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The Psych Central Show Podcast

The Psych Central Show

Hosted by Gabe Howard & Vincent M. Wales

The Psych Central Show is an award-winning, weekly podcast that approaches psychology and mental health in a casual and accessible fashion. Listen as our hosts speak candidly with experts to break down complex topics in simple and understandable ways.

The Psych Central Show is hosted by Associate Editor Gabe Howard and Vincent M. Wales. Learn more about them here.


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Episodes of the Psych Central Show

General

Podcast: Talking with Suicide Documentary Director Lisa Klein



In this episode of the Psych Central Show, hosts Gabe Howard and Vincent M. Wales talk with Lisa Klein, director of the powerful documentary about suicide, The S Word. Suicide is the tenth leading cause of death in the United States. Nearly everyone has lost someone to suicide, whether a family member, friend, coworker, etc. Despite this, we don’t talk about it enough. In this episode, the director speaks of why she chose to make this film and how it affected her personally. Additionally, she talks about some of the stories that didn’t make it into the movie, the diverse perspectives featured, and more.



Friends

Podcast: Why Is It Hard for Adults to Make Friends?

In this episode of the Psych Central Show, hosts Gabe Howard and Vincent M. Wales talk about friendship. Specifically, why we find it so much more difficult to make friends as adults than when we were young. Among the points covered is the fact that not everyone has the same definition of “friend.” Also discussed are the various pools of people available to us as friends and the ways in which we meet them. Most pertinent, though, is the major difference in how children and adults tend to determine who is worthy of being a friend. (Hint: kids might have a better grasp on it.)


General

Podcast: Is Marijuana Effective for Treating Mental Illness?

In this episode of the Psych Central Show, hosts Gabe Howard and Vincent M. Wales welcome Psych Central CEO and founder Dr. John Grohol to discuss marijuana and its potential benefits for treating various types of mental illnesses, from major depression to bipolar disorder. Dr. Grohol explains why there has been so little research in this field and why it will be quite some time before a significant body of data is accumulated. Also discussed is the question of why many people seem to believe cannabis is a “miracle drug,” and which age group should be most careful about the use of marijuana (or any mind-altering substance).


General

Podcast: Surviving Christmas (and Other Gatherings)

In this episode of the Psych Central Show, hosts Gabe Howard and Vincent M. Wales tackle Christmas. Specifically, how to survive it. For all the wonderful aspects of holidays, they are not without stressful aspects, especially for people who live with anxiety or depression. In this podcast, you’ll learn about some specific triggers that can make the holidays stressful, and how to mitigate or even avoid them. Such triggers include being alone over the holiday, false expectations we seem to have, toxic people, and the stress that comes along with our bank statements. Listen in to hear some helpful suggestions, and have a safe and happy holiday season.


General

Podcast: What’s Online Counseling Really Like?

In this episode of the Psych Central Show, hosts Gabe Howard and Vincent M. Wales discuss online counseling. Joining them is Haesue Jo of BetterHelp.com, which offers online counseling and is also the sponsor of The Psych Central Show.

In addition to answering specific questions about Better Help, the conversation discusses how online counseling differs from in-person therapy, what types of issues are (and are not) good fits for this type of counseling, and what someone can expect from this kind of service. Also discussed is why some people are still skeptical of online therapy (or other types of virtual medical services) and why they shouldn’t be. 



Bipolar

Podcast: Bipolar Advocate Jessie – More Than Just Glenn Close’s Sister

In this episode of the Psych Central Show, hosts Gabe Howard and Vincent M. Wales welcome Jessie Close, sister of acclaimed actress Glenn Close.

Jessie shares the story of her son’s diagnosis of schizoaffective disorder, followed by her own diagnosis of bipolar disorder. Spurred by a desire to make people more aware of the stigma surrounding mental illness, Jessie reached out to Glenn for help.

The result was the founding of Bring Change to Mind, a nonprofit organization dedicated to encouraging dialogue about mental health, and to raising awareness, understanding, and empathy.

Jessie tells of the making of the incredible public service announcement, directed by Ron Howard, and featuring Glenn, Jessie, and Jessie’s son, Calen.



