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Tuesday, November 29, 2011

More Your Book Title Changed My Life

This is a response to the third comment on my October 23, 2011 post "Your Book Title Changed my  Life"


The name of your book has confirmed a suspicion I've always had about my own. Before, when I was younger, depression was not entirely a choice; it was a defensive reaction. At the time, the negativity came at me from my own parent (I will not say which here) and they refused to let it end until I started sobbing. Loudly. 

I believe as I got older it started becoming something I chose to do, because I thought there was no option (for example I could always let the same parent know that it was just not the time for them to be spewing negativity at me).

These days I've learned to let people know when to leave me alone, as opposed to only crying about it (never learned how to stop the tears from flowing! Any suggestions?). After having worked out most causes of my depression, it now hits the hardest whenever I feel like I've failed to meet a milestone in life, like possibly getting fired, or passing a professional exam. How can I mitigate that and move on with life faster so I can work toward finding another job or finally passing that professional exam?


Dear R.

My training and practice in psychotherapy would first lead me to say that the depression you experienced as a helpless child is being recreated as  a not-helpless adult whenever you are put in a “down “ social situation. Either when you are “put down” in some way  by  somebody else, or when you feel guilty ( which is putting yourself down).

Pop psychology would say that you are replaying the old tapes in your brain that were created as a helpless child and, since you are an adult now, and no longer helpless, the tapes are being erroneously re-played.

The way you stop reacting to present situations habitually, is first of all to recognize the fact intellectually. Next you have to start correcting your mistake when you catch yourself doing it.
So, the next time someone “disses” you and you feel like crying, remember that you are no longer that helpless child. You can come to your own defense. 

The interesting thing is that you did come to your own defense as a child when you told your parent that now was not the time. And you have learned to ask people to stop hasseling you as an adult. However, it seems that, although behaviorally you handle the situation, emotionally you have not progressed to the same extent. You still BELIEVE yourself to be helpless,  and are somehow identifying with the opinion of the person berating you (even yourself when you are feeling guilty).

Identification is a very difficult psychological tenet to understand. I’m going to quote from my book something that might help you understand identification.


