Monthly Archives: December 2013

Understanding Anxiety Disorders

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Anxiety disorders can have a devastating effect on those who suffer from them. Left untreated, anxiety disorders often inhibit an individual’s ability to function normally in everyday life. Anxiety disorder may also be a source of additional tension caused by the strain the condition places on personal and professional relationships. Physical manifestations in the form of illness and mental manifestations in the form of depression are often the consequences of the intense and irrational worry that characterizes anxiety disorders While new methods of treatment are being developed, the most current form of medical care involves a combination of therapy to recognize and change the mental thought processes that make anxiety disorders possible along with medication designed to minimize the chemical imbalances that may facilitate these thought processes. There are several categories of anxiety disorders, such as posttraumatic stress disorder, panic disorder, social anxiety disorder and obsessive compulsive disorder, but the most commonly diagnosed is general anxiety disorder.

Anxiety disorders can be difficult to diagnose as the symptoms associated with them are often shared by a variety of illnesses such as depression and chronic fatigue. In the past, physicians would frequently misdiagnose anxiety disorder by associating the symptoms with other illnesses while neglecting their underlying cause. This often resulted in treatments that were either ineffective or only served to inhibit the recurrences of specific symptoms. The end result of an improper diagnosis usually entailed an increase in other symptoms that were left untreated.

Today, there are several resources on anxiety disorders and the symptoms associated with them. An increase in medical information available through the Internet has allowed individuals to obtain facts on the diseases and disorders they could potentially be suffering from. The ability to convey the presence of symptoms to your physician can help him or her provide a more accurate diagnosis of anxiety disorders.

With proper treatment, anxiety disorder can be controlled. Many who have suffered from this affliction now lead healthy, productive lives as a result of their commitment to maintaining a well planned regimen.

December 31, 2013

Tricyclic Antidepressants Are Still A Good Choice For Treating Depression

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Tricyclic antidepressants is one of the more popular drugs used to fight depression in people today. Known as the “first generation” antidepressants because Tricyclic antidepressants were the first medications to come into use in the 1950’s to treat depression. They are still one of the better drugs to treat not only depression but have been found to treat chronic pain also. None of the Tricyclic antidepressants have been approved by the government to be used for chronic pain; they are one of the basic treatments for pain even when no depression is involved. These antidepressants seem to work effectively for the burning or searing pain common after nerve damage which may occur with shingles, diabetes, and strokes. This medication can only be prescribed by your doctor, only he or she knows your specific condition and would be able to tell you if using this drug is a good idea for you to use. There are some side effects that come with this drug however, most people claim it’s a “slight nuisance.”

It is not fully understood why Tricyclic antidepressants work so well on killing pain. The theory is that these type of antidepressants increase neurotransmitters in the spinal cord that reduces pain signals. However, Tricyclic antidepressants do not work immediately and you may have to take them for several weeks before they start reducing pain. The good thing about using Tricyclic antidepressants is they are not addicting or cause people to become dependant on them but they do have the ability to make you drowsy at first. Your doctor will probably prescribe them for you to take at night before you go to bed. Side affects can be anything from causing dry mouth, sleepiness, constipation and weight gain, difficulty with urination, and changes in blood pressure. To reduce side effects, your doctor will probably start you on a low dose and increase dosage until the one that is right for you is achieved.

Other side effects you will want to watch out for are dizziness, lightheadedness, and fainting may occur, especially when getting up from a sitting or lying position, it’s recommended to rise slowly when getting up. Tricyclic antidepressants may cause your skin to be more sensitive to sunlight than normal. Be aware of how long you are out in strong sunlight when you first start this medication until you know if it will have an adverse affect on your skin. Getting to much exposure from the sun may cause a skin rash, itching, redness or other discoloration; even server sunburn may be an adverse affect from this medication. It is suggested that one stay out of the sunlight during the hours of 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. if possible. Be sure to apply a good sun block to exposed areas of skin when taking Tricyclic antidepressants , with at least a SPF of 15, and for fair skin a sun block with a higher SPF rating. Be sure to discuss these types of topics and any others you may have a concern about with your doctor before you start taking any medication. You want your medication to work for you so it will help you get well.

