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Monday, October 31, 2016

All I Feel is Empty Sadness



I had emailed you a few months ago about me starting college and realizing that I wanted to become a therapist. I started school in august. And it's been going pretty well. I had better control over my depression and anxiety. I have been seeing someone for the past year. It's long distance. She lives 5 hours away. But we haven't been official for the past month. Just slowly trying and seeing how things naturally grow.

The other day she told me about a girl she met who is in an open relationship and that they have a mutual interest. So she wanted to know if I still wanted to keep things the way they were for now with us. Free and open but still involved and letting things grow.

 I love her like no one else I've loved. And so I said yes that's fine. I'll talk to other people too. But I feel stuck. I can't pull out of this empty sadness and then I start to overthink and become almost manic about losing her to this other girl. I try to talk to other people but I have no interest in anyone but her. We've been best friends for 2 years. She's younger than me and still trying to figure herself out.

This has made me lose my ambition with my social life and it's starting to affect my schooling. I've tried reading the brain switch book but I can't give it my full attention. I need help rebalancing my brain basically. And stay focused on what I need to do in my life. But I do not know where to start.


The first thing to do when you are in a negative space in life is to head toward something positive. Every thought you think is either negative or positive. Everybody has great battles to fight. No one knows when they are going to be thrust on a new and desperate battlefield of life. It could happen in an instant.

So never feel resentful of your own battle by comparing your battle with someone else's life who seems more fortunate.

If your friendships are unrewarding or shaky, it is logical to believe that there is someone else out there who might make a good friend for you.  It is possible to have an uplift from a conversation with a passing stranger. That is a positive thought. Look forward to meeting someone that you don't even yet know. That is a positive thought.

Think not that life is your enemy but your friend and if you are brave and courageous, you will approach your own skirmishes by thinking that it may be hard but you will be the stronger for them. If you have work to do, then do it without waiting for your life to "get better". Our life only gets better when we become better persons.

Empty sadness means that you are concentrating on the negative in your life. If you are sad thinking about yourself, think about someone else. Wish someone else well. I am now wishing you well and it expands my own life and sends me in a positive direction.

There is always some "next thing" that you can do to improve your life. Some small task that needs to be done. Look around and find one small positive thing to do. The second thing will then present itself. There is always some "next thing" you can to and this is always a good way to start when you feel stuck. Don't hold up your life waiting for some "big problem" to be solves.

Problems are never really solved. If they can be solved, they are not problems but work. We tend to park ourselves in what we think are overwhelming problems because do not want to exercise our courage and take on the day. When we take on our life with a good attitude, we just grow bigger than our problems and thus transcend them to the point where they are no longer problems because we have something more positive on which to focus our attention. Hope this helps.

A. B. Curtiss


Wednesday, September 7, 2016

I'm Anxious About Upcoming Test

My Question Is:

Shortly I will have final exam for becoming a tourist guide. It is my second time attending because first time I failed. It can be difficult exam, because as a guide I will lead small group of people ( including committee professors) either on the bus or outside.

My last experience was not so good, because I was so self-focused and I disliked feeling the stress before my turn. Thanks to you, I understand that it is mind’s survival mechanism and I know very well to direct my mind into different direction, using non-emotional and neutral thought.
Anyway, I am afraid that emotions will prevail again and that I will lose clarity of mind. Last time on the exam my brain was really excited to perform, I was maybe too confident and I made some big mistakes. 

For instance, I knew the right name for mountains ahead of us, but brain told me wrong names and it was only at the end that somebody told me I made a mistake with names of the mountains. I was really puzzled, because I was sure I was correct during the performance. 

To make it short, how can I focus my brain and keep calm before my performance starts. Usually it gets very wild minutes before I will perform. My heart starts racing and lots of heat goes in the head. 
The second question is, how to avoid depression that hits afterward, when such events are finished? Usually I need 2 days to recover and rest. 

I thank you again for this great work you do. Thank you for reply. 

My Answer:

Most people have social anxiety about speaking in public. Many have test anxiety. Both can be helped by a deep breath, relaxing the shoulder muscles and focusing on the task ahead rather than self-focusing on your fear.  

For public speaking, substitute a pat on the back for yourself instead of frightening yourself. “You studied, the words will come to you. It’s all right to hesitate and collect your wits. You can actually pause and look around at the crowd or the person you are addressing or even say out loud something like, I’m really happy to be here or some such innocuous phrase.

For tests, always use the self-falk “I know this, the answer is coming to me now.” Or any positive or neutral thought to replace the panic thought—“I don’t know this, I’m going to fail,” which are not helpful. Hope this helps.

