Month: October 2018

Podcast – Ep. 97 – Dynamic Running Therapy, and Authenticity in Recovery, with William Pullen

One of the keys to healing from trauma, overcoming anxiety, working through depression, addictions, and virtually any other struggle is figuring out a way to get what’s in our heads, out of our heads in a way that feels safe, validating, and in compliance with who we are as individuals.  By doing so we begin to chip away at the self-shame that so often comes when battling any mental health challenge.

By showing up authentically, to ourselves and the world, even in the wake of extreme events, we gain confidence and resilience. We learn that what happened to us, does not define our future, and the struggles of our past only have the power that we allow them to have. This certainly does not mean that we should try to rush through recovery, or feel as though we should just get over what’s happened.  Instead, simply understand that, in time, we can learn to live and thrive in our present life, rather than being held back by the very thoughts, feelings, and coping strategies which served us for a time, but are now keeping us stuck.

william pullen - podcast - beyond your pastMy guest on this episode of the podcast, is someone who has developed a very unique approach to work through those very struggles that no longer serve us. William Pullen, creator of Dynamic Running Therapy, is a practicing therapist in the U.K., working with clients not only utilizing DRT, but also integrative psychotherapy in areas such as : substance abuse, emotional abuse, anxiety, relationship struggles, career change, life transition, self-esteem, depression, and more.

Integrative Psychotherapy aims to facilitate wholeness between the feeling, behavioural, cognitive, and physiological levels of functioning – in other words the whole person. This is done in part through looking at aspects of the self that you may be unaware of and making them conscious. Together we can look at the life you want for yourself and how to achieve it. Change takes time and cannot be rushed. I believe in providing focus and space, not pressure. I believe in removing expectation, often routed in the demands of others, and instead aligning ourselves with what we feel inside. Change comes about by clearing a path to where we want to be, not forcing our way through to it.

I work in a way that is warm, empathic, non-judgemental, and direct. I am not a therapist who will stare at you in silence. I also believe there is a place for humour in therapy. My work draws on many theoretical orientations and styles. Because each person is unique, my work is different with every person that I see. I tailor my approach to help you and your individual needs. I offer a comfortable and confidential space where you can look at your life free of expectation or judgement.

Dynamic Running Therapy includes the use of a smart phone app, and William’s book, Running with Mindfulness: Dynamic Running Therapy (DRT) to Improve Low-mood, Anxiety, Stress, and Depression. You can find his book on Amazon, and the app is available for iPhone users in the app store.

During our chat on the podcast:

  • We dive more into what exactly Dynamic Running Therapy  (DRT) is, how it works, and how this strategy can help not only with self-esteem, anxiety, stress, and depression, but many other mental health challenges.
  • His Tedx Talk, “Movement is Medicine“.
  • How the struggles of his past, not only in childhood but challenges in adult life, lead him into a role of becoming a Psychotherapist.
  • The importance of authenticity in healing from trauma.
  • Finding your purpose in life, what ever that looks like for you and no matter how long it takes to find, and using your combined experiences to shape who you are and your ability to relate to others.
  • Learning that staying in a survivor mentality can be detrimental to your overall healing.

I encourage you to check out William Pullen’s website, DynamicRunningTherapy.co.uk , to learn more about his work, DRT, and his book.  Be sure to follow him on Facebook and Twitter as well.

If you found this podcast helpful, consider subscribing on your favorite podcasting app and leaving a review; I would appreciate it so much. Don’t forget to share it with your friends!

-Matthew Pappas, CLC, MPNLP

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

All conversation and information exchanged during participation on the Beyond Your Past Podcast, on BeyondYourPast.com, and BeyondYourPastRadio.com is intended for educational and informational purposes only. Nothing on these podcasts or posted on the above mentioned websites are supplements for or supersedes the relationship and direction of your medical or mental health providers.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Podcast – Ep. 96 – Love Addiction, Sex Addiction, and Co-Dependency, with Shena Tubbs, MMFT, LPC

Admitting out loud to yourself can be difficult enough, but admitting to another person can be downright scary, embarrassing, and shame inducing. When you come face to face with an addiction of any type, it means you’re taking the first step in a difficult recovery, but one that is absolutely possible. After all, without Hope, what’s the point of trying to heal, right?

shena tubbs - podcast - beyond your past - sex and love addiction and codependencyMy guest on this episode of the podcast is Shena Tubbs. Shena is a Licensed Professional Counselor, MMFT, LPC, CSAT-C based out of Texas, and is an expert in the areas of Love Addiction, Sex Addiction, Sex and Love Addiction, and Trauma Recovery.

