The Depression Files
Al Interviews Michael J Nanna | Former University Professor, Former Police Officer & Singer-Songwriter

Al Interviews Michael J Nanna | Former University Professor, Former Police Officer & Singer-Songwriter

August 11, 2019

In this episode, Al interviews Michael J Nanna, former university professor, former police officer, and singer song writer (recorded 7-15-19). Michael struggled with anxiety from a very young age. Once in college, Michael studied psychology particularly hoping to get some answers regarding his own mental health struggles. During his undergrad years, he experienced his first panic attack. Michael went on to graduate school and started seeing a psychiatrist, as his panic attacks increased.

After receiving a PhD in statistics, Michael worked in the field of academia for several years until losing the position due to a reorganization of the staff. By this point, he was also experiencing depression for the first time. Michael then decided to try something completely different. He followed his heart and joined the police academy. After a back injury and an FMLA lawsuit, Michael decided to return to academia. However, after only a year in this position and with absolutely no notice, Michael was let go. Around the same time, he lost his mother, had a daughter with his wife of the time, then went through a divorce, and had to deal with financial hardships. This led to Michael's second bout of major depression. Michael shares the challenges of multiple changes of meds and an intensive outpatient program.

Michael is now focused on his musical career. Michael has on solo album titled Karmic Clutter. You can find it on Amazon or iTunes. Michael also has a website and a YouTube channel. You'll also find him on Twitter @mjnanna, Instagram @mjnanna67, and Facebook.

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

In addition to The Depression Files podcast, you can find Al's blog at TheDepressionFiles.com. There, you can also find out how to work with Al as a coach or schedule him for a public speaking event. You will also find Al on Twitter @allevin18.

Al Interviews Cory Strathman | Mental Health Advocate and Former Principal

Al Interviews Cory Strathman | Mental Health Advocate and Former Principal

July 28, 2019

In this episode, Al interviews Cory Strathman, mental health advocate and former principal (recorded 7-11-19). Cory describes working in the high stress role of the principal of an elementary school. After a smooth first couple of years, Cory received a call from his younger brother stating that he had cancer. This was the start of a mental spiral downward. While Cory's wife realized what was going on, she also pointed out that this was not the first time she had seen Cory in a similar state of mind and urged him to seek help.

Cory reluctantly started medication. However, he took them inconsistently and was faced with another downward spiral. Cory started to self-medicate with alcohol and knew he needed more help. He finally agreed to try some counseling and even attended in-patient and out-patient programs. However, his drinking became out of control and it wasn't until he was charged with "driving under the influence" (DUI) and "leaving the scene of an accident" that he finally took his recovery seriously.

After his arrest, Cory immediately resigned from his principal position. He has now started his own advocacy work through his website, Grace In Your Corner. Here you will find his blog, his vlog, professional resources, and more! You'll also find Cory on Twitter @CoryStrathman, on Facebook, and on Instagram.

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

In addition to The Depression Files podcast, you can find Al's blog at TheDepressionFiles.com. There, you can also find out how to work with Al as a coach or schedule him for a public speaking event. You will also find Al on Twitter @allevin18.

Al Interviews Matthew Tessnear | Author, Blogger & Mental Health Advocate

Al Interviews Matthew Tessnear | Author, Blogger & Mental Health Advocate

July 14, 2019

In this episode, Al interviews Matthew Tessnear, author, blogger, and mental health advocate. Matthew shares his long history with depression, anxiety, and obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) (recorded 6-27-19). After working as a reporter and editor for ten years, Matthew switched roles to public relations. Soon after transitioning to this new role, Matthew's mental health took a turn for the worse. At that point, Matthew new something had to change. He withdrew from just about everything in order to focus on his mental health. Finally, after 30 years of living with these illnesses, Matthew reached out for the help he needed.

Matthew is now a passionate advocate around mental health. He is the author of Eating Me Alive: How Food, Faith, and Family Helped Me Fight Fear and Find Hope, which, as you could guess from the title, details the role food, family, and faith have played in helping him fight his fears. Matthew also has two blogs: Man Down and #FoodieScore. You can also find Matthew on Twitter @MatthewTessnear.

