DBS Archives - Page 2 of 3 - Unhinged

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.

Share this post:
Facebooktwittergoogle_pluslinkedinmailFacebooktwittergoogle_pluslinkedinmail

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.

Share this post:
Facebooktwittergoogle_pluslinkedinmailFacebooktwittergoogle_pluslinkedinmail

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:

Get the official Unhinged Podcast headphones!
un-headphones

Share this post:
Facebooktwittergoogle_pluslinkedinmailFacebooktwittergoogle_pluslinkedinmail

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).

Share this post:
Facebooktwittergoogle_pluslinkedinmailFacebooktwittergoogle_pluslinkedinmail

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.

Share this post:
Facebooktwittergoogle_pluslinkedinmailFacebooktwittergoogle_pluslinkedinmail

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

Share this post:
Facebooktwittergoogle_pluslinkedinmailFacebooktwittergoogle_pluslinkedinmail

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.

Show resources:
Share this post:
Facebooktwittergoogle_pluslinkedinmailFacebooktwittergoogle_pluslinkedinmail

Unhinged Episode #017: Relapse Part 1

by Ed 0 Comments
Unhinged Episode #017: Relapse Part 1

NOTE: This podcast was recorded on July 10th and talks about Doug beginning to relapse right after recording our previous episode about his remission. After this episode, Doug has unfortunately continued this downward trend, and on next week’s show, you will hear an emotionally raw phone call between Doug and Ed. Stay tuned.

In this episode, we discuss the unfortunate beginnings of a relapse after two-and-a-half months of remission. For no apparent reason, Doug’s mood has suddenly dropped and he is struggling to make sense of it all, especially in light of the news that he was born with a genetic abnormality in his brain.

We also talk about some advancements with ketamine and its dissociative effects.

Share this post:
Facebooktwittergoogle_pluslinkedinmailFacebooktwittergoogle_pluslinkedinmail

Unhinged Episode #016: Mission Remission

by Ed 0 Comments
Unhinged Episode #016: Mission Remission

NOTE: This podcast was recorded on July 3rd and deals with Doug’s recent 2-month remission. However, as of July 4th, Doug’s mood has taken a downward turn, so the declaration of a full remission was a bit premature. We will have more information about this on next week’s show, so please stay tuned. In the meantime, please enjoy episode #16.

This week’s episode deals with Doug’s recent two-month remission. Technically, a two-month period with no major depressive symptoms is considered a full remission. This is where he is right now, but how long will it last?

We also learn about the true origins of Doug’s mental illness. There is now scientific proof that his genetics have a great deal to do with his treatment-resistant depression. The good news is that a DNA profile, combined with advanced brain imaging techniques, helps doctors more accurately try different therapies and medications that are better targeted at an individual. This should help usher out the era of stab-in-the-dark medicine, and begin a new era of targeted, customized, and more effective treatments.

Share this post:
Facebooktwittergoogle_pluslinkedinmailFacebooktwittergoogle_pluslinkedinmail