Sunday, 25 October 2020

Overcoming the Shiny Object Syndrome

The quest is to find out, What is the significance of this depression? By entering into deeper relationship with it, depression can then reveal itself. The depressed patient is likely to reply to this by saying, What? I'm already drowning in the depression. I need to keep it as far away as I can, and even then I'm already overwhelmed by it. Opening to it sounds like disaster. It turns out that nearly all the depressed patients I've worked with were indeed drowning in it, but they had turned away from it. Working with her therapist, she realized why she stuck around for these fights: a desire to punish him with anger at the only time it felt fair to unleash it. When he was drunk and they were fighting, she took it as permission to unload all her pent-up anger and frustration. Although she was succeeding at punishing him, the consequences for her were bad (that next day was horrible) and she was not attaining her higher goals of his drinking less and their relationship improving. And she discovered other reasons for their fights. When she stayed up to fight with him, she could keep an eye on him. She worried that he might fall in the house or use sharp tools or appliances, and she saw that in her vigilant hovering, she was an easy target and to some extent even provoked him because he felt judged and trapped. Kelly weighed the new options her CRAFT therapist helped her consider: she could continue the status quo, which was not what she really wanted, or she could risk allowing an accident to occur if she were to remove herself from the situation. She chose to risk it. Kelly learned over time to go to bed early or occupy herself with her new hobby of knitting and watching old movies, which kept her mind off her worrying. She withdrew the reinforcer of her attention on those nights and planned ways to give him more positive attention when he was sober. It readjusts your gaze so that you make more enlightened choices--like targeting those gatekeeper positions that decide who gets in and who stays out. Isn't it better to be the person people are trying to impress than the person who has to do the impressing? You may not be the star, but there's nothing wrong with repping him.

Your guilty secret is fear of being destitute, and you sometimes wonder if you're selling out--that is, until you see one of those guitar-playing boomers with CDs for sale at the local coffeehouse. Then you know you did good. Scorpio Saturn . Burdens: Scorpio Suns with a hardened cynicism. Exacerbates: Libra and Sagittarius Suns because it doesn't believe in happily-ever-afters. Allies with: Virgo and Capricorn Suns by keeping facts and feelings separate. Thwarts: Leo and Aquarius Suns when it makes them hold back. They were resisting it with everything they had, but it was pulling them under, and the more they struggled to break free of it, the more it dragged them down. A shift happened when they stopped resisting it. In turning and facing it, letting themselves float downstream and surrender to the darkness, they entered into a new relationship with their depression. This critical shift allowed them to sense into and inquire into their depression. Paradoxically, when they stopped resisting it, stopped judging themselves for being depressed and accepted the painful feelings, they usually felt better. They weren't immediately cured, of course, but they realized that resisting their depression only added to the pain. As the saying goes, Pain times resistance equals suffering. Letting go into depression's pain and exploring it allows the person to investigate the self's depths. Establishing a relationship with the pain, learning to better tolerate it, is an individual process of experimentation, best done with a therapist. Some people prefer to sense their pain from a distance and lean into it. When he tried to pick a fight anyway, she ignored it. Not everyone would be comfortable with the risk of injury involved in Kelly's strategy. If you're not sure, it may help to consult the past.

Kelly's husband had broken a few dishes over the years, but he'd never actually fallen or hurt himself and she decided she could live with these odds. Don't forget the forest. If the trees of withdrawing positive reinforcement, allowing natural consequences, and ignoring are your specific strategies to promote certain behaviors and discourage others, the overall objective is still to help your loved one feel like the world and your relationship together in it is a good, satisfying place when he isn't using substances. On the other hand, when he is using substances, the world should seem to him a place with fewer rewards. Even the perfect argument, if you could make it, would not likely convince him of this. Try to rely more on your behavior and his experience rather than arguing for change. Let your loved one experience costs and benefits, causes and effects--and let him choose. Mentors: Cancer and Pisces Suns by speaking the emotional truth--no matter how dark or painful. Is anyone's guess with: Aries and Gemini Suns by making them sticklers. Sometimes good because they don't let anyone get away with anything, sometimes bad because too much exactitude becomes stifling. Opposes: Taurus Suns. You see others as emotionally manipulative. When Saturn is opposite your Sun sign, you don't connect to its energy naturally, and you find yourself being tested until you do. Your big test is to call them out on it. You need to be up front when you feel they're being withholding or disingenuous or guilt-tripping you into doing things their way. It sounds combative, but chances are they're covering up some deep psychological wounds. The sooner you get to the bottom of what ails them, the sooner you'll see if you want these people in your life or not. Others prefer to identify with the pain completely and become it as their way of exploring it. However close or far, engaging with the darkness begins to illuminate it. The faith that helps support this is understanding that depression is meaningful.

No matter how meaningless it appears at first, there is a deeper or higher self, a more authentic or truer self that is emerging through this pain. As terrible as the dark night of depression is, there is a greater dawn awaiting. The psyche moves naturally in the direction of healing and wholeness when we stop resisting it and harmonize with its greater movement. The Physical Side of Depression For depression there are important tweaks to the basic plan outlined in the Healthy Brain Diet in article 2. There are specific nutrients, supplements, strains of bacteria, and forms of exercise that must be emphasized for their specific role in helping depression. These are detailed in Appendix D. Exercise: Withdrawing Positive Reinforcers Find examples of behaviors on your part that reinforce substance use or other behaviors you don't want. Using these guidelines for withdrawing reinforcers, consider which of your behaviors you could realistically withdraw. Your loved one values and will miss it when it is withdrawn. It is easy enough for you to withdraw. You feel safe withdrawing it. You can withdraw it soon enough after the behavior you don't want occurs. You are willing to reintroduce it when he returns to the behavior you want. Exercise: Allowing Natural Consequences/Ignoring Behavior Your Behavior Analysis from article 2 (articles 67-68) includes a column of negative consequences for your loved one of his or her substance use. SATURN IN SAGITTARIUS You can't have faith without doubt. Faith is that unsubstantiated trust that someone will ultimately make the right decision, justice will prevail, or things will work out in the end.

When you have Saturn in Sagittarius your faith is tested constantly. The planet of predicaments and dilemmas, Saturn places you in situations where there are no easy answers and forces you to decide for yourself if the next step is right or not. Beliefs, on the other hand, are foregone conclusions. They don't like to be shaken. And it doesn't matter how often they're disproved or exposed, they'll just keep sprouting new justifications and rationales. Beliefs are meant to be reinforced. They want to banish doubt. This contains important information that anyone who is depressed should read. Why Medication Is Rarely the Answer The serotonin deficiency theory of depression has been pretty well discarded by the research community. But doctors and patients are so well indoctrinated in the serotonin deficiency theory, and since old paradigms in science die slowly, it will probably be at least another twenty years before this one fades away. Remember, most studies show depressed patients have normal levels of serotonin, while some studies show higher than normal levels and only a few show lower. New understandings of the brain reveal that low levels of neurogenesis and neuroplasticity are involved in depression. Low rates of neurogenesis and neuroplasticity are associated with depression, while high rates reverse and protect against depression. I believe the neurogenic-enhancing program offered here is more natural and robust. An experiment that proved to be one of the final nails in the coffin of the serotonin deficiency theory was done by Luca Santarelli, Ph. Santarelli increased serotonin levels in depressed mice but prevented neurogenesis from occurring. Looking back over this exercise, notice if there are any consequences that she is not aware of. Is there anything you could do to help her connect her choices and behavior with these consequences? Is there anything you could do to make the allowing more tolerable for you?

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: only a member of this blog may post a comment.