Tony welcomes his daughter McKinley (Mackie) back to The Virtual Couch. Mackie talks about what it took for her to shed the “shoulds” in her life, “you should go to college, you should be a teacher, you should, you should, you should!” and how she ultimately took action on following a path she knew she secretly wanted since middle school. Mackie shares how her depression clouded her dreams even when her parents said that they supported whatever she wanted to do in life and what, if anything, they could have done differently to help her through some of her darkest days. You can find her at Ivory Salon Suites here or follow her professional page on Instagram


Visit to learn more about Tony’s Magnetic Marriage program, or visit to take Tony’s free parenting course, or to learn more about his best-selling book; or only recovery program “The Path Back.” And please subscribe to “Waking Up to Narcissism,” Tony’s brand new podcast, which is part of The Virtual Couch podcast network. 

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[00:00:00] Hey, everybody, welcome to episode two hundred and eighty four. The virtual couch, I am your host, Tony Overbay. I'm a licensed marriage and family therapist and author, speaker, husband. All those things. But I'm also the father of four amazing, wonderful children. And coming up on today's episode, I have interviewed my daughter McKinley, a.k.a. Mackey, a.k.a. Mack. She is twenty one, I believe, and I know that sounds like a joke. But holy cow, I have joked about the approximate ages of my kids and my wife are so long that I honestly question myself. But she was born in nineteen ninety nine, and so just to make sure that I got this right, I went and looked up her age on a birthday calendar on the internet because I was so in my head that I was going to get her age wrong. But that led me down a little bit of a rabbit trail. So Mackey has six hundred and eighty five million five hundred and eighty four thousand seconds old, or eleven million four hundred and twenty six thousand four hundred minutes, or one hundred and ninety thousand hours, almost 8000 days, eleven thousand weeks, two hundred and sixty months or twenty one years old. Eight months, twenty one days old, which makes me, by the way, I couldn't help myself. I am one point six billion seconds old or twenty seven million minutes. That is kind of mind blowing. That translates out to fifty one years, nine months in twenty one days old, which is insane.

[00:01:16] But I digress. So today's episode is so good. And yes, I am biased because I interview my daughter, but I have received plenty of amazing feedback from the episodes that Mackey has been on the past. She's come on openly, and she has talked about her struggles with anxiety and depression, and she was also on a panel of guests, which is one of my favorite episodes of all time where we were a few months into the pandemic, and she was there with my oldest daughter, Alex and Alex's husband, Mitch and my wife. Her lone appearance on the virtual couch and my nephew Connor, which was He's a hilarious individual. So today, though, I want you to know we go really, really deep. Mackie just graduated from cosmetology school, and she has taken a job at an absolutely incredible salon in South Jordan, Utah, that just opened up a new location. And it's called the Ivory Salon Suite, and I will have the link to the the location and how to book with my daughter in the show notes. And I would highly encourage you to go book with Mackie because she's honestly very, very good at what she does. You'll kind of get a feel for that in the interview today, but we often here's what I like that we talked about today is that, like so many of us often do, we take the job, we follow the career or we get the degree that we feel like we're expected to, because that is what our parents or our friends or our church or our community says that we should do.

[00:02:36] And I often say nobody likes to be should on. And when you're doing something because you think you're supposed to, that is called a socially compliant goal. It goes against who you are at your core because it just goes against your, your own sense of self or process of unfolding or all these other cool psychological terms. But when you are living your life by a socially compliant goal, then you are often just going to continue to kick the can down the road. You'll do things later, you will. You'll try to be happy or later. Right now, you just got to get the work, you got to plow through your job. There's this concept of where you, you go to work so that you can then come home and enjoy yourself or get to the weekend and have fun. And I don't talk about this often, but I'm kind of convinced that that might be just one of those stories that are own brain is telling us that we feel like we can't do what we really want to do at our core. Because what I often hear in my office is that people will say, Well, if I really did what I enjoy, then all of a sudden it would it would become a job and I wouldn't enjoy it anymore. And I would often say, I'm talking probably for years, or I would say, No, I hear you.

[00:03:39] That makes sense. And then one day it hits me that, Oh, I actually did 10 years in a career that I absolutely did not enjoy. And now I'm pushing 17 or 18 years in a career that I absolutely love and adore. And so when you love your job or when you're doing something you feel pretty passionate about, and that doesn't mean I love every minute of every day, but when this is something that really speaks to you, that you're passionate about. Then when you come home, you're still on fire. When you hit the weekend, you, you still you're just excited to do things. And I often find that people that are living these socially compliant lives, socially compliant goals and doing things because they just think they have to hit the end of the day, there's exhausted, you know, and they say, OK, you know, I'll do those things I always wanted to do later. I'll do them. When I get caught up on things, I'll do them. After I get a lot of sleep, I'll do them when I make a little bit more money or when I get married, or when the kids are older, or when the kids are out of the house, or when we get the new car or the nicer place. And that is just kicking the can down the road when there is so much life to be lived, right? This very second. So Mackey was just passionate about the the going to cosmetology school, but she was afraid to take action on it.

[00:04:49] We're going to talk a lot about that today, and I want you to know this is she. She would. She's going to talk openly about the fact that she knew that she had that support from her parents. But even when we support. Them early and often that they can literally still do and think and feel whatever they're going to do, think and feel because we're all our own unique individual people. So I could say all day long, Mac, I'm a therapist. Come on, do what you want to do. Find your dream and passion. And I love what she goes into today, where she talks a lot about saying, I mean, I heard you, but I still felt like I might disappoint you. So we need to understand that every one of our kids, our spouse that we are, all are own unique individuals going through this thing for the first time. This thing meaning life in the moment that you come upon today, you've never experienced that before based on all the situations that you bring to the table right now. So it becomes even more important that we are there for each other, that we hear each other, that we're not trying to control each other, that we're not trying to tell each other what they should do. Because how on earth do you really know what another person should do when you have never been that person? So we, you know, we talk about how teenagers, when they truly don't feel like their dreams or their goals or their hopes or their passions are even an option can often feel hopeless or stuck or helpless.

[00:06:01] So as parents, it is so important to know how to encourage your kids to find their path, but to know again that even when you do your best to be supportive that they all, they're going to have their own views of who, that they think that they're supposed to be. So I say so often that you can either have love or control in adult relationships, not both. And I feel like in today's episode, we really speak to the fact that you can even express love and somebody else can still push you away. And that isn't necessarily about you. Everybody is again, they're on their own path. They're trying to find themselves. But I guarantee you that the more time and energy you devote to showing your spouse or your kids or anybody that you care about, that really matters to you, that you love them, that you're there for them, and that when and if they do hit a breaking point or rock bottom or whatever that is, that they will know that they can come back to you because you hear them, because you see them, you love them and you are there for them in whatever capacity that they need. It does not mean OK. See, I knew you'd come crawling back to me looking for advice because I'm telling you if you put that energy into the people around you.

[00:07:08] Number one, they aren't going to come back looking for help. In fact, almost likely do the opposite. They'll probably try to do everything they can do to not come back. And here's where that here's where things get kind of interesting from a psychological perspective. We have that whole model backwards. We think that we have to push somebody out of the nest in order for them to fly. Now that might work with birds or in books, or maybe even written in stories by authors that are trying to process their own feelings of abandonment from their own parental figures. But we actually need to do the opposite the birds, so to speak under our care, need to know that they can be in the nest. Until that they believe that they are ready to fly. And they need to know that they can come back to the nest if they don't feel safe, or that if they're going to go through some rough patches in life that they know that they can come back to their secure base or their secure attachment and know that somebody has their back. And I often feel like when I start talking about things like this, a parent will say, Well, yeah, but if I just if I don't shove them out of the nest, they're going to sit here and stay at home and play video games forever. Well, here's here's the part that we're missing.

[00:08:09] The fact that they are afraid to go out and try to find themselves might be because you put so much pressure on them that they're going to do it wrong. You better not mess this up. You better, not let me down. You know, this is so important right now, what you do. And so no wonder if that person feels like I'm scared to death. I'm going to do it wrong. Then they're going to cope with things like video games, social media, pornography, alcohol, you name it, as an unhealthy coping mechanism because they feel like if I screw this up, my parents are going to abandon me forever. And so then eventually the parent does boot them out of the house, and then they have to go figure it out. And the parent says, See if I never would have booted you out of the house. This never would have worked. And that whole model is backwards. It's broken. If we've been nurturing a relationship with our kids where they know that they can come to us with anything, and I'm not talking about the hollow kind of, Hey Champ, you know, you can come to me with anything, but then they come to you and say, Wreck the car or I'm smoking pot, or I failed out of school. And then we say, Are you fucking kidding me? You know, is that the? So are we really? Can they really come to us with anything? So I feel like oftentimes when the kid is still in the basement playing video games, they're paralyzed because they're so afraid that they may go out and do it wrong, which then only frustrates the parent at that point.

[00:09:20] That's where I feel like the parent needs to say, Hey, I'm here, you know, I've got your back. What do you want to do? What can I help you figure out so that they know that they can go out there and try their best? And if they don't succeed, that's even a loaded word that they know they can come back and say, All right, well, that one didn't work. So what are we going to do next instead of us feeling like we have to just push them out of the nest? So remember, this isn't about you. It's about them. And if you feel like it's your job to throw your bird out of your nest or else all the other birds will think you're not a good bird parent, or if you feel like you have to throw the bird out of the nest because let's my parents threw me out of the nest, I seem to be OK. You're working from a flawed model, but I so digressed. But. I really felt good to get off my chest, so let's get to the today's episode with my daughter, Mackie, and please check out the links in the show notes and go by and say hi to her and get your herded as the kids say from my daughter, Maggie. All right, let's get to today's episode.

[00:10:28] Come on in and take a seat.

[00:10:35] So annunciate, hey, come from your diaphragm, I

[00:10:39] Don't know how to do that.

[00:10:40] Loud project your voice, Mackey. Ok, OK. Welcome back to the virtual couch. Thank you. You know that you now become the most interviewed guest in the history of the podcast. It's kind of fun for me. It is right. I was thinking about that. At first, I was going to say, You've tied my intern slash associate Nate Christianson and Dr. Jennifer Finlayson, five world renowned sex therapist and relationship coach with three times. But then you were also part of the covert kids I was. And that was, yeah, it was an ensemble cast, but you were a part of it. So technically, yeah. So this is your fourth episode. You feel like a big deal. I know, right? I've been looking forward to recording this one for a while. Yeah. And we were talking about things leading up to this and we could go a lot of different directions. And I think things could get really deep. They could get heavy. And I think that's that's we're going to keep it real. As the kids say, kids don't really say that anymore, do they? Do they sometimes sometimes. Oh, no. Ok. In your previous appearances, we've talked a little bit about anxiety and depression. And and so I get a lot of emails. I forward some of them to you. Those are fun, right? When people say that they really identified with things that you've said or I think in particular, I get ones from moms who have said that they believe and listen to our episodes with their daughters. What's that like, by the way, when you get that kind of feedback?

[00:11:59] It's nice because I like it's scary to be vulnerable and to put things out there, which I have done a decent amount at this point. And so it's just nice to feel like at least a couple of people have taken something from

[00:12:14] It more than a couple of people.

[00:12:16] But it's just it's nice. Yeah, and it's just nice because it just is reassuring that everyone is going through things and there's you can just be nice and helpful and all those good things.

[00:12:26] People really are too going through a lot of things and sometimes and this is going to sound silly, but I forget, and I really do at times if I bring on a new client, how much I need to validate and say, Oh, I have dealt with that before. And and I find myself not wanting to say that at times because I don't want the person to feel like I'm dismissing their experience, right? But then I remember that they're coming in here, sometimes feeling like they've never told anybody about their experiences.

[00:12:50] The only one that's felt it, and it's like, No, everybody goes through.

[00:12:53] Absolutely. Absolutely. And I still feel like I would say that I have this thing on my shoulder called Holy crap o meter. And I and I tell people, it's not going to move trust me because they will say, I bet you've never heard this or this is going to sound so crazy. And sometimes I think, huh? I wonder if this will be something that I've never heard. But no, not really. Yeah, but not even to dismiss them. But you're right. Everybody wants to feel like they're not alone or crazy or that sort of thing. All right. Well, the reason I was so excited about this is there are so many things that have gone on since we last spoke because we last spoke. I think you weren't in college yet. Yeah. Other than the COVID kids episode, yeah. But so when we last left, it was probably finishing up your senior year and you were trying to figure out what to do next and what do you remember about that? What do you remember about wanting to do or thinking you wanted to do as you were wrapping up?

[00:13:48] Honestly, I didn't think about it a lot. I didn't. I I knew growing up. I feel like from the time I was like 13 or 14, I wanted to do here, OK? And that was always like in the back of my head. And so I'd always say it was like my backup option because I didn't want to admit that it was what I actually wanted to do because I was scared of the stigma. Ok. Which is dumb.

[00:14:09] I even think as you're saying this right now, I didn't realize it was that early on that you wanted to.

[00:14:13] Oh yeah, it was. As soon it was like the first as soon as I like started looking into makeup and like getting into that stuff, I was like, Oh, I like this guy. Yeah, I care about this and I want to do this. And so I knew, like, pretty early on. But then, yeah, I got scared of the dumb hair school girl stigma thing, which is so stupid, OK, but I cared too much about that and then went through a lot of crap and then didn't really care about my future in general and then didn't think about it too much after that.

[00:14:40] Yeah.

[00:14:40] So, yeah, I wasn't really thinking about it.

[00:14:42] The hair school stigma? Yes. When did you start feeling that?

[00:14:46] I feel like in high school, people would talk about it and make assumptions about people and say things like, Oh, well, there's some hair school or there's going to do that, or I bet she just goes to hair school. I like stuff like that. And it was always just tied with like. That means you're dumb and you can't do other things and whatever. And so I totally let that get to me. Yeah, I was like, Well, I'm not dumb. Like, I'm not going to like I. And I totally listen to that, which is stupid because you actually you can't be dumb if you're going to go through hair school, it's not as easy as you think.

[00:15:11] I agree with what you say that and first of all, do you feel like you went to you went. How long was it two years a year and a half?

[00:15:19] With COVID, it was like a year and a half.

[00:15:20] Yeah, with COVID. That was a whole other experience.

[00:15:22] I on for a little bit. So it's like a year and a half six hundred

[00:15:25] Hours and you. And hours and you had to do a lot in the classroom as well as actual styling, hair

[00:15:33] Cutting in clients, yeah. Four of the five

[00:15:36] Days, yeah, which I didn't know. That's how it works. Maybe even for anybody that's listening to this, right?

[00:15:41] You OK? I thought it was going to be in a classroom the whole time, but you're taking clients more than you're not.

[00:15:46] I mean, how and how soon were you starting to see clients? This is what kind of blew my mind. So it

[00:15:51] Was eight

[00:15:51] Weeks, eight weeks in. And then you're cutting people's hair and it's more than just cutting people's hair.

[00:15:55] Yeah, yeah.

