Let me begin this episode by saying I am NOT clinically trained in mental health or any other medical discipline and this episode is in no way designed to provide diagnosis in any way shape or form. What I am trained in is mental health work, non-clinical. This was my job for about 15 years. It involved supporting people with mental health conditions to reintegrate into society following stabilisation of their conditions. So this episode is based upon that experience and the published records of others who have been diagnosed by professionals. Podcasting is not a cure for schizophrenia, bipolar or personality disorders. It can, in some circumstances, assist with depression and anxiety. All that being said, let’s get to it.
Anxiety & Depression
Anxiety and depression are the two leading mental health issues in the world today according to the World Health Organisation. Depression centres around the past, anxiety, the future. Some things that have helped others in their recovery is the building of a routine and a purpose in their lives.
Podcasting requires a routine and definitely provides a purpose. The self imposed requirement to publish episodes with regularity is a great way to put some routine into life. Getting your message out through a podcast can be a purpose defining activity. Being able to provide service/value to others, even others we will never meet, is also good for developing a purpose.
As I’ve mentioned in previous episodes, Libsyn, the podcast hosting company put out a series of episodes back in 2015 under the show name: Thanks, Podcasting. There’s 64 odd episodes in the series and they cover any number of reasons to be thankful for the medium. There are several that focus on how producing a show helped with mental health recovery.
Episode 62 Keeping The Anxiety at Bay is a good example and well worth a listen, link in the show notes.
Let’s look at how this could work.
A weekly show, delivered in 4, 10 episode seasons a year would allow plenty of time for planning for each season. Once the show name and focus have been chosen, the planning becomes easier.
Now the week to week workflow is where podcasting shines. A self imposed deadline, episode to be published at 0900 on Monday morning each week for the season, creates a reason to jump into the process starting at 0905 every Monday morning after publication.
A script to be written, especially if it’s a solo show, meeting times to be organised with co-hosts or guests if that style of show is the choice and so on creates a structure to the week. Four or five days to plan, write, prepare and, say, a Saturday afternoon recording session. This leaves Sunday to edit, process and publish with a 0900 Monday morning release.
And then the process restarts. Now this is a fairly standard workflow for any show but the built in structure has mental health benefits. The three week rest between seasons allows for reassessment of the process and a possibility to get ahead of the schedule in case life intervenes with things like chest infections, family crises and such.
And these things happen. For the first time ever in my life, two months into starting my first show, I came down with laryngitis. I had a “spare” episode in the can to cover that week but what the??? I was able to continue with every other part of the process other than the recording so that the following week I was able to carry on.
Podcasting has become an important part of the structure of my life, surprisingly giving comfort and structure through some rough times that would have been more difficult without the ballast podcasting provided.
The point is, podcasting can provide a settled routine part of a person’s life, a consistency around which they can anchor their lives as the storms of life buffet them.
During the inter season breaks, your published episodes provide a record of progress. The episodes are live, people are listening, you are making a difference. So what if you only reach 20-50 people an episode in the beginning? Imagine these people turning up to the lecture room at your local library every week to hear you speaking to them. That’s an impressive thing.
Remember, this episode is not a form of diagnosis, counselling or medical advice in any way, shape or form. If you think you might require help, speak to a medical professional. Please get whatever help you need, you are needed in this world.
All that said, if you are ready to jump into the wonderful world of podcasting, JMPS will be offering a “How to Podcast” course based on 1000s of episodes, nearly a decade of hard won experience and predicated on 40 years of meditation practice which might not seem related but it is. Through the meditation practice, I’ve learned to discern the necessary from the superfluous. The Course, as it’s coming together, will cover just what you need to enter the medium and nothing you don’t. I’m looking at a Cyber Monday launch date. If you’re interested, drop me a line at email@example.com or through my Linkedin profile, both are located in the show notes for this episode.
The next episode, #13 in Season 9 is entitled: “Amplifying Your Passion!”
If you’ve found some value in this episode, please tell a friend who might be interested. This really is the best way you can help this show spread the word and such referrals are deeply appreciated, thanks.
In show links: Thanks, Podcasting: https://podcasts.apple.com/au/podcast/thanks-podcasting-a-collective-podcast-about-the/id1061755960