December 30, 2013

Treatment for Anxiety Attacks

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Panic attacks can effect your quality of living and drag you down from doing the things you enjoy. If you have ever experienced a panic attack, then you know the feeling of terror that accompanies them, as well as the crippling fear that it might happen again. If you are one of the three million Americans who have had multiple panic attacks, you should know that there are ways to control panic attack symptoms.

The symptoms are similar to a heart attack, and a sensation that you have lost touch with reality and an impending dread often accompanies the physical symptoms. While you might end up in the emergency room the first time, this is not adequate treatment. In order to control panic attack symptoms, you need to help prevent them in the first place.

Options

One option is to consult a physician about getting treatment Some medicines on the market can help panic attack sufferers from reoccurrences. Another option available is cognitive-behavior therapy. This method utilizes visualization, breathing and relaxation techniques to fend off the symptoms of a panic attack when they occur.

Another option that some sufferers choose to help control panic attack symptoms is to actually face the fears. For some, gradually confronting the situations that cause panic can help eradicate them. There is method to this treatment, and it should be undertaken under the care of a physician or therapist so as not to aggravate the problem.

Chronic panic attacks, known as Panic Disorder, are a serious medical condition that can drastically affect the quality of your life. Panic Disorder is not necessarily a permanent condition and it can be treated successfully. Knowing that there are treatments out there though should help you can beat those fears and control panic attack symptoms!

Results

By using the options that work for you to help control your panic attacks, you are able to live a life that is free of suffering from constantly being consumed with fear of your next panic attack. You can also use what you know to help others that may be in the same position you were in before you found the proper help.

Of course, encouraging someone to see their doctor is the best way to go, but because many people are afraid to seek professional help or because they are ashamed of their condition, helping them to learn breathing exercises and the like that have worked for you is something that can offer them at least a small amount of relief.

Your doctor is your best choice always when you are having trouble. He can make a correct diagnosis and get you started in the right direction to end your anxiety attacks. I have used a book and audios that have really made a difference. You can find the link at the top of my website.

Panic Attacks

Panic Attacks and Depression – You Shouldn’t Have to Suffer

Panic Attacks

Today depression and panic attacks a very common for millions of people around the world. On average, fourteen million Americans suffer from major panic attack and depression. Three million Americans suffer from panic disorder. It is very common for those with major depression to also have panic attacks and elevated anxiety levels. Because panic can mimic other disorders, such as hypoglycemia, heart problems, asthma and many more serious conditions, sufferers who have not been diagnosed with panic disorder can feel afraid and tentative about their health.

If you are having panic attacks, but are unaware, and are also suffering from depression, then the two can aggravate the other until proper treatment is realized. As depression is another difficult illness to properly diagnose and treat, it is imperative to actively find treatment that works for you.

The Results of Panic Attack and Depression

People suffering from depression will feel bored, sad, hopeless, sluggish, alone and unloved. They may suffer from insomnia, and will have elevated anxiety levels. Because of this elevated anxiety, people with panic attack and depression will often experience panic attacks on a normal basis. When someone has more than one panic attack, they can develop a phobia towards the situation, or a fear to return to a specific place. Add in an already depressed view of the world, a worry that others find no worth in you, and you have a recipe for one miserable person.

Health care professionals are learning that the instances of panic attack and depression coinciding together are more common that thought. While not everyone who is depressed will have panic attacks, many people who suffer from panic may very well be depressed. There are certain SSRI antidepressants on the market today that are specifically recommended for use in treating anxiety along with depression.

Many people who suffer from depression do not know it. When someone who experiences panic attack and depression has a panic attack, it can be very frightening. Oftentimes, people in the middle of panic attacks feel like they are going to die, or that will lose their minds and “go crazy”. This can prevent some from seeking treatment, as they do not understand what is happening to them, and fear the worse.