As for depression, fear dumps adrenalin into the brain which is very hard on the metabolic processes and causes the down shift in energy. But fear accepted and the adrenalin used up in thinking or speaking activity does not have the same downshift effect. Remember that depression is a thought. It cannot think itself when you direct your thought process in another direction and refuse to think the depression. A. B. Curtiss

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

I Lost the Feeling of Love for my Husband

Unknown has left a new comment on your post "My Husband is Mean and Yells at Me. I'm being Bull...":

Hi,,, I am 10 years married now to my husband, and it's starting to get really hard for me to endure my husband's attitude,, I have left my family behind to be with him, and now after 7 years of not seeing them is getting to me.. Anything that I try to do in a good way for him never satisfies him, instead its always mean words do degrade me and call me names while screaming so loud the neighbors hear him.. when he does yell at me he spits because he is talking so loud.. I forgive him for the way he does things but now I think I am falling in depression,,

We never do anything any more and I have lost the feeling of making love, it’s like I am dead inside... tears are starting to build up in my eyes talking about it.. I don't know what to do, I am afraid alone,, no help... it is hard I just feel like leaving, but my heart still clings to him... I just don't know what to do,, I give him everything and anything he wants but it’s not enough. His aggression is horrible!!!

Dear Friend,

You are living in a constant state of fear. But that is not your husband’s fault. At least in this country you can count on your personal freedom so if your husband is physically abusive, you can call 911. Meanwhile you are totally responsible once you reach adulthood to take care of yourself, physically, mentally and spiritually.

One clue is that blaming others is the way we avoid the pain of our own fear. Your husband has the same problem. His own fear is causing him to blame you for whatever is going wrong or whatever failure he senses about his own life.

 One of you has to wake up to the fact that no one is here on earth to take care of you and everyone on the planet is doing the best that he can at the moment. There is always the possibility of redemption. You are supposed to take care of yourself and share your life with others.

Most of us suffer from repressed fear left over from our childhood. Fear is painful. To avoid the pain of our own fear we, instead, focus our attention on what others are doing wrong. And we can always find it in the people around us. Especially in our own family.

Anything you do out of fear is not going to be inappropriate to your own life in some way. So all our action should be, as much as possible, out of love. Since you love your husband you are probably confusing the issue by thinking that if you give in to him, it is an act of love when it may, instead, be an act of fear and therefore have a totally inappropriate outcome.

Anything you do out of love is bound to be appropriate to your life in some way. So you must take care of yourself in these adverse situations with your husband out of your love of doing the right. you won’t be able to do that unless you can call upon your courage by acknowledging your fear first. I had the same problem many years ago and my marriage at that time was very unhappy. I finally got the message and when he would raise his voice to bully me, or silence me, or criticize me I would say to myself “How can I take care of myself in this adverse situation.”  My typical response had been to slink away and get depressed.

After a while when my husband could no longer bully me because I was no longer impressed with the inappropriate way he handled his own fear, he was left with his own outrageous and bullying behavior and I could either walk away, perfectly happy with myself, or point out to him that I was not impressed that he was so out of control.

It is hard work to be a human being sometimes. But we can’t blame others for our failure to take care of ourselves. And you can visit your family whenever you want.

A lot of information on this topic is on my depression website or on my blog (you are not the only one  who is struggling) or in my book DEPRESSION IS A CHOICE.

I’ll be glad answer any other questions you have.  A. B. Curtiss

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

I Refer to Your Book Often

Dear A.B.

I met you at one of your book signings a year or so ago. I have referred back to your book "Depression is a Choice" many times. I find it a valuable read, considering the alternative systemized approach of prescription drug solutions that have NOT enhanced my life. It has been a tough battle and I want to win-without prescription drugs dragging me down.

I would like to surround myself with like minded people. Can you offer any suggestions with CBT groups or perhaps an up-coming lecture to attend? I want to break out of this programmed mindset and see things from a different perspective. Thank you for any positive feedback /suggestions /new directions you might have on this journey.Thank you again ,

A fellow traveler

Dear Fellow Traveler,

Thank you for your letter. The main thing to remember is that anything you do in a proactive way by thinking anything other than a depressive thought, is heading       your mind in the right direction 

And if you keep heading in the right direction, since the brain always follows the direction of its most current dominant thought and you can make any thought dominant by thinking it over and over, you will ultimately be victorious. When depression hits, you do the same proactive thinking,

You might check into some of the possibilities at the Deepak Chopra Center in Carlsbad, CA. They have many valuable programs and updates.

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Your Work Connects Well with non-dual Eastern Wisdom

Dear AB

I read your books some 10 years ago and today I again find so much refreshment and clarity in what you say. I tried to understand and study non- dual wisdom from East. I think your work beautifully connects both. The life of a person and awareness which we all are as one source. The understanding how the brain works and how one thinks is very important and I think it is like a pre-qualifiaction if we really want to re-cognize who or what we are in the absolute sense.

I would like to ask you, if you also study or learn about the non-dual wisdom (Advaita Vedanta) or Self Knowledge?

My second question is, why are humans so attracted to self centeredness and thinking about one self-misery is so much easier than thinking a neutral thought? I know it very well for myself and it looks I am just starting again from the start. Like you say, it is a good news that our brain has endless capacities for new neural acitivities.

I want to thank you for your effort you put in through writting and speaking. The video on your website is amazing and gives us very important message.

With love from Europe,

Dear With Love from Europe

Thank you so much for your letter. I’m happy that my work has been helpful to you.

To answer your first question: I studied Vedanta under Dr. Alan Anderson of San Diego State University. This great professor is no longer there but I began to understand what an unusual teacher he was when I realized that there were three members of the class that were quantum physicists who had traveled from Los Angeles to San Diego three days a week for ten years to study under him. They helped the class understand some of the Eastern religion maxims in terms of quantum physics. Lately I have been studying the work of Deepak Chopra.

