depression Archives - Unhinged

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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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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