depression Archives - Unhinged

Unhinged Episode #042: Welcome Back

by Ed 1 Comment
Unhinged Episode #042: Welcome Back

After nearly 5 months, Unhinged is back! We took an extended hiatus due to various reasons, the most important being Doug’s terrible relapse. Over these past few months, Doug has been suffering greatly, but now there seems to be a spark of relief as his DBS starts working again. This all started after his surgery to replace the batteries in his DBS unit, which is apparently very sensitive. The surgery requires the device to be switched off, and when it came back on, it was no longer working the same way it was before. It took several months and lots of trial and error to get it to come back to life, but now there seems to be some hope.

During this time, Ed has also had a major life change by moving from California, where he’s been for the last 21 years, to Colorado, where a new adventure begins. The contrast between his positive life change and Doug’s hellish suffering is stark, but the friendship remains strong.

In this episode, we discuss all these changes and how Doug is coping now. It’s our “welcome back” show, so we’re still ironing out some technical issues, but we’re glad to be back!

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Current State of the UHN Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS) Clinical Trial

by Doug 0 Comments

Deep brain stimulation (DBS) is currently the most powerful known treatment for major depression.  The technique itself was developed at the Toronto Western Hospital nearly 10 years ago.  It was based on research findings by neurologist Dr. Helen Mayberg, working with a multi-disciplinary team that included world-renowned neurosurgeon Dr. Andres Lozano, our own Clinic’s Co-Director, Dr. Peter Giacobbe, as well as UHN’s Psychiatrist-in-Chief, Dr. Sidney Kennedy.  Because DBS can often achieve remission where all other measures fail, the tecnhique is now being used to treat severe depression in advanced medical centres across Canada and around the world.

With DBS, a neurosurgeon implants a pair of electrodes into a small brain structure that is overactive in depression, called Area 25, or the subgenual cingulate.  The electrodes stimulate at a high frequency that effectively jams the signals passing through the neural connections in the region.  Once the electrodes are activated, many patients experience a rapid and dramatic improvement in symptoms — even patients who have not responded to any other treatment, including ECT.  However, DBS remains an experimental technique, available only to small numbers of patients, in medical centres with expert teams of neurosurgeons.  It also requires the electrodes to be permanently implanted in the brain and connected to a battery implanted under the collarbone — quite an invasive procedure compared to other treatments for depression.  For these reasons, DBS is usually reserved for cases where all other options have failed.

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Unhinged Podcast is Back!

by Doug 2 Comments

Show #42 will be available everywhere, including at UnhingedPodcast.com, August 15th!

We’ve been on hiatus since March, as Doug has gone through a nasty & long relapse. With the help of the UHN Neuroscience & Neuropsychiatry team, it looks like there has been some signs of improvement, and we’re hoping that Doug will get back to that very good quality remission he’d experienced several months ago. Until the neuromodulator battery died and surgery was performed…and once again leading to a complete relapse.

We’ll get more in detail on his current status with show 42, as well as a couple of hot topics due for discussion, and more. We’re very excited to get things going again full-throttle. We want to thank you, our loyal listeners, fellow advocates and dear friends for being so patient and understanding during the ups & downs. Please know that we’re dedicated & passionate about what we’re doing, and we want to be with you every Tuesday, as we’d done for so long.

So, mark your calendars and don’t miss Show #42, it will be a real occasion for us, and we can’t wait to get back to doing what we do. “See” You Then!

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Where We Are Right Now…

by Ed 2 Comments

Hello, Unhinged listeners. I know it’s been awhile since we’ve communicated, and even longer since we’ve put out a show. Lots of things have been keeping us from being able to get back into the swing of things.

First and foremost, Doug is still suffering from severe depression and anxiety ever since his DBS battery started dying and needed to be changed. Unfortunately, even after the battery was replaced, his remission has not kicked back in. His doctors are experimenting with different settings and intensities to see if it starts working again. In the meantime, I can only offer words of hope and encouragement to Doug as he struggles to regain a sense of normalcy.

Secondly, all this has been happening during my move out of the San Francisco Bay Area. After 21 years of living in California’s Silicon Valley, my wife and I have decided to move to Loveland, Colorado. Though I still love everything that Silicon Valley stands for, and have many friends there, we felt that it was the right time to leave. The Bay Area has been getting steadily more congested as more people move there, and continues to get more expensive. The time was right to sell our house and move somewhere that has more seasons, less traffic, and is more affordable. It also happens to be much closer to my employer in Golden, Colorado, which is another positive.

