Insightful CompassionateLove Radio Recordings
19 audio interviews of people who live with Mental Illness, Addiction, Depression, Anxiety, Suicide Attempts, Eating Disorders, Domestic Abuse, Bipolar Disorder, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, and Self-injurious Behavior.
Also a look at Equine Therapy, Homelessness, Parenting a Child with Special Needs, Growing Up with a Mentally Ill Parent, and a Thanksgiving Special: God Does Not Waste Pain On Us.
Show #19 – Major Depression Recurrent and Suicide Attempts
Your host Nancy Virden has struggled with Major Depression all her life. Her earliest memories of what may have been diagnosable depression are from preschool. Gross emotional neglect and domestic violence clouded her family of origin. Married at 20, she discovered that romance is not a cure for life’s ills.
Suicide and self-loathing were part of her thinking off and on for decades. Then at the age of 49, despair and hopelessness led her to a final decision to end her life. She was forced to look into her deeply held false beliefs, and consider a new, nearly unrecognizable worldview.
Once able to recognize what she had always denied, Nancy entered into recovery from a 40-year eating disorder and food addiction. Her story is one of regretful history, but much more importantly, of a brand new start. Available December 27, 2016.
Show #18 Untreated Depression
Jessica’s mother died by suicide when Jessica was only two years old. Her father and his new wife were hands-off parents and Jessica grew up feeling alone and unloved. Depression and rape led her to counseling where she felt her needs went largely unaddressed.
Emotionally starved, she looked for meaning in people who consistently let her down. That is, until she met a special aunt who led her to the love of her life. In times of isolation and ongoing depression, she has found the most helpful support has come from family, friends, and faith.
Jessica does not take medication for her depression, and has participated in very litte traditional therapy. She believes what she describes as “mild depression” is under control. This show is no condemnation of using professional treatment! There is however, a look at another source of promise. Available December 20, 2016.
Show # 17 – Living With A Parent Who Has a Mental Illness
Author and host of The Timo Show, Tim Olsen was a teenager when he found himself the sole caretaker for his dad who was struggling with serious mental illness. Neither of them understood what was happening, and their relationship suffered. Tim found himself not even wanting to go home many nights.
He watched his family disintegrate from normal, to divorce, his dad’s rejection, and finally to the death of both parents by the age of 24. He has been left with questions, and no one to ask. His own bout with major depression granted him some understanding, and he presses forward to inspire others.
Tim’s book is titled, “Growing Up Nobody”. Listen thoughtfully to this interview because his insights into difficulty, normalcy, and faith will raise your spirit. Available December 13, 2016
Show # 16 – Mental Illness and Homelessness
Mike saw what most of us do, nothing. He missed the persons hidden in plain sight, those men, women and families who survive without housing. Then one day he did see, and began doing what he can to help.
Mike shares with us insights he has gained in encounters with homeless people. Some struggle with mental illness and against multiple barriers to receiving treatment. Untreated mental illnesses are often debilitating, defeating, and potentially fatal. They prevent an otherwise capable worker from holding a job.
A wall of stigma-induced isolation blocks medications, health, and hope from those who need them most. Listen to learn how an upcoming solution is faring in cities across the nation. Available December 6, 2016.
Show #15 – Anxiety/Obsessive Compulsive Disorder
Angela does not only worry. She is not cured with positive thinking. Her thoughts capture her mind and refuse to let go. Some days she functions well and one would never know her struggle. Other days, and weeks, she has to cancel her schedule.
The overbearing internal pressure of anxiety pushes Angela toward an extreme attempt at relief. Depression steals her desire to exist. Is joy a choice? One thing is for certain, Angela is never alone in this fight.
Tune in November 29, 2016 for an enlightening and inspiring story of love, support, and freedom found in grace.
Show #14 Thanksgiving Special: God Does Not Waste Pain On Us
16 voices join in giving thanks for suffering. How can mental illness, abuse, addiction, multiple suicide attempts, or extreme pain of any kind be…blessings?
Miracles exist every day in the lives of people who survive the darkness, and emerge with a new song. There is much to learn in the pit, and much more to share in the light. Eventually we may wholeheartedly say, “Thank You God, for my sufferings.”
Listen to many people of all walks of life share what may be the not-so-secret key to life and happiness. Available November 22, 2016
Show #13 Domestic Abuse
Play the chant backward and you might hear Jeanette’s tale: baby in the baby carriage, marriage, then unending love from a source she never expected.
