

Lola
40 Kensington Ave. Toronto, ON

2 Heckle Haters Attending

Hey guys! Thanks so much so joining the group! I run a weekly open mic comedy night at the dive bar LOLA (near Spadina/Dundas) in Kensington Market from 7:30-10pm every Friday. All of you are free to come out & watch, have some cheap drinks, and even try your hand at standup comedy if you’re up for it! -Acts range from amateurs & first-timers, to …

Check out this Meetup →

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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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Unhinged Episode #025: Carpe Diem

by Ed 0 Comments
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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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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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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