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Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Depression is not Reality

Dear A. B.

I found your book “Brainswitch out of Depression” fascinating and have started using your techniques. I’m able to work at my business in Laguna Beach, CA, but I have to force myself to do everything. I’m using the technique for my brain to focus on “yes yes yes” or “green apple” every time it wants to think about depression. I’m normally outgoing and full of life and have many hobbies, and I have a great support system.

Please let me know what else I can do to get out of this episode of depression. It started 3 months ago, With much appreciation, T._______

Dear T.

The main thing to remember is that depression masquerades as reality. It is not reality. Depression masquerades as the real you. It is not the real you. It is only a chemically based state of alarm that has no power except some pain that you don't have to pay attention to and then it goes away.

It is very difficult, though simple, to take control of your thoughts if you have not done it before. Depression is extremely seductive. You are drawn to think it. It takes great effort to think something else instead, but it is the only way out.

Nobody else can do it for you. After a while, you build different neural patterns. One of them is that you slowly get the idea that your brain is not more powerful than you are and it cannot think what it wants unless you go along with it, and you never have to go along with it. Then you become a free person, not the slave of your thinking and feeling. This "I am a free and okay person" neural pattern sometimes is temporarily overcome by the depressive neural pattern. However, the more you think the new neural pattern, the stronger it becomes.

This neural pattern helps immensely with the terror. No matter what your brain wants to think in negative terms, never go along with it. For myself, it is no longer an option to think a downer thought of any kind. Depression is a thought. I refuse to think it. Or allow myself to think a downer feeling of any kind. A downer feeling is a thought. Downer thoughts pop up. Depression pops up. Downer feelings pop up but I immediately think something else instead. "Hippity hop" or "1 2 3 4." When the edge is off I get into some work or project and have trained myself to refuse to think about what I am feeling. I think only about what I am doing. After a while I notice I am no longer in a state of alarm. I am completely okay.

You say you have to "force myself to do everything." What's wrong with that? So force yourself. Depression, any kind or sort of depression is not reality. It is a state of body alarm. In this state of alarm nothing seems possible. This is why regular cognitive behavior therapy doesn't work. Not enough neural activity in the neocortex to do real thinking. So you force yourself to think, and do those simple rote exercises which will stimulate neural activity in the neocortex, and get your body moving out of a state of alarm.

When you are out of a state of alarm then everything is possible. Reality never changes. You change in and out of a state of alarm. Depression seems like reality. Don't buy into it. It is only a body state of alarm. Nothing will give you any pleasure when you are in a state of alarm. Stop thinking you have no pleasure, this is simply another downer thought. When you are not in a state of alarm, everything is a pleasure. Or if you want to fool around with your brain, insist that the depression you are undergoing is a pleasure. That's better than thinking you have no pleasure. Or go the simple route and think “green frog” or “barber, barber shave a pig. “

And remember, it does you no good to be outgoing, have many hobbies and be full of life as long as you are allowing yourself to remain self-focused in a state of alarm. To remain in a state of alarm you must self-focus on negative and downer thoughts and feelings. You do not have to focus on them. Actually, when you are not in a state of alarm your life is great even if you are not outgoing, full of life and have many hobbies and a great support system. A. B. Curtiss

Thanks, A. B.

I go to work and I don’t focus on the depression in spite of being in a state of alarm. I keep saying “blueberry muffin” if any negative thought comes in and I know soon I will be out of depression, Your words are golden ,much appreciation I’m in charge of my life not the depression. I look forward to your great respnse, Warm regards , T

Dear T.
Glad to help. If you have any questions as you continue on your path I'll be happy to answer them. A. B. Curtiss

Dear A. B.
Thank you. How long does it usually take to get out of the alarm state once you use new positive thought rather than focusing on the depression? Much appreciation , T.

Dear T.

It is not a matter of time. It is a matter of remaking the neural patterns of your brain that you can use instead of the old habitual downer ones. Every time you do an exercise or refuse to go along with the old thought by thinking some new thought you make new neural patterns and make the useful neural patterns stronger.
Nobody ever teaches us how we get from one thought to another or indeed how we come upon a thought in the first place. It is a basic lack in our education that we don’t know anything about how our own brain works.

Some syndromes like fear, followed by the pain of depression (which is caused by stress chemicals that fear produces), trigger off by themselves, they are an instinct, our human psychological defense mechanism.

As for regular thinking, that is behavior that we do either habitually and passively or on-purpose. People are always saying they wonder what people are thinking when they do really stupid things. I’m going to say something that you will think is something that goes without saying. But it is a simple thing that, if you think about it deeply, has great application for your life.


This is why educating ourselves is so important. We brain-ingest our thoughts like mother's milk. We are not born with thoughts already in our brain. Well, okay, many believe the fetus picks up thoughts even in the womb. But, all our thoughts come from others starting when we are born (or in the womb). Too many in our culture has learned depressive thinking. Those who don't want to be depressive have to learn a different way. You do get immediate relief when you first decide to take over your own thinking. Some people “get it” right away and simply never believe their depression again. They just do a dumb exercise, ignore the pain, and get on with their lives.

If you do this, the time element is irrelevant because it disappears into the new direction your brain has taken and you don't notice that you are okay until you start focusing again on how you are feeling. A. B. Curtiss

Dear A.B.

Thank you for your wonderful email. Amazing insight. I so appreciate all of your concrete advice. My new happy voice is helping and I’m only holding focus on positive thought Even at work, I keep putting in my mind "happy times" or "blue berry muffin". I’m getting quite good at it. Kind regards, and much appreciation T.

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