But when we are in the throes of it, the power of depression seems so much greater than our own power. How can this be? How can we be done in by our own depression? What is this "dark beast" that we know has to be us, and yet at the same time is trying to devour us? And if it’s just a part of us, why can’t we just turn the damn thing off? 
A wise man once told me, “enlightenment is just a deep understanding that there is no problem.” We think we are not all right because it is the job of the subcortex-driven primal mind to be worried and paranoid, and we, who cannot differentiate ourselves as separate from our agitated primal mind, therefore believe it is we who are worried.
The feeling that we are empty and lifeless and the feeling that nothing matters are temporary feelings occurring to our primal mind. These feelings are not a true representation of our present reality. They are the autonomic fears of the primal mind when its chemistry is skewed by passive thinking and negative thoughts that trigger the fight or flight that dumps an overload of stress chemicals in our brain. The primal mind does not know any better. And we cannot teach it any better. But we can teach ourselves that we are not our primal mind.
The reason we feel so strongly is that we are more closely bonded with the primal mind than with our dearest loved one, even our own child. At her wedding rehearsal my husband spoke of our daughter as “a piece of my heart walking around.” We hurt when our children hurt, we are happy when they are happy, but we can see that they are not us. We can differentiate our body from theirs.
We hurt when our primal mind hurts, we are happy when our primal mind is happy, but we cannot see that our primal mind is not us, that it is simply a part of our brain from which we are functioning at the moment, and we can force ourselves to function from another part of our brain that does not contain depression.
 Depression is a chemical paradigm shift in our energy power source, our primal mind. It is something that happens to us. We are not supposed to be something that happens to it. But if we are not forearmed, that is exactly what occurs. Before we know it, we don’t just have a depression, we become depressed. It’s not like a cold. If we have a cold, we never become colded like we become depressed.
Actually, it is a triple whammy that works to strengthen depression. First the chemical hit itself, which is the result of fearful thinking triggering the fight or flight response and dumping stress chemical in our brain. Then, second, the fact that we unwittingly, through self-talk, keep imaging to ourselves that we “feel terrible,” or “are so depressed” which tends, by repetition to make the thought dominant in the brain, like cement, which means the stress chemicals keep being produced. Then, third, there is a pathological defense mechanism at work here in addition to the biochemical defense mechanism of depression itself. The defense mechanism gone awry is called identification with the aggressor. It was first recognized and named by Sandor Ferenczi7, a close colleague of Sigmund Freud.
Identification with the aggressor works this way: The strongest instinct we have is the instinct for self-preservation. Of course we are able, through freedom of the will, to override this basic instinct with learned values of patriotism and self-sacrifice in acts of heroism. We are also able to override it with the learned values of committing suicide.
Given the exceptions of the learned values of altruism, patriotism, and suicide, when we are overwhelmed by some attack against us, our feeling of complete helplessness will trigger our instinct for self-preservation and our brain logic  initiates thoughts that we “need” and must therefore “protect” any other possible source of power that might “save us;” even if the only available source of power is the offending aggressor. (This is another example of how separated the mind is from present reality. We must remember that the duty of the self is to re-connect the mind with present reality.)
This autonomic defense mechanism of identification acquired the nickname the “Stockholm syndrome” where  prisoners of war identify with their captors, and “the Patty Hearst Syndrome” after the young heiress who was kidnapped in 1974 by a group of terrorists later joined  them and helped them rob a bank.
This is also partly the reason that women who are raped keep it a secret for years, rather than “tell.” Guilt is another reason. In any interaction within a particular culture to which shame ordinarily would be attached, says Ferenczi, there is a certain finite amount of guilt to be assumed. Each of us seems to be cosmically hooked into the unsplittable atom of us all.
Whatever guilt the perpetrator does not assume will be automatically assumed by the victim. Since we must hide our guilt to protect our status, we are further separated from our legitimate fellows. Ferenczi formulated his identification theory after two decades of studying child-abuse victims who protected their predators instead of telling on them. But I think it is not out of line to apply Ferenczi’s theory to the feeling of complete helplessness that we experience during a depressive episode, where we seem to be taken over by a force stronger than our own, even though that force is inside our own body.
So from the first, depression seems to have power over us. And we can immediately proceed to make this worse by identifying with our own depression as the only source of power (reality). Our brain, corrupted by over-whelming emotion with which we identify, and thinking depression is a “safe place” for us as the only source of power, prevents us from considering any other reality than our depression.
For instance, we do not consider we are okay and the depression is a “wrong signal.” We think we are not okay and depression is our only reality..
