Al Interviews Lee Plummer | US Navy Veteran

September 9, 2018

In this episode, Al interviews US Navy veteran, Lee Plummer (recorded 7-23-18). Lee describes a challenging childhood, including being kidnapped for two days, before the age of ten, by his mother's boyfriend and the traumatic police rescue that followed. Lee shares his experience of being deployed to Afghanistan for a 7-8 month tour of duty. Upon return to the US, Lee, taking the advice of another veteran, chose not to share the struggles he was having mentally with the military so that he could quickly be reunited with his family. In the end, this decision cost him the loss of receiving many of the benefits that would provide him with the mental health support that he now faces.

Find out more about Lee on his blog and follow him on Twitter @LeeJPlummer.

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In addition to The Depression Files, you can find Al's blog at thedepressionfiles.com. You can also find him on Twitter @allevin18.

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Al Interviews Dr. Michael Weinstein | Acute Care Surgeon

August 26, 2018

In this episode, Al interviews Dr. Michael Weinstein, acute care surgeon (recorded 7-12-18). Realizing that he could no longer do the work of a surgeon due to the major depression he was suffering, Michael and his wife reached out to their family doctor, and close colleague, who convinced Michael to stop working in order to get help. Michael checked himself into an in-patient program for three months. Michael speaks candidly about being put into seclusion at one point and receiving more than ten sessions of Electric Convulsive Therapy (ECT).

Michael now shares his story publicly and is working at creating systems to better support the mental health of medical doctors. He has written about his own story in an article titled: Out of the Straitjacket and gives presentations on Surgeon Wellness, in which he discusses doctor burnout, the importance of self-care, and systems that promote the wellness of medical doctors. You can hear one of his presentations here.

If you enjoyed this episode, please click the 'like' button. Also, please take a moment to comment and rate the show. Finally, don't miss an episode! Click the subscribe/follow button now!

In addition to The Depression Files, you can find Al's blog at thedepressionfiles.com. You can also find him on Twitter @allevin18.

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Al Interviews Charles Minguez | Mental Health Advocate & Aspiring Journalist

August 12, 2018

In this episode, Al interviews Charles Minguez, mental health advocate and aspiring journalist (recorded 5-16-18). Charles had his first suicide attempt at age thirteen. Before he reached his eighteenth birthday, he had been hospitalized three times. At age seventeen, Charles was diagnosed with schizoaffective disorder and major depression. Hear how Charles was originally misdiagnosed and medicated for bipolar disorder.

Now, ten years with no symptoms of schizoaffective disorder and having weaned completely off of his medication long ago, Charles has a blog and is working on writing his first book. Learn more about Charles and read much of his writing by visiting his blog at charlesminguez.com.

If you enjoyed this episode, please click the 'like' button. Also, please take a moment to comment and rate the show. Finally, don't miss an episode! Click the subscribe/follow button now!

In addition to The Depression Files, you can find Al's blog at allevin18.wordpress.com. You can also find him on Twitter @allevin18.

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Al Interviews Jermaine Tolbert (AKA Nate Calloway) | Songwriter, Author, & Creator of Project: Genius of a Schizophrenic

July 29, 2018

In this episode, Al interviews Jermaine Tolbert (AKA Nate Calloway), songwriter, author, and creator of Project: Genius of a Schizophrenic (recorded 3-16-18). Nate describes how he became paranoid after smoking what he believed to have been laced marijuana (or "gas") for seven months straight. He eventually lands in the hospital psychiatric ward for a ten-day stay and a diagnosis of depression and schizophrenia. Nate decides to walk away from a music deal with Pharrell Williams in order to learn more about his diagnosis and gain the knowledge that he believes was instrumental in his recovery. Nate is now in the process of writing a book, Remind Me to Think: The Genius Behind Crazy, which describes his triumph over the diagnosis. Sprinkled throughout the book you will also learn about some of his experiences navigating the music industry with such a diagnosis. Please check out Nate's GoFundMe page and consider contributing funds that will go towards the marketing and launch of his book!

You can learn more about Nate on his Facebook page, you can hear some of his music on Soundcloud, AND...you can get your own free copy of the first chapter of Nate's book! Finally, be sure to follow Nate on Twitter

If you enjoyed this episode, please click the 'like' button. Also, please take a moment to comment and rate the show. Finally, don't miss an episode! Click the subscribe/follow button now!

In addition to The Depression Files, you can find Al's blog at allevin18.wordpress.com. You can also find him on Twitter @allevin18.

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Al Interviews Dan Ryder | Educator, Improviser & Design Thinker

July 15, 2018

In this episode, Al interviews Dan Ryder, educator, improviser, and design thinker (recorded 5-2-18). Dan describes how his family moved while he was in fifth grade, and the challenges he faced due to the move. This was the beginning of his lifelong struggles with depression, anxiety, anger and stress management. Dan shares what he has learned through hypnotherapy. Dan describes how he has come to terms, in the past couple of years, with the fact that he needed medication to support managing his family, his career, and his art.

You can follow Dan on Twitter @WickedDecent and learn more about him at DanRyder207.com. In addition, check out his book, Intention: Critical Creativity in the Classroom by clicking here.

If you enjoyed this episode, please click the 'like' button. Also, please take a moment to comment and rate the show. Finally, don't miss an episode! Click the subscribe/follow button now!

In addition to The Depression Files, you can find Al's blog at allevin18.wordpress.com. You can also find him on Twitter @allevin18.

