Special Guest: Madylynn Snyder

You can find Madylynn Snyder on the web at:



[Jon Dabach] 00:00
Today on the relationship survival show, we’re talking to Madylynn Snyder. Madylynn is a licensed marriage and family therapist working in private practice in Los Angeles. She specializes in working with neurodivergent individuals and couples, and she’s also an adjunct professor of psychology at Azusa Pacific University in their masters counseling program. Mady was brought to the field of psychology by her own experiences of mental illness within her family growing up, her experience of having a parent that struggled with mental health provided her with insight about the need for mental health services in communities that are underserved.

[Jon Dabach] 00:33
Mady is currently interested in exploring mental health challenges and high masking individuals. You’re listening to the relationship revival podcast with Jon Dabach, also known as Mr. Spirituality. That’s me. I’m your host giving you insights and guidance from over 10 years in the field of this amazing journey we call romance on this show, I go over everything you need to know about how to get into a relationship, how to get the most out of a relationship, and sometimes even how to gracefully end a relationship without pulling your hair out and going crazy.

[Jon Dabach] 01:04
And occasionally, I’m even joined by new and old friends who are also relationship experts to bring you guidance and wisdom with new perspectives. Thanks for stopping by MADI Schneider, thank you so much for joining.

[Madylynn Snyder] 01:18
Hi, there good to be here with you today. I’m looking forward to talking to

[Jon Dabach] 01:22
Me too. And I think, you know, right off the bat, you had a pretty interesting upbringing, where you dealt with some stuff that makes you particularly qualified to kind of talk from a first person experience of what some of that trauma looks like. Can you know, fill everybody in? Walk us through? What experience you had growing up? How and how that informed you as a therapist?

[Madylynn Snyder] 01:48
Yeah, it’s, I mean, obviously a huge part of what brought me to therapy. And I sometimes have like the elevator pitch version of this or like the longer version, I want to hear that, I’ll give you the longer version and we’ll get into it. So part of you know, my upbringing is that when I was a teenager, my I had a parent who was diagnosed with pretty severe mental illness, my mother.

[Madylynn Snyder] 02:11
And so the area that we lived in, where I grew up is Central Valley of California. It’s not usually what people think of when they think of California as far as like the beaches. And all that. Exactly, it’s a little bit different. I grew up kind of in the country.

[Madylynn Snyder] 02:28
And so there’s a lot of things that are unique to that part of California. But one of the things mental health wise is that it didn’t feel like there was a ton of accessibility to find therapists or access to mental health care. I think at the time, the closest therapist that we could find for my mom was like, an hour away 45 minutes an hour. So the next town over Yeah, so if you’re like, you know, working all day long, you have to either like take a day off, or you have to go after work. And then that’s a whole two hour thing.

[Madylynn Snyder] 02:57
So it’s obviously zoom and everything where you can actually exactly presume pre any of that. So I mean, now that’s changed a lot for that area. But you know, particularly like when I grew up our family’s kind of navigating this whole mental health crisis for the first time. It’s not something you know, this was years ago. So there’s not as many resources therapies just kind of starting to be distinct monetized.

[Madylynn Snyder] 03:21
There’s a lot that we’re working up against as far as like resources available to us. I think at the time when she was diagnosed, she was hospitalized in the hospital was like an hour away, and then was transferred to a place that was like in Ventura that was like, you know, three hours away. So that’s the kind of climate that we’re looking at

[Jon Dabach] 03:40
How old were you when this happened? When the diagnosis, I was

[Madylynn Snyder] 03:43
About 13 years old. So I was really pivotal. And if you think about, you know, I was going from eighth grade to high school, you’re in a small town. So it’s not like there was some big huge public announcement. But everyone kind of knows that this is going on within our family.

[Madylynn Snyder] 03:59
My mom was pretty prominent figure within our community. And so yeah, it was a lot happening at once. She was also really highly productive. So it was really shocking for people because, again, she was an art teacher. Oh, so she taught at all the elementary school.