General

Podcast: Rachel Star: Stunt Girl, Schizophrenia Advocate


In this episode of the Psych Central Show, hosts Gabe Howard and Vincent M. Wales welcome as their guest, Rachel Star, a stunt girl and YouTube sensation who lives with schizophrenia. Rachel had schizophrenia as a child but was not diagnosed until her early twenties. She describes what it was like as a child and the moment she realized that the things she saw weren’t seen by others. Later in life, as an early adopter of online media, she began posting videos of herself doing outlandish things. The videos became quite popular, even being studied in classes at universities! And yes, she talks about being set on fire.


General

Podcast: Do We Buy the Idea of ‘Retail Therapy’?


In this episode of the Psych Central Show, hosts Gabe Howard and Vincent M. Wales discuss the pros and cons on “retail therapy,” the practice of shopping solely for the purpose of making ourselves feel better. They discuss the many benefits of such purchases, while also warning of the dangers of “comfort purchases.” Gabe warns especially of such purchases when in the manic phase of disorder, leading to hyperspending. Each of them share personal stories of their own purchases, both large and (comparatively) small. Other items discussed are oniomania, why we feel a “need” for retail therapy, window shopping, and some unexpected fringe benefits of retail therapy.


Ethics & Morality

Podcast: Gabe & Vin (Probably) Rule the World

In this episode of the Psych Central Show, hosts Gabe Howard and Vincent M. Wales, inspired by the TV show, Kevin Probably Saves the World, discuss how exactly one would go about choosing a small number of people to help them rule the world. They discuss many of the different factors that should be considered when choosing the composition of a group, including the balance between the sexes, races, ideology, skill sets, and more. It also touches on nepotism, cronyism, and other personal biases, and examines the ways in which we come to agreements and reach decisions as a group. 


General

Podcast: Help! My Coworker Is a Narcissist!


In this episode of the Psych Central Show, hosts Gabe Howard and Vincent M. Wales welcome back Dr. Ramani Durvasula to discuss narcissism… this time, in the workplace. Everyone believes they’ve got a narcissist as a coworker and, often, they’re correct. In this episode, you’ll learn how to tell if your coworker is a narcissist, how common this is (especially among executives), and how to handle them, even if it’s your boss. You’ll learn about gaslighting and the link between narcissism and low self-esteem. Dr. Ramani also warns what can happen to a person who remains in the sort of toxic workplace environment created by narcissists.


General

Podcast: What Toll Does Texting Take on Us?

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In this episode of the Psych Central Show, hosts Gabe Howard and Vincent M. Wales welcome Dr. Lori Russell-Chapin, who shares her experiences working in the field of neurofeedback. Specifically, she speaks on how technology – especially the intense use of handheld technology such as texting on smartphones – is affecting our brains. Dr. Russell-Chapin describes the differences that can be seen in the brain waves of a heavy texter as opposed to a “normal” baseline brain, how we seem to be losing our paralinguistic abilities, and offers insight to ways in which we can achieve a better balance in our lives by changing the way in which we use such technology.


Depression

Podcast: A Graphic (Novel) Twist on the Personal Recovery Story


In this episode of the Psych Central Show, hosts Gabe Howard and Vincent M. Wales welcome guest Brent Williams, author of Out of the Woods, a graphic novel that tells the story of his battle with depression. Williams, a human rights attorney in New Zealand, “hit a wall” that derailed his life. It took years for him to understand that depression was the cause and what he needed to do about it. He speaks of how journaling was a great help to him in the recovery process and how it led to the idea of doing a graphic novel. He also speaks of how his battle with cancer was “a breeze” compared to fighting depression.


General

Podcast: Why Do People Believe Conspiracy Theories?


In this episode of the Psych Central Show, hosts Gabe Howard and Vincent M. Wales discuss conspiracy theories with guest John M. Grohol, Psy.D., founder and CEO of Psych Central.com.


Dr. Grohol explains what exactly is meant by “conspiracy theory” and where the theories come from. Discussion includes questions of whether conspiracy theories are ways for people to rationalize why horrific tragedies occur; if they are based on distrust of authority figures; and if those who believe them are just attention-seekers. Ultimately, the question is raised of how to respond to them.

