Derailed: When Mental Illness Throws a Life Off Track

To hear Jeff Zinn tell his tale is to hear the glorious story of a rising star in Manhattan’s garment district—a place of colorful designs and even more colorful characters. After 20 years of success in the fashion business, Jeff is launching his own clothing line, Rebecca Jones, Inc. He’s never felt more confident. Never had more energy. Never needed less sleep.

Derailed tells Zinn’s remarkable true story of fame, fortune, and mental illness – and along the way, it asks you, the listener, to vote on the hard calls facing him and others on his journey.

Why tell this story?

Few people suffer as much from secrecy as patients and families touched by mental illness. Secrecy hurts. It contributes to the dilemmas that face us whether we or our loved ones suffer from an intermittent mood disorder or from a severe mental illness that makes a productive life hard or impossible. Derailed helps to break the silence by bringing to life the authentic experience of a patient suffering from mental illness, including the excruciating dilemmas – the “hard calls” – that face everyone in a patient’s circle — partners, kids, relatives, colleagues and doctors. Shining a light on these dilemmas, and on a broken system, is a first and important step toward change.

Episode — 1

Who decides what “crazy” is?

In our debut episode, millionaire Jeff Zinn is working 18-hour days building his new company, living on adrenaline and risk. To some, his plans for getting attention seem audacious; to others, they’re crazy. Who’s right?

Hard Call | Listen To Episode 1

Episode -2

Stigma is the real madness.

In Episode 2, we learn what happened to Jeff after a tense encounter in a psychiatrist’s office in Episode 1. Then, Jeff faces a high-stakes dilemma that could pay off in millions–or destroy his company.

Hard Call | Episode 2

Episode 3

It’s all about the money, honey.

In Episode 3, we learn whether Jeff’s company survived or crashed because of his personal choices. And we explore where money and madness collide–and why for so many, it’s so hard to get help.

Episode 4

My job is killing me.

Jeff can’t concentrate and he’s lost his mojo as a salesman. He’s making a quarter of a million dollars a year but is suicidal. Is quitting an option? Would he ever get back?

Hard Call | Episode 4

Episode 5

Third time’s the charm?

In Episode 5, Jeff reveals the momentous decision he made about his career. Now he needs to make another, equally momentous choice–one that could result in wild success or a return to madness. And you’ll decide.

Derailed | Episode 5