When the panic attack is over and the sufferer feels normal again, they may not think anything of it until it happens again. Many people who suffer from panic attacks do not realize that they are not alone. A person who is experiencing panic attack and depression may feel especially overwhelmed and will aggravate the situation by worrying and inflating the scenario in their mind. They may feel hopeless to the point where they cannot see how treatment would be effective.

Treatment for depression with panic attacks is available and very effective. Through any combination of medication, cognitive-behavior therapy and relaxation techniques, sufferers can gain control of their lives back.

The first thing you always want to do is see your doctor and discuss the symptoms and trouble that you are having. Your doctor will get you on your way to resolving your trouble.

Feel free to visit some of my sites or book mark one Stop Anxiety Attacks and Stop Anxiety Now

December 29, 2013

Treating Depression With Aromatherapy

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A fantastic and mysterious relationship is continuously unfolding between plants and their surroundings. These organic green machines are ceaselessly performing a glorious alchemy with water, soil, air and sunlight. The nearly infinite possible combinations of plant genetics and environmental conditions on the face of the earth have allowed for an almost immeasurable diversity of alchemal floral expression, resulting in a vast array of natural botanical materials. These range from simple staple foodstuffs to gourmet fruits and vegetables, from rich exotic spices to effective medicinal herbs, and from enchanting natural perfumes to complex therapeutic essential oils. Mankind is reaching ever further into the jungles and rainforests, knowing that nature is the true master of creation in these fields.

The line between food-plants and medicinal herbs is a fuzzy one. Science regularly reports newfound medicinal effects in plants once taken for granted; many fruits once thought quite plain contain some of the world’s most potent anti-cancer agents. The same goes for teas – green tea is one of the most potent anti-oxidants known – and spices – cinnamon may prevent the onset of debilitating diabetes – and this list continues to grow. This same lack of distinction exists between natural fragrances and therapeutic essential oils. The oil of a rose, laden with Citronellol, does triple duty as a perfume, an effective agent against the herpes simplex virus, and an uplifting aromatic that can help one open emotionally after a traumatizing experience.

The use of so-called ‘alternative’ therapies is on the rise; more individuals are turning to the wisdom of nature for assistance for all types of ailments, both physical and psychological. Interestingly, the source of most ills, from a naturopathic point of view, is being out-of-balance with nature. Eating unnatural things, following unnatural cycles,and living in unnatural environments. Lack of balance with the earth, from which we are made and upon which we live, leads to ‘dis-ease’ in our bodies and minds. As plants have created their wondrous botanical materials in a process guided by the rhythms of the heavens and earth, we may look to ‘plant wisdom’ to lead our way back into balance.

A depressed emotional state is a common reasons for using complementary and alternative therapies today. A wide range of psychological, physical, and energetic issues can lead to feelings of depression and a pervasive outlook of negativity. Moreover, once in a state of depression, patterns can arise that make relief all the more difficult to find. The use of essential oils for uplifting the psyche and spirit is becoming more widespread because of the oils’ broad and dramatic effects. While the oils themselves may not directly affect the underlying cause of depression, they may help individuals break free from depressive cycles – they may provide the impetus to ‘get off the couch’, so to speak, and begin creating long lasting change. Many natural healers believe depression to be a result of, like many other ills, of being out of balance; being unable to ‘synch up’ with the natural state of harmony that permeates the universe. For relieving this is-harmony, aromatherapy can be a very powerful means to infuse one’s body and mind with the most concentrated, sublime botanicals nature has to offer.

In humans, the olfactory (sense of smell) region is an area of about 2 and a half square centimeters, and is located in each of the two nasal cavities between and below the eyes. Containing approximately fifty million primary sensory receptor cells, this region is highly intricate, being 10,000 times more perceptive than the sense of taste. When compared to sight, we find that olfaction is more complex – it is able to distinguish a nearly infinite number of element compounds at very low concentrations. In order to perceive the visible spectrum, humans use only three types of photoreceptors; in contrast, the sense of smell relies on several hundred distinct classes of receptors.

