Let’s Unmask Mental Illness

This is an authentic, uninhibited journey into my secret world--that I guess is not so secret now. I just want people to know that they are not alone and that there are people who do understand. I was able to hide everything so well that nobody ever saw the life of quiet desperation I was living. Trauma, Major Depression, PTSD, Anxiety Disorder, isolation, fear, stigma, suicide and the inability to communicate it with those I loved. You are not alone. I am not alone.

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Episodes

Tuesday Jan 24, 2023

This is a rebroadcast of Episode 17, with a special introduction.
I'm back in Philly, back home, and answering many of the same questions. I don't mind talking about it but it may help if you read the damn book. Or listen to the podcast.
I'll get back into new episodes next week

Monday Jan 16, 2023

This is a repeat of Episode 5 with a special introduction.
I'm a mess right now, traveling cross country. I had started a new episode but it did not get done. While driving, though, and thoughts tugging at me, I realized I wanted to repost Episode 5, The Mental Health Triangle with the special introduction.
As I evolve, the podcast evolves. Episodes 5 and 17 come up the most in my thoughts and new scripts, so with everything going on, I thought I would get them reposted as I travel and then get set up somewhere.

Saturday Jan 07, 2023

My last podcast had me thinking about things, breaking down the subtle signs of depression. A column that I just wrote, "Lessons Learned from a Bar Fight," was a mixture of the podcast and reactions to posts I am seeing. That led me to Robin Williams in Good Will Hunting.
All that led to this podcast. It is about something I have been saying for years in various forums and various lectures on many different topics. "Don't screw up like I did."
Learn from my mistakes. Please. If you do, it makes my mistakes more bearable, gives them purpose. I wish I had learned more from other's mistakes but that has not been my way.
From posts I am seeing, I imagine that many people were disappointed by other people in 2022. I am reading a knee jerk reaction, about how if we don't have expectations, we will never be disappointed. All of the memes and posts are making me facepalm. Often.
Umm, no. Don't do that. It is all about a bar fight in SW Philly.

Monday Jan 02, 2023

I delve deeper into some columns that I wrote this past week to try and untangle depression from my life.
 
Dedicated Regina and Vivian, the first who asked the question that set me on the path to the answer and the second who provided a billboard to the answer.
 
I use Writer's Block as an example. I realized that my life had unknowingly become writer's block and show how the depression infiltrated every facet of my life. I know now and can begin the path to healing.
 
Freedom is still a journey ahead of me, healing, but I am taking the steps I need to take.

Tuesday Dec 27, 2022

This wasn't supposed to be an episode but it became one. I do tend to ramble.
I discuss the book that is now available at your favorite bookseller, a name change to the podcast, support for the podcast, my first column for the website and my first article for the website.
I am doing what I meant to do in 1997 but got sidetracked by the depression among other things.
Better late than never.

Thursday Dec 22, 2022

In my last episode, The Space Between Breaths, I mentioned tWitch, but I stayed away from the topic. What can I add to the conversation? As I say in my podcast, I am not a mental health care professional with letters at the end of my name. I am just a guy who has been there. What the hell do I know?
 
An article/post got me typing. It featured a smiling picture of tWitch and was, "I Still Don't Think We Understand Depression."
 
I read the questions and advice the post posed and realized that I do have something to add, that I may even be able to make an impact. No, I am not a mental health professional, but I am a guy who has been there. I understand what I do know about depression and suicide, and I understand what I don't know about them. Most importantly, I am learning what I need to know.
 
Who am I? I'm Chris, nice to meet you. Have you checked out my podcast? A lot of the answers are here if you care to check it out. I suffer from depression, among other things, and have almost taken my life twice. I was a leader and educator in my industry for 35 years. I am a storyteller/journalist, and I have answered many questions in the first 23 episodes of my podcast from a personal point of view, with what others are saying is insightful.

Tuesday Dec 20, 2022

I wasn't planning on doing another episode this year as I was supposed to be on my way to or settling in Rochester, Minnesota, but I am still stranded in Tijuana. As I was sitting here, waiting, a title popped into my mind. Things typically start with that. Things are a bit scattered with everything packed, but I'm going to try and plow my way through and maybe make some sense.
 
The space between breaths brought a memory of a stupid little kid. Everybody told me I couldn't breathe under water, but how do you know if you don't try?
 
We really don't know anything until we try. Until we start talking. Until we start listening. Until we understand. A lot of the time, and the most difficult thing I think, is knowing what we don't know.

Episode 22: Are We Okay?

Tuesday Dec 13, 2022

Tuesday Dec 13, 2022

I wasn't okay and did not even realize it. The caricatures of PTSD, Major Depression and trauma are easy to spot, but what about the subtleties, the hints and allegations? I am only learning them now. I'm realizing that it was never a matter of "if" another depressive episode would hit but "when."
Education can be painful at times. Sort of like hearing the whistling of that paddle coming to my backside in grade school, but it is coming at my head.
The Real Depression Project was suggested to me and I started following them. If are struggling, know someone who is off, or even if you just feel like something is "off," I highly recommend following them.

Tuesday Nov 29, 2022

The holidays, starting with Thanksgiving, present a difficult time for people who are struggling. They present me with a difficult time. I look forward to January 2nd, when everything returns to normal.
I rejoice in your joy and happiness. Newton's Third Law comes into play though, for every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction.
I'm okay. I really am fine. But I hate the holidays. It is not so much as a "Bah humbug" kind of thing as much as it is a "I have no friggin' idea how to process this so give me my time and space as I work through it. It may take a few...decades."
This is my journey through the holidays, from Thanksgiving to January 2nd.

Tuesday Nov 22, 2022

I had to battle through the depression to do this episode. Instead of succumbing to it, I dissected it. The depression twisted questions exhaust me, as well as the equally twisted answers. But then a few things happened right before I recorded it that really screwed it up. It taught me about patience and hope.

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Let's Get Naked About Mental Illness!

This is an authentic, uninhibited journey into my secret world--that I guess is not so secret now. I just want people to know that they are not alone and that there are people who do understand. I was able to hide everything so well that nobody ever saw the life of quiet desperation I was living. Trauma, Major Depression, PTSD, Anxiety Disorder, isolation, fear, stigma, suicide and the inability to communicate it with those I loved.

You are not alone.

I am not alone.

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