Did you know that one in five Americans suffer from a mental illness, yet only 44% receive treatment for it? Or how about this — heroin-related overdose deaths have increased 286% in the U.S. between 2002 – 2013! Mental health and addiction are two sensitive topics that continue to be stigmatized in our culture, despite the frequency of these issues that effect so many people around the world. These two topics are near and dear to my heart, as my guest today, David Dastmalchian, is not only a very successful actor/writer who has faced both these issues, but also happens to be my little brother!
David and I grew up in a small Kansas town and were regarded in the community as two of the four high-achieving kids from the seemingly perfect Dastmalchian family. But of course, not all was as it seemed. Listen in as David shares how his struggles with his mental health started and how his teenage introduction to alcohol paved the way to years of dangerous self-medicating. You’ll hear just how difficult this struggle was and how the shame truly took him to his breaking point.
David also discusses how his difficult experiences have not only inspired him to write, act, & create art bringing attention to his struggles, but have also truly inspired him to help others in a similar situation. He shares what’s missing from our society to help support people in these situations, and what he thinks would truly make an impact on the very sad statistics.
I am so proud of my brother David and all of his successes! I know you will truly be inspired by his story of strength & perseverance.