“Dr. Carol Dweck: Growth Mindset, The New Psychology of Success”

Really appreciated that podcast.  Dr. Carol Dweck’s website is: http://mindsetonline.com.

Depressed thoughts in late March 2015

So I’m an emotional putz. Guilty. Already know I am. Not sure it can be changed either.

But most people are very emotional as well, despite claims to the contrary. Just that they express their emotions in anger and frustration and then somehow see that as different than openly expressing pain and remorse and sadness.

I think a lot of people, online especially, jump on causes more often due to emotional concerns than simply due to rational, reasoned observations. And I sometimes think what people rail against can be the very thing they want but fear. Or they go in support of an idea that they themselves don’t have access to but wish for or are currently striving for. That’s the way we humans are. No matter how much we think we know our own selves, how much can we really? Not as if we’re static beings — we change little by little all the time based on what we experience or are otherwise influenced by. Continue reading

Late-night personal thoughts in mid-October

Had another rough day on Sunday, for no particular reason. Nothing had gone wrong, and yet when I woke up everything seemed awry. It does this sometimes, pretty frequently actually. About every couple weeks or so it seems I get a bit depressed, sometimes provoked, other times not. Can set me in a panic. Honestly it is a bit maddening…and that may be an understatement. Continue reading

“Cracking Depression: It is NOT a ‘Biological Disease'”

SpartanLifeCoach put out a video on depression a few months back:

I’m very much in agreement with his position expressed there. What we’re dealing with in modern times is expanded forms of slavery that have us caged in a sick way of life. This creates life out balance, which should come as no surprise as proving psychologically unhealthy. What’s healthy about it? We’re over-stressed and repressed, with all support networks humans historically relied upon now being actively disrupted and our ways of life being overhauled by new technologies — so is it really that shocking that our existence increasingly feels meaningless? Welcome to the Age of Nihilism.

It’s a question of how to now get out of this maze humans have constructed. Or how to cope if escape isn’t a possibility. For me it boils back down to what power we do possess to make needed changes and how to restore and maintain bonds with select others so that we can make the best of this tough situation we’re all faced with.

MORE wisdom and ideas passed along by Professor Anton

“The Lie of Standing Alone”:

“Information, relevance, and great acts”:

“What is Mental Health?”:

“Update Vid: (Lifemaking, Learning, & the Seductions of Neoliberal Extremes)”:

“Making the Scene”:

“Predictions & Promises: on human action”:

Problems with psychiatry discussed by Dr. Peter Breggin

An internet peep passed along the following videos of Dr. Peter R. Breggin.

“Beyond Belief – Behind the Scenes w/ Peter Breggin”:

“Dr. Peter Breggin, MD, Brief Intro to Empathic Therapy (2013)”:

“Dr. Peter Breggin’s Keynote address at the 31st Conference of the South Carolina Society of Adlerian Psychology, Oct 2013”:

And following are some videos by him I’ve watched previously.

“Peter Breggin, MD: Do You Have a Biochemical Imbalance? Simple Truths About Psychiatry”:

“How to Help the Suicidally Depressed Person–Dr. Peter Breggin’s 5th ‘SimpleTruths About Psychiatry'”:

That last one was a very good video that deserves to be watched by anybody and everybody. Glad to have found it.

In the next video Dr. Breggin talks about “how to help deeply disturbed persons”:

He went into much more detail about his experience volunteering at the state mental hospital in the book I’m currently reading titled Toxic Psychiatry, which I’m thoroughly appreciating. In that video he also mentions a non-psychiatry-related book by Martin Buber titled I and Thou, which I’ve also read and appreciated (recommended by prof. Anton).

There are also two other titles I’d care to mention here that complement the notions expressed by Dr. Breggin, and they are: The Manufacture of Madness by Dr. Thomas Szasz and The Denial of Death by Ernest Becker. And for those interested in delving deeper into the psychospiritual rabbit hole, the writings and talks by Joseph Campbell add an interesting historical dimension.

When Dr. Breggin talks about how he realized the psychiatric profession was headed one way and he was headed another in terms of him placing more emphasis on social connections and addressing our human life concerns, I totally get where he’s coming from and felt the same way about the field of sociology (albeit for different reasons). While I share his psychosocial approach and attitude from what I’ve learned of the man thus far, my own division with the field of Soc. had a lot to do with it becoming aligned with the field of Social Work which ties into the State and thereby winds up tying back into the field of psychiatry. And not enough people within the sociology field seem terribly concerned about that, even as they superficially draw distinctions between their field and that of psychology and its theories applied through psychiatry. Too much lip service without enough bite. Very often sociology is left out of the mainstream conversation altogether, largely because it’s only taken seriously where it conforms and/or where it draws attention to itself. But sociology is the study of human life because we are core, first and foremost, social beings. Everything we do and everything we are is determined by this fact of life — no getting around it. And yet these field’s devolved into obscure academic squabbling over matters that most people out in society don’t know or care about (like what’s also happened to academic philosophy by-and-large). And it’s viewed as a field belonging to the political Left when it’s totally above and beyond being tied down by that nonsense. The political Left is within the realm of sociological examination, not the other way around. But academe now gives a different impression.