Her boyfriend-turned-husband cheated, convinced her to submit to sexual abuse in the name of religion, and nearly took her life. This marriage from hell almost destroyed her. Her confusion compounded with wrong and ineffective advice from people in and outside of her church. She was not believed. She was blamed, and expected to change her ways to make this dangerous union work.
Listen as the new Jeanette describes a lifetime of abuse, the damage to her soul, and the healing power of God’s Word. You will learn and feel, and perhaps change forever your view of marriage and Christian duty. Available November 15, 2016
Show #12 – Addiction Part Two
WARNING: Drug references
TRIGGER WARNING: Descriptions of behavior and addict thought processes; drugs are named
From thinking only about the next fix, to learning how to balance the needs of others with self-care, Tina’s dynamic story continues in part two of her interview. She openly discusses regretful decisions, her family’s pain, and her baby daughter. Tina’s responses to “what would you change in the past if you could?” and “what will you change now?” are touching and eye-opening.
Her struggle raises questions about faith. Her triumphs are fragile. Tina talks about suicidal thoughts, the mindset of an addict, and her plans for the future as a drug counselor. In the end, she shares a passionate plea to addicts and their families.
Join Tina and I as we reveal hard and hopeful realities in the life of one who is overcoming drug addiction. Available November 8, 2016.
Show #11 – Addiction Part One
WARNING: Explicit drug references! This is not a show for children! TRIGGER WARNING: Descriptions of behavior and addict thought processes; drugs are named
Addicted to Benzos (Benzodiazepines) by age fifteen, Tina’s life continued to spiral out of control. A diagnosis, a questionable doctor, and Borderline Personality Disorder all played a role in Tina’s destructive choices. Tina abused other drugs, drank excessively, smoked pot, and earned a DUI (driving under the influence) charge with its subsequent random drug tests.
That’s when Tina discovered a new drug, one she hoped would keep her out of trouble with the law. She has watched while the use of this dangerous substance has taken its toll on her family, her daughter, and her health. Yet the call to “the fix” is cunning and powerful.
Part one of Tina’s story is raw and scary. Listen with an open heart and wisdom. Available November 1, 2016.
Show #10 – Equine Therapy and Emotional Freedom
Susan adored her best friend Artie. In a way, they grew up together. Artie was a foal that Susan raised, trained, and cared for in her high school years, even saving his life at one point. They spent countless hours together.
One day, Artie was gone, taken away with callous disregard for the bond between Susan and her horse. Susan was in anguish. The emotional repercussions touched decades of her life. Ironically enough, it was horses that restored her to freedom.
Listen as Susan tells of the healing power of these enormous creatures, her work with equine therapy, and her greatest joy. This story will grab your heart, and offer hope in a way that perhaps you’ve not considered. Available October 25, 2016.
Show #9 Parenting a Special Needs Child/Down Syndrome
18 years-old, single, and Jeanette Brinkley receives news that there is something different about her newborn baby. Little Cedric was whisked away immediately after birth, and as Jeanette waited to hold him, she saw young doctors poking and prodding her son.
Two days passed, and she was finally told Cedric has Down Syndrome. She wishes she could have known then what she knows now – that Cedric would develop into a happy, self-sufficient 17 year-old.
Developmental issues such as Down Syndrome are not classified as mental illnesses. However, as with mental illness, stigma is alive and well in the world of special needs. This mother and son story will challenge and appall you, as genuine love is proven once again the answer to hate. Available October 18, 2016
Show # 8 Bipolar Disorder I /Anxiety – Part Two
This week, in part two of Justin’s story, he reveals what happened after he was stranded, manic beyond extreme, miles from home without a ride and with $5 to his name. What (or who) saved his life? He also shares the devastating story of losing two friends to suicide, and the anguish that continues.
Justin’s story includes a candid discussion on medication for mental illness, the pain of stigma, and the threat of Bipolar depression. His closing words are life to those who will listen and respond.
This finale to Justin’s two interviews exposes harsh and hopeful reality. With mental illness, the fight is never over but is won every day. Available October 11, 2016
Show #7 Bipolar Disorder/Anxiety -Part One
Running nonstop in sandals, circling the block for hours and feeling no pain, Justin was in full-blown manic state. He scared his friends by not eating or sleeping, and by losing 29 pounds in only three weeks. He was “amped” in his own words, and consequences were harsh.
Diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder at the age of fifteen, Justin slowly came to grips with his responsibility to manage his disease. Now married and steadily working, he enjoys life and is deeply grateful for those who have invested in his wellbeing.
