anxiety Archives - Unhinged

Unhinged Episode #041: Juicy Juice

by Ed 1 Comment
Unhinged Episode #041: Juicy Juice

Originally, this episode was going to be focused on music and how specific songs affect our moods and emotions. Unfortunately, the battery in Doug’s DBS is running down and this has affected his mood. Since we want to give this music topic the attention and justice it deserves, we decided to postpone that topic until after Doug’s battery is replaced and he’s back in a more positive mood.

In this short episode, we talk about the DBS battery, how Doug checks it, how it’s replaced, and ultimately how important that little piece of tech is for any DBS patient. As it stands, Doug is trying to get an appointment for the surgery as soon as he can, but the doctor that does it is out until the 20th of March, so he might have to wait up to of 3 weeks. We’re hoping the trickle charge lasts until then so he doesn’t fully relapse. Fingers crossed!

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Unhinged Episode #039: What, Me Worry?

by Ed 2 Comments
Unhinged Episode #039: What, Me Worry?

We start this episode with the announcement that Doug’s current remission has now surpassed his 3-month record. Not only has this remission lasted the longest so far, but it is also the highest quality remission he has had yet! Looks like the DBS is in the zone, working its magic.

It’s not all rainbows and butterflies, however, as he has to now learn how to process emotions in the context of a “normal-acting” brain, something he has very little experience doing. One thing that has stuck around is his anxiety. Besides a general anxiety that creeps in every now and then, there is the looming spectre of human interaction, which can trigger Doug’s social anxiety. We talk about how he’s handling his day-to-day anxiety, and what coping tools have helped him.

Continuing the topic of anxiety, we touch on the differences between worry and anxiety. Can worry turn into anxiety that needs treatment?

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Unhinged Episode #038: Clean Socks

by Ed 4 Comments
Unhinged Episode #038: Clean Socks

This slightly shorter episode starts with us talking about an old, fairly obscure 80’s comedy movie, Rude Awakening. Find out why that movie is important to us, and how we came to discover it. We also talk about Ed’s mild travel anxiety as multiple trips are coming up, and how he handles it. He also talks about being a bit self-conscious, and how he’s doing on his new year’s resolution.

We then revisit the topic of baby steps that we’ve talked about on other episodes. Doug explains how childhood trauma, like bullying, can lead to PTSD-like symptoms, and being self-aware is the key to getting better. Taking baby steps through stressful events can get you there with less anxiety.

Doug’s current remission seems to be the highest quality remission he has experienced in a long time. Now that the neurology is working better, he has the ability to work on psychological issues. Working in peer support is a great step to help socialize and validate purpose. Working to better himself can go a long way now that he has the tools and support to do so. Hope is all around!

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Unhinged Episode #036: Removing Obstacles

by Ed 0 Comments
Unhinged Episode #036: Removing Obstacles

This episode begins with some discussion over technology and socialization. Do today’s modern habits of burying ourselves in our tech devices isolate us from being social? Is social networking helping us become more or less connected with other humans? We both take slightly different sides on this issue.

Doug’s current month-long remission from any depressive symptoms has him working hard. He talks about becoming more self-aware and how he now has to learn how to control his anxiety as he socializes more and more in real life. It’s a good problem to have.

This leads us to the topic of productive vs. unproductive worry. Worrying about things that are out of your control is unproductive, but when you can remove an obstacle that you CAN control, this is called “productive worry”. We give some examples and talk about how this is a good tool to have in your mental health arsenal.

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Unhinged Episode #034: Coping and Hoping

by Ed 0 Comments
Unhinged Episode #034: Coping and Hoping

In our final show of 2016, we begin with a quick recap of the past year’s episodes, covering how Doug’s mood has fluctuated throughout. Luckily, we’re ending the year on a high note with Doug feeling some relief and successfully starting on his new path as a peer support worker.

We then move on to discussing the holiday season and all its trials for those who suffer. There are many triggers this time of year that can lead to worsening depression and anxiety. We list several and offer up some possible coping mechanisms for each. From rearranging your furniture, to avoiding crowds, we provide some easy to follow suggestions that can help alleviate the holiday stress.

It’s all about avoiding the negative, embracing the positive, and changing routines.

Happy Christmahannukwanzadan! We’ll see you next year!

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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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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 #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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