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Angie Austin: Hi, it’s Angie Austin with Daybreak USA, and I have fa-bu-lous hair. I do, now I do at least because I use Ovation Cell Therapy. The Ovation Hair products are absolutely wonderful. You know, they did a customer survey, and over 90%, over ninety percent of respondents, said they would recommend Ovation Hair to a friend–and I’m one of those over 90% people because I have to tell you, my hair has never looked better. Now in the winter, you wear a lot of hats, but as we head towards spring, you’re going to want to let your locks out so they look luscious. My hair really has never looked better, and I bring it when I travel/ I used to always use the shampoo that was in the hotel–no more because I’ve never found a shampoo that works better. And I was thrilled when they asked me to actually endorse the product because I believe in it, and it makes it so easy to say “go for it.” Go to OvationHair.com, OvationHair.com, and you’ll get a special introductory discount if you click on “station ID” and pick “Angie Austin Daybreak USA.” OvationHair.com. Try it, you’ll love it: OvationHair.com.
Announcer: Wake up, USA. This is Daybreak on the radio. This is America’s original news magazine, Daybreak USA.
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Austin: Oh, good morning to you friend. Angie Austin here. It is a Tuesday, and we are ready to roll. Are you ready? Got your coffee at hand? Well, let’s have a little fun. Coming up, we’ll have Ron Taylor live with news headlines. I thought it was pretty interesting that in Newark, they’re looking for the owner of a very large snake. Can you imagine at the airport a very large snake is loose and they want to know ‘hey, who owns you?’ Also, teachers and tenure; there is a big lawsuit going on right now because teachers want to keep their jobs when they have tenure, but you know, many of us if we don’t do a good job, we don’t have job security. If you don’t do a good job, maybe you get a little warning, you get some feedback and then you get a big brown box, a brown paper box, and you put your things in it. I jokingly and TV news used to say that I kept a brown paper box under my desk the twenty years I was in news, and generally I kept my jobs for between seven and 11 years. I mean that’s a long time to keep jobs, let’s be honest; even through high school, I kept a job for seven years through high school and college. So I’m pretty and I’m pretty secure, I’m a good worker, but hey we all have to really be on our toes. You can’t get that sense of security that I put in enough time, so now I get to keep my job even if I’m crummy at it. And I feel the same way for teachers, that if they’re not doing a good job regardless of their tenure, you still have to be able to get rid of them, so we’ll hear more about that lawsuit with Ron Taylor in news. Of course, it’s Super Tuesday, and that’s pretty super. So we’re gonna get some of the headlines in terms of politics today as well, pretty exciting time. Andrew Daniels from Men’s Health joining us to talk about how to get the most out of your workout, how to not waste your workout. And you and I both know we see people in the gym all the time just kind of walking around chit-chatting. There’s this one guy, he’s kind of chubby. He must just tell his wife, you know, ‘hey I’m going to the gym,’ and he just goes and hangs out. I rarely see him get on a machine, but you know what he does do? He annoys the rest of us actually trying to get a workout in, kind of irritates me. Cassie Perkins, our teen reporter, is going to join us to talk about taking the stigma off of mental illness, depression and other mental illnesses that, you know, we just have too much stigma attached to them, and people are afraid to go get help. Cassie herself went through a very deep depression, and she considered taking her life in middle school. She was being bullied severely, and now she helps other kids, and she’s lost several friends, teenagers, to suicide–and this is a very important topic that is close to her heart. Jim Stovall joining us to talk about second chances that life is never as bad as it looks, so that’s another good one. He was featured in a Steve Forbes book along with Donald Trump talking about failures, then leading to success. And Jim really had to change his game when he lost his eyesight, and when he was a great athlete as a teenager and he had to figure out a new plan for his life without vision. Alright, let’s talk a little bit about good news because you know that I love to start the day off with a little good news. A little girl has a little duck by the name of ‘Snowflake,’ and they are best friends. Snowflake goes to the beach, Snowflake goes sledding and I think this is a super sweet story. Take a listen to one of our favorite good news reporters, Steve Hartman, who works for CBS, a friend of the show, talking about Snowflake and her owner.
Steve Hartman: A lot of kids go to the park to see ducks, but 5-year-old Kylie Brown of Freeport, Maine, takes her duck to see the park. Snowflake comes here to swim around the pond and then returns when called. Because Snowflake truly believes that Kylie is his mother, and the duck is not alone in this delusion.
