remission Archives - Page 2 of 2 - Unhinged

Unhinged Episode #031: Peer Through The Darkness

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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 #029: Still Fighting

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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 #027: Electric Avenue

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Unhinged Episode #027: Electric Avenue

In this episode, we catch up with Doug’s progress with his DBS. Still going strong, even after a stressful few days. The neurological corrections (based on MEG brain imaging) are still in place and seem to still be working their magic a full month after altering the DBS settings.

Deep Brain Stimulation has already helped patients with Parkinson’s disease as well as dystonia. We play a couple of excerpts from Dr. Andres Lozano’s TED talk where he shows in real time how switching the DBS on totally stops a Parkinson’s patient from shaking, and essentially cures a child from severe dystonia. Tapping into the brain and sending an electric charge into very specific regions can kickstart malfunctioning neurons and bring hope to those who suffer from all sorts of mental illnesses.

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DBS helps a Parkinson’s patient


DBS helps a patient with dystonia
 
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Unhinged Episode #024: Happy Days

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Unhinged Episode #024: Happy Days

Doug’s new setting on his DBS seems to still be working its miracles. Since the MEG scan pointed to three settings that showed promising neural activity, Doug has been on the first setting, and so far so good! No more shooting blind… with brain imaging, we now have a more reliable method of determining effective treatment.

We’re cautiously optimistic about this, and really hope it lasts into full remission, unlike the roller coaster setting he had previously. The best part of it all is that he now not only has hope, but is looking forward to a more “normal” future.

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Unhinged Episode #019: A New Hope

by Ed 1 Comment
Unhinged Episode #019: A New Hope

After a long three weeks of relapse, Doug is finally starting to emerge from the darkness. In this episode, Doug recalls some of what he was feeling during that time… the anger, the frustration, the hopelessness. We also respond to a couple of emails we received about Episode #18: Relapse Part 2 – The Call. Apparently, the frankness and reality of our last episode struck a chord with some listeners in a good way. Hearing that our show has actually helped anyone is a huge validation of everything we’re trying to do. Thank you!

Lastly, we talk about Doug’s recent magnetoencephalography (MEG) session, where multiple settings were dialed in on his DBS, then his brain scanned. Being able to image his brain activity with differing DBS settings should hopefully provide some insight into what exactly the DBS is doing and how his brain is reacting. Now we wait for the analysis of his results.

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Unhinged Episode #016: Mission Remission

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Unhinged Episode #016: Mission Remission

NOTE: This podcast was recorded on July 3rd and deals with Doug’s recent 2-month remission. However, as of July 4th, Doug’s mood has taken a downward turn, so the declaration of a full remission was a bit premature. We will have more information about this on next week’s show, so please stay tuned. In the meantime, please enjoy episode #16.

This week’s episode deals with Doug’s recent two-month remission. Technically, a two-month period with no major depressive symptoms is considered a full remission. This is where he is right now, but how long will it last?

We also learn about the true origins of Doug’s mental illness. There is now scientific proof that his genetics have a great deal to do with his treatment-resistant depression. The good news is that a DNA profile, combined with advanced brain imaging techniques, helps doctors more accurately try different therapies and medications that are better targeted at an individual. This should help usher out the era of stab-in-the-dark medicine, and begin a new era of targeted, customized, and more effective treatments.

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