What Your Therapist Is Actually Thinking When You Talk

What Your Therapist Is Actually Thinking When You Talk

Ever wondered what is going through your therapist’s mind while you’re talking? In this conversation Kati Morton, a licensed therapist in California with over 1M followers on YouTube, shares what she’s thinking when she meets with a patient, and Ned shares his thoughts too!

Kati’s popular videos address common mental health issues like eating disorders, abandonment, narcissists, perfection, depression, and other important topics. 

To learn more about Kati or to watch her videos CLICK HERE

Reach out to us by sending an email or a voice memo to [email protected]

This episode was originally released in April 2018. 

Check out this episode!

Share:
Misophonia: When Noises Trigger Rage

Misophonia: When Noises Trigger Rage

Most of us have been annoyed at one time by the sound of another chewing or breathing, but for some it goes way beyond annoyance. For those who suffer from misophonia, everyday sounds like gum chewing, lip smacking, or the clicking of a pen can induce feelings of outrage.

Dr. Hallowell talks to Josh Furnas, a man who has suffered from misophonia since he was a young child, and Dr. Phillip Gander, an assistant research scientist at the Department of Neurosurgery at the University of Iowa about this unusual condition. 

Links:

www.misophonia.org

www.misophonia-association.org 

Dr. Phillip Gander

Reach out to us with your questions and comments by writing an email or recording a voice memo. Send it to [email protected]. We look forward to hearing from you! 

This episode was originally released in March 2017. 

Check out this episode!

Share:
A Reminder That Your Past Does Not Define Your Future

A Reminder That Your Past Does Not Define Your Future

Jacquelyn Phillips ‘ life story is one of hope and triumph. Just by reading the back cover of her book, Comfortably Uncomfortable: The Road to Happiness Isn’t Always Paved, you can tell she’s been through a lot. 

“Jacquelyn hated herself. She sabotaged everything she did before she even started… her upbringing was toxic… her marriage was crumbling… her friendships were built on lies… she tried to kill herself…”

Jacquelyn talks with Dr. Hallowell about her life, childhood, and the  low points that made her finally decide to choose a new path for herself in this open and frank conversation. Jacquelyn’s story is an incredible reminder that we all have the power within us to change.

Click HERE to get a copy of Jacquelyn’s book.

Jacquelyn’s website: GrownUpGrowingPains.com

If you have a question or comment you’d like Dr. Hallowell to address in an episode reach out to us! Write an email or record a voice memo and send it to [email protected].  

Learn more about the programs being offered this summer at Landmark College! There’s a summer program for high school students, a summer bridge experience, and a college readiness program. Go HERE to learn more. Landmark College in Putney, Vermont is the college of choice for students who learn differently. 

Learn more about our sponsor OmegaBrite Wellness, creators of the #1 Omega-3 supplements for the past twenty years. Ned and his wife, Sue, take them every day. Distraction listeners will SAVE 20% on their first order with the code: Distraction at OmegaBriteWellness.com.

Distraction is created by Sounds Great Media and produced by Sarah Guertin. 

Check out this episode!

Share:
Be Who You Are

Be Who You Are

When you have ADHD, it can feel like you need to be someone else to get along in the world. Dr. H shares some advice about appreciating who you are and why you should just be yourself. Ned says we should get out of the habit of trying to please everyone because we can’t, and besides life is too short! 

Bottom line… don’t read someone else’s script! Don’t rob yourself of your individuality. 

If you have a question or comment you’d like Dr. Hallowell to address in an episode reach out to us! Write an email or record a voice memo and send it to [email protected].  

Learn more about our sponsor, OmegaBrite Wellness! Distraction listeners SAVE 20% on their first order with the code: Distraction at OmegaBriteWellness.com.

Get a copy of Ned’s newest book, ADHD 2.0 at DrHallowell.com or by clicking HERE. You can also find it wherever books are sold!  

Distraction is created by Sounds Great Media. Our recording engineer/editor is Scott Persson and our producer is Sarah Guertin.

Check out this episode!

Share:
The Mental Health and Addiction Consequences of Covid

The Mental Health and Addiction Consequences of Covid

Dr. Lloyd Sederer became the mental health commissioner of New York City right after the 9/11 terror attack. In this conversation he shares how the lessons he learned from that experience can be applied to the current pandemic, including the impact social isolation, treatment gaps and treatment inequities have on the public, and the disproportionate affect on people of color. 

This broad conversation also touches on how adding structure to your day helps you feel better, the latest treatments for substance use disorders, and why Dr. Sederer believes humans are extremely resilient.

Dr. Lloyd Sederer is an Adjunct Professor at the Columbia University, Mailman School of Public Health and Director of Columbia Psychiatry Media. He served for 12 years as the Chief Medical Officer of the New York State Office of Mental Health, where he continues as Distinguished Psychiatrist Advisor. He has been Executive Deputy Commissioner for Mental Hygiene Services in New York City (the “chief” psychiatrist for NYC), Medical Director and Executive Vice President of McLean Hospital in Belmont, MA (a Harvard teaching hospital), and Director of the Division of Clinical Services for the American Psychiatric Association. He has led the mental health disaster responses to 9/11, Hurricane Sandy and other disasters.

You can learn more about Dr. Sederer or get a copy of his book, Ink Stained for Life, on his website: Ask Dr. Lloyd

If you have a question or comment for Dr. Hallowell reach out to us! Write an email or record a voice memo and send it to [email protected].  

Ned’s new book is out now! Get a copy of ADHD 2.0 at DrHallowell.com or by clicking HERE. You can also find it wherever books are sold!  

Learn more about our sponsor, OmegaBrite Wellness! Distraction listeners SAVE 20% on their first order with the code: Distraction at OmegaBriteWellness.com.

Distraction is created by Sounds Great Media. Our recording engineer/editor is Scott Persson and our producer is Sarah Guertin.

Check out this episode!

Share:
Ned’s Short List of Good Distractions

Ned’s Short List of Good Distractions

Pandemic-life these days can be quite stressful, so finding ways to give your brain a break is key to maintaining a healthy balance. Our host shares a few of the things he’s been doing to take his mind off of the pandemic, politics and other upsetting topics in this week’s mini Distraction.

Reach out to us with your comments, questions and show ideas! Send us an email, or record a voice memo on your phone and send it to [email protected]

Learn more about our sponsor, OmegaBrite Wellness! Distraction listeners can SAVE 20% on their first order with the code: Podcast2020. Shop online at OmegaBriteWellness.com.

Distraction is created by Sounds Great Media. Our producer is Sarah Guertin and our recording engineer/editor is Scott Persson.

This episode was originally released in July of 2020. 

Check out this episode!

A transcript of this episode can be found below.


Dr. Ned Hallowell:

This episode of Distraction is sponsored by OmegaBrite CBD, formulated by OmegaBrite Wellness, creators of the number one Omega3 supplements for the past 20 years. OmegaBrite CBD, safe, third-party tested, and it works. Shop online at omegabritewellness.com.

This is Dr. Ned Hallowell with a mini episode of Distraction. During the pandemic, each week, we do a mini episode that touches in some way upon this phenomenon that we’ve all been living within and today’s is going to be a lighthearted one. I want to talk about things that I have been doing myself to divert me from the perils of the day, to take my mind off of the pandemic, politics and other upsetting topics. I just thought I’d go down the list of what I’ve done either alone or with family members, not an exhaustive list, of course, but just a few things that came trippingly to my tongue or instantly to my mind.

One thing, I have been binge watching Schitt’s Creek. Now, if you’ve never seen Schitt’s Creek, it is funny. I really recommend it to you. My wife started watching it and she described it to me and I said, “I don’t think that sounds good.” It is terrific. It is uproariously funny. It is so, so, so, so funny. If you don’t find the show funny, something’s happened to your funny bone. Just thinking about it, with Eugene Levy, with the big eyebrows, it’s just hysterically funny.

I also made a purchase while waiting in line because we have to wait in line to get into certain stores, and the line outside of Whole Foods happens to have a bunch of hanging flowers for sale. So I bought two of these hanging flower pots, one predominant color pink, the other predominant color violet, and I hung them from hooks on our front porch. Now, when you buy hanging flower pots, you have to water the flowers. So that’s what I’ve been doing each day, and in order to water the flowers, I’m not quite tall enough to reach the watering can up. So I bought a little step stool. So I have my step stool on the porch, along with my watering can and I get up there every day or every other day and water these flowers. I’m telling you, it’s really rewarding to see them flourish and grow and they’re bushier, and hanging downer more, and just lovely to behold.

Also, someone left us a pot of pansies as sort of a gift during this time and I’ve been watering that as well and they are just flourishing. My gosh, there were a few stray strands of pansy in the original. Now it’s just like a pansy bush. So we’ve got the blue pansies, the violet flowers, the pink flowers and the porch, it just lifts my spirits. I also wrote a letter to David Brooks, the columnist in the New York Times. He wrote a column on Friday, the 26th, about five problems that we’re dealing with that I just thought it was a wonderful column.

I’ve also been cooking. I go online and I look for recipes and there’s a gazillion recipes online. They’ll have 32 ways of turning ground meat into a meal or 17 side dishes for the 4th of July, and I love these and I go download them, I print them out and next thing you know, I’m cooking them up. Like tomorrow, I’m going to make a vegetable chicken stew in the crackpot. Tuesdays is my day to make dinner, so I’ll put it in in the morning, and by the time evening rolls around, we’ll have this yummy, delicious stew. Online recipe shopping is another activity that I highly recommend.

Play with a dog. We’re lucky because my daughter is here and with her comes her a little Chiweenie named Layla. As you know, I think dogs are God’s greatest creation. Been playing with Layla every chance I get. Then when my son brings over his dog, Max, we had to play with both dogs and out in the backyard, the two of them rushing around.

Then one final thing I got for my daughter, because she really wanted this, a inflatable pool, above ground obviously, that it’s big enough for her to put a inflatable raft in it so she can lie in the sun, in the water, on the water and to see the smile on her face, when this thing arrived. It didn’t cost a huge amount. It was $300. I know that’s not nothing, but it was affordable and it was joy, joy, joy, joy. This is all along the lines of specializing. That’s my term for making the ordinary extraordinary. Turning what’s a dismal situation into one that’s a playful, fun, rewarding, interesting, engaging.

So that’s my little list. Binge-watched Schitt’s Creek, water the hanging flowers, write a letter to David Brooks, cook up new stuff, play with the dog and get something special for your daughter, in my case, it was this inflatable pool. Let’s try to do these things for one another. Let’s try to stay connected, even though we have to keep our distance. Let’s try to bring each other messages and vibes of goodwill, of joy, of understanding, of harmony. Let’s try to get along.

Okay, before I say goodbye, I’d like to remind you to check out OmegaBrite CBD. I’ve been taking the CBD supplement myself for nearly three months and I have noticed it’s definitely helping with my feelings of irritability and random anxiety. You can get OmegaBrite CBD online at omegabritewellness.com. That’s O-M-E-G-A-B-R-I-T-E-wellness.com, Brite intentionally misspelled. They have a deal for Distraction listeners right now as well. You’ll save 20% off your first order when you use the promo code podcast 2020. That’s podcast 2020. OmegaBrite CBD, safe, third-party tested, and it works.

Please continue to connect with us. Share your thoughts, questions, and show ideas by emailing us at [email protected]. That’s [email protected] Distraction is created by Sounds Great Media. Our producer is the multi-talented and several voice levels, Sarah Guertin. I am Dr. Ned Hallowell. Thank you so very much for joining our community and listening to our podcast.

