Unhinged - Page 7 of 11 - Talking Mental

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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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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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.

genetic testing 2000px-Chromosome_17.svg

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