[Madylynn Snyder] 04:15
So a lot of times like I would go to high school with everyone’s like, we all know your mom. She’s great. Everyone called her Mrs. Schneider art, kind of like your last name. So yeah, that was, yeah, there’s a lot of dynamics there. As far as like she’s highly, she was highly productive and also struggling pretty severely. She had bipolar disorder, and psychosis. And there’s a number of other diagnoses thrown out there.

[Jon Dabach] 04:40
Yeah. And back then bipolar wasn’t really super well researched, and well understood. Even in the psychiatric community. The medications were pretty minimal, I think, was probably the only thing. Yeah, yeah. And other issues that come up when you take that.

[Madylynn Snyder] 04:58
Exactly. So then you have to deal with like, self-esteem issues as well as pretty drastic changes within your body. Yeah. And she’s like a mom of three kids too. That’s right. So there’s a ton of you know, there’s like so much there to unpack and getting into grad school. I’m kind of like, the holder of all the family heirlooms. I like doing all the family history.

[Jon Dabach] 05:18
Are you the oldest? Where are you in the pecking order?

[Madylynn Snyder] 05:20
I’m in the middle. Child, too. Yeah. So you got that vibe? You got it? You understand? And I kind of have taken a different route than my siblings. And we could, you know, talk about that down the line, but I’m kind of yeah, definitely the I’m pretty true to like, all the theories around middle children, I would say,

[Jon Dabach] 05:38
I’m not actually, like, stayed away from so maybe, yeah, just selfishly, I’d love to hear about it. But later Later,

[Madylynn Snyder] 05:46
Yeah. Our conversation is going to go, we’re going to start talking and be like, oh, and that’s interesting. We’ll try to stay on task. So what But uh, yeah, so

[Jon Dabach] 05:55
Your mom got diagnosed, and she spent some time in the hospital what happened next?

[Madylynn Snyder] 06:00
So, yeah, the there was a bunch of different diagnoses at the time. So part of like, when I, this is going to tie in, I promise, but part of like, when I got to grad school, I was my dad gave me this box of all of her medical records. So now as a clinician looking through this, I had like a completely different understanding, you know, what was happening because there was like, Major Depressive diagnosis, schizophrenia, diagnosis, bipolar with these different, you know, hospitals and clinicians, everyone’s kind of has a different theory on it.

[Madylynn Snyder] 06:30
The prognosis at the time was not super positive. So they kind of said, she’s looking at a longer term hospitalization. She was in a facility for like three months, and then was able to actually come home, which was not expected. So they there were some new medications that were coming out at the time, they put her on some of them, they found something that worked for her, and she was able to come back home.

[Madylynn Snyder] 06:52
And it didn’t feel like as a family, we had the tools to talk about it. And we weren’t in family therapy at the time or any of that. And so it kind of felt like things just proceeded as normal. Like we had this huge thing happened. And then it felt like okay, let’s just kind of pretend everything’s okay.


[Madylynn Snyder] 07:10
And we’ll keep chugging along. And I think that was her way of coping with her mental illness. I mean, because it didn’t come out until she was in her late 40s. She had been struggling with depression pretty much her whole life. Wow. Yeah. So that was kind of how things went from there.

[Jon Dabach] 07:25
Was Was there. And if I’m getting too personal, and just, you know, let me know that was there. Was there trauma in our past that instigated it, or was it just kind of general undiagnosed depression?

[Madylynn Snyder] 07:39
Yeah, there was some trauma. And a lot of that, to me is unclear. You know, as adult I have so many questions that I would ask now, she was still here. And so there was some childhood trauma as far as like talking with her siblings a little bit. Talking with my dad. All of it is like through stories, right? Yeah. Because at the time I was in my teenage years, I didn’t get a chance to hear your repeat

[Jon Dabach] 08:00
Fragments that you hear third. Exactly. It’s rough.

