The Depression Files
Al Interviews Chris Agudo | Delivery Driver, Suicide Attempt Survivor, Author & Cofounder of Living Is So Big

Al Interviews Chris Agudo | Delivery Driver, Suicide Attempt Survivor, Author & Cofounder of Living Is So Big

April 5, 2020

In this episode, Al interviews Chris Agudo, delivery driver, suicide attempt survivor, author, and cofounder of Living Is So Big (recorded 2-24-20). Chris can put his finger on four things that occurred in a short period of time that threw him into a dangerous, downward spiral of depression; 1) unrelenting, unexplained massive headaches, 2) a broken relationship, 3) poor grades, and 4) a tragic accident that killed two of his friends.

Chris decided to visit his brother and a friend for a final goodbye before he would end his life. After an attempted suicide in the middle of the night in the woods, followed immediately by an unexpected outpouring of love and care, Chris spent seven days in a psychiatric hospital. It was while he was hospitalized that a doctor shared with his father that he needed to make sure Chris had reasons to live. His dad, without hesitation, created a campaign titled "Living Is So Big".

When Chris got out of the hospital, he and his parents took several road trips to share their campaign with others. They spoke at public events, passed out bracelets, and asked others to share what they were grateful for. Together, Chris and his father have written several books.

Find out more about Chris and his campaign at LivingIsSoBig.org.

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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 Tom Cronin | Retreat Host, Meditation Teacher, Coach, Keynote Speaker, Author & Film Producer

Al Interviews Tom Cronin | Retreat Host, Meditation Teacher, Coach, Keynote Speaker, Author & Film Producer

March 22, 2020

In this episode, Al interviews Tom Cronin, retreat host, meditation teacher, coach, keynote speaker, author, and film producer (recorded 2-17-20). Tom shares his story of working on the floor for 26 years in finance markets as one of Sydney’s leading bond and swap brokers. Tom started this job at the young age of nineteen. Receiving a company sports car and taking clients out for expensive meals and drinks, he was living the dream. However, after eight years of this lifestyle, depression had crept into his life and resulted in what the doctor described as a "nervous breakdown".

Tom took some time off of work. It was at this time that Tom discovered meditation. He noticed the benefits immediately and began to study and practice meditation on a regular basis. This helped him survive back at his old job for another sixteen years. For the last couple of years at the job, however, Tom started to develop a business plan that would allow him to follow his life's passion of supporting others in utilizing mediation for their own transformation.

Tom now hosts retreats, coaches, speaks and teaches meditation. Tom has written several books and recently launched a book and documentary called, The Portal. The Portal is an experiential documentary created as part of a bold, global vision to overcome the chronic levels of anxiety, depression, PTSD and trauma that we are facing today.

You can find out much more about Tom and the services he provides at tomcronin.com. You can find out more about The Portal and see the trailer here.

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 Andy Grant | Transformational Energy Coach, Founder of Real Men Feel, Best Selling Author & Suicide Attempt Survivor

Al Interviews Andy Grant | Transformational Energy Coach, Founder of Real Men Feel, Best Selling Author & Suicide Attempt Survivor

March 8, 2020

In this episode, Al interviews Andy Grant, transformational energy coach, founder of Real Men Feel, best-selling author & suicide attempt survivor (recorded 2-11-20). At age five, Andy began to be molested by a neighbor who was a family friend. He experienced suicidal thoughts from the very young age of eight years old and had his first, of many, attempts at twelve. At age fifteen, in a five-minute appointment based solely on a hereditary factor, Andy was diagnosed with bipolar disorder.

Andy would tell school counselors and therapists what he believed they wanted to hear, yet five of his suicide attempts landed him in a psychiatric hospital and several different diagnoses. One in-patient hospitalization during his high school days involved medications that had a toxic effect that led to full body tremors and tactile hallucinations. The doctors had claimed that they believed his friends had brought him LSD, yet much later in life Andy retrieved the paperwork that actually stated that he had had a toxic reaction to being over medicated.