Modern research has shown natural plant oils stimulate multiple regions in the brain, including those controlling endocrine, immune, and limbic (emotional center) functions. Essential oils have a direct and profound effect on the deepest levels of the body, emotions, and psyche. Through inhalation, essential oils have a strong and immediate influence. Passing through the capillary beds of the sinuses and activating the olfactory nerves, volatile plant oils enter the brain, producing direct and powerful systemic effects – the most immediate being on the emotions. Our emotions and our sense of smell have very strong ties – perhaps more than with any other of the other four senses.

In both Naturopathy and Ayurvedic Medicine (The Science of Life), essential oils are considered to enhance the flow of prana (essential life force), enhance and nourish ojas (sustaining energy and immunological essence), and brighten tejas (clarity and mental luminosity). In Traditional Chinese Medicine, essential oils in general are medicines for the Shen, the spiritual essence that resides in the heart and guides and governs consciousness. Used consciously, essential oils powerfully enhance positive mental and emotional states.

Further, the medicinal properties of essential oils, through their ability to support physiological healing, can also be of great benefit to the heart and mind. A Korean study on the effect of aromatherapy on pain in patients with arthritis found that receiving massage with lavender, marjoram, eucalyptus, rosemary, and peppermint oils significantly decreased both the pain AND mental depression levels.

Following are some oils that have a reputation for up-lifting Shen, enhancing prana, nourishing ojas, and brightening tejas – combinations that may have marked effects on symptoms of depression. These oils can be used alone or in combination in a nebulizing diffuser (producing a fine mist of oils for inhalation), or in aromatherapy massage, thereby inhaled and absorbed through the skin concurrently.

Bergamot (pressed from the peels of bitter oranges) has a strong reputation for its ability to gently uplift. In terms of Chinese medicine, this is a direct result of its smoothing the flow of Liver-Qi (‘Chi’ or Life Force), the liver being thought of as the seat of the eternal soul. Bergamot combines the ability to both relax the nerves and refresh the Spirit; it is suitable for many types of depressive states.

Neroli (from the flower of bitter oranges), like Bergamot, regulates the Qi – and like Jasmine flower oil, comforts the mind and heart. Neroli is called for at a core level, for the type of depression that comes from nervous and emotional exhaustion. Neroli uplifts the mind and Spirit with its potential to nourish and unify. Neroli assists in retrieving and releasing repressed emotions, with potential to nourish and unify a fragmented psyche. Neroli is specifically indicated for individuals who, in order to escape from emotional pain and suffering, cut themselves off from their feelings and senses.

The Chamomiles (German and Roman) are wonderful oils to use when the depression manifests in a moody, irritable, dissatisfied outward expression associated with stagnant Liver-Qi. These flower oils are earthy, rich, and grounding with subtle uplifting qualities.

When depression is of a Fire (overly aggressive) nature, it often involves an imbalance of joy and love – the root emotions of the heart and mind. Joy is an extension of Shen’s (spiritual essence’s) innate sense of harmony and perfection, an experience of emotional and spiritual well-being. The depression that afflicts the heart and Shen involves a loss of one’s natural sense of joy. There is often an accompanied lack of enthusiasm and interest as well as an inability to become inspired. Rose otto – steam distilled rose essential oil – or Rose Absolute may have a profound effect on this state. Rose is thought the premier heart opening aromatic, bringing joy, uplifting and restoring balance.

What follows are a few recipes for uplifting and releasing depressed emotional states – use your intuition to find the right one. Often, the single essential oil or blend you find most attractive will be the one that serves you best. Experiment, explore, and have fun with these fantastic gifts of nature. These blends may be used in a diffuser or candle lamp, unless where a carrier oil is indicated – blends with carriers are intended specifically for aromatherapy massage (self-massage is very effective, as well as a simple massage from a friend or loved one).

