depression Archives - Unhinged

Unhinged Episode #058: Chillax

by Ed 2 Comments
Unhinged Episode #058: Chillax

Doug’s personal life has been challenging lately, and this has, in part, been a cause for a mood drop in the last few days. Our plan for this show was to start by playing some music, maybe work on a new intro, and record the show. Instead, Doug told me to just start recording as soon as we got online because he wanted to explain his current mood and some of the triggers behind it.

Being a person with a mental illness is a challenge on any normal day, but when some serious real life issues arise, it can be downright devastating. A close family member of Doug’s is critically ill, and this news has affected him greatly. On top of that, future plans for Doug’s career as a certified peer support counselor are now a bit foggy.

The good news is that during our conversation, it was obvious to me that he was much farther from the ledge than he has been with other recent mood drops. He was not being a complete defeatist, and he was clearly outlining what he knows he should do and not do to get better. In other words, he’s come a long way to being able to manage these drops more successfully. Talking about it with his support system also helps, so he will be reaching out to his siblings.

The bottom line is that he now knows to deal with each issue one at a time, move on to the next, and just chillax.

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Unhinged Episode #053: Hey Brother

by Ed 2 Comments
Unhinged Episode #053: Hey Brother

We’re back for our final show of 2017 (we’ll be back in January). This episode is a little bit different since the bulk of it is an actual recording of our typical pre-show planning discussion. Doug had mentioned in the past that we should probably start recording these talks, and this week that’s just what I did. Since that conversation got pretty personal and fairly deep, we decided to just play it as the main topic of this week’s show.

What follows below is a timeline of how the episode is structured. We start with a song clip and a discussion of the past two weeks. The full pre-show discussion starts nearly 19 minutes in.

0:00 – 00:57
Clip of original song “Hey Brother”

00:58 – 01:20
Unhinged Intro

01:21 – 18:55
We explain a bit about why we were absent for the last two weeks. Doug talks a bit about his struggles this holiday season so far, and we briefly chat about traumatic brain injuries in sports and the death of a UFC fighter.

18:56 – 01:07:02
Recording of pre-show discussion. This is the meat of this episode where Doug and I talk freely, usually to prepare the show for the day, but this time we discussed Doug’s slight downturn in mood in the last two weeks. He starts the conversation in a pretty low state, upset about his lot in life and feeling insecure about his future. We go back and forth for a while on feelings, distortion, and socialization. The conversation gets interrupted by a call from Doug’s sister. We ended our pre-show discussion after Doug talked to Laurie, and at that point recorded the opening to the this show.

01:07:03 – 01:08:25
I explain how Doug’s mood had shifted noticeably after our discussion and his interaction with his sister. The social interaction had improved his general state greatly. This is good data.

The next day (Monday), Doug and I talked again and his turnaround was even more pronounced. He even admitted how he felt better after hearing his sister’s voice the day before.

UPDATE:
We just posted an addendum to this episode! Check it out!

Holiday Gifts

 

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Unhinged Episode #045: The Nearly Perfect Storm

by Ed 1 Comment
Unhinged Episode #045: The Nearly Perfect Storm

This week we discuss Doug’s recent one-word Facebook post, “Goodbye”, and how that cry for help showed him just how much support he really has. The struggle for mental health is best fought with loved ones who can support the sufferer when they need it most. A single word to show that no one is alone in this struggle can save a life. Thank you to our listeners and our friends on Facebook for all the love, encouragement, and concern. It means everything.

Some outside factors came together all at once to form a nearly perfect storm of bad news that helped spiral Doug down the staircase to severe depression. Starting at 3 minutes and 24 seconds into the show, Doug gives some details about how close he really came to ending it all.

WARNING: Possible Trigger Alert! If anyone listening is particularly sensitive right now, please know that this discussion might contain possible triggers, so please be cautious and either save this episode for another time, or skip the section between 3:24 to about 7:30.

The good news is that Doug is currently feeling much better, partially due to the outpouring of support, which included the donation of a used acoustic guitar. This will help bring music back into his life, which is some of the best therapy a suffering musician can get.

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Unhinged Episode #044: Precious Moments of Levity

by Ed 2 Comments
Unhinged Episode #044: Precious Moments of Levity

This week we take a break from the heavy and serious topics and just have a lighthearted conversation. We recorded this podcast while connected to each other through video conferencing, so to us it felt more like we were both in one room just chatting. I think this made this show feel more conversational. Maybe in the future we’ll be able to record our videos as well and have a visual version of the show 🙂

We do discuss Doug’s DBS check up and how he’s feeling generally. He’s been up and down currently, so it’s been a bit of a rollercoaster for him. He was up during this show. We continue discussing the possibility of Doug doing voice acting work just to try to make ends meet. He has recorded his first sample for a demo reel we’re putting together, and we play it on the show. It’s a start!

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Attention UH Listeners:

by Doug 0 Comments

Please note: There will be no podcast this week, as I am celebrating a birthday on Tuesday, Ed is still settling into his new Colorado spread, and most importantly, we need the week to work on some technical issues, to get back to the level of production quality that we’re used to and insist on. Thank you for your support & patience.

The next show, show #43, will be released on Tuesday, March 29th.

Cheers,

Doug Warren

Unhinged Podcast -Talking Mental

 

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Unhinged Episode #042: Welcome Back

by Ed 2 Comments
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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