As to your second question: The reason we are all so self-centered is based upon our primitive survival instinct, our flight or fight response, which gives us increased energy in times of danger and which can also be triggered by other events than real danger. We must not forget that the mind is basically a defense mechanism and therefore as paranoid as a secret service agent looking for something that might go wrong when the President is traveling. It is our default mechanism when we are not engaged in other on- purpose thinking activities.When we allow ourselves to slip into accidental rather than on-purpose thinking we can easily trigger the fight-or-flight response because it is always turned on and ready to defend us.

 A. B. Curtiss

Friday, June 10, 2016

Difficulty Shouldn't be the Test

Whether or not you do something should not depend on how difficult it is but rather on whether it is to your good or not. Perhaps I derived this idea from the observance of how easy it is to fall into things that are not to our good.

Brainswitching is in this category. It is extraordinarily difficult to do, even though it is simple. It is difficult to do because depression and anxiety are so easy to fall into and once we fall into them it is just so much easier to stay there than to exert ourselves to get out of them, the law of enertia working against us.

So the first thing we should do is to put the law of intertia to work for us instead of against us (a body at rest tends to stay at rest). We are resting (albeit uncomfortably) in our anxiety or depression. We need to move out of it. It is difficult, yes. And anyting difficult always requires our courage.

(a body in motion tends to stay in motion)

I Need Your Help Again


I needed to connect with you once again. I am down and I have your tools. Everything is helping that you so graciously guided me through. I had many years of personal empowerment from your support. But I have hit another bump in the road where I feel over whelmed and lost. I would like to connect by email or phone with you to share what I am now facing.

I am looking to re-ground myself and I need to get my footing. My home is now too big for me to manage so I am selling it. My dog has been ill. I would like to stop my suffering about his suffering. As I am writing to you he just threw up.


It is easier to connect via email.


Thank you for getting back to me. I am keeping a journal and it is helping some. But each day I wake up feeling like I cannot go on. Each day it is very different, never the same fears or worries of depression. I have never felt bad in the morning before--this is new. I fear that my brain is drying up and because of that there is no hope. That might be true but me worried about that happening is only hastening the brain loss. Well there it is. Today in a nut shell. Thank you for listening.

My aging is taking my full attention. I want to get back to my earlier feeling of well-being and I know it is in me to do it but it is not happening. I am under the weather. I am either depressed or fearful and up tight. What do you think?

Warmly and appreciated,

All of us have fearful moments. If we are worried about brain loss, we should remember that the brain has the capacity for neuroplasticity, which means that the brain can produce new neurons and neural patterns indefinitely even in old age. However we have to exercise our brain just the way we do the rest of our body. Anything new helps to renew the production of neurons in our brain. If you’ve never done crosswords before, now it the time to start doing them. If you’ve never played card games before, now is the time to start doing them.

For instance, I have just taken up the piano which is very difficult for me. When I feel discouraged that it is hard to learn something, then I remember, good then this is really going to help improve my brain.

And if I let my fear escalate into a panic attack I put on my thinking brakes immediately and turn from thoughts about how afraid I am to some nursery rhyme or some inspirational poem. I have committed many poems to memory just so I have something to think about instead of my fear. For instance those I have learned include the 23rd Psalm, the Gettysburg Address, Desiderata, IF by Rudyard Kipling, Crossing the Bar by Tennyson, Milton’s sonnet on his blindness and Invictus. The next thing I’m going to memorize is the Ten Paradoxical Commandments by Kent Keith.

And I try to remember that I am not alone. There is always someone, some human being that I can connect with in some small way, say hello to--even if it’s only the person standing next to me in the Post Office. We should not allow negative and downer thinking. As soon as we catch ourselves doing it, we can chose another thought and some more positive action, no matter how humble.

A. B. Curtiss


Thank you for your leads. I will try crossword puzzles. I also do drawings. I am going to start the piano.  Staying busy also helps me. I still use
‘Green Frog.”

I have my business and a couple are moving into my house and that is bringing up my mood. I also have been listening to the 4 agreements. I want to be better but just when things are getting better for sure,then I cast my eyes on things in the far off future and loose all my feelings in my fingers and legs.

Or I notice an cut on my finger and then see my aging bringing me more and more challenges. I’ve just got to find a way to be a better person for myself in this aging process. I want to feel loved, safe and secure and that I can handle suffering like my mother did. I need a community of friends that are going through the same thing that are helping each other to stay strong.

I must admit that I have times I feel really good but I see that these times come from events outside of myself. I want to find peace and comfort from just being alive. I want my comfort to come from inside me like Eckhart Tolle 

When asked what life is; a great sage said that life is like the fragrance of jasmine carried on the spring breeze. I want that kind of awareness. Then I want to be able to handle my emotiond so I can least  retutn to a  neutral state of conciousness. I want neutral to be enough if that is all I can reach.

I do not want to need a party.  When I freak out, I want to be able to calm myself.
I do not want my fear to take me to depression because I cannot handle my fear.
I want to feel my healing growing inside of me rather than the decaying. I want to respect myself.

I have found that listing wants helps me. Thank you for giving me things that really work. One think I know it is that it is... dealing with it works better than not.