When we become our own depression by identifying with it, by merging with it, and then trying to escape from it, we end up fighting ourselves. There is really no aggressor; there is only our fighting. We exhaust ourselves, and then, tired and defeated, we attribute overwhelming power to that which has defeated us. Our depression seems mighty and prevailing. But what has defeated us is not our depression; our own fighting has defeated us.
Thus it is that people who are more intelligent usually have the worst time of it since their whole intelligence is in league against them. When people tell us depressed people  to “pull ourselves up by our own bootstraps,” it is really no more of an order of difficulty than what we are already doing to ourselves in reverse--pulling ourselves down by our own bootstraps.
Over-identification is the reason, I am convinced, that so many people have not learned to “take care of business” with respect to depression as they are able to do with other systemic pain, like a broken arm or leg. We do not identify with wounds and viruses. We do not let our arms and legs boss us around the way we do our mind. I mean, one wouldn't take to one's bed with a fractured bone and sigh disconsolately, “I'm so terribly broken.”
We seldom ask penetrating questions about or otherwise investigate our depression because it is not easy to be objective about it while we are undergoing it. Mostly it seems like unbearable, unalterable pain. When it's over, we feel lucky to have escaped with our lives; we don't want to call it back for a chat.
But if we really study depression, our own depression, as I have trained myself to do, we find that although it looms wide and high, like an inescapable solitary confinement of hopeless doom, it is also as easily shifted away from as a movie or a TV show As powerful a phenomenon as it is, we can learn very quickly that depression is totally dependent upon our rapt attention to it. If we are depressed, there is one sure thing we know about ourselves; no one is sawing off one of our arms.
So if depression is dependent on our rapt attention to it, how is it that we can become its prisoner against our will? We can’t, if we know how to assert our will. In depression or mania, the fight for precedence is between us and our subcortex-driven primal mind, however, not between us and our neocortex-driven higher mind. We are not so identified with our higher mind. We do not have as much trouble distinguishing ourselves from our principles as we have distinguishing ourselves from our feelings.
Unlike the subcortex, we can more easily separate ourselves out from our neocortex, and our neocortex takes direction quite well. It is a hard-working, intelligent Marian the Librarian. It is the subcortex driven primal-mind guardian, rash Sir Lancelot, whose strategies must be rigorously contended with. Wise, transcendent Merlin, whom we all secretly hope lives in the penthouse of our cranial tower, is never there. He simply visits us when we invite him by our silence.
            But we can only achieve silence if we wait quietly in the library with Marian. If Sir Lancelot gets too noisy, we can get the librarian to show him the door simply by refusing to grant him an audience. He can then conduct his necessary but distracting antics, like the defense mechanisms of fear and depression, down in the subcortical basement, out of earshot, where he belongs, and where it is easier to tune him out.
It is a continuing intrigue. Primal Sir Lancelot, the first mind system to evolve, mistakenly believes that as original “Godfather,” he should be in charge of us. He is absolutely dedicated, and is not going to give way without cunning on our part to limit the over-extension of his dangerous strategies of fear, pain and paranoia, which we can do only by taking action to access the neocortex of the higher-mind.
If, instead of moving to action and accessing the neocortex, we pay attention to depression, we will be doing the converse of successful positive affirmation. Depression is successful negative affirmation. It has been common knowledge for years to anyone familiar with hypnosis that the mind cannot judge whether any particular memory is from an imagined or a real event. 
Recently Henry L. Roediger III of Washington University in St. Louis proved that, given a few bogus details and a little prodding, 25 percent of adults could be convinced they remembered childhood adventures that never happened.8
All of us are susceptible to memory contamination. That’s the reason all those motivation seminars work, the ones that have us mentally visualizing our perfect golf swing or our successful speech. The mind, in retrospect, experiences these imaginings as real practice. Unfortunately, that is also how our own random imaginings and fears work against us. We actually “practice” depression for years and then wonder how we become masters of it.
The reason that the mind cannot tell the difference between a real and an imagined event is that we do not retain memories in any kind of a facsimile storage-and-retrieval software system. Our memory is tentatively held in the always slightly different patterns of the firing of neurons that, once jump-started, are re-created and serially echoed throughout the brain,  somewhat like a living tissue hologram of electrical arcing, “like” continually attracting and sparking “like” by learned association. As neuroscientist  Demasio explains, experience shapes the changing design of these memory circuits. The circuits are not only receptive to first experiences, but are modifiable by continued experiences throughout our entire lifetime.
What this all means, as far as our habitual addiction to depression goes, is that we are eminently capable of establishing new responses and new neural patterns for ourselves and bypassing the depressive ones by insisting upon making willed, rather than autonomic connections between our behavior and our physical and emotional environment. We don’t have to “peel ourselves” like an onion in psychoanalysis to uncover childhood neural response patterns that disturb us; we can simply forge new ones that nourish us, and the old patterns will fade with disuse.

