Archive for ‘PTSD’

February 22, 2013

How to Stay Depressed

by Dave P.

Okay, you’ve been feeling depressed. You have two options: you can either stay depressed or you can become happier. This post provides common behavior that helps people stay depressed.

  1. Start a depression blog or keep a depression journal. This will sustain your negative thinking and exercise the negative thinking part of the brain.
  2. Regularly see a therapist where you focus on your problems. This will also exercise the negative thinking party of the brain. Therapy is especially effective at maintaining depression when the therapist practices the invocation of catharsis.
  3. Visits to a therapist can also help keep your traumatic memories vivid and high in negative, painful emotions.
  4. Tell people you’re depressed. They’ll treat you like a depressed person, which will help keep you depressed.
  5. Read books about depression. Focusing on your depression will help keep you in a negative state of mind.
  6. Join a depression support group. Being around others who are depressed will reduce motivation to get over your mental health problems.
  7. If your depression is the result of someone hurting you, imagine that person’s face on a pillow and wallop the crap out of it. This will intensify your anger and create more resentment.

These are just a few tips you help you stay depressed, if that’s your desire. My next post will give you tips on how to overcome depression and become happier.

February 19, 2013

Most Common Mental Health Disorders

by Dave P.

Anxiety Disorders
Approximately 40 million American adults ages 18 and older, or about 18.1 percent of people in this age group in a given year, have an anxiety disorder.

Mood Disorders
Approximately 20.9 million American adults, or about 9.5 percent of the U.S. population age 18 and older in a given year, have a mood disorder.

Social Phobia
Approximately 15 million American adults age 18 and over, or about 6.8 percent of people in this age group in a given year, have social phobia.

Major Depressive Disorder
Major depressive disorder affects approximately 14.8 million American adults, or about 6.7 percent of the U.S. population age 18 and older in a given year.

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
Approximately 7.7 million American adults age 18 and older, or about 3.5 percent of people in this age group in a given year, have PTSD.

Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD)
Approximately 6.8 million American adults, or about 3.1 percent of people age 18 and over, have GAD in a given year.

Panic Disorder
Approximately 6 million American adults ages 18 and older, or about 2.7 percent of people in this age group in a given year, have panic disorder.1, 2

Bipolar Disorder
Bipolar disorder affects approximately 5.7 million American adults, or about 2.6 percent of the U.S. population age 18 and older in a given year.

Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD)
Approximately 2.2 million American adults age 18 and older, or about 1.0 percent of people in this age group in a given year, have OCD.


February 13, 2013

New Improved Closed Eye Oscillation Thought Stopping Technique

by Dave P.

Closed Eye Oscillation Thought Stopping (CEOTS) has shown to be effective for many people, but it’s not that easy to use for some. A few people who participated in the study said it made them dizzy.

This morning, I woke up early and was unable to fall back to sleep. With my eyes closed, I moved them back and forth, but to no avail. The worries kept coming back into my my consciousness and I was unable to fall back to sleep.

So I decided to try some new techniques. First I imagined an eraser clearing my thoughts. Then a squeegee. The squeegee seemed to work better than the eraser, but it wasn’t working well enough to help me sleep. Then I imagined windshield wipers oscillating back and forth while I followed them with my eyes, and voilà! I was asleep in just a few seconds!

WindshieldWiperStart of by observing the sound of your breathing, and observe the sensation of cool air flowing in through your nostrils and warm air flowing back out. Any time a thought enters your consciousness, imagine windshield wipers slowly flapping back and forth, and follow them with your eyes. For thoughts high in emotion, imagine the windshield wipers oscillating at a faster rate. When the thought is completely gone and you experience calm, return your focus to your breath. Repeat whenever a thought enters your consciousness.

You can try various techniques to see what works for you. Try the windshield wiper visualization technique and see how that works. There are few things more frustrating than not being able to sleep. I hope this helps some of you out there.

January 28, 2013

Can’t sleep due to ruminations or worry? Try this.

by Dave P.

Most people suffer from occasional sleepless nights. When the problem becomes chronic, it’s time to take action, but what do you do? You can get a prescription for sleeping medication, but they often leave you feeling worse the next day. You can try counting sheep or visualizations, but those techniques are limited in their effectiveness.

A fairly new technique that has proven to be effective for stopping unwanted thoughts is called Rapid Eye Oscillation Technique (REOT). You simply close your eyes and move them back and forth with varying degrees of rapidity depending on the context.

To help with sleep when you can’t turn your brain off, simply get into a comfortable position and slowly oscillate your eyes (move them back and forth) until you fall asleep. Doing so has the effect of clearing your working memory and clearing your unwanted thoughts, which allows you to fall asleep. It’s almost impossible to think of anything else while you’re oscillating your eyes, which is why it works.

REOT can also help with emotionally charged ruminations. Try to recall the stress inducing memory while oscillating your eyes fairly rapidly. You’ll find that doing so removes some of the emotion from the memory, which makes it less vivid and less likely to disrupt your day.

January 20, 2012

Happiness Workshop: Relationships

by Dave P.

Our next workshop will be on February 11th, 2012. This time we’ll continue with positive psychology theories on relationships.

Humans have an inherent need to love and be loved; it’s something that aided us in survival as a species. Those of us who suffer from social anxiety often have difficulties forming and maintaining personal relationships, which results in loneliness, more anxiety, and sometimes depression.

We talked a little about the importance of social support networks in our stress management workshop. For this workshop, we’ll be working from the research conducted mainly by Dr. Sonja Lyubomirsky. She explains several methods for acquiring and maintaining healthy relationships in her book The How of Happiness.

You’ll also have the opportunity to engage in some CBT exercises such as introducing yourself to the group and participating in the discussions. Participation is always voluntary in our groups; you’re never under any pressure to say or do anything. But you will get more out of the group if you do participate. Exposure therapy is one of the most effective treatments for social anxiety and is usually the behavioral component of CBT.

Also, if anyone ever wants to work on something one-on-one, feel free to contact me. I’ll do my best to help. I’m available via email, Skype, or we could meet in a restaurant or coffee house.