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  #76  
Old 10-27-2012, 01:12 PM
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I'm not a spiritual person, but I do consider my writing a form of self-expression and connection with a larger community. If I only focus on school/commissioned writing, I find I more easily sink into depression. If I take even 10 minutes a day to write about what I want to write about, it's very energizing and lifting. So there's a parallel there.
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Old 10-28-2012, 12:56 PM
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Good luck to those on the east coast.
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  #78  
Old 10-28-2012, 06:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Noghri Sloth View Post
So how important is spirituality to everyone?
I'm a Christian, and was really pleased to find that the psychologist I ended up with was also a Christian. The pairing actaully felt like an answer to prayer for both of us. I share prayer points about my week in a weekly bible study group, and am also doing Movember to raise awareness for (in part) depression at my church. So yeah, it's pretty important here.

I don't think I would have ever made it to a psychologist, let alone get through the last ten sessions (or being prepared for another round), if God hadn't been part of my life.
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  #79  
Old 11-01-2012, 11:23 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Noghri
So how important is spirituality to everyone? I don't just mean meditation, but an active spiritual life or connection with nature? I find that if I have been negligent in maintaining that part of my life my Depression is more likely to increase, but if I am active in that aspect of myself the Depression lessens. Any similar experiences?
Taken in its most broad interpretation (to the point of being nearly undefinable and approximately meaningless), spirituality can help me-- but only because, at that level, it becomes to me a sense of intense altruism. As soon as specifics of a given religion or a particular supernatural belief is attached to this kind of spirituality, it crumbles for me. This is not because of an inherent characteristic of religion, but because of the Pavlovian ties to religion and a number of social and scientific issues. Because of these, most forms of "spirituality" wind up increasing my depression.

So, put shortly, spirituality for the most part does not help my depression. In its place, I insert good will (through distinct action) toward fellow sentient beings. This is what helps my depression most. But I am very glad that others find comfort and fulfillment through religion and other types of spirituality (when certain conditions are met, which I won't get further into for fear of breaking site rules).

Last edited by Unko Talok; 11-01-2012 at 11:31 AM.
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  #80  
Old 11-01-2012, 04:51 PM
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Fascinating, Sinner, tell me are you familiar with Eric Erickson's work and how he defined spirituality?


On a side note, I am finding that being proactive seems to help. I've been struggling lately so I set a refresher appointment at the counseling center up, it was much easier to go there than last time and I felt better about myself as a result.
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  #81  
Old 11-01-2012, 07:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Noghri
Fascinating, Sinner, tell me are you familiar with Eric Erickson's work and how he defined spirituality?
I can't say that I have-- but the name rings a bell. I feel like I should know them. I may wind up looking into them later.

Next [school] year, when I'm not in as many classes. =/
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  #82  
Old 11-07-2012, 01:13 AM
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Originally Posted by M_Sinner View Post
I can't say that I have-- but the name rings a bell. I feel like I should know them. I may wind up looking into them later.

Next [school] year, when I'm not in as many classes. =/
Ahh, this may be my fault. I appear to have confused Erik Erikson with Victor Frankl. In any case I shall elaborate, on Frankl's work.

He was a psychologist/analyst and he was one of the first to have the idea that we are made up of three components, and that each need to be treated separately. The mind, the body, and the spiritual. But how he defined the spiritual was the kicker, he said it was a "will to meaning". That we need a meaning, that it is essential to our overall health.

He wrote that there are three ways people can give themselves meaning. The first is through achievement i.e. monetary gain, promotions, possessions, awards, titles etc. The second is through experience i.e. getting married, climbing Mt. Everest, doing drugs, reading a book etc. The third was attitude and our attitude is what we could always control even when we couldn't control whether we achieved or experienced.

He wrote the basis of these theories years before WWII started. He was so respected that he was offered a chance, along with his immediate family, to leave before the Nazi occupation started. It would have meant leaving behind his mother, father, brothers, sisters, aunts, uncles, and cousins. He decided at the last moment to stay.

He and his family were Jewish.

First he, his wife, and his parents were taken to a Jewish ghetto where he served as a clinician, setting up a suicide watch and helping in psychiatry. But in 1944 they were all taken to the Auschwitz concentration camp, where he was separated from them. Everyone except Frankl died, including (although he didn't know the child existed) his unborn baby. When he came out he said that his theories had saved his life, that he had found something that he could use to continue to have meaning and that by having meaning he had the will to survive where others, bigger, stronger, tougher men did not.

He fought to save his book, to write about his experiences, that's what kept him going. We now have a subset of psychotherapy called logotherapy that is based off of his work and experiences. Years later when he was teaching a class one of his students asked him what his meaning in life was. Frankl wrote it down, and holding the strip of paper folded in his hands, he asked the class what they thought it was.

After an hour of guessing he finally showed it to them, it said, "My meaning in life is to help other people find their meanings."

I do not know if I could take the importance of a divine presence out of my spirituality, but I know that the way Frankl defined spirituality it wasn't there. And his way did help him to get through hell and come back out alive.

I hope you feel better soon Sinner, i'm pullin' for ya.
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  #83  
Old 11-14-2012, 01:40 AM
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I had to miss my last therapy appointment due to unexpectedly going to World Fantasy. I'm looking forward to seeing my counselor again tomorrow. My anxiety journal is pretty full.