[00:15:56] Yeah, you were coloring hair, all of it. All of that. Do you remember your first experience with somebody?

[00:16:02] I don't remember my my first experience is mom.

[00:16:05] Oh, OK. Yeah.

[00:16:07] So it was like different than I don't remember my very first client. Yeah, but I remember like those early stages and just like trying to fake the confidence, you know?

[00:16:17] Yeah. And I even think about this. We'll probably talk about some of this to you. And I have had a lot of conversations around even the similarities, it seems like from therapist and cosmetologist. Yeah.

[00:16:26] How funny is it? It was surprising to me, like I knew people tell their hairstylist everything, but I didn't. That means everything, and I love it. I love that part of it.

[00:16:32] Like when you're talking everything you're talking about, they're feeling like they aren't a good parent or marriage issues or things about addiction.

[00:16:39] They told anyone else like. Yeah, I hear it all. Yeah, which is fun. Yeah. Yeah. Like, it's just, yeah.

[00:16:46] Would you ever feel, though, like you needed to give advice? Or what was that like for you?

[00:16:51] I don't know how to give advice. It's like, I'm not good at it, but I feel like people like they ask for it. But I think more than anything, everyone just wants to be listened to and to be heard. So I feel like for the most part, it's just like listening and validating and that aspect just building a connection there. That's more important than,

[00:17:08] Yeah,

[00:17:09] The advice that I potentially can try

[00:17:11] To give. No, I love it. And I love when you were just saying there that you were saying, I have to pretend to have the confidence, and I've talked on my podcast before about when I first started seeing clients. I would have this moment where I think what would a real therapist say? And then,

[00:17:23] Yeah, I feel like I'd be like, Yeah, I would like someone who actually knew what they were doing, say right now and then

[00:17:28] Over time, I would think, Wait, I am a real therapist. Do you remember having a moment where then you thought, OK, wait, no, I do know what I'm doing. Or did this happen over time?

[00:17:36] Yeah, I feel like it wasn't like a light bulb moment or anything, but just, Oh, OK,

[00:17:40] Ok, I'm doing this. I'm getting so far ahead. So if we go back to. So you always thought that that was your Plan B, but you were worried about it for the stigma of cosmetology.

[00:17:48] So I always said I'd always say this whole go be a teacher, I'm going to go do that. I always had this other like legit college thing that I had in mind. And then I would say, and then maybe I'll get my cosmetology license, like, maybe I'll do that, or maybe I'll think about that. Like, I never was like, Yes,

[00:18:02] I'm doing this, but you're telling me when we were even talking about before we hit record that you deep inside said, I'm going to do that.

[00:18:09] Yeah. It was like, I will. This will happen regardless, and that will be my primary, like my main thing that I'm going to do primarily always. But then I'll have this other cover

[00:18:20] Almost to be the teacher who can also cut hair. Exactly. We also in a little pre-interview we talked about, OK, how deep do we want to get and why not get deep right now? This is the funny part where I said, we can also edit it. So now the next part of I'm saying, and then you lived happily ever after, then you'll know that maybe we had a big, big part, right? But so deep where we were going with that was I said, Man, man, can you remember mom and I driving out to college with you? And I remember we were I felt, honestly, I felt like leading up to the days before you left. I feel like we registered knowing that you might not go and we even paid for your apartment and stuff, knowing you might not go right around and come back. And I remember being like an hour outside of of Rexburg. Yeah, and I remember because the freeway went a different way, and I remember having the conversation with you where you were even saying, and you know what? And I might we might get there and turn right around, and we were saying, Yeah, we might. Oh, man. So what do you remember about that summer leading up to leaving? And were you going to leave or you're not going to leave? And what led into that?

[00:19:23] I just remember, like, I was not in a good place. I was miserable. I basically my whole my senior year of high school was mentally was rough, like I one of the worst years I think I've ever had type thing. And so I was like, I remember that was really hard. And then I graduated thinking that that would solve all my problems and I'd feel great. And then I didn't like a week after graduation. I'm still sad and miserable and don't know what I'm doing and just, yeah, really had no idea what was next. And did you

[00:19:53] Feel because you didn't know what was next, that something was wrong with you?

[00:19:56] Oh, yeah, OK. I was like, everyone. Like all my friends know they're going to go do this and they're going to do this and they want to study this and they have these plans. And I was just like, I don't know. I don't know. I don't know what I'm going to do. And. So I remember, like towards the end of my senior year, finally just being like, OK, I like logically, the next step is college. Yeah. And I was like, I don't want to just sit at home, stare at my ceiling all day, every day.

[00:20:19] So which this is the part that I thought got deep was because that honestly and we haven't talked about this, I think directly. But mom and I, that's what we were worried about was if you stay here, you're going to stay inside and just stare at your ceiling.

[00:20:31] But then that's where I was. Mentally, that's what my life was.

[00:20:34] But then every time that we would say, but we don't want to go, do this and don't you want to go away and don't you want to?

[00:20:39] I didn't want to do anything, and I was telling you earlier like that was that was stemming from the fact that I genuinely didn't feel like I had a future and I didn't feel like there was a next step for me. And because of those previous years, I felt I was shocked that I made it to 18 and then 19 and then 20. And so every year is like, Oh my gosh, like, I actually am doing this, and I actually have to think about what's next because I didn't think I would make it that far. Yeah.

[00:21:03] And I was just so sad because and what I appreciated, what we were talking about earlier was it wasn't like you had a look at me. Am I just trying to seek my own validation? But you, you had you had opportunities. But then we were talking about, but there's so much more that goes into it. If there's some, there's there's some history of depression in our family. So if there's some good old chemical things going on, that's just and then and then it really is. I always say that it's nature and nurture and birth order and DNA and abandonment and rejection, right? Because then if you get in some relationships that aren't good and those

[00:21:36] Aren't right and those

[00:21:38] Are things that you signed up for and nobody gets into a relationship thinking, I think this is going to be pretty crummy. Maybe they start good, right?

[00:21:44] It's pretty bad. Ok. So, yeah, so it's like all of it was just a lot of crappy things. Yeah. Going on with that rude of just yeah. History of depression. Like knowing there's some chemical imbalance. Yeah, trying to figure that stuff out already, which is hard enough, like just trying to deal with that, but then having the crappy life things happening on top of it. Yeah. So then, yeah, I remember like that, especially that that summer before I left it, the guy was registered for school and whatever, but I didn't want to be and I didn't want to go and I didn't want to do anything. And I just remember because I was telling you, like just I remember lots of nights where it was just like, I was not OK. Yeah. And I was not like doing smart things to cope and turning to very unhealthy things. And then I vividly remember, just like pleading with God to just let me go just that. I felt like every night I'd fall asleep, just come on. Just let me go. And I've done that breaks my heart. Yeah. It was hard, and I know people feel that if people experience that, and so that was every single night. And so then it got to a point before I left for school so I can just sit here and and plead and be miserable and stare at my ceiling, or I can try to cling to this last resort potential thing that could kickstart my future a little bit. So then I embraced this. Ok, I'm going to go be a teacher and I'm going to go do that. And I held on to that. It was literally all I had left because I to some extent, I felt like it was all I had left. And so I just ran with it. I was like, OK, I'm just going to go, I'm just going to go. And I wasn't even thinking past that.

[00:23:09] But I think it's important. And I think that's where if somebody is saying, but what if this doesn't work out or what if and

[00:23:14] I didn't have it in me to even think that it was just, Hey, I'm just going to get there. I'm just going to get there. Yeah. And then I didn't know what was going to happen next, but I'm just going to go and

[00:23:22] Do you think and I know it's so hard to I think we were even talking earlier about when I was saying, when people say, man, I wonder what would have happened if and I would say, Well, yeah, who knows. But then not a productive thought. And I'm about to say, but let's go there for a minute. Right. So for the sake of other people, I wonder if when you're having these thoughts of, you know, it'd be nice to not even wake up. I mean, I'm in this where I say often that when people come and tell me that they don't, they've never thought of suicide or something. I think I don't know if that's even normal. And as a therapist, we talk about, but have you ever had the plan and it's going to happen this way at this time and this that's when things get a little more real. But when people have the, you know, if I got hit by a meteorite tonight, that's OK. Or if I just don't wake up, I think that's more normal than people people realize. Yeah, but then when you hear you and I love that you're laying out the part where you always had this Plan B. I wonder if you had really felt like that would have been plan a if that would have helped earlier.

[00:24:16] Yeah. Like it's that thing where no way to know. Yeah, because that wasn't the case, you know? But I feel like there's definitely a chance it would have just helped with motivation and hope and just knowing that I could potentially do something that I would like doing. I feel like that could have motivated me a little bit.

[00:24:34] Yeah. Well, and that's what I'm saying again, for the sake of those who are listening and who have teenagers or 20 somethings or whoever it is, that's where I feel like I just want to say, Yeah, it wouldn't necessarily if you're 16, 17 year old is really depressed and you just say, No, no, what do you really want to do? I know it's not that easy because I still feel like I know and I like what you're saying about you could even still say, Well, this is what I want to do, but you're still going to feel all that and validation from your peers, right?

[00:25:00] It doesn't just put everything else away. No, but I do definitely think that, yeah, it adds some hope. Into a life that feels like that's not anymore. Yes, I don't know. Yeah, it's definitely something to think about and that could be helpful, potentially.

[00:25:15] So for anyone listening, especially the parents, they just say No, really? Tell me more. Not what? I think you'd be happier, right?

[00:25:23] Ok. And then maybe just, yeah, anything you can do to head into that direction, I feel like couldn't hurt.

[00:25:27] Yeah, just even make it more.

[00:25:30] I feel like it seemed like it's achievable and it's realistic because in my head, it wasn't. Yeah, but that was my mind doing like I had made it this. We're not going to do that.

[00:25:38] Yeah, which is funny. So then because I don't know, do you remember when mom and I were? When do you when do you remember when we were really saying, no, really? If you want to go to cosmetology school, go.

[00:25:49] Yeah, no. So I remember. So I went to college. Yes, and I stuck it out for I ended up doing it being like a year and a half. Yeah, ish. But I I sucked at it. I didn't go to class. I was getting horrible grades, which isn't like, like in high school. I got good grades, like I was a good student and in college I was not like, I. I did the bare minimum. I hated every second of it. Like I remember,

[00:26:11] There were times where mom and I would think, Oh, OK, this sounds good because one of the times you took a class and was the elementary education and you really were going to be able to color and cut out things like construction paper. Yeah. And I thought, that's pretty cool.

[00:26:23] So I'd have moments where I was like, OK, like, I could get on board with this, like I can color. I can do those things. But I was just like, Yeah, I hated every second of it, wasn't doing a good job, and the whole time I feel like I was doing a little bit better. Mentally sure.

[00:26:37] Because you were staying out there.

[00:26:38] Yeah, I stuck it out. Like I, a few people like found a couple of people that I found, yeah, I found a couple of really good people that I didn't even know. People could be like that. Good of people didn't know the friends that existed like that. So it's like, I figured that out. Got those people. And so it's again, just that hope thing. I was OK. I wasn't perfect, but I was OK.

[00:26:57] And we still get calls sometimes.

[00:26:59] Yeah, yeah.

[00:27:01] I remember we went, Hey, Mac, and you're here waiting to hear if you're like, Hey, what's up? Like, Hey, hey, everything's great. Or if it was like a little pause, Mike Mackey, you're OK. It's like, Oh, no, we never said, Oh no, I'm there.

[00:27:14] You know, in your head would be a little bit,

[00:27:17] Oh, never, but.

[00:27:20] And so I was like, everything was OK. And then so then I was entertaining the idea of the cosmetology stuff more seriously to myself. Cool part

[00:27:29] Was that there was a really good school in your in

[00:27:32] Rexburg, and I know that I learned about it and I was like, OK.

[00:27:36] And then, you know, people that were already going there, or was it seriously just a whole other world? It was a

[00:27:41] Whole other thing. Yeah, but then I found out that it existed and I was like, Huh? Interesting. And then I remember I just been thinking, I just been thinking about it more seriously and from like I looked on their website and I looked into it and I was like reading into all this stuff, trying to figure out, like, Could I afford this? And could I like on my own? Could I just go? Ok, so do you want to say I didn't want to tell you guys I didn't want to make you like interesting?

[00:28:04] So even though we're saying we'll do whatever you want to do? You're thinking, I probably still need to do this

[00:28:08] On my own. I'm going, How can I make this work? Like looking into it, trying to figure it out because I had no hair. Probably I was like, he'd never supported me. No hair. No, no. So then I remember just I remember having just the worst day. I was like feeling ready, ready to give up again, like I was in that mindset. And I remember calling you guys and just kind of throwing it out there, entertaining the idea. I don't know if you remember this all, but I vividly remember.

[00:28:34] I think I know where we're going with this.

[00:28:36] I've been looking into this. I kind of, you know, I let you

[00:28:38] Finish this sentence before I was, Yes, please.

[00:28:40] No, you literally didn't. I was so surprised. Like, literally because I did the whole thing where I made it so dramatic and I was like, I've been thinking and I do like, what if I did all this stuff? And then I finally spit out, just like cosmetology school and you're like, Yep, let's do it. Like, literally, it's

[00:28:55] Probably like sitting there going,

[00:28:56] Yeah, and then and I'm like sobbing. Like, I end of the world to me,

[00:29:00] Like, Oh, I do remember this

[00:29:00] Man. And within the week, I think literally I was at this

[00:29:05] Like financial aid going

[00:29:07] Out, meeting with people, talking about

[00:29:09] It. Oh, I do remember mom and I were just pumped.

[00:29:12] Yeah. And but even then I signed up and I still felt there going to be so upset. They're going to be so disappointed because I'm not going to college. I'm not getting like,

[00:29:19] Ok, because, yeah, because you were still going to go to college. Oh, that's

[00:29:22] Right. Because then I stuck with the college, with the BYU-I stuff. I stuck with that for a few semesters. Waste of time, waste of money, again failing my classes.

[00:29:30] I do want to say that was funny because mom and I at that point were just saying, OK, we want to support her. But deep inside it was, you know, you quit right now. Mac, you know, money, college kids.

[00:29:39] I was like, No, I got this. I was like, I'm going to get my business degree.

[00:29:42] I'm like, You could be a more cosmopolitan.

[00:29:46] I don't know why I didn't want to do it. I don't know. I did. Sorry about that. Oh, it's OK. That's right. waste of money there,

[00:29:51] It was worth it, Maggie. Sure.

[00:29:53] Yeah. So I

[00:29:54] Mom and I love Top Ramen,

[00:29:56] So it was

[00:29:58] That

[00:30:00] Anyways. Yeah. And then finally. Eventually dropped all of the college stuff and then just stuck with the hair school and embraced that. Yeah, and ran with that.

[00:30:13] Do you remember ever did you ever feel like it was a mistake once you were there?