As she outlines on her website, ShenaTubbs.com and listed on Psychology TodayI help women from around the globe who struggle with creating and living in fantasy relationships with unavailable partners, often losing their boundaries and self-esteem for the promise of “love.” Some people call it codependence. Some people call it sex and love addiction. Some call it intimacy disorders. …No matter the name, I am here to help.

Through our time together, you will be able to let go of desperation and feelings of low self-esteem, not be dependent on emotionally unavailable partnerships, and regain control of sexually compulsive behaviors by learning to love yourself first. Together, we may work on unresolved trauma and combat self soothing by overindulging in things over/under eating, shopping/debting, and overworking. Together, we help you break free of these patterns. I believe that you can have it all without losing yourself, and I want to help you get there.

Shena is also a host of her own podcast, Love Junkie, which I had the pleasure of being on not long ago. Shena graciously invited me to join her to discuss the connection between anxiety and trauma.  You can listen to that episode by clicking here. Thank you again Shena!

During our chat on this episode of Beyond Your Past, Shena shares her expertise in the areas of love addiction, sex addiction, sex and love addiction, and how unresolved trauma can affect these addictions and inhibit healing. Some of the specific areas we cover include:

  • Shena shares some of her story, which includes being the oldest of 3 sisters, being left in charge of many responsibilities in caring for her sisters,  and growing up experiencing emotional neglect.
  • As an adult, how going to a sex addiction meeting, after realizing she was crossing boundaries in her own life that she never thought she’d cross, changed her life, and over time  helped her pursue a career as a therapist.
  • The differences between sex addiction and love addiction, and what is “sex and love addiction”?
  • How codependency fits in with sex addiction and love addiction, and is every sex and love addiction person codependent?
  • What does recovery look like for someone struggling with sex and love addiction; what can you expect during the process?
  • How a connection to God and her faith played a role in her own recovery.

Shena’s expertise has proven to be invaluable to her clients and those who listen to her podcast. I’m grateful to have the opportunity to share her knowledge on Beyond Your Past, so definitely give the podcast a listen. Even if you do not personally struggle with sex addiction, love addiction, or codependency, you may someone who does and sharing this podcast with them may make a huge difference in their life.

Be sure and check out ShenaTubbs.com , the Love Junkie Podcast, and follow her on Twitter and Facebook.

-Matthew Pappas, CLC, MPNLP

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

All conversation and information exchanged during participation on the Beyond Your Past Podcast, on BeyondYourPast.com, and BeyondYourPastRadio.com is intended for educational and informational purposes only. Nothing on these podcasts or posted on the above mentioned websites are supplements for or supersedes the relationship and direction of your medical or mental health providers.

Podcast – Ep. 95 – Post Traumatic Growth, with Lucille Zimmerman

When I first started blogging, the primary focus was living with Dissociation, Anxiety, and PTSD. After all, those are the things that I struggled with the most. Being a survivor of childhood trauma, I never knew that I could have PTSD; for so long I thought that was only for those who were in the military. I had never even heard of Dissociation until I spent a couple of years working with a therapist. Anxiety, well I knew I was anxious but I didn’t realize how much it was affecting my life and how those anxious feelings had turned into full-blown anxiety.