[Madylynn Snyder] 08:03
Yeah, I feel like I could write like a whole book on this. Because it’s just been such a journey of like, I was really close with my mom. And there’s all these things now that I’d love to talk to her about, especially as a therapist trying to understand my own upbringing.

[Madylynn Snyder] 08:16
Yeah, so there was childhood trauma. And then even, you know, she had some birth trauma, and things like that, that just really, I think, weight on her. Over the years, I actually have all our diaries. So I’ve been working through those. Wow, it’s really interesting to hear to read some of the narratives of like times she was struggling. That must be hard to read, too. Yeah, it’s hard.

[Madylynn Snyder] 08:37
And it’s like connecting to right, because it’s like, this is what I have left. And it’s kind of feels like a gift where I can read some of it. And it’s just, you know, seems like transitional low grade type depression. But it’s yeah, it’s been really healing in a way to

[Jon Dabach] 08:51
Wow, yeah. And so what you mentioned your mom’s no longer with us what happened?

[Madylynn Snyder] 08:57
Yeah, so she came, you know, came home from the hospital, it’s 13 or 14, things were pretty good for a few years. And I don’t have you know, I’m not entirely sure what was happening for her then. But when I was 17, she had had, for a while been struggling kind of with a relapsing mental in her mental health diagnoses as far as like depression, bipolar, and had been experiencing some of the symptoms and went off of her medication. And then a lot of this, no one had an idea, so she seemed fine to everyone.

[Madylynn Snyder] 09:31
And then one day, it was really unexpected. She, my dad and I got home and she had died by suicide. And so that was part of my own trauma history that I had to work through. But that it was, I was 17 at the time, and so I was just a senior in high school and, you know, I had been, I mean, luckily I’d gotten through, you know, that whole high school experience with along with like, her mental illness was My own anxiety, yeah, right knowing that this is a possibility because when she got diagnosed, I became really interested in psychology.

[Madylynn Snyder] 10:08
So I know like, you know, with depression, this is a risk. So for me, it felt like it I mean, obviously soul crushing for everyone, but it’s been really interesting to see the different parts of it my specific trauma surrounding being there when she died, versus my siblings and me having to call and tell them about it, you know, different different experiences.

[Madylynn Snyder] 10:29
Yeah, and so there’s a lot we could talk about there too, as far as suicide, particularly as it’s hard for people to understand and having a parent who dies by suicide is different than like cancer, where people kind of know and

[Jon Dabach] 10:43
Please tell me more about that. I don’t I don’t know a lot about it. Thankfully, I have a lot of experiences. But I’m sure there are going to be people who listen to it who might know a friend or might be scared if they have someone in their family with a mental illness. And I think talking about this and shining more light on it is beneficial for everybody.

[Madylynn Snyder] 11:04
Yeah, I think is super important. And that’s why like, I talk about this as much as I can, and obviously tried to do that tactfully. Because, again, it’s just a really, I think, a hard topic for people to understand to talk about. But I think part of what I’ve learned about losing a parent to suicide is when you if you’ve had the experience of losing a loved one, when you tell someone like oh, yeah, I lost a parent, right?

[Madylynn Snyder] 11:27
Already. People are kind of on edge. They’re like, usually want to say something like, Oh, I’m so sorry. And then you kind of feel like you’re having to be like, oh, no, no, it’s okay. Or, yeah, it really sucks. And you have to kind of figure out how much of that can they hold or not.

[Madylynn Snyder] 11:41
But already having lost a parent at a young age, people are kind of like, Ooh, I’m not sure how to how to navigate the conversation around this, if they, you know, haven’t had conversations like this before, or experienced the loss themselves. But even further than that, when you say you have a parent who died by suicide, then people really struggle to know what to say, right? And then you’re put in this position of having to try to feel you’re feeling comfortability they’re feeling it, and then you’re like, trying to wrap it up with a nice bow, right, so that

[Jon Dabach] 12:10
We’re comfortable, reprocess all your own grief, you then have to educate them on the social etiquette of what to do next.