Andy is the author of "Still Here: How to Succeed in Life After Failing At Suicide" and several other books. He is the founder of the podcast, website and blog titled Real Men Feel. You can find out much more about Andy and his work on his website at TheAndyGrant.com.

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 Brock Wilbur | Political Reporter & Standup Comedian

Al Interviews Brock Wilbur | Political Reporter & Standup Comedian

February 23, 2020

In this episode, Al interviews Brock Wilbur, political reporter and standup comedian (recorded 2-5-20). Brock describes a life with several suicide attempts, one as young as 3rd or 4th grade. He describes losing many friends who would simply disappear from his life with no known reason. Until, that is, one day when a friend called Brock's wife to explain that Brock had broken into her apartment and ranted at her for about an hour about a treasure map that didn't exist. She was especially concerned recognizing that he was neither drunk nor on drugs.

Two years ago, after Brock's friend expressed her concern, Brock and his wife decided it would be good to see a doctor. He was diagnosed with rapid cycling bipolar disorder. This diagnosis helped him start to piece together what had happened to the many friendships he had lost.

As a political reporter, hear how Brock fell into a situation where he was one of the journalists who helped expose the NXIVM cult to the world.

Brock has three standup albums on iTunes. You can find out much more about Brock on his website at brockwilbur.com.

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 Immanuel Jones | YouTuber, Certified Life Coach & Mental Health Advocate

Al Interviews Immanuel Jones | YouTuber, Certified Life Coach & Mental Health Advocate

February 9, 2020

In this episode, Al interviews Immanuel Jones, YouTuber, certified life coach, and mental health advocate (recorded 2-3-20). Immanuel believes he struggled with depression since elementary school. He always wondered why everybody else at school seemed happy and was able to have fun. Throughout much of middle school, Immanuel wanted to sleep and not wake up. It wasn't until high school that he realized there was an issue with his mental health. However, it wasn't until much later that he'd finally reach out for help.

Things got worse in college. Immanuel spiraled down after a breakup while interning in Italy his junior year. After drinking straight from a bottle, blacking out, and getting mugged, Immanuel barely made it back to the US. Heavy drugs and alcohol led to a second attempted suicide. He continued to mask his way through college and finally reached out for help after contemplating a third suicide attempt several years later.

After being treated for bipolar disorder for a year with little improvement, Immanuel was told by another psychiatrist that he had been misdiagnosed. He was recently given a new diagnosis of major depression and general anxiety disorder. With new medications and treatment, Immanuel has been improving and is now quite hopeful.

You can find out more about Immanuel and see his incredible, creative videos on his YouTube page. You'll also find his group on Facebook at DT Nation and his Depression Talks Podcast on Spotify. If you'd like to inquire about life coaching with Immanuel, you can email him at immanueljones@outlook.com.

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. Dan Crocker | Poet & College Professor

Al Interviews Dr. Dan Crocker | Poet & College Professor

January 26, 2020

In this episode, Al interviews Dr. Dan Crocker, poet and college professor (recorded 8-26-17). Dan describes his first panic attack at age sixteen. At age 43, Dan was diagnosed with bipolar disorder. Dan describes his first mania in which he had only one hour of sleep in a six-day period of time, as well as experiencing delusions.

Dan has written several books including, Do Not Look Directly Into Me, The Cornstalk Man, Shit House Rat, just to name a few. He and his wife host the podcast, Sanesplaining. You'll find Dan on Facebook @Sanesplaining and  Tweeting @Sanesplaining.

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 Donald “Skip” G. Mondragon II | Internal Medicine Physician, 26-Year Army Veteran, Author & Mental Health Advocate

Al Interviews Donald “Skip” G. Mondragon II | Internal Medicine Physician, 26-Year Army Veteran, Author & Mental Health Advocate

January 12, 2020

In this episode, Al interviews Donald "Skip" G. Mondragon II, internal medicine physician, 26-year army veteran, author, and mental health advocate (recorded 1-10-19). Skip grew up with seven siblings. After returning from the Korean War, his father battled mental illness, was in and out of the VA Hospital, and sadly died when Skip was only thirteen years old. Skip was bullied throughout elementary school, until he joined the wrestling team in eighth grade. Wrestling became a huge part of Skip's life.