For releasing and opening the heart: 1 part Rose 3 parts Sandalwood 1 part Sweet Orange or Bergamot;

3 parts Jasmine 1 part Ylang Ylang 1 part Sandalwood

Brightening, refreshing and uplifting: 3 parts Bergamot 1 part Ylang Ylang 1 part Grapefruit;

2 parts Bergamot 2 parts Clary Sage 1 part Frankincense;

3 parts Bergamot or Sweet Orange 2 parts Clary Sage;

2 parts Frankincense 1 part Lemon 1 part either Jasmine or Neroli

Nourishing: 1 part (Roman) Chamomile 1 part Vanilla 10 parts Carrier oil of choice

Floral and earthy (uplifting and softening to Spirit): 1 part Neroli 1 part Vanilla 1 part Orange 1 part Sandalwood;

1 part Chamomile 1 part Bergamot 1 part Helichrysum

Single oils can also be used, and should be investigated so one can learn the different energies of each plant. For depression associated with negativity: Bergamot, Chamomile, Helichrysum, Neroli, or Sweet Orange. For a profound lack of joy, try Rose, Jasmine, Patchouli, or Ylang Ylang. For overthinking and worry, try Frankincense, Lemon, Marjoram, Myrrh or Vetiver. For pessimism, regret and remorse, try Clary Sage, Cypress, Hyssop, or Pine needle. For doubt of one’s capacity to cope with overwhelming situations, try Juniper Berry.

For cases of moderate to severe depression, professional help should always be sought. It is important to consider if you one requires professional help if the depression is overwhelming – while aromatherapy can provide support in a significant number of situations, it may not be for everyone. Essential oils can safely be used in conjunction with other treatments – consult your care giver to ensure there are no conflicts if medications have been prescribed.

December 28, 2013

Treating Depression

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Health care providers can take care of depressed people. A physician, for one, has also training in treating psychiatric disorders. The same goes with the physician assistant and the nurse practitioner. If the case is severe, these health care providers will automatically refer the patient to mental health specialists.

The mental health specialists are composed of the following: psychiatrist, psychologist, a psychiatric nurse specialist and even a social worker.

The psychiatrist offers treatment and diagnosis for mental and psychiatric patients. A psychologist, on the other hand, is trained for counseling, psychological examination and psychotherapy. The social worker knows counseling to a certain degree, whereas a registered nurse who has taken masterals in psychiatric nursing can help out the patient.

Before the diagnosis can be made, the health care providers or mental health specialists will ask the patient on the following: symptoms, overall health and medical and mental history of the family. A physical exam will be carried out as well as some lab tests.

Depression, being an illness, requires tremendous emotional support from the family. A family member must accompany the patient on doctor visits to give the latter a boost.

During the course of the visit, the doctor will figure out if the case is severe, mild or moderate. Depression is severe if the person experiences all the symptoms and if it keeps him from doing all his daily activities. Moderate, if the person has a lot of the symptoms that it hampers his activities. It can be categorized mild if the person has some of the depression symptoms and if he needs more push to do all the things he needs to do.

No one must underestimate depression. It is a real illness, and therefore the patient needs all the help and attention he can get.

As said earlier, you are not alone in this problem. Fortunately, depression, of all psychiatric illnesses, proves to be one of the most treatable. With proper care, more than 80 percent of those suffering from major depression experience significant improvement. Even those suffering from severe depression can helped. Here are some treatments for depression problems:

Psychotherapy There are many types and methods of therapeutic approaches used for treating depression. The most common types are behavioral therapy, cognitive behavioral therapy, rational emotive therapy, and interpersonal therapy. Approaches also include psychodynamic and family approaches. Both the individual as well as group modalities have been used commonly, but these depend on the severity of one’s depression, the financial resources of the person, and resources that are available locally.

Arguably the most prominent therapy in treating depression, the cognitive behavioral therapy is commonly used for handling the condition. There has been extensive research and medical studies that conducted to check or assess the safety as well as the effectiveness in treating depression using this type of therapy.

Considered the father of cognitive behavioral therapy, many written studies and books support this type of therapy. Cognitive behavioral therapy uses simple techniques that focus primarily on the patient’s negative thought patterns. These negative thought patterns are also known as cognitive distortions. A person suffering from depression may from time to time use these cognitive distortions, igniting the condition.