Sounds like you are headed down the right track. Just remember that when you are going in the wrong direction the smallest positive thing you can do turns you 180 degrees in the right direction. A small positive action or thought has great power. It’s not the greatness of the thought or action that matters. A simple acknowledgment of your intent to do better is enough.

 “I’m doing my very best today, even though it seems I haven’t accomplished much. I have taken a step in the right direction. Tomorrow I may take two steps forward or even backward. No matter, right now I am intending to be better. And I I will concentrate on my intention, not my fear.”

A.B. Curtiss

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

I'd like to Become a Therapist


I have been suffering from anxiety and depression. And reading your book is really helping me understand the whole thinking pattern. And with me I need to understand something before I can change it. If that makes sense. I am in my 30s with 2 young kids. I work but it's not my passion. I want to do something I love rather than something I know. A few years ago I was thinking about becoming a therapist. But I put it off and dealt with life’s events.

And recently I've been doing a lot of reading and reflecting, realizing that becoming a therapist feels like my calling. It's something I would love doing rather than just to have a job. Ever since I can remember I've enjoyed helping others. I'm not sure what kind of therapist I want to become. How did you come to choose to become a psychotherapy?


Thanks for your letter. My becoming a therapist was totally coincidental. I was taking a friend to SDSU trying to get her interested in some course of study to get her mind off her recent divorce. I was behind her in line and looking at the list of courses when I realized the woman at the counter was asking me what course I was interested in. Thinking this was merely idle conversation I answered I was kind of interested in the counseling education course. “Oh, that’s closed,” she said. “Oh that’s okay,” I said.

And I thought of my best friend in high school who became a biofeedback counselor and realized I had been slightly envious but never before had given a  thought that I myself could aspire to such a lofty calling. The clerk said to me then “But you could take it on an at-risk basis and hope to get into the program after the semester ends. “Fine,” said I, “I’ve been at risk all my life.” So, on a whim I just signed up then and there. And that’s how I became a therapist. To become an MFT (marriage family counselor) is time intensive. You need at least 1000  hours of practice (usually unpaid) before you can even take the license exam. (You’ll have to check on that figure it may be as much as 3,000 hours. I don’t remember for sure.

And there are many different kinds of therapists. Hypnotherapists,  and Spiritual therapists besides the marriage family (MFT). You can get a degree on line. Of if you belong to a church you could become a “lay counselor.”  On the other hand, some people simply develop a helpful expertise, write a book and give lectures without any official designation. Read Dale Carnegie’s book How to Make Friends and Influence People. He started out by doing small free talks at the YWCA and his course in now known throughout the world. Some people just start by writing a helpful blog and reach out to help people that way. Some people begin by doing Tarot readings for people in some kind of psychic community like Elfin Forest. Good luck on your path.

You might find Deepak Chopra’s book The Essential Spontaneous Fulfillment of Desire helpful in finding out what your next step might be. It’s less than 150 pages. A. B. Curtiss

Friday, April 1, 2016

Fear I am Losing Control


Hi Curtiss, 

Hope you keeping well, 

These days losing control of my thinking, and seeking to raise the level of positiveness biased to sexual thoughts and behave through face expressions and eye gestures because of the repressed fear causing losing control. 

Need to get out from this fall. I have been trying to get out from this from the last few days. 

is Unbalanced brain chemistry causes these symptoms. since deep fear was holding me for few weeks  Thanks Curtiss 


Remember that will is destiny, biology is not destiny.

There is nothing more powerful than the human will to do better and we can always think a better thought. A better thought will change our brain chemistry for the better. Just say to yourself, I’m doing better and better. Then choose some mantra and meditate on that to keep the more destructive thoughts from bothering you. When fear comes, acknowledge it, accept it and then the fear will diminish and you can move beyond it.

As for fear of losing control you can use cognitive behavioral thinking for this.      Here’s how I cured myself of claustrophobia which appears in my book Depression is a Choice.  Ask yourself what, exactly are you afraid you will do physically with your body. Once you decide what that is, you can, at the same time, commit to the decision that you will not do that. Then what is left is just the fear again which you can accept, let it finish and move on.

Here’s the excerpt from my book:

I recently took a trip during which my regular method of handling claustrophobia utterly failed. I have been successful with short trips, but this was a six-hour flight to Hawaii and I was stuck in the center of five seats on a fully loaded plane. At first I concentrated on my book, but little doubts kept creeping into my concentration until I started to panic. Every atom of my body was screaming, I HAVE TO GET OUT OF HERE NOW!!! I forced myself to check that the seat-belt sign had been turned off, I excused myself by the other two passengers, and I BOLTED into the aisle. SAVED!
I walked up and down for a while and did not have the courage to return to my seat. They served breakfast and though I was hungry, I still couldn’t sit down. I was miserable. My back started to hurt and so I sat down on the floor in the only available space I could find, which was near the lavatories. But the smell was terrible and people started giving me odd and annoyed looks for which I could hardly blame them. There were dozens of people perfectly fine in their seats. I was the only nut-case sitting down on the dirty floor where people were having to step over me. I began to be ashamed to behave so ignominiously.
When the aisles were cleared from breakfast, I walked up and down for a while longer and then I tried to sit in the pull-down stewardess seat but I was told it was against regulations. My back was starting to hurt again from standing and I started to think about my situation.
I guessed I could stand up for another three hours. But what kind of a fake was I that I was writing a book about brainswitching and I couldn’t even control my own claustrophobia?
I began to study my situation, earnestly, in terms of what was the fear about. Not why was I afraid but what, exactly, was I afraid of? I thought that I could control myself long enough to belt myself in for a landing, but I wanted to do better than that if I could. I didn’t want to be a phony. Was I going to put my money where my mouth was or what?
I didn’t try to search for anything rational. I knew that my terror was totally irrational. My former success with claustrophobia, I now realized, was limited. I could handle short flights in a three-seat flying situation. In a crowded auto I learned that I could control my panic if I could sit on the very edge of the seat or someone’s lap, where my arms and legs were not confined, and lean into the space between the two front seats.
Luckily I am not a large person, so I could usually maneuver a workable position. But this was the middle seat of five, in a totally full airplane and I was terrified. Over the years I had just naturally avoided situations which were this uncomfortable. I was able to get aisle seats in airplanes. But not this time. I had received my comeuppance.
I was thinking about all these things while I was studying my situation on the plane. What exactly was I afraid would happen if I sat back down in the middle of those crowded seats?  That I would flail my arms around and scream!
Well, I thought, that is just behavior, isn’t it, and I’m sure I can control my behavior so that I do not do that. Yes, I decided, I could depend upon my earnest commitment to not flail my arms around or scream. So what did that leave?  The terror. Yes, I could do nothing to prevent the terror. I would  feel like I was dying. I would feel like I couldn’t breathe. Well, I thought, that is all just feeling, isn’t it? I just have to stand the physical pain of that terror. I have to control my behavior and just feel the terror, just sit there quietly, even if I pass out, or die if that is my fate. I decided I could do that.
I sat back down, buckled myself in and prepared to feel the most absolute terror of my life. I opened myself up to whatever pain would come. I was absolutely determined to bear the most unimaginably painful feelings, whatever they were. The most amazing thing happened. No terror came. Not even the smallest tinge of it. I completed the rest of the flight in complete comfort. Now and then I invited the pain and terror if it wanted to come. But it never did.
I think the whole key was to separate the gestalt of panic into its plain, more user-friendly concomitants of behavior and feeling. Looking at the separate parts of my panic gave me a clue as to how to proceed. I saw the panic in terms of tasks to accomplish, rather than fear to succumb to. I could see that, although it might be difficult and painful, it was possible for me to control my behavior and keep myself from screaming or flailing my arms around.
And it was possible to bear any pain that my feelings were going to inflict upon me. After all, they were my feelings, weren’t they? What could my own feelings do to me, really. In two weeks, I would have to return from Hawaii. I determined to seek out the terror again and see what more work I had to do, or what new tortures my terror would teach me.         
On my return trip, I found I had been given an aisle seat and I was tempted to let it go at that. But because I felt obligated to finish this story for my book, however it turned out.  I told the clerk I was working on my claustrophobia so would she please give me the worst crowded-up inside seat she could. Again I settled down quite prepared to feel the terror NO MATTER WHAT!
In the beginning I got just a few tendrils of panic and again I opened myself up to whatever horror would be visited upon me. The tendrils of panic just faded out to nothing. I felt perfectly comfortable the whole trip. We can all make our life into something immensely satisfying regardless of the circumstances of it. With the earnest desire to do so. Anybody can do it with a little practice.

A. B. Curtiss

Monday, March 21, 2016

I'm Always Going Back to Square One


It seems I have to go back to the basic tools which I learnt to get out for sometimes which I started from yesterday. 


It’s true for all of us. We need to start all over every day. Start with meditation, gratitude that we are alive and get up and do our best each moment. When we fail one moment, we regroup, gather our wits and begin again with the next moment. This is the great gift of life. Every moment can be a new beginning.

A. B. Curtiss

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

I am Fearful at Work


Two months before I noticed one of the work mates was acting unethical practices to myself, caused me to have deep fear for some days since it was first time I see such actions. I went to complain to my boss about this guy and my needs from him to support me to transfer the work mate to another place which did happen by the boss.

I started to fear the boss might one day tell about this story since me and the work mate are from same country and he might take this advantages.

I am trying to strengthen myself and I am on Vacation for few days just to relax.

My fear affects my work day and family as well. Really have hard time controlling my fear.


Meditation would help you in this situation. When you feel the fear, decide to look at the fearful situation in a different way. Not through the eyes of fear but in a more meditative way, as if you are simply the observer rather than the sufferer. It takes a lot of courage but it makes you a stronger person.

Here is a helpful visualization you can use. Remember that fear is always about the future, which could really be all right. You can decide to put the fear in a mental box and close it so it doesn’t bother you.

You must avoid making yourself sick over something in the future. Decide that you are “all right in this moment”. Say to yourself “at this present moment I am safe.” Always pull back from negative thoughts about the future to the present moment where we are always safe. A. B. Curtiss

Thursday, March 10, 2016

Beat the Zika Virus

How to Beat the Zika Virus
By A.B. Curtiss

Suppose the daytime-active Aedes mosquitoes that comes from the Zika Forest of Uganda wouldn’t bite you? In that case you would never have to worry about getting the Zika virus. Right now a lot of people are worried they might get bitten.  Because the only cure at the moment for contracting this virus and getting the fever symptoms is--rest.

