Dealing with Anxiety and Stress with Darryll Stinson, Ep #5

Dealing with Anxiety and Stress with Darryll Stinson, Ep #5

Darryll Stinson is not only my good friend but he’s a husband, dad, entrepreneur, pastor, speaker, and suicide survivor. Darryll has been married for eight years and has three girls and one son. When Darryll was in his 20s, after multiple suicide attempts, he learned how to cope with his anxiety and depression. In this episode of Dads on Tap, he shares how he learned to deal with anxiety and depression, and what you can do to recognize and combat it in your children.

You will want to hear this episode if you are interested in...

  • Darryll’s TEDx venture [1:56]
  • You’re either a thermometer or a thermostat [3:43]
  • Darryll’s relationship with his dad [5:52] 
  • Everything is figureoutable [9:45]
  • Learn about Darryll and his family’s values [11:58]
  • Dealing with anxiety and depression [16:30] 
  • What are your children reflecting back to you? [21:02] 
  • How to combat anxiety and depression in your children [26:11] 
  • What could happen if you embraced full commitment in your life? [33:36] 

What Darryll learned from his dad (and how he wants to be different)

When Darryll’s mom had him, she was a Senior in high school and his dad was a Freshman in college at Central Michigan University. His dad was on the path to becoming a professional athlete. Darryll’s mom was his primary caregiver and he only saw his dad on weekends until he was three. His dad was physically present but spiritually and emotionally absent. 

Marie Forleo wrote “Everything is Figureoutable,” which is the #1 thing Darryll’s dad taught him. He was resourceful and never let an obstacle get in his way. He believed there was always a book you could read or a podcast you could listen to, to teach yourself anything. But Darryll’s dad never expressed himself emotionally. It was unhealthy emotional suppression. 

Dealing with anxiety and depression…and finding purpose

Darryll was 6’5”, 275 pounds, and ran a fast 40. He had planned to play in the NFL but suffered a back injury at the end of his Freshman year of college. But football had become his identity. Without it, he felt worthless. He played for two more years after he came back from his injury but he took opioids to suppress the physical pain and became addicted to using them to suppress his emotional pain. 

Ultimately, Darryll ended up in a psychiatric unit after multiple suicide attempts. Two different people came to him and said the same thing: Say yes to Christ. He put his belief in Christ and it gave him hope.

During this time, he was admitted to a psychiatric care facility. He wrote his first journal entry, saw his first psychologist, did his first mindfulness exercise, and started to see he could rebuild his life from the inside out. Through this process, he learned that he needed a system of success and discipline and a system of self-care.

What are your children reflecting back to you?

Darryll’s daughter Ava wakes up throughout the night. Of his four children, she’s also the most like him. He started to notice that she followed the same patterns he did. When he woke up during the night, it was usually because God was speaking to him. What if God was communicating to his daughter the same way He does with him? 

So instead of telling her to go back to bed, he bought her a journal. The next time she woke up, he told her to write whatever came into her mind. If she still couldn’t sleep, he told her to come to them. It was a game-changer. And it never would’ve happened if he didn’t see himself in her. 

What are your children reflecting back to you? If you polish the mirror in yourself, you’ll see the ripple effect in your children. 

How to combat anxiety and depression in your children

Darryll believes that if you know someone struggling with depression and anxiety, you should lead by example. Do everything you’re telling them to do. If you tell them to see a therapist, do it yourself first. But he also strongly believes in focusing on self-care. Darryll’s self-care system includes four parts:

  • Calm: how do you master the ability to bring calm to your nervous system? Breathing, mindfulness, and meditation are great strategies.
  • Activities: What physical and everyday activities help you embrace joy? The more joyful activities you can experience every day, the better your overall quality of life.
  • Relationships: You are the five people you surround yourself with, right? So spend time in nature, in a calm atmosphere, and around calm people.
  • Expression: Express yourself through journaling, counseling (CBT), verbal processing, etc. 

You need to model the behaviors and practices you want your children to emulate. 

Resources & People Mentioned

Connect with Darryll Stinson

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Audio Production and Show Notes by - PODCAST FAST TRACK