Break The Stigma with Michelle Lauren of the Fucking Depression Podcast

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Do you sometimes feel like your broken inside?

This can be the question that many people who are suffering from depression feel.  Depression and suicide are extensive issues globally, and given the recent challenges 2020 has presented us, it has been on the rise. 

Lauren Michelle is the founder and host of the Fck Depression podcast who aims to help break the stigma related to mental health and help people feel ok reaching out and asking for help. 

Key Topics:
  • What is the connection to depression that this podcast became her mission (2:07)
  • What made podcasting the right medium to tackle depression (3:49)
  • What was the biggest hurdle in launching a podcast (6:00)
  • How has the podcast become a form of therapy (7:24)
  • How did she first find an audience for the podcast (8:22)
  • What is Fck Depression doing to grow the podcast (8:47)
  • Why did Lauren pick American Society for Suicide Prevention as her charity of choice (9:23)
  • What is her advice to new podcasters just getting started (12:40)

 

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline

Hours: Available 24 hours. Languages: English, Spanish. Learn more

1-800-273-8255

https://suicidepreventionlifeline.org/

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00:00:02.350
Hi and welcome to Cause Bonds, I’m your host, Mathew Passy here because Bonds, we have one simple mission to highlight the amazing folks who are using podcast as a way to raise awareness for good causes and make the world a better place, whether it’s in their own local community or they’re taking on global issues.

00:00:20.620
Please visit us at calls. Pontes thought we can learn about our guests, show their favorite charitable cause. Join our Facebook group of resources for cause based podcasters and find a link where you yourself could be a guest here on Cosmos. Again, that’s all that cause pods dog.

00:00:40.040
Hey, everyone, really excited for our guest for tonight’s show, but before we get started, I want to let you know the name of this show is explicit in nature. We agree with the sentiment. We agree with the message of the name of the show. But it is a four letter word. So if you are listening to the show with children or if curse words offend you, this might not be the best episode to listen to. However, if you can look past that and enjoy a really smart, intelligent conversation on mental health, mental health issues and the stigma around it, I would encourage you to stick around and not let the name of the show bother you.

00:01:14.180
So with that being said, we are very excited to be taking down to Austin, Texas tonight where we are chatting with Lauren Michel. She is the host and creator of the Fuck Depression podcast. Yes, you heard that correctly.

00:01:28.430
That was the four letter word we were talking about earlier and more about it at F.C. Kay Depression podcast will have a link to the show in the show notes as well as I cause Bob’s blog. Lauren, thank you so much for joining us here on Cosmos that I well, thank you Mathew so much for having me.

00:01:43.130
I’m so excited to be on your show and talk about fake depression.

00:01:50.130
Amen to that. And I’m assuming that one of the reasons why you decided to do a show like this is because either you, yourself or someone you love is dealing with and struggling with mental health issues. So if you don’t mind, like, take us back a little bit, where does your connection to mental health issues come from? Absolutely.

00:02:12.140
So I’ve been struggling with mental health issues probably as long as I can remember. But I wasn’t diagnosed until I was 25. I was diagnosed with major depressive disorder and major anxiety distress. Since then, I’ve been in treatment and therapy on medications. And one of the things that kept me from going to get help for so long was because growing up. There was such a stigma around it, such a people made it seem like such a big deal if you had mental health or if you went to therapy, it was like this big, scary thing.

00:02:53.360
And what I realized when I started getting into treatment and talking to people openly about it is that it’s so much more common and it’s so much more manageable than people realize. When you say it’s always been stigmatized, is that was that in your family, was that in your community? Do you think that’s just society at large? Is it a little bit of everything?

00:03:19.250
I think it’s a little bit of everything for me. My family definitely it was stigmatized, still kind of s and also the community that I grew up in. I grew up in a religious community, and that was kind of a a touchy subject with them.

00:03:36.090
I can imagine it might come up that way in many situations.

00:03:40.970
So with your relationship to mental health and with your, you know, ongoing taking control of what you’re doing, what made you want to get into podcasting to talk about it?

00:03:53.840
It actually started with a meetup group, meetup dot com. And I started a group because I couldn’t find one to talk about issues with people. And I thought I was going to start this meetup group and I was going to reach maybe a hundred people total ever.

00:04:12.890
And by meet up group blew up. And I’ve got about seventeen hundred people in Austin that are a member of the Meetup group.