So my answer as to how to stop crying is to retrain your brain to “get” that you are no longer helpless. That you are a good and decent person like everybody else and, as the old poem Desiderata puts it, “You are  a child of the universe, no less than the stars and the trees, you have a right to be here.”

It also helps to have some faith in a higher power, as they say in all the 12 step groups—you can’t do it alone. That whoever or whatever put you here remains as a help to be called upon when you are at a loss as to what to do next or suffering fear. If you are an atheist and deride any kind of faith, you can still help yourself with imaginary thinking. The brain cannot tell the difference between reality or imagining so for atheists I would recommend that they help themselves with a little “magical thinking.” Or, to put it another way as those who follow the law of attraction (a la books like The Secret, or Your Empowering Self) “Bring those things into being that be not as though they are.”

For myself, whenever I feel shaky about moving forward I think of the Founding Fathers starting a new country and their pledge to each other in the Declaration of Independence:  “With firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence we mutually pledge to each other our lives, our fortunes, and our sacred honor. 

I just use the first part and say to myself “Okay, here I go, with firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence. 

Hope this helps.

If I can answer anymore questions don’t hesitate to ask.

A.B. Curtiss

Saturday, November 26, 2011

The Doorway Meditation

I was sent an email from a friend who related a sermon she had heard on the Sunday before Thanksgiving. I really liked the idea and thought I would pass it along.

Make a commitment to yourself that whenever you walk through a doorway you will think about your life at that moment and find things to be grateful for. One of the things about this doorway practice is that it not only helps center us in gratitude when we are entering our homes to be with those we love, but also when we are leaving our homes facing a stressful or tough day. It helps expand our horizons of gratitude by asking us to be grateful throughout our lives and not just in the good times.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

My Response to Critical Comments about my Work

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "Three More Questions": 

I acknowlege your experience and credentials but respectfully disagree with your position on depression. Moreover, your advice to readers that depression is a weakness and that it is a learned/habit behavior is very disappointing. Depression took me by surprise and brought me to my knees. I spent more than a year fighting feelings and physical ailments that I had never experienced before.

Yes, I know what you mean. Depression took me by surprise and brought me to my knees as well when I was 12 years old. I didn’t tell anybody because I didn’t want anyone to think I was “not normal.” In a way it was like hiding from sight an ugly, hideous, infected wound which would turn everyone away from me in disgust. I periodically got episodes of depression and spent many years in chronic agony, sometimes lasting for months at a time, until I was in my 40s and had become a cognitive therapist.

The harder I fought the stronger the depression(I didn't know it was depression at the time) persisted until my body just gave out. I do not agree with your take that depression is due to weakness, lack of exercise skills etc. I sought help once I realized I couldn't fight this thing on my own (still not knowing what was making me feel and act this way.) I acted on all recommendations and excercises learned in cogitive therapy. I attended several sessions of 8 week classes. Even with all my natural strengh, perseverence and dedication to applying the cognitive skills, depression still took over. I am certainly not weak. I completed my MBA in the middle of having my second daughter,even nursing her between classes. I finished a marathon after pulling my groin on mile 13. I climed the corporate ladder passing my male peers. I could go on and on, but I think you get the picture.

Yes, again, I know what you mean. I was always an overachiever myself. Had my own local television program for a short while , had most of my writings published. But my success in life did nothing to help my depression when it came on.

 I am not weak but I was still taken down. I spent a long period of time in the hospital. Of course many combinations of medication and nothing worked. Finally after deep soul searching and research I decided to try ECT. My doctor and ECT saved my life. Everyday is still a very difficult road. I have had three relaspes including the one I am fighting now. Reading your comments on weakness, brain habit etc. are offensive and quite frankly demotivating.

