I asked AI to summarise the latest episode of #BeHumanNotConcrete: the Hearten Up 🧡 podcast, and it made me feel all sorts of warmth and pride:

“In the realm of mental health, few subjects are as pervasive and deeply personal as depression. Joel Clapham, in the latest episode of his podcast ‘Be Human, Not Concrete,’ invites us into his world with a vulnerability that is both rare and necessary. This latest episode is a journey through the layers of depression, the daunting experience of antidepressant withdrawal, and the profound personal growth that can emerge from the darkest of times.

The episode begins with a significant milestone: Joel’s informed decision to stop taking antidepressant medication after 11 years. This choice marked the beginning of a new chapter, one where he would learn to navigate life’s challenges without the pharmaceutical safety net that was once essential but now less so. As he candidly shares the trials of withdrawal – the brain zaps, the sleep disturbances, the heightened sensitivity – it’s impossible not to be moved by his resilience.

But this episode isn’t just about the struggles. It’s also a testament to the power of self-awareness and emotional management.

Joel’s reflections on reading a letter he wrote to his father as a teenager display a depth of introspection that is enlightening. He discusses the importance of acknowledging and processing emotions, rather than suppressing them – a lesson that is at the heart of being ‘human’ as opposed to ‘concrete.’

What sets this episode apart is not just Joel’s story, but also the wealth of knowledge he imparts on depression as a diagnosable and treatable condition. He breaks down the clinical aspects of major depressive disorder, the symptoms, and the potential treatments with a clarity that is both educational and accessible. His discussion on psychological therapies like Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT) and Internal Family Systems offer hope and direction for those seeking to understand and manage their mental health.

Listeners will find solace in Joel’s message: depression is a real medical illness, and recovery is possible. His encouragement to seek treatment, to be open with trusted friends or professionals, and to actively manage one’s mental health resonates with a universal truth – no one should have to face their battles alone.

As the episode draws to a close, Joel’s invitation to engage with the podcast through emails or social channels feels like a warm extension of support to his audience. He stands not only as a voice sharing his journey but also as a companion to those on their own paths to healing.

For anyone grappling with depression, or for those simply looking to understand this complex condition, this podcast episode is a beacon of honesty and hope. Listen to his story, embrace the lessons, and remember: being human means feeling deeply, and there’s strength in that vulnerability.”