Tag Archives: writing

Depression and learning disabilities: Will you ever read anything like it?

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Andrew Solomon

“Stories are the foundation of identity. We forge meaning and build identity.”

Andrew Solomon

I am moving my eyes back and forth as I chase the words of enlightenment in Solomon`s book. Sometimes I glance up, look out the window and stare at moving cars or people. I let my feelings, awakened from a line beautifully crafted, circulate inside. I let the meaning of it touch me, and let the aftershock of new insights and hope explode. I want to inspire. I want to live.

The power of books, and the people writing them, can never be unappreciated. Instead of learning every lesson ourselves, we can let other words touch us by reading and listening to other`s experiences. The last week, I have either let my eyes rest on «The Noonday demon» or listened to “Far From the Tree “. Andrew`s two books feed you with experiences and knowledge from the first to the last page. The first digs deep into Andrew`s personal depressive demons, the other explores learning disabilities and challenging diagnoses like autism, schizophrenia and down`s syndrome.portable

Both books have a plethora of examples fitting the themes like a glove. They both blow life into theory, by letting us feel the people`s pain so we can also feel it. As psychological theories shows, you learn more when emotional. Another thing I like, is that my eyes never bumped into walls of bad writing, you simply float from page to page, only irritated by lack of time to devour everything at the same time (I have wished many times that I`d taken more time to learn to read faster, like I tried for a while).  

In addition to relevant stories from people with different types of problems, he writes about the newest research and even test many of the methods himself. He is not afraid of testing even alternative approaches that hasn`t been researched much. This is done in a balanced way since he manages natural skepticism blended with openness for new experiences at the same time (he liked EMDR).

I`m not sure how much time he`s used on the books, but I do know he`s been travelling all around the world (Bali, Africa, Europe and of course many states in USA) and investigated both medical and theoretical theories by reading and talking with professionals with diverse thoughts. He even tried to talk with America politicians (who sadly had their hand tied). It is clear he has taken the time necessary to write the book, even if he had to stop writing when Mr. depression knocked on the door.

Product Details

Far From The Tree: Parents, Children and the Search for Identity by Solomon, Andrew (Feb 7, 2013)

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Another positive feature of the book, is the compassion towards people with a variety of conditions most of us would automatically turn our backs too. He is honest while describing his thoughts and experiences, and doesn`t try to walk on the water with the work he`s done. He has a down to earth attitude, also when it comes to the description of own shortcomings. He writes he can feel self-absorbed at times, and tries to look own motives in the eye if they walk next to him. Acceptance is mixed with curiosity, and the end-product is two of the best books I`ve read this year. He talks about the magnificent courage of the interviewees, but seldom points to his own. If he mentions it, he talks about how he should have written more.

I must not forget to mention how much knowledge he has managed to fit in between the stories of people who fight every day. He is capable of doing this in a very readable way. The emotions awakened after stories, make it easier to remember the facts.

He presents a cocktail of different treatment options, and is not judgmental if others chooses something different than himself. Once in the book he states that people can use the strategy they want, as long as it helps. This shows more than anything, that he writes (among other reasons) to help others who suffer.

Far From the Tree: Parents, Children and the Search for Identity  Sounds like a really interesting read, heard him interviewed on the CBC.

What touches me the most is his own insight about why he writes; Because it gives hope. He chose the stories of people who impressed him, which doesn`t mean that you won`t see the dark sides of depression or learning disabilities, because you will. It just means that he again uses his ability to balance different views with grace and style. In my opinion, if others find it too positive, this is one of the books qualities. We learn better if we realize that we can do something about it. That`s why they have anti-smoking advice on the cigarette packages. You can`t jump into the water if you don`t know how to swim. I could have written much more, but I`d rather just recommend it, and hope that people with interest in psychology and especially in depression or learning disabilities, will run to the next shop (or amazon internet store) and start their own trip to wonderland. 

Let Creativity Flow

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Creativity

Creativity

It has been a while and I apologize for the length of time since my last post. And honestly, as much as I am sorry for those who come by and read what I have to say, I also have to acknowledge how much I personally have missed the time I just sit here and write from the heart, not necessarily having a final destination in mind, just letting the words write themselves.

This is a topic I’ve touched upon and for those of you who write or express yourself creatively through any medium such as art or music, you know exactly what I’m talking about. Also, for those of you who have any background in mental health, you also know what I’m talking about. To me, this occurrence actually bridges both and joins them into a total package. What I mean is that when a person writes free-style this way, it is as if they are having a conversation with a part of themselves that needed to be heard, but that may never have said anything had it not been given the opportunity in this way.