The symptoms themselves are not terribly dangerous for most of us. Even if you get it, you may not even be aware that you have the virus. It causes only a mild fever which is gone in a few days. But if you are in the early stages of pregnancy, there is every reason to be greatly concerned.
The Zika Virus has been found to cause symptoms in pregnant women which are associated with intrauterine growth restriction which can include abnormal brain development in the developing fetus through mother-to-child-transmission. This may result in a miscarriage.

Or it may result in microcephaly where the baby’s head is smaller than normal, due to abnormal brain development. Again, there is no cure for this. No pill you can take.  No shot you can get. No vaccine yet to prevent contracting the symptoms.

So far, the only suggestion from the health community is that if you are pregnant or considering becoming pregnant, you should avoid going to places where the mosquitoes are. That’s not terribly helpful, is it? Especially if you live in Florida, which has already experienced the presence of these nasty creatures. You are not going to want to move to Alaska, right?

Okay. So what reasonable precaution can you take? Here is a better suggestion than avoiding the mosquitos. Get the mosquitos to avoid you. That’s right. This is perfectly possible and I can’t imagine why all the doctors and clinics are not getting out the word and suggesting it. There is a natural remedy in a simple homeopathic solution made up of pure water and 3 essential oils. Not harmful to pregnant women or young children. The solution is:

For each 1 ounce of pure water add:
1 drop lemon essential oil (any brand essential oil)
1 drop lemongrass essential oil (any brand essential oil)
1 drop R.C. (Young Living Essential oil or any brand R.C. essential oil—a combination of several Eucalyptus oils)

I usually make 16 ounces at a time. This means you add 16 drops of each oil to 16 ounces in pitcher of pure water and then pour into a spray bottle. I once had a terrible flea and gnat problem where I had to seek professional help because my pregnant grand-daughter was allergic to any insect bites. No more. We sprayed it on the dogs. We sprayed it on us, including our hair.

This solution totally cured my flea problem and eye gnat and mosquito problem for when I work outside. If I lived in Florida, I would use this several times a day to make sure I’m not a target for mosquitos. Periodically when insects are prevalent, I use it several times a day here in San Diego. Don’t forget to use it on your hair as well. This is totally homeopathic, simple, easy and besides all that, it makes both me and my two German shepherds dogs smell good.

Sunday, February 28, 2016

Jealousy is Repressed Fear


Hello Curtiss, Hope you keeping well,

I am getting Progress and more control over depression. My query is that how to relieve negative energy from our mind. sever negative jealousy shows in my face  when communication with people about their good things. It holds my feelings back without further communications. How this related with negative energy. OR is it connected with repressed fear. 

Always Thanks Curtiss for support.


Again let me congratulate you on your progress with English. And yes, you are right about jealousy being connected to repressed fear.

Being jealous of others is the same thing as being angry with others. We are only angry and jealous when we are seeing the world through our own fear. Jealousy is more about our own fear than anything else. When we deal with the world though a haze of fear it is not the same as seeing the world through the eyes of love. Usually we are full of a lot of repressed fear left over from childhood unless we start to make an effort to get rid of our old repressed fear. Read Chapter 10 in the book Depression is a Choice. I know you have the book. A famous psychiatrist once said “Love is Getting Rid of Fear.” For when you work through your fear, love is what you are left with.

Friday, February 26, 2016

Need Help with PTSD


Hi A.B. Curtis,

 I’ve read and love your books and wanted to say thank you for all the great information.  I was wondering what your take is on PTSD and how to deal with it or treat it.  I'm also thinking about seeing a therapist for help with a dysfunctional relationship I'm in, and with getting my life more organized, what type of therapy would you recommend and what types to avoid. Thank you


PTSD is a problem with brain chemistry in that one cannot get out of the fight or flight response and therefore suffers with chronic anxiety. Another good  book for chronic anxiety is by Dr. Claire Weekes called HOPE AND HELP FOR YOUR NERVES. 

As far as relationship problems. iF you are not dysfunctional yourself, you cannot be in a dysfunctional relationship. Once you get yourself functional you will be able to help others.

The problem today is that all the institutions that used to support functional relationships have disappeared. The functional unit of any society is the family. When that is downgraded, we are all adrift and don’t know where the heck we are or where we are going or why. It’s not just you, who are searching for some kind of sanity. This whole culture is. You are definitely not alone.

Read some books by Wayne Dyer, Deepak Chopra. Just keep looking for higher ground. I would also suggest meditation. Hope this helps some. If you have specific questions about specific interactions I can help with that. We have to start small and build on that. A. B. Curtiss

Tuesday, February 23, 2016



Hello! I live in Carlsbad, California and I have been writing picture books for the last couple of years, and so far have not been published. I make it my habit to read a children's book every night--mostly "random pulls" from the Children's library.