The episode of Distraction you just heard was sponsored by OmegaBrite CBD formulated by OmegaBrite Wellness, creators of the number one Omega3 supplements for the past 20 years. OmegaBrite CBD, safe, third-party tested, and it works. Shop online at omegabritewellness.com.

Share:
Gabby Bernstein’s Judgment Detox

Gabby Bernstein’s Judgment Detox

Gabby Bernstein is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Universe Has Your Back and Super Attractor. She’s an international speaker, and a self-proclaimed spirit junkie who has made it her life’s mission to empower people to gain more confidence and live their purpose.

In 2018 Gabby joined Dr. Hallowell to talk about her book, Judgment Detox, a six-step method for releasing and healing judgment so you can feel good and restore oneness. She and Ned talk about why we attack one another, how shame and vulnerability play a part, and why it’s important to find a better way.

Learn more about Gabby Bernstein on her website, GabbyBernstein.com.

Check out Gabby’s book: Judgment Detox: Release the Beliefs That Hold You Back from Living A Better Life

If you like this episode, please rate and review Distraction on Apple Podcasts! If you have a question, comment, or show idea please email it to [email protected].

Dr. Hallowell’s new book, ADHD 2.0, comes out January 12th. Click here to pre-order your copy of ADHD 2.0!

Check out #NedTalks on TikTok! @drhallowell

Thanks to our sponsor, OmegaBrite Wellness! Dr. H takes OmegaBrite supplements every day and that’s why he invited them to sponsor his podcast. SAVE 20% on your first order at OmegaBriteWellness.com with the promo code: Podcast2020.

Click HERE to learn more about our sponsor, Landmark College, in Putney, Vermont. It’s the college of choice for students who learn differently. Dr. H has an honorary degree from Landmark!

This episode was originally released in January 2018.

Check out this episode!

A transcript of this episode is below.


Dr. Ned Hallowell:
This episode is made possible by our sponsor, OmegaBrite Wellness. I’ve taken their Omega 3 supplements for many years and so as my wife, and that’s why I invited them to sponsor my podcast. I’m proud to have them. You can find all of their products online at OmegaBritewellness.com, and bright is intentionally misspelled, B-R-I-T-E. OmegaBritewellness.com. This episode is also sponsored by Landmark College, another institution that I have warm personal relationship with in Putney, Vermont. It’s the college of choice for students who learn differently. Learn more llcdistraction.org.

Gabby Bernstein:
I don’t like to preach to people who are unwilling. So my hope is to gather the willing and really the question is, are you willing to feel better? Are you willing to feel safer? Are you willing to feel more connected? Are you willing to feel more compassionate towards yourself? Are you willing to attract more of what you want into your life? If the answers to any of those questions are yes, then I invite you to join me on this journey and open your mind to these steps.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Hello, this is Dr. Ned Hallowell. Welcome to Distraction. Today we have an extremely interesting guest and truly, stay with us, because I think you’ll be intrigued. She’s onto a topic that I think almost everyone can relate to. She’s a woman by the name of Gabby Bernstein and her bio describes her as a number one New York Times bestselling author, international speaker, and spirit junkie. She’s a recovering addict, certified Kundalini yoga and meditation teacher, featured on Oprah’s Super Soul Sunday as a next generation thought leader, New York Times named her a new role model, co-hosted the Guinness World Record largest guided meditation with Deepak Chopra and her new book, which will come out today, just absolutely captivated my imagination when I read the title. It’s called Judgment Detox: Release the Beliefs That Hold You Back From Living a Better Life. Rather than me telling you why I find that so interesting, I asked Gabby if she would just tell us about her journey and how she came to writing this book. So welcome, Gabby.

Gabby Bernstein:
Thank you for having me. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. I’m so excited to talk to you about this.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
How did you come to the place in your life where you wanted to write this?

Gabby Bernstein:
Well, I’ve been in this field of personal growth and spiritual development for 12 years, and this will be my sixth book. And I have had the privilege of helping people in many different ways shift their perceptions and choose to align their thoughts with higher thought forms and use power of prayer and positive thinking to change their experience of life. And in the last two years, as I was preparing to write this next book, I was becoming very conscious of a really huge pervasive issue that we were all coming up against in a way far bigger than we’d ever known before. And that’s the issue of judgment and the issue of division and separation. I was writing this book during the 2016 election and seeing not only just our country, but the world, really far more divided than we’ve ever really seen before.

Gabby Bernstein:
And actually the truth is, is that I had the idea for the book a year earlier. So it was almost like I had a sense of what was coming. And my concern always has been that, when we have these belief systems, but then when we start to voice them, we bring even more energy to them. So what we were seeing over the last two years, and up until even this point today, is the vocalization of the judgmental belief systems that many of us have always carried and had. So we’re just seeing it all very magnified at this time. And the judgment’s not just judgment towards others, but also judgment towards ourselves and living with these belief systems, this separation, is what’s causing, I believe, all of the issues that we’re facing today. Racism, terrorism, fear, all of the fear based experiences that we’re experiencing, unfortunately, every other day throughout the world.

Gabby Bernstein:
So my feeling was the best contribution that I could give to my readers and far beyond hopefully, was to help people begin to learn how to clean up their inner belief systems so that they could stop polluting the planet with their fear and their judgment and separation. And I believe that as we begin to shift on an internal level, we have the power to start to experience shifts within our local communities and our families and our homes, and that ripple effect spreads far beyond our local environment. So my mission as a spiritual activist is to really help people clean up their belief systems, clean up their side of the street. And as a result of cleaning up your own inner terror, you begin to really heal the world around you. I believe that is a solution and that’s the intention and energy that I’m focused on bringing to the world today.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
What if a person says, well, that sounds fine, but I just see so much horribleness in the world, I can’t stop myself from judging it? I’m not just going to say, Oh, well, that’s okay and walk on by. I have to judge it. I have to say, that’s terrible. I hate it.

Gabby Bernstein:
Right. Well, this is something I address in the book. I don’t by any means, ask my reader to be apathetic or to turn their back on what’s happening in the world. And in fact, I don’t do that myself. I’m very loud and clear about what I believe is right and what I believe we need to do politically and globally. But the goal here is to be able to learn how to speak up from a place of love and compassion, not a place of attack. When we meet attack with more attack, we just create more of it.

Gabby Bernstein:
When we speak up and voice our opinions and voice our desires, and start to show up more socially in our lives, when we do that from a place of love and from a place of oneness, that’s when I believe we can be truly heard. So that’s been my experience, having a platform where I speak up about these daily issues that we see showing up, and I’m not going to stay silent, but I’m never going to take it from a one-sided approach. We can’t fight an attack with more attacks. And that’s been my experience.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
I wrote a book about forgiveness and it was very much in keeping with what you’re saying, and it didn’t sell very well. I often thought if I wanted to write a best seller, I should write a book called Get Even, because I think people would much rather respond to an attack with an attack. It’s sort of wired into our brains to forego the attack response. You have to appeal to your higher brain centers, and that’s hard for folks to do.

Gabby Bernstein:
It’s very interesting that you said that because it’s actually much more comfortable. Just as what you’re saying, is much more comfortable for us to fight back because that becomes … Because judgment ultimately has become this great protector. It’s become the way that we protect ourselves from feelings the shadow part of ourselves that we do not want to recognize, protect ourselves from the fears of the world, protect yourself from feeling unlovable and inadequate. And ultimately to your point, we get high in many ways off of judging because it’s a way of anesthetizing the deep rooted pain. But underneath that high is deep rooted guilt because it’s not the truth of who we are. So that’s really the bigger issue is that, even if we get that quick fix or we get a quick moment of relief because we’re put pushing out and reflecting out what we don’t want to feel within, we feel relief for a moment, but an unconscious sense of guilt begins to come over us because, deep down, we know that’s not the truth of who we are.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
In the attack position and the judgment position, we don’t have to feel vulnerable.

Gabby Bernstein:
We can avoid vulnerability. We can avoid shame. We can avoid feeling any or acknowledging any of the wounds from our past when we’re in the stance of judgment.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
So why should we do it?

Gabby Bernstein:
Because ultimately, living in that place of judgment, we are constantly standing there with knives out, right? Constantly ready to fight, and every day we’re triggered and every day we’re fighting each trigger and then we’re triggered again and we’re fighting the next trigger. Our nervous systems cannot handle this. And from a global standpoint, when we magnify these individual movements of judgment and attack, that cumulative energy begins to create what we’re seeing in the world today. I think this is a really important point is that we need to take a personal responsibility for the terror that we’re seeing in the world today. Because even those moment to moment judgmental thoughts are contributing a negative vibration that has a ripple effect.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Over the past few months, I’ve spoken to my friend, the founder and creator of Omega Brite Wellness, Dr. Carol Lark, about the benefits of taking Omega Brite Omega 3’s, CBB, and other supplements. Here’s a clip from one of those conversations. Could you tell us a little bit about the study, recent study, that showed Omega Brite reduced inflammation and anxiety in medical students?

Dr. Carol Lark:
This was a great study. It was done at Ohio State and it was done on medical students, 68 medical students, without any medical problems, done over 12 weeks. And it was a blinded study, meaning the researchers and the students did not know if they were taking the Omega Brite or the dummy capsules. And what it found was a 20% reduction in anxiety and a 14% reduction in the inflammatory cytokine il-6. So that you had a very powerful benefit from the Omega Brite shown in this study, and that’s something that people could use right now in their life, reducing their anxiety and stress and inflammation.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Distraction listeners, you can save 20% on your first order at OmegaBritewellness.com by using the promo code, podcast 2020. All right, let’s get back to today’s topic.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
So Gabby, I agree with you 1000%. It’s just, how do we persuade people that it’s in their, ultimately not their, but the whole world’s best interest to override these primitive responses that people seem to so want to go with?

Gabby Bernstein:
Well, Doctor, I don’t really like to persuade anyone. I like to invite people to give … Offer an invitation. And I really, truly, I don’t like to preach to people who are unwilling. So my hope is to gather the willing. Gathering the willing, there are many of us out there. Anyone who’s listening to you today, anyone who’s read your books, anyone who’s read my book. There are people out there who are willing. And really the question is, are you willing to feel better? Are you willing to feel safer? Are you willing to feel more connected? Are you willing to feel more compassionate towards yourself? Are you willing to attract more of what you want into your life and the answers to any of those questions are yes, then I invite you to join me on this journey and open your mind to these steps.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Let me just encourage everyone who’s listening too, if you’re a part of the willing, and I think most people listening to this podcast are, join Gabby. I mean, get her book Judgment Detox: Release the Beliefs That Hold You Back From Living a Better Life. I mean, really, and it sounds dramatic to say it, but I believe it with every fiber of my being, the future of the world depends upon our somehow galvanizing this energy that she’s talking about. And if you join her in her efforts and more and more people join that, then we can start all of us together generating that positive energy. Don’t you think, Gabby?

Gabby Bernstein:
I couldn’t agree more. It’s absolutely the reason I wrote this book. These are the times where we have to be very, very serious about what we’re putting out in the world and begin to show up for in a really big way.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
And you offer the invitation sort of by modeling it, would you say?

Gabby Bernstein:
Well, yes, absolutely. I think that we, in any moment, have an opportunity to look at our life, and people come to me all the time and they’ll say things like, I don’t have time. I teach meditation. I teach really beautiful, mindful practices and people will say, well, I don’t have time for meditation, or I don’t have time to read the books and do the work. And my response is, do you have time to feel like crap? Right? So I do model it because in all of my books, and particularly in this book, I share many, many personal anecdotes and experiences of how releasing judgment has set me free. I’m very forthcoming with my reader of all the ways that I have judged, all the ways that I have detoured into fear and been unforgiving and held on to resentment.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
So give us a couple of examples of how releasing that has set you free.