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

In addition to The Depression Files podcast, you can find Al's blog at TheDepressionFiles.com. There, you can also find out how to work with Al as a coach or schedule him for a public speaking event. You will also find Al on Twitter @allevin18.

Al Interviews Carl Waggett | Firefighter & PTSD Advocate

Al Interviews Carl Waggett | Firefighter & PTSD Advocate

June 30, 2019

In this episode, Al interviews Carl Waggett, firefighter and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) advocate (recorded 6-18-19). Carl is a firefighter of fifteen years, his last four as Acting Captain. He is now on leave due to his PTSD. Carl describes how he gradually realized that he was becoming desensitized to traumatic scenes. Eventually, after having a colleague die by suicide and feeling that his own life was beginning to crumble, Carl decided it was time to reach out for help.

Carl has now become an outspoken advocate around the topic of PTSD. He cranks out three podcasts and three FaceBook Live videos every week. He has a website titled, PTSD Bunker Gear for Your Brain and his Facebook page has the same title. You can also find Carl on Twitter @PTSDBunkerGear.

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

In addition to The Depression Files podcast, you can find Al's blog at TheDepressionFiles.com. There, you can also find out how to work with Al as a coach or schedule him for a public speaking event. You will also find Al on Twitter @allevin18.

Al Interviews Kevin & Co | Mental Health Advocate

Al Interviews Kevin & Co | Mental Health Advocate

June 16, 2019

In this episode, Al interviews Kevin & Co, mental health advocate (recorded 5-27-19). Kevin talks about being a trans male, as well as his diagnoses of Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) and Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID), previously known as Multiple Personality Disorder. Kevin describes his "System", which consists of Kevin and seven "Alters", or "Parts". Kevin describes receiving the diagnoses and the work he has done to have a better understanding of his many alters in this incredibly informative, candid interview.

You can learn more about Kevin & Co on his website. There, you can also purchase beautiful "Grounding Mats", read his BPD Magazine, or check out his "Story Time" collaborative with TheWeInMe. You'll also find Kevin on Twitter @onelilpill.

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

In addition to The Depression Files podcast, you can find Al's blog at TheDepressionFiles.com. There, you can also find out how to work with Al as a coach or schedule him for a public speaking event. You will also find Al on Twitter @allevin18.

Al Interviews Lorenzo Lewis | Mental Health Advocate & Founder of The Confess Project

Al Interviews Lorenzo Lewis | Mental Health Advocate & Founder of The Confess Project

June 2, 2019

In this episode, Al interviews Lorenzo Lewis, mental health advocate and founder of The Confess Project (recorded 5-13-19). Lorenzo shares some of his childhood trauma including being born behind bars, losing his father and entering a behavioral facility at age 10, and being convicted of a gun crime at age seventeen.

Lorenzo speaks about the challenges of being a black man with a mental illness. He also describes how the African American community, in general, relates to mental illnesses and some of the reasons that many black people have little trust in the medical system in the U.S.

You'll also hear Lorenzo describe the incredible work of The Confess Project, the non-profit he founded in 2016. This mental health initiative supports black boys and men from the ages of 11-35. The Confess Project provides education and training on topics related to mental health. They present in schools, universities and barbershops and even train barbers to become mental health advocates.

You can find out more about The Confess Project on their website or on their FaceBook page. You can also find Lorenzo on Twitter at Theconfessproj.

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

In addition to The Depression Files podcast, you can find Al's blog at TheDepressionFiles.com. There, you can also find out how to work with Al as a coach or schedule him for a public speaking event. You will also find Al on Twitter @allevin18.

Al Interviews Erik Robinson | General Contractor & Founder of Building a Refuge

Al Interviews Erik Robinson | General Contractor & Founder of Building a Refuge

May 19, 2019

In this episode, Al interviews Erik Robinson, general contractor and founder of Building a Refuge (recorded 4-22-19). After losing nearly eighty personal properties and his own home in the housing crash of 2008-2009, Erik went into a deep depression spending days in the dark of his basement, culminating in an attempted suicide.

