In our second week of MIA Veterans & Military Families, we interview U.S. Navy Veteran Dan Hurd. Dan is the Founder of Ride With Dan USA and the One Pedal at a Time Movement. After surviving his third suicide attempt, Dan became inspired to bicycle to all 48 States in the continental U.S. to help raise awareness about suicide. Along his journey, Dan has realized his attempts were likely caused by the medications he had been prescribed and now dedicates his life towards inspiring others to live life “One Pedal at a Time”.
- How Dan survived a rough childhood and came to be prescribed psychoactive medications as a teenager.
- That Dan found his time in the U.S. Navy to be the best time of his life.
- How he came to found Ride with Dan USA and the One Pedal at a Time Movement.
- Why he is biking all 48 states in the continental U.S., with a path that includes 25,000 miles and a three-year ride to raise awareness about suicide and to call for research.
- How all three of his suicide attempts were during periods of medication withdrawal.
- How his first attempt occurred in high school, six months before entering the U.S. Navy.
- How, a year after discharge from the Navy, Dan began getting prescribed medications again.
- Dan now realizes that meds were the likely cause of his suicide attempts. Life stressors were triggers, but medication withdrawal manufactured his risk.
- How Dan experienced severe physical pain as part of withdrawal from psychoactive medications, which was especially pronounced during the first year of his ride across the country.
- How his physical pain from withdrawal was so intense that it nearly ended his trip within the first six months of his journey.
- Dan talks about his concerns that psychoactive meds might have harmed his mother, and that her being prescribed these medications prior to his birth might have impacted his life today.
- How he hadn’t previously connected meds to his negative life events, specifically social isolation. Dan has gone from complete isolation while on meds to exploring all 48 states on his bicycle now that he is off of the drugs.
- How Dan has come to recognize medications aren’t solving a chemical imbalance, but instead are medicating symptoms, which led to polypharmacy.
- How Dan’s journey and sharing his story with others has helped him in his recovery and in finding balance in life.
- Dan’s Message to listeners: “Take life one step and one pedal at a time. If you’re experiencing challenges, tell everybody what is going on. Don’t expect help, because when you expect it, you’ll be disappointed. It’s when you’re asking for help and not expecting it, you’ll be happily surprised at what happens.