[Madylynn Snyder] 12:16
Yeah, exactly. You’re like, Wait, you’re supposed to be comforting me here. Right? Boots, you know, exactly. That’s a lot. Yeah. Yeah. And at 17 Oh, my gosh, people do not like kids don’t know how to talk about it. Right. And so I think a lot of my friend’s strategy was like, let’s just distract her.

[Madylynn Snyder] 12:32
And we’ll just have fun, but I felt just really lonely. During that time, because you know, I am helping out at home more. I had a younger brother and my my dad was at home still. So yeah, just being more at home helping out there. And my friends are off, like having their last fun summer before college, and it was just really isolating. I don’t think teenagers know how to talk about this, either. How to support someone who’s lost a parent. Yeah.

[Jon Dabach] 13:00
Yeah. I mean, I think adults don’t either. But yeah, but it’s especially hard when you like throw puberty and everything else into the phone. How old your younger brother? Or what’s the age gap? I should ask?

[Madylynn Snyder] 13:11
We’re four years apart. So he was like, 13 at the time. Yeah. So you became mom in a way? Yeah. Yeah. And I’m so similar to my mom like me, and she would always cook dinner and meals together. So that’s something I enjoyed, I would take on that role.

[Madylynn Snyder] 13:26
And my mom, absolutely incredible mom, like Rock Star mom, everyone you talk to, like anyone I talked to was like, how did she do it all she would do these like elaborate birthday parties for us growing up and like, everyone would have a themed costume and like a party favor to take home. So yeah, there was a lot of ways that I understood motherhood differently because of her example of that.

[Madylynn Snyder] 13:50
And a lot of ways I stepped into that role. I used to like pick up my brother from school a lot, but not just that we had to go like get a milkshake to and then I had to come home and be like, now let’s do this, you know very much.

[Jon Dabach] 14:02
Well, it sounds like she left you with a lot of gifts, which is really nice. Yeah, what she What did some practical advice that you could offer someone if they run into someone who’s lost a parent? You know, let’s start there. Let’s how do you? How do you have that conversation?

[Jon Dabach] 14:20
What are things that you wanted to hear that no one told you? What are the things that people said that you didn’t want to hear? I think that’s, you know, a good place to start.

[Madylynn Snyder] 14:29
Yeah, definitely. Yeah. So I, um, gosh, there’s a lot of them. I kind of started doing some writing on this myself as I became a therapist, because I think again, it’s just an area a lot of people don’t know about. One of the things that I’ll say a lot around loss is I think one thing that’s helpful is like there’s this outpouring of love and support at the beginning, which is like, amazing, right?

[Madylynn Snyder] 14:51
Like I had all of my mom’s siblings in town and my grandparents and people I hadn’t talked to in years and a ton of support, and then it feels like that Got it dwindles after a while. So one like super practical thing I’ll tell people is like, if you have a close friend who’s had a loved one passed away, I’ll tell them like, right that person’s death adversary down in your calendar, or put a reminder in your phone six months from now to reach out.

[Madylynn Snyder] 15:16
Whenever I have this happen with friends, I’ll just put a reminder like, hey, reach out to Sarah in six months, right? Or reach out on her remind her on her death anniversary that you’re thinking of her like Father’s Day and Mother’s Day, graduations, because part of what’s hard about losing someone is like, yes, there’s that grief period at the beginning. But every single time you have an accomplishment, you’re like, so excited.

[Madylynn Snyder] 15:39
And also, so missing that person, wish they could be there. So that’s like one practical thing that all mentioned to people is like, yeah, be there at the beginning. Don’t try to make it better. Don’t try to be like, you know, everything happens for a reason. Or don’t try to make it about you just sitting with somebody asking them what they need, or just just being just sitting

[Jon Dabach] 16:00
There being quiet with them even. Yeah.

