Toby Dorr: Hi, this is Toby. I’d like to introduce you to this week’s podcast guest, Amanda Plasse who’s appearing with her mother, Lisa Plasse, who we have talked to before. Lisa actually composed the theme song for our podcast. But today’s podcast interview really focuses on Amanda and Lisa is here because as the mother of a young adult who was dealing with some issues.
Toby Dorr: Lisa was very involved, and it changed her life a lot too. So, I want to introduce you to Amanda Plasse. Before I introduce you to her though, I want to just set the stage a little bit for this episode. Generally, I interview, uh, people who are older and have a lot of life experience in their belts, and our conversations reflect that. However, this is Amanda’s very first public interview on a topic that is very personal and very difficult to talk about. So, I hope that we give Amanda a little bit of grace and love through her story, which is not something that she’s accustomed to sharing. To start out this podcast, I want to read to you the social media post which actually catapulted Amanda into publicly speaking about her mental health issues. Which is certainly a topic that I think we really need to address today. There are so many young adults who struggle in so many ways. And I think it’s important for us to understand where they’re coming from, understand what they’re going through, and be aware of ways that we can help. So this is the social media post Amanda wrote several months ago, which is the very first time she decided to talk publicly about the issues she was dealing with.
Toby Dorr: Roughly 18 months ago. I was forced to leave school and go to treatment due to an eating disorder that was severely impacting my health. Within the past 18 months, I have been to two mental health programs, two eating disorder programs, and was hospitalized twice. I also had to take two semesters off from college and take some time off from work. Despite being in so many programs, I never actually completed any of them for various reasons. But that changed today. Today I completed the mental health program that I’ve been in for the past two months and I am so happy that I did. Looking back, I don’t regret a single moment from the past 18 months. Of course, in the beginning, I couldn’t believe what was happening and felt like I was destroying my life. And yes, throughout this whole process, I had moments where I got tired and wanted to give up. But, if it weren’t for this experience, I wouldn’t have found my true passion. psychology and transferred to a school that is known for this program. I wouldn’t have met some of my closest friends. I wouldn’t have made all the memories I made. And most importantly, I probably wouldn’t even be here today. I am not the same person I was 18 months ago. And for that, I am beyond grateful. The reason I’m sharing this is because I know there are people reading this who can relate. Everyone is fighting a battle we know nothing about. So, if you relate, I want you to know that you are not alone. There are things that are going to tear us down. Things that we wish we could take back or change. Things that are out of our control that we wish weren’t. These things that we hate so much are just as important as the things we love. We would never know the value of good things if we didn’t experience the bad. Every decision you’ve made Every moment you’ve had, every person, mistake, experience, has led you to this exact point in your life where you are right now. It may not be where you want to be, but it’s where you meant to be. Everything happens for a reason. And five years from now, you’ll look back and finally understand that very reason. It’s not happening to you, it’s happening for you. It will all be okay in the end. And if it’s not okay now, then it’s not the end. I just hope that you remember how much you matter in this world. There is someone out there that smiles when they hear your name. Someone who admires you from a distance. Someone who is happier knowing that you exist. You impact so many people and you don’t even realize it. You have so much life left to live. So many people to meet and memories to make. You haven’t met all the people who are going to love you or experienced your happiest moments yet. Keep going because you deserve to, not because you have to. Keep going because you matter. Keep going because you have always been and will always be enough. I’m not saying it’s going to be easy. I’m simply saying you’re worth it.
Toby Dorr: That’s Amanda’s social media post, and so now I am delighted to introduce you to Amanda Plasse, my guest today on her episode called Keep Going on Fierce Conversations with Toby. My guests today are Lisa Plasse, who we’ve met a couple of times on other podcast episodes, but today we have her daughter, Amanda, and we’re going to talk about, um, mental stress in young people today and how to manage it and how to address it. And that, you know, I think that mental issues with college-age people today are much more common than when I was in college. And It’s something we really need to give a voice to and be aware of because it’s a bigger issue than we know. So I’d like to welcome Lisa and Amanda Plass today to the podcast.
Lisa Plasse: Hi, Toby.
Toby Dorr: Hello. So before we start, can you tell me your favorite color, Amanda?
Amanda Plasse: Um, definitely mint green.
Toby Dorr: Mint green, even a specific shade of green. I like that. You’re the first person that’s given a specific shade to a color. So that’s pretty cool. What, does mint green mean to you?
