Health Podcast Post

Book Club featuring Dr. Gregory Scott Brown

George Grombacher May 24, 2022

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Book Club featuring Dr. Gregory Scott Brown

LifeBlood: We talked about mental health, the problems facing we’re facing, the five pillars for improving it, and how to get started with Dr. Gregory Scott Brown, Board-Certified psychiatrist, mental health writer and author of the Self-Healing Mind.  

Listen to learn how to get started with self-care!

You can learn more about Dr. Brown at, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn.

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Our Guests

George Grombacher


Dr. Gregory Scott Brown

Episode Transcript

george grombacher 0:00
Come on

I’m left with this is George G. And the time is right. Welcome to our monthly book club and welcome our author of strong and powerful Dr. Gregory Scott Brown. Dr. Brown, are you ready to do this? Yes, let’s do it. Thank you so much for having me, George. I’m excited to be here and excited to have you on. Dr. Brown is a board certified psychiatrist. He’s a mental health writer, he is the author of the self healing mind. Dr. Brown, tell us a little bit about your personal life’s more about your work, and what motivated you to write the book. So I’m a psychiatrist, and based in Texas, over the past several years, I’ve also done a lot of work outside of the clinical setting. I’m a writer for Men’s Health magazine.

Dr. Gregory Scott Brown 0:52
You know, I’m active on social media as far as promoting a positive message about mental health and wellness. And I’m also someone who has a personal history, overcoming depression, that’s really what got me interested in mental health to begin with. I think a lot of people don’t talk enough about mental health, especially men. And so that’s a group that I’ve really tried to focus on in sharing my own personal story, and to encourage others to not only get professional mental health care, but to realize that it’s okay to pay attention to their mental health with self care strategies that we all have access to. I appreciate that. And I told you as we were getting started, that the numbers are, it’s it’s a crisis, that suicide is the second leading cause for men in their 20s and 30s. And the third leading cause of death in the United States for men in their 40s or 50s. That’s crazy, right? I mean, and you have to realize, so you know, I just happen to watch a road runner last night, that film about Anthony Bourdain, who was one of my heroes, someone I, you know, obviously never had an opportunity to sit down and speak with I mean, he’s someone who died by suicide, tragically, but so many men share that type of story. You know, they’re struggling for such a long time and having trouble really connecting with a therapist and getting professional mental health care. And I think that conversations like the one that we’re having right now, these little conversations, 20 minute conversations that, you know, people can share with their friends and their family members and their loved ones can really go a long way. And in some cases, Georgia, they can even save a life. Yeah. But I imagine that that’s 1,000%. True. So with the book, and with these conversations, clearly raising awareness and breaking down the stigma of mental health, and for men talking about mental health, and as black man talking about mental health and the struggles that you’ve gone through, that’s immensely valuable. So I I’d like to talk about that. And then I’d also like to talk about what the book is, is, it’s not prescribing, but perhaps laying out.

Its I’d like to talk about what why don’t we start with that, what tell us about the actual book. So the book is called the self healing mind. And what it really is intended to do is introduce a self care playbook. And it’s not for mental health. And it’s not only intended to be a book for men, you know, I think that it’s important to note that men, women, young people, old people, people of any race, racial ethnic background, can benefit from its positive message. And so I introduced five essential pillars of self care, sleep, spirituality, nutrition, breathwork, and movement. And you have to consider that these are things that we all have access to, and they don’t cost anything. The reason why evidence based self care for mental health is important is because so many people who would potentially benefit from professional mental health care, like seeing a psychiatrist like me, where therapists just don’t have access to that type of treatment, or barriers, like stigma will prevent them from getting plugged in to that type of treatment. And so, you know, self care is a good place to start to start paying attention to your mental health and people reading the book might realize that when they start with self care, then they might then you know, one day realize, okay, maybe it’s time for me to go and see a professional mental health care specialist. So, you know, self care is something that each of us has access to, and I think it’s a good place to start. Yeah, yeah.

george grombacher 4:59
The available interventions for, for mental health is massive, right? So, there’s so many different ways to, to so many different afflictions that we can suffer from, and then so many different ways to treat it. But if I don’t have the money, or the awareness or the time, or I’m just not going to go and do that, because of my mindset, there are these five things that are free that anybody can be doing that can help to improve it and might not alleviate it, everybody’s unique. But these are, these are 100% worth doing.