[Madylynn Snyder] 16:04
Or, you know, saying some people don’t like quiet. So if you need a distraction, right? Kind of yeah, just being there in the ways that they need you to be there rather than the ways that are most comfortable for you.

[Jon Dabach] 16:15
Yeah, I think it’s important I remind, as a couple’s counselor, you always deal with what you know, and doing what resonates for the other person. And so when it’s not your part, I mean, when it’s your partner, and it’s the most intimate relationship, you know, people still don’t know what the heck to do. So asking is a big part of it, saying, what can I do? Do you want me to just sit here? Do you want me to Yeah, I can make your meals or do you want to talk about it?

[Madylynn Snyder] 16:41
Yeah, yeah. And sometimes it’s like being there. And then I think sometimes it’s like, just doing something. Because I think sometimes people are so afraid to say or do the wrong thing that they just are like, you know, they probably have other people reaching out, they probably have other people helping them. I’m just going to lay back. And sometimes it’s like, just say, or do something, be willing to mess up and be willing to sit with that. Comfortability. But like, do whatever it takes to let that person know you’re there for them? Yeah. Yeah.


[Jon Dabach] 17:08
Incredible. How’s it informed? Your practice and the way you work with others? Now? Do you do a lot of grief counseling? And do you do a lot of work with people who’ve lost parents? I mean, or is it not a focus for you?

[Madylynn Snyder] 17:24
It hasn’t been a focus as much, but it’s something I definitely feel comfortable about when it comes up. Like when I have a parent or someone come in, and they’re like, Oh, I lost this person. I’m like, Alright, I feel like I know what to do. I know how to jump into this. I know how to, like, make sure that I bring it up in future sessions, because sometimes it feels like the rest of the world moves on and you’re like, wait, I’m still back here process?

[Madylynn Snyder] 17:45
Yes, thing? Yeah. Um, the interesting thing for me is what I kind of have pivoted to, and what got me interested in where I’m at now is working with family members who have working with people who have a family member who has struggled with mental illness, right? So I ended up working a lot with like children, or that’s how I kind of got started children, spouses, siblings, all that kind of deal who have a family member.

[Madylynn Snyder] 18:13
That was like, what got me into psychology. And now that has pivoted into neuro divergence and helping both neurodivergent individuals, but also, a lot of times I’m working with the family members who are trying to support those

[Jon Dabach] 18:27
And just I’ve had a whole episode on neuro divergence, but just as a reminder, in case this is the first episode you’re listening to, the way I understand it is no diversion essentially means your brain works a little differently. Like that’s the shorthand version. So it’s kind of an umbrella term for people who might have ADHD or dyspraxia are just a you know, or a different disorder of some sort. Is that accurate to you? Or do you have a say?

[Madylynn Snyder] 18:51
Yeah, yeah, it is. Yeah. So yeah, that’s pretty accurate, too. And, you know, autism ticks. There’s a lot of there’s a lot of you know, discrepancy. Not everyone has like a set. There’s not like a set term for this, right. But a lot of times, like the way that you can encompass it is just you have your brain that works differently than other people’s brains.

[Jon Dabach] 19:11
Yeah. Diverge from the normal brain chemistry. That’s the neuro zero divergent, okay. Yeah. Yeah. Well, I mean, I, you know, we all we’ve all run into those couples, socially, whether we’re in the mental health field or counseling world or coaching world or whatever, not everybody kind of has run into someone who is married or has a family member that has some kind of things that are different than the rest of the population.

[Jon Dabach] 19:38
What are some good kind of practical advice that you can give to someone who’s really struggling so someone who has a family member or even a romantic partner that you know, deals with depression or a different kind of thing that that makes it difficult to kind of have that kind of empathetic relationship?

[Madylynn Snyder] 20:00
Yeah, um, there’s so much there, right? Because, yeah, I’m thinking about. Part of it is it feels like a marathon, right? You have to think about this long term. If you’re in a relationship with someone who’s struggling with depression or anxiety or some kind of neuro divergence.