It is rather funny, but if people who are involved in other walks of life – other than writers or psychologists and therapists may consider whether or not I require some type of treatment myself. The wording sounds almost out-of-body in nature and there are a lot of people who may view that as ‘way out there,’ and rightfully so. But to those of us who have experienced it, there is nothing unusual about it. It is something I have grown used to calling a ‘free-style frame of mind’ and it is absolutely an altered state of mind from that in which we live and process information most of the time.

Mihaly

Mihaly

It most likely won’t surprise you to learn that once again, research lends a huge helping hand. Psychologist Mihaly Csikszentmahalyi, Distinguished Professor of Psychology and Management and Founding Co-Director, at Quality of Life Research Center. has studied this state — which he calls creative flow — and determined a high correlation to outstanding creativity.

I feel validated! There is a lot of technical information involved, but basically, a specific type of brain wave is involved in the type of activity the brain goes through, in order to perform creatively.

So, let those Theta Waves fly, my friends and let the creativity begin!

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Judy is a licensed clinical social worker and has worked extensively as a counselor with children, adolescents, couples and families. Judy’s professional experience in the mental health field along with her love of writing, provide insight into real-life experiences and relationships. Her fresh voice and down-to-earth approach to living a happier, more meaningful life are easy to understand and just as easy to start implementing right away for positive results!

Time to Write – Nature, Psychology, and Writing…

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On writing outdoors…It brings not only a meditative release, but a sense of connection with nature and growth. Article worth the read…

http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/09/16/time-to-write-go-outside/?emc=edit_tnt_20130923&tntemail0=y&_r=0

Presenting: Our new guest blogger, Juni D.

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Thank you, June:D

Thank you, June:D

It is now two months since I started this blog, and since then, the blog has published information about diverse topics related to psychology. I have connected with really wonderful people, and some of them have wanted to contribute with their views on psychology. I am very happy to introduce our newest guest blogger: Juni D. I was so happy when I found her blog, since it was full of well-written post (on a beautiful page) about herself and how she used the metacognitive perspective to live a happy life. Metacognition is basically how we think about our thinking, and a really helpful perspective when talking about mental health. Juni is so alive, which is obvious in her writing. I am really happy to have her with us, and am sure you will, too.

About

My name is Juni Desireé Hoel.

I’m 27 and live in Melbourne, Australia.

I am a writer, an artist, a scientist, a philosopher, a ballerina and a dog lover.

JuniI am an observant deep thinker preferring to listen, and usually keep my thoughts to myself. People tend to wait with anticipation when they know I’m about to speak because they know they’re going to get something deep, wise, thoughtful or insightful. I may not be witty, opinionated or eloquent, but people make a point of listening to me because they know my words have meaning.

As much as I rarely speak my thoughts, I write them. I fill page after page with my over-active thought life. Like many introverts, I do better with writing than I do with speaking, but my writing stays as hidden as my thoughts.

My main goal with this blog is to diligently follow thoughts wherever they lead, while summoning the courage to share them, and encouraging others to do the same.

I’m always hoping to meet people who can have a deep conversation and can make me see a new perspective. I enjoy connecting with people who are equally challenged by me as I am by them, people who equally learn from me as I learn from them, and people who are equally interested in what I have to say as I am in what they have to say.

Let our minds be open and let our words have substance.

Still curious? Check out these posts:

The story behind my name
8 questions I get about being adopted

 

Her letter to her father

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We know

We know that some parents have enough with their own problems. We know they might even try to change. Some of them manage to do it, some of them don`t. We know love can hurt, and that love can heal, but we don`t always feel the pain of it. I want to share this post from c. The content speak for itself, but I ask the readers to set aside some minutes for this. I have cried for this woman, who dared to do what she feared, and I will continue to cry for others who have lost what they wanted the most. Maybe tears can heal, too.

 

THE [OPEN] LETTER TO MY FATHER THAT HE WILL NEVER READ

Dad,

Yesterday, I decided to find you.

I tried, I tried so very hard, to not need anything from you. I tried to convince myself that I could move on without you; that I could carry on with my life somehow, without ever getting an apology. I gave it my all, I swear I did. I sweat and bled and broke, trying to be strong enough to do this without you. I told everyone around me that I was over what you had done to me, that I was over needing anything from you. I told everyone around me; I spouted it and bragged about it, hoping that it would sink into my pores and into my heart and into my soul and into that little girl that desperately needed her daddy’s love.

I tried, Dad. I tried … but I couldn’t do it.

I couldn’t do it, because the truth is that I needed you. I longed and ached for you. I didn’t need an apology, I didn’t want an apology. What I wanted, more than anything in this world, was a hug. I lived for that moment where I would find you, and you would wrap your hands around my little body and hold me tight and tell me, “Erica, I love you.” Yes, I lived for that moment … and despite all of the bad, bad things that I have experienced in my life, and despite how harshly I have been beaten down and despite how I had lost hope for everything else, I still believed in you. I believed in you, Dad.

