Psychology Archives - Unhinged

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 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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Unhinged Episode #038: Clean Socks

by Ed 4 Comments
Unhinged Episode #038: Clean Socks

This slightly shorter episode starts with us talking about an old, fairly obscure 80’s comedy movie, Rude Awakening. Find out why that movie is important to us, and how we came to discover it. We also talk about Ed’s mild travel anxiety as multiple trips are coming up, and how he handles it. He also talks about being a bit self-conscious, and how he’s doing on his new year’s resolution.

We then revisit the topic of baby steps that we’ve talked about on other episodes. Doug explains how childhood trauma, like bullying, can lead to PTSD-like symptoms, and being self-aware is the key to getting better. Taking baby steps through stressful events can get you there with less anxiety.

Doug’s current remission seems to be the highest quality remission he has experienced in a long time. Now that the neurology is working better, he has the ability to work on psychological issues. Working in peer support is a great step to help socialize and validate purpose. Working to better himself can go a long way now that he has the tools and support to do so. Hope is all around!

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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.

Show resources:
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Yawning and the Brain

by Doug 0 Comments

yawning-manJaguar_yawn_1yawning-smiley

 

Yawning is a stereotyped behavior with very ancient origins, for it is found in fish, reptiles, and birds, as well as in humans. Described in ancient times by Hippocrates (who thought it served to evacuate fever), yawning did not become a subject of serious interest until the advances achieved in neuroscience in the 1980’s.

Generally speaking, yawning consists of three phases: first, a long intake of air, then a climax, and finally a rapid exhalation, which may or may not be accompanied by stretching. After yawning, you generally experience a sense of well being and relaxation and feel much more present in and aware of your body than you did before you yawned.

Contrary to what was believed for centuries, yawning does not serve to improve oxygenation in the brain. This myth was first laid to rest when it was discovered that the human fetus can yawn as early as the age of 12 weeks, even though it is surrounded by amniotic fluid in its mother’s belly and so is scarcely likely to get any more oxygen to its brain from this effort.

Second, if yawning really helped to raise the oxygen concentration in the blood, then inhaling pure oxygen would cause yawns to become less frequent, while raising the concentration of carbon dioxide in the blood would make them more frequent. But several studies have shown that neither of these things occurs. Also, yawning is no more common in people with acute or chronic respiratory problems than it is in the general population.

The role of yawning has yet to be fully determined. But because we yawn more often when we first awaken, when we are bored, and when we are trying not to fall asleep, its primary function would appear to be to help make us more alert. Yawning also seems to play a role in non-verbal communication, especially among primates.

Which leads us to something truly singular about yawning: its contagiousness. That is, when we see someone yawn, it makes us yawn. Sometimes simply thinking about a yawn can be enough to trigger one! Obviously, the term “contagiousness” should not be taken literally here, because no germs are being transmitted. More precisely, yawning is a form of involuntary imitation. Some scientists believe that this characteristic of yawning may have developed as a mechanism for promoting social cohesion, for example, by enabling all the people present in a group to have the same level of alertness at the same time.

In the rest of the animal kingdom, yawning is observed among predator and prey species alike. Among predators, its purpose might be to encourage the group to take a restorative nap so that all of its members can be well rested for an attack on their prey later on. Among prey, by encouraging all members of the group to fall asleep at the same time, yawning might reduce the risk that any one individual might be sleeping alone and hence highly vulnerable to attack by a predator.

There is no nerve centre strictly associated with the yawn reflex, but certain brain structures, such as the hypothalamus, the pituitary gland, and the brainstem are essential for its expression. Some scientists have even hypothesized that the strong contractions of the jaw muscles during yawning may stimulate the reticular formation and thereby encourage wakefulness.

Lastly, one interesting linguistic note: the French verb bâiller (to yawn) has a circumflex accent on the “a” and not on the “i” because in Old French, when people pronounced this word, they stretched out the “a” to imitate the sound of someone yawning.

*Courtesy of McGill University -“The Brain, Start to Finish”                                                                                 copyleft

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Unhinged Episode #011: Inside the Criminal Mind

by Ed 0 Comments
Unhinged Episode #011: Inside the Criminal Mind

We all love to fear monsters. In Hollywood, that thrill brings in millions. But what about when those monsters are real people who feel no remorse for their criminal behaviors, including murder? In this episode of Unhinged, we dig into what makes serial killers, from environmental factors to neurology. Can a serial killer be created in childhood? Can they be rehabilitated?

We also talk about the similarities and differences between sociopaths and psychopaths. There’s a fine line between the two, but there is a critical difference. You’ll also learn a bit about what drove people like Ted Bundy, Edward Gein, Joel Rifkin, and Charles Manson.
The scariest part of the show is seeing how Doug had a similar childhood experience to one of the above serial killers, yet he has not turned out the same way. We discuss why that may be.

And lastly, we talk about why we like watching movies about killers, disasters, and horror. Do we each go into it in the same frame of mind?

Show resources:

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