What do you get when a survivor of child sex trafficking connects with a survivor of sexual abuse? Try a hard-truth listen with graphic storytelling that tackles trauma and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder head-on.
By David Cummings
Launched in May by Kendall Alaimo and Dr. Jason LaHood, the Sentencedtolifepodcast serves as therapy for the co-hosts, who openly discuss their personal stories, and hope that listeners can connect with Alaimo and LaHood’s journey.
The Chicago residents live with complex PTSD and have spent a considerable amount of time and effort to become well-versed in treatment modalities. They connected after meeting at a local Ketamine Clinic. Alaimo says the drug that was initially developed as an anesthetic and became popular in nightclubs saved their lives. Their treatment with Ketamine is the inspiration behind the podcast. “We are actively trying to get the word out about this newer PTSD treatment that is preventing suicides,” Alaimo says.
They publish a new podcast every week on what she calls, “Mental Health Monday.” Other than the professional production of producer Steve Robinson, the podcasts don’t have a singular format. Sometimes Alaimo hosts alone when Dr. LaHood, a trained psychologist with a practice in Chicago, is not available. They tackle many areas of mental health guided by their own experiences or with guests who come on to share personal narratives and professional advice.
Outside of his practice, Dr. LaHood has always wanted to discuss mental health. He’s treated people with PTSD, and like Alaimo believes Ketamine, which was recently approved by the FDA for treating depression, can be a breakthrough drug for the treatment of PTSD. Dr. LaHood’s gives the podcast professional credentials. Alaimo, an artist- public speaker who describes herself as “an international trauma activist,” provides the everyday personal touch. When they take the mic together, Alaimo and Hood deliver an unvarnished peek at trauma and PTSD through the lens of a victim, and caretaker.
The listening experience can be R-rated because of the nature of the stories. Alaimo provides detailed descriptions of her struggles, and when they bring on guests, listeners hear material that is never dull and offers a variety of conversations. They interview individuals struggling with PTSD and professionals with clinical experience. Somehow, it all comes off as a peer-to-peer conversation that can connect to listeners struggling with trauma, treatments, or mental health in general.
If you want to share a story or be a guest of the show, email Sentencedtolifepodcast@gmail.com