Kylie Brown: I’m his mom.
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Hartman: You’re not really his mom.
Kylie: Yup, I’m his mom.
Hartman: How did you first find out?
Kylie: That he was a duck?
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Hartman: No, that (laughs). Kylie is unbearably cute, and since I never did recover to ask that question again, let me just tell you that Kylie first noticed Snowflake’s attachment the day the Browns brought her home last summer.
Austin: I think that is so stinking cute, and you know when I have interviewed Steve Hartman from CBS, he says his stories are about faith and family, that that’s what connects with people. And Snowflake really is family to Kylie.
Hartman: For whatever reason, the duck imprinted on Kylie and just had to be by her side no matter what the hour. When Snowflake refused to stay in the backyard, Kylie’s parents Ashley and Mike say they had no choice but to give him a diaper and make him a house duck.
Mike: He goes everywhere that ducks are allowed and almost everywhere they’re not allowed. I don’t know if you’ve ever had a 2-year-old or a 4-year-old that wouldn’t leave home without its blankie — she would not leave home without her duck. And at that point, nothing is negotiable.
Hartman: Snowflake goes to the beach in summer, and sledding in winter. He’s been to soccer practice, gone on sleepovers, and he even went trick-or-treating as Olaf, the snowman from “Frozen.” And over time, because they both sincerely believe they belong together, Snowflake and Kylie have formed a bond like most of us will never know.
Mike: It’s special, even at 5 years old, that I know that that’s the type of person she’s going to be.
Hartman: She really is going to make a great mom someday. Mostly because — she already is. (End of story.)
Austin: I love good news, and I love those stories Steve Hartman does. I look forward to them every week, and I love sharing them with you. Good news really makes my day brighter, and you know what? I just want to say thank you for listening to us. I know it’s Super Tuesday, we’re gonna cover the hard news, but I think starting your day off with a little sunshine is a great way to go. So stick around for men’s health, don’t waste your workout. Cassie Perkins, teen reporter talking about dealing with depression, helping young people and getting rid of the stigma And then we’ll have news headlines on Daybreak USA.
Announcer: You’re listening to Daybreak USA.
Austin: Welcome back. Men’s Health editor Andrew Daniels talking to us about how to live longer. Would you like to live forever, Andrew Daniels?
Andrew Daniels: Yeah, I think I would, how about you?
Austin: I don’t know about forever. Well, I will in eternity of course my friends. Did you know the oldest man just died at a hundred and twelve in Japan?
Daniels: 112. That’s something else.
Austin: You’ve got actually a part of the world where people seem to live longer.
Daniels: Yeah it’s kinda crazy, we had a writer go to Iceland of all places and write a little feature for us about why the guys in Iceland just, you know, seem to live a lot longer than the rest of us. And so we pulled a couple tips from that story so you can apply them regardless of where you live, you can follow the Icelanders’ lead and maybe tie on a couple years to your life.
Austin: Okay, so we’ll start with tip number one. But I just want to mention that the reason the Icelanders live so long it’s like they’re partially frozen, so they don’t really age because they’re chilled. They’re like in a refrigerator.
Daniels: Yeah, okay, I gotta double-check the article to see if that’s true…
Austin: Yeah, it’s like your lettuce, it doesn’t wilt in there, you know same with the dukes. Alright, so tip number one how to live longer.
Daniels: Yup, so spend more time outside. So Icelanders don’t have to go too far to find nature, which studies show is a very powerful healer. So even living near greenspace can lower the levels of something called cortisol, which is a hormone in your body that comes out when you’re stressed. It’s called the stress hormone, and you don’t want to encounter cortisol if you can help it, so yeah, living near greenspace, even just seeing a plant on your windowsill in your office, is actually shown to kind of lower those levels as well, so it’s all about green…
Austin: I gotta get a plant. I need cortisol. I also have, if you’ve seen the commercial it also leads to belly fat, two bad things–dying and belly fat, both bad.
Daniels: Yes, stress is essentially the root of all evil, so yeah.
Austin: Alright, live longer tip number two.
