Thanks for listening to another episode of It Ain’t Weak to Speak with Sam Webb. Please rate the podcast and leave a review if you enjoyed it.
Requiring little introduction, Osher Günsberg is one of Australia’s most recognised media personalities. Having worked as a host on high profile shows such as Channel V, Australian Idol, Live to Dance, and his current projects, The Bachelor, The Bachelorette and The Masked Singer franchises. Osher’s face is well recognised however his story goes a lot deeper than anything you see on the surface.
In this episode, Osher shares about his journey battling anxiety and social phobia and how he turned to alcohol as a self administered antidepressant. Now 10 years sober, Osher powerfully articulates how his life started turning around when came to a place of acceptance and realised that he needed medication to help his brain form new neural pathways. Osher talks about the hard work required and reiterates that being mentally fit doesn’t happen by accident.
In addition to his television roles, Osher hosts his own podcast, Better Than Yesterday and has previously sat on the board of Sane Australia, a non profit organisation helping people with complex mental health issues. In this episode he talks about the stigma of medication, how it saved his life and that finding the right kind of medication can be a long road.
Osher shares some valuable insights that he gained throughout his journey and talks about the power of acceptance, taking responsibility and gaining internal control regardless of circumstances. He shares his wisdom for those who are struggling right now and reminds us that no mental state is a permanent state. There is always help available and there is always the option to make change for the better.
TOPICS WE COVER AND WHERE TO FIND THEM:
[3:19]: How it’s never too late to change and the importance of being malleable to adapt to a changing word
[4:25]: Osher shares about his struggle with alcohol addiction and how he was forced into a place where he had to accept where he was at. He’s now been sober 10 years
[5:30]: The power of sitting in acceptance and gaining internal control regardless of circumstances
[8:39]: How you have to work at your mental health in the same way you work at physical health. It doesn’t happen by accident.
[9:30]: The power of noticing what you’re feeling and thinking and challenging those things to not be ruled by them. Thoughts and feelings aren’t facts.
[12:25]: Being willing to be with the discomfort and understand that it’s for a short amount of time. It gets easier each time you train your mind.
[13:30]: How even though Osher had the skills to know what to do, his brain was stuck in fear and terror and no amount of evidence would change it. Finding the right medication helped him train his brain in different ways.
[15:00]: How even when you’re on medication, you still have to do the hard work to keep mentally fit and forge new neural pathways. Osher relates it to an athlete using performance enhancement drugs
[18:05]: How Osher turned to alcohol to manage his anxiety and how an intense panic attack convinced him to go on antidepressants
[20:10]: The sense of dread and horror that Osher lived with and how the best solution he could come up with was to kill himself
[22:00]: How being on antipsychotics really worked but the side effects were weight gain and a low sex drive
[24:00]: Getting the right kind and dosage of medication is so important but you have to keep working at it
[24:40]: How Osher’s wife encouraged him to get back on medication because he wasn’t coping at the time their second baby was due. He’s now on a new medication which is working well.
[27:00]: The need to take responsibility for what you have and accept when your brain isn’t working very well
[29:13]: How there are some people who will struggle their whole lives but there is help available
[31:00]: When your best thoughts only get you so far, there comes a time when you need to start listening to someone else
[32:00]: How when Osher became really sick, he disclosed everything to his boss and is very grateful to have been able to continue working with their support
[33:50]: Disclosing your management strategy let’s someone know what you are doing about it and that it’s your responsibility, not theirs
[34:55]: Osher’s involvement with Sane Australia, a non-profit organisation who helps people with complex mental illnesses
[36:15]: Working on the Bachelor and how the hardest part is breaking the news to the contestants that someone isn’t interested in dating them
[37:15]: How the men on the show go on a journey of discovering what’s stopped them from entering relationships before and how great it is to see them fall in love and commit
[39:15]: How Osher thinks Survivor is the greatest game humans have come up with
[41:40]: No mental state is a permanent state and don’t make permanent decisions for temporary problems
[42:20]: How Osher has reached 10 years of sobriety by making daily decisions. Taking responsibility and action in the small moments help put things in perspective
LINKS AND RESOURCES MENTIONED:
Thanks for listening to another episode of It Ain’t Weak to Speak with Sam Webb. Please rate the show and leave a review if you enjoyed it.
If after listening to this episode and you don't quite feel right or you want to reach out to someone to speak to, we have provided some useful resources below.
For immediate support please call one of the following 24/7 hotlines. Someone will be ready to take your call. Remember, ‘It Ain’t Weak to Speak’
If you are in Australia:
Lifeline: 13 11 14
+6Kids Helpline: 1800 55 1800
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National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-8255
Crisis Text Line: Text LIVIN to 741741 in the United States
If you would prefer to speak with someone face-to-face, we recommend visiting your local GP (doctor) who will be able to have a chat with you about what is going on in your life and refer you to a mental health professional if required.
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