Gabby Bernstein:
Well, I wrote this book at a time where I was going through a lot of personal struggles with my family, with some friends. I applied the principles that I was living, the types of principles from the book, and have truly forgiven the people who I had been holding resentment towards. Truly forgiven them. I’ve been given very clear direction on how to carry out the next phase of those relationships.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
How did you forgive them?

Gabby Bernstein:
I accepted that, one of the steps in the book is called, see for the first time. And I practiced this step and truly seeing the people, seeing these specific people for all the things that I love about them and all the qualities of them that I admired most. And then I took the others parts of the book, which were the first two steps, which were really owning my shadows and looking at my wounds and seeing my part, seeing my judgment and the issues. While I may have felt like the victim of a situation, I spent some serious time auditing my part and seeing how I was contributing.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Did you do that alone or with a guide?

Gabby Bernstein:
With the guidance of the book that I wrote. I followed the steps from the book and really did the work to see my part. And I practiced emotional freedom technique, which is the second step in the book, which was using EFT to really get to the deeper ones that live beneath the judgment. I’ve practiced that third step of seeing for the first time. I practiced the steps of really, prayer and meditation to really get grounded in healing my belief system so that I can be free from the projections I’d placed upon these people. And then the final step of the book is forgiveness.

Gabby Bernstein:
And I put that step at the very end because I felt that these other steps were very necessary to get to the place where we could finally be willing to forgive. And then the practice of forgiveness in the book is very passive. It’s really about offering our desire to forgive up to a power greater than ourselves, and really inviting in a spiritual intervention. Really opening up our consciousness to allow the miracle of forgiveness to be bestowed upon us. And it’s not a very active step. It’s a step of releasing and surrendering.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
I’m fond of saying forgiveness is a process, not a moment.

Gabby Bernstein:
Yes. I love it.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
It’s something that’s sort of ongoing and you’re much better heading in that direction then heading toward revenge.

Gabby Bernstein:
Couldn’t agree more.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Yeah. And yet so many people, when they say I demand justice, what they really mean is I demand revenge.

Gabby Bernstein:
Often that is the truth, yeah.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
But what you’re speaking is so, if only people could see it’s in their best interest. They think they’ll feel better when they get revenge, but they don’t. They don’t feel any better. They still carry that pollution inside.

Gabby Bernstein:
Right. People feel like they, when they walk around with that revenge, they feel like in some ways they’re protecting themselves. They feel like they are in some ways, that that would be the way that they would stay safe. Particularly if someone has been traumatized or if someone has been deeply wounded, which can also be reflected trauma, a traumatic event. They use that feeling of defense, that defense mechanism in efforts to avoid having to feel the severe pain that lives underneath it.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
I want to tell you about Landmark College in beautiful Putney, Vermont. It is the best college in the world for students who learn differently, with ADHD, for other learning differences or autism spectrum disorder. It’s fully accredited, not-for-profit, offering bachelors and associate degrees, bridge programs, online dual enrollment courses for high school students and summer programs. They use a strength-based model at Landmark, which as you know, is the model that I certainly have developed and subscribed to, give students the skills and strategies they need to achieve their goals in life and really expand upon what they believe they’re capable of doing. It is just a wonderful, wonderful place, and I can’t say enough good about it. I myself have an honorary degree from Landmark College, of which I am very proud.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Landmark College in Putney. Vermont is the college of choice for students who learn differently. To learn more, go to lcdistraction.org. That’s lcdistraction.org. Okay. Let’s get back to today’s topic.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
What were the worst wounds that you suffered?

Gabby Bernstein:
Some of the things that I’ve uncovered throughout the process here is traumatic memories from my childhood, healing, forgiving myself for detouring so far to the places of drug addiction and alcoholism.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Those were the traumas, the drug addiction?

Gabby Bernstein:
Yeah. I got sober when I was 25. So I’ve been sober now for 12 years.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
When did the addiction start?

Gabby Bernstein:
Probably, I’d been running for most of my life, I imagine, but the drug abuse and addiction was pretty fast, probably off and on for a few years and then got pretty bad towards the end.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
You weren’t an addict in high school?

Gabby Bernstein:
Not in the sense that I would have recognized that I needed to get clean and sober, but I did have a dysfunctional relationship to drugs and alcohol when I was in high school.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Do you happen to have ADHD?

Gabby Bernstein:
I probably do.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
The reason I ask is there’s a big relationship between addiction and ADHD, and the biggest undiagnosed group are adult women. So we ought to talk about it at some point because it’s-

Gabby Bernstein:
We might have to have a private conversation.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Yeah, yeah.

Gabby Bernstein:
I definitely think that I may have ADHD. And in some ways I think it’s been one of my greatest virtues and in some ways, of course, it can be [crosstalk 00:00:19:36].

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Well, that’s the whole thing about it. What makes it so interesting, if you manage it right, it’s an incredible blessing. Some of the most talented, most successful people in the world have it, but on the other hand, it’s got a downside that can hurt you. So I’ll get in touch with you when we’re finished and we can talk about it. I’d love to talk about it.

Gabby Bernstein:
I’d love to talk about it.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Yeah. Yeah. So where did your gift come from? How did you develop this sort of … You’re obviously incredibly intuitive and spiritually connected. How did that develop?

Gabby Bernstein:
To be honest with you, I think that I was really quite willing to just release all the barriers that were in the way of those gifts that are within me. And I don’t think I’m any different. I think we all have the same types of gifts within us. They just manifest in different ways. And I think those of us who are brave enough to wonder what the blocks are that are holding us back from stepping into those gifts and do whatever it takes to get closer to consciousness and get closer to a more peaceful path. When we have the willingness to be that brave and do that work, then we can allow our true gift to be expressed. That’s been my experience. I’ve just been really brave. I’ve just been willing to go there.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
I agree with you. What do you think others are so afraid of it? I suppose, getting hurt or feeling embarrassed.

Gabby Bernstein:
Feeling embarrassed, being hurt, facing the feelings of shame. I think the biggest thing that holds us back is the terrible, terrifying fear of facing our shame. And not even many people wouldn’t even have a name, wouldn’t even know that shame was what they were running from.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Right. And you just said, okay, I’m going to feel it and release it, and then …

Gabby Bernstein:
Well, I’ve been doing this work on myself for over a decade. So it’s been many stages of development. I think some of the heaviest lifting I’ve done on myself has been in the last two years. Not I think, I know. Even more than when I got sober. [inaudible 00:21:34] any of that. Some of the biggest, biggest work I’ve done on myself was over the last two years.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
What was the hardest part of it?

Gabby Bernstein:
Facing my shame. That is definitely been the most terrifying. But the beauty about it is that, when you do give voice to your shame and you face it finally, then you finally feel free. You feel truly free because you don’t have to run from it anymore.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Now, listeners would say, what in the world do you have to be ashamed of? You’re a beautiful woman, happily married, well educated. You’ve written six books, you’re successful. What shame could you possibly have?

Gabby Bernstein:
Well, first of all, I think that we all carry shame from traumatic events from our childhood. And those traumatic events may be something as simple as somebody calling us stupid in the classroom or something far more significant, seemingly significant. But regardless of what the minor or significant instance was, it creates an imprint. And obviously this is what you teach and write about, I’m sure, but those imprints are shameful moments, feelings of being unlovable, inadequate, not good enough. And we do whatever we can to avoid feeling those feelings. It really creates a tapestry that becomes our life. And we have to begin to redesign that when they want to heal.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
That’s a wonderful gift you’ve given. And I’m so impressed that you’ve done this. Gabby Bernstein, enlightened, gifted woman who has done an awful lot in her still relatively young life and is on her way to doing a lot more. Get her book. I’m quite certain it will set you free in many ways. Thanks a lot for joining us.

Gabby Bernstein:
Thank you so much for your time and thank you for having me on your show.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Take care. Bye-bye.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
You can find Distraction on all the social channels and you can find me on TikTok. My username is @drhallowell. I’ve uploaded a bunch of ADHD related videos, 60 seconds a piece, and I’d really love to hear what you think. Send me a DM or email [email protected] That’s [email protected] Distraction is created by Sounds Great Media. Our producer is the extraordinarily talented Sarah Burton, and our audio engineer and editor is the equally extraordinarily talented Scott Person. I’m Dr. Ned Hallowell. Until next time.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
The episode you just heard was made possible by my good friends at Omega Brite Wellness. I take their supplements every day and that’s why I invited them to sponsor my podcast. Shop online at Omega Brite, and that’s B-R-I-T-E, wellness.com.

Share:
5,203 Things To Do Instead Of Looking At Your Phone

5,203 Things To Do Instead Of Looking At Your Phone

It’s more important than ever to slow down, look up from whatever device you’re on and take a few moments for yourself. If you’re not sure what to do in those few moments, author Barbara Ann Kipfer has plenty of ideas for you! The list-loving lexicographer and editor of Roget’s International Thesaurus joins Ned for a lighthearted chat about recognizing the simple things in life that bring you joy.

Barbara’s books mentioned in this episode:

5,203 Things To Do Instead Of Looking At Your Phone

14,000 Things To Be Happy About

Dr. Hallowell’s new book, ADHD 2.0, comes out January 12th. Pre-order Now!  Click here to pre-order your copy of ADHD 2.0.

Check out #NedTalks on TikTok! @drhallowell

Thanks to our sponsor, OmegaBrite Wellness! Dr. H takes OmegaBrite supplements every day and that’s why he invited them to sponsor his podcast. SAVE 20% on your first order at OmegaBriteWellness.com with the promo code: Podcast2020.

Click HERE to learn more about our sponsor, Landmark College, in Putney, Vermont. It’s the college of choice for students who learn differently. Dr. H has an honorary degree from Landmark!

Do you have a question or guest suggestion? Send an email with your thoughts to [email protected].

Distraction is created by Sounds Great Media. Our producer is Sarah Guertin and our recording engineer/editor is Scott Persson.

Check out this episode!

A transcript of this episode is below.


Dr. Ned Hallowell:
This episode is made possible by our sponsor, OmegaBrite Wellness. I’ve taken their Omega-3 supplements for many years and so has my wife, and that’s why I invited them to sponsor my podcast. I’m proud to have them. You can find all of their products online at omegabritewellness.com and brite is intentionally misspelled, B-R-I-T-E Omegabritewellness.com. This episode is also sponsored by Landmark College. Another institution that I have warm personal relationship with in Putney Vermont. It’s the college of choice for students who learn differently. Learn more at lcdistraction.org.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Hello, and welcome to distraction. I’m your host, Dr. Ned Hallowell. No matter pandemic or not, we’re all becoming quite addicted, if not addicted, at least to [inaudible 00:01:04] to our various screens and other electronic devices. And we have a guest today who has a book out titled 5203 Things to Do Instead of Looking at Your Phone. She’s pretty remarkable. This lady has written 80 other books, including 14,000 Things to Be Happy About, that has over 1.2 million copies in print. And I can tell you that’s a staggering number. She has a PhD in linguistics, a PhD in archeology, a PhD in Buddhist studies and a BS in physical education. My gosh. Barbara Ann Kipfer, did I pronounce that right?

Barbara Kipfer:
Yes, you did. I’m a hundred years.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
You’re amazing. And it’s an incredible. 80 books and three PhDs and a degree in physical education. Did you have a favorite sport?

Barbara Kipfer:
I wanted to be a football coach. That was the plan. I loved basketball, but I wanted to be a football coach. And then I got to college and my advisor said, “Really? You’ve got to be kidding me.”

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Well, you marched to the beat of your own drum.

