advocate Archives - Unhinged

Unhinged Episode #050: We Are Finding Who We Are

by Ed 3 Comments
Unhinged Episode #050: We Are Finding Who We Are

For our 50th episode, we start off with a clip of us singing the King’s X song “We Are Finding Who We Are”. In a way, it’s very relevant to what our show is all about. We look to the unknown future, with pain we have yet to experience, but know is coming. Those challenges can be overcome with the help of others. No mountain is too big to climb if you do it together.

This is evident in the mere fact that we are on our 50th episode. It’s a milestone that took us nearly a year and half, with many ups and downs, including a 5 month hiatus. But we keep coming back to record another episode. Why? Because we’ve heard from some of our listeners that our show has made them feel like they’re not alone, that somehow we have provided just a little bit of comfort to a suffering mind. That gives us purpose, which is validating to both of us, but especially to Doug, who can turn his lifelong battle into something positive for other sufferers.

This is a journey for both of us… an exploration of our fears, wants, and needs. We don’t have the answers, but we’re discovering them along the way. We are finding who we are.

Forever is a mountain we’ve yet to climb
Tears are a part of what is yet to leave behind
Strength in numbers, all you need is two
Everyone’s a winner, while still so many lose

The volume of emotion erupting in our souls
A quiet revelation quickly takes a hold
Patience is a virtue, but she won’t always wait
Dissension is the tension, it’s what we’ve learned to hate

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Unhinged Episode #033: Don’t be SAD

by Ed 0 Comments
Unhinged Episode #033: Don’t be SAD

After a three-week hiatus, we’re back just in time for the holiday season! These past three weeks have been very dark for Doug, but he’s finally emerging from the shadows. With another tweak to his DBS settings, he has seen a shift from severe to moderate, which is definitely the direction he needs to go.

We start this episode with an update on his mood, and also talking about the successful GoFundMe campaign I started for Doug that raised nearly $2,500 (THANK YOU!). The good news continues with Doug’s acceptance into the peer support program for the Mood Disorder Association of Ontario.

Next, we discuss Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), which is also known as winter depression, winter blues, or seasonal depression. As the holiday season arrives, SAD cases rise due to being exposed to less sunlight as the mornings start later and evening begins earlier during the winter season. And finally, we talk about some of the treatments available for SAD sufferers.

Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD): Symptoms, Causes & Treatment Procedures

Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD): Symptoms, Causes & Treatment Procedures

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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 #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 #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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Unhinged Episode #013: Letters From the Loony Bin

by Ed 0 Comments
Unhinged Episode #013: Letters From the Loony Bin

In our 13th episode, we cover Doug’s 6-month stint in a mental hospital. We learn what it felt like for him to be in a real life “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest”. Doug reads an old journal entry, which sounds¬†like a dark and emotional suicide note. He’s come a long way since then.

Next, we discuss mental health advocacy. This has become the mission for this podcast, as well as Doug’s special purpose. We follow this with a words from some of our fans out in the wild, as well as a segment listing some interesting facts about the brain.

Finally, we touch on the dynamics of Father’s Day and how it differs between us.

Show resources:
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