[00:30:17] Honestly, I didn't feel like it was a mistake, but I definitely had doubts and moments where I was. What if I can't do this? What if I suck at this? And what if I dropped out of college and I'm here and the money's already been paid and there's no going back? And what if I don't like it? What if it sucks? What if I just suck at it and was like, What if I can't, you know, like, I definitely

[00:30:35] Have moments that, yes, you set me up for my my acceptance and commitment therapy moment, where at that point I feel like you were pointed toward a pretty value based thing. It mattered to you. And even there, when we say, OK, I'm going for it, our brain will. One hundred percent say, What if I'm no good at it? What if I suck? What if I? And that's where

[00:30:52] You guys hate that I'm doing what you know, right?

[00:30:54] And then you probably get annoying when I drop in it, therapist Mode but I'm like, Oh yeah, Mac, maybe. But we're not even arguing that, but you just keep moving forward.

[00:31:01] And that was like, Oh, you know, that was always in the back of my head. And so I definitely panicked. I'd have a little bit of an off day or I'd slip back into a little depression type thing. And so suddenly I didn't want to be going to school. But that was because of,

[00:31:13] Like the other thing, your

[00:31:14] Baseline and other thing in life and things are just sucking. And so I'm like, Well, maybe it's maybe I did the wrong thing and it's like, No, you're in a crappy relationship and you don't know exactly what you're doing with your life. And things are just hard and

[00:31:25] Life is hard. See, that's what stuck is that you're right, because I always talk about these triggers hungry, angry, lonely, tired or whatever. But yeah, inter back in crappy relationship. In the middle of all, this

[00:31:34] Is the core of my being, which that's a whole other thing.

[00:31:37] But that would be episode five

[00:31:39] That covid, right into that. Yeah, but no, you're as I'm trying as Covid is going on, I'm trying to finish school crappy relationship that nobody knows is crappy. I'm keeping it to myself among anxiety and depression in life.

[00:31:50] So in general, it's so funny then. So at that point was work almost even an anchor? I mean, your school was at that

[00:31:56] Point and I and so then it's your

[00:31:58] Parents. Hey, they're

[00:32:00] Cool. Yeah. So then it's like just all these other factors, all these things, then. Yeah, trying to figure out, Okay, did I do the right thing here? Am I going to be OK? Am I going to be able to make this work? Just yeah, trying to figure all of that out.

[00:32:13] I remember you have you have a beauty by Mackie account, and then you would start posting pictures of things that you were actually doing. And I was blown away because that's where I started thinking, Holy cow, this is real. It's happening. I mean, you're doing it and then you're having. I don't know if you can even talk about these things, but you're starting to call and have these experiences where people had felt down because of their appearance or because of whatever. And you're and you're listening to them in your chair and then you're transforming them the way they look. And then they're saying, Oh my gosh, and they're crying and hugging you and not tipping you still.

[00:32:42] No, never

[00:32:44] Because that was here that will all come back to you will be blessed. Yeah, right? But what were those experiences like?

[00:32:49] Well, yeah, there's one like when you say that there's one specific one that, like, I feel like was honest to goodness, like life changing talk about me because I it happened in a perfect time to where I'm, you know, relationship is crappy. Life's crappy. I'm I'm like doubting myself, doubting everything. I'm like, you know, I'm not making a difference. I'm not doing anything, whatever feeling down. And then I'm just sitting there and one of my teachers is like, Hey, we have we have this 13 year old girl coming in and this student is going to be doing her hair. Can you help? Can you just jump on? And I'm like, Yeah, sure, like whatever. And then she gives me a little backstory and tells me that this 13 year old is like wanting to end her life. And she's miserable. And she never leaves the house and her mom is trying everything and just can't like. She's just so worried. So she's like going to just bring her in for a low like spa type day or whatever. And so I'm like, OK. So I remember in that moment like feeling like everything in my life was out of my control. I knew that in that moment, I could I could do something. Yeah. And so I am going by the end of this, this girl is going to be smiling.

[00:33:43] She's going to feel good about herself. And I made that my whole life that I needed that to happen for her, but also for me in my life because I'm going to make this happen. And so I remember she sits on the chair. She's looking down at the ground. She won't even say a word. She won't tell us her name. She won't talk nothing. And the girl I'm working with kind of tries for a little bit and then just gives up and it's like, OK, I'm just going to do her hair, and that means I have to do it. And so I jumped in and I started being. I felt so annoying, but I was just like, What's your name? What's your favorite color? I'm doing? I'm just asking questions. She's not really saying anything, so I'm just saying, Oh, my favorite color is just saying anything, just trying to do anything, and we're just flailing her hair. We're going through whatever. And eventually she starts saying a few words, nothing crazy. She's still looking down at the ground, but we just start talking and laughing a little bit like, I just throw in a few things. Whatever we end up full on talking. I get a kind of laugh.

[00:34:33] And we're talking, This was hours. This thing?

[00:34:35] Oh, yeah, this was. It ended up being six or seven hours,

[00:34:38] Which I never knew you did those kind of things. It's not uncommon.

[00:34:40] We did her hair and then I did her makeup, and it was a whole thing, just hours and hours. And I think the breakthrough moment, I literally I was like, So you got like a crush on anyone. And she she starts blushing and he's all nervous and then spilled. It just told me everything about it. And then from that moment on, we were just vibing and we were just talking whatever. But anyways, so I ended up being fine. She was a whole new person. When she left, her mom had his take picture with her. Do whatever, and then she left, and she had sent me the pictures that she took, so she had my number. The mom did, yeah. And a couple of hours later I get a text from the mom and she's I just can't thank you guys enough. I don't even recognize my daughter in the best way possible, all this stuff. She just keeps saying that she feels beautiful, she feels beautiful, she feels beautiful, and she feels like she looks like her sisters and she loves it. And oh, just the nicest message I've ever seen. I was just sobbing as I read it and just saying that, like the 13 year old literally told her mom, That changed my life. Like that.

[00:35:36] Just so saying,

[00:35:38] Oh, so I'm I'm sobbing. Oh my gosh. All I did was talk to the girl. We just talked and we just connected as human beings. But for her, that was that was enough to make a difference, give her that little bit of hope that a little bit of motivation to be OK. Well, it doesn't all suck. It's going to be OK and Ivan, because I was talking to her. I remember when I was doing her makeup, I was asking her if she wanted to do anything and what she was thinking for her future. And she was like, I don't know, but like, I really like makeup, and she was talking about that and I was like, Do it. Here's who was awesome. Just go do it. This is so fun. You'd be so good at it and which kind of goes back to what we were talking

[00:36:08] About, where it totally does.

[00:36:09] How much of that can play into making a dream? A little bit more realistic.

[00:36:13] And I love that. Make it a dream. Yes.

[00:36:15] Yeah. And then feeling a little bit better about yourself raising that emotional baseline and all of that stuff. So that was a moment for me that I was like, OK, I can do something here.

[00:36:25] And that girl. Yeah, her name was Estee Lauder, and she now runs a giant cosmetic line, right? This was like a year ago. Oh, OK. It's kind to come on. Is that somebody still? Or was that just back in the eighties?

[00:36:39] There's still that's a company. Ok? Yeah, you're not.

[00:36:42] I was going to go and say in that girl like Ariana Grande. But then I thought, but when you went to makeup around, I thought that would be better. Oh yeah, my bad. So and I remember we would come out and especially for graduation, I had my first facial there. That was, Oh my gosh, that was incredible. It really was. It was. And then you graduate. And at that point. Well, first of all, talk about COVID. I mean, that not a real bummer. It was. It was a bummer for everybody. I'm not saying that. I'm not dismissing you, but I thought, Holy cow, you don't think about all the different ways.

[00:37:13] It was affected to some extent because at one

[00:37:14] Point then they stopped and said, OK, just read a bunch of things about hair and then and then the whole school down. You came home and you had all these creepy dolls around the house. What was the one thing, Cassie, Cassie? And then we would come downstairs and Cassie's there on the table, and she's looking at us. But you just had to keep practicing, not doing real.

[00:37:32] Yeah, because it ended up being like five months for me. Yeah, because I didn't want to do the online stuff because I felt like I was going to Egypt. So I just waited until it was back in person. But yeah,

[00:37:42] Did you have you had doubts during that time during the five months?

[00:37:45] Yeah, OK. Yeah. Oh, for sure. Because I was sitting, I was back sitting at home like I was right back

[00:37:49] Where I was playing with a lot of wii. Yeah, oh my gosh, we got good at the we. Lots of tennis. Lots of tennis. Lots of Mario Kart.

[00:37:55] Yeah. So that definitely scared me a little bit. Yeah. And then I was like, Do I want to go back? Do I can't I go finish?

[00:38:02] Honestly, that's what I love about this being able to talk to you about it now. I remember, I can't remember if mom and I talked about it, but I remember starting to feel like, Oh, what if? Yeah, she just feels, you know what?

[00:38:12] I'm just going to be right where it was. Yeah, senior year. So it was scary. But obviously I went back and I finished and it was hard. The last little bit was hard.

[00:38:21] Yeah, but well, especially they ended up being a thing where because of COVID and because of how long you had been home, I remember I think this is one of those examples of stuff just keeps happening in our lives, period. And then it's what do we do with her because you're, Oh my gosh, now I'm even thinking of when you took your test, remember? Oh yeah, OK, so let's talk a couple of stories, story time. So what I'm talking about here is you found out that there was a certain amount of time and weeks and something and hours. And because of COVID, there was this limit that we weren't aware of. And so I don't remember the details, but

[00:38:51] For some reason I needed to finish and I needed to finish.

[00:38:53] And you had to do, what, eight to eight weeks in a row of forty hours a week, 50 hours a week with no breaks. Now, remember, that was another part where I thought, Oh, what if Mackie just says it doesn't matter and you get that close? How do you how did you get through that?

[00:39:07] It was hard. It was so hard because I had never had to. I'd never had that long of days before. And then a lot of it was. I was alone for it because my friends would be there for the normal hours and I would have to come. I'd be there before and after them, so I'd get there in the morning and I'd be all by myself with the barbers so uncomfortable. And then I'd go through the whole day taking clients and then I'd have to stay extra hours after. And so just long, lonely days. And I was living by myself at the time, and most of my friends from Rexburg had moved at that point. So I was just very lonely, very scary. Just OK. But I knew I had to get it done. So I don't even know I. I remember it's like my only option, really. I mean,

[00:39:47] I tried to do it and because I remember we that we were waiting to hear more of those, oh, you know, Maggie's in trouble things. We kind of, yeah, you kind of never really did that. And I was

[00:39:56] Surprised to do it. I'm going to do it. And it sucked. It was not easy, but I did it and I kept telling myself. The thing in eight weeks, it's not going to matter. I'm going to be done and it's not going to matter, so I just kept telling myself that constantly. And then a year from now, I'm going to be I don't

[00:40:12] Even remember that. See, I

[00:40:13] Kept telling myself that and it's true. I don't even I remember. It sucks. I know.

[00:40:16] I can't remember either, because I feel like we're about to try to go into the memory bank. So. So there was you had to take two exams. Yeah, to get your license and the one was written and the other was the practical and the practical. So I get here really early. You were leaving to go early. Do you remember this?

[00:40:32] Yes, I remember this.

[00:40:33] So you. What was it? You had car trouble.

[00:40:36] So a story. Well, OK. So the day before my test, I was going to go for a drive, clear my head, get a good whatever. I get stuck in the snow. Oh, that's right. Remember that? Yes. And that's what caused the car troubles. Yes, because then my car got stuck in for low and whatever. Yeah, so get stuck in the snow and freaking out. Great. This is good. This is what I needed. I'd been studying all day for my test and I'm like, Cool. And then I called you guys. I'm literally digging my car out with my hands and you're saying, No, I don't know what to do.

[00:41:03] And we're

[00:41:04] Like, I don't know, like,

[00:41:06] Oh, we said, Try

[00:41:07] This, you know? Yeah. And eventually get my car out and it just feeling funny. But it's fine. I'll deal with it later. And so then I wake up. I have to leave at four in the morning or something for my test.

[00:41:16] It's super hour or two away and you have to be a certain place.

[00:41:19] Yeah, super early can't be late. Paid for it had to be there. It's this five hour test on your feet doing things. So I'm freaking out and I'm on my way there and my car's just being weird

[00:41:31] From the start I'm getting. I feel weird talking about it

[00:41:33] And then it gets to a point where they won't even accelerate. I can't go.

[00:41:36] That's when you called me.

[00:41:36] Yeah. Can't go more than fifty five sixty on this one.

[00:41:39] It was like 5:00 in the morning and you call and I remember you were saying what I do, what I do, and then I could just keep going.

[00:41:44] Yeah, just keep going. You told me, you're like, just get there. Like, just get there

[00:41:47] Because part of me and then pull over and see. But no go. Just go.

[00:41:50] Yeah, yeah, just go. And I don't know if I'm going to make it. I don't know what's going on. I don't know the car's shaking. And then I finally, I'm pulling up around the corner. I get off the exit. Luckily, the place is right off the casino.

[00:42:02] Yeah, casino hotel right off the exit.

[00:42:04] And and I've been praying the whole time. Just get me there. Literally, I get there off the exit. My car just stop. Just shuts down, start smoking and I glide into the parking lot,

[00:42:16] But still far away from parking so

[00:42:18] Far away. But I glide in their car smoking. I'm yelling at you. I'm losing my mind. And what do I do? Like five minutes to be inside

[00:42:24] Told you that they would lock the doors?

[00:42:25] Literally. They literally lock the door. So I'm losing my mind. And then

[00:42:29] You just leave the

[00:42:30] Car. I'm being so mean to you. Like, I'm

[00:42:32] Definitely not for it

[00:42:34] And I have this big tub I have to carry with me right the door. Super, far away. I'm freaking out. Then this lady comes up to me and she says, What's going on? I don't know. I'm like freaking out. And anyways, some miracle security guy comes, we'll deal with your car. I get in the security car. He drives me up. I run in the building. I'm carrying my box. I don't even know where I'm going. I pull up. I walk in the guy at the at the door. He's ten more seconds and I was going to lock the door literally. So I'm cool. Thanks. Like, that's the last thing. I don't want my phone. I don't have my keys. I don't know anything, and I have to take this test. It's like super is, so I'm filled with anxiety. My heart's racing. I'm sweaty, I'm gross. I just it's 6:00 in the morning, but like, it's so early. I'm like dying and then take my test. Go out there. I've no idea where my phone is. No idea where my keys are. Nothing.

[00:43:17] Yeah, so meanwhile, from my angle, so it was so funny. And I think there's a cool thing for parents to hear where, yeah, you're saying now you're yelling at me, all that stuff, but I get it because you were freaking out and it was such a big thing. But but then it was so funny to hear from my angle as soon as the lady came up and the security guards and stuff, you're like, Hi, oh yeah, if you could help, that'd be great because I'm sitting there like people are coming up. What do they do? What do you like, Mackey? They can help you. They can't. They don't know what's going on. They don't know what I mean. And I loved it because the concept I'm talking about, though, is I often tell parents that that's OK. I mean, it's actually a good thing if you felt safe enough that you could express that to me. And so parents listening to this, the last thing that a parent needs to do is say, Look, I'm trying to help you. You need to calm down, because that would.

