Back from the Abyss Psychiatry Podcast
I was at a dinner party in early 2019 when my friend Chris asked me, “What are you going to do with your life once your girls all leave home?” I said, without hesitation, “I want to start a podcast!” With a look of surprise, Chris said, “So do I!” We quickly determined that we had to get together and make this dream happen. The inspiration for making a mental health podcast was my patients and their incredible stories of suffering and healing. I wanted to create something that would be like releasing balloons of hope out into the world, with the message that recovery is possible, that treatment can work, that out of the darkness can come light and wisdom and gratitude. Most of the podcasts I listen to are interviews or talk shows. I wanted Back from the Abyss to be more intimate and to be built around very personal stories of mental illness and recovery. We aim to record all the stories in person, as I think storytelling is most raw and heartfelt when it’s face to face. Often our recording sessions end with tears or high fives or hugs. Helping people tell their abyss stories has turned out to be one of the most meaningful experiences of my life. I originally thought that a mental health podcast would be of most interesting to patients and their families, but I am finding that some of the biggest fans are therapists. This has led me to bring more of an educational focus to the podcast, rather than my initial idea of simply sticking with the stories. We make just two episodes a month, but I like to think of each one as a lovingly created meal, made from scratch, and worth the wait.