A couple of days ago I began reading Dragons Guard the Zoo. I am crazy for poetry--and I can't tell you how much I am enjoying your book! I wish you had been a family member of mine! What a wonderful gift you have given your children and grandchildren! I will intentionally look for your other books at the library now. (:


Thank you so much. It is letters like yours that make writing such a rewarding experience for me. A. B. Curtiss

Sunday, February 21, 2016

May I have your Permission


My eldest daughter and I met you in San Diago Zoo some years back when you signed a copy of in the company of bears to her from the author. I have since those many years passed been asked to read in the company of bears to second grade class.

I myself an published recording artist of Instrumental Music understand copyright covers any reproduction, Furthermore, I know to request of the author permission to read this book to a class of students as it is my copy not property I own. Finally, I will not be accepting compensation in any way.

Therefore, I humbly ask your permission Miss AB to read In The Company of Bears to my daughter's class, please?


Of course you have my permission to read In the Comany of Bears to your daughter's class with my blessings. A. B. Curtiss

Friday, February 19, 2016

How do you Do what Needs to be Done?

                     Human Motivation

How can you face the hard things in life?
First, call on the best that is in you.
And boldly make a start.
Shake off the easy cringe of fear
Step forth with a willing heart.
Resolve to accomplish what needs to be done
There is help for the one who will ask.
Call on your courage
Gather your tools
And present yourself to the task.
                                                                 A.B. Curtiss

Friday, February 12, 2016

Your Information Would be Helpful for my Friend


I have your book DEPRESSION IS A CHOICE and had some old printouts that are not clear from you older website that were exercises; 10 don't etc. I want to share them with a friend who was physically abused as a child and she is on lots of drugs and is the mother of two toddlers, who have some physical and emotional issues I believe may be related to all the drugs she has taken over the years.


You can still print out that information from my new website www.abcurtiss.com. Just click on DEPRESSION at the top and scroll down to depressionisachoice.com

Friday, February 5, 2016

I get Depressed from Eating Some Foods


Hi A.B. Whenever I ingest milk, eggs, or turkey, I develop very severe depression. After I stop these foods, it will take my body 72 hours to normalize my mood. You claim that thought leads to mood impairment. I agree with you if you're talking about reactive depression. However, how do you explain the depression I have, which is due to an inflammatory reaction? BTW, I do get other symptoms, such as going to the bathroom constantly, burping, etc., and sometimes extreme back pains.


All depression is caused by a chemical imbalance in the brain. The chemical imbalance can be caused by foods, hormones or by accidentally triggering the flight or fight response with fearful or accidental anxious thinking when there is no reason to be alarmed. With accidental thinking, stress chemicals not being dissipated in action (which would dissipate them) are very hard on the metabolic system causing the body energy to go way down. A. B. Curtiss

Friday, January 29, 2016

Do Other People Like You?

My webmaster gave me this great quote from Dale Carnegie. She was telling me how important it is in my website to show things to people that will interest them rather than trying to get them interested in what I'm doing.

Here's the quote: "I can do more business in two months by being interested in other people than I can in two years by trying to get  other people interested in me."

This is really quite profound when you think about it. Not just a useful idea to increase business. Remembering this quote and putting it to practical use can make a positive change in your whole life. There are few people to whom the whole world just naturally gravitates. The rest of us must make some kind of effort to connect with others.

When we are trying to get people interested in us it's usually out of some kind of anxiety that we want to be well thought of. We may even be uptight without even knowing it. Whereas when we put our energy into being interested in other people we can relax a little. We are connecting with them not by trying to look good ourselves, but wanting to find out something about them. Showing them not that we should be important to them but that they are already important to us.

And in our listening to the stories of others we learn about them. They become more human to us. We find we like them better than when we didn't know anything about them. We find common ground. They become a fellow traveler on our path of life. And when we like them better, guess what happens? Then they like us better. It's quite magical.

So, let's not forget, in our haste to tell our own story, that listening to someone else can be far more rewarding than listening to ourselves. For both of us. 

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Connecting With Others in Positive Way

Dear Ms,Curtiss, 

I have some thing really hurts the feeling well. I have a work mate which i have competitions for long time in politics. Trying to love to avoid hate feeling which show in face expressions in front of him to be faded.

Pls accept sharing feelings with you. I really need to shake my heart to have a clear love one.

Thanks Curtiss 


Rudolf Steiner said that for us to reach higher levels of being in our own lives we should begin by a path of veneration. Instead of criticizing the person in front of us, enter lovingly into his merits as a human being and child of the universe as are we ourselves.

It is not so hard if you truly make the decision to venerate all life as sacred. Even the most brutal of men still have, within them, the possibility of redemption. A. B. Curtiss

Dear Curtiss, 

These days I tried to connect my soul with my partners soul. It seems very annoying practice to both partners soul and I want to get rid of this negative practice. 

Sometimes bad impression can come when I meet people from first time due to this practice. Deep communications between souls make me tired when there is negative thinking and negative energy which might be delivered easily to the next partners and they would start to hate this type of feelings and soul communications. Maybe fear from this practice is there too which affect cheerfulness.

Ms Curtiss, Pls can you advise on this types of communications. Loving and respect can help to change this but fear might be still there.

I really wants to stop this type of practice. 