Dr. Gregory Scott Brown 5:37
And I think it’s important to note, as well, you know, even if you are seeing a professional, you know, mental health care specialist and mental health care professional, you know, oftentimes in a clinical setting, two main things are addressed or two main avenues, you have medications, which are totally evidence based, I prescribe medications every week I support them, you also have psychotherapy is right. But oftentimes, the missing piece of the puzzle is that self care element. And I think especially in modern times, people tend to kind of sweep self care under the rug, you know, they consider it to be either this elitist sport, or it’s the massages or the bubble baths are things that people really don’t have time to do, or they don’t really feel like it’s part of an evidence based treatment. There have been so many studies that have supported that moving our body can help with depression, it can help with anxiety, that getting quality sleep, can do the same when it comes to breathwork. We each take between 20 and 30,000 breaths every single day. And breath is one of the most underutilized forms of medicine. And so what I outlined in the book is not necessarily this idea of hey, when when you’re anxious, just just breathe, or, you know, if you’re depressed, just get better sleep. I mean, it’s that’s so easy to say, the thing is, we have to know how to manipulate our breath in a way that is consistent with evidence and works, you know, what are specific strategies that we can utilize that help us improve? Not necessarily our sweet our sleep quantity, but our sleep quality? What are the types of foods that we can put on our plate that have been consistently shown to not only reduce inflammation, but to help with mental health? Those are some of the things that I outlined in the book that I think are, you know, going to be made accessible to anyone who reads it.

george grombacher 7:49
I love it. And so many things in life, I intellectually understand, right, but to actually put it into practice, and then to close that gap between what I know to be true and what I actually do. So having a playbook and I imagine, step by step, here’s, here’s how you get started. Because I can’t go from man, I get four hours to sleep at night, and I’m restless, and I wake up feeling like crap to up, I get eight hours sleep, it’s awesome, right? I need to be able to actually access this, and it needs to actually be usable.

Dr. Gregory Scott Brown 8:24
Right. And these are things you know, I think I come at this from, you know, as a psychiatrist, right? I mean, you have so many people, which I think is great. So many people in the world are talking about mental health, they’re advocating for it. They’re, they’re giving advice, but they’ve never worked with a patient, right. And they don’t necessarily know what it’s like to sit down across from someone who is struggling with severe depression, and talk to them about some of the stuff that they’re recommending. So, you know, the advice that I give in the book, the recommendations that I give, in the book are things that, you know, I’ve I’ve obviously benefited from in my personal life. They’re evidence based, and they’re also things that I talk with my patients about. And they you know, we’ve consistently reported that these self care strategies are so beneficial to helping them live optimally.

george grombacher 9:23
Yeah, there’s a there’s a million miles between me talking about how somebody can get better at their mental health. And then you who’s actually through your clinical practice, sat down with somebody who is just mired in an issue and then help them through it. So

Dr. Gregory Scott Brown 9:43
you talking about it is I mean, it’s so beautiful, so great. And you know, I think we need we need more of that we need more people like you who will share these types of messages with as many people as possible. I just cannot speak Due to the importance of that work,

george grombacher 10:03
and it strikes me it’s it strikes me that we’re, we’re in a place where it is a crisis. And it’s getting worse and worse and worse, and it’s going to continue to get worse before it gets better. That’s just my my perception of it. I’d like to get your take on that. And a lot of it is just because of technology. And as we crawl or Get Pulled deeper into different verses, the the meta verses or whatever other kinds of verses that we’re going to need to be way more aware of this?

Dr. Gregory Scott Brown 10:37
Well, I think when it comes to technology, it’s a double edged sword, right? I mean, technology has a lot of benefits. Social media has a lot of benefits when it comes to mental health. And I think it’s important that we just, you know, we’re using it appropriately, we’re knowing how to distinguish fact, from fiction, we’re learning how to determine which which information we actually are going to utilize when it comes to, to mental health. But I mean, again, you have to consider over 120 suicides on average, every single day in the United States. I mean, 40 million people struggling from anxiety, depression is not that that far behind, you know, if someone can get on social media, and see a psychiatrist giving strategies for how to work through that. If someone can listen to a podcast and be pointed towards a book that might help them, you know, if someone can get on to men’s health magazines Instagram account, where every Friday, I’m on there with my co host, Drew Ramsey, we’re interviewing some guy about his personal mental health routine. I mean, it can offer so much hope and encouragement and motivation for people to get better. And I think that we just have to keep in mind that there’s there’s a right way to use it. If we do that I think people can benefit from it.

george grombacher 12:16
Well, it’s a nice nuanced answer, instead of me just hitting over people over the head with with with good or bad. So I’d love to hear about about your, if it’s just a daily routine, or your self care routine, and how you fit. Obviously, as a writer, somebody who writes consistently for men’s health, but then a book is a whole different animal. So we’d love to hear about how that’ll fit in.