A lot of the pain of depression is caused by the habit of habitually succumbing (surrendering) to the intense neural patterns that automatically trigger. Depression is a syndrome that has its own course. You can, most often, change the course of the syndrome with some pro-active responses to it. Our moods grow imperceptibly from the intense, if unconscious, concentration on particular lines of thinking that pop up and habitual behavior that lead us into either a positive or a negative mode--these body modes are called the parasympathetic or the sympathetic mode. The first is a state of body alarm, or stress. The second  mode is our essential sense of laid-back well-being or okayness.

You can go along with the patterns and let the depression run its course, or you can apply distractions such as re-engagement with others,  mind techniques, physical exercise to turn you brain to alternative neural patterns. The brain always follows the direction of its most current dominant thought. You make a thought dominant by thinking it over and over. We can make depression dominant by thinking, over and over, "I am depressed. I feel terrible." Some depression episodes can be averted entirely if you turn immediately from concentration on your downer thinking to more productive thinking activity. It is very difficult to do, but it is doable.

I just hope someone at the bottom of their rope does not read your site because you may be responsible for pushing them over the edge by insinuating it is their fault.

At the bottom of our rope, whether it is our fault or not that we are depressed, it is our responsibility to seek help as you did. The idea that depression might be my fault, or helped by my changing my way of thinking was of great comfort to me when I was first presented with the idea because it meant that I could also do something about it. I was no longer a helpless victim.

We are lucky enough to live in the USA so we have freedom of speech, but I fear that your advice may push people over ledge. Your advice for the people closest to depression sufferers is irresponsible at best. You are communicating that depression is in the head of the sufferer as a learned habit and due to weakness they choose to live this way.

Depression is absolutely in our head because it is in our brain and in our neurons and the result of our neurotransmitters going bonkers on us. But, no, I did not say depression is a learned habit due to weakness. Depression is a learned habit because we do it over and over and the neural pattern gets stronger and stronger. We can choose to help ourselves in many different ways. You chose one way. There are other ways.

People with depression need love, support and understanding and those closest to sufferers need love, support and understanding too! It is not the fault of anyone and weakness has nothing to do with it. Your thoughts are as silly as saying someone who died of cancer died becuase they were too weak to fight it, so it is their fault that they died.

Many people die of cancer because they will not give up the lifestyle that caused the cancer in the first place, like smoking for instance, or obesity due to overeating or heavy drinking. That does not mean they are bad people. No one knows what cosmic work we each have to do in this life. I don’t believe anybody’s depression is by accident. It is happening for some reason. If there is a will to find a way out of it, we will find a way.

 I expect that you will tell me I AM being strong becuase I keep fighting. You make it sound so easy to just fight the "learned habit brain behavior". I don't know how long you have suffered from depression (I assume you suffer since you have such a bold opinion)but your approach and view on depression is in the minority. God Bless any readers suffering from depression. It is an illness no different from other illnesses and it is NOT your fault or due to any weakness.

Overcoming learned-habit behavior is not easy. Again, it is doable. A lot of depression may be avoided entirely by mind techniques. Some depression may also be alleviated by better nutrition or hormone replacement that has become necessary due to aging.

When we are depressed we need not see ourselves as helpless or hopeless. Once we have some basic idea how our brain works , and we are remiss if we do not educate ourselves about our own brain functions, there is always something we can do to alleviate our pain, someone to talk to, to give us encouragement, to teach us mind techniques, lifestyle changes or thinking changes that will help bring us again into a peaceful and loving place. A. B. Curtiss

Monday, November 21, 2011

Will the Adreniline Stop Completely One Day?

Dear Ms Curtiss

After reading the books that you advised to read I understand now whats anxiety and I feel today much much better. 

MY question, DO you advise me to go to the public speaking program beside the anxiety that I have?. I still feel fear and have hard time talking to small groups of people.


Dear R,

Yes, absolutely. GO. It will be a wonderful, horizon expanding experience for you. You will be afraid, but do it anyway. A. B. Curtiss

Dear MS Curtiss 

Today I can say the life came to me again after spending long time in anxiety. Thanks so much Ms Curtiss. 

