Dealing with our Inner-Demons: Chatty talks to Ryan Macklin

Retro MicrophoneOn Feb 2nd 2013, I invited game designer, writer, editor and otherwise swell guy Ryan Macklin to meet me in a Google+ Hangout to share how he dealt with his Inner-Demons. Afflicted with an ailment that causes him chronic pain and  anxiety issues that brought him even more pain, Ryan’s been brought to the brink. He’s seriously considered the worst and planned for it.

The following is a recording of the 55 min discussion Ryan and I had on the subject. It talks about suicidal thoughts, medication, toxic environments, the challenges of health insurances (and lack thereof) and many other things. The mood ranges from informal banter to emotional sharing as Ryan digs deep to relate some painful details of his recent past.  All’s not doom and gloom as we end up showing how nerdy we are by geeking out about TV shows and tech devices.

The whole thing lasts 55 minutes. It’s unedited, the lighting’s bad and we obviously follow no script.  But we make it up with being open and honest about our conditions and how we try to deal with them. I hope you enjoy it. You.Are.Not.Alone.

Let me know if you think I should do it again with other guests in the future. That could become a semi-regular thing and I’d love to talk about it more. We need to be less isolated and more open about it. We can still function and for many of us, the broken bits in our minds open up some incredibly creative channels others can’t tap into as easily.

Please note that I shall host a similar form of talk at Pax East at the end of March. I’ll post more details as soon as I have a date.

Take care.

N.B.: Given the delicate nature of the subject, I will be watchful of comments. Please be sensitive and cordial… you usually are but I’m playing it safe. 🙂


  1. Thanks for the chat, I think having open honest conversation can be helpful. These dialogs need to take place to remove stigma, aid education, and expand on our ability to have compassion for our fellow human beings. I think it is so easy to judge without knowing the road someone else walks or to make snap judgements when kindness will aid a great deal more. I just hope at some point that mental illness can join the ranks along with cancer, diabetes, and heart disease of something that is discussed openly and without being burdensome or uncomfortable. These conversations aid that because i think more people suffer quietly in pain than are accounted for by any statistic.

  2. Thanks Ryan for you excellent work in Dresden Files RPG, and for having the courage to share your story. I really appreciate it!

  3. Hello. Thank you for placing yourself out there. I am a Person who sometimes has episodes of Bipolar 1, I can identify with the anxiety, and depression, and the inevitable highs and flaming crashes….I have been doing this a long time. I do not have a wonderful support group, few understand the illness without attaching stigma to it. Thanks to both of you for being open enough to do provide a great forum.

  4. TheJollyDM says:

    Thanks for doing this Phil! As someone that struggles with depression and keeping myself motivated, it was very encouraging to hear the stories of fellow gamers, and to know I’m not alone.