Dr. Gregory Scott Brown 12:43
You know, I love that question. It’s a question I haven’t been asked a lot, surprisingly, what’s interesting is, yesterday, I was talking to one of my editors, and I was just looking at my calendar for the month of May, which is mental health awareness month, but it’s also the month before my book launches, and I’m like, Oh, my, my schedule is just insane. It’s insane. What am I going to do? And that’s where I have to remind myself to continue to practice what I preach, right. And it’s something that I’ll tell you, like even experts have, like me have to remind ourselves that these self care strategies are important. They’re very important. And so what I do is I try to move my body every single day. And so the American Psychiatric Association doesn’t have recommendations, specific recommendations for exercise for mental health. But the European Psychiatric Association does. And I wouldn’t be surprised if we followed suit here in the United States, you know, in short order, and that’s 150 minutes of moderate activity, exercise a week. Some more recent evidence has shown that, you know, as long as you’re moving your body even just a little bit, even if it’s less than that it can have benefits for your mental health connection is really, really important. So when I talk about spirituality in the book, I’m not only talking about religion, that’s just one manifestation of spirituality. It’s important to note but it’s connecting with your internal self through meditation, I try to meditate as much as I can, right? Connecting with family connecting with friends. altruism, selfless service, right? I pay attention to what I eat. Right? And that doesn’t mean that you know, we have to go totally Mediterranean but Mediterranean ish, I think is a good place to start for most of us and, you know, that might mean just, you know, adding some you know, more fish to your pie. tons of evidence has shown that oily fish salmon, mackerel, tuna can help with inflammation. So again, I can go on and on. The point here is that you don’t have to revamp your total your life all at once right? There five self care strategies, self care pillars for mental health, outline the book Start where you can, maybe that means focusing on breath work for a week or sleep for a couple of weeks, and then take it from there, because a little bit goes a long way.

george grombacher 15:29
Yeah, yeah, I think that that’s a key to so many things is just gotta get started with it, and then take small bites, because I can’t I can’t do it all at once. But, and those little things add up, which sounds trite, but it’s just, it’s just so true. So and do you do you have a practice of writing every day? Whether you need to? Or not? Or how does that work? How does your writing work? So writing,

Dr. Gregory Scott Brown 15:53
you know, I consider myself as much a writer as as a doctor. I mean, it’s their writing is something that I absolutely have to do. And I would say, you know, sitting down to formally write an article or a book chapter is not something that I do every day, but I am writing in some form, even if it means scribbling in my moleskin notebook. A writer will tell you, it’s just part of who we are. And it’s something that we have to do.

george grombacher 16:23
Yeah. Do you find that that is writing or journaling and exercise that you have seen to prove mental health?

Dr. Gregory Scott Brown 16:32
Totally, totally. I mean, I think it just depends on, on who you are, right. And so for some people, it’s music, it’s writing, writing a song or a piece, right? For others, it might mean painting. You know, these, these, these things can be mindfulness based activities that really bring you in the moment allow you to experience that full conscious awareness for what you’re doing. And I think that it’s important to realize that you know, just because, you know, I write I enjoy writing doesn’t mean that the listeners have to sit down and start journaling. If that’s not what does it for them. I think if we can all get fired up about the journey of self discovery, learning what makes us tick, and what really gets us fired up and what helps us find that, that state of calm and tranquility and purpose and I think we’ll all be better off.

george grombacher 17:34
Amen. Well, Dr. Brown, thank you so much for coming on. Where can people learn more about you? How can they engage with you? And where can they get a copy of the self healing mind,

Dr. Gregory Scott Brown 17:44
so anyone can visit my website at Gregory Scott To learn more about my work, there’s also a link there to order the book or preorder the book. And you can also follow me on twitter or instagram at Gregory S. Brown, MD.

george grombacher 18:04
Excellent. Well, if you enjoyed as much as I did, show, Dr. Brown your appreciation and share today show the friend also appreciates good ideas. Go to Greg Gregory Scott and check out all the great things that he’s working on. Pick up a copy of the book there and then find him on Twitter and Instagram at Gregory Scott Brown, MD. Gregory S. Brown, MD, Gregory S. Brown, MD That’s also in the notes of the show. Thanks again Dr. Brom. Thanks, George. And until next time, keep fighting the good fight. We’re all in this together.

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