Aaron Stadlin-Robbie Talks Mental on Podcast
In his experimental new podcast Talking Mental, Hong Kong-raised New Zealander Aaron Stadlin-Robbie asks professionals for advice on how to manage his anxiety attacks.
The realisation that opening up helps Stadlin-Robbie feel more in control of his condition prompted him to launch the podcast, in which he is a guinea pig in his search for a “cure” for anxiety.
In 12 half-hour episodes, Stadlin-Robbie interviews various professionals including a nutritionist, a sex therapist, a professional e-sports player and an organisational coach, asking for their advice on how to manage his condition. He also discusses mental health with his rugby teammates and some of his family members, and in the final episode, he reviews what worked and what did not in an “honesty hour”.
Stadlin-Robbie says it was the “biggest relief” when a psychologist friend finally recognised he had an anxiety disorder.
This try-everything approach might sound extreme, but for Stadlin-Robbie – whose life has changed because of the attacks – the possibility of finding even some small relief is a very strong driver.
For his podcast he says he has aimed for a “beer and chat” tone, wanting above all to keep it “real”.
“I’ve listened to a lot of anxiety podcasts and they’re like, ‘Hi, welcome, here are five tips on how you can get better.’ I’m like, ‘Man, just talk to me like I am a normal person.’ Just because you have mental health issues, it doesn’t mean that is your life. I still have aspirations, dreams to do other things.”
“Self-stigma” is definitely one of the biggest barriers to getting help, Stadlin-Robbie agrees.
“We lead quite a privileged lifestyle in Hong Kong. You think there are people who have it worse than just their parents getting divorced,” he says in the podcast. “It’s calming to hear that [anxiety] is so common because when you go through it, you think you are completely alone.”
Original article by Olivia Parker, South China Morning Post, October 10, 2018.