Amanda Plasse: I don’t know. I think I just tend to like pastel vibes, just something about it feels like, I don’t know, like I have an order of my favorite colors. So it goes mint green, then peach, then periwinkle.
Toby Dorr: You like the different colors. I like that. That’s pretty cool. Lisa, I think I’ve asked you this at least twice before, but. Go ahead and tell us.
Lisa Plasse: Yeah, I love pink. It’s yeah, just a nostalgic type of color. I like all shades. It’s my go to color – a lot of my accessories are pink You know any electronic devices that I can get in pink, you know, it just makes me feel happy back to my childhood.
Toby Dorr: I like that. So let’s start with Amanda. Amanda, will you tell us, give us a little bit of background about the mental health issues that you’ve been struggling with and let us know when it started.
Amanda Plasse: I think I’ll mostly just focus on that eating disorder, just because of a few other things. But my specific one is called OSFED, which stands for Other Specified Feeding or Eating Disorder. Um, so just some like background, I guess, like in the DSM, which is used to diagnose you, there’s like a list of symptoms and behaviors that you use for each disorder. And because I use like, certain ones from multiple disorders. They just put it in like one broad category. Um, but I think it first developed in fall 2021. I believe it was when I was at school. And my trigger was actually like not body image. It actually had to do with stress because I was doing way too much on campus. I was living in a dorm room that was like, over the bridge so I would have to drive to campus and some days, I would leave my dorm room at 8am and not get back till 1am the next day because I was doing six classes, I was a student body secretary, I was a statistics tutor which added a seventh class, I wrote for the paper, I was just doing way too much and I felt like I didn’t have control in my life so what I turned to was food which I knew like I could control.
Toby Dorr: So what was your particular eating disorder. If you don’t mind explaining a little bit, I think you said it was and I don’t have any background or knowledge about eating disorders. When I was in college, which was like forever ago, uh, it was 1976 and our college dorm rooms were set up so that there were two rooms with a bathroom in between. So two rooms shared the bathroom. So our suite may In the room that attached to our bathroom, we had a roommate there and her name was Roberta and she, um, had an eating disorder and it was the first time I’d ever even known there was such a thing, but you know, hers was, um, boy, and I can’t even think, but you know, she was really, really skinny, like stick rail skinny and she wouldn’t eat and she would throw up what she ate and We never even talked about it and I mean, it was so obvious she had a problem and it was just like taboo to mention it, which I think has changed quite a bit and still needs to change a lot more because I think when you keep things secret, it just lets them fester and grow bigger.
Toby Dorr: So what can you tell me, uh, can you explain to me of just a little bit what your eating disorder was? I mean, what, what was it? Did you just let me know a little bit more about it because I don’t understand at all.
Amanda Plasse: Probably like you mean like, um, behavior wise, I guess?
Toby Dorr: Yes.
Amanda Plasse: Um, so I would tend to, I think in the beginning, I didn’t know it was developing, but I would start to eat less and less until it became like an issue. And then because you go like longer, like, as you continue going longer without nourishing your body, then physical things start to happen. Um, so that was like the main thing. And then it grew into where I would like start I guess purging where like, if I had something small or if I had something that I didn’t want to keep it in. Those are like the two main things.
Toby Dorr: I’m having trouble with my iPad here. It’s talking to me. I’m going to have my husband remove it from the room because I don’t know how to turn it off.
Toby Dorr: Oh, interesting. So I think that most people think eating disorders are triggered by body image. And you said that you didn’t think that yours was, but I can see that social media would push people into that because they just expect such an unhealthy body shape for women, I think.
Toby Dorr: Lisa, what are some common signs that a child may be experiencing mental stress and how can parents recognize these signs? Because I think the leading eating disorders leads to mental stress. It is a mental issue more than anything else.
Lisa Plasse: I have to say that it overall, because she was away at college, it was a lot harder to see what was happening, because it was easy for her to mask the problems, she could call and be all happy and smiling, and, uh, from, you know, we did do, you know, FaceTime calls, but still, it was the way she could set everything up, so we really didn’t see it coming until we got the call from her nurse at school that called us to fill us in on things. So that’s the scary thing is because, you know, when your child is older and then over 18 and they’re an adult and they’re away at school, you know, it’s easy to hide these things. So, it’s hard to figure it out. And, you know, even looking back, there may have been some signs and things that she had said, but I wasn’t really thinking that it was a severe as it turned out to be.
