"Never apologize for showing feeling.
When you do so, you apologize for the truth."
-- Benjamin Disraeli
Sunday, November 21, 2010
Sunday, November 14, 2010
Saturday, October 2, 2010
Monday, August 23, 2010
When my first psychologist sent me for evaluation to a psychiatrist, I was aghast at his initial diagnosis. Depression was something other people experienced. I suffered from nightmares and disruptive thoughts of what my father did. I struggled with the things he lead me to believe about myself, those life lessons that are supposed to build your child up to face the world, not the ones that tore me down in a tenacious effort to manipulate me back into his abusive desires. I did not see myself as a victim or someone who suffered with depression. What I saw was a child who told her father no and was now being punished for it.
I believed everything that came to me after that point was the life I deserved. Life was my punishment. Any wrong doing from others, or misfortunes that happened upon me, were a direct result of my disobedience.
I did not understand them to be part of the vicious nature of depression.
Silencing thoughts of a picturesque life was paramount to my survival. Dwelling on what I couldn’t have only made my existence that much harder to bear. I knew that AI could not change the Hand of God by committing suicide (as I have learned, those thoughts lived within another
Life was punishment. Death my freedom. Depression a somewhat manageable disease of the mind. The three didn’t add up.
It wasn’t until the psychiatrist started asking specific question about my past, that I began to see the patterns of my life fitting into the symptoms of Major Depressive Disorder. Although I still believed I had no control over how the world interacted with me (I’m still not so sure about it). I just now knew and understood that I had been suffering from depression for many years without having put a label on it.
When a diagnosis becomes personal, it changes meaning. It did not change the core belief that I was being punished but it did offer the chance of some relief while I remained alive. It at least gives me something to work with. It game me some dreaded hope that life would be less of a burden. Like the alcoholic seeking relief, if I could get through y days a little easier by taking a pill, I didn’t think God would mind so much.
I’ve come to understand the cycle of depression very well. It doesn’t make it easier (somewhere within, we still believe we are being punished) but I understand it better. Learning the cyclic changes has helped me to mostly better cope with existence. In fact, some of the Ego States even understand depression to be just what it is and not punishment, although I am not one of them.
My days are filled with murky sadness. Energy is sapped from every parcel of my body like water from a desert. They are days of heavy air making it difficult to take a breath. Each activity is a calculated event, colossal in achievement, yet small in size. Getting up from where I breathe to get a drink. Grasping the remote control to change the channel. Finding words to speak. I thought I was a procrastinator but it turns out differently.
Depression is a cruel master.
Monday, June 28, 2010
I highly recommend Dr. Harriet Braiker’s 1989 “Power of Self-Talk” article, which appeared in Psychology Today magazine. I actually share it with each of my new patients. It is a concise overview of an aspect of a commonly used approach in counseling, namely "Cognitive Behavioral Therapy." The early beginnings of CBT was independently developed by renowned American psychologist, Dr. Albert Ellis and psychiatrist Dr. Aaron T. Beck. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy was also popularized by Dr. David Burns' 1980 book, Feeling Good: The New Mood Therapy.
Dr. Braiker's article is hosted as a .doc file by UCLA here: http://www.college.ucla.edu/ucadvconf/powerpoint/Cog-Restr-talk.doc
Sunday, June 13, 2010
Sunday, June 6, 2010
Sunday, May 23, 2010
Thursday, May 20, 2010
Register your idea HERE!
While visiting the Give-A-Way site, throughout July, consider voting for my IDEA:
Psychologist's FREE Hypnosis MP3 to Quit Smoking!
If my idea is one of the 32 selected throughout July, I will receive $5,000 to help promote QuitForFree.com!
Thursday, May 6, 2010
Tuesday, April 27, 2010
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the offering of the above FREE screening.
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According to IMDB.com, Michael Moore's controversial "Sicko" is a documentary comparing the highly profitable American health care industry to other nations, and HMO horror stories. According to Wikipedia.org, "Sicko" received a standing ovation, during its premiere at the Cannes Film Festival and was nominated for an Academy Award for Documentary Feature. Sicko was further commended in the Australian Film Critics Association 2007 Film Award for Best Documentary. "Sicko" was released and distributed by The Weinstein Company.According the the National Coalition on Health Care, nearly 46 million Americans, or 18 percent of the population under the age of 65, were without health insurance in 2007. Despite the fact that 80% of Americans do have healthcare insurance, "Sicko" claims that many of those Americans do not realize that they actually have costly, inadequate coverage. With all of the recent increase in emphasis upon national healthcare reform, I would also like to offer the following sobering reminders. I agree with my state representative Phyllis Mundy's (D - PA) statement that "free market principles and competition are not more important than the people's access to affordable health insurance." According to the American Psychological Association's Dr. Lynn Bufka, "Physical and mental health are inextricably linked, as in the case with heart health and stress." Harvard Medical School's Dr. Herbert Benson is also renowned for having observed that "Sixty to ninety percent of visits to physicians are for conditions related to stress."
Monday, April 26, 2010
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Saturday, April 17, 2010
According to the former president of the American Psychological Association, Dr. Martin Seligman, “our economy is rapidly changing from a money economy to a satisfaction economy." Well before Seligman's observation, however, the Amish seem to have understood the importance of this emphasis. The Amish lifestyle represents a subculture within American society that is the antithesis of capitalism. Amazingly, it is suggested that their departure from Americana actually contributes to their overall level of happiness. In recent years, author Jonah Lehrer has highlighted the fact that the Amish’s rates of depression are more than ten fold lower than the rest of the American population.
The Amish appear to place more emphasis upon the depth, quality and nature of their relationships. Within the Amish community, for example, if a neighbor’s roof is damaged in a storm, the community is likely to arrive the next day to volunteer its assistance with the repairs. Sadly, within American society, many people do not even know their neighbors. Perhaps a simple restructuring of priorities can help Americans to find their happiness within a distressed economy.