In 2011, Erik realized that he was being investigated by the FBI for some of his mortgage investments six years earlier. Erik was charged with a federal crime and served eighteen months of a twenty-one-month sentence in federal prison. Erik describes his time in prison and how he was able to find a group of supportive men and begin to turn his life around.

Erik also describes Building a Refuge, a nonprofit organization that he founded.  The organization brings community and hope around men who are hurting.

You can learn more about Erik and his organization on the Building a Refuge website and on Facebook. You'll also find Erik on Twitter @refuge_a.

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

In addition to The Depression Files podcast, you can find Al's blog at TheDepressionFiles.com. There, you can also find out how to work with Al as a coach or schedule him for a public speaking event. You will also find Al on Twitter @allevin18.

Al Interviews Vincent Wales | Author & Co-Host of The Psych Central Show

Al Interviews Vincent Wales | Author & Co-Host of The Psych Central Show

May 5, 2019

In this episode, Al interviews Vincent Wales, author and co-host of The Psych Central Show (recorded 4-3-19). Vince is the first guest on the show with Dysthymia, also known as Persistent Depressive Disorder. After Vince's mother left him when he was five-years old, his grandparents adopted him and raised him.

After a couple of encounters with friends who mentioned how depressed he seemed, Vince decided to seek out counseling at the age of twenty. While it took Vince many sessions before he'd open up to his therapist, he was diagnosed with Persistent Depressive Disorder at his very first appointment. It wasn't until twenty years later that Vince decided to try medication.

Vince is the author of four Speculative Fiction novels and is in the process of writing his fifth (the third of a trilogy). You can find all four of his novels here. You can find out more about Vince, including links to other interviews and how to book him for an appearance, on his website at VincentMWales.com. Vince is also a co-host of the very popular Psych Central Show podcast. Vince and his co-host, Gabe Howard, speak candidly with experts on various mental health topics.

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

In addition to The Depression Files podcast, you can find Al's blog at TheDepressionFiles.com. There, you can also find out how to work with Al as a coach or schedule him for a public speaking event. You will also find Al on Twitter @allevin18.

Al Interviews Dr. Derek Chechak | PhD in Social Work, BA, BSW, MSW & RSW

Al Interviews Dr. Derek Chechak | PhD in Social Work, BA, BSW, MSW & RSW

April 21, 2019

In this episode, Al interviews social worker, Dr. Derek Chechak (recorded 2-25-19). Derek shares his own struggles with mental illness that began as panic attacks from the young age of sixteen years-old. He then describes having his first bout of major depression at twenty and a second one at age twenty-seven.

Derek talks about medication and other types of therapies. Although Derek had genetic testing done to help determine the best type of medications to treat his depression, he's been on fifteen different ones over the last five years. He's also describes having Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) treatment.

Derek shares his thoughts regarding a strong interest of his; workplace wellness and the impacts of bullying and/or harassment by an employer.

You can find Derek on Twitter @Dr_Dissonance.

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

In addition to The Depression Files podcast, you can find Al's blog at TheDepressionFiles.com. There, you can also find out how to work with Al as a coach or schedule him for a public speaking event. You will also find Al on Twitter @allevin18.

Al Interviews Gabe Howard | Bipolar Speaker, Writer & Podcaster

Al Interviews Gabe Howard | Bipolar Speaker, Writer & Podcaster

April 7, 2019

In this episode, Al interviews Gabe Howard, bipolar speaker, writer, and podcaster (recorded 3-11-19). Gabe describes what it was like living with undiagnosed bipolar disorder for many years, as well as life after his diagnosis. From debilitating depressions that included suicidal thoughts and kept him in bed for days at a time, to manias that included hypersexuality and drug use. Gabe also shares his thoughts on managing medications and their possible side effects.

Gabe is a writes for PsychCentral and is the co-host of PsychCentral's two podcasts: 1) The Psych Central Show and, 2) A Bipolar, a Schizophrenic, and a Podcast. Gabe is also the author of Mental Illness is an Asshole: And Other Observations.

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

In addition to The Depression Files podcast, you can find Al's blog at TheDepressionFiles.com. There, you can also find out how to work with Al as a coach or schedule him for a public speaking event. You will also find Al on Twitter @allevin18.