As time went on and my work with a therapist continued, and then working with a trauma informed coach, I began to learn about this concept of Post Traumatic Growth. It sounded intriguing to me since I was engulfing into healing so much that I figured it had to start paying off eventually, and this Post Traumatic Growth thing sounded like the path I was headed toward, which was exciting.

lucille zimmerman - post traumatic growth - podcast on beyond your pastWait, did I just say that trauma work was exciting?  Well not really the trauma work itself, but the healing sure was. That’s how I approached this journey; as a learning experience. I figured, if I had endured the childhood sexual abuse between 5-10 years old, if I had experienced more bullying in middle school than I cared to admit, then I should at least try to learn from it and use it to my advantage. I didn’t want the trauma to be the end of my story.

My guest on this episode of the podcast, is Counselor, Teacher, and Author, Lucille Zimmerman. She is an expert on Post Traumatic Growth, and shares her insight on this subject with us on the show.

Lucille Zimmerman has a Master of Arts in Counseling degree, and is a Licensed Professional Counselor.  She works with individuals and groups from supportive to insight-oriented psychotherapy, and has worked in a variety of mental health facilities, which included crises/resource oriented counseling to more one-on-one insight therapy.

I have experience treating people in crises, coping with health and midlife issues, eating disorders, struggles related to self-esteem, child abuse, trauma, and marital difficulties. I work with adults treat many people with a wide spectrum of emotional struggles and concerns. I work from a bio-psycho-social context and my treatment approach is adapted to each individual according to need. I am also trained in EMDR for trauma.

On the podcast today we dive into some specific aspects of Post Traumatic Growth, including:

  • Some of her story, and how past traumatic events in her life, including the Columbine Shooting in 1999, affected her and lead to begin searching for how she could help others who experienced all types of trauma.
  • Just because you experienced trauma, does that automatically mean you will get PTSD, and what factors contribute to PTSD?
  • Why do some people grow as a result of trauma, while others stay stuck
  • Keys to Post Traumatic Growth, and ways that we can help ourselves heal and learn from the trauma.
  • How ruminating can actually be a good thing, and even necessary, in order to experience Post Traumatic Growth.

I encourage you to listen to Lucille share with you all of those topics and more on the podcast. We spend a good deal of time talking about those keys to growth and why some people struggle while others are able to heal; and as we talked I was examining my own life and how some of the skills and strategies I used to during some deep parts of my healing, were the very same ones she mentioned as well. In fact, I still use those skills today, because like we always say on Beyond Your Past, healing from trauma is a life long journey.

Lucille’s insight, approach, and encouraging outlook on the reasons we can heal and learn from our past will surely empower you to embrace the possibilities in your healing journey.

To learn more about Lucille Zimmerman, be sure to check out her website and follow her on Twitter and Facebook.

-Matthew Pappas, CLC, MPNLP

 

 

 

 

 

 

All conversation and information exchanged during participation on the Beyond Your Past Podcast, on BeyondYourPast.com, and BeyondYourPastRadio.com is intended for educational and informational purposes only. Nothing on these podcasts or posted on the above mentioned websites are supplements for or supersedes the relationship and direction of your medical or mental health providers.

Podcast – Ep. 94 – Recognizing & Understanding Toxic Relationships, and Narcissistic Abuse, with Kim Saeed.

So how do you recognize you are in an abusive relationship? For that matter, what is a toxic person, and how can you see the signs of an unhealthy relationship? Why do you keep justifying the behavior of our spouse or partner when they are treating you in a way that is not loving and encouraging?

Those questions alone can cause an incredible amount of unrest in your mind, and if you are currently in or were previously in a toxic relationship, you can likely relate . You know something is wrong, you know you don’t feel loved, understood, respected, and appreciated. At first everything was wonderful and then overtime, things began to change. You think it’s you, and wonder what you did wrong and how you can fix it. You justify his or her reactions and think that in time it will get better, but unfortunately so often that is not the case.

My guest on the podcast today, Kim Saeed, shares her expertise in the field of healing from toxic relationships and understanding narcissistic abuse.

Kim is an internationally respected self-help author and educator specializing in recovery and rebuilding after toxic relationships. She is the founder of kimsaeed.com, a life transformation site that teaches people to flourish after narcissistic abuse. She is the author of the Kindle bestseller, How to Do No Contact Like a Boss! and is currently writing an upcoming book, The Way of the Warrior, for Balboa Press, a division of Hay House.