Daniels: Yes, spend more time with friends and family. So Icelanders are joiners: they join up and do things together. If you want to live a long time, you should follow their lead. We like to recommend going to a site called meetup.com to find a sport, you know a book group, you know a pick-up league, whatever, any other kind of group to join because one expert in this article told us American men would benefit greatly from hanging out more and supporting each other. So, you know, just hook up with friends and be a joiner and that’ll have a lot of good effects there for them.
Austin: I’m telling you my dad plays poker every weekend. He plays Tai Chi daily, and he teaches Tai Chi still. My stepmom sent me a video, he was headed out, he’s 81 years old. They’ve got a lot of snow in his neck of the woods, and he was wearing the kitty cat hat I set my mom for Christmas, and also the panda bear mittens. So this 81 year old man, you know, sliding his way to his car in his kitty cat hat to go play poker. And you know what? It’s just great to have those relationships and that chatting and the camaraderie in the jokes, and I agree. I can see why it would make it… maybe not the poker making you live longer…but the camaraderie. Alright, live longer tip number three.
Daniels: Don’t stop hitting the books. So even after you graduate, you want to keep on learning. Studies show that education level and life expectancy are really nicely correlated. And in Iceland, school is actually free up through college; so if you already have a degree, that’s no excuse because you can still take online courses at a site called lynda.com. A lot of editors over here use that, but I’m also gonna plug something really cool that we have over at Men’s Health. We have an online curriculum at RodaleU.com; you can find courses on how to, you know, better yourself through yoga and through cooking and even some sex classes there too so…
Austin: We are not taking any S-E-X classes at Daybreak USA; we’re trying to eat our Cheerios.
Daniels: That’s right, okay.
Austin: Tip number four, stop going to work while you’re sick. I agree with that one. And then number five, you say eat more fish?
Daniels: Eat more fish, yes. So if you just want to take one look at Iceland on a map, it’s very clear why. Nearly every Icelandic restaurant menu offers fresh fish, which is rich in omega-3s. So here in the USA, you can get the same heart-healthy Icelandic fish from stores like Whole Foods which sell certified wild-caught Icelandic cod plus salmon and char found in Iceland under stringently monitored conditions. So it’s really good quality fish, give you a host of health benefits like those omega-3s.
Austin: Andrew Daniels, you at Men’s Health trying to get us to take sex classes. I had that in middle school, Andrew; I don’t need to take that. I know what’s it’s all about, Andrew. Thank you.
Daniels: Thank you.
Austin: Thanks Andrew, five tips to live longer, love it.
Austin: Teen reporter Cassie Perkins is joining us. Love it when she comes on. She’s got her own radio show. She speaks and inspires young people, and she went through a dark place in her own life that brought her, you know, to have a desire to help other young people so they don’t get so depressed that, you know, when they don’t want to go on, they can look to Cassie. Cassie, I so admire you because I know how dark your life was when you were bullied; and you and I are going to talk today about mental health. You came back from the brink of despair, and I want people to not feel a stigma. If you get a cold, you get the flu, you get a cut, you go to the doctor. But so many of us feel like if there’s a mental health issue, we have to hide it. Good morning, Cass.
Cassie Perkins: Good morning Angie. I love that you point that out because if you break an arm, you go to the doctor to get it checked out. If you have heart issues, you go to the doctor to get it checked out. If you have something wrong with your brain, it’s an organ; we go and we get it checked out. We get help, we find support groups and people to help us, and I love that you mentioned that. I went through this, Angie; this is something that once I went through it, this sparked my interest and that really sparks a light in me, a flame, because I went through this personally. I had to experience this personally in my own life.
Austin: Well I know that, and I know how dark things got. I met you when you were about fourteen, and you had just come out of this dark point of your life. And here now, you’re one of the youngest Zig Ziglar trainers, the youngest in the world, and you speak all the time to kids about there is hope, that it gets better. So let’s talk a little bit about mental illness in general. I think a lot of us think about depression, and we hide that; but there’s also, you know, schizophrenia. Like my brother was affected by bipolar disorder, and so…give us your brief explanation of what you want us to know
Perkins: Absolutely. I think we need to look at what a mental illness is, and a mental illness is really a condition that impacts a person’s thinking, their feeling, their mood. It may affect his or her ability to relate to others even on a daily basis or just function in general and life. Each person will have different experiences in their life, or even people with the exact same diagnosis; but there are actually more than 200 classified forms of mental illnesses. And we know the more common ones, Angie, like depression, bipolar disorder, anxiety disorders; but there’s so many different ones out there. It’s so different, everyone is so different. But we all know that this comes from something inside, you know…
Austin: Yeah, it’s not imaginary. It’s not imaginary, and it’s not anything to be ashamed of. You’re not ashamed that you break your finger. So let’s talk about the warning signs that we can look for in ourselves or our loved ones that might spur us, you know, to get them to get some help because, you know several of your friends have taken their lives, how many?