Toby Dorr: And, you know, with her being 18, you don’t even have the right to all of her medical information. because of HIPAA laws. So that I know when my youngest son went away to college and he got tackled in a football game and was in the hospital with a concussion and they couldn’t tell me anything, you know, and it was like, I’m his mother. ‘Do I need to drive down there?’Well, that’s up to you. And it’s like, well, this is so unhelpful, you know, and 18, I think is still they’re not independently adults yet, but I can imagine that that makes it even more difficult.
Lisa Plasse: Yeah, I feel like it is, you know, there should be some type of stipulation on that like especially if you’re still under You know our Support that you’re a dependent on us. I feel like there should be a little a fine line Because I mean I was lucky in the sense that Amanda was open. And she allowed me to have access so she would sign. But if there are other kids that are more severe or maybe have a strained relationship and don’t want to let their parents in, it does cause a problem because you can’t help them. You can’t say anything, you can’t advocate for them. Um, especially if they’re not mentally a hundred percent, they may not be able to make those decisions, but yet we have no power to do that. So I feel like there, there has to be some type of, um, middle ground that you can have, because if they’re under your insurance, that means they’re your dependent, they’re away at school. You’re still providing everything for them. We should be allowed to advocate for them.
Toby Dorr: I agree. That does make it hard. Amanda, what role has your mom played in helping you get through this issue?
Amanda Plasse: She was probably the biggest support for me. Um, when I was at school, like, um, I didn’t want, I was too nervous to tell my family, like, on my own. So, I made the nurse call with me, well, nurse practitioner. Um, and I knew like my mom was the one. Here’s what I found. My mom was the first one I’d want to call. So, we spoke with her. Told her about everything. And then, my mom was also the one I called when she had to pick me up. And then since I’ve been home since like this whole process happened. I think like the past 18 months, honestly, um, she was the one I would talk to the most because she was also home the most, but we would sit at the table and just like talk about everything. She’d give me advice and it was just nice knowing like I had her. So yeah, she was like my biggest.
Toby Dorr: It’s critical, I think, to have someone that you can open up to. And, in a lot of cases, I would think for a young person, it would be a parent, but it might be a good friend or a grandparent or an aunt or an uncle. But I just think it’s so important to have someone that you can talk to about whatever’s bothering you. I know I needed that quite a lot during my time when I was in prison. And my mom was just my, everything. You know, I don’t think I could have made it through without her. So, I think it makes sense that your mom filled that role for you. Um, a few months ago. I mean, I’ve been friends with your mom for the last couple of years. And so, you know, I knew a little bit that there was a struggle going on, but we didn’t know a lot of the details.
Toby Dorr: And a few months ago, you just decided that you felt like you had gotten to a place in your journey where you could talk about it and you posted about it on social media. So tell me about that decision and what the results of that has been. Um,
Amanda Plasse: I didn’t know I was going to share what happened until like roughly a week before. I was in four different centers that went between different levels and different hospitalizations, and things like that. And it wasn’t until the last program I was in that I actually completed it. I got my certificate and everything. And I was like, I feel like this kind of like brings everything to a close. Like, yes, it’s still going. And yes, I still have to go to therapy and continue working on it or else it’ll just get bad again. Um, but I felt like I closed the chapter on treatment. Well, as I’m hoping I did and I was like, okay, like I hope I just wanted to post it so that people know they’re not the only ones going through something because social media tends to be fake.
Let’s be real. And you just, yeah, you don’t want people to see that you have things going on, or that your family might be going through issues, things like that. So I just figured, if one person, all I wanted was one person to see that they’re not alone. And then seeing all the comments, and likes, and everything I got, I was like, I like fulfilled that like I helped at least.
Amanda Plasse: People came out that I hadn’t even talked to, and they were, or I didn’t even know, and they commented on it. So, I was like, wow, maybe I did. It was good that I told my story. I did this. It was good.
Toby Dorr: It takes a lot of courage to tell your story. If you won an Olympic gold medal, that doesn’t take courage at all to talk about because the whole world just celebrates with you. But when you talk about something difficult that most people don’t even address, it takes a lot of courage to put yourself out there and be vulnerable. But I believe stories are so powerful. And when we tell our stories, it trickles out like the ripple effect in the water. You know, your story reaches somebody, and they share it with somebody, and then they share it with somebody. And you’ll never know how many lives you impacted by having the courage to step up and tell your story. So that’s a great thing. Lisa, tell me about that experience of Amanda’s post and her story on social media and what you saw from your side.
