The Mind Deconstructed: Mental Health and Wellness
Summary: Dr. Kaz Nelson, a psychiatrist at the University of Minnesota, along with host, George, serve as translators between the psychiatric field and the non-medical community. Podcast goals: Dispel myths, address listener questions, talk directly about serious topics, such as suicide, and inform the public about what they need to know to maintain mental health and a life worth living.
Healthy sleep is critical for physical and mental health. For many people, nightmares and dream-related content can severely impact sleep. What makes a dream a nightmare? Why do nightmares happen? Dr. Kaz and George share their reoccurring nightmares and discuss practical information on how health professionals have worked to develop medication and other strategies to effectively reduce the frequency and intensity of nightmares.
Will the medication class of benzodiazepines follow in the footsteps of opioids as the next harmful medication epidemic? In this first episode of Season 2 of The Mind Deconstructed Podcast, Dr. Kaz and George confront this controversial subject. Twelve percent of the United States population is prescribed a medication in this class every year. We explore the risks and benefits. You decide!
Dr. Kaz and George return with a special episode recorded in honor of Mental Health Awareness Month. Dr. Kaz and George were delighted to participate in the first ever "Mental Health Awareness Day" at the Minnesota State Fair. Listen to recorded questions from attendees on the topics of advocacy, mindfulness, the role of work in recovery, and how to best maintain hope for others who may have lost their own capacity for hope.
Are antidepressant medications just "happy pills"? Dr. Kaz, with help from her brother, George, provides an overview of the most frequently prescribed antidepressant medications, including the types of symptoms these medications are used to treat and common side-effects.
In the shadow of two public deaths by suicide and alarming data from the Centers for Disease Control on the increasing numbers of suicides, Dr. Kaz and George explore the impact and legacy of suicide. How does such an event impact surviving children and other family members? Are traumatic events that happen during childhood of greater significance that events which happen when we are older? How can we best understand and support children and adolescents who experience adverse childhood events?
As we reflect on the multiple stressors, barriers and issues facing people in their daily lives, George and I explore the intersection of mental illness and our educational system. I share a phenomena called "new tank syndrome" and its effect on students navigating new contexts, as they pursue their education. How can you assist a student who may be struggling? What resources do schools provide to support students with mental health challenges?
May is Mental Health Awareness Month and Borderline Personality Disorder Awareness Month. Inspired by these events, Dr. Kaz and George explore self-injurious behavior. Common and sometimes difficult to understand, Dr. Kaz describes different patterns for self-injurious behavior and some of the drivers of cutting, burning, picking, hair-pulling, scratching, and other related behaviors.
It's the second anniversary of Prince's tragic death. From caffeine, food, and nicotine, to alcohol, marijuana and opioids- when are these substances helpful for emotion regulation and when do these substances harm more than help?
Dr. Kaz and George explore mental illness issues related to pregnancy, including planning, pregnancy itself, and the period of time after a baby's birth. Topics discussed include the "baby blues", major depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder and psychosis. Dr. Kaz also shares about a rarely discussed, but common issue: post-partum obsessive compulsive disorder.
The person who recently killed and injured people in Texas through bomb attacks (known as the "Austin Bomber") reportedly referred to himself as a "psychopath" in writings found in the investigation following his death. In this episode of The Mind Deconstructed Podcast, Dr. Kaz provides important definitions of words which are commonly misunderstood, such as "psychopath" and "psychosis"- terms with completely different definitions.
In this episode of The Mind Deconstructed Podcast, Dr. Kaz and George discuss children and adolescents with "big feelings" (emotional sensitivity which results in intense, frequent, and often confusing emotional states). Why do some people have big feelings? How can we help children and adults with big feelings learn to understand and manage their experiences? Dr. Kaz discusses a technique to practice in these situation which can make all the difference.
Dr. Kaz and George, Minnesota sister and brother duo, tackle the topic of shame; "It's a biggie!". What is the function of this intensely painful emotion? Is shame potentially fatal? How is shame related to psychiatric disorders? Dr. Kaz shares a technique to reduce the intensity of shame. In this increasingly digital world, the stakes have never been higher!
We all experience anxiety. Sometimes anxiety helps us meet our goals. Anxiety can also rise to the point of extreme intolerability or can be so constant that wellbeing is substantially negatively impacted. Where is this line? What are some common medical causes of anxiety? Could caffeine, nicotine, or energy drinks really be part of the problem? When is a medication needed? Dr. Kaz teaches George some simple and proven techniques to rapidly reduce intolerable anxiety or panic when it happens.
Is it ethical for psychiatrists to comment on the mental health of public figures? What if the health and safety of the nation is at stake?Dr. Kaz and George define terms as relates to the President's physical exam. What is a cognitive screen? How is this different than a psychiatric evaluation? Dr. Kaz administers the Montreal Cognitive Assessment to George. This screening tool may be used without permission for educational purposes. Hear George take this exam and learn the results of his screening.
Why is it so hard to stop playing that video game and go to bed? What is that feeling of irresistible tension that prompts a person to check a text alert? When is a passion or interest considered an addictive behavior? Dr. Kaz and George talk about the line between interest and obsession and options for treatment for when behaviors feel beyond one's control.