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.
What is Impostor Syndrome? In this case, we are not discussing a diagnosable mental illness. Impostor Syndrome a common feeling people describe in the course of their work or social life. Automatic thoughts experienced by people with Impostor Syndrome include, "I don't belong here", "I'm not qualified to do this". What is the cause of Impostor Syndrome and what are some first steps in pushing back against these automatic assumptions? Dr. Kaz and George share basics of this commonly experienced phenomenon!
Public figures, such as Carrie Fisher, have shared about their lived experience with bipolar disorder. Bipolar disorder is common and easily mistaken for other types of mood disorders. What are the symptoms of bipolar disorder and how is bipolar disorder different from other types of mental illness? What are common treatments? What are some of the barriers to helping someone who may be experiencing a manic episode?
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.