The Mind Deconstructed: Mental Health and Wellness show

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.

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 Living with Psychosis | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 18:40

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.

 Kids with Big Feelings | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 20:27

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.

 Dying of Shame | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 16:45

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! 

 Intolerable Anxiety | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 26:04

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.

 George's Cognitive Screening | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 23:22

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. 

 Habits, Passions, Obsessions and Compulsions | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 24:11

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.

 Trauma Part 2: Treating Post Traumatic Stress Disorder | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 30:09

Dr. Kaz and George continue their discussion of traumatic experiences and their impact on mental health and well being. This episode addresses PTSD treatment, including medication, side effects, and therapeutic approaches. More controversial approaches, such as marijuana and MDMA ("ecstasy") are also explored in this episode.

 After trauma: Your questions answered on post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 17:08

On this episode of The Mind Deconstructed podcast, Dr. Kaz and George walk through the basic elements of post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), including common questions those with lived experience of  trauma and their loved ones may be asking. Why do some people develop PTSD and others do not? Does the intensity and frequency of traumatic events matter? This episode will provide you with the basic understanding of PTSD and future episodes will provide even more details, including treatment approaches.

 The Aftermath of Mass Violence | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 19:36

Following recent events in Las Vegas and Somalia, Dr. Kaz and George discuss common mental health reactions to instances of mass violence as described by the Uniformed Services University Center for the Study of Traumatic Stress. Dr. Kaz shares common experiences such as grief for the sense of loss of safety and vulnerability. George draws parallels to his time serving as a Marine in Iraq and Afghanistan and wonders what soldiers may teach us about traumatic stress.

 The Revolution of Borderline Personality Disorder | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 28:11

With George's help, Dr. Kaz discusses the diagnosis of Borderline Personality Disorder and its difficult and unnecessarily stigmatized history in the field of mental health. The episode features Chuck's essay (full essay found at, which brings this issue to a personal level.

 Talking About Suicide | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 23:36

Dr. Kaz and George discuss the very prevalent and painful topic of suicide. Dr. Kaz shares a framework for understanding how suicidal thoughts and urges relate to (or occur independently of) mental health disorders. How can you create a safe space for a loved one to talk about the difficult topic of suicide? George shares a poignant quote from David Foster Wallace, a American author, who died of suicide, to help shed light on what a person with suicidal thoughts may be enduring.

 Is Depression Real? | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 19:10

Dr. Kaz and George cover the topics of depression and suicide from the perspective of a trained psychiatrist.

 What's the Deal with Therapy? | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 30:12

From Freud's couch to online worksheets, Dr. Kaz talks about common forms of therapy and provides lots of great information to help our audience better understand the range of available therapies.

 We Hope This Helps | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 29:52

An Introduction to psychiatry and mental health wellness with Dr. Kaz and George.


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