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Al Interviews Mike Veny | Author, Drummer, Motivational Speaker & Mental Health Advocate

July 1, 2018

In this episode, Al interviews Mike Veny, author, drummer, motivational speaker, and mental health advocate (recorded 6-7-18). Mike describes a challenging childhood consisting of being hospitalized on three different occasions, being expelled from three schools, self-harming, having violent episodes at home, and attempting suicide several times...all by the time he finished tenth grade of high school.

After a significant depressive episode in 2011, Mike fell into advocating and speaking publicly on the topic of mental health. He has also recently published his own book, titled, Transforming Stigma: How to Become a Mental Wellness Superhero. Learn more about Mike and how to book him for an event on his website at mikeveny.com.

If you enjoyed this episode, please click the 'like' button. Also, please take a moment to comment and rate the show. Finally, don't miss an episode! Click the subscribe/follow button now!

In addition to The Depression Files, you can find Al's blog at allevin18.wordpress.com. You can also find him on Twitter @allevin18.

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Al Interviews Mike Schlossberg | PA State Representative & Author

June 17, 2018

In this episode, Al interviews Mike Schlossberg, a Pennsylvania State Representative and author (recorded 5-28-18). Mike is best known in his State Representative position for his work around mental health and education. He has been open about his own struggles of depression and anxiety that began at age eighteen. Mike is also a published author. His first book, Tweets and Consequences, is an anthology about the varied ways elected officials have destroyed their careers via social media. Mike's newest book, just made available on June 5, 2018, is a science fiction novel titled, Redemption. In this story, the lead character, dealing with his own depression and anxiety, is tasked with obtaining a vaccine that will save humanity.

You can find out much more about Mike on his author page or his State Representative page. You'll also find Mike on Facebook and on Twitter. Finally, find out how to get your own copy of Redemption here!

If you enjoyed this episode, please click the 'like' button. Also, please take a moment to comment and rate the show. Finally, don't miss an episode! Click the subscribe/follow button NOW!

In addition to The Depression Files, you can find Al's blog at allevin18.wordpress.com. You can also find him on Twitter @allevin18.

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Al Interviews Rene Mullen | Writer, Poet & Mental Health Advocate

June 3, 2018

In this episode, Al interviews writer, poet, and mental health advocate Rene Mullen (recorded 2-7-18). Rene describes a childhood of being bullied that eventually drove him to self-harm (cutting) while just a sixth grader. Rene also describes a messy breakup that his parents went through and his father's attempted suicide. After years of cutting and using alcohol to self-medicate, Rene finally found support while attending college. He eventually found poetry to be a venue that allowed him to unpack the issues of his past and to face reality.

Rene now writes, participates in Performance Poetry, and hosts his own podcast, Pen & Poet. You can find out much more about Rene, listen to the podcast, and check out his blog by going to renemullen.com. In addition, you'll find Rene on Twitter @RMullenWriter and Facebook.

If you enjoyed this episode, please click the 'like' button. Also, please take a moment to comment and rate the show. Finally, don't miss an episode! Click the subscribe/follow button NOW!

In addition to The Depression Files, you can find Al's blog at allevin18.wordpress.com. You can also find him on Twitter @allevin18.

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Al Interviews Dr. Loren Olson | Psychiatrist & Author

May 20, 2018

In this episode, Al interviews Dr. Loren Olson, a psychiatrist and published author (recorded 2-13-18). Dr. Olson shares about his own challenges of depression and the depression that ran in his family. This included his grandfather, who tragically took his own life while living with Dr. Olson when Dr. Olson was only about six years old. Dr. Olson also speaks of the challenges of making the difficult choice of leaving his wife and kids at age forty to declare that he was gay.

Dr. Olson is the author of Finally Out: Letting Go of Living Straight. In this book, Dr. Olson tells the inspiring story of his evolving sexuality, into which he intelligently weaves psychological concepts and gay history. Find out more about Dr. Olson, including his upcoming public speaking engagements, by visiting his website.

If you enjoyed this episode, please click the 'like' button. Also, please take a moment to comment and rate the show. Finally, don't miss an episode! Click the subscribe/follow button NOW!

In addition to The Depression Files, you can find Al's blog at allevin18.wordpress.com. You can also find him on Twitter @allevin18.

 

 

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Al Interviews Erez Shek | Mental Health Advocate & Vlogger

May 6, 2018

In this episode, Al interviews Erez Shek, mental health advocate and vlogger (recorded 3-19-18). In this very candid interview, Erez opens up to the challenges he has had living with Bipolar Disorder; from receiving his Bipolar diagnosis on the phone, to seeing a doctor who disregarded his Bipolar diagnosis when prescribing medication to him, and to going to rehab for an addiction to Ambien. In addition, Erez tries to help us understand what it's like to be in the midst of a mania.

Known for his "Shek Check" vlogs, Erez is a staunch advocate for mental health with a focus on Bipolar Disorder. Erez now uses his experiences to further his advocacy work. He utilizes his theatre background and humor to create incredibly creative, inspirational videos. Learn more about Erez, and check out his videos, by visiting his website.

If you enjoyed this episode, please click the 'like' button. Also, please take a moment to comment and rate the show. Finally, don't miss an episode! Click the subscribe/follow button NOW!

In addition to The Depression Files, you can find Al's blog at allevin18.wordpress.com. You can also find him on Twitter @allevin18.

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