#26 Doing The Hard Work – Panic Disorder, Anxiety and Depression

panic disorder anxiety depression mental health podcast

Andrew is the CEO of mental health startup Heard who are creating a trusted space for therapists.  Becoming a CEO wasn’t always on the cards for Andrew.  Early in life, he was beset with panic disorder, anxiety and depression and as a teenager he did drugs and ran with the wrong crowd.  At his worst he had a stomach full of pills and a revolver in his mouth.

Listen To Episode 26

Everyone likes a good rags to riches redemption story, the homeless person who becomes a radio presenter again, the kid from the projects who becomes an international musician.  Andrew started on the wrong path but that’s not the story here.  This is a story about putting in the work and grinding it out.  Some of the work is stuff we all do to build a life, like studying at college and climbing the corporate ladder.  The real story is the work Andrew has done and is doing on the inside to face and come to terms with his mental illness, and working on the scars of a traumatic past.

In this episode of Silent Superheroes, Andrew gives an inside look at his panic disorder, anxiety and depression.  He talks about the mental health resources PWC offered, and also some of the gaps in their offering.  Finally, he tells what he and his co-founders at Heard are doing to bring mental illness out of the shadows.

Links

About Support

A panic attack is a sudden episode of intense fear that triggers severe physical reactions when there is no real danger or apparent cause. Panic attacks can be very frightening. When panic attacks occur, you might think you’re losing control, having a heart attack or even dying.

Many people have just one or two panic attacks in their lifetimes, and the problem goes away, perhaps when a stressful situation ends. But if you’ve had recurrent, unexpected panic attacks and spent long periods in constant fear of another attack, you may have a condition called panic disorder.

Although panic attacks themselves aren’t life-threatening, they can be frightening and significantly affect your quality of life. But treatment can be very effective.

Getting Support

Remember, the people you hear on Silent Superheroes are sharing their opinions about mental health and mental illness. They are not giving advice. For that reason, please consult with your care provider before making a change to your treatment approach.

It’s important to take your mental health seriously. Consequently, if you need to speak to someone you can call 1-800-273-8255, or text crisistextline.org on 741741. Both provide 24×7 confidential counseling to people in the United States. Worldwide visit http://iasp.info/resources/Crisis_Centres/

Because you listened to the  podcast, you can help others find it by leaving us a review on iTunes. Or if you don’t use iTunes, leave a review on your favorite podcasting service.

#24 Calming the Tornado of ADHD

tornado of ADHD mental health podcast

From time to time, I get requests through LinkedIn from people I don’t know to go for coffee.  I often decline but sometimes my curiosity kicks in and I say “Yes”. When I got Jim’s message, something piqued my interest, and I said Yes.  We arranged to meet at Miro Tea in Seattle’s Ballard neighborhood. On the day of our meeting, I’d been in a depression for several days and was feeling pretty miserable.  I bought a pot of green tea with two cups and waited for Jim to arrive. Eventually he walked in and looked around, trying to find the stranger he’d never met. I remember he was wearing a knit cap.

Listen To Episode 24

Show Notes

Blind business meetings are a tricky business.  Will you have anything to talk about? Fortunately it was Jim who started asking the questions.  His questions were insightful and more powerful than I’d expected from a typical “business get to know you meeting”.  After a while, Jim started to share his own story including his experience with the tornado of ADHD and his time spent in a Buddhist monastery studying under well-known Buddhist teacher Thich Nhat Hanh.  Suddenly I understood why he was asking such good questions. I understood why he was so patient and curious.

By the time our hour was over, I could feel my depression lifting.  There was something about Jim, his authenticity, his presence and his calm that helped ground me and brought me back into the real world.  I mailed him later and asked him to share his story on the show.

In this episode, Jim shares his personal journey, from leaving Vietnam on a military plane to the USA to leaving the University of Washington and moving to Hawaii to escape anxiety and depression.  Finally, ending up living for a year in a Buddhist monastery.

On the way, Jim shares why he played truant for 45 days and what happened when he was caught. He reflects on a series of geographic and work changes that fed the tornado of ADHD and how that made his Anxiety and Depression worse.  He explains how a near death experience led him to pursue peace at a monastery. Finally, after calming the tornado of ADHD, Jim shares why he left the monastery and what career he discovered that could use what he had learned.

Links

  • Peace Is Every Step – Thich Nhat Hanh (book)
  • Being Peace – Thich Nhat Hanh (book)
  • When Things Fall Apart – Pema Chodron (book)
  • The Wisdom Of No Escape – Pema Chodron (book)

About ADHD

Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a chronic condition that affects millions of children and often continues into adulthood. ADHD includes a combination of persistent problems, such as difficulty sustaining attention, hyperactivity and impulsive behavior.

Children with ADHD may also struggle with low self-esteem, troubled relationships and poor performance in school. Symptoms sometimes lessen with age. However, some people never completely outgrow their symptoms and experience ADHD at work. But they can learn strategies to be successful.

