holidays Archives - Unhinged

Unhinged Episode #054: Open Your Presence

by Ed 3 Comments
Unhinged Episode #054: Open Your Presence

In our first episode of 2018, we start with a short and fun guitar jam, which highlights the mood for the new year. Doug is feeling much better, and after receiving the love and generosity from some of our friends and listeners, he’s entering the new year on a wave of positivity.

The bulk of this episode was recorded on January 2nd, which happened to be my birthday. Doug contacted me and said he had some things to say that should be recorded for the show, so I went ahead and recorded our conversation. For Christmas, I got Doug a Fender Squier guitar and a Fender amp. His acoustic guitar, though a beautiful instrument, was not totally filling his void for musical expression, and his last electric guitar had to be sold last year for financial reasons (plus it ended up not being the guitar he thought it would be anyway). In any case, getting a Fender back in his hands was enough to trigger a positive psychological change.

We mostly talk about music and guitars in this episode, but the underlying tone is one of hope. Doug talks about self-care and how to try to stay positive by surrounding yourself with a strong support system.

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Unhinged Addendum to #053: Meeting Your Monster

by Ed 1 Comment
Unhinged Addendum to #053: Meeting Your Monster

Our last episode, Episode #53: Hey Brother, was a powerful one for Doug. His mood was pretty low when we started recording, but by the end of the show, his mood had improved greatly, especially after a conversation he had with his sister Laurie. After hearing that episode back, he got to hear what he sounds like when his mood is very low, and meeting his monster directly led to a breakthrough.

In this addendum to that episode, we wanted to end the year with a positive note about what we have learned about psychology, neurology, and how each plays a part in your mental well-being. Everything Doug said in episode #53 was coming from a place of cognitive distortion. This is the monster that blocks out the reasoning parts of the brain and is a relentless beast of negativity.

Confronting that monster from a different, more positive perspective made Doug realize how closed-minded and stubborn that beast can be. Seeing how his mood improved so quickly after social interactions also brings to light how looking outside of yourself in trying times can help bring back positivity and hope.

This is a short 20 minute discussion that tries to make sense of all this, and, more importantly, gives us much renewed hope for a more positive and happy 2018!

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Rerun: Holiday Episode 2016

by Ed 0 Comments
Rerun: Holiday Episode 2016

Hello listeners! The holiday season is upon us, and this is typically a hard time for a lot of people, especially those who suffer from mental illness. Depression can easily set in while being surrounded by celebrations, festive lights, and commercialism. Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) is a real thing and can be very serious. Last year, in episode #33, we discussed SAD and some ways to help overcome some of its symptoms.

This year, as the season creeps in, both Doug and I have had some personal challenges. My dental work has not been particularly fun, but more importantly, Doug has been taking on a lot recently and has definitely felt the energy drain. He’s been volunteering more often at the MDAO… this time of year is tough for many and peer support is crucial. On top of that, he’s had his own mood struggles.

All this has made getting a show done very difficult this month. Again, this week we cannot find the time or the mental wherewithal to do a show justice, so instead we decided to put out our first rerun! This is episode #33, from December 13th, 2016, titled “Don’t Be SAD”. In it we discuss the challenges of the season and try to offer some ways to help get through it unscathed. Our recommendations and opinions about SAD are still the same as last year, so this episode is still very relevant.

Please enjoy last year’s SAD episode. We hope to be back next week with a holiday episode for 2017!

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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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