Barbara Kipfer:
So I ended up being a sports’ writer, which was great, but I was working in Chicago and that meant working late at night until the wee hours of the morning in a big, big city. So I said, “What else can I do with words?” And I thought about dictionaries because I had read them. That was the kind of book I like to read, it was dictionaries. So I became a lexicographer and that’s what I’ve been doing for 40 years.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Wow. Well, you don’t write sports anymore?

Barbara Kipfer:
I don’t, but I am very much interested in writing some books about sports in my future life.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
I’d love to ask you a few questions about that. So you became a lexicographer. I wrote my undergraduate thesis in college about a lexicographer.

Barbara Kipfer:
Are you serious?

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
I’m dead serious.

Barbara Kipfer:
Who did you write about?

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Samuel Johnson.

Barbara Kipfer:
Oh, there you go.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Yeah. The first dictionary of the English language. He also wrote a few other things, and his definition in his dictionary of a lexicographer was a harmless drudge.

Barbara Kipfer:
I know. A harmless drudge.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Exactly. But you’re much more harmful than that, I think.

Barbara Kipfer:
Well, I don’t know. I am a drudge though. You see how much I like to work?

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Yes, that’s wonderful.

Barbara Kipfer:
The thought of retirement is-

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Don’t do it-

Barbara Kipfer:
My husband will tell you, not something I like to entertain.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Don’t do it until you have to. I’m 70 years old and they’ll have to carry me out, but I’ll do this as long as my brain allows me to.

Barbara Kipfer:
Well, my first thought when this pandemic started was I’m going to lose my job. And by golly, thank goodness I still have it. And it’s just amazing. I thought the company I worked for would start going downhill and they’ve been rising. You can’t predict things.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Yeah. No, you sure can’t.

Barbara Kipfer:
Everything you worry about doesn’t happen, everything you don’t worry about that’s what’s going to happen.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
So I’m sure all of our listeners are waiting with bated breath to hear some of the 5,200 and three things we can do, instead of-

Barbara Kipfer:
You think we’re going to give some away, huh?

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Yeah. Give some away.

Barbara Kipfer:
Well, here’s the thing. When I first got an iPad, which was a while ago, I’m not an early adopter, but I’m a fairly early adopter. I would leave the thing. It would just be there for emergencies. I never looked at it. The kids and my husband would say, “Why do you have an iPad? You never use it.” Now, the thing is another appendage. I actually probably use it more than my computer. And it’s just addictive. When I finally picked it up and started using it, it became addictive. I think that’s why phones are for a lot of people. My phone stays in my purse and I don’t use it. But the iPad that became my thing, I guess. And if I don’t have something to do reading a book, petting the cat, doing something useful, I pick the thing up for no reason and I just scan and say, “What app can I open and look something up?”

Barbara Kipfer:
It’s not good. I don’t have to explain that to anybody. It’s not good. So I started thinking, I love to make lists. I had told my publisher, Workman Publishing, many times I had ideas for things to do for people, things to do at the beach, things to do at a museum that were a little different, like a little out of the line sort of what you would normally do in those places. And then finally, my editor about two years ago, Mary Ellen ONeill said, “Why don’t we do a book about things to do, but make it about instead of using your phone.” Which was a brilliant idea. I’m going to give her credit because I didn’t come up with that part of it. So this is about what you can do when you’re about to pick up your phone or you’ve been messing with your phone. And then you say, “Wait a minute, how useful is this for my brain?”

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Over the past few months, I’ve spoken to my friend, the founder and creator of Omega Brite Wellness, Dr. Carol Locke, about the benefits of taking Omega Brite’s, Omega-3s, CBD and other supplements. Here’s a clip from one of those conversations. Now there are many different products, brands of fish oil. Why is Omega Brite the best?

Dr. Carol Locke:
What I can speak to with Omega Brite is it’s a very different formula than typically what you can get in the store or online. And Omega Brite is clinically proven. We have over 10 studies in major academic centers showing Omega Brite improving mood, helping with bipolar, with depression, with ADHD, with anxiety, with inflammation. So it’s a very proven product for you to gain these benefits. And these benefits, we know, come from Omega Brite. You can’t get that with a typical Omega-3, which has say 180 milligrams of EPA in it. That just isn’t going to provide that benefit.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Distraction listeners, you can save 20% on your first order at omegabritewellness.com by using the promo code podcast2020. I want to tell you about Landmark College in beautiful Putney, Vermont. It is the best college in the world for students who learn differently with ADHD, for other learning differences or autism spectrum disorder. It’s fully accredited, not-for-profit offering bachelor’s and associate degrees, bridge programs, online dual enrollment courses for high school students and summer programs. They use a strength-based model at landmark, which is the model that I certainly have developed and subscribed to.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
To give students the skills and strategies they need to achieve their goals in life and really expand upon what they believe they’re capable of doing. It is just a wonderful place. And I can’t say enough good about it. I myself have an honorary degree from landmark college of which I am very proud. Landmark College in Putney, Vermont is the college of choice for students who learn differently. To learn more, go to lcdistraction.org. That’s lcdistraction.org. Okay. Let’s get back to today’s topic. Can you give us some of the 5,203 things I, or anyone else can do instead of looking at our phones?

Barbara Kipfer:
My idea for it is you open the book to just any place, just randomly open up because it is a random list. So I’m going to do that now. I’m going to open it and it says, play a game of paintball. Okay. Roll around in your office chair, dance in the moonlight, they could bake a dessert, interview a person you admire. I didn’t make that up, it’s really in the book. Feed a squirrel carefully, excuse a blunder, frame something you painted, invite friends for a hike, make a salad, create a space to do yoga, open a drawer and sort the contents. There are a quite a few in here. Little things to do around your house that you may have put off, forgotten about, or really need a reminder of. So here’s one, picnic on the fire escape, map out your ideal road trip, flip or turn the mattress, open stuck windows, donate your old books, balance on tiptoe, play in autumn leaves and eat all your spinach.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
These are great. And how did you come up with them? Did you just sort of sit down and let your mind wander?

Barbara Kipfer:
I did that. And what I did was because I’ve written a lot of list books. I kind of just page through those to trigger some ideas, because it’s really easy to think of things to do with your devices. So I figured you got to get back into the mindset of thinking about what things involve no devices. So I use my other list books that seemed like a fair enough way of going about it. I looked at some books that were written for kids. Most of them were pretty dated about things kids could do and things kids could do outside in the backyard and things like that.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Sounds fun.

Barbara Kipfer:
It wasn’t easy getting to this number. I’m pretty good at making lists and I’m pretty good at making lists where I don’t repeat myself, but I needed a lot of help double checking the manuscript afterwards to make sure I did not just repeat something like they’re slightly different wording.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
You came up with 5,203, but that’s nothing compared to your book about 14,000 things to be happy about.

Barbara Kipfer:
Yeah. But it’s nothing compared to my database, which is on my website, which has 176,000 things to be happy about.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
176,000 things to be happy-

Barbara Kipfer:
176,000. And I can tell you, there’s no repeats in that either.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
How in the world?

Barbara Kipfer:
I’ve been doing that since I was in sixth grade. So now we’re talking about 50 plus years that I’ve been writing down things to be happy about. Somebody who interviewed me said, you must have done three or four a day during this whole time. And I do, I just still find so many things to write down that are things to be happy about.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Can you name off the top of your head some of your favorite things to be happy about?

Barbara Kipfer:
Oh yeah. Blueberry muffins, that was my first entry. I love things just simple stuff like the feeling of receiving a genuine compliment. That is something we remember for a long time.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Yeah, that’s a very good one.

Barbara Kipfer:
Study hall in the school, hot tomato soup. I have a lot of food entries. Somebody asked me once, “Why are there so many food entries?” And I said, “It’s better to read about food than eat all of it.”

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Yeah. That’s really cool.

Barbara Kipfer:
And most of the stuff that I write into the database, which… When the book was published, I said to Peter Workman, I said, “Now, what do I do?” And he says, “What do you mean now what do you do? Don’t stop. You’ve done it up to now. Just keep writing down what you like.” And that was very inspirational to hear. A book being published doesn’t mean you should stop doing, what’s your favorite thing to do.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Absolutely not, Barbara.

Barbara Kipfer:
So I read things that authors write that are so poignant. Here’s a phrase, the closing eyelids of the day. I read that somewhere and it’s like poetry.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Yes. And you have the soul of a poet, but the mind of a lexicographer.

Barbara Kipfer:
Right. Well, remember dictionaries are actually lists to. So dictionary [inaudible 00:16:08]. I’m the editor of the Roget’s International Thesaurus, that is one big list there.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Wow. You’re a regular genius, Barbara. I’m amazed.

Barbara Kipfer:
No, I just work hard. No genius.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
No, you have a lot to work with. You’ve got massive talent. Well, listen, we’re out of time, but what a great read for anyone who wants to just keep something by your bed, 14,000 Things to Be Happy About and 5,203 Things to Do Instead of Looking at Your Phone by Barbara Ann Kipfer, what a wonderful kind of book to have right next to you. And I can tell every single one of those things is something that all of us could benefit from doing instead of looking at our phone. Thank you so much for joining me and joining my wonderful audience, who I’m sure-

Barbara Kipfer:
Thanks for the invitation. I enjoy your work very much.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Thank you so much. Thank you so much, Barbara. Well, that’s it for today. Thanks so much to Barbara for joining me. Her book, 5,203 Things to Do Instead of Looking at Your Phone is available online wherever you buy your books, or you can click the link in our show notes, and please continue to reach out to us at [email protected] That’s [email protected] and follow Distraction on your Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. We’re trying to really beef up our social media presence. And please remember to tell your friends about this podcast. We want to keep growing our wonderful Distraction community. And while I’m praising social media, I should also say you should get Barbara’s book. So you won’t just stay glued to social media.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
So Distraction is created by Sounds Great Media. The podcast is recorded and mixed by the super talented Scott Persson, a genius in his own right and produced by the equally talented genius laden, Sarah Guertin. I’m your host, Dr. Ned Hallowell saying goodbye for now. The episode you just heard was made possible by my good friends at Omega Brite Wellness. I take their supplements every day and that’s why I invited them to sponsor my podcast. Shop online at Omega Brite and that’s B-R-I-T-Ewellness.com.

Share:
Mentally Prepare Yourself For The Future

Mentally Prepare Yourself For The Future

As fall nears closer and the pandemic rages on it can be difficult to envision what next month, or even next week will look like. In this mini episode Dr. H shares some words of advice on how to think about the future and get ready for whatever comes next.

Please share your thoughts and ideas with us! Write an email or record a voice memo on your phone and send it to [email protected].

Thanks to our sponsor, OmegaBrite Wellness! Distraction listeners  SAVE 20% on their first order with the promo code: Podcast2020 at OmegaBriteWellness.com.

And thank you to our sponsor, Landmark College in Putney, Vermont. Click HERE to learn more the college of choice for students who learn differently.

Distraction is created by Sounds Great Media. Our recording engineer/editor is Scott Persson, and our producer is Sarah Guertin.

Check out this episode!

A transcript of this episode is below.