The move is complete but we’re still living out of boxes. I’m also waiting for a new desk to be delivered so I can set up my recording studio in preparation for our next show.

Thank you all for being so patient with us as Doug recovers and we get things back in order. We will be back as soon as we can. It’s just taking us a bit longer than expected. Thanks for understanding!

-Ed

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Next Show Coming March 7th

by Ed 0 Comments
Next Show Coming March 7th

Hello Unhinged listeners! Due to Ed traveling this week, we won’t have a show ready this coming Tuesday. So our next show will be released on Tuesday, March 7th. It’ll be worth it! What will we talk about? Music!

Music is powerful. The lyrics, the melody, and the instrumentation all play a part in shifting mood and emotion. We are affected on a unique and personal level. What makes us cry? What makes us happy? What songs do we avoid? Join us as we dissect what songs affect us, and how.

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Unhinged Episode #040: The Road To Now

by Ed 1 Comment
Unhinged Episode #040: The Road To Now

This is our 40th episode, and to celebrate this milestone, we’ve compiled the best clips from our first 40 shows, starting with our very first show in March of 2016, all the way to right now. Hear about Doug’s history with Deep Brain Stimulation and how the results have been both erratic and miraculous. We also play clips from our special guests over the past 40 shows, including Nurit Adler, Matt Moloney, Murray Goldsmith, and Mitchell Drew.

Over the past year, Unhinged has covered Doug’s many remissions and relapses. One of our most talked about shows was episode #18, Relapse Part 2: The Call. It illustrates the darkness and desperation one can reach when consumed by the disease. On the upswing, we also cover much happier topics, including funny hypnosis stories, the Mandela Effect, and Doug’s current record-breaking remission.

Tip for new listeners: This is a good episode to get up to speed quickly. Just be sure to go back and listen to the full shows to get much deeper into the subject matter!

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Unhinged Episode #035: Tabula Rasa

by Ed 0 Comments
Unhinged Episode #035: Tabula Rasa

In the first Unhinged episode of 2017, we discuss an interesting phenomenon called the Mandela Effect. Think your memory is accurate? Think again. The Mandela Effect is when large groups of people all share the same false memory, typically a memory that can be easily confused or distorted by similar or related memories. In psychology, this is called confabulation. They explain this concept in detail in the 80’s film Shazaam, where Sinbad plays a genie. Remember that movie?

Since it’s a new year, we all tend to make our yearly New Year’s Resolutions. Are these resolutions destined to fail? It depends on how you think of them. We talk about setting life goals and how the new year is a great blank slate, or “tabula rasa”, to begin a conscious change in behavior that can help one achieve his goals.

Finally, we get into Doug’s current and very positive mental state. His DBS continues to work its magic, coupled with weekly social interactions as a peer support worker at the Mood Disorders Association of Ontario. Not only is he getting out and interacting with people, but he’s actually helping other sufferers. His 47 years of life experience living with this disease has essentially created an expert in peer support. Go Doug!

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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 #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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Quick Update and Next Week’s Show

by Ed 0 Comments
Quick Update and Next Week’s Show

Hey there, Unhinged listeners! Just wanted to post a quick update on what’s been going on. As you know, we have taken a break from the show for the last three weeks so that Doug could focus on feeling better. During that time, I started a GoFundMe campaign to help alleviate his financial stress, and that generated a couple of bits of good news. One, the genuine outpouring of love and support from our listeners, friends, and family has been nothing short of amazing! And two, GoFundMe selected our campaign as one out of 100 that received an extra $1,000 directly from GoFundMe on #GivingTuesday!

On top of that, Doug has been accepted as a peer support volunteer for the Mood Disorders Association of Ontario after a lengthy interviewing process (yay!). All these things put together has generated very positive vibes that I have to believe has helped Doug during these past three weeks.

Today was the first day with some slight relief, and after some discussion, we have decided to record a new episode of Unhinged for next week! With the holidays coming up, we know it’s a very difficult time for many, so we would like to do our first holiday episode. Our intention is to be able to record this episode some time this week, and put it out next Tuesday. That’s the current plan if Doug’s mood stabilizes or improves. We will do our best and will keep you posted if things change!

-Ed

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