While treatment won’t cure ADHD, it can help a great deal with symptoms. Treatment typically involves medications and behavioral interventions. Early diagnosis and treatment can make a big difference in outcome.

Getting Support

Remember, the people you hear on Silent Superheroes are sharing their opinions about mental health and mental illness. They are not giving advice. For that reason, please consult with your care provider before making a change to your treatment approach.

It’s important to take your mental health seriously. Consequently, if you need to speak to someone you can call 1-800-273-8255, or text crisistextline.org on 741741. Both provide 24×7 confidential counseling to people in the United States. Worldwide visit http://iasp.info/resources/Crisis_Centres/

Because you listened to the  podcast, you can help others find it by leaving us a review on iTunes. Or if you don’t use iTunes, leave a review on your favorite podcasting service.

#22 How to manage employee mental health through Coronavirus

employee mental health coronavirus mental health podcast

What happens to employee mental health when you add a global pandemic like Covid-19 / coronavirus to the usual stresses and strains of work and life?  I sought out experts in workplace mental health field to get their advice. I was fortunate to find Candice Schaefer, the Head of Global Employee Wellness at Twitter and Myra Altman, the Head of Clinical Care at Modern Health, a mental health platform.

Listen To Episode 22

During our discussion, we identify the two key impacts of coronavirus on mental health : increased overall anxiety and loneliness.  We discuss how companies should manage the impact of coronavirus on mental health at work. And we also look at the positive impact of coronavirus on mental health at work.

Myra and Candice identify 6 ways that you can support employee mental health through the coronavirus / covid 19 outbreak.

Take Action

  1. Make the logistics of working from home easy. This can reduce anxiety because it’s stressful to adjust to working in a new environment. Make sure you’re helping with equipment, software setup, expenses and ergonomic challenges,
  2. Establish new norms that encourage people to connect each day, for example a daily standup. Helping people connect can combat loneliness,
  3. Create new ways of connecting socially, for example a scheduled Pet Happy Hour where pet owners get online and introduce their pets. You could also get people to share a #before and #after challenge for setting up their WFH space. This will also help combat loneliness,
  4. Encourage people to maintain health exercise habits, for example holding a step challenge or having a group walk using phones + Zoom. A healthy exercise routine can combat anxiety,
  5. Help people maintain a routine and set appropriate boundaries so “work” and “life” don’t blur and create anxiety. The social cues you have in an office (that the lights are off and everyone left) aren’t there at home. There are several different ways to set a boundary. Individuals can nominate a buddy to remind them to step away from their desk to help with social connection. Or people can set an alarm, or have an announcement in Slack,
  6. Managers should invest extra time in calling people on the phone. This both makes a social connection and lets you look for signs of anxiety. If you’re not the type of manager who is “good” at connecting with people human to human, this is a great time to try,
  7. And at the corporate level, communicate, communicate, communicate. Uncertainty creates anxiety and right now employees may be uncertain about how long they’ll be working away from the office and whether there are going to be impacts to the business and their job.

Links

  • Keeping Twitter Employees Safe During Coronavirus (article)
  • Supporting your teams in stressful situations (article)
  • Dr Candice Schaefer (guest)
  • Dr Myra Altman (guest)
  • Modern Health (company)
  • Twitter (company)

Getting Support

Remember, the people you hear on Silent Superheroes are sharing their opinions about mental health and mental illness. They are not giving advice. For that reason, please consult with your care provider before making a change to your treatment approach.

It’s important to take your mental health seriously. Consequently, if you need to speak to someone you can call 1-800-273-8255, or text crisistextline.org on 741741. Both provide 24×7 confidential counseling to people in the United States. Worldwide visit http://iasp.info/resources/Crisis_Centres/

Because you listened to the  podcast, you can help others find it by leaving us a review on iTunes. Or if you don’t use iTunes, leave a review on your favorite podcasting service.

#14 Drums, Depression and a Dog, with Kristina Schiano

depression Kristina Schiano mental health podcast

Kristina Schiano is a professional drummer who at 23 years old has built a following of more than 750,000 subscribers to her Youtube channel. Her most popular video has been watched more than 10 million times.  These are remarkable achievements and even more remarkable when you consider periods of anxiety as a teenager left her housebound. In a fan Q&A session, one of her fans asked about her mental health which lead Kristina Schiano to reveal her depression to her fans.

Listen To Episode 14

Show Notes

In this episode of Silent Superheroes, we’ll hear about Kristina’s on again, off again relationship with treatment. She’ll explain how anxiety and depression mix with a life lived on camera and social media. We’ll hear how Kristina Schiano manages her depression and anxiety, and she’ll share practical advice for getting through the more difficult times.

Links

About Depression

Depression is a mood disorder that causes a persistent feeling of sadness and loss of interest. This disorder is also called major depressive disorder or clinical depression. Depression affects how you feel, think and behave and can lead to a variety of emotional and physical problems. Because of those problems, you may have trouble doing normal day-to-day activities, and sometimes you may feel as if life isn’t worth living.