I truly believe that devastating situations can be catalysts for transformation if we let them.  We don’t have to live lives of conformity or stay in abusive relationships.  We don’t have to be victims of generational dysfunction or do things the way our parents and grandparents did them.  We don’t have to hang onto dead dreams because we’ve been told we should.   All of us – including you – have the power of choice.

Her resources reach 9 million people and her YouTube channel is filled with incredible content about every aspect of understanding and healing from narcissistic abuse. If you don’t subscribe to her channel already, you’re missing out on so much important information, presented in a way that will fill you with an empowering mindset to take back control of your life and relationships.

Kim Saeed and I discuss the following topics during our chat on the podcast:

  • Some of her personal story and what inspired her to start advocating for narcissistic abuse awareness and recovery.
  • How to recognize you’re in an abusive relationship.
  • The most important things to remember for someone who has recently left a dysfunctional relationship.
  • How long-term narcissistic abuse can cause brain damage, and ways that we can begin to heal that damage.
  • Advice for those who are still in a toxic relationship, and what if it involves children and shared financial responsibilities.
  • The best way to go “no contact” with a toxic person.  Break it off slowly or cold turkey?

My chat with Kim was an amazing experience. I was already a big fan of her work and getting the opportunity to learn more from her was something that I know I benefited greatly from and I’m sure you will too. If you know someone who is currently struggling with any of the situations we talk about, please consider sharing this with them.

It’s never too late to start taking control of our life back, and protecting ourselves from further pain and damage at the hands of a narcissistic spouse, family member, friend, or boss.

Be sure and follow Kim Saeed on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, and subscribe to her YouTube channel.

-Matt Pappas, CLC, MPNLP

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

All conversation and information exchanged during participation on the Beyond Your Past Podcast, on BeyondYourPast.com, and BeyondYourPastRadio.com is intended for educational and informational purposes only. Nothing on these podcasts or posted on the above mentioned websites are supplements for or supersedes the relationship and direction of your medical or mental health providers.

Podcast – Ep. 93 – Mental Health in the Workplace, with Petra Velzeboer.

Mental Health overall has been getting more visibility in main stream media and socially, now more than ever. The awareness continues to increase, and more and more people are understanding the importance of not only their physical health, but also their mental health.

We don’t always realize however, that our mental health at work is just as important as when we are outside of the office or job site. With the responsibilities of every day becoming more and more strenuous, we find ourselves with fewer and fewer opportunities to address our mental well-being. There’s a million and one things that pull us in a million and two directions every single day, which means that self-care can go by the way side in favor of simply trying to make it through the day. Opening up and talking to someone; reaching out for help when the pressures of life become overwhelming, feels more like a luxury than a necessity. Or worse yet, feeling like asking for help is a sign of weakness, rather than self-awareness and strength.

My colleague, friend, and fellow podcaster, Petra Velzeboer joins me on this episode of the podcast to talk about her work as a mental health business consultant; how using her own life experiences helps break down the walls in the office and job site, encouraging employees to speak out about their own struggles and not be ashamed in asking for help.

I also had the honor of being Petra’s podcast, Adversity to Advantage, where I share some of my story of surviving and thriving after trauma. Give it a listen on her podcast website or your favorite podcasting app.

Petra Velzeboer is a psychotherapist, living in London, as well as an executive coach, mental health consultant, speaker, and podcaster.  Her expertise of mental health in the work place, allows her to travel abroad speaking to companies or all types, about the importance of addressing mental health within the company.  By sharing some of her own story to help break the ice, she encourages employees from all walks of life to normalize the conversation of mental health in their lives.

In addition to our chat about normalizing the conversation of mental health in the workplace, you’ll learn how Petra was raised in a religious cult, where she experienced multiple types of abuse and public punishment. By the time she was able to leave and strike out on her own, she had no idea who she was, and how to survive in a world which was so foreign to her.  The pressure was so unbearable, that she found herself nearly unable to function outside of of the bubble she was raised in, which eventually lead to thoughts of ending her life.