The therapy starts with the establishment of a supportive and warm environment for one suffering from depression. Making the patient learn about how his or her depression problem may be a result of thinking in cognitive distortions is generally the next step. The types of faulty logic and thinking are also discussed in this step (such as “everything or nothing logic,” “blame mis-attribution,” “overgeneralization,” among others) and the person being treated is encouraged to start taking notes of the thoughts he or she has been having as they happen throughout his or her day. This is conducted for the person to understand and realize how often and common this kind of thoughts are occuring.

In this type of therapy, the emphasis is mainly placed on realizing the thoughts as well as the behaviors that are associated with the depression problem rather than on the emotions themselves. The rationale for this emphasis is that is strongly believed that by altering one’s thoughts and consequently, behaviors, his or her emotions will most likely change as well. Because of this type of therapy, cognitive-behavioral therapy is often short-term (generally lasts up to a dozen sessions or two only) and best suits people that are experiencing some kind of distress that is related to the depression they are having. Individuals that are able to handle a problem using a perspective that is unique and therefore are most likely cognitively-oriented could also do well under this approach.

Interpersonal therapy, on the other hand, is also a therapy on a short-term basis used for treating depression. In this type of treatment, the focus usually lies on the social relationships of the patient and determine ways in improving these relationships. It is strongly believed that in order to improve the overall well-being of a person (or the patient in the case); he or she needs to have a stable and good social support.

When a person’s relationships become unhealthy, the person would most likely suffer from this problem. This therapy approach then seeks to enrich one’s skills in social relationships, expression of his or her emotions, assertiveness, and communication skills. This type of approach is usually done individually but sometimes can be used also in a setting for group therapy.

Many individual approaches would place importance more on the patient’s active personal involvement in recovering from depression. Persons being treated under an individual approach are usually enticed and encouraged to finish homework assignments between sessions. If the person is not capable yet to join in therapy sessions actively, then his or her therapist could be the one to first provide the patient an environment that supports him or her until the medication starts to help improve his or her state of feelings and mind.

Psychodynamic or psychoanalytic approaches in treating depression currently do not have much research to recommend their use. Although there are some therapists that might use psychodynamic theory in helping conceptualize a patient’s personality, there are some issues raised on how this could prove to be an effective and efficient depression treatment.

Couples or family therapy could also be considered if the depression of the patient directly affects family relationships. These types of therapy focus on the interpersonal relationships among family members. In addition, these approaches seek to ensure good communication in the family. The roles of the family members in a patient’s depression could be examined. Education about the depression problem in general might also be used as part of the family therapy.

Medication The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved numerous medications for treating depression. These drugs have been sorted into classes; each medication has a unique chemical structure which acts on various chemicals present in the brain.

It is necessary to remember that all medications approved by the DFA to treat depression are effective and recommended – they just do not work the same effect for everybody.

You might want to closely work with the doctor in determining which drug is the best for your condition. Sometimes, conditions may involve having more than just one medication; some work with a mixture of medications. This is important: Do not change your medication or discontinue your dosage without asking your doctor.

December 27, 2013

Traumas as Social Interactions

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(“He” in this text – to mean “He” or “She”).

We react to serious mishaps, life altering setbacks, disasters, abuse, and death by going through the phases of grieving. Traumas are the complex outcomes of psychodynamic and biochemical processes. But the particulars of traumas depend heavily on the interaction between the victim and his social milieu.

It would seem that while the victim progresses from denial to helplessness, rage, depression and thence to acceptance of the traumatizing events – society demonstrates a diametrically opposed progression. This incompatibility, this mismatch of psychological phases is what leads to the formation and crystallization of trauma.

PHASE I

Victim phase I – DENIAL

The magnitude of such unfortunate events is often so overwhelming, their nature so alien, and their message so menacing – that denial sets in as a defence mechanism aimed at self preservation. The victim denies that the event occurred, that he or she is being abused, that a loved one passed away.

