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Tuesday, June 8, 2010

To End Depression You Pit One Neural Pattern Against the Other

Dear A. B. Curtiss,

I read you book, Depression is a Choice, years ago,and was so relieved to get help at last with my depressions, other than the drugs my doctor prescribed.

Using the techniques in your book, I was able to switch my brain out of depression.

Of course, I'd still get bouts of it when a crisis hit, but as long as I used your techniques I was able to get back on track with my life.

Then I moved to an isolated area and the old monster hit me with a vengeance. This time it affected my work so I was advised to take a medical leave. The doctor wrote a report that I needed a "stress leave" and wrote me a prescription for anti-depressants. I didn't want to take these as in the past, when I was hospitalized for a suicide attempt, I couldn't stand the drugs they put me on.

Yet, someone at my work at told me, that to protect myself on a stress leave, I should fill the prescription anyway and just not take it. So I have been doing that for a year now. Filling prescriptions and not taking them.

I have been assigned a rehab counselor to help me return to work. I told her I didn't want to take the anti- depressants but she said I had no choice or the insurance benefits I was receiving would be cut off. I told her I was using the techniques from your book but she had never heard of it. She kept saying that there is so much evidence "out there" to show that anti-depressants really work.

I still didn't take them and just lied to her as well.

I also had to see a psychologist and when I told her I was using techniques from your book, and asked her if she had heard of you, she brushed it off with "that's just one approach to depression, I have many more". Yet her approach hasn't worked for me.

I went back to your website for help and noticed you had written another book.

So I'm writing to you to thank you so much for writing the first book and I will order your latest one. When I read your first one, I thought it would go on the Best Seller's list,as it is the most helpful book I have read on depression. So many people suffer from debilitating depressions and anti-depressants are advertised everywhere now, as a quick fix.

A psychiatrist put my son on Paxel when he was diagnosed with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder and he couldn't stand it, and then almost went suicidal when he suddenly stopped taking it.

I find it so hard to believe that you haven't gotten more recognition for your work!
I just wanted to give you my own recognition with a heart felt thank you.
Kind regards, M____________

Dear M__________

My publisher was not only surprised but extremely disappointed that my book did not do well. There are several things that prevented it. It's the old story of "tell the truth and you'll be kicked out of six villages." It's that too many people want the easy lie that it is not their responsibility rather than the hard truth that it is their lack of knowledge and lack of proactive techniques that they are stuck in depression. All their proactive techniques are in the direction of more downer thinking. Also my techniques need to be practiced ALL THE TIME. People think once they use the techniques to get out of depression that depression should never return. This is not true.

Even you, who have used my techniques, find it difficult to stay out of the mind set of depression. I myself can't keep from getting out of the mind set of depression, but I insist that DOWNER THINKING IS NOT AN OPTION for me and I IMMEDIATELY CHOOSE ANOTHER THOUGHT TO REPLACE THE NEGATIVE ONE. Then, of course, the depression does not have a chance to set in so my depression doesn't last more than five or six minutes.

But to accomplish this I must ignore the pain and fear and the seeming reality of depression. It takes courage and practice to do this. The pain and seeming reality of depression is overwhelming. It is very difficult to ignore it and start changing your thinking and remove your concentration from the stress and depression and place your concentration upon some dumb little exercise.

I had to do that again this morning. Now the depression is gone and will probably not return until tomorrow and then I will do the same thing. Some people think this is not really getting rid of depression. I disagree. I built the depressive neural patterns in my brain for 30 years when I was ignorant of how my brain worked. If I hadn't built them then, I would not have to suffer now. But I built them, and they trigger off, and I suffer. BUT NOT FOR LONG. I consider five or six minutes of agony now and then a small price to pay for my wonderful life. I am grateful.

And because I can get out of depression EVERY TIME, I no longer FEAR it. I can study depression in a way that nobody else wants to. I can come up with different ways to look at it so as to better understand the process. For instance, after doing the dumb exercise this morning: 1,2,3,4 who are we for? (an old high school cheer) I realized, after the depression was gone, that the SECRET to ending depression EVERY TIME is to PIT ONE NEURAL PATTERN AGAINST THE OTHER.

You pit the exercise neural pattern against the old habitual depressive neural pattern. By repetitively doing the exercise, you make the exercise neural pattern dominant and the brain always follows the direction of its most current dominant thought. Which means the brain ceases to follow the direction of the depressive thinking. If your brain will not think your depression, it can not last.

