DBS Archives - Page 3 of 4 - Unhinged

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 #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.

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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.

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Unhinged Episode #014: Texting Truths and Brain Facts

by Ed 1 Comment
Unhinged Episode #014: Texting Truths and Brain Facts

Another month’s end, another situational downward turn. In our 14th episode, we discuss how living under the poverty line puts any mental illness recovery in danger. Doug’s situation is no exception as he struggles to survive for eight days with a zero balance. We re-enact a texting conversation we had in preparation for the show that outlines just how negative, sarcastic, and angry one can get when control over normal, mundane things is lost.

On the lighter side, we present another round of interesting facts about the brain.

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Renowned neurosurgeon, and my DBS doc, Andres Lozano on TED (Jan 2013)

by Doug 0 Comments

Parkinson’s, depression and the switch that might turn them off

Deep brain stimulation is becoming very precise. This technique allows surgeons to place electrodes in almost any area of the brain, and turn them up or down — like a radio dial or thermostat — to correct dysfunction. Andres Lozano offers a dramatic look at emerging techniques, in which a woman with Parkinson’s instantly stops shaking and brain areas eroded by Alzheimer’s are brought back to life. (Filmed at TEDxCaltech.)

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Unhinged Episode #007: Prince, Robin Williams, and Suicidal Contagion

by Ed 0 Comments
Unhinged Episode #007: Prince, Robin Williams, and Suicidal Contagion

In this episode, we discuss the difference in how the media covered the death of Prince vs. the death of Robin Williams. Responsible journalism calls for portraying celebrity suicide as not something romantic and sensationalized, but rather as a disease that has treatment options and support.

Is the media partially to blame for suicidal contagion on college campuses? We talk about a recent article in the Psychiatric Times that talks about the risk, prevention, and management of suicide clusters, and how preventing that first suicide is key to stopping the “Werther Effect” of copycat suicides.

Lastly, we get an update on Doug’s progress with his depression. Is his DBS finally starting to kick in again?

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Unhinged Episode #004: Area 25, DBS Detractors & Mindfulness

by Ed 0 Comments
Unhinged Episode #004: Area 25, DBS Detractors & Mindfulness

In this episode of Unhinged, we talk about the area of the brain called Area 25 and how it relates to mental health.We also find out why there are some psychologists who think that Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS) is dangerous and prefer non-surgical, and even non-medicinal forms of therapy, including meditation, empathy, love, and mindfulness. The idea that the companies that make the neurotransmitter devices used in DBS are pushing the treatment for financial gain is also discussed.

Doug also gets into more detail about his DBS procedure, how it works, and what effects he has felt to date.  He talks about how brain surgery, though considered a drastic measure by most people, did not even phase him due to his desperation in his search for a cure.

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