Listen as Justin shares his heart over 2 consecutive CompassionateLove Radio shows. His is a tumultuous, scary, honest, hopeful, and touching story of living with Bipolar Disorder I. Part One will be available on Wednesday, October 5, 2016
Show #6 Depression/Anxiety
Melyssa’s path to mental health is different than that of many. Her experiences with medications, shorter-term therapy, and mental healthcare support are evidence that treatment for mental illness is not a one-size-fits-all formula.
Depression and anxiety are closely tied, and in Melyssa’s words, “feed off each other.” Her struggles with each have become matters of strategy. Her joy is maintained through daily choices that most people do not have to make on such a regular basis.
Tune in Wednesday September 28, 2016 and discover the value Melyssa finds in practicing what works for her for managing her psychological challenges.
Show #5 Alcoholism/Drug Addiction
Dave was not a teenager flirting with immaturity and peer pressure. He was a 30-something father of two when he tried crack cocaine for the first time. Why would any self-respecting family man make such a decision?
Drug and alcohol addictions’ complexities and the mindset that comes with them is apparent in Dave’s emotional telling of his story. However, Dave is not choking-up over regret. His tears are for the found hope and second chances he received from a special boss, his family, and his God.
Experience a sneak-peek into addiction, the heart of a man in recovery, and what can happen when hopelessness meets love. This show will be available on September 21.
Show #4 Overdose Suicide Attempts/Eating Disorder
(postponed from August 31 due to technical difficulties)
Milena is a beautiful young woman with a powerful story to tell. From living in an orphanage to adoring a loving grandmother to life falling apart after her grandmother’s death, Milena’s difficulties triggered an underlying disease of depression. Her life has followed a path of self-harming behaviors, a diagnosis of EDNOS (Eating Disorder Not Otherwise Specified), and multiple hospital and treatment center admissions.
Milena almost died. Yet she offers hope with passion, and makes a promise no one can deny.
Listen as Milena shares with us her struggle, how she found treatment, and where she is in her recovery process. This interview is an emotional and eye-opening experience! September 14, 2016.
Show # 3 Anorexia Nervosa
Jena grew up in a home that loudly and regularly sent her the message that she is not enough, or is too much. From the ripe-old-age of three, Jena began to hate her body. She believed that “to have a body was to hate your body.”
Anorexia is self-induced starvation. It can involve not eating, excessive exercise, and misuse of diuretics such as laxatives. For a person with anorexia, the mirror tells lies. While others may see a gaunt, sick, and starving person, when someone with this eating disorder looks at her reflection, she sees fat or the body she used to have.
People intervened in Jena’s life and she began to discover reality. Through therapy she became free to be herself, and to live a life of purpose and joy. She tells her fascinating story eloquently. Listen in on September 7, 2016.
Show #2: Abuse /Self-injurious behaviors
Janelle found herself in a difficult and overwhelming situation when she left one abusive relationship only to end up in another. Also, her beloved dad had passed away.
She turned to a baffling coping mechanism called self-injury (or self-harm). She regularly cut and burned herself on purpose. She ended up in Timberline Knolls Rehabilitation Treatment Center to face this and other psychological issues.
Recovery was not easy or simple. However, some loving women came alongside Janelle and taught her to know the One person who can love her unconditionally.
Listen as Janelle, who now calls herself Grace, tells us when her life changed, how she knows joy, and why she changed her name. Wednesday August 31, 2016, tune in to meet Grace and find hope.
Show # 1: Domestic Abuse/Rape
(Audio under repair)
Danita is a survivor of marital rape.
Her oh-so-charming, suit-wearin’ and church attendin’ husband had for years secretly undermined his wife by practicing what is best known as “gaslighting.” Gaslighting is a confounding behavior that leaves spouses and significant others questioning their own judgment, intelligence, and value. Gaslighting occurs when an abuser purposely creates confusing or negative scenarios to confuse the intended victim, thus setting up an opportunity to ridicule, blame, lie, or appear the hero. As in all abuse, gaslighting is about power and control.
Danita never suspected he would resort to physical harm. One of the lesser understood characteristics of abuse is that it progresses. Danita’s husband’s obsession with power and control over his wife turned into violence and violation. Now Danita is eager to confront the stigma that helps keep women like her in the shadows.
Wednesday August 24, 2016, as the first guest on CompassionateLove Radio, Danita will openly share her story with the world. You do not want to miss it!
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NOTE: I am not a doctor or mental health professional. I speak only from personal experiences with and observations of mental illness. In no way is this website intended to substitute for professional mental health care.
If you are struggling emotionally today or feeling suicidal, or concerned about someone who is, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-TALK (8255). Hope and help is yours.