You might criticize brainswitching because depression comes back, and you have to put up with some few minutes of depression before you get going with a mind exercise, and you have to keep using the techniques to continue to be free of depression. But you are also continuing to build helpful neural patterns in your brain that make the exercises easier and easier to employ. Compare this to taking medicine for the rest of your life because you have a "brain disease" and those medicines cause terrible side effects, they stop working, you build up tolerance for them and have to keep upping the dosage or adding a new drug, and the full extent of side effects nobody knows because the pharmaceutical companies edit the research before it is published and settle lawsuits out of court. A. B. Curtiss

Dear A. B. Curtiss

Thank you so much for your words of wisdom that you wrote.

I hope you post it on your website for we need reminders that we have to constantly switch our brain patterns when depressing thoughts come.

I've been in crisis mode for a while now as several things happened in my life in close succession that would put me high up on the life stress's list.

In the past, when I first read your book,I would find myself lying under my bed, in fetal position,reciting Green Frog or my nursery rhymes until I was able to switch my brain. I was so impressed with your technique, after suffering depression and suicide attempts for years that I was constantly doing the practice.

Because I was able to switch my neuronal patterns,my bouts of mania kept getting less and less and I found myself no longer doing the impulsive things that had caused the shrinks to label me,"Manic, Depressive".

When the depressions hit, I never minded them so much as I knew I had this arsenal of tools to deal with them.

So, my life seemed to even out, and I guess I got complacent about continuing to use the tools as soon as I noticed a depressive thought arising.

Then, this past year, with all the life crises, I got very low. This time (I'm much older now, in my early 60's) it affected me differently. I couldn't motivate myself to do anything, would fall asleep while sitting in a chair during the day, then wake up, not feel like eating, and would often go to my bed by 6:30 and sleep til 6 am.

My sister who has been on anti-depressants in the past, told me that this time I should start taking them, just to get me over this slump so that I'd get the energy to take care of myself again, eat properly etc. I have been doing meditation for years, but couldn't even do that anymore. I just seemed frozen in my body.

Then sitting in my chair in that frozen state, one day, my eyes focused on the leaves blowing on a tree outside my window. When I realized I was focused on that, I remembered your techniques and so kept focusing on those leaves and finally was able to get out of the chair.

So that's why I wrote you my previous message, wanting to give you more recognition for your work.

Now, with this latest message from you, I am practicing those techniques daily. When I look at the dark hole I'm pulling myself out of, I'm praying I will be able to make it without the drugs. So this is my next question. If one has gotten so low, almost in a catatonic state, and is now 63yrs. old, can I still do it, without anti-depressants?

I never wanted to go that route before as I felt that if once I started, I'd be on them the rest of my life, and didn't want that. Yet, my sister tells me that the one she was on, Zoloft, was not hard to get off of, and that she strongly thinks I should use something, so that I can start taking care of myself again.

As I wrote that sentence I realized I am already starting to take care of myself, (I made myself a healthy lunch today). I know the depressive thoughts will still come but like you said, I cannot afford to indulge in them but must be mindful of them and as soon as they start, do the brain switching exercise.

I went back to your first book last night and found your last chapter so inspiring.

My mediation teacher, whom I consider my spiritual teacher is always talking about depression, as other students will tell him they are depressed and ask him for advice. He usually says the same thing each time, that he's is not worried about us if we are depressed, that we should just continue our meditation practice and not be so concerned about our moods, but to continue our meditations so that we will be able to benefit others. He said that he'd be more concerned if we told him we were really high for a long time.

So I am so thankful to have you both in my life.
Kind regards, M___________

Dear M_________

I can give you no medical advice about what to take for depression. And I know nothing about anti-depressants.

I, personally, would never take anti-depressants for depression, and I spent 30 years being depressed for weeks and months at a time until I developed the process of brainswitching. Then I had the tools to get myself out of depression more quickly than letting the cycle wind down on its own. I am older than you are, and I use the techniques for depression as well as insomnia and, indeed, any kind of anxious thinking or disturbing mind wandering.

I realize that when depression hits, it is overwhelming. It still happens to me. I am zapped just like anybody else. However, I will not enter that beckoning door. It is so easy to slide right on in. It seems there is no other place to go. And at that moment I see no other hope, I see no other reality, no other psychological place to be.

But I have programmed that little neural pattern that pops up and suggests to me that even thought nothing is worth anything, and there is no hope, that it is time to stop thinking. Do not stay here and succumb to this. Period. Think no more. Do an exercise. And I do. And it works every time. 100%. A. B. Curtiss

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