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Confronting the Stigma Surrounding Men Battling Depression with Al Levin of The Depression Files

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Today, we talk with Al Levin, creator and host of The Depression Files podcast. On his podcast, Al touches on the topics of mental health and depression, but more specifically as it relates to men. While working as an assistant principal, Al went through two major bouts of depression. The second was severe enough for Al to check himself into a partial hospitalization program for 3 weeks. He goes on to give sound advice on warning signs and what to look for when dealing with stress and depression.

Al shares his personal story of depression on every level, from initially recognizing there was a problem, to hitting bottom and seeking help. He speaks candidly about how he dealt with feelings of shame while treating his depression. But stresses the importance to seek help when you need it.

The discussion pivots and Al talks about why he decided to start a podcast while at a conference and how it evolved.

We also talk about the charity he is promoting: Face it Foundation. He explains how the organization was formed, his involvement, and what they do.

We wrap up our conversation with Al’s advice on how to start a podcast if you are hesitant about the process.

US Suicide Prevention:

Suicide.org

Hotline: 1-800-784-2433

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline

Hotline: 1-800-273-8255

The Trevor Project (LGBT)

Hotline: 1-866-488-7386

International Suicide Prevention

Hotline: 702-743-4340

Crisis Text Line

TEXT: Text START to 741-741

Key Topics:

  • Why male depression is Al’s passion project (0:51)
  • Warning signs and advice for men who may need help wrestling with depression and stress (03:11)
  • Coping with the feeling of shame when going through treatment for depression (06:57)
  • How do men overcome the shame of dealing with depression? (09:26)
  • Recognizing when our thoughts have become our own perceptions of what others think and how that can send us down a rabbit hole of negative thinking (15:11)
  • The best time to start seeing a therapist (18:44)
  • Why Al decided to start a podcast (20:21)
  • The 3 goals of Al’s show (24:56)
  • Who is the Face It Foundation and how can you help? (28:27)
  • Al’s advice to those thinking of starting a podcast (32:11);
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