I’m not sure what you mean by trying to connect with your partner’s soul. By your partner do you mean your wife? I thought I remembered that you were married and had a son? Is that right? The way to connect with anyone is to have a feeling of reverence for that person’s merits so that you are in a state of veneration for that person. Veneration is holding someone in highest regard. 

Dear Curtiss,

I meant all people around including my wife are feeling my negative energy and keeps me worried. Maybe it is fear 

Yes, I have son 9 years old and daughter 5 years . They are doing great and thanks Curtiss to ask about family 

My wife told me a story about one lady works with her and suffer from depression, this lady has full negativity and no love. Employees do not like to communicate with her because of this. 

Worried came to me due to this story which affect mine too, started thinking how souls communicate and how they get in touch from first impression. My wife felt this might affect myself due to that story.

But will accept this fear and will continue cheerful life 
hanks Curtiss for understanding and supporting 



While you are in their presence, think of them instead of thinking about yourself and how well you are connecting with them. Just focus you interest on the merits of that person don’t think about your own merits or faults. Self-focusing is a connection breaker. If your fear intrudes upon your attempt to connect simply notice it and allow the fear to flow. It is all right to be afraid. Try to relax into your own fear and instead of focusing on it, focus instead on the merits of the other person. A. B. Curtiss

Dear Curtiss, 

Thanks Curtiss for all the support you made to us which create big life changing towards positiveness and understanding how we treat our soul to help it to get out from deep depression .

Friday, January 1, 2016

Medication Didn't Help Me


The reason I'm emailing you is that I came across your website; I am a living example of what you're teaching there. It is, by far, the most accurate description of depression I've seen. I want nothing more than to show your website to others that are suffering with depression.

To give you background, I was a successful entrepreneur living in New York City. About a year ago I changed jobs, started a new chapter in my life, and have been dealing with very difficult depression ever since. I saw multiple therapists, psychiatrists, and was prescribed multiple anti-depressants. None of it helped.

It wasn't until I reach a very low period in my depression that I decided to be a different person. I had enough. Within hours I was depression free, and have been ever since. It was a mindset change, but it took a deep serious belief in that change to lift me out of it. It was euphoric, like nothing I've ever experienced. The process allowed me to learn a lot about myself, my mind, and how to avoid / beat depression going forward.

I hope what you're teaching gains popularity and helps others. Because medication made the process harder; it made me feel slightly better, and reinforced the thought that something was wrong with me.

Thank you for taking the time to create that website and please let me know if there is any way I can help.


When you say you decided to be a different person, could you be more specific? What is the difference between the person you were and the person you decided to become. I'm sure this description would be helpful to many people who read my blog. What, in particular, did you change in your mindset?


Sure, I confidently say the biggest change I made was how I perceived myself, and how I wanted the world to perceive me.

Before, I perceived myself as broken, sick, having a "disorder", confused, scared, needy, lazy, irresponsible, etc. It was a vicious cycle, because these thoughts led to behaviors that reinforced these perceptions. For example, I spent hours researching and ruminating about my condition, to the point where it affected the quality of my life and relationships. This made me feel worse and highlighted that something was seriously wrong with me. Now friends and family were joining in on the behavior, telling me to see a therapist, a doctor, that I had a chemical imbalance, etc. During this time I had extreme insomnia, which also created a slew of physical and mental symptoms. As a result, I was consistently late to work and other engagements. I had little energy. So not only were my friends and family noticing something, but also my colleagues at work. My professional reputation took a hit. Which again reinforced my negative perception and around we went.

Things turned around when I started studying and understanding how the brain works. I finally had hope that I could correct these problems without medication, backed by real understandable science. There was an explanation beyond a "chemical imbalance". That immediately lifted the "I'm broken" mindset and paved the way to a better more positive one. Without that understanding, I'd still be stuck in that cycle. Then I started reading a book called Resilience, which is about turning hardship into something positive. That was the nudge I needed. And, for lack of a better explanation, it was like a switch flipped in my head. I decided I was better than this and that I was going to be the person I wanted to be. Fuck the past, I'm going to be the person I want to be today. Instantly I felt better. I decided on the following changes in my life:

1. Wake up at 7am every day. Sleeping in reinforced those negative perceptions.
2. Train for an Iron Man and pick a charity to do it for. I used to love exercise, nutrition, and being healthy. This past year I very rarely contributed to any of those things. This was also send a strong signal to others in my life that I'm not the negative traits I listed.
3. Start a personal project that I have long been wanting to do involving software engineering.

From that moment forward I felt like I had a goal, a challenge, and an immediate purpose in life. I had an actionable solution. I've been sleeping great, I get up at 7 like I wanted, I've been enjoying the gym, exercise, nutrition. Everything that used to be enjoyable in life has all come back, and it's reinforcing my positive mindset.

I hope that wasn't too long. I know that you're a person that touches a lot of people in my previous position, and I have a small hope that this email will somehow help others you're working with. It's something that is weighing on my mind. I feel this obligation to share what I learned and help others stuck in depression. Not only can I confidently say I beat depression, but I feel stronger and more stable than before. I understand what depression is, how to beat it, and how to avoid it. In fact, it goes both ways. I can use what I learned to create an even more positive mindset; one that I could have never achieved before. As a result, I feel a level of happiness and confidence I have never felt.