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Monday, September 14, 2015

We are Studying your Book in our Abnormal Psych class

Dear A. B. Curtiss

We are studying your book, DEPRESSION IS A CHOICE, in my abnormal psych class. The professor told us that we could email you questions. I have two questions


You say all depression is caused by a chemical imbalance in your brain. What is the chemical imbalance you refer to?


If you are depressed, ipso facto, you have a chemical imbalance in your brain. Depression is the by-product of our human psychological defense system. Our defense system is activated by fearful or anxious thoughts, of which you may or may not be aware, that trigger the fight-or-flight response.

The chemical imbalance of depression is caused by the inadvertent triggering of the fight-or-flight response which dumps stress chemicals into our brain; chemicals like adrenaline, epinephrine, norepinephrine, etc. to biochemically prepare us for immediate action. If we take immediate physical
action, the stress chemical imbalance is righted and we return from the stress mode (sympathic mode) to the at rest mode (para-sympathetic mode).

But if physical action is not taken, these chemicals are extremely hard on the metabolic processes of the body. They cause the feelings of weakness and powerless that we know as depression. Of course once these neural patterns of weakness and powerless are part of our memory system, they can take on a life of their own and be triggered by a color, a sound, or some thought fragment through the natural process of learned association. If we entertain and focus on these neural patterns (in effect memories which we incorrectly believe to be present reality), we trigger the fight-or-flight response once more and the stress chemical factory is back in business again. Instant re-run.

QUESTION 2: What is the correct amount of chemicals you are striving for?


I am striving for the correct balance of chemicals which return us from the stress mode (the sympathetic mode) to the para-sympathetic mode, our natural mode of okayness. The way to effect this return as an act of will is to brainswitch--to cease focusing on the agitated feelings of the subcortex , and instead think neutral or nonsense thoughts that stimulate neural activity in the neocortex. Thus powering up neuronal activity in the neocortex and powering down neuronal activity in the subcortex. If a person concentrates on thinking neutral or nonsense thoughts for five or ten minutes, they cannot at the same time continue to think those stressful thoughts that have been causing the fight-or-flight response to trigger which produce the stress chemicals that have pitched them into the sympathetic mode. As they continue with cognitive, objective, and neutral thoughts, they cease to produce stress chemicals, and the body will naturally return to the para-sympathetic mode.

It is a matter of constantly taking the correct fork in the thinking road instant by instant as soon as depression hits. Avoid the subjective, choose the objective. (Not: Oh I'm feeling bad, but isn't that an interesting pattern of light on the wall. Avoid the emotional, choose the neutral or nonsense (Not: Oh I'm feeling bad but “Row, row, row your boat” or some othedumb nursery rhyme or song.) Avoid the downer thought and choose the upper. (Not: Oh what a dreary morning, but hey, at least the house isn't on fire, how great is that!) Avoid self-focus, choose outer-focus (Not: I'm feeling bad but send some healing prayer to another person.) Avoid disengagement, choose re-engagement (don't crawl under the covers, get out and take a walk, talk to the paperboy.)

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