Lisa Plasse: Well, I was really proud of her because, um, You know, she had been working really hard. Those past 18 months were a huge struggle for her. I saw her, you know, she had highs and lows and going from program to program and something about this final program that she was in really clicked with her. And I think she started to see that she could get through this. And as she was approaching the graduation day, I saw her getting excited about it, but I didn’t know that she was going to do the post because she didn’t tell anybody anything. So, you know, she said it was about a week before, but I had no idea. I was just thinking about, Oh, she’s going to graduate. I’m so excited for her. So I had made plans to have a special day with her. And then on the day that I picked her up and I took the picture of her. She said, Mom, I have something written. I’m going to post. And I was like, really? Yeah, I’m going to share it. So I said, Are you sure? And she said, Yeah, if I can help at least one person. So she posted it. I took her out for lunch. And it was just the two of us because everyone else in my family was away. So, it was just the two of us. We were just having a day, you know, just a girl’s day celebrating, and she posted and within seconds. getting likes and comments. And, you know, just, she said, oh my God, oh my God. And, you know, as the comments kept coming in, she said, oh my goodness, I did it and I helped, you know, and so then I said to her, well, would you like me to share it on my page? And, um, I said, you know, I won’t if you don’t want me to. She’s like, no, no, no, I want you to. So, she helped me. Cause I said, I wanted to make sure that it was, you know, the way that she wanted the message to be. So, I gave her my ideas and she fine-tuned it and, and we post it. And I have to say the. Uh, response has been overwhelming and amazing. People reaching out to me, telling me their stories about their kids, um, struggles that they’ve had, things that they’ve gone through. And they were like, um, just to know that I’m not alone makes a difference. And they can confide in me now as a, as another person, you know, for a sounding board. So I think Amanda and I have had a tremendous experience from this post because it’s just sharing and making yourself vulnerable. But then seeing that there are people out there that care and have compassion and are going through the same thing. And I think what we learned, the biggest lesson was we’re not alone. You know, there’s so many people out there struggling, and we need to be more open about this because it’s very serious and, and there’s so many tragedies that we’ve experienced and seen and, you know, you just never knew that somebody was hurting so badly. And, you know, that could have been Amanda and we found a way through it and we’re still working and every day is it has new challenges. But just knowing we’re not alone, I think that makes a difference.
Toby Dorr: I think that’s so valuable. And, you know, there’s so many things that people suffer from. It can be emotional trauma. It can be, you know, mental issues. It can be social issues. And having the courage to stand up and talk about it gives other people permission to talk about what they’re going through. And really, I think talking about what you’re going through is the key to getting through it because when it’s a secret, it just kind of festers in there and. You know, doesn’t have anywhere to go. So, Amanda, how do you think friends and family can best support someone who’s recovering from an eating disorder and the mental stress that comes with it?
Amanda Plasse: I think it’s just as simple as being there for them. When I was at school, I had friends that I turned to at home. I have family and friends here that I turn to and just being able to talk or knowing that they’re there is just. All I need, and then I think my family being willing to pay for and put me through treatment and therapy. And I know everyone’s situation is different, like some people don’t have the means, but I think if you are able to, then you should do it because it’s hard, but you’re, I don’t know, your child’s health comes first.
Toby Dorr:. That’s absolutely true. And, you went through many different programs until you found the one that worked and I think it would have been easy to just give up after one or two and say, well, we don’t know how to work with this, but continuing to go through different programs till you found the one that worked, I think was just really valuable for you. So, Lisa, how can parents take care of their own mental health and well-being, while supporting their child through a challenging time?