I went to World Fantasy with a girl I sort of knew but got to know much better over the weekend. She's super cool and I think we became good friends. Saturday night we were listening to Charles de Lint playing folk music in the hotel lobby (utter coolness) and having a great time. Other people joined him to play/sing along. We'd been there about 40 mins or so when one of the women performing started singing "Oh Where Oh Where Can My Baby Be." I started crying and said I had to go. My friend followed me back to our room--I managed to hold it mostly together till then--and then I burst into hysterical tears and told her about Greg and Bee. I felt so humiliated and awkward but she was really nice about it. So it goes.
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Last edited by Medesha; 11-14-2012 at 01:40 AM.
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  #84  
Old 11-14-2012, 06:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Medesha View Post
I had to miss my last therapy appointment due to unexpectedly going to World Fantasy. I'm looking forward to seeing my counselor again tomorrow. My anxiety journal is pretty full.

I went to World Fantasy with a girl I sort of knew but got to know much better over the weekend. She's super cool and I think we became good friends. Saturday night we were listening to Charles de Lint playing folk music in the hotel lobby (utter coolness) and having a great time. Other people joined him to play/sing along. We'd been there about 40 mins or so when one of the women performing started singing "Oh Where Oh Where Can My Baby Be." I started crying and said I had to go. My friend followed me back to our room--I managed to hold it mostly together till then--and then I burst into hysterical tears and told her about Greg and Bee. I felt so humiliated and awkward but she was really nice about it. So it goes.
At first, I totally misidentified that song as "I want my baby back."

(Not the Chili's theme, though that's a pretty funny image. I might suggest it for eating and crying.)

It's funny the things that'll get you. A couple years ago I was reading a comic and in the middle was a little piece that was a heartfelt confession from Captain America to the long dead original Bucky, and I wept like a baby.

Normally, that'd make me laugh. Struck some chords about loss and the passage of time that recent events had made super raw, though.
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  #85  
Old 11-15-2012, 02:40 AM
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You know how people type "lol" but they are really just saying "that was humorous"? I literally lol'd at the image of me crying to a Chili's commercial. I think I'll try to remember that image next time I'm sad and want to cheer myself up. The strangest things do touch off deep emotions.
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  #86  
Old 11-17-2012, 09:48 AM
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I'm a very spiritual person. In fact, I'm a member of the Rosicrucian Order, a school of hermeticism and mysticism (not a religion). Gath should find that interesting, considering that their group in my Call of Cthulhu game has had numerous run-ins with a group known as the Hermetic Order of the Silver Twilight. Anyways, I have found that deep, profound meditation has been helping my occassional bouts with depression. I also intend on using an isolation tank at some point if only I could find one in my area.
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Last edited by Stormhammer; 11-17-2012 at 10:01 AM.
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  #87  
Old 11-21-2012, 05:08 PM
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Originally Posted by Stormhammer View Post
I'm a very spiritual person. In fact, I'm a member of the Rosicrucian Order, a school of hermeticism and mysticism (not a religion). Gath should find that interesting, considering that their group in my Call of Cthulhu game has had numerous run-ins with a group known as the Hermetic Order of the Silver Twilight. Anyways, I have found that deep, profound meditation has been helping my occassional bouts with depression. I also intend on using an isolation tank at some point if only I could find one in my area.
Wait, there is such a thing as public isolation tanks? That would be amazing.

I know what you mean about spirituality and religion not necessarily being the same thing. I run into the same definition problems when I tell people that spirituality is a huge part of me life and then they ask me what church I go to. Meditation, nature, and reading are all huge parts of my spirituality. If my emotions are a fish tank, then spiritual practices are the chemicals that even out the ph levels.

I am exceptionally tired so if that metaphor doesn't make sense don't worry, its not just you.
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  #88  
Old 11-22-2012, 01:13 PM
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No, your metaphor makes perfect sense. A lot of spas in bigger cities have isolation tanks that people can rent by the hour. Prices vary. Here's a very fascinating video about them.
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Last edited by Stormhammer; 11-22-2012 at 01:21 PM.
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  #89  
Old 12-14-2012, 01:06 PM
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How's everyone doing? I had a really blue week, studying for finals and trying to organize Christmas activities for Bee. We had a decorating party at her house and that was really nice. Now finals are over and I'm sort of up-and-down but doing ok overall.

Finding out that I'm not graduating in May is a huge pisser though. I had talked to my therapist about my perception that I have to take on the most responsibility because I'm the only one who can be "trusted" to "do it right." I have a hard time delegating or letting other people take on more responsibility than I have. Well I trusted my advisers to give me good advice and help create my grad plan and they muffed it up, and now here I am. Not good for my world outlook.

We talked about "cognitive distortions" this week too, and my therapist gave me a list of thought patterns to see if any looked familiar. Some I didn't even realize were "distortions," I just thought they were normal. My therapist says everyone has thoughts that fall under these definitions at some point, it's when they're pervasive and excessive it becomes a problem. My common ones were mind reading ("Bee's mad at me, I can just tell"), discounting positives ("I know I've published fiction, but it doesn't really count cause it was Pathfinder stuff"), shoulds ("I should be thinner/happier/smarter"), what ifs ("but what if my advisers give me bad info and then in my fourth year I find out I can't graduate oh wait"), and regret orientation ("if only I hadn't dropped that class in second year I could be graduating after all.") I'm supposed to keep up my anxiety journal but try to label individual instances with specific cognitive distortions.

Here are some others.
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  #90  
Old 12-16-2012, 07:01 PM
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I remember my old therapist showing me those too, it's odd seeing them as you suddenly start to see the thought patterns in your head. It was kind of scary for me because I was all like "Okay, now I have to not use these. Oh God, what if I can't do it?" and then I would get on myself because I would realize I was doing it again and then I would get on myself for getting on myself because I was doing it again. And so on and so forth.

It took me awhile to start learning to just let it go. I can't be in control. :/
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