In a final effort to survive, she made a pact with herself to give it 1 year to figure things out and learn to live successfully like she saw others doing. This was the opportunity she needed, and during that time she learned and practiced mindfulness, living authentically, taking care of herself, and realizing her own potential to not only survive, but thrive.

As she shares, you’ll learn more about her struggles with being sexually assaulted, living as a young mother of two, learning personal boundaries in relationships, and eventually through all her trials; realize her calling as a therapist and coach. Even in the midst of extreme circumstances, she was being transformed into someone who now inspires and encourages others not only in the work place, but in their personal lives as well.

Petra talks about the important lesson she learned during the darkest parts of her life, and throughout her ongoing healing; to show continue showing up in life. Be authentic, and keep tearing down the walls that only keep others out, but keep you from receiving the help you need as well.

We discuss the importance of allowing yourself a designated time to “fall apart”, and feel the emotions and struggles without pushing them aside and burying them in favor of simply pressing on. Learning to take care of yourself in this way means that you are setting healthy boundaries to feel your emotions, but not let them take over your life.

There is much more to Petra’s story that we talk about on the show, so please give it a listen, and share it with your friends and social media.  Don’t forget to subscribe to her podcast, Adversity to Advantage, and check out some of her past episodes featuring guests who have overcome incredible struggles and found a way to thrive.

Be sure and follow Petra on Twitter, Instagram, and Linkedin, as well as her website, PetraVelzeboer.com

-Matt Pappas, CLC, MPNLP

 

 

 

 

 

 

All conversation and information exchanged during participation on the Beyond Your Past Podcast, on BeyondYourPast.com, and BeyondYourPastRadio.com is intended for educational and informational purposes only. Nothing on these podcasts or posted on the above mentioned websites are supplements for or supersedes the relationship and direction of your medical or mental health providers.

 

Podcast Ep. 92 – Mental Health Megacast – The Evolution of Advocacy

Welcome back to our self-proclaimed, Mental Health Megacast, a semi-regular round table discussion with 3 mental health advocates and survivors who are trying to find our way through recovery.

I think we’ve finally nailed down a proper episode numbering system for these “shows within a show” that the 3 of us are doing. So this one is officially, Season 2, Ep. 3…at least that’s what I’m calling it.

Anyways, just in case you aren’t familiar with the Megacasts, you can check out past episodes here, and also my cohorts platforms as well….

To that end, the Megacast is creation of the collaborative brain powers (more or less) of Wes from AudioRising.com and Mike from MikesOpenJournal.com, and myself.  I encourage you to check out and follow them online and through your favorite podcasting platform. Each of these has a tremendous message to share and an inspiring and unique way in how they go about it.

In this episode, we talk about how doing not only the Megacast, but also our own individual shows, has influenced our  journey of healing. How has talking about mental health encouraged us, challenged us, and forced us to confront some things about ourselves that we never thought we would have. We share the education aspect of doing these shows, as well as the humor; the challenges and the rewards. We also do a bit of catching up, and organically dive into the topic of a fear of failure, not only podcasting but in advocacy, and in our personalMikes Open Journal - Mental Health Megacast lives. The doubts and fears can be very powerful, and if we aren’t careful can keep us treading water instead of moving forward.

We also….wait for it…actually deciding on a new approach to figuring out what to talk about on these collaborative shows. If you’re a regular listener you know that we also mention our struggles with time, and trying to figure out a topic to discuss. To be honest it’s not much of a struggle, it’s just become something we joke about more than anything else, but at the same time the beauty of this collaboration is that once we start talking, subjects just come up and we run with it. So instead of trying to figure out a gameplan for the next show, we’re just going to let it unfold naturally and see where each one takes us…rest assured whatever we discuss it will be with our own unique flair and about mental health.

We hope you enjoy this latest episode, and yes if you do have suggestions for future shows, we are still taking them. 😉 One of the best things about these episodes is that that they are completely unedited, unscripted, just us hanging out and having a chat, and you are invited.