Lisa Plasse: I think one of the most important things to remember is that you do need to take a minute for yourself. It’s like how they always say in the airlines, you know, the parent should put the oxygen mask on themselves before, you know. For me, I love to write. I write all the time. And so anything that I was thinking or feeling, I wrote about it. I, I’ve kept a journal that I started with Amanda, you know, basically it was starting more as a documentary list of what she was doing, treatment that she was in. But then I started interjecting some of my feelings into it, like things that we were doing, meetings that we would have had, how I felt about it, how Amanda was. I could go back and look at it, but it was also helpful for me to see where her progress was, something that really helped her, something that could have hurt her. If I hadn’t written about it, I’m not sure what would have happened because I needed somewhere to vent and to get it out and to put all those fears on paper. Also, her father and I talk about a lot of this, and it may be, it may have been harder for her to talk to her dad face to face sometimes, she was more comfortable talking to me, but we kept that rapport open and she knew that what she said to me, I would then go tell him and explain to him and, let him know, cause she did want him in the loop, but sometimes it was just hard for her to say some things. It was hours and hours of he and I talking and knowing that no matter what the number one priority was always Amanda, always making sure that she had what she needed and that’s it just plain and simple. And that’s so important because seeing Amanda and some of her friends that are going through struggles and not having that parental support, we’re seeing the ramifications that those friends are having because they don’t have that support system. It just really reinforces to us how important it is to be there for her.
Toby Dorr: It is critical, I think, because I don’t think we really get through things on our own. We have a village that kind of lifts us up and carries us through. And. It’s so important to have that and a lot of people who face an eating disorder or some kind of mental health issue don’t have that – I don’t know what the answer is for them, but I do know having family is such a blessing and such a help.
Toby Dorr: Amanda. How do you think society can reduce the stigma around eating disorders and foster a more understanding environment?
Amanda Plasse: I think that the conversation needs to be opened up more, I guess, nationally and education definitely needs to be improved. Um, in my high school, we had a mental health class that was required for everyone to take. And I think that’s something that should be implemented in all schools so that people can understand it more, and it’s only, it was only like a quarter, I don’t know how long, I don’t remember high school anymore, but basically half a semester, um, of like, like the material, so it wasn’t going into depth, but it basically gave us a foundation of mental health, and I think that’s so important for like, everyone to experience.
Toby Dorr: That is important, I think. And what are some of the coping strategies and alternative ways to deal with stress and emotions that are working for you now? What, what’s been your magic formula?
Amanda Plasse: I would think DVT honestly changed my life. I will brag about DVT until the day I die. It is literally amazing. It stands for dialectical behavior therapy. And what it basically does is – it’s basically a bunch of coping skills and there’s four main skill categories, which are mindfulness, interpersonal effectiveness, emotional regulation, and distress tolerance. And then under these four categories, there’s a whole bunch of coping skills that go with each of them. And you kind of learn how to, which skill to use and which scenario so that. You get the most, I guess, effective result. So I think these, honestly, as I was learning through that, learning about them and going through it, I realized like it kind of became second nature. Some of them I have to think more about, but now, like, I can actually have productive conversations with my family instead of just laughing out at them, or I can, like, notice maladaptive behaviors that I’m using. I can start to see my behaviors and how to fix them.
Toby Dorr: So, it sounds like a combination of a couple things. You’ve learned some tools to address how you’re feeling. But you’ve also learned how to identify what you’re feeling and what type of an emotion it is so that you know which tool to use. Does that sound right?
Amanda Plasse: Yeah, because, um, DBT was, so, the difference, sorry, my psychology notes, like, I kind of…
Toby Dorr: That’s your major, isn’t it, now? Yeah.
Lisa Plasse: Yeah.
Amanda Plasse: So DVT was created as a way to notice your emotions and not judge them while trying to change them. Whereas like CBT, which is like cognitive, one of the more common ones, like cognitive behavior therapy is created as a way to just change your emotions instead of like acknowledging them. So this kind of like allows you to be aware while working on yourself.
Toby Dorr: I like that. I’m making some notes. I like that we make all kinds of advances, um, in the mental health area all the time. And I think it’s one of the fastest-changing areas. And I know for me, I had a childhood trauma that I never dealt with. And it kind of just, I drug it through my whole life and it impacted so many things and I went to therapy and we used a method called EMDR, which is, it’s a weird thing, but, you know, it stimulates your left side, then your right side, then your left side while you’re talking through something, which somehow, reprograms your brain as you’re discussing this thing so you can get rid of some of those old negative limitations that you’ve drug around forever and replace them with the story that you’re telling as you’re working through it in a healthy way, which is just amazing to me, all these different techniques and how psychiatrists and psychologists and therapists and counselors have come up with these different methods to really treat our brains and our brains are an amazing part of us and they control so many things. And I could see why being a psychology major is a good fit for you. Because you’ve kind of lived through it and now you, you’re learning more about it and I could see that it’d be really useful for you to help other people because when you’ve been through something, you have such a better, um, you have so much more authority and when you’re talking about your own experience, it just resonates with someone who’s going through something as opposed to someone who just, you know, is. doing what they’ve been taught, but they haven’t experienced it. So I can see that that would be a really powerful field for you.
