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Saturday, February 20, 2010

Brainswitching Works!!!

Hi Ms Curtiss,

I'm writing just to let you know that I appreciate the ideas that you have put forth in your book. Your concepts work!! I have shared the ideas with other people, who have benefited as well. I practice brainswitching DAILY now!! I have suffered from PTSD (from years of brainwashing in an abusive situation), and that has resulted in suffering from years of OCD, and Depression. About 4 months ago I sought professional help for about the tenth time and was finally willing to admit that I suffered from ongoing depression. I began taking Zoloft but I promised myself I would learn more about depression (of course previously I thought I already knew all about it).

That is when I found your book in the library and it struck a chord with an independent streak in me, and I wanted to know more. After two weeks of medication and reading your book 'Depression Is A Choice' I stopped taking the medication. I also had an ongoing hyperthyroid problem, and I decided to stop taking that medicine as well since hyperthyroid is basically aggravated by stress. After reading your book I wanted to test your theory that thoughts are the biggest contributor and regulator to how one processes stress, so I decided to see how I could affect a positive change in my health problems simply by choosing my thoughts.

I am due for another blood test to check my thyroid, but I can say I feel the test will show the Graves Disease to be in remission and I feel it was significantly affected by changing my thoughts. I agree with your observation that we can't get rid of depression or keep it from coming back, but we can choose not to think about it when it comes.

I also want to share with you a personal experience that seems to parallel the theory that depression will always be there and the only thing we can do is decide not to think about it. I have a step son whose mother suffers from symptoms of Paranoid Delusions. Because of her choices in the last couple of years, my husband has been given sole custody of his son who was living in another state as the time of this award.

We were told to read a book 'The Sociopath Next Door' to get a better picture of what was going on in this mother’s mind, and more importantly how we can respond appropriately. I have also been able to find a plausible reason for her behavior after reading your descriptions of people who lost their ability to feel after they went through a physically traumatic accident.

Recently she had a scheduled weekend visit with her son. That same weekend the judge signed the final order for us to have sole custody. In retaliation, she kept her son by refusing to take him to the airport and canceling his return flight. Four days later she took him to Child Protective Services where she told them her son had been abandoned by his father. CPS called us at that point and then my stepson was soon reunited with us.

Now, his mom is facing the probability of losing her parental rights. The interesting thing is the process that we have gone through with all the upset. Since I am inclined to obsessive compulsive thinking, and depression, this has been the perfect challenge to try out your theories. And I want you to know that even though the progress seems slow, I can tell it is effective and is making a big difference in my ability to process the stress from this situation.

As I was originally trying to point out, this mother and her problems are not gong to diminish with time, in fact they will probably get worse, but my ability to think about something else (after we do all we can do) is immensely strengthening. And that is Great news!!

Writing to you has helped secure these feelings and my determination to stay on track! Thanks for listening. Thanks for taking the time to share your story with others. Your efforts have tremendously blessed my life. Sincerely, E. M.

Dear E.M.

Thank you so much for your letter. I do know what you mean. In writing for others I cement the ideas further in my own brain so they are there when I need them for myself. I still get hit by depression all the time since I spent so many years as a manic depressive those neural patterns are pretty well hard-wired in my brain. By helping other people, I strengthen my own skills.
You might be interested in my new book Brainswitch out of Depression. If I could compare the two books I would say that my first book
is more philosophical and the second one is more self-help--half of the book being mind exercises.

One thing that might help with your stepson's mom. I had counseled a teenager through a particularly horrible case of bullying in her high school. She is fine now and much stronger for the experience. But I learned so much from those interactions that goes far beyond the bullying situation itself. The bully is trying to get love and attention. That's all anybody is trying to get. Some people go about getting noticed by destructive acts. Your stepson’s mom seems to be like this.

Your stepson's mom has become a bully. She is trying to control you by these destructive acts. They are a game. You play her game by believing yourself to be her victim, in which case you feel personally affronted by what she is doing. You also try to fix her, and get her to stop doing what she is doing, and saying what she is saying.

You don’t have to change her, you simply have to change the game. You have to defend yourself physically and legally, of course, but beyond that, you do not have to interact with her within the confines of her game. You can interact with her in a loving way in a new game, your game. She insults. You let it bounce off and simply say something positive to her. You will have a limited relationship of course, but it will not be her game, but yours.

In another case, a woman has a mother who is really crazy in many ways. Whenever they talked the mother would play her game of insults and subversive remarks to make her daughter seem unimportant. But the daughter has recently learned to play her own game of ignoring the destructive things her mother says, and simply being pleasant and disarming, telling her Mother good things about herself, “Oh, Mom, you know so much about that kind of thing,” and kind of jollying her out of her own darkness. The daughter no longer gets insulted and angry. She realizes that her mother is being a bully to get love and respect by playing her “mother” game which never worked. Now her daughter gives her love and respect by playing her own “daughter” game which works every time.

Here's another example from the teenager’s experience She told me that two of her former friends would no longer speak to her in school and yet because of the seating arrangement, they sat right next to her in class. I told her that just because they didn't speak to her was no reason that she couldn't be her regular friendly self. "But I'll feel weird when they don't answer me," she said. "Not," I said, "if you realize what the game is. Their game is they are trying to make you uncomfortable and afraid by not speaking to you. If they can't make you uncomfortable and unafraid, they will get very frustrated. “

“You are going to change the rules of the game on them, and then they are the ones who will not know what to do. The new game is that you are going to be friendly no matter what they do and you will know in advance that they are not going to respond, so don’t expect it. Try it and see what happens.”

So for a couple of days she was friendly as usual, and greeted her former friends as if nothing was wrong. "Hi, how's it going?" And they would just glare at her. She would smile back as if they were not frowning at her. Since she knew the game, she did not expect them to answer, and so was not thrown off base. I told her that they would be getting very annoyed that they could have no effect on her. One day her friend yelled at her and said in a loud angry voice that everybody in the class heard, “You know I hate you, why are you talking to me?” The teenager just smiled sweetly and said, "Well, I guess I'm just a naturally friendly person that likes everybody."

When I asked the teenager how her friend looked to the rest of the class by yelling at her the way she did, the teenager said, “she really looked like a jerk. " And how did you look." And she smiled and said, "like a naturally friendly person." It was a great triumph and done with friendliness and inclusion, just the opposite of what she was getting. A. B. Curtiss

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