Be sure and follow Wes on Twitter @WesA1966 and Mike @Mike_Douglas_ & Open_Journal_  …oh and don’t forget to follow and subscribe to all of our shows on your favorite podcasting app!

-Matt Pappas, CLC, MPNLP

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

All conversation and information exchanged during participation the Beyond Your Past Podcast, on BeyondYourPast.com, and BeyondYourPastRadio.com is intended for educational and informational purposes only. Nothing on these podcasts or posted on the above mentioned websites are supplements for or supersedes the relationship and direction of your medical or mental health providers.

Podcast – Ep. 91 – Insight on Intergenerational Trauma, with Emily Wanderer Cohen

Trauma survivors have literally experienced first hand what many could not even comprehend. A past filled with abusive parents and  caregivers, toxic family members and friends, and a childhood full of secrets that, when told, can make your hair on the back of you neck stand up on end! It’s a past that none would wish for, yet is more common than we realize. Chances are if are reading this or listening to the podcast, you know someone who is a survivor, or perhaps you are one yourself.

What about a different type of trauma though, one where you don’t need to experience first-hand, in order to feel its effects. I’m talking about intergenerational trauma, and I’m honored to be talking with expert, author, and coach, Emily Wanderer Cohen about this very subject.

Over the 2 years or so that I have been recording this podcast, I’ve covered many different types of trauma, modalities of treatment and healing, and talked with incredible survivors who have overcome tremendous odds and now share their story to help inspire others.  This is the first time I’ve covered intergenerational trauma, and I learned quite a bit from talking with Emily.

Emily Wanderer Cohen is a two-time international bestselling author, speaker, coach, and intergenerational trauma expert.

A second-generation (2G) Holocaust survivor, she knows what it feels like to live with transmitted trauma and helps her clients, including second- and third-generation Holocaust survivors; sexual, spousal, and child abuse survivors; and other genocide, natural disaster, and other severe trauma survivors heal from the trauma, move forward with their lives, and stop the cycle of intergenerational trauma.

So what exactly is intergenerational trauma is (also referred to as inherited trauma or transgenerational trauma)? As Emily explains, it’s described as effects of trauma that the sufferer did not experience first hand. She dives deeper into that explanation during our chat, as well as:

  • Does it only affect descendants of Holocaust survivors or others as well?
  • What are some of the common signs of intergenerational trauma?
  • How can someone stop the cycle of transmission?
  • How do we know it’s real? Are there any scientific studies that you can point to?

Emily shares more about some of the case studies and information on how those who have experienced this type of trauma often have lower cortisol levels, and therefore can be less equipped to handle this or any other type of trauma than someone who has normal cortisol levels. Intergenerational trauma survivors also have an increased likelihood of developing cardiovascular disease and trauma based chronic illnesses such as Lupus, Fibromyalgia, and more.

We cover these topics and more as Emily Wanderer Cohen gives us insight into a type of trauma that can begin to manifest itself without the survivor ever even considering the possibility of its existence in their life.

I encourage you to listen to the podcast and do some additional research, including checking out both of Emily’s international best selling books: From Generation to Generation, and The Daughter’s Dilemma.

You can follow Emily Wanderer Cohen on Twitter, Facebook, and her website, TraumaHealingCoach.com

I hope you’ll consider sharing this podcast on your social media, and maybe even subscribing and leaving a review on your favorite podcasting app! I would definitely appreciate it.

-Matthew Pappas, CLC, MPNLP

If you’d like to be a guest on a future episode, just contact me anytime to share your story. 

 

All conversation and information exchanged during participation on the Beyond Your Past Podcast, on BeyondYourPast.com, and BeyondYourPastRadio.com is intended for educational and informational purposes only. Nothing on these podcasts or posted on the above mentioned websites are supplements for or supersedes the relationship and direction of your medical or mental health providers.

Podcast – Ep. 90 – Depression and Men’s Mental Health, with Al Levin, “It’s OK to not be OK”.