00:04:21.520
And when I got to a point where I was transitioning careers. I was like, this is the perfect opportunity while I’ve got the time to go ahead and start a podcast so I can reach outside of my little bubble in Austin to now we have listeners all over the world. That is awesome to take something so localized and to create what is now a global effort, when you were thinking about actually getting into the podcast itself, like what was it about this medium that made you think this would be a great place to talk about mental health issues and work towards ending the stigma around them?

00:05:09.840
I mean, I think podcasting and podcasts are just very accessible for people, it’s a free. Thing that people can access on their phones at any time, for me, I love listening to podcasts, especially when I’m driving. And so I listen to a ton of podcasts. I feel like podcasts. The way that they’re so conversational, it almost feels like you’re talking to a friend in the car instead of having somebody just talk at you or talk like you’re not there.

00:05:44.030
It really feels like you’re part of the conversation when it’s a podcast. That’s the exact same metaphor I always use with folks, is to pretend that you’re in the back seat of a car having a conversation and your listeners just the driver, you know, enjoying and taking part in it.

00:05:57.630
What’s been the biggest hurdles for you in terms of launching and sustaining a podcast, whether it’s about the technical aspects of it or even just talking about the content itself? So at the beginning, it was definitely the technical aspects, we started not knowing anything, I was just like, let’s do it, let’s just jump in.

00:06:25.970
So I bought a twenty dollar mike off Amazon and I didn’t know how to edit.

00:06:31.130
So if anybody does go find fuck depression and listen to the first episode, the audio is a little rough because we didn’t quite know what we were doing.

00:06:42.680
But since then, I’ve really learned a lot over the past year of doing this. We’ve upgraded our equipment. Obviously, I look a little more fancy than my twenty dollar mic that I had a year ago.

00:06:54.560
And so, yeah, the technical part and especially having depression and anxiety myself, just getting on the microphone sometimes can be a little, you know. Nerve racking, but I’ve come to really enjoy it and. Knowing that I’ve had positive responses has made it so much easier to keep going and continue. I imagine like many of the folks who I talked to on the show, that talking about your cause, talking about your mission is not only does it give you purpose, but it can be really cathartic.

00:07:37.240
And I imagine specifically with mental health, that has got to be the case.

00:07:41.910
Yeah, it is really nice to be able to talk about my experiences, and I just hope people could relate to it. I’ve gotten feedback that people can, but I really do enjoy getting to share that. And I realized that what I well, before I started the podcast during the meetup sessions, that that’s really what people wanted was just a conversation and a casual conversation, not somebody lecturing at them, not therapists speaking at them, just as a regular person who could relate to.

00:08:19.150
The same things that they’re going through. How do you find your audience for this? I mean, I know you have the meetup, which obviously got you a nice base to start with, but what are you doing to grow the audience since then?

00:08:34.390
That’s kind of a rough question to answer. I am not the best at social media and I’m still trying to figure out how our numbers keep growing, but they do.

00:08:45.280
So I don’t know, I guess them like what are some things that you are trying or what are some new things that you’re thinking about doing to grow the show moving forward?

00:08:57.100
We do have a patriot and started that. We are going to start putting some bonus episodes and content up on. It’s not because I want to make a bunch of money, but because there is a cost to podcasting. And I would like to be able to also use my voice and through the podcast to be able to donate to some of the charities that we talk about on some of our episodes.

00:09:23.710
So speaking of charities, let’s talk about the one you are highlighting, your specifically bringing attention to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention AFSPA dot org. Of course, we have a link to them and to donate link in the show notes and I crossed paths dot org. But what is it about AFP in particular that, you know, this is one of the charities that you want to highlight on today’s show?

00:09:45.040
I am really excited about the research they’re doing and the the outreach that they’re doing. Suicide is a really hard topic to talk about and a lot of people don’t want to talk about it. They are doing the work to try to help do the research and do the the outreach to let people know the information that they’re finding with that. Because the statistics for suicide in America are scary. I mean, worldwide, they’re kind of scary, but it’s the number one killer for people.

00:10:18.730
I believe it’s ages 18 to 34 in the US. That is a really, really high number, and I imagine with everything going on in the world today, that that number is even rising more.

00:10:30.990
Yes, I’ve been very concerned with everything that’s going on with the coronavirus. And I’ve seen articles to collaborate this, that it is causing a rise in mental health issues, because a lot of what helps people, most people, is that social connection that they have to their friends, families, colleagues.