So there again I went my own way. ha  A pattern can be detected. Because why not? It’s about time people start opening up these inquiries out in greater society and investigating them where we stand. We all care about social dynamics on some level and can’t help but do so since we’re damn sure all impacted whether we like it or not in countless ways. Neither “I” nor “we” can exist on its own. We define who we are in relation to others, and we all interact and have a hand in molding one another, consciously or otherwise. It’s elementary, and yet plenty insist on treating the word “sociology” like it’s a bad thing, like it serves no useful purpose and its content is totally unimportant. That’s so odd when one really stops and thinks about it. lol  And that’s another one of those issues I take with academia dominating as it does, despite it supplying us with an abundance of interesting social theories that really work the imagination and get the juices flowing for those who are curious. The best stuff is farther back in history before it became suffused with and largely directed by special interest stances. But that’s a topic in itself to be further unpacked another day.

No promises of rose gardens

Sometimes I write something on here venting or airing pain, but then the hours and days go by and my partner and/or friends and I calm down and things don’t look quite as troubling. So I delete those messages and try to move on. Still have problems though. Such is life.

We talk and talk and talk, but all the talking in the world can’t undo the past. We’ve long-since figured that out.

I’ll admit something on here tonight that perhaps won’t be deleted by tomorrow. I am a depressed individual, stemming back many years. Continue reading

“Depression is a disease of civilization: Stephen Ilardi at TEDxEmory”

I appreciate what this depression researcher is aiming to do here, and I especially like that he’s taking cues from past hunter-gatherer societies and aborigine Papau New Guineans. His recommendation for increasing Omega 3 fatty acids intake is one I’ve heard mentioned before and fully intend to look into going forward.

But, while I agree with the importance of exercise and completely appreciate his acknowledgment that exercise equipment seems so counter to honest productivity (as in humans used to exercise as part of their daily life operations — exercise wasn’t the goal in itself but rather was the means required to reach their ends, as was natural all throughout history for humans and every other species), I’m not sold on this idea of simply trying to turn exercise into more of a social endeavor so as to motivate us, because hasn’t that indeed already been tried? What are team sports then? Plenty of people do go on brisk walks with others or walk their dogs. I think right there we’re still going to come up against resistance because the activity in question isn’t actually contributing to the creation or perpetuation of something of greater significance (other than one’s own personal health, which apparently isn’t terribly motivating for many of us otherwise we wouldn’t be facing so much resistance in the first place). I do believe here we will continue to bog down because it’s missing the creative and/or operative component that serves something outside of or greater than merely oneself. Hence why these activities naturally were socially carried out—this was about the performance of tasks necessary for the well-being of themselves and others in their tribe/community. Whereas today exercise has become a largely selfish activity intended for the betterment of only oneself, mostly for aesthetic reasons, which to a depressed individual is very likely to seem futile.

That is such an important point that I think really goes to the heart of the matter in terms of the civilizations we now live within and how our labors are being divorced from the creation and upkeep of our habitats, food production and/or procurement (e.g., hunting, fishing, gathering, etc.), self-defense and defense of our communities (police now perform this role on citizens’ behalves), and basic daily tasks and chores required to keep life functioning. We now live in a situation where many sit at desks all day in order to earn money that they then spend to purchase what they need, with very little physical exertion required. The focus nowadays is on conveniences and cutting corners so that less and less physical effort need be required, so we’re just moving farther and farther away from integrating our physicality with achieving our own ends. And this is absolutely one of the biggest downsides to modern civilizations, no doubt, because this drive toward comforts and ease is actually robbing us of the productive use of our bodily energies.

It’s very sad to consider, but also I can’t help but laugh at how complicated humans have made things for themselves. It is truly bizarre how through “advancements” we’ve actually undermined a great deal that historically has provided meaning for our lives and cohesion for our social bonds. So, while humanity has achieved so much in terms of specialization and gaining abstract understandings of natural phenomena, look at what it’s cost us. Is that not a doozy of a paradox to contend with?