Dr. Ned Hallowell:
This episode of Distraction is sponsored by OmegaBrite CBD, formulated by OmegaBrite Wellness, creators of the number one Omega-3 supplements for the past 20 years. OmegaBrite CBD, safe, third-party tested and it works. Shop online at OmegaBriteWellness.com. And by Landmark College, offering comprehensive support for students with ADHD and other learning differences. Learn more at lcdistraction.org. Landmark College, the college of choice for students who learn differently. Hello and welcome to this mini episode of Distraction. I’m your host, Dr. Ned Hallowell. Thank you so much for joining me. We love having you with us and lending us your ears.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Our wonderful producer, Sarah, gave me a note to base this mini on, and I’ll just read you what she gave me. She wrote, “I think we’ve all been waiting for fall to get here, kind of wait and see what’s going to happen with the pandemic. But now that it’s almost here, what if nothing changes, or worse yet we have to go into lockdown again? How do you look ahead when you can’t envision what it will look like?” Well, that’s the world we’re living in. Isn’t it? How have we done it so far? How do we look ahead when we don’t know what it’s going to bring? This whole thing has been an exercise in learning flexibility, an exercise in learning resilience, an exercise in learning how to find connection in places we haven’t found it before, learning new uses of technology.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
My practice has drastically changed, but thanks to Zoom and the telephone, I’m able to see patients. Without Zoom and the telephone and other platforms, I wouldn’t be able to. They wouldn’t be able to see me, nor I could see them. Now, it’s not as good as in-person, but in many ways it’s better for people who leave live two or three hours away or people will live with the other side of the country or the other side of the world for that matter. It’s an absolute godsend, and I think I will continue after the pandemic is over to offer that as an option. You can either see me live and in-person or over Zoom or another platform, so it’s been wonderful in that sense. Another hidden advantage is my two kids, our two kids who live in New York City, work in New York City have come home, and they’ve been with us for the past three months to avoid the virus in New York when it was so bad, and they’re doing their work. Fortunately they can from home, so we’ve had the benefit of their wonderful company.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
But the damage is colossal and the deaths and the restrictions on life and the not going to restaurants and going to movies. I used to love to take my son, who lives locally too, we’d go to Legal Seafood, a great seafood restaurant near us, and then we’d go to the Burlington Mall cinema and watch movie. We’d do that almost once a week. Sometimes Sue, my wife, would come with us, and sometimes she wanted a night to herself. But we can’t do that anymore. We haven’t been able to do that anymore, and then of course the big X factor, school. What’s going to happen with that? And we don’t know, and as we try to look ahead, people form opinions, and people think this, think that, think the other thing, and sometimes they get very angry and strident about it, but we’re still dealing with X factors, with unknowns. When you’re dealing with unknowns, you want to try to plan for various contingencies.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Harvard Business School made the worst case scenario famous by saying, “Well, let’s imagine the worst case scenario and then plan for that, and then if we do that, we’ve got everything else covered.” But we don’t even really know what the worst case scenario is with this virus. Haven’t we already had the worst case scenario? Can it get worse? Well, sure it could get worse, but what steps are we taking to make sure that doesn’t happen, and how can we maintain hope but also be realistic and prepare for bad things? So I guess my riff on Sarah’s question is use your imagination, both imagining what you hope for and imagining what you dread and get ready for all of the above, knowing that we are very resilient as humans. We’re very resilient, and what really makes us most resilient is when we’re serving one another, when we’re connected to one another, when we’re working together, because then you see we create a mission, and mission really motivates people.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
And our mission now is to survive and to thrive, but begins with survive, and we’d never had our survival threatened on a daily basis, at least in my lifetime, like we have it threatened today. Survival is actually a matter that we have to take precaution to ensure, and wearing masks and keeping distance and all that kind of stuff, washing hands. We’re doing things. We’ve adapted. We’re banding together. We’re helping one another. By wearing a mask, you help other people, not just yourself. By washing your hands, you help other people. I mean, by working together, we’re building muscles we didn’t know we had, and we’re learning the value of interdependence rather than independence. We’re learning the value and power of what we can do together.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
My daughter happens to work for the National Football League, so I’m, as a long-time 26-year season ticket holder for the New England Patriots, I’m praying not only for my sake to have football back, but for my daughter’s sake, because that’s her job. We’re hoping and praying, and I can tell you the NFL is taking tremendous care and precaution. They’re working very, very hard to do everything they can to allow the season to proceed. But again, there are X factors. Who knows what will happen? I do take my hat off to the NFL for the way they’re handling it so far, and I take my hat off to businesses and organizations everywhere as they deal with this and try to make the best of it for everybody.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Again, the people who are hit the hardest are the people who are hit the hardest by everything: people who live in poverty, people of color, people who don’t have access to medical care, who don’t have access to good food, who don’t have access to transportation, all of that, the people who usually get the short end of the stick. And I think it’s up to us to try to reach out to them in whatever ways we can. So the answer to Sarah’s question, “How do you look ahead when you can’t envision what it will look like?” My answer is envision and just know that you’re probably wrong, but one of your visions will be close to what happens, and you want to prepare for all of them as best you can and never worry alone.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
So don’t envision alone; share your thoughts with other people. Go online. Talk to neighbors, friends, however you do it, but this is a groupthink. This is not an individual think. This is a groupthink, and if we groupthink long and hard enough, this thing will come to an end, and we’ll reduce the damage it will do, and we’ll even find the hidden good things, just as I’ve discovered Zoom as a way of seeing patients and have got two of my three kids back inadvertently but as a special hidden benefit.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Okay. Once again, I’d like to thank our sponsor, OmegaBrite Wellness. My wife and I have taken their omega-3 supplements for years, and for the past several months, I’ve been taking their CBD supplement as well. I highly recommend them both. Go to OmegaBriteWellness.com and save 20% on your first order with the code “podcast2020.” Okay, please continue to reach out to us with your questions, comments, and show ideas. We love them, need them, thrive on them and would be lost without. Send your thoughts in an email or record a voice memo and send it to us at [email protected] That’s the word “connect” @distractionpodcast.com, and talk about from rags to riches, that little at sign, which never, ever, ever used to get used by hardly anybody is now everywhere. It must be so proud. It went from nothing to the penthouse, that little at sign. What a story.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Well, Distraction is created by Sounds Great Media. Our producer is the infallible, lovely and brilliant Sarah Guertin, and our recording engineer and editor is the impeccably careful and always never missing a note or a sound, Scott Persson, and that’s Persson with two S’s. This is Dr. Ned Hallowell saying goodbye for today.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
The episode you just heard was sponsored by OmegaBrite CBD, formulated by OmegaBrite Wellness, creators of the number one omega-3 supplements for the past 20 years. OmegaBrite CBD: safe, third-party tested, and it works. Shop online at OmegaBriteWellness.com.

Share:
Do Something Just For You

Do Something Just For You

In honor of National Just Because Day (Yes, it’s a thing!), Ned is going to float in his inflatable pool and create a silly walking zone in front of his house, among other things. In this mini podcast he challenges you to do something today that makes you happy!

Learn more at NationalDayCalendar.com.

Please reach out to us with your questions and episode ideas. Write an email or record a voice memo and send it to [email protected].

Thank you to our sponsor, OmegaBrite CBD! Distraction listeners, you can SAVE 20% on your first order with the promo code: Podcast2020 at OmegaBriteWellness.com.

Click HERE to learn more about our sponsor, Landmark College, in Putney, Vermont. It’s the college of choice for students who learn differently.

Distraction is created by Sounds Great Media. Our producer is Sarah Guertin and our recording engineer/editor is Scott Persson.

Check out this episode!

A transcript of this episode is below.


Dr. Ned Hallowell:
This episode of Distraction is sponsored by OmegaBrite CBD, formulated by OmegaBrite Wellness, creators of the number one Omega-3 supplements for the past 20 years. OmegaBrite CBD, safe third-party tested, and it works. Shop online at OmegaBriteWellness.com. And by Landmark College, offering comprehensive support for students with ADHD and other learning differences. Learn more at lcdistraction.org. Landmark College, the college of choice for students who learn differently.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Hello, and welcome to a mini episode of Distraction. I’m your host, Dr. Ned Hallowell. I’ll bet you didn’t know that today is National Just Because Day. I think there’s a cause attached to pretty much every day of the year. I had never heard of Just Because Day, but our wonderful, resourceful, incredible producer, Sarah Guertin, found out about it and suggested we do a little mini on that. And I think in the era of a pandemic, with everybody worrying, it’s nice to be a little bit frivolous and lighthearted.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
According to nationaldaycalendar.com, and see, leave it to Sarah, that’s where you can go to find out about this. According to nationaldaycalendar.com, an actual website, today, August 27th, gives us the chance to do something without having a reason. Well, I do that all day anyway so I don’t know what’s so special about that. But I guess most people don’t, I guess is the message there. Most people have a reason for doing what they do. I guess I don’t. Anyway, if you’re a fan of the sit-com Parks and Recreation, it’s kind of like when Tom and Donna created their own Treat Yo’ Self Day.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
So we’re always busy doing stuff for other people, or so says Sarah who wrote this copy. But it’s true; we do. So today is an opportunity to do something for you. You got it. Just because. So what are you going to do today, just because? Sarah asked me to ask myself that question, and I thought of a few things. One thing I’d like to do, my daughter, who’s home from working for the National Football League, because of the pandemic she’s working from our home in Arlington, doing work for the league, NFL in New York, and since she was going to be here through the summer, she wanted me to buy her an inflatable pool that she could float in and sun in. And so we did. And it’s been out there. Not that expensive. For $300, you get a pretty good sized pool. You can’t dive in it or anything like that, but it’s big enough that she can actually put a float in it and float on the float in the pool. I’ve not been in that pool. So, I thought, just because, I’ll go plop myself down in the pool and see what it feels like. That I am actually really looking forward to doing that.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
I did do something just because, that I don’t usually do on Sunday, and I planted an hydrangea bush on our front walk. I dug the hole, I put it in, I put the potting soil in. I followed the instructions from the nursery where I got it, the wonderful place called Mahoney’s in the Boston area, and I planted it. And then I set the sprinkler on it to water it and I stood proudly until the skies opened up and we had a thunderstorm and I had the ridiculous sight of looking out my window and finding the sprinkler on as it’s being pelted with rain coming down torrentially. So I put on a raincoat, I was too embarrassed the neighbors must think, what is this crazy man doing watering his plant in the middle of the thunderstorm? And I went out and I turned off the sprinkler.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
And then our terrific producer, sound engineer. Sorry. I get them confused. Scott Persson told me about something called a silly walking zone. And some very imaginative people have created parts in their neighborhood where they post a sign saying, “This is a silly walking zone.” So you have to do some silly kind of walk like Charlie Chaplin or Michael Jackson with his moonwalk or whoever. You have to do some silly kind of walk. Now, that has got to be good for you. I don’t care who you are. That has got to be good for you, to be willing to loosen up enough, to do a silly walk, whether it’s a imitation of a drunk walk, or a moonwalk, or Charlie Chaplin walk, or hopping on one leg, or whatever comes to mind. But I think I’ll just declare a silly walking zone on the sidewalk outside my house and do a silly walk today, just for me, just because.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Another one that comes to my mind, this morning, by mistake I turned the shower to cold when I meant to turn it to hot and I got this shock. But instead of immediately turning it to hot, I kind of enjoyed the moment. And it is bracing, a cold shower. It’s bracing. So I think I’m going to get in the habit of doing that. It’s an instant way of … You go, brr, but if you stick in there a little bit, it brings you to life in a non-drug way. It’s a real shot. And so I’m going to do more cold showers. I’m sure you could make all kinds of remarks about that, but I am going to get in the habit of taking cold showers.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
And finally, just for me, tomorrow I’m going to bring my son’s dog to work. I do go into the office. I don’t see patients there, but there’s some staff there. All the patients I see are on Zoom. But I’m going to bring Max with me. And I might, if I’m brave, also bring my daughter’s dog, Layla. Now, Max weighs 110 pounds, Layla weighs 10 pounds. So it’s quite a combination in the office. They’ve both been there before. But as you all know, if you listen to this regularly, I have a incredible love affair with dogs. It’s no accident that God spelled backwards is dog. And so I could bring God with me, or two God’s with me, to work.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Well, those are five examples of what I might do today or tomorrow, just because, just for me. It’s a nice way to loosen up your imagination to wonder to yourself, what might I do today, just because.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Before I go, I want to thank our sponsor, OmegaBrite CBD. I’ve been taking it for several months now myself, and I’ve found that it is really good for my reactivity. A lot of us with ADD can be impatient and reactive when something goes wrong, we don’t get what we want, things don’t work out right. We can snap at people, snap at ourselves. That’s not fun. And I’ve found that the CBD, OmegaBrite CBD, really helps diminish that. If you want to get it yourself, you can save 20% off your first order by using the promo code podcast2020, when you shop online at OmegaBriteWellness.com. That’s O-M-E-G-A-B-R-I-T-E wellness.com. The Brite is intentionally misspelled, B-R-I-T-E. So OmegaBriteWellness.com. Why, you might ask, do they intentionally misspell it? I don’t know, but that’s what advertisers, or branders, or namers tend to do. OmegaBriteWellness.com.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Okay. Please continue to reach out to us with your questions, comments, and show ideas. Our email address is [email protected] That’s [email protected] Distraction is created by Sounds Great Media. Our producer is the wonderful, beautiful, talented Sarah Guertin, and our recording engineer and editor is the meticulous and very, very talented Scott Persson. I’m Dr. Ned Hallowell wishing you all good luck and thanking you for listening.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
The episode you just heard was sponsored by OmegaBrite CBD, formulated by OmegaBrite Wellness, creators of the number one Omega-3 supplements for the past 20 years. OmegaBrite CBD, safe third-party tested, and it works. Shop online at OmegaBriteWellness.com.