Society phase I – ACCEPTANCE, MOVING ON

The victim’s nearest (“Society”) – his colleagues, his employees, his clients, even his spouse, children, and friends – rarely experience the events with the same shattering intensity. They are likely to accept the bad news and move on. Even at their most considerate and empathic, they are likely to lose patience with the victim’s state of mind. They tend to ignore the victim, or chastise him, to mock, or to deride his feelings or behaviour, to collude to repress the painful memories, or to trivialize them.

Summary Phase I

The mismatch between the victim’s reactive patterns and emotional needs and society’s matter-of-fact attitude hinders growth and healing. The victim requires society’s help in avoiding a head-on confrontation with a reality he cannot digest. Instead, society serves as a constant and mentally destabilizing reminder of the root of the victim’s unbearable agony (the Job syndrome).

PHASE II

Victim phase II – HELPLESSNESS

Denial gradually gives way to a sense of all-pervasive and humiliating helplessness, often accompanied by debilitating fatigue and mental disintegration. These are among the classic symptoms of PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder). These are the bitter results of the internalization and integration of the harsh realization that there is nothing one can do to alter the outcomes of a natural, or man-made, catastrophe. The horror in confronting one’s finiteness, meaninglessness, negligibility, and powerlessness – is overpowering.

Society phase II – DEPRESSION

The more the members of society come to grips with the magnitude of the loss, or evil, or threat represented by the grief inducing events – the sadder they become. Depression is often little more than suppressed or self-directed anger. The anger, in this case, is belatedly induced by an identified or diffuse source of threat, or of evil, or loss. It is a higher level variant of the “fight or flight” reaction, tampered by the rational understanding that the “source” is often too abstract to tackle directly.

Summary Phase II

Thus, when the victim is most in need, terrified by his helplessness and adrift – society is immersed in depression and unable to provide a holding and supporting environment. Growth and healing is again retarded by social interaction. The victim’s innate sense of annulment is enhanced by the self-addressed anger (=depression) of those around him.

PHASE III

Both the victim and society react with RAGE to their predicaments. In an effort to narcissistically reassert himself, the victim develops a grandiose sense of anger directed at paranoidally selected, unreal, diffuse, and abstract targets (=frustration sources). By expressing aggression, the victim re-acquires mastery of the world and of himself.

Members of society use rage to re-direct the root cause of their depression (which is, as we said, self directed anger) and to channel it safely. To ensure that this expressed aggression alleviates their depression – real targets must are selected and real punishments meted out. In this respect, “social rage” differs from the victim’s. The former is intended to sublimate aggression and channel it in a socially acceptable manner – the latter to reassert narcissistic self-love as an antidote to an all-devouring sense of helplessness.

In other words, society, by itself being in a state of rage, positively enforces the narcissistic rage reactions of the grieving victim. This, in the long run, is counter-productive, inhibits personal growth, and prevents healing. It also erodes the reality test of the victim and encourages self-delusions, paranoidal ideation, and ideas of reference.

PHASE IV

Victim Phase IV – DEPRESSION

As the consequences of narcissistic rage – both social and personal – grow more unacceptable, depression sets in. The victim internalizes his aggressive impulses. Self directed rage is safer but is the cause of great sadness and even suicidal ideation. The victim’s depression is a way of conforming to social norms. It is also instrumental in ridding the victim of the unhealthy residues of narcissistic regression. It is when the victim acknowledges the malignancy of his rage (and its anti-social nature) that he adopts a depressive stance.

Society Phase IV – HELPLESSNESS

People around the victim (“society”) also emerge from their phase of rage transformed. As they realize the futility of their rage, they feel more and more helpless and devoid of options. They grasp their limitations and the irrelevance of their good intentions. They accept the inevitability of loss and evil and Kafkaesquely agree to live under an ominous cloud of arbitrary judgement, meted out by impersonal powers.

Summary Phase IV

Again, the members of society are unable to help the victim to emerge from a self-destructive phase. His depression is enhanced by their apparent helplessness. Their introversion and inefficacy induce in the victim a feeling of nightmarish isolation and alienation. Healing and growth are once again retarded or even inhibited.