As fate would have it, divine intervention, or just total coincidence (not that I believe in coincidences), recently on the Beyond Your Past Podcast, I’ve been talking with guests surrounding the area of men’s mental health. Being a guy myself, it’s not like I haven’t covered this topic before on the show, however given recent events politically and socially, I’m glad that these recent episodes are helping to shine light on the male side of mental health and being a survivor of trauma. We are truly all in this together, regardless of gender, and the more we continue to bring this out into the open, the more we chip away at the stigma and shame of reaching out for help.

In episode 89, I talked with Andrea Schneider LCSW about overcoming shame, feeling alienated in regards to the #metoo movement, and reaching out for professional help as a male survivor of trauma.  You can click here to check out that episode, or listen on your favorite podcasting app. 

al levin - the depression files podcast - guest on beyond your past podcastMy guest here on episode 90, fellow podcaster, advocate for men’s mental health, and friend Al Levin.

“I’m an assistant principal in a public elementary school.  I’ve been in education for nearly twenty years.  I’m married and have four children. I’ve recently completed all of the coursework in working towards a Co-Active coaching certificate through the Coaches Training Institute.  The coaching work has allowed me to support the staff I work with in the public schools, as well as others who are seeking support in reaching their goals or working past challenging times in their lives.

I am also a person who has recovered from a major depressive disorder, an illness that was quite debilitating for nearly six months of my life.  Through this experience, I have become very passionate about learning more about mental health and supporting others with a mental illness, particularly men with depression. In addition to this blog, I speak publicly for the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) and I tweet @allevin18.”

Al’s podcast, The Depression Files, and his advocacy work focuses primarily on men’s mental health and specifically with depression, along with encouraging men to open up and seek help when their depression reaches a level where thoughts of suicide begin to surface. Al Levin himself was diagnosed with Major Depressive Disorder and knows first hand what’s like to wake up in the middle of night contemplating ways to take his life, feeling like a burden on his family and society, and living life completely consumed by depression.

His website, also outlines more of his story of “how everything seemed to be going well, yet everything seemed to come crashing down.”  Which is precisely the topic of our conversation on the podcast. I wanted to chat with Al because his story is one that so many men and women today can relate too. A guy who’s life was seemingly humming along; good job, hard work paying off with a new promotion, loving wife and family, good friends, yet something lurking in the background and beginning to surface that he didn’t expect.

During the podcast you’ll learn how:

  • In 2010, Al received the promotion he had been working so hard towards, but once he took on the new responsibilities, everything began to change and his was slowly but surely being turned upside down. The stresses of late hours, budget constraints, managing staff, and oversized classes began to take its toll. He was running on adrenaline more often than not, not sleeping well or eating properly,  and not communicating with his wife, family, and friends.
  • How those events translated into seeking help from his family doctor and starting on medications to help with a new diagnosis of depression.
  • As things began to continue spiraling down, affecting his job, family, and friendships, thoughts of suicide began to surface.
  • How waking up in the middle of the night after dreaming of ways to take his own life, prompted him to talk with his wife and family and seek the help of a mental health professional.
  • Along with Al’s story, which he shares much more in-depth on the podcast, we discuss:
    • The shame that men face in asking for help.
    • How anxiety and depression can go hand in hand
    • Asking a safe person to help advocate for you when seeking help
    • How thoughts of suicide and those who unfortunately take their own life, is not an act of selfishness but rather is often feeling of being a burden on their family and society.

We cover all of this and more on the podcast, as Al uses his voice and life experiences to help inspire everyone who lives with depression, thoughts of suicide or any mental health struggle to not be ashamed or embarrassed about asking for help.

Thank you again Al for joining me today, your message is so important, now more than ever.

You can follow Al on Twitter: @allevin18 , his website TheDepressionFiles.com , and his podcast on iTunes and Podbean

-Matthew Pappas, CLC, CPNLP

 

All conversation and information exchanged during participation on the Beyond Your Past Podcast, on BeyondYourPast.com, and BeyondYourPastRadio.com is intended for educational and informational purposes only. Nothing on these podcasts or posted on the above mentioned websites are supplements for or supersedes the relationship and direction of your medical or mental health providers.