00:10:55.740
And right now we’re missing pieces of that. So it is making it harder on depression and anxiety and other mental health disorders as well.

00:11:06.240
Now, you said you were, you know, wanted to support some other charities. What are some of the other causes that you are wanting to support with your efforts here?

00:11:14.070
So I’ve mentioned the Trevor Project. It’s actually the one that I put on my personal birthday fundraiser this year. They support black LGBTQ community with mental health concerns, which is something that gets overlooked a lot. It’s a very marginalized group of people.

00:11:36.900
And like the pandemic, obviously right now, another issue and cause that is being highlighted and emphasized, you know, in the state of the world that we’re living in. And so increased awareness, I think, is also leading to increased tensions and increased pressures on folks in that community.

00:11:54.570
And so while we’re working to make it better, it also feels like it’s getting harder in the short term. Absolutely.

00:12:02.820
And as much as we can do to help support those people, I mean, the better.

00:12:07.050
Just in general, everyone needs mental health support, but especially those people that, you know, there’s additional things on top of just their mental health that they’re dealing with right now. So I want to go back to the show itself, you know, you’re doing this, you’ve got at the time that we’re talking, I want to say there was about, you know, twenty five ish episodes that you had posted. You know, you talked about how you were just diving right into it and just getting started.

00:12:34.520
You’ve learned a lot along the way. You know, now that you’ve been doing this for about twenty five episodes, what are some lessons you have learned that you would want to share with somebody else thinking about launching a podcast for a good cause?

00:12:48.270
I think the best advice I can give is to just get started and to keep going. One of the hardest parts is to keep going because it takes a while to build an audience and. That can be a little stressful at the beginning. I also, if you can’t afford it, go ahead and get the good equipment, because it it’ll help you a lot with the editing I we managed with that little 20 dollar mike. But if you can spend that a ton of money, less than a thousand dollars, but if you can’t afford that, just go ahead and do it from the beginning because it’ll make your editing so much easier.

00:13:30.850
Well, once again, we are talking about the get in if you’re just tuning into the middle of the podcast, which is hard to do, but you could be this is an explicit term. We were talking about the fuck depression podcast. It is with our host and creator, Lauren Michel. You can learn more about the show at FSK Depression Pod dot com. We’ll have links to the website. We’ll have links to the show directly on Apple, Google, Spotify, as well as the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention.

00:13:57.040
All the social networks where you can connect with Lauren and the show. And most importantly, because we were talking about mental health, because we were talking about suicide.

00:14:04.690
As a reminder, if you are struggling, if you are, you know, worried or, you know, possible threat to yourself, please, please, please reach out to the National Suicide Prevention Hotline. The number is one 800 273 8255. Will put the number in the show notes or just click on the link. Suicide Prevention Lifeline, dawg. Lauren, we thank you so much for taking time to talk about your show. And we hope that you will continue to fight to end the stigma around mental health so that everybody can be happy and comfortable and not be afraid to seek the help that honestly we should all be seeking.

00:14:44.950
We should all be doing some sort of work on our mental health the same way we do on our physical health. Absolutely, that’s the biggest advice I give to everyone, is to go seek therapy because it is so helpful.

00:14:58.510
But thank you so much, Mathew, for having me on the show. I’m so excited to have been able to have this opportunity with you. Thanks for listening to this episode.

00:15:08.380
Of course, iPods, if you’ve been inspired by the work of our guest, please check out the show notes of this episode in your podcasting app or at Cause Ponds dot org. There you will find links to their show, their website, their podcast, links on Apple, Google, Spotify, as well as a link to support the charity that they highlighted here. In this episode, you will also find a cause Pott’s dot org. But where to subscribe to this show on your favourite podcasting app, How to sign up to be a guest on this show and a link to our Facebook group, which is going to have special resources just for the folks who are podcasting for a good cause.

00:15:43.420
And I can tell you right now, we’ve got one great deal from our friends, a pod page. But you’re only going to learn about it and get that special deal if you are a member of the Facebook group for cause pods. And before I go, I should say thank you in particular. The show is edited and produced by Ben Kilroy of the Military Veteran Dad’s podcast. And what a great job he has done. And all this is made possible because of the great support that I received from Shannon Rojas here at the podcast, consulted Dotcom once again.

00:16:09.580
If you want to learn more, go to College Sports Dog. Thank you so much. And we will see you next time on Cosmos.

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