Mental Health Archives - Page 3 of 6 - Unhinged

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

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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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Journey Unhinged Featured on Home Recording Podcast

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journey-unhinged-cover

As some of you may know, I wrote and recorded a song called “Journey Unhinged” about Doug’s struggles. This was something that poured out of me after doing our podcast and learning more about mental illness and Doug’s history. Recently, I shared this song to a home recording community I belong to on Facebook called Home Recording Studio Folks. Michael P. O’Mara, the owner of this group, puts together a podcast featuring music recorded by group members every Friday.

I submitted “Journey Unhinged” for his podcast, and last Friday, December 9th, it was one of the featured songs on the show. Please have a listen to the Home Recording Studio Folks Podcast #20 to hear all the great music being recorded by so many talented musicians. It’s a great podcast if you like real music made by real people, and I suggest subscribing to it if you like great music. Michael does a great job editing and putting together these shows, and I really appreciate having my song featured amongst other great recordings. Thanks Michael!

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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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GoFundMe’s #GoBeyondGiving Gives $1,000

by Ed 0 Comments

This is amazing. As you saw from my previous post just eight days ago, I started a GoFundMe campaign called “Saving Doug”. This is an effort to help Doug with basic living expenses since he is on disability and living under the poverty line. Every month, he runs out of his disability money and can go days without eating. This, of course, does not help with his depression.

Well, we had an outpouring of donations from friends, family, and listeners! This morning we reached 50% of our goal, all in just a week’s time. But just as I was celebrating reaching this milestone, GoFundMe took it to a whole other level…
gfm-1000
Our campaign was chosen as one of 100 campaigns (tagged with #GoBeyondGiving) that GoFundMe felt was inspiring or touching, and on #GivingTuesday (today), they donated $1,000 to our campaign! I just stared at the donation notification for what seemed like minutes before I was able to fully grasp the fact that we were selected.

So just a huge shout out to everyone who donated (listeners, friends, and family), and a special shout out to GoFundMe for recognizing Doug’s struggles and for the generous donation!

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Unhinged Episode #032: Where’s Hope?

by Ed 2 Comments
Unhinged Episode #032: Where’s Hope?

It’s been an extremely tough couple of weeks. We didn’t end up doing a show last week, partially due to scheduling conflicts, but also because Doug has fallen into a very deep depression and has yet to climb out of it. His mood has gotten progressively worse, to the point where he is now teetering on the edge of hopelessness.

This episode is a phone conversation we had after two weeks of very little communication. It is Doug explaining how he is feeling and how hard it is for him to stay in the game and fight. Doing the podcast has been therapeutic in many ways, but it also adds a level of stress in Doug’s life, and when he’s in such a down mood, any little stressor in unhealthy for him. On that note, we decided to take a short/temporary break from the podcast until Doug feels a bit better. We’ll try to keep posting relevant stories on our site or on Facebook, but more importantly, Doug needs this time to regroup and heal.

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Unhinged Episode #031: Peer Through The Darkness

by Ed 0 Comments
Unhinged Episode #031: Peer Through The Darkness

The importance of a solid support network is typically underrated, but is tantamount to the well-being of someone with depression, anxiety, or any other mental health issue. Family and friends that see through the stigma and understand that it’s a disease can be a very important pillar in the support system of sufferers.

Perhaps just as important is peer support. Real peer support comes from someone who has fought their own demons and understands the anguish on an intimate level. They are trained in how to talk to and comfort sufferers, and can relate to them on a more personal level. There’s an instant level of trust with someone who has been there before, and that can open up the conversation and act as therapy.

NOTE: We had some technical/network issues with Skype during the show, so the sound quality is not as good as usual. We apologize for that and did our best to clean up the audio during editing.

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Unhinged Episode #030: Autism Spectrum Disorder with Matt Moloney

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Unhinged Episode #030: Autism Spectrum Disorder with Matt Moloney

In today’s episode, we welcome special guest Matt Moloney, an old co-worker and friend of Doug’s from years past. Matt talks to us about Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and Asperger’s Syndrome. Matt’s son Nathan was diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome, and what Matt has learned is that raising a child who is socially challenged has made him a better person. He is an advocate for awareness and pushes for the acceptance of these children into “normal” society rather than being marginalized by a system that doesn’t understand them.

We also learn that people who fall within the autism spectrum do not consider themselves broken in any way. A term now being used is “neurodiverse”, which means that they simply lie on a part of humanity’s full spectrum where they are as not as well-equipped to handle social or emotional interactions. The majority of the world’s people would be classified as “neurotypical” by contrast. Just as one person may not have an affinity for, say, drawing, a neurodiverse person may not be good in social situations, but they usually do show very high intelligence and may hyperfocus on one or two talents and excel at them.

It’s a topic we have not yet covered, and we thank Matt for joining us to explain what it’s all about. Very interesting and eye-opening!

NOTE: We had some technical/network issues with Skype during the show, so the sound quality is not as good as usual. We apologize for that and did our best to clean up the audio during editing.

Matt and his son Nathan

Matt and his son Nathan

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Unhinged Episode #029: Still Fighting

by Ed 1 Comment
Unhinged Episode #029: Still Fighting

We welcome Doug back in this episode, but he’s still fighting through severe depression and anxiety. Apparently, this time, he actually felt the trigger of his downturn. It occurred after a comment from someone he looks up to totally took the wind out of his sails. With Doug’s delicate amygdala, any negative external stimuli can trigger a downward spiral, and that’s exactly what happened.

Seeking help, he managed to get a quick appointment to have his DBS adjusted. The intensity of the current setting was turned up a notch, and now it’s a waiting game. Unfortunately, relief could take days, months, or even years. Of course, we’re hoping for days, since his last DBS adjustment seemed to work fairly quickly.

He’s still hoping to become a peer support counselor, but he will have to slow things down a bit to avoid any possible negative triggers. In the meantime, he keeps fighting, but will take on fewer challenges at once… it’s all about baby steps.

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Unhinged Episode #028: Eyes are Green

by Ed 0 Comments
Unhinged Episode #028: Eyes are Green

If you listened to our last show, you know Doug has been feeling much better since the DBS adjustment was made maybe 1 month and a half ago or so. He was feeling confident and was looking forward to starting down the path of becoming a peer support counselor as well as working on more music and getting out more.

Unfortunately, it looks like those plans might be on hold for now since Doug has again been struck down by this relentless disease. All this happened very quickly, literally from one day to the next. It’s unclear if the DBS has stopped working or if he’s having another long bout of anxiety that is causing him to shut down and close himself off from any contact.

I have not heard from Doug since a text he sent me on Friday, October 7th, saying that he’s “in f*cking hell” right now. This episode is just me explaining all I know so far, so it’s a short one. I close the show with a short excerpt of a song I am writing about Doug’s battle. Hopefully he’ll be back next week feeling stronger and giving us more insights into what he’s going through.

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