News for August 2011

Accept and Appreciate Yourself for Who You Are

An important part of attaining and maintaining our mental health is accepting yourself for who you are. All of who you are. We all have parts of us that we would like to change. Some of things we can, some of things we cannot.

Each of us is unique and beautiful. We all have our strengths and weaknesses. Do not get hung up on the things you cannot do as well as your neighbor. Just because you cannot do, something as well as they can does not take away from your own accomplishments and abilities. There are things that you can do better than your neighbor is.

When you start learning to accept yourself, you can start to appreciate yourself. You will start to see the wonderful person everyone else sees.

I know how hard it is to appreciate you at times. I have struggled with my self-image for the better part of two decades. Remember, appreciating and accepting yourself is something you can accomplish. I know because I have done it myself. It took a while, it took looking within me and it took the reassurance of friends, family coworkers and my therapist to get there, but I did get there.

If I got there, you can too. Accept the beautiful person you are.

Always,
J

Edited: August 29th, 2011

Books on BPD, Therapy Types, Mindfulness and Spirituality

Bankart, C. Peter. Freeing
the Angry Mind: How Men can Use Mindfulness and Reason to Save their Lives and Relationships. New Harbinger Publications Inc, 2006. Print.

Beck, Aaron T. Cognitive Therapy and the Emotional Disorders. Meridian, 1979. Print.

Brantley, Jeffrey. Calming Your Anxious Mind: How Mindfulness and Compassion Can Free You from Anxiety, Fear, and Panic. New Harbinger Publications Inc, 2006. Print.

Bockian, Neil R., Valerie Porr, and Nora Elizabeth Villagran. New Hope for People with Borderline Personality Disorder: Your Friendly, Authoritative Guide to the Latest in Traditional and Complementary Solutions. Three Rivers Press, 2002. Print.

Burns, David D. Feeling Good: The New Mood Therapy. Harper, 1999. Print.

Dimeff, Linda A., Kelly Koerner. ED. Dialectical Behavior Therapy in Clinical Practice: Applications across Disorders and Settings. The Guilford Press, 2007. Print.

Freeman, Arthur, Mark H. Stone, and Donna Martin.Comparative Treatments of Borderline Personality Disorders: A Practitioner’s Guide to Comparative Treatments. Springer Pub Co, 2007. Print.

Fontana, David. Learn to Meditate: A Practical Guide to Self-Discovery and Fulfillment. Chronicle Books Llc, 1999. Print.

Friedel, Robert O. Borderline Personality Disorder Demystified: An Essential Guide for Understanding and Living with BPD. Marlowe & Company, 2004. Print.

Gentry, William Doyle. Anger-Free: Ten Basic Steps to Managing Your Anger. Harper Paperbacks, 2000. Print.

Germer, Christopher K., Ronald D. Sigel, and Paul R. Fulton, ed. Mindfulness and Psychotherapy. The Guilford Press, 2005. Print.

Goleman, Daniel. Destructive Emotions: A Scientific Dialogue with the Dalai Lama. Bantam, 2004. Print.

Hanh Nhat, Thich. True Love: A Practice for Awakening the Heart. Shambhala Publications, 2006. Print.

Hicks, Esther, and Jerry Hicks. The Astonishing Power of Emotions: Let Your Feelings be Your Guide. Hay House Inc, 2007. Print.

*Hunter, Brent N. The Rainbow Bridge: Universal Book of Living, Dying and Dreaming. 2003. Print.

*Jay, Jerold, and Hal Straus. I Hate You–Don’t Leave Me: Understanding the Borderline Personality. Avon Books, 1991. Print.

Judd, Patricia Hoffman, and Thomas H. McGlashan. A Developmental Model of Borderline Personality Disorder: Understanding Variations in Course and Outcome. American Psychiatric Publishing, Inc., 2003. Print.