[00:44:00] I don't know that would have ruined it like you handled it. So. And just being nice and just listening, even though I was being, that's OK. I was being a jerk. That's all right. And you were just saying so then.

[00:44:10] So then you get into the test. And it's funny because for most of the day, I'm checking find my phone or whatever. And yeah, it's the phone's not exactly where you were taking the test. And then then I'm calling friends in Rexburg. I'm calling a friend of mine who owns like a big company and. And so by the time you got out, then you had these texts when you did get your phone. And I think one of my friends

[00:44:32] Was, You tell me, Yeah, your friend is on his way to pick me up.

[00:44:34] Yeah, did. Yeah, but she didn't really want Ben.

[00:44:37] Well, I had no idea. Yeah, I was two hours away and so I was OK. And then you had someone coming to get

[00:44:43] Me at the car and a lot of

[00:44:45] Time. Yeah, it was

[00:44:47] And Mackey passed.

[00:44:48] I did pass. I just

[00:44:50] Look at that doing hard things, continuing to move forward and then just making the most of that situation and

[00:44:56] Just be present like I be prepared for things and then be present because I had studied enough and gone over it enough that it was almost muscle

[00:45:01] Memory. Yeah, exactly.

[00:45:03] But yeah, then just dialing in and being like. Those things are out of my control, I can't do anything about that, I need to just be here, do this right now, which is really hard.

[00:45:10] It is not easy to do that. No, and especially with that kind of circumstance. And then so now let's let's fast forward to you graduate. You come home for a little bit and then you were looking at all right, what do I do next? And you were looking at, do I go back to Idaho because I know people there? Do I go to Utah because you've got a cousin there and you guys are looking at maybe rooming together? Do you try to get something here in California?

[00:45:32] I had no idea.

[00:45:33] Yeah, yeah. Did that start to feel? I would say, did that start to feel overwhelming or

[00:45:37] Yeah, because it was scary, too, because that was the moment where I then had to start a career. I'm starting a full on career, and so I felt like I had to do the right thing. Yeah, but I didn't know what the right thing was, and I didn't know it was really scary.

[00:45:52] And I bet. And so this is where I want to keep throwing good old therapy principles in there because you heard about this opportunity, I forget who even told you about the opportunity with Meg in

[00:46:01] Utah, the hairstylist I went to in high school. Ah, I went with mom. Yeah, to her hair

[00:46:06] Appointment, she had her out Caitlyn, Yeah, yeah. Right? So then she yeah. So she tells you this opportunity, and I remember

[00:46:13] Asking for her advice like on, you know, what do I do? You went through her school. You have a good successful career now. What do I do? And she was telling me how she got started and that she she was like, I wish that I had done this. I wish I gone to assisted somebody, which I didn't even know. That was a thing, and I didn't know you could get paid to assist. Yeah, in hair. So I was, Oh, I'm intrigued because I was like, I want to be ready. I want to be. I want to jump in and I want to be able to succeed and know what I'm doing. And I was assisting would be perfect. And she happened to know somebody or know of somebody in Utah who had a really good assisting program. So, OK, so I like followed that

[00:46:48] Person, right? And I love I get it to the dad therapist, whatever. Because then there were still those. Ok, that would be amazing. But then here come the yeah. But yeah,

[00:46:57] But yeah, and that's all it was about

[00:46:59] First, like it was. Yeah, but I don't even know what I would say. I don't even know if that's what I want to do. I don't know. I don't know.

[00:47:04] I want to go to Utah. I don't know if I can. I don't even know if it would work, and then I could get my license. Like there was just all these other things. And it was easy to lean into those things and just be like, Well, maybe I'll just stay home. And you know, and

[00:47:14] And we were, Boy, I'm telling you, acceptance doesn't mean apathy. We were saying, Hey, Mac, yeah, if you want to, but what would what would that look like?

[00:47:21] You know, you know, yeah, you just stare at your ceiling all day again. Are we going to start that?

[00:47:25] Never said that, for the record. But.

[00:47:27] And so I finally just OK. No harm will come from just messaging this.

[00:47:30] I just want to say, say that again, because right, nothing will. Nothing negative will come from just continuing to move forward. Yeah, you can always say no, or they may say no.

[00:47:39] And that was I think it was just accepting the fact that there might be some rejection, but that that wouldn't be the end of the world didn't mean anything. It wasn't anything to take personally. So I had to mentally prepare myself there and get that in my head and then decide I'm just going to reach out. Worst things you can do is say, No, I'm not looking, and then I'll reassess and I'll try to figure something out. And then it was just one of those things where she got right back to me. You did face time interviews. Suddenly, I have a job, but

[00:48:06] I love what she did. Talking about I want this isn't why you're on here, but I want everyone in the world to go find your salon and come see you because I obviously you're my daughter and I want them to come get their hair done by you. But what I thought was really cool was, you were saying to me, Hey, have you heard of the what was like the Innegram and have you heard of this? Have you heard of that and maybe put you through the paces from a

[00:48:26] Love language test? Yeah. Like just because her she is this whole thing where she's you can't be your best self if you don't know yourself like that whole thing. And it's so true because if you don't know how you function, how are you supposed to do anything? Yeah. And then if you're if the people you're working with don't know how you function, how are you supposed to run something together? How are you supposed to be successful? So she knows everything about me personality wise, like she knows

[00:48:51] A lot about yourself, too, because you were coming home and saying, Yeah, have you heard of these things? And that's where I love the fact that you can. Sometimes it literally does take somebody else to bring these things up because as a parent, I mean, I was screaming inside of. Yeah, we've talked about these things, but you know, no, no,

[00:49:06] No, no. And yeah, so it forced me to then understand myself a little bit better. And then it just helps. I think every employer in the world should do it because then you just know how to communicate. And you know, Meg knows. How to talk to me about things and how to confront me about things or how to deal with things without shutting me down or breaking me. So it's just it's really good.

[00:49:27] So then and then there were other things that were, I mean, I remember and this is again, it's still funny now what you said earlier. It was really hard to try to find a place for a while. But now you're in a place and I and I don't. Yeah, but we kept moving forward and there were a lot of these times where it felt like it's not going to work. Can't find a place or license.

[00:49:42] You're going to get everything was just stressful. And then all of a sudden they have this job. And I had a couple of weeks really to figure it out and get myself to Utah. So it was intense and it was scary, but we just kept doing. It was one thing. It was going to be me to see that whole thing. Yes, OK, just do this and then we'll do this. And then, you know, and it's going to be fine.

[00:50:01] But what if eight steps down? This doesn't work? I know, right? But what's in front of us?

[00:50:06] So we kept doing that whole thing. And then again, just telling myself, OK, a couple of months from now, somehow I'm going to be in Utah and I'm going to be at my job and everything's going to be fine and it's not going to matter. That's I always that's that's why I like everything. I like it. So I just did that whole thing. And then it's OK. Suddenly, this apartment looks promising and then it works. And then we get it. And then I have a job and I have a day that I'm going there and my license finally comes through. Everything just fell into place. And here we are, and here we are. Been there for a couple of months. Yeah, working, taking clients and loving it. Loving it.

[00:50:38] And do you feel do you still feel confident you've learned some crazy advanced stuff around extensions and things like that, right? Are those things that you didn't know that you would already be learning?

[00:50:47] Yeah, yeah. My boss, I mean, she wants me to be successful, which is really nice. Yeah. So she just we just got right into to think I just it was, OK, you're here. You're going to work. We're going to learn. It's all going to be good. And yes,

[00:50:57] It's moved to a new brand new

[00:50:59] Building, brand new building

[00:51:00] Where you OK now for real? Because one of my top ten is one of my top 10 metro areas is the Salt Lake Valley Pro Bowl.

[00:51:07] That's right in South Jordan, right off Redwood Road. If anyone's in Utah, they know exactly

[00:51:11] What that is. Yeah. Name the place

[00:51:13] Is. It's called ivory salon and suites.

[00:51:15] Ok? And I'll have links in the show notes. But your Instagram here is beauty by Mac, beauty by MacKie and McKee.

[00:51:23] Yeah. Has all the links there. All the

[00:51:25] Things you can literally go sign up and you can do

[00:51:28] Their stuff. You can damn me you can whatever. Yeah, I'm there. I'm working.

[00:51:32] And then so before we wrap things up too, then that concept of we've joked a little bit back east. So I love this too. You surprised us. You came home for the weekend and I just I love those things and I should have known when I walked in Friday. Then mom was sitting there with her phone on me and. And then you jumped out and surprise me. I love that stuff. That's so fun, right? Yeah. But so Mackie came home, and that's why we're recording right now. But we also talked a little bit about it is still, is it still weird to think this is I'm an adult, I'm an adult teen.

[00:52:01] It's really scary and I feel like I don't know. You don't hear a whole lot about being an adult when you're not an adult, you know? Yeah. And then all of a sudden you're an adult and everything's expensive and hard and

[00:52:12] And you got to just keep doing.

[00:52:13] It kind of sucks, but it's kind of fun and it's like, Yeah, and that's we're talking about that. You have to keep doing it. And that's really scary. And you were telling me some good stuff there where I was telling you, I kind of start to freak out sometimes where I go, this is my life. Now I have to show up to work or I can't function. I can't live, I can't OK.

[00:52:31] I'm like, Yeah, no, we're not about to wrap this up because what we were talking about was it kind of goes along to

[00:52:36] Really daunting to think this is this is the rest of my life. Yeah, which I think everyone at some point or another has those thoughts. And it's like just the the way life works and the way you need money and you need to. I don't know. It just it's scary.

[00:52:49] It was I was telling Becky that it really does at times, and I can be probably a little bit therapist, annoying and reframing things. But it really does. We'll people will feel oftentimes like, Yeah, it's going to suck, but what are you going to do? And sometimes I reframe it to try to say there's a book called The Road Less Traveled, where the guy says life is difficult, and once we accept it, it's difficult. Then the fact that it's difficult no longer matters. And now we're not arguing. I can't believe it's so difficult. Or why is it difficult or it's more difficult for me than other people. And and those are the things that get us bogged down in the we could worry and think about those things all day. But once we accept it, yeah, it's going to be pretty difficult. But what are we going to do? And then you start turning toward things that really matter to you? And then and then the more you do that, the more you raise your emotional baseline, the more you feel a sense of purpose and the more of those up up days you're going to have. And on the down days, you still feel like that you have a direction or a sense of purpose. But I think it's pretty cool. But then I also think

[00:53:41] I'm figuring that

[00:53:42] Well, and that's what I'm still trying. I mean, I feel like that becomes what you end up having to do for the rest of your life, right? But that sounds daunting saying that. But what I was telling you about is that when we go back to your senior year and go back to what you felt was an Option B and going to school, and I was telling Mackey, Yeah, I went 10 years in a career that I did not really enjoy, but I didn't even know how much I didn't enjoy it until I found the thing that I did enjoy. So that's where I feel like you were

[00:54:08] Just plugging away.

[00:54:08] Yeah, yeah. But now and I like what you're saying, I mean, yeah, there's still days and clients and things like that that I maybe not is excited about. But overall, I love what I do, which then sure helps which. Do you kind of found

[00:54:20] That, yeah. Yeah, I think,

[00:54:22] Yeah, well, right, because this might be you may go however long on this and then the fact that you did that will will give you the confidence to then say, OK, now I want to pivot it slightly or whatever I want to do.

[00:54:34] Yeah, I like what I'm doing. I'm happy to be doing it. She's crazy. It's crazy to have that sense of purpose and this life changing. It is. And to feel like, OK, even though I don't know all the other things in life is still hard and all but have thing that I'm OK. I'm doing this and I like it, and it's going to be OK and I can be successful if I want to be successful.

[00:54:53] And we were even talking about Your boss is doing an amazing job with her studio and setting up things and promoting everybody. And but we were even talking about everybody's different there, too. I think we were saying, you may not be the person who wants to have their own place. You may want to be a person that has a there, rent their chair within the place. Or you might want. I mean, you can do kind

[00:55:11] Of kinds of options.

[00:55:12] Yeah, based on what you enjoy or what makes it tick.

[00:55:16] Literally, yeah. So I'll figure that out eventually.

[00:55:18] You need to know right now. No, not at all. For anybody that is watching, we'll probably throw up. It's not the best camera angle, but check out your hands. So what are the things you what are the things you didn't anticipate about this work that

[00:55:28] Always have hair dye on them? Yeah, they always look really gross. Yeah, they're there. It's pretty bad right now and it won't come off.

[00:55:36] It will. The other thing I think was funny was you. I remember the first time you told me that you get little cuts from here or something like that. Your hair slivers, which sounds like a great name for an alternative band. Like I would go see, I would see the hair slivers like they opened up. They would probably open up for a bigger band.

[00:55:50] Yeah, no, for sure, right?

[00:55:52] Yeah. So here's the update Do you still get them? Do they hurt?

[00:55:55] It's more. That's more like a short haircut type thing. Typically, more men, which I don't do. I don't really cut guy here anymore unless it's like my cousins.

[00:56:05] If a guy came to your salon, though, and said I would like a fancy haircut, would you say, yes?

[00:56:10] My boss is a genius and her place is right next to a barbershop. Ok, so I don't have

[00:56:17] To know that's a good. That's good. I don't have to do that. That's good. What do you like doing the most of so far?

[00:56:22] I just anything color related. I've always liked that, but I really like extensions, which I'm surprised I didn't. Yeah, because it's tedious and it's a lot of work, but it's really

[00:56:32] These are game changers for people, right? Oh yeah, yeah. Oh, that's so cool.

[00:56:36] So that's been really fun.

[00:56:37] Yeah. So people can go find you and go say hi and literally book with you and any parting words of advice. Now for the here comes deep therapeutics therapeutics. That's not a word therapeutic person. So talking to that 16 17 year old Mackey, what do you what do you tell her so many things?

[00:56:58] No, but I feel like based off of the career stuff. Yeah. Do what you want to do. Yeah. I just so I know that it comes to a point where you need to be providing for yourself or your family, whatever it is, but you can't do those things if you're not somewhat happy and if you're not OK, so you need to do the things that you want to do and figure it out that way. And don't don't be scared of what other people are going to

[00:57:23] Think that's

[00:57:24] So big is that I let that get to me so bad and just it doesn't matter. It's you, and your life.

[00:57:29] It's so hard. I mean, that's the part where I feel like I still deal with that at times, you know? I mean, that's

[00:57:34] It's you and it's what you're going to be spending all your time doing. So you need to pick what you can be passionate about and what makes you feel that purpose and all of those things, which that's a whole other matter that could go

[00:57:45] Hours on that. And I have, yeah. Yeah.

[00:57:48] But then to a little 16 year old Mackie, I feel like it is just that. It's a combination of the A to B, B to C type thing or focus on the things that you can deal with right then and there in that moment, because you don't have control over all the other things and then understand the part where. Now, always using words, OK, a year from now, a year from now, is this thing really going to matter or is it going to be this this big of a deal? Whatever I do that all the time, it's calm down, it's OK. It's fine, everything's going to be fine. It's not that big of a deal. Feel the feelings, but it's OK. It's not that big of a deal. It's going to be fine. I don't know. Just know that there is hope. Even one doesn't feel like it. Yeah, it's all like it is there and it does. It comes and goes feelings wise, but it is there which I feel like I didn't know that. Yeah. And then I think the biggest thing is just. Help is there. Accept it, accept it, because I think that was I didn't want to. And it's good. I didn't want to lean into that and I didn't want to admit that I had anything wrong. Like mentally, I didn't want to admit that I was sad. I didn't want to, like, make it real. So I pushed away all the help, and I was just like, No.

[00:58:53] As a therapist, we suggested therapy. What were your thoughts?

[00:58:58] He it.

[00:58:58] Absolutely. The moment I want it.

[00:59:00] But then I wanted it so bad. I just it was just the I didn't find the right person for me. Like, I didn't find somebody that I could really click with. Yeah, and then I gave up.

[00:59:09] I know, right? And that's why I felt bad, because that we would say, OK, well, we can find somebody else. But at that point, was it.

[00:59:14] I just felt defeated, and I again, I felt like there was no hope. There was no motivation. I didn't feel purpose. I was just like, Why? I'm not going to go? Why does it matter? I don't want to deal with it. And so I pushed that away. But no, just do the things, do the little things. I went on medication like I did things and

[00:59:32] Do all the

[00:59:33] Things, do all the things because the things help. They really do.

[00:59:36] Maybe there's the title, do all the things because

[00:59:38] They will help all the things and things help.

[00:59:40] Mackie, thank you so much. This was really cool. I wanted to talk about this one all the time and go find Mackie and go get your hair cut by her because she's really good. Thank you. Yeah. Take us out with a whistle. You know, Wendy, Wendy Wendy is my wife and say for those listening, he struggle whistling. That's not bad.

[01:00:03] Then he goes, Yeah, that's so embarrassing.

[01:00:05] All right. Mckinley Overbay, thank you so much. We will see you the next time I see you. Well, I'll see you as soon as I hit. But then it would be the fifth time. That's crazy. I think you get a jacket.

[01:00:14] Oh, you're already getting that jacket? I'll tell you another one. Ok, we'll do that. Ok, love you, man. By everybody.

[01:00:21] Compressed emotions flying past our heads and out the other end, the pressures of the daily grind. It's wonderful. And plastic waste and rubber ghost are floating past the midnight hour. They push aside the things that matter most wonderful. May 12. News of discount price. A million opportunity, the chance is yours to

[01:01:28] Take or lose, it's one.

[01:01:33] Funds are always on the back burner until the opportune time always pushed

[01:01:40] To go further, shut up. It goes. And some of. And. To be.

[01:02:21] I've developed this does don't explode a lot of understanding through to heal the legs and hearts, you broke the pain. Oh, the ship girls just

[01:02:34] Might implode my mental strength and cause I'm trying hard to shut

[01:02:41] Them out.

[01:02:45] The Manchester bomb is dropped due to a. You. To take. Screen. Fancie's. It drowns dreams.

Nate Christensen, APCC (working under the clinical supervision of Tony Overbay, LMFT) shares his personal journey in living with depression and shares his "Ten Commandments of Managing Depression." Depression is a diagnosable mental illness and treatment is available! Depression is estimated to affect up to 20% of the adult population at some point in their lives and symptoms can come on as early as grade school. If you believe that you, or someone that you know, is struggling with symptoms of depression, please seek help from a mental health professional. There are many treatment options available! Please visit the @virtualcouch on Instagram for a list of Nate's 10 Commandments of Managing Depression. And if you are interested in working directly with Nate, please reach out to him through the contact form at http://tonyoverbay.comPlease subscribe to The Virtual Couch YouTube channel at and follow The Virtual Couch on Instagram

This episode of The Virtual Couch is sponsored by With the continuing “sheltering” rules that are spreading across the country PLEASE do not think that you can’t continue or begin therapy now. can put you quickly in touch with licensed mental health professionals who can meet through text, email, or videoconference often as soon as 24-48 hours. And if you use the link you will receive 10% off your first month of services. Please make your own mental health a priority, offers affordable counseling, and they even have sliding scale options if your budget is tight.

Tony's FREE parenting course, “Tips For Parenting Positively Even In the Not So Positive Times” is available NOW. Just go to and sign up today. This course will help you understand why it can be so difficult to communicate with and understand your children. You’ll learn how to keep your buttons hidden, how to genuinely give praise that will truly build inner wealth in your child, teen, or even in your adult children, and you’ll learn how to move from being “the punisher” to being someone your children will want to go to when they need help.

Tony's new best-selling book "He's a Porn Addict...Now What? An Expert and a Former Addict Answer Your Questions" is now available on Kindle.

Tony Overbay, is the co-author of "He's a Porn Addict...Now What? An Expert and a Former Addict Answer Your Questions" now available on Amazon The book debuted in the number 1 spot in the Sexual Health Recovery category and remains there as the time of this record. The book has received numerous positive reviews from professionals in the mental health and recovery fields.

You can learn more about Tony's pornography recovery program The Path Back by visiting And visit and sign up to receive updates on upcoming programs, and podcasts.

Tony mentioned a product that he used to take out all of the "uh's" and "um's" that, in his words, "must be created by wizards and magic!" because it's that good! To learn more about Descript click here

------ TRANSCRIPT ------

[00:00:01] Hey, pop quiz, do you know the difference between a marriage and family therapist, a clinical social worker, a professional clinical counselor, a psychologist and a psychiatrist? And I would say that for most people to email me or come into my office or write my name on a check, actually even people in my immediate family, I am pretty sure that that answer is no. And does it even matter? Kind of. I remember one time in particular where somebody was desperately trying to get a family member in to see me. I'd worked with someone else in their family. And so despite a very full schedule, I made time. I fit this person in and they came into the first session. And as I started to lay out the standard things that a therapist says in their first session about confidentiality, harmed yourself and others don't hurt old people. If I bump into you on the street, etc., he hands this piece of paper and it has a list of medications on it. And I looked at him and I thank them. And I started up again with my spiel and he cuts me off and said, Hanaway only have a really short amount of time and an amount of this medication. I'm curious what you thought about this other one. Would you recommend that I switch this one up? Would you bump up the dosage? And I thought to myself, You OK? Easy there, champ.

[00:01:09] We literally have forty seven more minutes. We'll get to the medications as this initial assessment happens. And he cuts me off again. And he asked me if I will be able to write him a prescription for a refill of his current meds nonetheless, because he is running out. And I explained that I was a licensed marriage and family therapist and that I couldn't write prescriptions. And he said, OK, honestly, I don't wanna waste your time, but that's all I'm looking for. And he really did. He literally got up and he left. So in that scenario, it definitely helps to know the difference. So simply put, the first three examples I gave a marriage and family therapist, that would be me, a clinical social worker, a professional clinical counselor. We all received bachelor's degrees. And then we went on to get master's degrees in some type of counseling or social work program. And so what we can do is we can then see clients and one on one therapy settings and some, like clinical social workers, can see clients like I do. And they can also go into the community and they connect people with resources. And if you didn't want to stop with the master's degree, then you go on to get your side or doctorate of psychology, which typically takes about another three years.

[00:02:13] And that is what makes you a clinical psychologist and the title of doctor. And in that scenario, you're more likely to work with individuals who maybe have more severe mental illness and you also work more with psychological testing. So a psychiatrist than that is the medical doctor. They've literally gone to medical school, they've delivered babies, they've done their rounds, but then they settle into the brain, the mental health, and they are the only ones out of the professions that I mentioned that can prescribe medication. So why am I saying this out? Is the intro to this episode about depression? Well, it's because this is a special bonus episode with a guy named Nate Christiansen. And at the time when we recorded this episode, probably I think it was probably three years ago, Nate was in school getting his master's degree in counseling to become a professional clinical counselor. So Nate graduated and he did what's called a practicum, where he spent almost a year seeing clients for a nonprofit organization. And then after completing his practicum, he is now on the road to receiving some three thousand hours total of experience before he can sit for his licensing exams. So he definitely has some some road under his tires. And while a therapist or a counselor is putting in those pre licensure hours, they have to work under the supervision of a licensed supervisor.

[00:03:27] So drum roll, please. I am happy to share that. I am working with Nate in the position as his clinical supervisor. So we meet weekly in supervision. He has an office in my building and he is officially open for business and taking new clients. So if you live in the state of California or specifically if you want to come in the office in the Sacramento area or the Roseville ish area and you're looking for help and you like what you hear in this episode, please feel free to reach out through the contact form on my website at Tony and I will put you in touch with Nate. So he has primarily been working with adult and adolescent males, but he has experience with most all ages, both male and female, and he works a lot with depression. You're going to hear a lot about that today. Or anxiety, ADHD and addiction. And I say this often, one of the most important factors in the success of therapy is the relationship between the therapist and the client. So if you don't feel like you can trust or be open with your therapist, then progress can be far more difficult to achieve. So with that said, I am excited to share this bonus episode with Nate, where he lays out his Ten Commandments of working with depression. And Nate will be coming on soon to record a new episode on attachment and addiction based on some of the work he did in graduate school, which is absolutely amazing.

[00:04:36] So more of that in the coming weeks. So let me get to my interview with Nate Christiansen, associate professional clinical counselor, working under the supervision of yours truly. And I left a lot of the intro of that initial recording in because it was kind of fascinating. I wasn't going to talk about this, but we were on our way. My wife and my daughter Mackie, who's been on a couple of episodes and myself, we're on our way to drop Mackie off to college for the very first time. And so it is kind of fascinating that that was she spent a year there working with school and college and then kind of discovered her true passion, which was cosmetology school and recently just graduated from there. So I didn't realize that. Yeah, it's been a little while since we recorded this episode, but I talk about that in the beginning because there were some significant things that we talked about in the car ride on the way to school while we were talking about this episode. So without any further ado, let me get to my interview with Nate Christianson. Come on. So, hey, everybody, just a quick note before we get to today's podcast, today's podcast deals with the topic of depression.

[00:05:59] There are a lot of people that are very close to me that struggle with symptoms of depression. So I did send this podcast out to a few of those people beforehand and received some amazing feedback. I actually listen to this podcast while driving with my wife and daughter out to drop her off at college. And we even used a lot of these takeaways that my guest, Nate Nate Christiansen, leaves these he calls him is Ten Commandments of Managing Depression. So the episode is excellent. I think it's going to help a lot of people. But some of the feedback I received from some people that were very close to me is that the talk around depression for someone who is feeling depressed can feel almost somewhat triggering, especially when you hear the numbers or if you hear some of the the symptoms or signs of depression. So I just wanted to give you a little bit of a warning and just say, hey, if you are in struggling with depression, then I do feel like the Ten Ten Commandments of managing depression will help greatly. So please, I hope that you will hang in there and listen to these to the full podcast and get these takeaways. I'm also going to try to come up with a nice graphic and put those on the virtual couch Instagram page. But I just want to let you know that we are going to deal with some signs, symptoms, numbers, facts before we get to those Ten Commandments of managing depression.

[00:07:09] So I want to give a little bit of a heads up. If you are struggling with depression or even if you think you may have signs of depression, please go see a mental health professional, the virtual couch podcast. As much as I am just passionate about it and love it is no replacement for therapy. So with that said, one more quick thing. When Nate comes on, I mentioned a there's like an auditory. It's well, it's actually it's called Misophonia. It's a selective sound sensitivity syndrome. So I could not think of the name at the time. I actually said it very quickly, Misophonia. But that's the word that I was looking for. If you want to know more about Misophonia, give it a quick look. Dr Google can help Misophonia Misso Enayat and that is when you may maybe be you or somebody that you're close to is not just annoyed with chewing sounds, breathing, that sort of thing, but it just they feel it's like nails on a chalkboard and that it's going to just absolutely drive them crazy. So there is something called Misophonia, which there's some good information out on the Web, and I wanted to get Nate on for a while.

[00:08:07] And so, Nate, I've been traded a lot of messages to just see what he would like to come on and talk about. And he has a lot of experience in working with depression. And he shares some of his own struggles with depression on the show today. And so I'm grateful for that. He brought a Ten Commandments of managing depression, which I thought was amazing. I did not know that was coming. So he has some really ten solid takeaways today, which I think is brilliant. And I just have to tell you, I'm recording this now because when I would normally be doing the recording and editing, that sort of thing, I would be taking daughter number two away to college with my wife. And I just that is what an experience that the first time that I did it a few years ago, I could not believe how exciting, but yeah, how emotional it was at the end. A ball like a baby was. I had a good enough dad, that sort of thing. And so I'm sure that's going to play out again. But if you get the chance, if you haven't, this is one of those things to wear when it was time to take first daughter to school. Admittedly, I didn't know. I don't know how the game is played and that's not a good excuse. When my wife was saying, hey, we're we're going out there, and then I was like, yes, we are in my man brain went into, OK, I'm going to take that time off of work.

[00:09:14] And I only had whatever I work for myself, but I'm not in the chair. I'm not making money. And we've got to pay for this. And it's college. And then I have to think, OK, you know, this is a time where I need to put the needs of my family and ahead of any of those man brain things and trust that I will do whatever it takes, I will work as hard as I need to to make that happen. And oh my gosh, am I glad that I did. It was such an experience. And so I'm giddy with getting out there to take her. So by the time this thing airs, I'm already there. And and it's and it's going well. I know it is. I think it is more fact. When I released this episode, I will have already last night said a very tearful goodbye. It was very emotional, I'm sure, but I hope that I'm doing OK and not just sobbing all the way home. Actually, it's OK if I saw the way home. It's all right. Normal human emotion. Nothing wrong with that. I'm not a robot. So now let me get on to that interview with Nick Christiansen.

[00:10:01] Take it away, Nate.

[00:10:09] Nathan, you immediately got a hearing on my gun.

[00:10:12] Yeah, well, you don't sound like a couch on Cotter's.

[00:10:16] Yeah. What's the there's a do you know that there's a it's not a disorder, but there is there's a thing, Doug, on it. I should know this before where it's people are really tuned in to sound. I want to say it's Mr. Misophonia. Is it what I'm talking

[00:10:32] About that you got me

[00:10:34] Ok? I don't want to take the time to look at it, but I might have to. When you were talking to some point, I probably get back to it on that. But where people just become so and just attuned to chewing sounds, slurping sounds. I have someone near to me that they just will hear chewing and just say, hey, can you knock it off? And at first I thought everybody to kind of relax and then but there's a I got to find this now. I will find this. I will find this. I will post about it. But it's because then it kind of helps people. It normalizes that they don't feel they're crazy if all they can do is focus in on somebody chewing or whatever. So for those people who may have the disorder of whatever, I don't know what it is. I thought my head. I'm sure they thank you for throwing away your gun. Not a problem. All right. This is repeat. Guess Nate Christianson. Nate, welcome back to the Virtual Couch. Thanks to our first episode I love and I'll shoot you a text when I get hey, somebody brought it up in a session today. We talked about, oh, our first episode.

[00:11:25] We're talking about decision making. I know. Why don't you go? That was like,

[00:11:30] Oh, that I like. Yeah, yeah, yeah. It was a blast. And I still pull the I can sound really smart. You talked about the Dunning Kruger effect. I will pull that out all the time when somebody will tell me a story about that somebody is going on and on about something they don't really know about in my. Oh you mean the Dunning Kruger effect. So I learned that from Nate. So Nate, I've been wanting to do another episode for a while. We were trying to zero in on a topic. And this is a big topic, right? We're table to talk about depression. And I thought that I would start out a little bit by just giving some facts about depression. The World Health Organization estimates that as many as three hundred million people suffer from depression worldwide and the United States alone, more than 15 million people suffer from major depressive disorder. And so it's when I first saw that number and it says six point seven percent of the population over the age of 18. Immediately, I thought it was kind of low. But that is the what meets major depressive disorder criteria, which maybe we can talk about. But there really aren't a lot of numbers of how many people just have a not a major depressive disorder, but just feelings of depression,

[00:12:28] You know, actually. So I was looking into this like trying to prep for us talking. And it appears the numbers I'm seeing. Yes. Is over the course of any given year, 10 to 20 percent of the population may be suffering from some sort of depression.

[00:12:43] Wow. OK, so any given year and then and it's one of those type of things that they can it can hit anyone and people go through the times, their lives or they feel like they are more depressed. They're situational depression where people can be met with some life changing event that brings on depression and their seasonal depression. We're heading out of the summer, heading into the winter. I think that's one of the main times that you see a lot of seasonal depression and depression. So I was OK. So many people have depression turned to drugs and alcohol to make them feel better, numb themselves from their feelings. And so estimates state that approximately ten point two million adults live with a co occurring mental health and addiction disorder. And I think that if you really step back and think about it, that's what makes treating depression even more difficult, because when people feel bad and then they turn to something to help them feel better. And typically it's not, hey, how about a little bit more exercise or some deep breathing? Usually it's just, name the addiction.

[00:13:35] Right. And we'll probably talk a little bit more about this. I have major depressive disorder, so I'm 40. I was diagnosed with it when I was 22. I can recall feeling feelings of depression, significant depression as far back as elementary school. There's something that's and it's genetically there is a genetic component. Yeah. But we don't know exactly what it is. So you got where you can't get to. Oh this is exactly the. Because we don't know for sure. Yeah. For, for me personally when it comes to to my own depression and managing my own depression, I know there's just a ton of things that you can do to make it better, but there's almost equally amount of things you can do to make it worse. It might make it better for that moment, but then afterwards, it's just compounding so much worse.

[00:14:23] Yeah, exactly. OK, I've never actually gotten a phone call and I'm doing it. I guess I've not decided yet if I will try to delete that.

[00:14:31] I guess one person's up at six forty two in the morning. I don't know

[00:14:35] Your family, so I was like a telemarketer. I been getting a bunch of those lately on my cell phone and lobular. I don't think so. I think the ones that are trying to sell me. OK, now look at this. Got me in a ADD moment and all that. I was playing one for my wife last night where somebody so funny, they're so casual and it just says they don't say my name of course has trees. Just follow up on that two hundred fifty thousand or line of credit we were talking about. I got right here on my desk and and I don't understand the what am I supposed to go, oh my gosh, I forgot that I had set up this quarter of a million dollar line of credit with Teresa. I need to call her back and give her all. All of my information, my Social Security number, my bank account number, who falls for that?

[00:15:12] You can ask the same question. How many Nigerian princes are going to get money out of us?

[00:15:17] Because a fair amount, the guys seem very legitimate, seem very legitimate at the time. OK, so let's go. OK, but you were talking about, though, as many of those things that you can do that are good, the siren song of addiction calls as well. Whenever someone feels down and it can look like video games, gambling, pornography addiction, alcohol, even people can become addicted to exercise and that all the time.

[00:15:39] Sure. Well, I think in terms of addiction, if you have to be addicted to something, exercise is probably low on the list of don't be addicted to that.

[00:15:47] It could be that there are worse things. Yeah, full disclosure, a lot of times I in my intro, I was so ultramarathon runner and I love getting to go talk about running these 100 mile distances or twenty four hour runs. And when people just in general say, why do you. I love to say I just because I can or so I can eat ice cream. But at its core it's there is some belief that we're all addicts of some sort. So it's like how do you how do you find that socially acceptable, quote, healthy? Did air quotes addiction? And so the writing becomes one, but I've been pretty open about it. If I don't write a couple of days without running, then I am shorter, fatter, bolder. I'm a worse husband, father, a therapist, those sorts of things, because it becomes just a part of what I need. Sure, yeah.

[00:16:27] Yeah. I mean, when you're looking at exercise, specifically when you're looking at addiction, there's there appears research seems to be pointing towards an underactive dopamine system. And that's where people oftentimes have a propensity towards addiction. And one of the things we don't necessarily know that it's the cause. In fact, I think a lot of researchers believe it's not the cause, but neurotransmitters, huge problem when it comes to depression. Yeah. So you can see the connection there. Dopamine is neurotransmitter. People that have addictions are using that addiction to get dopamine. Yeah. And a lot of people that are depressed have issues of dopamine levels, serotonin levels, norepinephrine levels, all neurotransmitters. So that's probably at least partially the connection you

[00:17:10] I'm reading a book right now called The Body Keeps the Score, which is just it's a fascinating book. It's really dealing with trauma and PTSD. But the one of the parts that I read yesterday was talking about and I loved how he said even people like that are trying to run. He used a marathon runner where they begin to slowly as they embrace the pain, they then there is a he's saying a physiological physiological change in the brain that then goes to not only then embracing the pain, but then the pain becomes the normal thing. The pain becomes somewhat embraced, the pain becomes your baseline. And then it's almost now it's a withdrawal of those chemicals that come with the pain. And so then you are you're not as much focused on the man. I can't wait to exercise just because I want to feel that good. It's that when I'm not exercising, I don't feel good.

[00:17:56] Right. And I think that that's part of why for me, like, I don't feel like I'll ever be cured of depression. I think most researchers and mental health professionals will tell another person while it's not something you can learn from, but that's why I like to use the term.

[00:18:11] Manage. Yeah, I like that, too. And we'll get to a little bit when I want to go through. And you put together what you call your Ten Commandments for managing depression. Yes. And then I went to one of the things I want to talk about a little bit later is the concept of Acceptance and Commitment Therapy ACT, which I love doing, talking about with regard to depression, because you're right, you basically have to make room for depression. Guess which? And yeah, because then that helps recognize that even when it's there, it's what are we going to do with it. Not the oh my gosh, it's here. I'm such a horrible person because I have it. I'll never get over this. Those aren't those aren't workable thoughts. I guess I want to really quickly go through so we give a little bit of stats. I think we've covered that lots of ways to find help. There's a depression hotline. I'll put that in the notes as well. And a lot of people attend 12 step meetings for depression. You can meet with a mental health professional there to give the disclaimer no. OK, you and I are not providing therapy through the podcast today. And we just want to provide some information and things that we feel helped us either as as individuals or for me in my practice. But depression is a significant, debilitating mental health condition. With that said, we highly encourage you to seek treatment from a mental health professional. The really quick to I thought this would be interesting. Then I want to get into your I want to hear your Ten Commandments. I have not I do not know them. So I'm excited. But so I think it's important to note that most people do experience periods of sadness in their life, especially after major events, job loss, divorce, death of a loved one. So clinical depression is different than that. And according to the DSM five, which you're beginning to love, is now in grad school.

[00:19:44] I know it, all of it.

[00:19:45] And this is why it is the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. It's the thing that we use as clinicians to diagnose. And so depression is diagnosed or clinical depression, which is different than regular sadness, is diagnosed when you have five or more of the following symptoms in a two week period. The depressed mood most of the day. And so you can even see how these are a bit subjective.

[00:20:05] They're very subjective, which is why I say I don't love it and it's not. It's hugely important to our field, obviously, but it changes a lot.

[00:20:13] Yeah, it does, and it helps.

[00:20:15] That's not bad because we're learning new things all the time. So it has to change. But I think you can get sometimes too wrapped up in the minutia of something. And it's like, oh, well, you only have four of these, so.

[00:20:27] Right. So you must not be depressed. Right. OK, that's funny. I remember in grad school, apparently, I didn't take the DSM seriously enough, so then there would be some discussions where people were doing that and it was about. So this when you're depressed, mood most of the day. What constitutes most of the day? Is it over the 12 hour mark you? Is it is it less than? According to the DSM five five or more of the following depressed mood most of the day, loss of interest in almost all activities, significant weight loss or decrease in appetite, insomnia or hypersomnia, feelings of restlessness, fatigue or loss of energy, feeling worthless or guilty sometimes for no reason, thinking or trouble thinking or concentrating, and then recurrent thoughts of death or committing suicide. And then, you know, in here without a specific plan, if there is a specific plan and that, can we take that a little bit more seriously. So and then it can be so there OK, there's a DSM criteria. And again, if you now realize, oh, my gosh, I've got a bunch of these and maybe my depression is something I need to deal with, please go see a mental health professional. Yes, absolutely. And if you only checked off three and a half or four of these things, I'm good. You know, still go see a mental health professional. Sure. OK. All right. What brought you to the Ten Commandments of managing depression?

[00:21:38] So as you mentioned, the first time we met, I'm a student, I'm a graduate student working on a graduate degree in counseling. I'd like to be a mental health counselor at… So I'm currently working on a degree through Northwestern University. And it's very challenging. It's very difficult. I went to kind of a regional college here for my undergrad and it wasn't as demanding. And I just kind of had some family things all of a sudden hit me. I got super stressed out, OK? And to the point where my anxiety was so high that I was starting to have physical symptoms and it became paralyzing. And I ended up in a major depressive state.

[00:22:23] Here you were pursuing something that you were excited about, passionate about. This is what you want to do. So what was that like? Was this sweetmeat what's happening here?

[00:22:32] Well, I knew exactly what was happening because it's happened before, but I was surprised I couldn't shake myself out of it because in the past I've had issues like this. You know, it's been a long time since I couldn't get out of bed. That was a weird feeling. I was like I thought I was past this. Yeah. And I think that's maybe part of the management is understanding that you're never really totally past it.

[00:22:52] I really appreciate your vulnerability because that is here you're you're pursuing a career now in something you love. And so that had to have just felt just so it was a surprise.

[00:23:05] Yeah, yeah. Yeah, it was. I mean,

[00:23:09] Surprise are pretty lame word right there. I'm trying to well I mean, I don't put words in your mouth.

[00:23:14] No, but I think it's fair because I didn't I didn't expect that I was going to be back at this place. That was years and years ago, like a decade ago or more. So it really it was really eye opening. And I think it's a good thing and I'm glad it happened at this point. And not later on, you know, when I'm practicing and, you know, that would be that would be horrible, especially for my poor clients. Oh, I'm sorry. I can't get out of bed right now. Right now, though, it does.

[00:23:42] It gives you a tremendous amount of empathy, I can imagine.

[00:23:45] Well, yeah. Yeah. Certainly people that are going through depressed, you know, and sometimes it's hard to empathize with someone that is unwilling to get out of bed in the morning, something that simple, but you haven't been through it. Yeah. If you've never been through that and you know, somebody just sitting there like you just got to get up. Yeah, yeah. The person there, like a puddle of mess.

[00:24:12] Why would in one more episode of whatever, I mean I don't know, would you have though or were there days where you just felt like it's just not happening today period. Or was it a noon. I'll do it at noon. The noon rolls around and

[00:24:24] Some days that's what it was like. OK, I just would get up when I can. There was a lot of days I couldn't get up at all. So my my parents are currently gone as missionaries there in Florida and they literally had to take a plane home. I'm single, so I don't have someone there to, like, cheerlead me out of bed. Yeah. So they had to come back. I'm forty years old. My parents had to come back and get me out of bed can and you know that's those are kind of on my, my commandments. So maybe I'll share a little bit more about them. Yeah.

[00:24:59] Yeah. All right. Yeah. Let's get into those. Yeah. We can talk for days.

[00:25:03] Ok, all right. So kind of based on what we just talked about. My first commandment is, get up,

[00:25:11] Ok,

[00:25:12] Depression is not going to get better if you're laying in bed. Now, that being said, if you're if you're dealing with someone that is struggling with depression, standing there and like, get up, get up is probably not going to be helpful. But, you know, there's tactful ways that you can be encouraging and things like that. I remember the

[00:25:30] Podcast I did with Shelly Auldridge about anxiety. It was I mean, I love what she said about, you know, at that point, I don't know if it's maybe it's maybe the fight or flight response for the freeze response or so your brain's not thinking. Yes, your brain is not thinking rationally. So when you're trying to lay out all these reasons, when the person is standing above them saying, here's eight reasons why you need to get out of bed,

[00:25:48] That's not registering. No, it's not. Because, I mean, the way that I like to explain it is, is at that point, the emotions are overriding logic to the point. I mean, your emotions are huge and logic is just I mean, it's there somewhere, but it's not going to override this huge cloud.

[00:26:09] Ok, so the managing depression is get up. You kind of have some tips thing.

[00:26:13] Well, I don't necessarily have tips, but I did want to. So, I mean, for me, it was setting an alarm. OK, what I found happening is, is I would be up super late. I'd just be laying there because I didn't get up until noon. Get up. I get up. I mean, wake up. I didn't wake up till noon, one or two, and then I'll go back to bed until four a.m. I just lay there from two until four a.m.. So the reason I'm I'm saying just get up is because if you're in the bed, you're not going to be able to do any of these other things. So, OK, I got to get out in order to do anything else. Good point. And I looked at kind of some interesting things. So there was a study that that was done by the University of Colorado, MIT, Harvard and the University of Vienna. Now, they specifically looked at that female nurses. So if you're a female nurse, this specifically applies to you. I think it applies to a lot of people, yeah. You know, that's just what they were looking at. They found that that if you got up in the morning based on on all of these nurses, they surveyed several thousand of them. Those that got up early and early could be different for different for for me, 7 a.m. I'm fine with that being early, but, you know, everybody's different.

[00:27:27] So that's halfway through my day.

[00:27:29] And I was totally kidding you. We've already run through three states,

[00:27:33] So getting off early

[00:27:35] Anyway, so. Twenty seven percent decrease in depressive symptoms and people that get up early.

[00:27:43] I like this. I have to tell you, I listen to a podcast long ago. I think it was one of Freakonomics Radio or something. I've been meaning to get back to it where they were talking about can you be if you're an early morning person or a night owl and can you change? The answer is yes. But they had some data to back up. The early risers were more productive. They were happier. They were all the same. So sorry. Sleep in people, but took it up. Right. Is he going well? I mean,

[00:28:06] We have to adjust to for people that have you know, they're working third shift and stuff like that, don't go to bed at 6 a.m. and get up at 7 because we told you that because

[00:28:14] It's going to be more

[00:28:15] Productive, you're not going to be less depressed because you're going to have an hour

[00:28:18] Sleep. Sleep is still important. It's hugely important.

[00:28:21] And so the next one is actually something you just said, be productive. Yeah. And and and in that what I mean is, is getting up and watching TV all day is probably not going to get you out of feeling depressed, you know, and I'm not saying, you know, go clean your whole house, but just do what you can when you can. I mean, get up and do something, make breakfast, maybe do the dishes if you like to get outside. Have you heard there's

[00:28:48] A viral video speech of I think it's someone, a Navy commander or something talks about making your bed in the morning.

[00:28:56] So so there's a there's a Canadian psychologist, comedian psychology.

[00:29:01] Oh, yeah.

[00:29:02] Kind of book. Yeah, I think it's twelve. Well, yeah, I think rules for life. Something like that. Yeah. Yeah. And I think the first rule was, was make your bed.

[00:29:11] And that's what this one's gone around for a while and where. And I think that's that point. You get up and you accomplish something.

[00:29:17] Yeah, yeah, yeah. So it's along those lines. So the next one is, is get active. And for me this one was huge and I'm including like this is exercise is really what I'm looking at, but exercise is different for different people. So right now I'm spending about two hours a day, six days a week in the gym. But I didn't start that way. Yeah, this was months ago. I there were there were times I was at the gym once or twice during the week for an hour. So you got to understand where you're at and just just get there.

[00:29:52] And I appreciate that, too. I feel like when even I'm suggesting that I'm speaking somewhere to a client and they assume I'm saying, hey, can you hurry up and get to the one hundred mile running, right? No, just walk. Yes. And I remember hearing, boy now a million trains are coming at once, but there's. In other words, just talked about there was a guy talking about how he got into the just even getting up and just stretching movement and the way it kind of stretches the muscle fibers and the and it just helps you from not just feeling stagnant and then from stretching to walking to just move.

[00:30:25] Yes. Yes. And that's really what I'm talking about. If you have a gym membership and you get to the gym, great. If you don't and all you can do is just walk around your yard at first and that's all you can do it first. Just do that. And I think it's important to to point out there's been several studies. I think the most recent I saw was through the University of Texas south eastern. I think was was the school. Eighteen thousand participants. And they found that when they were pulling these people, exercise was equally as effective as antidepressants. I did hear that. That could

[00:30:58] Be. Yeah. By the way, it's why I didn't needs pulling things out from Texas Eastern, you know, where you have that stuff, right?

[00:31:04] The I the data. That's why I like doing what's so great. OK, all right. So the next one or in three, this is four four four. Improve your diet and this could be a couple different things. So you did mention their, you know, weight, significant weight loss. Some people with significant weight gain weight.

[00:31:23] Even as I was reading that from the DSM, that's what I was thinking. I get people that, you know, therapeutically eat and put on a fair amount of weight and then they beat themselves up about that.

[00:31:32] Yeah, well, and I mentioned before kind of the physiology of it with glycogen, which

[00:31:38] Is what you and I talked about that. Yeah. Yeah, about that. I have that on your Nate quote. When we were putting some notes together, I feel like I'm more attracted to things. I'm depressed, like video games, carbs. And then we were talking about wondering if people who have depression have a propensity to overeat, sugar, carbs. And then I said in my notes, I said, Nate do your liver glycogen. OK, so here we go. Do that. Liver glycogen.

[00:31:59] All right. So so glycogen is kind of the fuel of the body. And so when we eat, especially carbs, our liver will fill filled with glycogen. And and when it's full of glycogen, you can't take anymore than it releases Tryptophan and tryptophan. Is that chemical in Turkey.

[00:32:17] That's why I hired you. That caused us to fall asleep watching the Cowboys and the Lions. Right.

[00:32:22] Right. So what then ends up happening Is the body a tryptophan? Now, I'm I'm not a neurologist, so this is my understanding and thankfully is a very basic OK. Is the most basic level here. No juiciness. My understanding is tryptophan is a serotonin precursor. So the body will metabolize the tryptophan into serotonin or it will trigger the body to create serotonin. And serotonin is a feel good drug. So overeating makes us feel good emotionally and sleepy. Oh yeah. So you just want to sleep happy

[00:33:00] And sleep happy coma. And the way you got there was from tasty treats.

[00:33:04] Right. And in and rule one, you barely got out of bed, then you overeat and next thing you know you're back in bed sleeping in, you wake up, you're like, oh I got to do it all over. Right.

[00:33:13] Ok, so I like that. And again, Nate is not a doctor and that may have been a stick figure drawing of something, for example. Like I you know, I think that's a workable thought, as they say, in acceptance of commitment therapy.

[00:33:26] Ok, yeah. So improve your diet. Could be eat more. Could be less. And certainly we're looking at, you know, if you can any way you can incorporate fresh fruits, vegetables, like I mean, I love donuts, but they're awesome. It's going to make you sick and you're going to feel rotten. Yeah, you really are.

[00:33:45] You know, gosh, I remember for a while I was on this kick of oh, I think after the one of the podcast had the woman half size me, the podcast and the website lost literally half a hundred and fifty pounds. And she even just talked about we have that concept of where, you know, sometimes I think, OK, I didn't eat the salad. And so really, does it matter to eat the banana? It's like, absolutely, yes. Have a banana. One is great an apple is great. And she even talked about, you know, don't feel right now like, oh, gosh, I got to go. I got to start some crazy diet or whatever. Just make a little bit of progress, right. Yeah. Right.

[00:34:18] Yeah. And that's huge. So let's go to number 5 here, see a therapist.

[00:34:23] Ok, hey, before you get to hear why Nate says that, going to see a therapist is one of his Ten Commandments when dealing with depression. It's kind of perfect timing, right, for me to jump in and say if you if you aren't in the area here, if you aren't planning on reaching out to see if you can visit with Nadaf, trying to get on my schedule, then this this episode is brought to you by the fine folks at So if you've been on the fence about seeking professional help, look no further than your computer or your phone and go to virtual couch and get ten percent off your first months of services, can put you in touch with a licensed therapist or a licensed professional clinical counselor in as little as forty eight hours. And it's affordable, it's flexible. And the therapists have a variety of specialties, including anxiety, depression. We're talking about today, OCD, grief, loss and the intake process is. Streamlined, it will get you to the therapist who will know how to help you and and breaking up, it can be hard to do. But if you don't like the fit of your therapist, makes it incredibly easy to find a new therapist without any uncomfortable break ups. So go to, slash virtual couch, get 10 percent off your first month services, which now well over a million people have done. So let's get back to the interview with Nate Christianson.

[00:35:31] So therapy is interesting and I don't know if you've ever heard of Jonathan Shetler. So he's a psychologist in Colorado and he's huge into psychotherapy. And so he quoted a study that studied him in one of my classes, not him, particularly when we looked at something he wrote. Yeah. And and this piece that he wrote, he quoted a study that, according to the study, cognitive behavioral therapy was twice as effective for people as antidepressants, and psychotherapy was three times as effective for people with depression versus antidepressants. Interesting. Yeah. So there's there is value to seeing a therapist. Yeah, absolutely. Do it.

[00:36:15] As a therapist, I have to say, a lot of times people feel like, you know what what how is it going help? And there's the it's cliche, but it's true. Sometimes it does feel good to just kind of to be able to express things to somebody is not going to just tell you, knock it off. You shouldn't do that to realize what you're doing. You shouldn't know your way. So any of those kind of things. But I feel like also I can't tell you how often I hear people express things that they just assume they're the only person in the world that feels the way that they do. Right. And then when when you kind of don't is that therapist. And I go, I mean, thank you for telling me that. And they kind of look at it like maybe you're not freaking out right now. You're not ready to lock the door and call the right, you know, and then I feel like sometimes that just feels like there's give them a little bit of something. And I've got my episode right raising their emotional baseline. I think therapy is going to help raise your emotional baseline and every little bit eating right. The movement, everything you're talking about as it raises the baseline, you're going to view things a little bit different.

[00:37:05] Yes, OK, yes. OK, so the next one got to talk to a doctor. Now, this could be your personal family doctor or this could be a psychiatrist. So antidepressants works for roughly about half the people that take them. So for some people, they're not going to be helpful. But for some people, they're hugely helpful, you don't really know what that is, you know, until you try it. Yeah, I rule it out. Yeah. Yeah. I go to a psychiatrist myself. After what happened earlier this year, I was like, holy cow, I got to do something. This is bad. And so so I'm seeing a psychiatrist and it's you know, I haven't found the exact drug yet, but I, I did find some drugs that were really helpful when I was younger. OK, now we're kind of trying a new search and I'm

[00:37:50] Going a couple of thoughts there. You tell me if you if you disagree or if you agree, but you can go to your family doctor, you can go to your GP general physician, and they can prescribe an antidepressant. And I'm not saying anything negative about that. A psychiatrist, though, is one who is going to have probably a little bit more assessment tools that they do for a living. And so I find that some people go to their GP, they ask for an antidepressant, they prescribe something that that they feel has worked for most of the people they work with. Right. And so then if it doesn't work for the maybe the client I'm talking to, then they just say it doesn't work. And so, I mean, again, I love my GP. I do. He's a great guy. But the psychiatrist, I, I ideally you want to then report back to them. Here's how it's working. They can adjust dosages. Right. And if that's not working, they can say, OK, we can try this one. And and then you can really rule out whether or not there is a medication that works. It's not a I tried something for four weeks. I really didn't feel any different. And I've done.

[00:38:45] Yeah, yeah. Well, you know, I mean, what you're dealing with there is a specialist versus someone that has a broad base of knowledge over a lot of different things. So they're just not going to have the depth of knowledge when it comes to mental health. And that's not to say that. I mean, I, I actually in my religious congregation, there's a retired doctor and he's been very helpful for me because he but he's also looked at other things as well, like my dad. And he's giving me other suggestions that the psychiatrist who's very focused on pharmaceuticals, you know, maybe didn't focus on this much.

[00:39:21] So while you're there, when you mention diet again, I mean, I know there are people that are probably going to listen that have had their lives radically changed by a change in diet. And I don't want to sleep on that. I feel at my core that if I if I never turned back to another donut or candy bar or a bag of chips or that sort of thing, again, I would be I know that it would help. I really do. It's difficult. But I it I know there are people that I've had in my office that have said, look, once I you know, I once I basically cleaned up my diet and never looked back, then life looked completely different. So and I understand that. But then I don't want that shame or guilt feeling to come for people that say you have tried a can't, that sort of thing.

[00:40:01] Well, and I think that you're looking at potentially different people. So some people are I mean. That the diet is their cross to bear. And that is going to be the hardest thing for them their entire life and other people, it just doesn't. I have a close friend. I've always liked sugar. You know, maybe for that glycogen reason he didn't really care that much. Yeah, it doesn't really bother him. Like, he don't understand that. Like, he sees he sees a pile of candy and he eats one piece. Like, I'm like, how much of this pile can I get in my face.

[00:40:34] We talk about transference as a therapist. When I have the people I can I really care much about food. I find myself then man, I got to be very mindful and get back to focus with the client because I think. What is he talking about? What is that like? Is he just saying that or do you really can you sit there at Halloween and not want to raid his kids? Candy, what is that like. Yeah. Okay, yeah. All right. Well no we on

[00:40:53] Ok, so we are on one, two, three, four or five, six, seven. All right. Be social. OK, these are good. Yeah. Well these are all very basic and simple. So that's why I thought, you know, if you're especially in the throes of depression, hopefully these things, you know.

[00:41:11] Yeah. Are a depression as a as is something that causes one to isolate. Yes. OK, so that's where you're headed with that.

[00:41:18] Yeah. So I'm an introvert. I enjoy people, I like people, but I like environments that I have a little bit of kind of control, especially like so me walking around an amusement park kind of raises my anxiety, OK, a lot of people. So sometimes I have a tendency to not be social, but I'm realizing now, you know, holy cow, like being social with other people is is helping me. And there's and there's pieces of that that are interesting. So the doctor that I mentioned previously,

[00:41:48] Who, by the way, I want to get on the podcast. I want to shout his name out. Yeah. But I think he'd be great. Oh, he's

[00:41:52] Yeah. He's wonderful. So anyway, he he came by.

[00:41:57] Sorry, you said the psychiatrist. I want to get on the podcast. I don't know this doctor. Maybe he needs to come on the podcast as well

[00:42:01] Or he's retired. I mean, he's so he doesn't have much time. Got a ton of time now. I have to talk. Yeah. So anyway, so he he came by, my dad brought him by, you know, after he flew all the way back from Florida and brought him by because I couldn't get out of bed one day. And he's like he's like you've heard of smile therapy. And I was like, no, no, I don't have any idea what that is, he's like, I want you to just look in the mirror and smile yourself for five minutes. And I was like, Oh, that's absurd. So I didn't do it. Oh, like me, I'm stubborn. Yeah. So I didn't do it. But I noticed when I was interacting with other people, I couldn't help but smile on occasion. And I was like, you know, this is kind of what he was alluding to. I think, you know, when you have an interaction with people, preferably a good interaction, like if you just being angry with talking with people and maybe maybe we'll put the social piece right.

[00:42:51] You're going to say, well, what's the opposite political party I believe in? It's going to be yeah, OK,

[00:42:56] Let's discuss something that's going to make you really mad. Right. But, you know, for most people, you're having a just a random discussion and you just occasionally smile. And we are hardwired to be social even if we are introverted. And so on some level, we're you know, we are getting our brain is is is releasing neurotransmitters from interacting with people. Yeah. I mean, it's crazy, but that's just kind of I guess on some level it's a survival mechanism.

[00:43:24] I enjoy. I do I and I try to bring humor into therapy. I mean, I think that smiling is I mean, yeah, it does help. It helps a lot. I so, you know, my my train of thought about telling that story I was ready for. I wanted that doc, the retired doctor, so bad to say. Have you heard of tickle therapy and your dad just like mercilessly tickling you to get you out of bed.

[00:43:43] Oh, you wouldn't have ended. Well, I'm not sure I'm ticklish at all when I'm depressed.

[00:43:47] Ok, yeah, that's a fair point to say.

[00:43:49] You're in my space. You should we go now? We're OK.

[00:43:52] All right. So we're not advocating tickle therapy with smile and being social is a good thing.

[00:43:56] Yeah, OK. So, I mean, there's a lot of different things just, you know, few ideas, you know, if you're religious or you, you know. Yeah. Go ahead. Go go do your church activities even if you can't get in the middle of it. And and I understand you don't want to be there. That's the last thing in the world you want to do. But just just be in the presence of people can sometimes, you know, over time it'll warm you up, you know, see family, friends. I mean, there's you

[00:44:21] Know, I had somebody, oh, a long time ago to talk about. They would they liked in those moments to be able to just kind of get outside of their their their heads. They loved people watching. And I love that. I do, too. Yeah. And so they talked about they would literally just go to a mall and the food court and grab a drink and then just watch people and that just they found themselves. And I think it was kind of like a mindfulness exercise without them knowing. So they were noticing people noticing interactions with people. And and so they're out of their head. They're out and about. There's movement to kind of walk to the table. Yeah. So I like that. So there's a lot of different ways. But you're

[00:44:52] Social. Absolutely. Do you feel like the,

[00:44:55] I don't know, social media kind of things is a good thing or a bad thing at that point?

[00:44:59] Well, so I did I did put here, which I which I failed to I don't want to read this is if possible, do it daily and in person.

[00:45:08] I like the in person thing, yeah, part with the social media is when you're down and also you jump on there and you start seeing everybody in Cancun or, you know, whatever.

[00:45:16] Yeah. And that's and that's one of the interesting critiques of social media, which is it puts us, too, into other people's lives. And then there becomes a comparison problem. Yeah. It's like, wow, this person I went to high school with has a beautiful home, a beautiful family, and they're vacationing and they can't go. Yeah. And then for me, I'm single a graduate student. You know, that's what's wrong with me, right? Nothing more depressing.

[00:45:45] And they didn't post a picture of the guy losing his wallet. Somebody like rifling through their stuff, their flight delays and that sort of thing, which I mean, I'm making light of that. But I do feel like the the part where I know that everyone has their problem. Oh, yeah, they do. But it's hard to kind of acknowledge that.

[00:46:01] Yeah. Yeah, it is. OK, so eight serve. Now, this is obviously heavy in terms of religion. That's usually a big, big component. Yes. I found interesting quote, I don't know if you've heard of Karl Menninger. He was a psychiatrist. He died, I think, around 1990. He wrote several books and so was somewhat influential. And someone once asked him, what advice would you give to a person if that person felt a nervous breakdown coming on? And, you know, a psychiatrist, most people like to go see a psychiatrist and get some drugs. Yeah. And his response was, leave your house, find someone in need and do something to help that person.

[00:46:39] That's perfect.

[00:46:40] So, I mean, for I think for especially, again, for religious people, you know, I mean, you find a million different things and say the New Testament, you know, you you find your you lose yourself and you find yourself losing of yourself. Yeah.

[00:46:58] And I do feel so I've had a lot of a lot of religious congregations do have immediate opportunities to serve. You can reach out to somebody, a pastor, bishop, and they'll tell you. But I've had I've had some clients that don't necessarily have a religious community who and I know it can sound cliche, but the soup kitchen, if there are a lot of opportunities, I had one at one client go volunteer to cook one day a week at a it a small group home, and that led to other opportunities and other opportunities. And, you know, that was a great example of that, just kind of getting out and getting outside of yourself.

[00:47:29] Yeah, yeah, yeah. Number 9, avoid triggers and self medication. That was one of the first things you brought up. When we are feeling depressed, sometimes we have a tendency to to be attracted to things that are bad for us that help in the short term. But the long term effect is I mean, it's it's so much worse that I understand why you do it in the short term, because I have been guilty in the past of doing self-destructive things. Just get that relief because you're feeling so awful. You just want to feel a bit better.

[00:48:00] Yeah, but you're training your brain to when I feel this certain way now, I will turn to this addictive thing and that and that will it will release this chemical rush for the for the moment. And then quite frankly, I may feel worse after, but then which the ironic part is then when you feel bad, then your brain says, wait a minute. Yeah. Hey, remember, we got the rush here a minute ago, and so then you're just training the brain. And then we go back into that power of habit. Charles Duhigg book where the little walnut sized thing, the basal ganglia, the habit center, it's just waiting for you to throw it some things so that your brain can just say, I don't really have to think about this anymore. We just do this. Yeah. So your brain wants you to create those patterns as channels, those neural pathways so that it can just say, all right, you take care of that. I'm just going to kind of be here chilling because I want to live forever.

[00:48:47] You know, and it's interesting you mentioned that. So you or maybe I brought up Dr. Jordan Peterson because of you making your bed thing. So he he posted he's posted over the years. He's a professor at the University of Toronto. He's posted over the years some some of his lectures. And one of his lectures that I watched was on addiction. And he talked about how for for most people, the physical addiction is gone in a week or two. Yeah, it's the neural pathways that hang on for years and years. And so, you know, changing those neural pathways is the really difficult. Yeah.

[00:49:19] You know, and I'm going to go deep in a few in a month or two. I've got a series I want to do on ADD because I'm very open about that. I struggle with an attention deficit disorder. And and even when one gets medicated and the you know, and they feel like now they can focus their years, decades of patterns of just, you know, if I'm on the Internet, it's check this, this and this. If I'm coming into my office, I can I can do these things. And and even though you are you feel hope, you feel different. You feel like I can't focus. It's it's amazing. Just the tug of just the behavioral things that have been kind of ingrained over the years.

[00:49:55] Absolutely. Power of association. I mean, is why quitting smoking can be so hard for people? It's a social thing. It's like every morning I have a cigaret, you know, I mean, there's just and so you stop smoking in the body all of a sudden. Doesn't want nicotine, but then you're seeing all of these association, there's a

[00:50:11] Great podcast called The Hidden Brain, and they talk about quitting smoking 72 hours after and what happens with the brain and the body. And it's kind of like that. There's a lot that happens there to kind of put someone in a position where they can succeed. But they talked about the social part and the part where, you know, you're going out together at work or I mean, it's just it is there's so many of this these neural pathways that are ingrained. So same thing with the things that we do to avoid kind of managing our depression.

[00:50:38] Yeah, yeah. And then the last one is don't try to be perfect, just try to improve. And and that for me is been kind of a, you know, a constant in my life as I've sometimes set the bar too high. Yeah. And when you're feeling really depressed, you just got to set it low and, you know, shoot if you can't get out of bed for three days, but you get out of bed one day even if you do nothing else, the fact you got out of bed is an improvement. So tomorrow, try to do a little bit more. And guess what? There's going to be some days where you're going to do you know? Well, you'll you'll do great in the next day. You'll do bad. And then you want to feel depressed again. Right. I mean, you're going to backslide. Yes. Just be aware of it. It's OK. You know, the next day you can have an opportunity to do a little bit better. So just to reiterate, get up, be productive, get active, improve your diet, see a therapist, talk to a doctor, be social, serve, avoid triggers and self medication. Don't try to be perfect. Just try to improve. And there's other things that can certainly be helpful for religious people. Could be prayer or, you know, reading the religious texts.

[00:51:49] Have you have you been a fan of mindfulness at all? Has that been a part of any of

[00:51:53] What you have done? Absolutely. So for me, mindfulness can help in many different circumstances. I find it particularly helpful when I'm feeling very anxious, so I don't necessarily quite incorporate as much when I'm yeah, when I'm going through a depressed state. But but I also, when I'm really depressed, have focused problems. OK, so mindfulness would be especially helpful, but I can't focus sometimes so I don't even like go there.

[00:52:20] Now that makes sense. That does. I'm a huge I'm done a lot of podcasts I think recently on acceptance and commitment therapy and that there's a mindfulness component there. And I had pulled up a study not too long ago that acceptance and commitment therapy, also known as ACT is a the this is titled ACT as a little known fast treatment for depression, as some psychologists believe that accepting your negative thoughts can help them pass faster. And I know it's much more complicated than that, but with accept that with act. The act was developed in the nineteen eighties, but now there's finally enough. It's really there's enough evidence now that we can kind of accept it as a it's a it's an evidence based model that shows act of being effective in treating anxiety and depression and chronic pain and addiction and those sorts of things. But so instead of like classic CBT cognitive behavioral therapy and CBT therapist encourages you to try and challenge your negative or irrational thoughts. Act kind of want you to be more mindful and accepting of them, make more room for them, which I know kind of sound a bit squishy if you haven't really tried to do it right. But I think that it goes against that I'm broken or and it's more of just these are just some feelings or thoughts. And I have plenty of these. And they're going to come and they're going to go and and then what do I do with them? And how do I learn how to kind of make a room for them? You know,

[00:53:33] And that's an interesting thing when you talk about about our emotions and kind of how we feel broken, because, you know, when you talk about feeling broken, when you're in a major depressive state, that is like the ultimate feeling of broken from what I've experienced. Yeah. And we have a tendency to want to figure out what is wrong with us. Yeah. Like, I feel bad, therefore I am. Yeah. Yeah. And sometimes you have to to accept the fact, OK, well I'm not necessarily good or bad, at least this is my perspective. And what I found is just accepting. OK, I'm Nate, I'm not necessarily I'm not all good, I'm not all bad. And the brain wants to classify things and we can get ourselves into trouble. Yeah, well, you know, if we feel bad inside, then our brain might just tell ourselves, OK, well, if I feel bad I am bad.

[00:54:19] Yeah. So I mean, you know, go. So that's an acceptance. I'm just an act. One of the coolest things is you start to say if you start to say, OK, I can get over this or I'm not bad. They call it reason giving and you kind of sit back and say right now, just kind of pay attention to what stories your brain tells you in the next few seconds. And it's going to say, you know, you are bad or well, you haven't gotten over this yet or I can't believe you're back in the state. Or and when you really dig deep on ACT, you start to then label those you recognize those the stories that your brain is trying to hook you and you will say, oh, there's the I can't do it story or I recognize that one. The old you know, you'll never get over this story. They're just stories of brains telling us and they tell us that. And then we become an ACT They call it Fuster. So then you get into the you become. Used with that belief in that belief or thought is it is fact, but so, in fact, you really working on diffusing the guy who found it at this guy named Steven Hayes talking about the mindfulness or meditation? He says when you meditate, you let your thoughts pass by like a cloud in the sky. You're noticing them rather than pushing them away. And ACT is based on that idea. So the key said isn't isn't cleaning up your thoughts. It's changing the relationship to the world within yourself. Kind of like what you're saying, right? So he says and what I love about it is based on values, too. So it is this what's your idea of success? You don't have to come out of this and then and write the novel or go get your PhD or whatever, because that's going to if that's not your core value, then you're just kind of setting yourself up to feel worse about.

[00:55:51] Yeah. And you see that when we talk about morality, two different people, same event. One person is you know, it's crushed them because in their own mind, you know, it's a horrible thing. Another person maybe was raised in, say, a sex positive household and they have the same type of event happen in their house and, you know, within their own life and it doesn't bother them. So, you know, on some level, you know, our our our brain is is is in charge even when your life feels totally out of control.

[00:56:21] Yeah, exactly right. Because it might even be kind of keeping you there. That's when, in ACT, they call it that's when you are you're fuzing. I almost want to kind of go so close to going off on a tangent, but I like what you just said there. Let me see if there was any other stuff that I am going to go off on a quick tangent. I mean, so there was a kind of a pull a little note, because this one referenced to my old alma mater, University of Utah, a clinical psychologist there, Megan Call, who uses act with clients, said in the lead runner might experience the same pain after a long run is someone with a physical disability, she observed. But the runner doesn't believe the pain will limit him. And the person with a disability doesn't have to either. Now, that can sound like, OK, this clinical psychologist doesn't understand, but she just said there's a difference between thinking I can't handle the situation and I'm having the thought that I can't handle this call observes. The latter might lead you to realize that indeed you can. So the kind of the the concept there is you do you are the way you diffuse from your I'm broken is I notice I am feeling broken when or if you're sad. It's I notice I'm feeling sad when I am, you know. So it's not that I'm like you said, I'm not I'm not used to sadness, I'm not fused to anger.

[00:57:29] And i'm not fused a failure. I notice I'm feeling this. Yeah. And so the one more quick thing and I want to do my tangent there, too, in 2014, there was a TED talk by an addiction and cancer researcher, Jonathan Bricker, and he described how some see act more effective at controlling cravings to like junk food, cigarets. And the typical approach and I like what he said here, he said you can't win a tug of war with the craving monster, he says in the talk, because eventually the monster will win and you will give in act acceptance and commitment therapy encourages you just to simply drop the rope. If you allow the monster to occupy the same space in your body, you'll discover that he's not as threatening as he appears and sometimes he'll even go away. And I kind of thought that was interesting. Yeah. So drop the rope. Right. The thing that the tangent that I'm dying to go on is in in acceptance and commitment therapy, you can have a goal. And in this one, I've actually used this so many times this week in a session because somebody brought it up. But if your goal is to make money and you don't look at your value, that we need to lead with our values to get to our goal, someone will tell me that they had worked in this basically a call center where they were felt like they were basically doing they were fraud.

[00:58:36] You know, they were trying to cover it up. The people up top were it's not really fraud. You just just read this script, you know, and that sort of thing. And so the money was there. Person was making money, but they felt just horrible about it because they're like, my goal is I want to be honest. I want to do this with integrity. Right. So then the in ACT I remember reading in a book at one point where you can have two people that want to climb a mountain. So the goal is to get to the mountain. But if one person's values are to be very present, then enjoy and then they're going to every bit of it. They're going to enjoy the camping on the way up. They're going to enjoy the rocks and the trail, the trees. So then the other person is just I have to I have to get to the top to get there as soon as I can. So then if a horrific storm occurs and now we have to scrap the mission, you know, these two climbers that had the same goal, the one who is just his values are around just enjoying the the being very present is going to say that was a success. And then the one who didn't to you know, his only goal was to get at the top now feels like a horrible failure. Right. That that was kind of deep.

[00:59:37] That's really deep. I mean, I think that that shows the value. I mean, it's it's just a story, but it just shows the value of changing our name, the way we think about certain events and certain things in our lives and and depression probably. I mean, you can see the application for depression.

[00:59:59] Yeah, that's right. Yeah. So if you're looking at it as more of, hey, I'm on a journey and if my you know, I guess if my goal is you, I would love to alleviate symptom. Of depression and in function better, whatever that looks like, but my but my values around that or, you know, I'm not going to beat myself up about it, I'm going to say I love your Ten Commandments, that I'm just going to I'm going to kind of take this slow and make small steps, you know, then it's going to look a lot different along the way than it's I didn't I didn't get my dream job or my dream career or whatever because depression got in the way. Yeah. Yeah. All right Nate, we could've kept going, huh? That's good.

[01:00:34] Well, and this is just one small part of direction. Like we didn't even talk about, like, child, you know, and their adolescence and the polar and all the difference. Yeah. Your depression. This is like just basic stuff.

[01:00:48] I smell a part two coming down the road, but

[01:00:50] You could probably do a whole series, 10 part. All right.

[01:00:54] Thanks for coming back on the virtual couch. This is amazing. Now, you know, you're going have to write the Ten Commandments of managing depression. I mean, after that, I needed to have that somewhere. I can point people to write. Yes. Blog on the website.

[01:01:08] Well, just just remember, I'm not trying to be perfect. I'm just trying to improve. So I write a paragraph a day. So it could be a few weeks.

[01:01:15] That is fair. I will acknowledge that. I noticed that I was feeling pushy and I will back off of that. Alright Nate, thanks so much for coming on. And so we'll see you again on the virtual couch.

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