In my head, you were no monster. You were beautiful. You weren’t a drug addict, you weren’t a rapist, you weren’t a murderer, you weren’t a woman-beater, you weren’t racist. You were pure. In my head, you were God. I pitied you; I felt so sorry for all of the pain that must be inside of you, to make you act in the ways that you did. Oh how I built you up so very, very high. If you would have just given me a chance, a moment of your time, you would have been in awe of the man I made you out to be. And you would have loved it. You were so very beautiful to me, Dad.

I didn’t blame you for the perils of my life. I didn’t blame you for the molestation. I didn’t blame you for abandoning me. I didn’t blame you for forgetting about me. I didn’t blame you for taking an innocent child’s trust and sabotaging it for the rest of her life. I didn’t blame you for calling me once every few years, offering your love, and then taking it away just as quickly as it came. I didn’t blame you for beating those women. I didn’t blame you for killing that woman. I didn’t blame you for beating my sister. I didn’t blame you for beating my brother. I didn’t blame you for disappearing. I didn’t blame you for me crying myself to sleep every single night. I didn’t blame you for me deciding that, at age 3, I was going to be forever unlovable. I didn’t blame you for choosing drugs over being a human being. I didn’t blame you for picking me up that one time, telling me how proud you were of me, and then walking away forever. I didn’t even blame you for the fact that I couldn’t accept the love of this great, great man in front of me, offering me everything I had ever needed. I didn’t blame you for anything, Dad. Not one single fucking thing. 

Because I loved you. And because I needed you to love me too.

Yesterday, I found you. After more than ten years, I decided it was time. I had my fiance next to me, keeping me safe, and I finally felt ready to try. I told him that I didn’t need anything; that I was prepared for the worst … but it wasn’t true. As I sat in the car, while he looked up your address online, I appeared calm. I appeared calm. I wasn’t. Inside of me, was little me. She was jumping up and down, up and down, up and down out of excitement. She had the biggest smile on her face, Dad, you wouldn’t believe how big that smile was! She was about to see her Daddy, and he was going to see her and run to her and pick her up and hold her close and tell her how much he had loved her all along.

We drove to your apartment, and the butterflies flew inside of me. My fiance hugged me tightly, knowing already how this would turn out. You see, he was not in denial and he did not paint a pretty picture. He knew you, without knowing you .. but still, he tried, for me. He instructed me to write a note, just in case you did not want to see me. What would I say to you? Surely, you wouldn’t turn me away! So on the back of a receipt, I quickly scribbled,

“Dad,
I just wanted to let you know that I love you and I just wanted to hear it back someday.
❤ Erica”

I didn’t think the note would be needed, but I gave it to him anyway.
And then he was gone; walking away to knock on your door.

I sat. And I sat. And I sat. I waited and waited and waited. I even put on my shoes, because I was so sure that you were going to want to see me. I fixed my hair, and I fixed my makeup, and I sat.

Yesterday, Dad, I found you.
And yesterday, Dad, you turned me away.

I did not cry. I did not cry because I believed that my fiance must have found the wrong man. I did not cry because surely, surely, you would not have reacted in that way. I did not cry. And I did not blame you. There must have been a reason, a reason why you would turn me away. A reason. We startled you, we should have called, you were scared. Anything, everything; I did not blame you.

But right now, as I type this Dad, I am going to blame you. I blame you, I BLAME YOU, for closing that door. I BLAME YOU for knowing that you are dying, and not giving me any chance for clarity. It was your choice, it was your decision. And you closed that door. You. You. You.

I blame you for breaking my young, fragile heart.

I blame you for that.

I still have not cried, Dad. I am sure that I will, but I haven’t yet. I am sure that the hole you left inside of me will continue to ache, and I am sure that I will someday soon cry. But I also know that I will try my hardest to never again cry for you. I want to finally be able to cry for myself and for the pain you caused me, not for you.

It may not have been you at that door yesterday, but it doesn’t matter. You closed the door on me a very long time ago, and it is a daily battle for me to believe that it was not my fault. That little girl was not lacking anything, that little girl was good enough. She deserved your love. I deserved your love.  And whenever I think of you, from this day forward, I will remind myself of that.

The saddest part, maybe of all, is that you probably have & will never be loved by anyone, as much as you were loved by me.

Sincerely,

Erica

Link

V Woolf 3

http://www.brainpickings.org/index.php/2013/01/25/virginia-woolf-on-keeping-a-diary/

This entry details the views of Virginia Woolf on keeping a diary, or a journal…an activity that can be incredibly helpful to many in their daily experiences, struggles, and difficulties…