Gavin covers the topic of mental health providing resources, advice and stories. We will cover mental health with other guests and this is seen as a reference for this seeking help who may find themselves in tough situations.
Links and Resources Mentioned:
GAVIN: 00:00 You shouldn't make big life decisions when you're feeling the worst. Welcome to the What Origin Podcast. We're gonna have a number of episodes that deal with mental health. So I think it's important that I make one first that gives some resources and places for people to go that deal with this or know people in their lives that deal with it. I'm not a trained psychologist, or doctor, or medical professional. These are my own thoughts. I think it's helpful. I tried to make it as short as possible, but please understand that if you do have a serious situation, please seek someone that's trained in whatever field is necessary. So if you, yourself, aren't having issues but one of your friends is, sometime just asking somebody how they are, checking in, having dinner with them is really useful for them to get through their hard times. And it's been stigmatized for a long time. People didn't want to talk about mental health, or admit it, or deal with it, or tell their employer, or afraid that they can't keep their job, or that they won't get a job because they have mental health issues. And I think that's a great disservice to society because some of our greatest thinkers have had mental health issues. There's so many that I can't name them. But I want to mention a few resources.
GAVIN: 01:16 One is nami.org. N-A-M-I dot org. It's in the United States, but it's to help people get access to one-on-one counseling and groups so that they can find ways to deal with their mental illness.
GAVIN: 01:32 Another one is DBSAalliance.org. DBSA is the Depression Bipolar Support Alliance. They have groups throughout the country. They have resources for folks dealing with depression and bipolar.
GAVIN: 01:46 Another one is the US government website, SAMHSA.gov. They operate the Suicide Hotline and the National Help Line. If you're dealing with suicide or you're considering it, please call the Suicide Hotline at 1-800-273-8255. It's 1-800-273-TALK. Or call the National Help Line if you are just struggling with very rough times. That's 1-800-662-4357. Or 1-800-662-HELP. It might be good to program those into your phone so that if you do have a hard time, you can call quickly. You can also suggest those to friends that are dealing with issues so that they have a lifeline or last line of support when they're going through their roughest times.
GAVIN: 02:38 Some things that I've seen be helpful: meditation. If you do deal with a lot of stress and you think you might be depressed, or you do have a mental illness, meditation is often considered to be very helpful. There's many different types. Another thing is called CBT, cognitive behavior therapy. You can find a lot of guides online. There's also classes that you can take. And CBT has been shown to be effective for many people by monitoring their thoughts. Another one is DBT, dialectic behavioral therapy. It's somewhat similar, but it's a different way to deal with your emotions and the way that you regulate your thoughts. Having positive thoughts and finding ways to keep yourself going, and get motivated, and to work on things is really important. And one thing that's been recommended to me as I've dealt with depression is to find a hobby or something to focus on that makes you happy so that when you wake up in the morning, you have something to look forward to. A couple apps for meditation that are available for free on Android and iPhone, one is called Calm. The other one is called Head Space. Both of those are pretty useful for guiding you through meditation.
GAVIN: 03:56 But I think the number one is finding a support network. So talking to your family, talking to your friends, finding people that you can open up to about your mental illness. You may not want to disclose it to your employer or disclose it to everyone in your life, but there's probably people that are close to you, and it can help to open up and have someone to call or just sit down and talk with when you're having a hard time. Unfortunately, talk therapy and psychiatry can be very expensive. While talk therapy and psychiatry are some of the most effective ways to treat mental illness, it's not available for everyone. But if you can get access, if you have Medi-Cal or some type of government-based assistance, or if you have personal insurance, most insurance and assistance programs do have a number on the back or a website where you can look up individuals in your area that accept your type of insurance. I'd recommend looking online and trying to find somebody, connecting with various therapists and psychiatrists to get the help that you need. It's not a bad thing to reach out and to have a therapist, or a shrink, or a head shrink. Whatever people want to call it. Having someone to talk to and having someone to work through your issues is really important and can make all the difference.
GAVIN: 05:24 Medication isn't for everyone, but it's effective to a lot of people. And there's millions taking medication. So if you can find a good prescribing doctor and you want to give that a try, don't feel bad or if there's something wrong with you, the medications can help you get through hard times or help you find ways to stay stable and get on with your life. There are obviously alternatives like CBT, and DBT, and working through with therapy. For some people, that is enough. So be open minded and explore what's available through either your insurance, or online, or books, and such.
GAVIN: 06:05 A number of people that are mentally ill deal with addiction and other related issues. There are some resources at the SAMHSA.gov site for addiction. I would also recommend talking to a doctor, family doctor, or GP, or whoever you can sit down with and explaining what kind of addiction you have and seeing what kind of options are available. Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous have been very helpful for a lot of people. Definitely check those resources out and see if there's a chapter near you. Doesn't work for everyone, but they are very open and welcoming to new people.
GAVIN: 06:45 If you're having a medical emergency, you can go to the nearest emergency room. Everyone will recommend that. Another thing is if you know someone that's having an emergency, you can try to get them to the nearest emergency room. The last-ditch effort is calling your local emergency number and explaining what the situation is. In some cases, people have been aggressive or had weapons or things. I can just advise that it's important to be calm, to understand these people are trying to help you, and to let them get you the assistance you need. It's not a good option to try to aggravate anyone that's coming to help you. They just want to make sure that you're safe enough to be put in an ambulance, or the EMT people want to make sure that you're safe enough to be in their ambulance, so they can get you the help you need. So please be respectful or try to help the individual be respectful, and de-escalate, and get them to the help they need.
GAVIN: 07:44 A lot of people might be afraid to go to the hospital because they think, oh, if they end up in a psych ward or hospitalized, they'll be in kind of a loony bin or they'll be tied up and strapped in a room with padded walls and things like that. It's not like that. It's a medical condition. So they're trying to help you treat it. There's doctors that meet with you and see if you need medication. There's classes. There's reasonably comfortable beds. And there's a lot of down time. So it can be boring. Some of the people there may not be the kind of people that you can really talk to because they're really having serious issues. And generally, if you do go to the emergency room, they have limited beds in these spaces. So they'll evaluate you, and see how you're doing, and see if there's something short-term that can be helpful. But at least you'll have someone to talk to. And you'll be able to be calmed down and evaluated. And it's better to be evaluated than to do something drastic with your life. You shouldn't make big life decisions when you're feeling the worst.
GAVIN: 08:45 So I wouldn't say that these psych wards or hospitals are so terrible. You get three meals a day, and it's mostly just boring. I wouldn't worry if that's that you may have to inform your employer, or your friends, or people like that that you're in there. And that's really kind of hard to do. That may make you feel like, oh, I really am crazy. But it's not. It's a medical condition. If you broke a leg, you would be in the hospital. If you broke your brain or whatever happened, then you also go into the hospital and they help you deal with that medical condition. And they've been dealing with these medical conditions for a long time. So I wouldn't worry about ... They don't do lobotomies anymore. They're not gonna do anything serious unless it escalates to that point. So it's a relatively comfortable place that's boring and there's doctors and classes.
GAVIN: 09:35 So I hope this has been helpful to some of you. And since we'll have some podcasts coming up about mental health and mental health issues, this should be a resource or at least a guide that I will reference in the future for folks to find out information and get help. Thanks for listening to the What Origin Podcast. You can find out more at whatorigin.com. Or follow us on your favorite streaming platform.