My question is about the adrenaline. Is it going to stop completely one day?


Dear R

You need the adrenaline. It will never go away. However the painful anxiety that you speak of can go away. Never completely. You need the capacity for anxiety to be a well-functioning human being. But you will, more and more, have control over it so that it may appear now and then but will not have the power to interrupt and intrude upon your life. A. B. Curtiss

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Three More Questions

There are three more questions that I wanted to answer from the letter in the last post.

3. If someone asked you in less than one minute explain to me the best you can what depression is and why you think it is choice, what would you say?

3. ANSWER: Depression is a neural pattern (habit) of despair and hopelessness that triggers off suddenly or when the fight or flight response is triggered by downer thinking. There is a chemical consequence in the brain for every thought one thinks. The depressive neural pattern will be stronger and more compelling the longer one stays in depressive behavior—thinking about how depressed you are, concentrating on how bad you feel, withdrawing from interacting with people, talking in a sad, weak voice, and withdrawing from physical or mental activity that might lead to more positive thinking and therefore more positive emotions. The choice concerns one’s behavior when depression hits. You can get busy with exercise, work, entertainment or interacting with others to distract yourself from your painful feelings and pursue positive activity which can lead to better feelings. When you stop thinking depressive thoughts, the brain is not encouraged to continue to produce stress chemicals because the fight or flight response powers down.

4. Will my mom most likely be like this for the rest of my life? If so, will she ever be able to have a normal relationship with me?

4 ANSWER: Not every one has the intellectual understanding, the knowledge of helpful mind techniques, the sustenance of some faith in a higher power which can come to one's aid, or the physical stamina to pull themselves out of depressive thinking. If you are self-consumed with depressive thinking  and behavior, it is almost impossible to get out of depression. The neural pattern continues to re-trigger. It is not possible to have a reciprocal loving connection with someone who is depressed because depression is an extreme disconnect from present reality and a shared reality with others in favor of an extreme concentration upon one’s own painful inner emotional experience. 

It is possible to have a fairly normal relationship with a depressed person but the non-depressed person will have to take the more active role. It is more difficult to connect with a depressed person. But there are many other reasons that make it difficult to connect to another person. We are all a varied combination of good qualities and the seven deadly sins.  Once we reach adulthood, we start to understand that our happiness does not depend upon our relationship with another person. Our happiness depends upon self-handling our own negative emotions, accepting them, and moving forward with our day in some positive direction by learning how to take care of ourselves despite our very real and frustrating difficulties.

5. How will this most likely affect me and my younger sisters as we continue to grow up with a mom who is never quite 'there' (physically and mentally)?

5 ANSWER: The answer to children of families whose parents have failed them is for the older ones to help the younger ones and draw the family circle together to include the failed parent to the extent possible but not to count on the failed parent for guidance and nurturing because it is beyond their capability. Guidance and nurturing will have to come from others, from other relatives, from caring friends, from mentors, from self-education and books and from ones own developing spiritual strength as one steps forward with hope and faith in a higher power that can be continually called upon. The only option should be to proceed in a positive direction both physically, mentally and spiritually. Negative thinking and negative behavior should never be an option. Negative thinking and negative behavior will occur. They should be acknowledged, accepted and one should move forward anyway, in a more positive direction.
I am convinced that the truth of life is available to any human being, but they must find it by continually turning away from the negative toward the positive. Nothing good comes from bad. Good only comes from good. Nothing positive comes from the negative. Ever. Hope this helps. 
A. B. Curtiss

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

How Would you Describe Depression in One Word?


For English class, we are writing essays on a topic of our choice. I decided to write mine on Depression and whether it is a true mental disease or a state of mind that results from weak will and negative thoughts and actions. This is a topic I am very curious and sensitive towards, and came across your website during research and I was wondering if I could get your input on a few things.

My mom is clinically depressed, and quite frankly I just don't understand.