Share:
Mental Illness Affects 1 in 5 Families

Mental Illness Affects 1 in 5 Families

Mental illness is so prevalent in the U.S. that we now have a reduced life expectancy as a result of 2 specific causes, and the pandemic is only making things worse. Dr. Ken Duckworth, the chief medical officer for the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), joins Dr. H to talk about how his organization helps those with bipolar disorder, PTSD, OCD, schizophrenia, depression, thoughts of suicide, and other conditions.

Looking for help? Learn about NAMI by clicking HERE.

Is there a topic you’d like Dr. Hallowell to explore in a podcast? Write an email or record a voice memo on your phone and send it to [email protected].

Learn more about our sponsor, OmegaBrite CBD. Distraction listeners can SAVE 20% on their first order with the code: Podcast2020. Shop online at OmegaBriteWellness.com.

Distraction is created by Sounds Great Media. Our producer is Sarah Guertin and our recording engineer/editor is Scott Persson.

Check out this episode!

A transcript of this episode is below.


Dr. Ned Hallowell:
This episode of Distruction is sponsored by OmegaBrite CBD, formulated by OmegaBrite Wellness, creators of the number one omega-3 supplements for the past 20 years. OmegaBrite CBD, safe, third party tested and it works. Shop online at omegabritewellness.com.

Dr. Ken Duckworth, NAMI:
If anybody here is listening to Ned’s podcast and lives with schizophrenia, or loves someone with schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, severe post-traumatic distress, has had a suicide attempt, NAMI is a great group. It is a great group, and one thing you’ll know is that people will listen to you. They won’t dismiss you, they know how hard this is, they know how much pain there is in this, and they will embrace you.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Hello and welcome to Distruction, I am your host Dr. Ned Hallowell. I am really excited about our show today. As you know, I have some very special people in my life and one of those is Dr. Ken Duckworth. I’ve known him since he was a resident back at Mass Mental Health Center, and I used to call him one of the living saints of this world. He’s an amazing man, he’s a Harvard professor, a psychiatrist and the Chief Medical Officer for NAMI, the National Alliance on Mental Illness.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Ken and I share a personal history in that both of us had bipolar fathers, and that’s what brought us into the field. We exchange stories about that often. Ken is also double board certified in adult and child psychiatry, and he’s completed a forensic psychiatry fellowship, there’s nothing he doesn’t know about. He’s also an incredibly devoted dad to his three wonderful, brilliant daughters and has made them his top priority throughout his life. Another thing we share with me and my three kids and him with his three kids.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
We over the years have grown up together and even though I’m a little bit older than he is, he is one of the most special people I know. Without further ado, let me welcome my friend the…

Dr. Ken Duckworth, NAMI:
I’ve got to meet this guy if any of that’s true.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Well he is.

Dr. Ken Duckworth, NAMI:
[crosstalk 00:02:35].

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
It’s you Ken, just look in the mirror.

Dr. Ken Duckworth, NAMI:
[inaudible 00:02:37] all right, so I want to start with a story if I may.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Please.

Dr. Ken Duckworth, NAMI:
This is about Ned, and in 1986 I took the radical path which was extremely unfashionable, to write about my dad’s bipolar disorder as the reason I wanted to become a psychiatrist. This essay was very personal and intense and real, my father was a very good man with a very bad illness. I spent a lot of time at state hospitals, police coming to the house and then on alternate summers or falls or winters, my friends and relatives saying, “How come you got the nice dad?”

Dr. Ken Duckworth, NAMI:
I’m like, “Yes, I did get the nice dad,” but there was an asterisk there which is that, his bipolar disorder was quite severe and it made a big mark on me. This is 1986, this is NAMI, the National Alliance on Mental Illness had just gotten started. I thought, “I’m just going to write the truth because for God’s sake I’m going into psychiatry. Surely someone will understand what this is like and have been through a personal experience.”

Dr. Ken Duckworth, NAMI:
Little did I know how naïve that was and I went to 15 of the best programs in America. 14 of those people ignored my essay, literally talking to me about my major in Political Science or my passion for college football, which is ongoing. I went to the University of Michigan and no, I don’t want to talk about Ohio State.

Dr. Ken Duckworth, NAMI:
One person that I interviewed with the day before I saw Ned in Boston, at our world’s famous Harvard Institution, said to me, he’s the only person besides Ned who I met the next day who took a look at my essay. He said, “So, you want to help your father, that’s a terrible reason to become a psychiatrist.” I say that with an accent because he had an accent.

Dr. Ken Duckworth, NAMI:
He apparently was a very famous person because I was a 26-year-old scared kid out of medical school, I didn’t know what that whole thing was that he was a world famous psychoanalyst. I said, “Well, I have been traumatized by this experience, but I loved him very much. I thought it might be good if I could see if I could make a difference because I know a little bit about what it’s like to love someone with a severe illness and see them for their strengths.”

Dr. Ken Duckworth, NAMI:
He further ridiculed me and before I left and I walked out to my car, burst into tears and didn’t even finish the interview with that world famous program, I asked him, “One last question,” and again I sound like I have confidence but I don’t at the time. I’m a kid, I know no one. I said, “What would be a good reason to become a psychiatrist?” He paused for a minute, I think nobody had ever asked him that hard of a question. Paused for a really long time and he said, “Well, if your father is a psychiatrist, that would be a good reason.” I said, “Don’t we have something of a workforce shortage in the field?” Like I did say it, I got in one punch but then I left and I even skipped the free lunch, which is very unlike me if you knew me at all. I walked in my car, burst into tears and the next day I met Ned Hallowell.

Dr. Ken Duckworth, NAMI:
Now, I’m going to finish this story about this world famous hospital flash forward 14 years and I’m the commissioner of mental health and this hospital does something very bad to a patient. When I called them into my office I wanted to remind them that I had the power to shut their facility because I was over licensing and control. What I did is, I didn’t do that of course. Maybe wonder what kind of person I was because I did have the power to actually harm them back, but I said, “I’d like to tell you a story.” I told them this story about how they had treated me when I was a nobody, but now I was the commissioner of mental health with power over their facility. I don’t know if they listened to my story, but it was very therapeutic to tell it.

Dr. Ken Duckworth, NAMI:
That next day I got up and I thought, “Maybe psychiatry isn’t for me.” I liked cardiology and I noticed they drove nicer cars than the psychiatry. I thought maybe I could just switch my whole orientation and just go into cardiology. I like talking to people about their hearts, it seemed very concrete and I really thought that morning that it wasn’t for me.

Dr. Ken Duckworth, NAMI:
After 14 programs had ignored me, one program had humiliated me, the last interview I did was with Ned Hallowell at the Massachusetts Health Center. The other three people I interviewed with at Mass Mental Health Center were very nice, but they also ignored my essay. It was just too much to take on, I mean you want to deal with this guy’s problems and his issues and how does that fit into who he is?

Dr. Ken Duckworth, NAMI:
Ned read my essay and I’m going to say 45 or 50 people I interviewed across America, he was the only person who read the essay, looked at me and said, “What a great thing. You know what this is like. Do you know what a difference you can make in people’s lives?” When Ned said that to me, I made a decision to move to Boston from Philadelphia. I’m still affiliated with the same Massachusetts Mental Health Center three decades later.

Dr. Ken Duckworth, NAMI:
It matters how you talk to people and it matters how you talk to them about their vulnerabilities. Ned was encouraging and supportive. You also encouraged me to pursue my actual interest, which was the first person and family experience of living with a condition and try to master it.

Dr. Ken Duckworth, NAMI:
Then of course I found the National Alliance on Mental Illness or they found me, and I’ve been their National Medical Director now Chief Medical Officer for 15 years. I found this community of people who live their first experience and the family experience and Ned’s encouragement, pursue what you want to do. You might actually have some knowledge or advantage through your traumatic experiences that will help you be a better doctor.

Dr. Ken Duckworth, NAMI:
That’s a long story about Ned, but it’s the crucial story of my becoming a psychiatrist because for that one day after I was humiliated at the world famous Harvard Institution down the street, I thought seriously about becoming a cardiologist.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Well I’m glad you didn’t do that Ken.

Dr. Ken Duckworth, NAMI:
I do drive a Mazda, it should be noted I could be driving a Bima, but psychiatry is my calling. I just needed one person to respond to my essay with an affirmation or at least an inquiry of, why was that important? Ned you made a big difference in my career and I shall never forget that.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Well, thank you so much and you in turn have made a huge difference in the lives of thousands if not millions of people around the country. With various kinds of mental illness, do you want to just talk a little bit about, what are some of the misconceptions in the general public that you could disabuse people of?

Dr. Ken Duckworth, NAMI:
Well I’d start with the idea that these aren’t real illnesses. Back in the day before this thing called mental health parody, I testified before Congress in multiple state houses that my dad had bipolar disorder which easily could have killed him if he didn’t receive medical care, and his medical care was the bare minimum. I had the misfortune of having cancer as a psychiatric resident and I could have been dead of course through an illness that would have killed me if I had not attended to it.

Dr. Ken Duckworth, NAMI:
I said and somehow in our society, this is in the 1990s, cancer is considered legitimate, [inaudible 00:10:11] casseroles they call you a hero. They offer to cover for you, they send you flowers. My father after his manic episodes was isolated, alone, people wouldn’t talk to us at church. Church is supposed to be theoretically nice people, who would all move away from us after a manic episode. I thought, this was a big part of my life in my 40s which was to fight for this idea of mental health parody.

Dr. Ken Duckworth, NAMI:
These conditions are real conditions. Is it true that there’s things that we don’t know about the brain that’s absolutely true? Is it true that I can’t tell you how lithium works to save people’s lives? It’s true. Might have something to do with membrane stabilization, but is it true that we don’t really know how the antipsychotics impact voices? The answer is, it’s really humbling because there’s a lot we don’t know. The fact that we don’t know a lot about the brain has nothing to do with the fact that these are real conditions.

