Unhinged - Page 4 of 9 - Talking Mental

Unhinged Episode #031: Peer Through The Darkness

by Ed 0 Comments
Unhinged Episode #031: Peer Through The Darkness

The importance of a solid support network is typically underrated, but is tantamount to the well-being of someone with depression, anxiety, or any other mental health issue. Family and friends that see through the stigma and understand that it’s a disease can be a very important pillar in the support system of sufferers.

Perhaps just as important is peer support. Real peer support comes from someone who has fought their own demons and understands the anguish on an intimate level. They are trained in how to talk to and comfort sufferers, and can relate to them on a more personal level. There’s an instant level of trust with someone who has been there before, and that can open up the conversation and act as therapy.

NOTE: We had some technical/network issues with Skype during the show, so the sound quality is not as good as usual. We apologize for that and did our best to clean up the audio during editing.

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Unhinged Episode #030: Autism Spectrum Disorder with Matt Moloney

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Unhinged Episode #030: Autism Spectrum Disorder with Matt Moloney

In today’s episode, we welcome special guest Matt Moloney, an old co-worker and friend of Doug’s from years past. Matt talks to us about Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and Asperger’s Syndrome. Matt’s son Nathan was diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome, and what Matt has learned is that raising a child who is socially challenged has made him a better person. He is an advocate for awareness and pushes for the acceptance of these children into “normal” society rather than being marginalized by a system that doesn’t understand them.

We also learn that people who fall within the autism spectrum do not consider themselves broken in any way. A term now being used is “neurodiverse”, which means that they simply lie on a part of humanity’s full spectrum where they are as not as well-equipped to handle social or emotional interactions. The majority of the world’s people would be classified as “neurotypical” by contrast. Just as one person may not have an affinity for, say, drawing, a neurodiverse person may not be good in social situations, but they usually do show very high intelligence and may hyperfocus on one or two talents and excel at them.

It’s a topic we have not yet covered, and we thank Matt for joining us to explain what it’s all about. Very interesting and eye-opening!

NOTE: We had some technical/network issues with Skype during the show, so the sound quality is not as good as usual. We apologize for that and did our best to clean up the audio during editing.

Matt and his son Nathan

Matt and his son Nathan

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Unhinged Episode #029: Still Fighting

by Ed 1 Comment
Unhinged Episode #029: Still Fighting

We welcome Doug back in this episode, but he’s still fighting through severe depression and anxiety. Apparently, this time, he actually felt the trigger of his downturn. It occurred after a comment from someone he looks up to totally took the wind out of his sails. With Doug’s delicate amygdala, any negative external stimuli can trigger a downward spiral, and that’s exactly what happened.

Seeking help, he managed to get a quick appointment to have his DBS adjusted. The intensity of the current setting was turned up a notch, and now it’s a waiting game. Unfortunately, relief could take days, months, or even years. Of course, we’re hoping for days, since his last DBS adjustment seemed to work fairly quickly.

He’s still hoping to become a peer support counselor, but he will have to slow things down a bit to avoid any possible negative triggers. In the meantime, he keeps fighting, but will take on fewer challenges at once… it’s all about baby steps.

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Unhinged Episode #028: Eyes are Green

by Ed 0 Comments
Unhinged Episode #028: Eyes are Green

If you listened to our last show, you know Doug has been feeling much better since the DBS adjustment was made maybe 1 month and a half ago or so. He was feeling confident and was looking forward to starting down the path of becoming a peer support counselor as well as working on more music and getting out more.

Unfortunately, it looks like those plans might be on hold for now since Doug has again been struck down by this relentless disease. All this happened very quickly, literally from one day to the next. It’s unclear if the DBS has stopped working or if he’s having another long bout of anxiety that is causing him to shut down and close himself off from any contact.

I have not heard from Doug since a text he sent me on Friday, October 7th, saying that he’s “in f*cking hell” right now. This episode is just me explaining all I know so far, so it’s a short one. I close the show with a short excerpt of a song I am writing about Doug’s battle. Hopefully he’ll be back next week feeling stronger and giving us more insights into what he’s going through.

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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

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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