Amanda Plasse: Yeah. Puts value to the words, I guess.
Toby Dorr: Yeah. So Amanda, what do you see in your future? What’s the future you envision?
Amanda Plasse: Um, so I should be graduating undergraduate in 2025 from psychology. Well, with the psychology degree, I plan to go to grad school, I think for social work. And then work, maybe 10 years, um, as a therapist, then go back for my PhD, and then my ultimate goal is to open up a treatment center that encompasses multiple treatment centers, I guess, because right now there’s eating disorder treatment, mental health treatment, psych wards, like there’s not one that has all of it. So if you’re like in eating disorder treatment, and you have to go to the psych ward, then you have to go somewhere else. And then if you have to go back to treatment, then you have to start all over with your six weeks or however long. So I want to make it where it’s all in one building with one. Like where everyone knows your story, and you don’t have to go from building to building.
Toby Dorr: I like that. Yeah, so that you’re treating the whole… issue, not just the eating disorder. You’re treating everything that goes along with it, too. And, because there is mental, um, health implications in an eating disorder. But it is kind of separate from the eating disorder. So, I think I could see the value in that, just being able to treat everything in one place. I think that’s a very humanitarian vision. So, I love that. I love that. Lisa, I know that you have really made Amanda your priority and, and put everything you’re doing on the back burner for these last 18 months. And what was the hardest thing for you?
Lisa Plasse: I think it’s just watching her go through this. And feeling helpless. Like I felt like I you know, like I wish I could have just taken a magic wand and said poof you’re feeling better but that was the worst is just feeling so helpless. Which is why I can see how she has that goal to create a center because that’s a lot of the issue is that if one thing wasn’t working she had to go to a new program. It was literally like starting over again. Yeah, and I can see that would break her spirit because then she felt like she was failing. And we were just trying to tell her, you know, give her the encouragement saying, no, you’re just Take it a new step. If there was one place that would have been able to deal with everything.
Lisa Plasse: Maybe her recovery would have been faster and a more consistent, um, foundation that she would have had. She would have had a team that would have been able to help her through her highs and lows, you know, but when you start over, Meet new people, have to tell your story all over again, start from, you know, step one, you know, it, it can be disheartening.
Toby Dorr: And, it’s critical, I think, to build relationships with the people that are helping you through this journey. And when you got to build another one and another one and another one and another one. It just, I would think feels like it’s just too big to handle. It’s just defeating, you can’t get through. I think that’s a good vision. And, you know, Amanda went to many different programs until you found this one that worked, that had the method, was it DBT? And found the thing that worked for her. So there really is, I think, value in that vision of having one place that. Encompasses everything and, and you know, the staff can share the file so everybody knows what’s going on and you don’t have to start over from the beginning. Lisa, you just published a book and you’re getting ready to publish another book in the fall and. I’m just wondering if maybe there’s a co authored book between with you and Amanda to talk discuss mental health issues and how to get through them. Is that in the future?
Lisa Plasse: I think so? I mean I have my parenting memoir, which is the thing that I did put on hold when everything happened with Amanda, I think mainly because I felt that the who would I be to put out a book now, because I’m just going through all this with my daughter. But one of the most common comments that I got from people as they heard this, they were like, you got to get that book out now. We want to know who you are, how you did this, how do you get through it. But now Amanda is going to be helping me. We’re putting, adding a chapter. In there. Oh, good. Dealing with mental health and how to deal with those issues. How to be an effective parent to support your child. So, she’s helping me with that. She’s gonna write the forward to the book and she’s gonna be my comment on the back of my book because she is my world. She’s everything. So , what she has to say matters.
Toby Dorr: Yes. I love that.
Lisa Plasse: Yeah, so we’re going to be working on that and I think it’s just going to add that much more value to the book and she started a book of her own. She’s been compiling stories from other girls that have been going through similar issues. And, then, in terms of moving forward, we may end up doing something together as well. So I see a lot of great things in her future coming up.
Toby Dorr: I do too. I do too. I think it’s awesome. Amanda, what’s one question you wish I’d asked? Or is there anything else you want to add that we didn’t talk about?
Amanda Plasse: I don’t think so.
Toby Dorr: Okay. How about you, Lisa?
