Join the founder of Mental Health News Radio Network, Kristin Sunanta Walker, to discuss what goes on off the air of this mental health focused digital media network. Joining her are two podcasters who host on the network. Joe Fusaro of hysteriaradio.com Matt Pappas of beyondyourpast.com
Join host, Melanie Vann, on the latest episode of Converge Autism Radio as she interviews Ray Hemachandra. He is advocate, author, and educator about the world of autism.
Ray Hemachandra is the parent of an autistic son. He speaks, writes, and teaches about autism and disability from the perspective of neurodiversity, acceptance, and compassion. Professionally, Hemachandra is an organizational consultant and communications strategist. He serves on a half-dozen boards and committees for autism and disability organizations.
Follow his writing about autism and other topics at www.RayHemachandra.com.
Other valuable resources mentioned in the interview:
Antidepressants, it seems to carry the idea of being a necessary evil for those who struggle with depression, any number of mental health challenges, including PTSD. It’s not something that most would want to rely on, either temporarily or in an ongoing basis, but yet their effectiveness can bring about a world of positive difference when used properly and under the supervision of a trained professional.
I used medications to help get some struggles I had, under control, and while it took some time and several doctor visits to get the dosage, amount, correct, the results were with it. Using the medications to help regulate my mood, reaction to stress, and ability to cope did serve me for a time, and with the combined efforts of a trauma informed therapist, I was able to wean myself off of them in time, again staying in contact with a trained medical professional.
Millions of people rely on antidepressants or have used them in the past. In fact, in the United States alone, 16 million Americans experience a major depression each year, and at any given time about ten percent of the population is taking antidepressants. The popularity of antidepressants is increasing rapidly: there are about four times as many people taking them than in the 1990s. That means as you walk down the street, through the mall, or in the office, it’s likely that someone you see is on this type of medication.
There’s certainly no shame in using an antidepressant, but there is a certain amount of stigma and shame that can come with relying on a medication to help us in daily life. My guest today, Dr. Wallace Mendelson joins me on the podcast to discuss the use of antidepressants and share his expertise on how and why they work.
Wallace B. Mendelson MD is a Professor of Psychiatry and Clinical Pharmacology (ret) at the University of Chicago, and a Distinguished Fellow of the American Psychiatric Association. He has authored or co-authored four books and numerous scientific papers, primarily in the fields of psychopharmacology and sleep medicine. His most recent book, The Science of Sleep (available on Amazon), shares with Understanding Antidepressants the goal of providing the scientific background of a group of disorders in a non-technical and very readable manner.
During our chat on this episode of the podcast, Dr. Mendelson and I discuss the following, surrounding the use of antidepressants:
- The use of antidepressants to help with PTSD. Which medications are actually FDA approved for PTSD, and how doctors choose between the correct ones to use with someone who’s experienced trauma.
- Concerns and apprehensions about using antidepressants.
- The potential benefits of using antidepressants with therapy modalities such as CBT and Interpersonal therapy.
- CBT – (in the area of depression) works on the idea that some kinds of thinking in which a depressed person does, can contribute to making the depression worse. Changing those beliefs, processes, and thinking patterns.
- Interpersonal therapy – oriented to the way you interact with another person; having satisfactory relationship with others as being a critical part of ones overall mental health.
- How antidepressants actually work; what they do in the body and brain.
- The importance of taking an active role in your treatment, and educating yourself so you can better understand your progress and interactions with your medical and/or mental health professional.
- His book, Understanding Antidepressants: which outlines in a non-technical, lavishly illustrated introduction on how antidepressants affect the brain, and a more general presentation of how drugs are absorbed, distributed, and eliminated from the body.
Julie Ryan is a medical intuitive. We cover a lot of topics on mental health news radio but not this one. We wanted to know if a medical intuitive can also detect depression and other mental health issues.
Julie can sense what medical conditions and illnesses a person has, she can facilitate energetic healings, see energy fields—and communicate with spirits both alive and dead. She can work from anywhere; it’s rare I’m with someone while scanning them.
In addition, she can scan animals, access people’s past lives, and remove ghosts from homes and other buildings, and tell how close to death someone is.
Although the medical intuitive aspect of her life has been an amazing side interest, she is basically a businesswoman, an inventor, an author, and a serial entrepreneur. During her 35-year career, she invented surgical devices that are sold throughout the world and founded several companies in the medical, natural gas, advertising, long-term care, compliance, and data breach prevention industries.
It’s no secret that one of the keys to life, is balance. Lean too much towards work, and we can lose focus on our personal life and risk burn out. Lean too far towards the personal side, and we can end up losing sight of the career dreams and things we want to accomplish. When you toss Mental Health into the equation, it adds a whole new dimension to this struggle.
Not only do you have to juggle your personal and professional life, what ever that looks like for you individually, now you have any number of mental health challenges that bring about their own daily influx of struggles. Talk about the need for balance, right!
As a mental health and LGBTQ+ advocate, and current MSW student, Lee Thomas shares her thoughts on this topic and several others during this episode of the podcast.
I first met Lee when I came across her weekly Facebook Live show, Crazy Talk, after the HealtheVoice 2018 Conference. Lee regularly interviews advocates, clinicians, professional, survivors and others all around the topic of mental health and advocacy. I was honored to be on Crazy Talk earlier this year (you can find that episode by clicking here) and now I’m pleased to have Lee join me on Beyond Your Past.
Lee was born and raised in a small town in northern Alberta. From a young age they were heavily involved in athletics, student government, and other extracurriculars. However, during their teen years they began battling a mental illness. Feeling scared and alone, Lee struggled silently for many years. Their illness worsened throughout their high school years and continued into university, until Lee finally sought help and began the difficult process of recovery.
After Lee began the recovery process, they realized that there were still many people struggling with mental health issues in silence. To reduce the stigma around mental health issues on their campus, Lee founded the #MyDefinition poster campaign in 2014. Since then, Lee has been working as a motivational speaker and mental health trainer, speaking to groups of all ages and sizes about their own mental health experiences, the important of reducing stigma, and LGBTQ+ issues.
While continuing her graduate education in the field of social work, she continues to serve as a speaker, trainer, and writer in the mental health field; her work has been featured on The Mighty, TEDx, CBC News, and more.
During our chat on the podcast, we cover some of the struggles and triumphs in her life so far as well as her future work as social worker serving the LGBTQ+ community and others who know what it means to struggle with a mental illness such as depression, eating disorders, bipolar, and more:
- Her struggle with depression, eating disorders, and self-harm in her teen-age years.
- The realization that she had been suffering in silence for so long, and then learning what a mental illness means for her.
- The limited information available about mental health when she was younger, and what she re-learned later.
- Starting the #MyDefinition poster campaign and how that lead to acquiring speaking engagements and sharing her story at conferences and workshops.
- The 3 keys of validation she needed to get started in her career: Passion, Knowledge, and Something She was Good at.
- What vulnerability looks like for each of us
- Staying busy and the risk of doing so to avoid confronting and working through tough memories and emotions.
- How staying busy reinforces the mindset of “uncopewithable” situations, and how this can set back healing.
Lee shares her thoughts on these topics and more during our chat, so I hope you’ll check out the po