[Madylynn Snyder] 20:19
It’s like thinking about the things that are going to be sustainable long term, not just what’s going to work moment to moment, but how do we create sustainable practices for ourselves? How do we help understand each other’s like behavior? Verbals? Nonverbal?

[Madylynn Snyder] 20:33
How do we help understand like, what do you need when you’re in crisis? Or what do you need when you’re feeling really low motivation or when you’re feeling super anxious? One of the I’m, you might have done this with your couples. But one thing that I like to do is having them check in like, Hey, do you need me to listen to you right now? Do you need advice? Yeah. Do you need to sit in silence? Do you need a distraction?

[Jon Dabach] 20:56
Do it I do it very often, when you have kind of a heteronormative couple. And men tend to be these problem solvers in the relationship. And I tend to train them, like, you might want to ask if they want the problem solved, or they just want to talk about it, you know, so that that quite a bit for sure.

[Madylynn Snyder] 21:14
Yeah, yeah. I mean, I think that idea, though, ties along with like, the grief thing I was talking about, too, right? It’s like, I have been exploring this question of like, how do we get to determine like, Who determines if, if something feels loving or not, right?

[Madylynn Snyder] 21:29
Is it the person receiving it, or the person giving it because a person can be do doing something for you, they feel like it’s really loving and caring. But if that’s not how you feel cared for, right, you don’t necessarily receive it. So it’s like this really complex concept, especially when you bring in like parenting? Because sometimes it might not feel loving to the kid. But we know we’re helping to set a so that’s interesting.

[Jon Dabach] 21:50
You know, I don’t think about that often as a couples counselor, but the children throws a monkey wrench because I would say if it’s a couple, who are both adults, and they’ve had time to kind of live their life, and now they’re a couple, then the the short answer is the receiver gets to decide if it’s love, you know, and, and it’s, but that comes with a caveat, the onus is on them to explain, if they’re not feeling loved, and try and redirect the behavior.

[Jon Dabach] 22:14
And that’s the part people don’t have the language skills to kind of do right. If someone watches your car for you thinking it’s the greatest gift you can do, because it’s you hate washing your car. And they’re like, well, I could have just paid someone 20 bucks, like, what’s the big deal?

[Jon Dabach] 22:26
You know, but they don’t say that, then yeah, there’s, it falls through the cracks. But children’s interesting, that’s fascinating, because children do not have the ability to say that’s not how I want to feel, they just don’t. And it’s a concept that’s foreign to most adults, and it falls completely on deaf ears. So you kind of have to, you know, and as a parent, you have to take on the responsibility of like, well, what kind of love language do I want them to develop? You know?

[Madylynn Snyder] 22:51
Exactly, yeah. And like, what am I teaching them and my interactions with them knowing that children are like sponges constantly absorbing everything that they’re seeing constantly absorbing their caregivers Interactions and Learning how to adapt? Yeah, yeah, it’s complex.

[Jon Dabach] 23:06
And when I, when I talk to people about the five love languages, and in terms of parenting, whenever I get someone who’s, like, really fervent, and about acts of service, I like the next question on my mouth is did you ever single parent home? Because moms or dads that raise the kids alone, don’t have time to be verbally affectionate and physical affection?

[Jon Dabach] 23:29
And often, and they’re so busy just making lunches that it like, Is that the reason that you appreciate and like kind of learned love? Because your mom was just too busy to do anything else? And I find it doesn’t. It’s a very high, at least anecdotally, it’s very high percentage that that happens.

[Madylynn Snyder] 23:44
Yeah, yeah. And I mean, again, it’s like, as we’re talking this, this is a big question I’ve been pondering as far as like, who gets to decide, right? If it’s a loving thing or not? Because I think another thing I thinking about is boundaries, and how a lot of times setting a boundary can be a loving thing, right?