About 2-3 years ago, she was admitted into a mental hospital for depression and for being 'mentally unstable'. She remained in mental hospitals for a year (she was switched into state hospitals after a few weeks). My dad rarely took us to see her, and I don't blame him. I still can remember the way it felt and the way things looked when I entered into that building. It's something I will never forget. They tried countless medications and did brain shocks and all sorts of stuff that did nothing but turn her into a 'vegetable'. She became like the exoskeleton of a bug. On the outside she looked like a normal person, but on the inside she seemed completely empty.

Now, she is currently back in the hospital and they have threatened to put her back into the state hospital if she doesn't 'get herself under control'.

I would be lying if I said I wasn't upset or angry at my mother. In a way, I resent her for leaving me and my sisters so many times to fend for ourselves. The worst part about it is that she doesn't know how angry I really feel. Quite frankly, I'm afraid to let her know.
She once asked me if I was angry and for some reason I just couldn't force myself to answer-that only made it worse. She took my silence as a yes and started to cry and blame me. She said I had no right being angry.

One of my biggest fears is that one day my mom will do something serious that will affect my whole family (not that what she does now doesn't). I don't want to lose my mom to a battle I know she could win if she tried. What really upsets me the most is that she does not see the damage she is causing in the relationships between herself and her family. I am the middle child of five. I have two older sisters and two younger sisters. I worry about my younger sisters the most. At this point, at sixteen, I have learned how to move on and manage my life around her problems when she is here and when she isn't, but my little sisters haven't. They need her.

So I guess here are a few of the many questions I have:

1. Is it wrong for me to be mad at my mother? Is she right in the statement that I have no right to be angry? Is this really something she cannot control (she doesn't have any unbalanced chemicals or anything like that)?

2. In one word how would you best describe depression?

3. If someone asked you in less than one minute explain to me the best you can what depression is and why you think it is choice, what would you say?

4. Will my mom most likely be like this for the rest of my life? If so, will she ever be able to have a normal relationship with me?

5. How will this most likely affect me and my younger sisters as we continue to grow up with a mom who is never quite 'there' (physically and mentally)?

I appreciate you taking the time to read this, and I hope that you will be able to provide me with a little more knowledge about this 'sickness' that is slowly becoming my mom. I hope to be able to buy your book when I save up enough money! Do you sign books?

I wish you the best of success in all your endeavors,

Dear J.

I will try to answer your questions . If you have further questions about my answers be sure to email me again.

1. Is it wrong for me to be mad at my mother? Is she right in the statement that I have no right to be angry? Is this really something she cannot control (she doesn't have any unbalanced chemicals or anything like that)?

ANSWER: Whether it is right or wrong of you to be mad at your mother is not the point. The point is: is it helpful to your life to be mad at your mother. What would help your life is to accept your natural anger at your mom and let it finish as an emotion. Anger is just another name for fear. The best thing to do with fear is to feel it, accept if fully, and move forward in some positive way despite the fear. Generally speaking it is not helpful to your life to put your fear out on others in the form of anger.

The other thing is that you don’t know for sure whether your mother has an imbalance of chemicals or nutrients in her body. Unless she has been seen by a nutritionist or Doctor of Chinese medicine (which I always recommend) most Western doctors don’t know that much about testing for nutritional imbalances or an imbalance or insufficiency of amino acids which are the precursors to neurotransmitters.

2. In one word how would you best describe depression?

2. ANSWER.  If I had to describe depression in one word I would say “unconnected.”
I’ll have to continue answering your questions a little later.   A. B. Curtiss

Thursday, November 3, 2011

My Favorite Subject--FEAR

Hi A.B.!

This article reminds me of your recent blog posts about one of my favorite subjects...fear!

I still have so much to learn and explore regarding fear.  It plays a major role in my life...at least I recoginize that now!

Thanks for repeatedly addressing this topic!  Some of us really benefit from regular reminders and guidance!