PHASE V

Victim Phase V – ACCEPTANCE AND MOVING ON

Depression – if pathologically protracted and in conjunction with other mental health problems – sometimes leads to suicide. But more often, it allows the victim to process mentally hurtful and potentially harmful material and paves the way to acceptance. Depression is a laboratory of the psyche. Withdrawal from social pressures enables the direct transformation of anger into other emotions, some of them otherwise socially unacceptable. The honest encounter between the victim and his own (possible) death often becomes a cathartic and self-empowering inner dynamic. The victim emerges ready to move on.

Society Phase V – DENIAL

Society, on the other hand, having exhausted its reactive arsenal – resorts to denial. As memories fade and as the victim recovers and abandons his obsessive-compulsive dwelling on his pain – society feels morally justified to forget and forgive. This mood of historical revisionism, of moral leniency, of effusive forgiveness, of re-interpretation, and of a refusal to remember in detail – leads to a repression and denial of the painful events by society.

Summary Phase V

This final mismatch between the victim’s emotional needs and society’s reactions is less damaging to the victim. He is now more resilient, stronger, more flexible, and more willing to forgive and forget. Society’s denial is really a denial of the victim. But, having ridden himself of more primitive narcissistic defences – the victim can do without society’s acceptance, approval, or look. Having endured the purgatory of grieving, he has now re-acquired his self, independent of society’s acknowledgement.

December 26, 2013

Transforming your thoughts is key for dealing with depression

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The Greatest Teacher that ever lived once said: “As a Man thinks in his heart so is he”. What you constantly think of a situation is quite inevitably what becomes of it; therefore it is paramount that in any and every situation our thinking should be positive.

If there is one fact that religion, science and psychology seem to agree on, it is that the mind is indeed the most powerful force in the world. Yoga sages have stated that whoever can control the mind is indeed a powerful human being.

That said, it is obvious that in coping with stress and dealing with depressive situations, one should make every step to think positively as perhaps the first weapon to combat negative challenges.

Friends, everything starts with a thought.

Moreover, thoughts have the innate ability of phenomenally materializing into what it is that is projected in your mind. Consequently, it will be safe to say we should all make attempts to change our mental habits to belief instead of disbelief as much as possible. This of course will be most paramount when seeking ways to overcoming depression.

Characterized by feelings of worthlessness, doubt, pessimism, if we allow depressive thoughts to constantly permeate our minds, they could actually gain the ability to diffuse into our speech and actions and consequently could aggravate the very situations and challenges one is facing that may be causing depressive thoughts in the first place.

When dealing with problems arising from depression, the famous psychologist-William James has this cryptic quote to say: “Our belief at the beginning of a doubtful undertaking or challenging situation is the one thing that insures a successful outcome at the end”

This reminds me of another powerful verse in the Bible found in Mark 4 verse 23: “If you can believe, all things are possible to him that believes”.

Combining the gist and effect of both quotes, one can see that it is imperative to believe in and expect the best in any situation one may be going through. In so doing you will bring everything into the realm of possibility and success.

In no way does this mean that we should sit back and just expect things to miraculously change. It means we must change our thought processes about our situations first, perform the actions that will lead us to and keep us on the path to success at overcoming our challenges and as words, thoughts and actions have an effect on each other as factors, one is also advised to constantly speak positively about what challenges one may be facing.

Combining all three factors will greatly help in making sure each component (most importantly our thoughts) remains positively tuned towards overcoming our depression.

My friends, although it may not always be an easy journey to overcome our challenges, I would like you to remember this quote as well “Life’s problems are like knives, which either serve us or cut us, as we grasp them by the blade or the handle: Grasp a difficulty or problem by the blade and it cuts; grasp it by the handle and you can use it constructively”

Take the quote above into consideration and keep it in mind my friend as THE reason to constantly have faith and to hope for the best when it comes to dealing with depression. It is perhaps the one thing that will ensure success at the end.

December 25, 2013