[Madylynn Snyder] 24:00
Or like trying to set a boundary with like what you’re able to do. But when you’re able to say like, Hey, I’m just not able to give that today that can feel very not loving right from your partner. Right? But it is a loving thing, right? Yeah. So this is like, it kind of reminds me of the parenting thing to a lot of times you’re like having to set these things that are like, containing boundaries or things to keep someone safe. Yeah. Or do you keep the relationships

[Jon Dabach] 24:25
And with kids, we were really good. Adults aren’t good at this. But parents are good about like, setting time limits. I found. Yeah. So like, if you have if you have one partner who’s really physical and one who’s not, the answer isn’t to not be physical, right? The answer is like, they feel like there’s no end to the physicality.

[Jon Dabach] 24:43
So it’s like, well, what if you guys agreed to 10 minutes of just sitting together, then the person gets something that they want and the other person is like, only 10 minutes? I can deal with that. You know, so, yeah, there’s that is a way to do it where everybody feels taken care of, but you know, that takes a really mature pay Shouldn’t person to be able to verbalize it? That’s really hard.

[Madylynn Snyder] 25:03
Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. And I think, you know, like, these are the things that we the skills that we usually learn, you know, growing up in our families, and then we bring those skills into our older adult relationships. And it does take a lot of talking about it, and like helping somebody understand why you did something and what that meant to you and what how it felt for you when they said this thing and all of that.

[Madylynn Snyder] 25:23
And so I think that’s maybe a newer concept within parenting is like this very slow explaining, attuned type of parent. Yeah. Yeah. A lot. It’s a lot harder to you know, when you have Yeah,

[Jon Dabach] 25:38
We’re a different generation, for sure. We’re like, you know, we’re in the I Love You generation now, where people are overly abusive, and, and sometimes, like, it’s that that in itself has kind of created a knee jerk reaction in the opposite way for some kids. So

[Madylynn Snyder] 25:51
Exactly, yeah, it’s just a lot different. Again, like I’m thinking about my own family of origin. And my mom, like her parents grew up in the Great Depression. And her parent’s family immigrated here. And so it’s a very different, like, the challenges that they were dealing with. And the parenting styles were obviously completely different than me now, generations later,

[Jon Dabach] 26:11
We still have our own issues. One of the one of the areas of study that you’re fascinated with, I wanted to ask you about high mask, high masking individuals. So that’s a new term for the show. And I’m going to take the floor and kind of define what it is and what fascinates you about it.

[Madylynn Snyder] 26:30
Yeah, definitely. Yeah. So when we talk about masking, it’s usually a term used within neurodivergent communities to talk about the things that people do that try to fit in with neurotypical people socially. So it’s usually a term masking is like a social term that we use. So there’s this book that’s wonderful that I talked to people about all the time called unmasking autism. It’s by Devin price. I really hope I got the last name. Right. Okay, thanks, prism. Unmasking autism.

[Jon Dabach] 27:03
I recommended masking and masking. Yeah, it’s Devin.

[Madylynn Snyder] 27:07
Okay, perfect. I second guessed myself, right. Okay. So yeah, for sure. Yeah, yeah, everyone should definitely check it out, explores a lot of these concepts. But the idea with masking is that, you know, people will create this way of being socially so that they can be usually it’s so they can be more successful socially.


[Madylynn Snyder] 27:26
So at work, you know, maybe hand flapping, or, you know, shaking your leg or doing some of these more erratic behaviors, stimming, as we might call it. If you do that, in your workplaces, you’re going to be looked at us weird or offer, it’s not professional. And I’m putting that in air quotes, which they might people won’t be able to see.

[Madylynn Snyder] 27:46
So the idea is people tend to mask some of those behaviors, and then that the high masking individuals, as people who usually have become very adept at masking, another way, that I kind of think about this as people who tend to be highly productive.