Kurtz, Ernest, and Katherine Ketcham. The Spirituality of Imperfection: Storytelling and the Journey to Wholeness. Bantam, 1993. Print.

Levenkron, Steven. Cutting: Understanding and Overcoming Self-Mutilation. W. W. Norton & Company, 1999. Print.

Linehan, Marsha M. Cognitive-Behavioral Treatment of Borderline Personality Disorder. The Guilford Press, 1993. Print.

—. Skills Training Manual for Treating Borderline Personality Disorder. The Guilford Press, 1993. Print.

Mason, Paul T., and Randi Kreger. Stop Walking on Eggshells: Taking Your Life Back When Someone You Care about has Borderline Personality Disorder. New Harbinger Pubns Inc, 1998. Print.

*Moskovitz, Richard. Lost in the Mirror: An Inside Look at Borderline Personality Disorder. Taylor Pub, 2001. Print.

Paris, Joel. Treatment of Borderline Personality Disorder: A Guide to Evidence-Based Practice. The Guilford Press, 2008. Print.

Preston, John D. Integrative Treatment for Borderline Personality Disorder: Effective, Symptom-focused Techniques, Simplified for Private Practice. New Harbinger Pubns Inc, 2006. Print.

Ratey, John J. A
User’s Guide to the Brain: Perception, Attention, and the Four Theaters of the Brain. Vintage, 2002. Print.

*Reiland, Rachel. Get Me Out of Here: My Recovery from Borderline Personality Disorder. Hazelden Publishing & Educational Services, 2004. Print.

Roth, Kimberlee, Fred B. Friedman. Surviving a Borderline Parent: How to Heal Your Childhood Wounds & Build Trust, Boundaries, and Self-Esteem. New Harbinger Pubns Inc, 2003. Print.

Sekida, Katsuki. Zen Training: Methods and Philosophy. Shambhala Pubns, 2005. Print.

*Teasdale, Wayne. The Mystic Heart: Discovering a Universal Spirituality in the World’s Religions. 2001. Print.

Tenzin Gyatso, the 14th Dalai Lama. The Art of Happiness: A Handbook for Living. Penguin Putnam, 1998. Print.

*—. The Compassionate Life. Wisdom Publications, 2001. Print.

*—. The Dalai Lama’s Little Book of Inner Peace. 2002. Print.

*—. The Dalai Lama’s Little Book of Wisdom. 2002. Print.

*—. The Good Heart: A Buddhist Perspective on the Teachings of Jesus. Wisdom Publications, 1998. Print.

*—. An Open Heart: Practicing Compassion in Everyday Life. Little, Brown and Company, 2001. Print.

—. Stages of Meditation. Snow Lion Publications, 2003. Print.

Tenzin Gyatso, the 14th Dalai Lama, and Victor Chan. The Wisdom of Forgiveness: Intimate Conversations and Journeys. Riverhead Books, 2005. Print.

Williams, Mark, et al. The Mindful Way through Depression: Freeing Yourself from Chronic Unhappiness. The Guilford Press, 2007. Print.

Young, Jeffrey E., Janet S. Klosko, and Marjorie E. Weishaar. Schema Therapy: A Practitioner’s Guide. The Guilford Press, 2006. Print.

 

* Recommended Reading

Edited: August 28th, 2011

My Struggles (Part 2 – Anger)

Along with my problems with depression, I have severe problems with maintaining appropriate levels of anger. My anger gets so out out control at times that calling it ‘anger’ does not reflect the true intensity of it. At those times, it is more accurate to refer to it as a white-hot rage.

It is at these times that I become self-destructive. I turn my anger inward, I yell and scream, and I throw things. At these times, I have enough self-control not to attack anyone.

It scares those around me. It especially scares and hurts those that love me. They want to help, but they have no idea how to help me. They can’t figure out how to reach me at these times.

The problem is that there is no one right way, no one thing that always works. What worked the last time might add fuel to fire or send me into a deep depression that tears my heart apart. I tell people that one of the best things to do is to let me just burn out.