Can we convince theorists that they’re wrong and, if so, how do we do it?


General

Podcast: What’s It Really Like Being in a Psych Hospital?


In this episode of the Psych Central Show, hosts Gabe Howard and Vincent M. Wales discuss the myths and realities of being admitted to an inpatient psychiatric hospital. Gabe shares his personal experience of voluntarily entering a psychiatric hospital when he was suicidal. He tells of how his expectations of the situation differed from what he actually experienced. He shares what he found to be the most frightening aspects of his stay, as well as how he passed the time while there. He shares how his family reacted to his admission to the psychiatric hospital, and the aspect to the stay that he describes as “life-altering.”


General

Podcast: The Challenges of Returning to Work After Mental Illness


In this episode of the Psych Central Show, hosts Gabe Howard and Vincent M. Wales discuss the challenges of returning to the workplace after being out for an extended amount of time, such as while recovering from mental illness. Gabe shares his first-hand experience of returning to work after four years, including the difficulties he faced, the resources he relied on, and what he wished he’d done differently. Also discussed are workplace discrimination, advocating for yourself, and the question of whether or not you should disclose your mental illness to your coworkers (and if so, to whom and when).


General

Podcast: How Has Mental Health Advocacy Changed?


In this episode of the Psych Central Show, hosts Gabe Howard and Vincent M. Wales welcome Andy Behrman, veteran mental health speaker, writer, and advocate who is the author of Electroboy: A Memoir of Mania. Andy shares his views on how mental health advocacy has changed over the past fifteen years and the ways in which our views of stigma have evolved. He also shares the story of his interview with noted actor and bipolar advocate Stephen Fry, his ideas on how to help fund advocacy groups, and his experiences with electroconvulsive therapy and memory loss. And, yes, he tells us how he got the nickname of "Electroboy." 


Anger

Podcast: What’s the REAL Link Between Anger and Violence?

In this episode of the Psych Central Show, hosts Gabe Howard and Vincent M. Wales discuss mental illness and violence. More specifically, they address the real culprit behind the vast majority of violence: anger. Their discussion dispels the myth that anger is an unhealthy emotion, teaches ways to express anger in a healthy fashion, and addresses the widely held belief that most mentally ill people are violent (and why people hold this belief). The discussion also covers the real factor in predicting whether someone might become violent and ends with suggestions on ways anyone can learn how to get control of anger in their lives.


Depression

Podcast: What Does Postpartum Depression Feel Like?

In this episode of the Psych Central Show, hosts Gabe Howard and Vincent M. Wales speak with guest Christine Hammond, a licensed mental health counselor who has also suffered from postpartum depression in two of her three pregnancies. She shares her story of why neither she nor her husband recognize postpartum depression in the first pregnancy, how it appeared rapidly during the second pregnancy, and the fears they both had that it would occur in the third pregnancy. Christine also speaks of the shame carried by and stigma against mothers dealing with it, as well as postpartum depression’s biggest lie.


Agitation

Podcast: How Can You Calm an Agitated Person?

In this episode of the Psych Central Show, hosts Gabe Howard and Vincent M. Wales speak with guest Dr. Scott Zeller, renowned psychiatric emergency services physician and expert on agitation. Dr. Zeller explains exactly what agitation means, in the medical setting, and how it differs from other states, such as violence. He dispels a few myths about agitation, and explains how the use of physical restraints and sedation are the wrong approach in almost all situations. Most importantly, he speaks on how common agitation is, even outside the medical setting, and how anyone can learn to de-escalate the emotions of someone in a state of agitation.


Binge Eating

Podcast: What Does Binge Eating Disorder Feel Like?

In this episode of the Psych Central Show, hosts Gabe Howard and Vincent M. Wales discuss Binge Eating Disorder. At his heaviest, Gabe weighed 550 pounds. He describes in detail how he went from a “normal-sized” guy to being morbidly obese, his return to being “normal-sized,” and addresses the question of whether he was, in fact, addicted to food. During the second half of the show, our hosts welcome Lisa, a woman who was with Gabe during this period of his life. She shares her experience of what it was like being with someone with binge eating disorder and how he finally confronted it.