Perkins: Oh I’ve had four of my friends take their lives, sadly.
Austin: And I know three of my friends’ husbands have taken their lives and over the course of, you know, my friendships over the years. And so let’s talk about warning signs of a mental issue.
Perkins: Absolutely. We know that it can be set off from anything. And with post-traumatic syndrome, you know, that can be set off. We have our veterans coming back from war of the stuff that they see, I hope I never have to see in my life. And there’s stuff that goes on on a daily basis that you know really set this off. But something that you can really look for in your life is if you’re feeling depressed…Angie, it’s normal for us to feel depressed. I gotta tell you it is normal for us to feel sad sometimes. If something sad happens in your life, it is normal to feel sad about that. If something makes you angry, it is normal to make you feel angry. It becomes something different when you’re feeling sad and depressed and not able to get out of bed for weeks and weeks and weeks at a time. So you have to be able to look inside your heart and really see what are these warning signs. These can be everything from confused thinking to prolonged depression, feeling extreme extreme highs and extreme extreme lows, fears, worries, anxieties, social withdrawal. Angie, when I was going through my depression, I couldn’t even get out of bed in the morning. Physically, I could not get out of bed in the morning, to get up and function. I couldnt do it; my body wouldn’t move. So you just have to look for things that aren’t right, things that don’t seem right. And not being able to cope with daily activities or life in general, those are some of the things you need to look for in your life to see, maybe I do have a mental health condition.
Austin: And again, I really want this stigma to go away. I just had lunch with a woman that I’ve become friends with through our charity work, and she said ‘Angie, my ex-husband took his life, and it’s so important to me that you (because I’m speaking on this topic soon) that you bring more attention to this so that the stigma starts to go away in society because if my ex-husband would have gotten help, my daughters would still have their dad,’ you know. And she feels he was too embarrassed to ever get help, and he finally just ended it. So, when do you need to get help? What did you do when you felt this way? I know you had a strong family when you were in middle school around you and you were getting bullied and you got so depressed that you didn’t want to go on. So what do you do when you need to get help?
Perkins: First of all, you need to open up and have a voice. Angie, you need to have a voice for your own life. Therapy can be very beneficial for both the individual with the mental illness as well as other family members who are coping and having to help and support this person with a mental illness. Seek support from friends and family members. If you feel you cannot discuss your situation with them, then go find someone else. Go find a support group. I remember at my school we had this group where we went and we just talked and talked about our feelings and talked about how we are. We actually started it, and when we first started it, gosh, 5, 6 years ago, there were one or two people. I talked to my counselor today, and there’s over 200 people in this group to just talk about their feelings, to talk about how they are and relate to one another and support each other and love each other. And that is so amazing, but it is okay to ask for help. Like we said, if you have a broken arm, you get it checked. Don’t worry about what other people are thinking. And go get help, go find that. And families need to find help, again that are supporting this person because it is difficult to deal with. You know it is difficult to understand. It’s an invisible disability; you can’t necessarily see it so you don’t necessarily understand it. So being able to go and get help and find other people and other people with loved ones that have mental illnesses and share the experiences, and you may find yourself sadly denying the warning signs of this person because you’re concerned about them. Talk to them and love them and bring it up, and if you are going through this, don’t be afraid to get help. I want people to go out there and have a voice for their life because it’s not crazy to feel this way.
Austin: Well I really admire you, Cassie. You came from the brink of, you know, really not wanting to go on to now trying to help so many young people like yourself. You’re a senior in high school, you have your own radio show, you speak all over the country. How do we find you?
Perkins: Absolutely, Angie. Thank you. It’s cassandraperkinsradio.com
Austin: Thanks Cassie. Later on Daybreak USA, some news headlines. It’s Super Tuesday, and it is super, and it’s Tuesday