More than just a bout of the blues, depression isn’t a weakness and you can’t simply “snap out of”. Depression may require long-term treatment but don’t get discouraged. Most people with depression feel better with medication, psychotherapy or both. People fare best when they commit to working with depression.

Getting Support

Remember, the people you hear on Silent Superheroes are sharing their opinions about mental health and mental illness. They are not giving advice. For that reason, please consult with your care provider before making a change to your treatment approach.

It’s important to take your mental health seriously. Consequently, if you need to speak to someone you can call 1-800-273-8255, or text crisistextline.org on 741741. Both provide 24×7 confidential counseling to people in the United States. Worldwide visit http://iasp.info/resources/Crisis_Centres/

Because you listened to the  podcast, you can help others find it by leaving us a review on iTunes. Or if you don’t use iTunes, leave a review on your favorite podcasting service.

#12 Purgatory in Paris – The Road To A Mental Health ERG

mental health ERG mental health podcast

Max was 20, in an unfamiliar neighborhood in Paris, thousands of miles from home, desperately unhappy and in tears. More than a decade later he was founding a mental health ERG. This is his story.

Listen To Episode 12

Show Notes

Depression can take a grip on anyone, at any time. Imagine being a 20 year old student, doing an internship in a foreign country that involves calling hairdressers all day and asking them how much a haircut costs. In addition to a boring internship, your family, friends and new girlfriend are thousands of miles away, and your host family is mainly in it for the money. These are the circumstances that overwhelmed Max and lead him to wander the streets of Paris in his depression. Fortunately, Max is the son of a clinical psychologist and he recognized the signs of depression. On returning to the US, he sought care and began a program of treatment.

In this episode of Silent Superheroes, Max tells the story of his internship in Paris that lead him to seek treatment for depression and anxiety. Because he’s tried many medications, he’ll talk about some of the more serious side effects he’s experienced with them. He’ll also talk about some of the questionable therapists he’s worked with and we’ll discuss the complexity of mental health care under the US healthcare system. Max will share his plan for his Mental Health ERG (Employee Resource Group) at Limeaid.

CORRECTIONS : Max asked to correct two things he said in the recording. Klonopin is a Schedule IV drug, not Schedule I as he said in the recording. In addition to that correction, Gregory Peck was chairman of the American Cancer Society.

Note. If you organize a mental health ERG at your workplace I’d love to talk to you. Please reach out at [email protected].

Getting Support

Remember, the people you hear on Silent Superheroes are sharing their opinions about mental health and mental illness. They are not giving advice. For that reason, please consult with your care provider before making a change to your treatment approach.

It’s important to take your mental health seriously. Consequently, if you need to speak to someone you can call 1-800-273-8255, or text crisistextline.org on 741741. Both provide 24×7 confidential counseling to people in the United States. Worldwide visit http://iasp.info/resources/Crisis_Centres/

Because you listened to the  podcast, you can help others find it by leaving us a review on iTunes. Or if you don’t use iTunes, leave a review on your favorite podcasting service.

#3 Travel and Talking About It – Depression & Anxiety At Work

anxiety at work mental health podcast

Will is an award winning, independent video producer who is outgoing and confident. Because of his confident exterior, you wouldn’t guess he has a lot of doubt and uncertainty. As a result of these thoughts, Will experiences depression and anxiety at work, and in his personal life.  

Listen To Episode 3

Show Notes

In this episode of Silent Superheroes, Will talks about the pressures of in-house production that drove him to go out on his own. As a result of founding his own business, Will talks about the benefits and drawbacks of being self-employed. He shares how anxiety distorts his ability to be confident in his work.  We discuss the importance of finding the right therapist. And in conclusion, looking through Will’s eyes I see business travel in a new light.

Links

  • The theory of optimum stress (article)
  • Idiot Brain by Dean Burnett (book)

About Anxiety

Anxiety disorders are real, serious medical conditions – just as real and serious as physical disorders such as heart disease or diabetes. Anxiety disorders are the most common mental disorder in the United States. You may experience anxiety that is persistent, seemingly uncontrollable, and overwhelming. If it’s an excessive, irrational dread of everyday situations, it can be disabling. When anxiety interferes with daily activities, you may have an anxiety disorder.

The term “anxiety disorder” refers to specific psychiatric disorders that involve extreme fear or worry. The list of anxiety includes generalized anxiety disorder (GAD),  panic disorder and panic attacks, agoraphobia, social anxiety disorder, selective mutism, separation anxiety, and specific phobias.

Getting Support

Remember, the people you hear on Silent Superheroes are sharing their opinions about mental health and mental illness. They are not giving advice. For that reason, please consult with your care provider before making a change to your treatment approach.

It’s important to take your mental health seriously. Consequently, if you need to speak to someone you can call 1-800-273-8255, or text crisistextline.org on 741741. Both provide 24×7 confidential counseling to people in the United States. Worldwide visit http://iasp.info/resources/Crisis_Centres/

Because you listened to the  podcast, you can help others find it by leaving us a review on iTunes. Or if you don’t use iTunes, leave a review on your favorite podcasting service.