Dr. Ken Duckworth, NAMI:
If you need to any further proof, I mean look at the evidence on suicide which has gone up steadily over the last two decades. From 1999 to 2018, we’ve had essentially a straight line of increase in suicide. At the same time we’ve had an increase in overdoes deaths too to opioids. These two illnesses together are conditions, are outcomes together are for the first time in 100 years caused a reduction in the American life expectancy.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Really? Wow!

Dr. Ken Duckworth, NAMI:
The deaths by suicide and the deaths by overdose, the French continue to smoke their brains out, drink coffee up to the max and their life span keeps expanding. This is an American problem, and it has something to do with health disparity, it has something to do with the complexity of the uninsured but it has a lot to do with the fact that mental illnesses are not fully treated. Because of our problem with opioids, we’ve seen a lot of premature death.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
When you say mental health parody, Ken, what does that mean, mental health parody?

Dr. Ken Duckworth, NAMI:
Mental health parody means your insurance company can’t give you unlimited visits to see your oncologist, which of course as a cancer patient when I was a young man, I was allowed to do anything I wanted to. I think my treatment probably cost half a million dollars, while final copay was 50 bucks. Cancer was legitimate, my illness was legitimate. Was I grateful? I’m incredibly grateful. Medical science saved my life but the insurance company at the same time would have $500 as your outpatient psychotherapy maximum.

Dr. Ken Duckworth, NAMI:
That meant I could go see an oncologist twice a week if I wanted to, but I can only see a mental health practitioner perhaps five times if they charge $100 an hour. If they had the courage to charge 250 an hour, I only had two sessions that were covered. This is the inequity that was structured into the mental health system and into health insurance.

Dr. Ken Duckworth, NAMI:
Mental health parody was a big cause celeb of mine personally and largely National Alliance on Mental Illness made this happen. The first version was 1998, Domenici and Wellstone. Domenici was a Senator from New Mexico, Wellstone a Democrat from Minnesota and they together had family members with serious mental illness. They got it, and they did version kind of 1.0 and then later on Patrick Kennedy with the affordable Care Act and all the activity after the housing collapsed 2008.

Dr. Ken Duckworth, NAMI:
This amendment was tied to it, and to make the long story short, mental health access has improved. I think a lot of people still feel that we’re not at true parody yet. That means treating them exactly the same, but I do think we’re going in the right direction.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
What percentage of families in the country have at least one member who does have a serious mental illness?

Dr. Ken Duckworth, NAMI:
The answer Ned is one in five Americans would endorse, one in five families have a person who would endorse an anxiety disorder, a depressive disorder. Another mood disorder like bipolar disorder, psychotic disorder or post-traumatic stress disorder, OCD, these are kind of the major categories. For serious mental illness the number is smaller, that’s about one in 17 people has a condition that is severely impacting their functioning. That is brain based and it involves emotion, behavior, cognition that is severely impacting their functioning. Frequently with work, relationships and their health and self-care.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Yeah. What percentage of people who could benefit from help from a mental health professional actually consult the mental health professional?

Dr. Ken Duckworth, NAMI:
That’s a good question. We think less than half of people with most mental health conditions actually get help.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Wow!

Dr. Ken Duckworth, NAMI:
Well the good news is since we’ve done this whole mental health parody thing, the number of people who are seeking help is increasing. We saw this in the pandemic. NAMI has a helpline 1-800-950-NAMI which is staffed by individuals with first person experience or family experience. Our calls went up very substantially.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Wow!

Dr. Ken Duckworth, NAMI:
The other thing which was surprising in the pandemic is the American mental health field not known for sprinting, pivoted in three days to become a teleservice. The experience of the therapists and the patients has been very positive, although not universally positive, but I think it’s a new way of delivering care that’s here to stay.

Dr. Ken Duckworth, NAMI:
The therapists were surprised that the people always show up, that the cancellation rate is low. That they don’t have that first five minutes of accession where they can read CNN online because the patient show up on time as they do for their professional meetings or other Zoom calls during the course of the day. The patients notice that it’s convenient, they get heard and they don’t have to pay for parking or fight traffic.

Dr. Ken Duckworth, NAMI:
I think that for people who don’t have a lot of privacy, it’s important to have a phone service covered so people can go into their car. If you live in a studio apartment with another person and part of your experience is to talk about that person, privacy can be a challenge. I do think there are people who are a little bit paranoid of technology. There are people for whom this isn’t an ideal setup. I think if you talk to people they’d rather see somebody like you Ned in person, but given the fact that we’re in the middle of our first pandemic in our lifetime, the rules have changed. I think the mental health field has responded.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
They’ve changed by using Zoom or some other platform, that’s one.

Dr. Ken Duckworth, NAMI:
Any platform that they’ve been using has made a difference, and it’s interesting the other fields of medicine have really struggled. How do I do ophthalmology care? How do I take care of people’s knee problems? Well, those things are very hard to do virtually but because our skillset is listening, judgment, empathy, compassion, and thoughtful reflection and potentially recommendations, that’s a skillset that’s ongoing.

Dr. Ken Duckworth, NAMI:
We can’t touch the patients. We’re not supposed to take their blood pressure. We have to be thoughtful about what we’re trying to do here in the field of medicine and it turns out mental health is an incredibly easy thing to apply to the tele space. I think that’s been a great gift.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Do you think that will continue after the pandemic is over?

Dr. Ken Duckworth, NAMI:
I do think people will want to see their therapist in person. I think they’ll want to, but now that they’ve been thrown into the deep end of the teletherapy pool, and realized they can swim pretty well, I think a lot of people are going to say, “You know, it’s an hour to drive to Sudbury,” you probably don’t charge people for parking Ned at your office.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
No.

Dr. Ken Duckworth, NAMI:
Sudbury’s not next to my house, so if I want to come see you as a professional, be an hour commitment going out, an hour commitment coming back, I’d had to pick up some apples in Concord on the way. It’s four hours round trip, so it’s a big commitment. If I could see you by pushing a button, then go back to work or engage in child care or do any other tasks that might be relevant like cooking dinner for the family, I think I might choose to do that some of the time. Some other time I just break down and make the trip.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Well, I have been taking a new supplement called OmegaBrite CBD. Listeners know that Brite is spelled, B-R-I-T-E, so it’s Omega B-R-I-T-E CBD. As I had mentioned before, OmegaBrite CBD was created by my good friend Dr. Carol Locke, graduate of Harvard Medical School and her company, OmegaBrite Wellness. They have been making the number one omega-3 supplements for the past 20 years.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Well Carol and her team decided to break new ground and having set the standard for purity, safety and efficacy in the world of omega-3s and they’ve brought that same commitment to excellence to their new CBD supplement. I take it myself, it helps me with my reactivity, my impatience. It kind of just puts a smoother edge. It’s in no way is it a buzz or a high or anything like that. It’s way more subtle, but it’s a very noticeable subtle effect and one that I have come to really appreciate as I take it every day.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
All right, get OmegaBrite CBD online at omegabritewellness.com and now Distruction listeners can save 20% on their first order by using the promo code podcast 2020. That’s podcast 2020, go to omegabritewellness.com and order OmegaBrite CBD. You’ll be glad you did just as I am.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
What about the person who’s listening now and is saying, “This living at home and this keeping social distance is starting to drive me crazy.” That’s not a mental illness but what should that person do?

Dr. Ken Duckworth, NAMI:
Well first of all I don’t think anybody likes it. Although I have one friend who’s a psychiatrist who’s a severe introvert, who seems happier. He works out of his basement, has lunch with his wife every day. I go over to his backyard every other week, we stay at 20 feet away from each other and chat. I think his quality of life has improved. Now, this speaks to how individual this all this.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
True.

Dr. Ken Duckworth, NAMI:
I of course I’m an extrovert.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Yes you are.

Dr. Ken Duckworth, NAMI:
I struggle to not see my friends. I don’t like not going down to my coffee shop at the end of my street and hanging out, and talking to the owners. The owners are hiding in their masks, it’s not a convivial environment. In fact, all the tables have been removed.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Oh gosh.

Dr. Ken Duckworth, NAMI:
You can have a standing chat for two minutes, nobody checks in about my daughter who used to work there, but there’s something lost there. I guess what I would say is isolation is hard on all of us. If you have an anxiety disorder, depressive disorder, it’s a challenge. You have to figure out, how do you stay connected with people?

Dr. Ken Duckworth, NAMI:
Connection is crucial for mental wellbeing and it doesn’t solve all problems, but through your faith group, through AA, through anomie connection, through some other vehicle. I have a Monday night meeting with four friends, we used to go out to dinner once a month and now we meet once a week. It’s fun.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
That’s wonderful.

Dr. Ken Duckworth, NAMI:
I actually look forward to it.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
That’s wonderful.

Dr. Ken Duckworth, NAMI:
I have a friend deficit disorder during the variation on the thing you study. It’s hard to be isolated.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
It is.

Dr. Ken Duckworth, NAMI:
It is weary. I will say that, I do think it’s going to be a very long haul, like I don’t think the vaccine’s going to turn up and everything’s going to be okay. I think we’re up for a pro crafted experience, so figuring out what your inventory of coping skills is. Mine happens to be connecting with friends online, family reunions of sorts online. We’re doing a memorial service for a beloved member of the family this week in New Jersey. I didn’t really want to do it but somebody really wanted to get us together.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Oh good for you.

Dr. Ken Duckworth, NAMI:
I’m driving to New Jersey and I’m going to see the family and it’s not the way I wanted to see them. I wanted to have a party and hang out and toast the family member, but what we’re going to do is have lunch under this tree where our little grave sites in Cape May, New Jersey and we’re going to have lunch. Elbow bump, and go back to our respective corners, extremely suboptimal.

Dr. Ken Duckworth, NAMI:
I have come around from opposing this idea to believing it’s probably better to make it a choice to be connected.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Oh yes.

Dr. Ken Duckworth, NAMI:
You mentioned that your family’s in North Carolina, see and they’re cousins right? There’s some risk there, but there’s a lot of benefit in the connection.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Yes. There sure is, I mean it’s essential. I mean we’ve learned social isolation is as dangerous as cigarette smoking.

Dr. Ken Duckworth, NAMI:
Yeah, it’s really not a good thing and so I really think we miss the boat when we called it social distancing. We should have called it physical distancing from the get-go. I think you’ve seen in this entire pandemic that we’ve missed several big boats. Telling people not to wear masks because we were trying to secure them from medical providers I think has confused a lot of people. Giving the impression that young people can’t really get the virus so they can feel free to party on at the beach. Again, just some young people duly noted.

Dr. Ken Duckworth, NAMI:
I think we haven’t done a very good job and by calling it social distancing, I think we missed it. The idea is we have to stay away from each other because the virus is transmitted physically. Socially you got to stay connected to your people.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Absolutely. Absolutely.

Dr. Ken Duckworth, NAMI:
You really have to because that’s an antidepressant and an antianxiety treatment.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
I call it the other vitamin C, vitamin connect.

Dr. Ken Duckworth, NAMI:
There we go, vitamin connect. It’s also good for people who have addiction vulnerabilities.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Yeah, absolutely.

Dr. Ken Duckworth, NAMI:
Connection is really important. I have a friend who’s a physician who’s in AA, and on his birthday, I checked in on him on his birthday and he said, “I had a great birthday.” I said, “What made it great?” He said, “Well, I’m here in my apartment and I have been to two AA meetings and I got a lot of love in both of them. It was new and I called them in the middle of the day.” I thought, “This man has figured something out.” He said, “I’d be at meetings anyway and it turns out the AA platform is very well suited, and it might even be better because when on a Zoom call, somebody’s speaking, you get to see their face. You’re not spacing out in the room like you might be the rest of the time.”