Lisa Plasse: No, I think we covered everything that was necessary, because I think the biggest thing is making the mental health issues more of an everyday conversation. It can’t be considered taboo. It can’t be considered that you need to hide this story You need to be able to talk about it. You need to have a support system You need to know that there’s no shame in saying that’s right.
Toby Dorr: That’s so true. It’s no different than someone having some physical disability.
Lisa Plasse: Yeah, like it’s okay if you’re saying, you know you have diabetes or you have cancer, but you have to be able to talk about this because you need to, you know, it is an issue. It’s a mental health issue. It needs to be talked about. People have to feel like they don’t need to hide because that’s in the hiding, when you see all these tragic endings and we’ve been seeing more and more about that and more and more in Amanda’s age group. There’s just a lot of tragedy that we’re seeing because they just felt that they had no other option. Yeah, to no one to turn to, thinking no one would understand and no one would accept it. And then it’s a, it’s a tragic ending that there’s no reversing it. Once you’re gone, that’s it. And that’s a parent’s worst nightmare is to lose their child.
Toby Dorr: Aand I think today’s environment, the kids, Amanda was in high school during COVID, I think, were you?
Amanda Plasse: Yes, I graduated 2020.
Toby Dorr: Yeah. And social interaction is so important, you know, as a teenager and a young adult. And when you take that away and we replace it with social media, which is not real, it’s not real relationships with real people. It’s just people who have something they want to say. And I think it’s so much easier on social media to say negative things than it is in person because People say things in social media that they would never say to someone’s face. And I think that that type of communication just adds to the stigma of mental health and creates an even bigger secret than what it needs to be. And all the negative pieces get shared like wildfire. And it would be hard to overcome that, I think. So, I think. Social media has a lot to do with some of these tragic endings that we see. I think it’s sad. Yeah. So, Amanda, is there a question you’d like to ask me?
Amanda Plasse: I don’t think so, no.
Toby Dorr: Okay. How about you, Lisa?
Lisa Plasse: No, I mean, I think we covered a lot. I think this was a really great discussion, and hopefully the first of many that need to happen with everyone that’s dealing with things like this. I think so. I just want to thank you for inviting us on to discuss it because, like Amanda said, if this podcast will help even one person to reach out and get help that they need, that makes all the difference.
Toby Dorr: Yes, it does make all the difference. And one person, if you’re that one person that’s affected, it’s, it’s worth everything. I love that. So Amanda, what’s one word that inspires you?
Amanda Plasse: I don’t have one. I have two. I’d say like my biggest one is keep going. Because on my right arm, I have a tattoo that says, keep going with an exclamation point and it’s in my mom’s handwriting.
Toby Dorr: Oh, cool.. So she’s always there. Even if you can’t reach out and get her on the phone, you have a message from her right there. I think that’s beautiful. I love that. I love that. That’s what I might call this episode, actually. I always wait, during the episode to see what title comes up. I like that one. So Lisa, what’s one word that inspires you?
Lisa Plasse: Um, for me, I think it’s perseverance, because it’s that you keep going, no matter what’s happening. And, you know, when you reach an obstacle, you find another way around so you persevere and get through it and don’t let anything stop you.
Toby Dorr: I love that. I think that is a really important word. Well, I want to thank you, Amanda, for being so open about a journey that I know has been very personal and you’re just now starting to open up about it. And I’m honored that you agreed to do a podcast and let me help share your story with the world. So thank you for that. And thank you Lisa for being there. We kind of have an inside group, a view of what was going on with you through Amanda’s journey. And I know how key and center point it was in your life and how everything else was just put on hold. And, and I think that’s such a blessing. It’s the way it should be, but unfortunately, it’s not always the way it works, in a lot of families. So anyway. I want to thank you both for being on with me today and I’m looking forward to getting your episode out there to share with the world because we all need to keep going.
Lisa Plasse: Thank you,
Toby Dorr: You’re welcome.
Toby Dorr: Thank you for joining me on Fierce Conversations with Toby.
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Toby Dorr: Fierce Conversations is created and hosted by me, Toby Dorr. Production by Number 3 Productions. The theme song that you’re hearing now, Groovin’ was composed and arranged by Lisa Plasse. Lisa also plays the flute for the theme with Carolyn Parity on piano and Tony Ventura on bass. Find out more at tobydorr.com. This is Fierce Conversations with Toby. Escape your prison.