After struggling and leaving Notre Dame after his fifth semester, Skip left the university as he had "felt a calling from God". Skip soon returned to another university to finish his undergraduate degree and enter medical school on a military scholarship. With the army came a 26-year career and four deployments, three of which were in combat zones. As Skip approached retirement in 2014, he found himself curled up in fetal position behind a desk in his dark office for four hours. At that point, Skip knew he needed to reach out for support.

After retiring and getting a handle on his depression, Skip won a publishing contest.  His book, Wrestling Depression Is Not for Wimps: Lessons Learned from an Amateur Wrestler’s Fight to Triumph Over Depression, is due to be published in the very near future. Check out Skip's website in order to find out more about him and his book!

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 Sam Miltich | Jazz Guitarist & Mental Health Advocate

Al Interviews Sam Miltich | Jazz Guitarist & Mental Health Advocate

December 29, 2019

In this episode, Al interviews Sam Miltich, jazz guitarist and mental health advocate (recorded 12-16-19). At the age of 18 and living in his rural hometown in northern Minnesota, Sam was discovered by a Minnesota Public Radio reporter and his jazz career skyrocketed. This young, small town jazz musician joined Paul Mehling's Hot Club of San Francisco and started touring internationally with the world-renowned Robin Nolan Trio.

At the age of twenty-two, Sam was stricken with a major psychotic episode. He encountered delusions including believing that he was the antichrist and that anything he came into contact with was doomed. He hid for hours in a closet in order to prepare for solitary confinement, as he believed the CIA were coming to find him. Sam entered a partial hospitalization program and went from a diagnosis of depression with psychotic features, to schizoaffective disorder, and finally to paranoid schizophrenia.

Sam's second psychotic episode occurred at the age of thirty, as he was heavily impacted by the stigma of mental illness while attempting to wean himself from his medications. This episode lasted a full year.

Today, not only does Sam share his music professionally, but also his story of living with schizophrenia in a performance that he calls, The Improvised Life. You can learn much more about Sam by visiting his website at www.sammiltichmusic.com. You'll also find him on Facebook at Sam Miltich Music.

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 Joe Dwyer | Author, Animal Chaplain, Certified Pet Loss Counselor, Dog Trainer & Public Speaker

Al Interviews Joe Dwyer | Author, Animal Chaplain, Certified Pet Loss Counselor, Dog Trainer & Public Speaker

December 15, 2019

In this episode, Al interviews Joe Dwyer, author, animal chaplain, certified pet loss counselor, dog trainer, and public speaker (recorded 11-18-19). Joe describes growing up with psoriasis that covered his body from head to toe. Due to his extreme case of psoriasis, classmates referred to Joe as, "The Creeping Crud". Joe describes how, as an adult, there was a day in which he crumbled to the floor of his kitchen that was the start of a two-week period of major depression.

Joe wrote a book titled, "Shelby's Grace", a story about rallying back stronger, while helping those in need. Shelby’s story of hope is an excellent resource for anyone looking to become stronger emotionally. Joe is an animal chaplain and a public speaker. Learn much more about Joe and how to work with him by going to his website, Noble Strength.

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 Kenny | Elementary School Teacher & Mental Health Advocate

Al Interviews Kenny | Elementary School Teacher & Mental Health Advocate

December 1, 2019

In this episode, Al interviews Kenny, an elementary school teacher and mental health advocate (recorded 10-21-19). Kenny shares how he struggled with depersonalization-derealization disorder (DPDR) for eight years and actually never received a diagnosis. He describes the pain, the muscle and body fatigue, the sleep issues, and the challenge of dealing with emotions and relationships while dealing with the disorder.

While Kenny put in a great amount of effort into recovering from what, at the time, was an unknown illness to him, he can share the exact date in which his DPDR was resolved. Kenny shares what that day was like, as a rush of emotions came crashing over him and his pain suddenly vanished. Although the DPDR has resolved, he is currently struggling to put together the emotional pieces of the past eight years.

Kenny now has a website, The Outside The Box Project, in the hopes of educating others about DPDR.

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.