Today I have a very special treat As we have two guests on the show. First, we have Sarah Fay who is an award winning author and mental health advocate working to improve how we think and talk about our mental health by moving the conversation away from simplistic diagnoses and toward a deeper understanding of our mental and emotional lives. Her personal experience of being diagnosed with six different mental health disorders and finding no relief led her to investigate the diagnoses that we receive and to write her journalistic memoir, Pathological: The True Story of Six Misdiagnoses, which apple book shows as one of the best books in March.

Joining her to unpack a lot of this and more is Dr. Thomas Insel who’s a psychiatrist and neuroscientist who has been a national leader in mental health research, policy, and technology. From 2002 to 2015, Dr. Insel served as director of the National Institute of Mental Health.   

We talk about why diagnoses and symptoms shouldn’t be the focus in treating our mental health, how we should work on ourselves first and allow healing, why we should not allow what we are growing through to define our identity, and so much more! 

Thanks to this episode’s sponsor:

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What to Listen For:

  • 00:00 Intro
  • 02:04 Almost in any measure of public health, we suck
  • 05:36 What is DSM (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual)?
  • 08:56 Unconsciously becoming anorexic
  • 14:34 “The focus was on my symptoms, not on my life.”
  • 17:58 Identifying with your diagnosis
  • 21:59 “I was never given a future.”
  • 25:37 We have to disguise illness from identity
  • 30:24 Is it just a collection of symptoms?
  • 34:34 Prescriptions aren’t necessarily the answer
  • 38:42 Two steps to restoring mental health
  • 42:27 The metaphor of a broken leg
  • 47:08 Getting therapy out of helping others
  • 49:23 The correlation of our physical and mental health
  • 55:24 Finding out mental health diagnoses are invalid
  • 59:03 When healing doesn’t feel like punishment anymore
  • 01:02:16 Everything we need is hiding in plain sight 

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