I also tell people never tell me to calm down or that
I need to calm down. These two phrases are almost guaranteed to intensify my reaction greatly.

During these times I normally know, at least 90% of the time, that my reaction is disproportionate and unacceptable but I can’t seem to reign it in at the moment.

I feel like a monster after these episodes.

Edited: August 14th, 2011

My Struggles (Part 1 – Depression)

Previously I have written about the importance of emotions and maintaining control of them. This time this is a more personal take on emotions. Over the last two plus decades, the one symptom that has caused and still does cause me the most trouble is regulating my emotions. I personally have very intense emotions; the problem is that when they get out of control, they push me into a very deep depression or intense rage. I know that for some of you this may sound all too familiar.

It frustrates me when I start to feel a certain way that I know is not true, for example, when I start to feel like a failure. Intellectually I know that I am far from a failure, that yes, there are things that I have failed at and will fail at; however, those failures do not define me, they do not make me a failure, they just mean there are things I cannot do successfully, but then again what human being can do everything successfully? None, everyone has things they cannot successfully accomplish.

That frustration leads to even deep depression and frustration since I know that what I am feeling is not the truth. I accept and acknowledge that my feelings are legitimate in the sense that they are how I am feeling, but I understand that they do not accurately reflect the truth. Understanding the difference at times makes it worse for me though. Since I know the truth, it makes me feel like an even bigger failure because I cannot control them. I just spiral down from there.

At other times, my problem stems from not being able to see that my feelings do not accurately reflect the truth. At these times, my emotions become so powerful, that they overpower logic and truth. I convince myself that my feelings are reality. When I start to perceive my feelings as reality, it drives me toward a long and deep depression.

When you have powerful and intense emotions, it is easy for them to alter your view of reality and cause you to see a much-distorted version of reality. Controlling your emotions can be an uphill battle at times. It may even seem like an unwinnable battle, but you can win it.

While I still struggle with them, there was a point a few years back where I had gained control over them. I believe I would still have that control if it were not for a near fatal auto accident my wife and I had in 2009. That even knocked me backwards in my recovery and I am still fighting to get back to where I was at before the accident. The good news is that I know I will do it. It may be hard, but if I got there once, I can do it again.

If I can do it, you can do it. Do not give you can do it. Believe in yourself and your ability to overcome your challenges, even this one.

Always,

-J

Edited: August 7th, 2011

Law of Attraction and Mental Health

The law of attraction is important when recovering from any mental illness. In its simplest terms, the law of attraction states that we attract things to ourselves based on our thoughts.

For example, if we are thinking ‘I don’t want to be depressed’, the universe will since we are thinking about depression that that means we want MORE depression. Instead, we need to think about how we want to feel, if we think ‘I want to be happy,’ then we will attract happiness to ourselves.

Even if you do not put any stock into the concept of the law of attraction, changing the way you look at things to look for what you do want still works. Even when we do not realize it, we often create ‘self-fulfilling prophecies.’ This means we convince ourselves that ‘something’ is going to happen or we are going to feel a certain way. We then start to subconsciously act in ways that bring about what we have convinced ourselves would happen. This in turn serves to prove to ourselves that we were right all along.

The best thing then is to try to be mindful of our thoughts and when we realize we are thinking negatively, make ourselves think in a positive way. We will then bring about more positive thing in our lives.

Always

-J

Edited: August 6th, 2011

My Apologies

I want to take a moment to offer my apologies to anyone who follows this blog. As you may have noticed, it has been a while since my last published article.

Since the time my last article was posted I have been struggling with life. I have had some severe episodes as well as having trouble staying focused on any given task.

During this time I have started, but never finished four seperate articles on, transference,.understanding, mental illnesses and the young and stigma. Over the next few days I plan to complete and publish these articles.

Thank you.

Edited: August 1st, 2011

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