[Madylynn Snyder] 28:02
So people who have pretty severe struggles with their either autism, or depression, anxiety, whatever it is, right. So that part of it feels very severe to them, but they are also highly productive, they’re able to, and part of what we’re getting into this, like the medical model of how we determined cares, usually to department by functioning. So we’ll say are you able to function at work at home, you know, in these different contexts. And we have an idea of what that means. So we say like, Okay, you’re doing all those things.

[Madylynn Snyder] 28:34
Great, you’re good? Versus like, what’s their normal level of functioning? And what are they at now? So that’s kind of where the high masking comes in, I kind of think about it as people who are able to be socially successful, able to be highly productive. But that doesn’t necessarily negate the severity of their struggle with whatever.

[Jon Dabach] 28:51
Yeah, I mean, for you, and for you and me, it might be really simple to get on a podcast and have a conversation over zoom, where you record it, but someone who has some disorder or some kind of neuro divergence that that makes this as painful as going in getting like a root canal. And you don’t see what’s going on by behind the surface, right, that anguish still living inside of them.

[Jon Dabach] 29:15
And like, they’re spent, I mean, you know, I had another therapist I had on here that talked about neurodivergent. She said, you know, when I go to the grocery store, and I come back, I’m done for the day. You know, there’s just so many choices to make.

[Jon Dabach] 29:28
There’s music playing, there’s really bright light, she’s like, it’s too much cash. Yeah, yeah, no. So it’s really interesting to kind of growing that empathy in the culture, and kind of, you know, teaching people to ask those questions. I think it’s a really good step in the right direction.

[Madylynn Snyder] 29:43
Right? Well, we look at successful individuals and we say, well, they can’t possibly be struggling in some way, right? They can possibly be neuro divergent. They’re highly successful rather than a lot of times there’s people who are highly successful and able to mask very highly and also still struggling pretty significantly so

[Jon Dabach] 30:01
Fascinating. Well, Mady, I want to first of all, thank you for being so you know, open and like an open book really about your past and brave about sharing your, you know, this painful memories of your past and kind of for the betterment of everybody that’s really very touching that you that you’re so giving and generous in that way.

[Jon Dabach] 30:25
And thank you for kind of inspiring me to go read a new great book that I haven’t heard of. So I appreciate it. And just thank you for coming here and sharing your time and your wisdom.

[Madylynn Snyder] 30:33
Yeah, thank you so much for having me here. I think it’s important to do it stuff I’ve obviously processed and that’s the only reason I’m able to share it is because I’ve done a lot of the work, to process it in therapy and to write about it and to share about it on other places. And so I think, yeah, suicide in particular is really important for us to get more comfortable talking about even just like saying the word out loud and having more conversation about it. What if

[Jon Dabach] 30:58
Someone wants to work with you directly or learn more about you? Where can they go to find you?

[Madylynn Snyder] 31:03
Yeah, so you can find me at Mady m a, d y, at spaces therapy. La.com. so the practice I’m at I’m at a group practice right now, which is spaces therapy, la. There’s a website as well that we have spine spaces therapy la.com. So they can you can find me there, connect with me there. Reach out via email. I love connecting with people. That’s the best way to get connected to

[Jon Dabach] 31:27
Awesome and I’ll put that information in the show notes. If you’re listening. You can kind of revisit it that way.

[Madylynn Snyder] 31:31
That would be great. Yeah, I’d love to connect with whoever hears this and resonates with it in any way.

[Jon Dabach] 31:36
Thank you so much. Again, if you’re interested in learning how to get the absolute most out of your romantic relationships then you’re in luck because I have put together a free workshop or masterclass if you will about three secrets that people in happy relationships have discovered.

[Jon Dabach] 31:54
You can view the workshop and mister spirituality.com/three secrets again, it’s completely free. Just go there and watch it. It’ll help you on your journey. Give you some wisdom. Some things to think about. The website again is Mr. spirituality.com/three secrets. That’s mspirituality.com/the Number three, the word secrets. It’s all yours. Enjoy.


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