Mental Health Archives - Page 3 of 9 - Unhinged

Unhinged Episode #047: Steppin’ Into The Twilight Zone

by Ed 2 Comments
Unhinged Episode #047: Steppin’ Into The Twilight Zone

It was a long day of recording when we did this episode. But the reason is because we were having too much fun putting together a little song clip for the show’s intro. What song? Hint: see the title of this episode 🙂 After 8 hours of fooling around on guitar and trying to make remote music recording work (latency is not your friend), we finally got to talking.

The good news is that spirits are still high and Doug is still on the positive side of things. Of course, he is still concerned about relapsing, and treads lightly to try to avoid known triggers. The even better news is that the healing process between Doug and his family has started! He had two very good talks with his brother and sister, and the newly opened lines of communication promise to be the bridge that reunites them fully. Hooray for family!

We also discuss the importance of refocusing one’s energies into the right channels. By changing negative patterns into actions that advance the good in one’s life, normalcy can slowly creep its way back. It takes work and is not easy, but it is a powerful tool in the arsenal of anyone with a mental illness.

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Unhinged Episode #046: I Just Want To Celebrate

by Ed 4 Comments
Unhinged Episode #046: I Just Want To Celebrate

This week, we first discuss how Doug’s mental state has improved and what he has been doing personally to make sure he can stay in a good place. This includes proper diet and supplements that help replenish the brain of important nutrients. His donated guitar has also helped bring music back into his life.

Yes, we return to the topic of music and music therapy as we each go on to list our top 10 favorite songs of all time. We go through each one and explain what it means to us, why it’s on our list, and how it makes us feel. With Doug’s great knowledge of musical artists and rock history, he even goes into some details about each artist, many of which had to deal with their own mental issues or dependencies.

We learn that many songs we discuss are rooted in past experiences, which is why we love to listen to them when times are good, but also why they can sometimes be hard to listen to when our mood is down.

Doug’s Top 10 Songs:
  1. Matte Kudesai by King Crimson
  2. Let Go The Line by Max Webster
  3. Wooden Ships by Crosby, Stills & Nash
  4. Fantasy by Earth, Wind & Fire
  5. Time by Pink Floyd
  6. After the Love Has Gone by Earth, Wind & Fire
  7. Hammer to Fall by Queen
  8. Europa by Santana
  9. Woman of the World by Michael Hedges
  10. Still of the Night by Whitesnake
Ed’s Top 10 Songs:
  1. Shine On You Crazy Diamond (Part I-V) by Pink Floyd
  2. Pride & Joy by Stevie Ray Vaughan
  3. Cats in the Cradle by Harry Chapin
  4. 5:15 by The Who
  5. I Just Want To Celebrate by Rare Earth
  6. Aguas de Marco by Elis Regina & Antonio Carlos Jobim
  7. With a Little Help From My Friends by Joe Cocker
  8. 25 Or 6 To 4 by Chicago
  9. Wooden Ships by Crosby, Stills & Nash
  10. Wish You Were Here by Pink Floyd
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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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Unhinged Episode #043: Take a Minute

by Ed 2 Comments
Unhinged Episode #043: Take a Minute

This episode was recorded on September 10th, 2017, also known as the 15th Annual World Suicide Prevention Day. This year’s theme is “Take a minute, change a life.” We discuss what this means and just how being there to listen to someone who is crying for help can quite literally save their life.

Doug also discusses how his use of Adderall, and how the use of most mood drugs, can cause the body to deplete itself of key nutrients. Supplements such as CoQ10, magnesium, and some fatty acids like Omega-3’s, can greatly benefit anyone who is on mood stabilizers. Unfortunately, these tend to be a bit expensive, and becomes difficult for anyone who’s on disability to afford.

Speaking of income, to help Doug’s financial situation, we have started to work on building a voice acting portfolio for Doug to start helping himself. I have always believed in Doug’s talent, not only musically, but in his unique voice characterizations. He can do accents, read narrations, and has great comedic timing. His only problem is that his brain makes it very difficult for him to put together a cohesive plan to get things done. His lack of confidence in making decisions holds him back. After discussing it with him, we plan to work together to tackle this project in baby steps that I help define. One step at a time, we will get there, and he will succeed!

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Still Not Feeling Well

by Ed 0 Comments

Unfortunately, I’m still feeling under the weather today. I’ve had a sore throat for nearly three weeks now, and talking just makes it worse. In the interest of getting better, and to make sure Unhinged is the best it can be, we will not be recording the show today.

I know that we haven’t been very consistent with the show lately, but sometimes our mental and physical health has to come first. Hopefully, all will be better for next week and we can get back on track. In the meantime, be sure to visit our episode playlist to catch up on past shows. Thanks for understanding!

-Ed

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World Suicide Prevention Day -September 10, 2017

by Doug 0 Comments

Join in on World Suicide Prevention Day

2017 marks the 15th World Suicide Prevention Day. The day was first recognized in 2003, as an initiative of the International Association for Suicide Prevention and endorsed by the World Health Organization. World Suicide Prevention Day takes place each year on September 10.

On September 10, join with others around the world who are working towards the common goal of preventing suicide. Show your support by taking part in our Cycle Around the Globe campaign aimed at raising awareness through community action. Find out what local activities have been scheduled as well – or initiate one yourself!

Finally, if there is anyone you are concerned about, take a minute to check in with them. It could change their life.

Ride with us! World Suicide Prevention Day – Cycle Around the Globe: https://goo.gl/DFZCE3

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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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