Dr. Ken Duckworth, NAMI:
He found something that meant something to him and this is the art of self-care. You have to find out, what is it that will help you get through this because this might be a long haul? It’s not good for people to lose their jobs, it’s not good for people to live with the anxiety of losing their jobs and coping with the anxiety of someone you love getting ill or dying. There’s a lot to cope with.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
We’re almost overtime, just coming back to irrational things and what to do to combat them, what can we do to dismantle the terrible stigma that still surrounds mental health issues?

Dr. Ken Duckworth, NAMI:
I prefer the words prejudice discrimination to the word stigma, because the word stigma itself is complication of how you think about things. What is the prejudice that you have for yourself if you were to say, “Can I join this club?” Every time a famous person comes out and says, “I have such and such a condition,”… Selena Gomez two weeks ago did a talk with NAMI’s CEO. I’ve had several chat with famous celebrities on NAMI’s Instagram page. People want to talk about their mental health conditions and so this idea I have prejudice against somebody gets broken down when you see Selena Gomez, one of the most amazing humans on the planet has said, “I think it’s okay to talk about the fact that I’ve struggled with bipolar disorder, that’s very helpful.”

Dr. Ken Duckworth, NAMI:
The related thing about the attitudes is the discrimination. This gets back to our early discussion about mental health parody. The idea that you just structure and rules that jam people who don’t have illnesses that are considered quote legitimate end quote. This is why mental health parody’s an ongoing struggle, we continue to have lawsuits and interpretations and attorney generals review it.

Dr. Ken Duckworth, NAMI:
What are the conditions under which the race is actually fair for a person with mental health condition? Can you allow yourself to seek help? Still, a challenge for many men. There was a pretty good study a little while ago, showed that the more hypertoxic, masculinity men endorsed, the more likely they were to have very bad outcomes including suicide. The idea somehow being threatened by mental health is such an unfortunate piece of our culture and I think this ordinary human experiences… My dad’s bipolar disorder, hearing voices and believing that he was Jesus wasn’t great. It is 2.7% of the population plus or minus has this condition. It’s rooted in biology. It’s treatable for the most part. It requires a lot of self-knowledge and self-care.

Dr. Ken Duckworth, NAMI:
Was it difficult? It was very difficult. Was it worse before there were things like NAMI and Selena Gomez to use two examples? Yes, it was worse. There’s a NAMI chapter in every major American city that’s doing connection groups and programming, educational work. Advocacy if you feel the service system is mistreating you or somebody you love. Well let’s fight to make it better. Mental health parody, that fight is not over. We’ve won some battles but that war is not over.

Dr. Ken Duckworth, NAMI:
I feel like there’s a place to go now if you’re struggling with this, and you will be welcomed by people who are loving and creative. A community of people who probably didn’t start their lives thinking, “I want to be identified with a condition that it does not have a high status.” Like mental health problems, mental health conditions, turns out it’s an amazing group of people and I consider it my second family. NAMI is in my will.

Dr. Ken Duckworth, NAMI:
I feel like NAMI helped to save my life by giving me a sense of purpose around these wounds I had. I feel so fortunate to have stumbled upon it, and if anybody here is listening to Ned’s podcast and lives with schizophrenia or loves someone with schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, severe post-traumatic distress, has had a suicide attempt, NAMI is a great group. It is a great group and one thing you’ll know is that people will listen to you, they won’t dismiss you. They know how hard this is, they know how much pain there is in this, and they will embrace you.

Dr. Ken Duckworth, NAMI:
I think the question about prejudice discrimination is, can you take the first step? I might be talking to your primary care doctor about the fact that you can’t sleep, you’ve lost 30 pounds, you’ve lost interest in everything. You’re thinking about giving away your possessions. That’s a classic depression, you could reach out to your primary care doctor. They prescribe most of the antidepressants in America, they help people, they might be able to refer you to somebody who does therapy. Or if you don’t want to go that route, you could start with NAMI and find a local NAMI chapter and say, “What are the resources that are out there? How can I find a path to be supported and connected while living with this particular challenge that I have?”

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
You go to nami.org, is that the website?

Dr. Ken Duckworth, NAMI:
Nami.org is where it’s at. We get millions of hits and we’ve become the dominant source of information for people in the last year. It’s been interesting to me to see that because I have tremendous respect for the other communities, NIMH, the American Psychiatric Association. More people seem to be seeking media inputs and lessons from our website, so people have come to trust NAMI and I’m grateful for that.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Well that has a lot to do with you Ken I mean because you’re the face of it and the spokesman for it. There’s no one I know who’s more convincing, believable. You’ve done such a great job.

Dr. Ken Duckworth, NAMI:
Well thank you Ned and if it wasn’t for you, I’d be practicing cardiology today, driving a BMW.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
I think also the image problem would be helped if more people talked about, it’s hard to find a very creative person who doesn’t have either an anxiety disorder, a depressive disorder, addiction, or ADHD. It’s common among those countries or common among the highly creative people amongst us.

Dr. Ken Duckworth, NAMI:
Yeah, if you want to do a treatise on this, Kay Jamison’s, Touched By Fire is the artistic temperament and mood disorders. It’s unbelievable-

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Yeah, absolutely.

Dr. Ken Duckworth, NAMI:
… how many of the artists that we would hold out as our greatest artists were clearly quote touched by fire. Maybe not with formal diagnostic schemes but she goes through their-

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
No, they were crazy as hell, I mean you know.

Dr. Ken Duckworth, NAMI:
… diaries, their writings, their observations and you’re absolutely right Ned.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Right, it’s…

Dr. Ken Duckworth, NAMI:
For many people.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Yeah, so it’s not to be ashamed at all. By the time I die I want people to wish they had ADHD because if you manage it right, it’s such an asset. It can ruin your life as well, but if listening to Ken if you’re listening and you know someone, don’t think of it as a marker of shame. Think of it as a marker of talent. I tell people overtime I don’t…

Dr. Ken Duckworth, NAMI:
Or of resilience.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Yeah.

Dr. Ken Duckworth, NAMI:
We all have to cope with something and the faiths conspired through genetics and environment and epigenetics to have you have a recurrent condition. You’re not alone with that, in fact there are millions of people who are living with these kind of things and together you can get a lot out of it.

Dr. Ken Duckworth, NAMI:
I do want to say one thing that I still quote you about whenever I’m confronted with somebody who says, “I have a young child and he was just told he had ADHD.” I said, “Ned Hallowell would say you have a BMW brain and a Chevy hand.” They said, “How did you know he can’t write?” I’m like, “Well, it’s the Chevy hand, it’s right there. All the great ideas, he’s having trouble translating it.” A few things that you’ve said Ned have really stuck with me including one you said to one of my daughters who was diagnosed with ADHD, you said, “So you have the gift?”

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Yes, exactly.

Dr. Ken Duckworth, NAMI:
It was a great moment, it was a great moment in her life because thinking about these things which have the potential to identify you as different or less than through a different lens, that there’s a possibility, there’s a potentiality inside of us.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Yeah. No, I don’t treat disabilities, I help people unwrap their gifts.

Dr. Ken Duckworth, NAMI:
That’s right.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
I think that you do the same thing. What you’re doing it’s such spectacular work. I mean it really is, it’s a wonderful thing. I’m glad that NAMI is now the leading source of information. As I said that’s thanks to Dr. Ken Duckworth.

Dr. Ken Duckworth, NAMI:
Well it’s a whole team of people, but I do think-

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Yeah, I know, I know.

Dr. Ken Duckworth, NAMI:
… people trust a consumer family experience and we also made a decision about three years ago, every research study we cite is listed on the website. If you don’t believe what we say, click on the research study and you can see that it’s only 400 people but it’s the best study there is on this topic.

Dr. Ken Duckworth, NAMI:
We make everything as transparent as possible, goes back to the antiscience discussion we’ve had, I believe in science, I believe in education. I believe that people have the capacity to learn and make decisions for themself.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Yes.

Dr. Ken Duckworth, NAMI:
If you want to see what the literature is on a specific treatment or an intervention, or on the risks or traumas that attend to certain things, it’s on the NAMI website and it’s all transparent.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Yup, nami.org, N-A-M-I.org, not .com .org. N-A-M-I.org. Well you know Ken, I could talk to you for so long, this is wonderful. You’ve brought so much and you do so much. If people listening want to learn more and want to connect, feel a part of a growing community of people who have different brains and learn how to understand them better-

Dr. Ken Duckworth, NAMI:
That’s right.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
… join a group [crosstalk 00:36:51].

Dr. Ken Duckworth, NAMI:
The other thing you might want to check out and dish to our groups is, I run a session called Ask the Expert, once a month. Where I get the leading thinkers in American mental health to talk about different topics and people who join in.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Beautiful.

Dr. Ken Duckworth, NAMI:
We run about 1,000 people per session.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Wonderful, wow!

Dr. Ken Duckworth, NAMI:
Can ask questions and we cover everything from transcranial magnetic stimulation to minority disparities in mental health.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Wow! What’s the latest on transcranial magnetic stimulation?

Dr. Ken Duckworth, NAMI:
Well I think it’s pretty well covered by private insurance.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Yes, but does it work is my question?

Dr. Ken Duckworth, NAMI:
It does have an acute indication, so if you fail on several meds, because nobody would start with an engine problem by doing a major overhaul of your engine. You would probably add oil first, check the timing of the engine. TMS does appear more invasive, but I took a three-day course at the Beth Israel Hospital in transcranial magnetic stimulation. I was impressed mostly by not the fact that when they zapped my brain it felt like a bee sting to the skull. Like I’m like, “How did they do a generic sham zap? How would you know the difference between that zap?” I was very interested in that.

Dr. Ken Duckworth, NAMI:
I talked to the techs instead of listening to only the professionals and I [inaudible 00:38:18] about five of the techs. I said to them, “What do people say when they say our show rate is 95%?” I thought, “Okay, that’s telling me something, people feel they’re getting a benefit.” My understanding of literature Ned, is the maintenance use of TMS has not really been well established. I don’t think there’s really a research base for that and I don’t think it’s well established for bipolar disorder or psychosis.

Dr. Ken Duckworth, NAMI:
That would just be an example of a discussion, that if you have depression and the other interventions haven’t worked, there is some evidence there that this could be helpful to you. The side effects are apparently quite mild in terms of a headache or something like that. People show up at very high levels and it makes a different for people.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Well, wonderful, wonderful, wonderful. You are a living saint and can’t thank you enough for taking time out of your amazingly busy schedule to join us. Listeners go to nami.org, N-A-M-I.org or go to Ken’s Ask the Expert, happens once a month. Join a chapter, get involved, suddenly you will feel so much less alone and so much more accepted. You’ll learn, you’ll gain knowledge which is power in and of itself.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Thank you all for joining us, so much thank you especially Ken. As I say, learn more go to nami.org and don’t forget, please reach out to us with your questions, comments and show ideas. We need them, we live off of them, we use them, and we produce them. Send an email or a voicemail to [email protected], that’s [email protected]

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Distruction is created by Sounds Great Media. Our recording engineer and editor is the estimable Scott Persson and our producer is the always vivacious and brilliant Sarah Guertin. I am your host Dr. Ned Hallowell saying goodbye for now.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
The episode you just heard was sponsored by OmegaBrite CBD, formulated by OmegaBrite Wellness, creators of the number one omega-3 supplements for the past 20 years. OmegaBrite CBD, safe, third party tested and it works. Shop online at omegabritewellness.com.

Share: