The Depression Files-logo

The Depression Files

Health & Wellness Podcasts >

Men experience depression differently. Al Levin interviews men who have suffered from depression, educating those who may know little about mental illnesses while giving hope to those who may be suffering.

Men experience depression differently. Al Levin interviews men who have suffered from depression, educating those who may know little about mental illnesses while giving hope to those who may be suffering.
More Information


United States


Men experience depression differently. Al Levin interviews men who have suffered from depression, educating those who may know little about mental illnesses while giving hope to those who may be suffering.




Al Interviews Michael Landsberg | TV/Radio Host, Mental Health Advocate & Founder of Sick Not Weak

In this episode, Al interviews Michael Landsberg, longtime TV/radio host on TSN, mental health advocate, and founder of Sick Not Weak (recorded 8-7-19). Michael shares how he followed his heart and broke into the field of television and radio broadcasting. He shares his story of depression and describes the one interview, an interview with NHL player Stéphane Richer, that drove him to utilize his notoriety and platform to continue to speak publicly on the topic of mental health. In addition...


Al Interviews Justin Peck | Professional Off-Road Racer, Mental Health Advocate & Author of Bulletproof

In this episode, Al interviews Justin Peck, professional off-road racer, mental health advocate, and author of Bulletproof (recorded 7-22-19). Justin shares his story of being severely bullied as a child, having depression symptoms at age nine, and bipolar disorder symptoms since age thirteen. He was finally diagnosed with bipolar disorder at the age of twenty-six, after a suicide attempt. A natural story-teller and a passionate, caring mental health advocate, Justin describes how he got...


Al Interviews Michael J Nanna | Former University Professor, Former Police Officer & Singer-Songwriter

In this episode, Al interviews Michael J Nanna, former university professor, former police officer, and singer song writer (recorded 7-15-19). Michael struggled with anxiety from a very young age. Once in college, Michael studied psychology particularly hoping to get some answers regarding his own mental health struggles. During his undergrad years, he experienced his first panic attack. Michael went on to graduate school and started seeing a psychiatrist, as his panic attacks...


Al Interviews Cory Strathman | Mental Health Advocate and Former Principal

In this episode, Al interviews Cory Strathman, mental health advocate and former principal (recorded 7-11-19). Cory describes working in the high stress role of the principal of an elementary school. After a smooth first couple of years, Cory received a call from his younger brother stating that he had cancer. This was the start of a mental spiral downward. While Cory's wife realized what was going on, she also pointed out that this was not the first time she had seen Cory in a similar state...


Al Interviews Matthew Tessnear | Author, Blogger & Mental Health Advocate

In this episode, Al interviews Matthew Tessnear, author, blogger, and mental health advocate. Matthew shares his long history with depression, anxiety, and obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) (recorded 6-27-19). After working as a reporter and editor for ten years, Matthew switched roles to public relations. Soon after transitioning to this new role, Matthew's mental health took a turn for the worse. At that point, Matthew new something had to change. He withdrew from just about everything...


Al Interviews Carl Waggett | Firefighter & PTSD Advocate

In this episode, Al interviews Carl Waggett, firefighter and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) advocate (recorded 6-18-19). Carl is a firefighter of fifteen years, his last four as Acting Captain. He is now on leave due to his PTSD. Carl describes how he gradually realized that he was becoming desensitized to traumatic scenes. Eventually, after having a colleague die by suicide and feeling that his own life was beginning to crumble, Carl decided it was time to reach out for help. Carl...


Al Interviews Kevin & Co | Mental Health Advocate

In this episode, Al interviews Kevin & Co, mental health advocate (recorded 5-27-19). Kevin talks about being a trans male, as well as his diagnoses of Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) and Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID), previously known as Multiple Personality Disorder. Kevin describes his "System", which consists of Kevin and seven "Alters", or "Parts". Kevin describes receiving the diagnoses and the work he has done to have a better understanding of his many alters in this...


Al Interviews Lorenzo Lewis | Mental Health Advocate & Founder of The Confess Project

In this episode, Al interviews Lorenzo Lewis, mental health advocate and founder of The Confess Project (recorded 5-13-19). Lorenzo shares some of his childhood trauma including being born behind bars, losing his father and entering a behavioral facility at age 10, and being convicted of a gun crime at age seventeen. Lorenzo speaks about the challenges of being a black man with a mental illness. He also describes how the African American community, in general, relates to mental illnesses...


Al Interviews Erik Robinson | General Contractor & Founder of Building a Refuge

In this episode, Al interviews Erik Robinson, general contractor and founder of Building a Refuge (recorded 4-22-19). After losing nearly eighty personal properties and his own home in the housing crash of 2008-2009, Erik went into a deep depression spending days in the dark of his basement, culminating in an attempted suicide. In 2011, Erik realized that he was being investigated by the FBI for some of his mortgage investments six years earlier. Erik was charged with a federal crime and...


Al Interviews Vincent Wales | Author & Co-Host of The Psych Central Show

In this episode, Al interviews Vincent Wales, author and co-host of The Psych Central Show (recorded 4-3-19). Vince is the first guest on the show with Dysthymia, also known as Persistent Depressive Disorder. After Vince's mother left him when he was five-years old, his grandparents adopted him and raised him. After a couple of encounters with friends who mentioned how depressed he seemed, Vince decided to seek out counseling at the age of twenty. While it took Vince many sessions before...


Al Interviews Dr. Derek Chechak | PhD in Social Work, BA, BSW, MSW & RSW

In this episode, Al interviews social worker, Dr. Derek Chechak (recorded 2-25-19). Derek shares his own struggles with mental illness that began as panic attacks from the young age of sixteen years-old. He then describes having his first bout of major depression at twenty and a second one at age twenty-seven. Derek talks about medication and other types of therapies. Although Derek had genetic testing done to help determine the best type of medications to treat his depression, he's been on...


Al Interviews Gabe Howard | Bipolar Speaker, Writer & Podcaster

In this episode, Al interviews Gabe Howard, bipolar speaker, writer, and podcaster (recorded 3-11-19). Gabe describes what it was like living with undiagnosed bipolar disorder for many years, as well as life after his diagnosis. From debilitating depressions that included suicidal thoughts and kept him in bed for days at a time, to manias that included hypersexuality and drug use. Gabe also shares his thoughts on managing medications and their possible side effects. Gabe is a writes for...


Al Interviews Joe Barksdale (again) | NFL Offensive Tackle

In this episode, Al interviews Joe Barksdale, NFL offensive tackle (recorded 3-13-19). Joe returns to the show approximately one year after his first interview on The Depression Files. Being in a much better place mentally than he was one year ago, Joe discusses the abuse from his parents that led him to a first suicide attempt at the very young age of nine years old. Joe talks stigma, football, and music. Hear about the therapy he's been going to for the past year that includes Eye Movement...


Al Interviews David Soto Jr. | Author, Podcaster & Retired US Air Force Master Sergeant

In this episode, Al interviews author, podcaster, and retired US Air Force Master Sergeant, David Soto Jr. (recorded 2-21-19). After retiring from the US Air Force, David spent close to three years traveling and living in a van. The excitement quickly unraveled and, having a great deal of time alone, David did a significant amount of introspection. He came to realize that he needed help. He finally realized that he had experienced a fair amount of anger throughout his life, he had long...


Al Interviews Sean Adam | Inspirational Speaker & Podcaster

In this episode, Al interviews inspirational speaker and podcaster, Sean Adam (recorded 2-6-19). Sean describes how shame prevented him from reaching out for any type of professional help through his first four bouts of major depression. Through time, books, self-exploration and professional support, Sean was able to realize how the romantic relationships he chose to be in (hero-victim) impacted his mental health. Rather than focus on being with and supporting others, he finally realized...


Al Interviews Jeremy Schneider, MFT | Marriage and Family Therapist, Author, Public Speaker & Childhood Trauma Survivor

In this episode, Al interviews Jeremy Schneider, marriage and family therapist, author, public speaker, and childhood trauma survivor (recorded 1-28-19). Jeremy speaks very openly and honestly about a significant amount of childhood trauma that he had experienced up until the age of eighteen. He describes how the trauma has impacted his life and the incredible amount of work that he has done, and continues to do, in order to work through this trauma. Jeremy also describes the debilitating...


Al Interviews Jacob Moore | Filmmaker and Founder of NoStigmas Mental Health Support Community

In this episode, Al interviews Jacob Moore, filmmaker and founder of NoStigmas mental health support community (recorded 1-23-19). After losing his father at the young age of six, Jake struggled with undiagnosed, debilitating depression and anxiety for much of his life. Panic attacks related to his physical health were frequent and he eventually turned to booze and drugs to self-medicate. After working as a bartender that supported his drinking habit, he landed an incredible job opportunity...


Al Interviews Nick Emeigh | Director of Outreach and Development for NAMI Bucks County, Pennsylvania

In this episode, Al interviews Nick Emeigh, Director of Outreach and Development for NAMI Bucks County, Pennsylvania (recorded 11-19-18). Nick, who is diagnosed with Schizoaffective Disorder, anxiety, depression, and OCD candidly shares his story that includes several hospitalizations, suicide attempts, self-medicating with heavy drugs, an arrest and much more! Nick explains the differences between Schizoaffective Disorder and Schizophrenia. He also describes the stigma he often feels when...


Al Interviews T.J. Smith | Hockey Coach & Mental Health Consultant

In this episode, Al interviews T.J. Smith, hockey coach and mental health consultant (recorded 11-5-17). T.J. estimates that he struggled in silence with depression for over ten years before getting the support he needed. T.J. struggled with racing thoughts that greatly impaired his sleep, a gambling addiction, and binge drinking. After reaching a breaking point and realizing he needed help, T.J. was diagnosed with major depression, anxiety, and OCD. T.J. had three inpatient hospitalizations...


Al Interviews Michael Kuhne | Community College English Instructor

In this episode, Al interviews Michael Kuhne, a community college English instructor (recorded 6-13-18). Michael describes his first suicidal thoughts that occurred at age 14, as he contemplated taking his own life while holding a loaded .22 caliber rifle. He goes on to describe two other bouts of major depression and an unhealthy coping mechanism of over-exercising. Michael describes learning later in life what it means to be an adult child of an alcoholic. Now, an instructor at a community...