Date Tags advice

Skip any that feel irrelevant. Once a diagnosis is made, the next step is to consider intervention for your depression. In chapter 3, I cover everything you need to know about traditional, alternative, and experimental treatments. Now that you have an understanding of depression, it's time to explore treatments for this disorder. This chapter will look at traditional interventions, alternative therapies, current trends, and future technologies for treating depression. I want to emphasize that the most crucial aspect regarding any of these approaches is to be an active participant. Learn about psychotherapy. Read up on medicines. Become knowledgeable about holistic treatments and current trends. Be your own advocate. Traditional treatments are so termed because they are the go-to techniques that have long been used to treat depression. These traditional methods fall into two major categories: psychological and medical. Psychotherapy is the treatment of emotional conflicts through the use of talking and communicating with a trained professional. Behavior therapy (BT) is a psychotherapy that focuses solely on your behaviors. Typically, you meet with a therapist once a week to look at what kinds of behaviors reinforce your depressive symptoms.3 Are you focusing on the negative aspects in life instead of the positive ones? Are you stuck in a loop of negative social reinforcement from other people? Do they respond to you with great concern when things are bad, and gloss over the happier moments? Do you lack a set of skills to combat fatigue? Behavior therapy helps sharpen your observational skills, teaches you about the power of consequences, and shows you that well-being can come from changing your actions. Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) expanded the theory of behaviorism by looking at thoughts as well as actions.

Cognitive-behavioral therapy stresses that specific thinking patterns cause depression. Does sadness leave you thinking that there's no way out? Are your thoughts an endless stream of self-critical statements? Do you think in all-or-nothing terms? In this therapy, you meet once a week with a therapist to begin identifying the belief systems you use on a daily basis. The goal in this type of psychotherapy is to correct unrealistic beliefs and distorted thoughts by replacing them with more realistic attitudes.Essentially, changing how you think will change the way you feel. The ultimate goal of our practice of meditation is the cultivation of these four sublime states of loving friendliness, compassion, appreciative joy, and equanimity. The word metta comes from another Pali word, mitra, which means "friend." That is why I prefer to use the phrase "loving friendliness" as a translation of metta, rather than "loving kindness." The Sanskrit word mitra also refers to the sun at the center of our solar system that makes all life possible. Just as the sun's rays provide energy for all living things, the warmth and radiance of metta flows in the heart of all living beings. Different objects reflect the sun's energy differently. Similarly, people differ in their ability to express loving friendliness. Some people seem naturally warmhearted, while others are more reserved and reluctant to open their hearts. Some people struggle to cultivate metta; others cultivate it without difficulty. But there is no one who is totally devoid of loving friendliness. We are all born with the instinct for metta. We can see it even in young babies who smile readily at the sight of another human face, any human face at all. Sadly, many people have no idea how much loving friendliness they have. Their innate capacity for loving friendliness may be buried under a heap of hatred, anger, and resentment accumulated through a lifetime--perhaps many lifetimes--of unwholesome thoughts and actions. But all of us can cultivate our heart, no matter what. We can nourish the seeds of loving friendliness until the force of loving friendliness blossoms in all our endeavors.

In the Buddha's time, there was a man named Angulimala; this man was, to use the language of today, a serial killer, a mass murderer. He was so wretched that he wore around his neck a garland of fingers taken from the people he had slaughtered, and he planned to make the Buddha his thousandth victim. In spite of Angulimala's reputation and his gruesome appearance, the Buddha nonetheless could see his capacity for loving friendliness. Thus, out of love and compassion--his own loving friendliness--the Buddha taught the Dhamma to this villainous murderer. As a result of the Buddha's teaching, Angulimala threw away his sword and surrendered to the Buddha, joining the followers of the Buddha and becoming ordained. As it turned out, Angulimala started his vicious killing spree many years earlier because a man whom Angulimala regarded as his teacher had (for unwholesome reasons of his own) directed him to do so. Angulimala was not by nature a cruel person, nor was he an evil person. In fact, he had been a kind boy. In his heart, there was loving friendliness, gentleness, and compassion. As soon as he became a monk, his true nature was revealed, and not long after his ordination, he became enlightened. Though still too new to draw productive conclusions regarding diagnoses and treatment, mounting evidence proves that major changes to our gut microbiomes occur as early as our first breaths. These changes are due to differences in the bacteria we're exposed to when we experience a natural vaginal birth versus Cesarean birth. Moreover, early-life stress such as an infant's or child's separation from his or her mother--a known risk factor for major depression in adulthood--causes even more changes that can throw our gut microbiomes out of balance. So imbalances start at birth and continue to plague us as part of the natural aging process. That's right, the ecosystem of one hundred trillion bacteria in the body naturally becomes less diverse each day as strains emerge, die, struggle, or thrive. But we can certainly compound the problem through a poor diet, overuse of antibiotics, and more. Even excessive hygiene can mess with this living formula-in-flux. So we have all these strains of bacteria that are supposed to be in the gut living in a particular, delicate balance to keep us well. Anything that upsets this balance, including the introduction or unchecked growth of "unhealthy" bacteria or the dying off of too many "good" bacteria, can then affect the messages that are being sent to our brains. This, in turn, affects the messages our brains send to other parts of the body.

But just as we can cause imbalance through the choices we make, we can restore balance through making new, different choices. It all sounds so simple, but there are some complications. A major problem in connecting gut imbalances to the health issues you're currently experiencing is that the effect is not always immediate. For example, one study found that while some routine antibiotic treatments created "profound and rapid" changes within just three days, some test subjects' microbiomes had only partially returned to normal four years after treatment.[3] The good news is that while the causes for gut imbalances are many, it's relatively easy to restore balance through proper dietary supplements; in many instances, it doesn't even matter what caused the imbalance in the first place. That said, prevention is always the best medicine, so I want you to understand both how to resolve dysbiosis--a microbial imbalance or maladaptation inside the body--and also how to prevent it from becoming a recurring problem. The information you give away can be nearly anything, but the more smoothly you give it away, the better the effect will be. Lies or Stretches of the Truth - If you try to make yourself look so attractive to someone that they cannot possibly resist, you risk a major issue when they start either questioning the believability of your claims or they actually fall for it and you're forced to either admit your lies or continue with them until the end of the relationship (which usually coincides with admitting your lies). You've seen it in a million sitcoms - don't let your life sprout a laugh track. Trying to Get 100% Approval - No one in the world, no matter how likable they are, is liked by everyone. Everyone has a different outlook on life and it will inevitably clash with someone else, so don't go in trying to project your "perfect self" in hopes of impressing the people you meet. It rarely works. Vague Statements - If you're truthful but you have a nasty habit of being entirely too vague about what you say, the odds are that you'll fail in the process because people won't believe you. Make clear, specific statements. Don't say "I taught middle school." Instead go with "I taught at Alderwood Middle School until 2003". The human brain will assume truthfulness if you fill in all the holes as you tell your story. Leave them blank and it will ask "why didn't he say where or when?" Own Your Statements - A lot of people are afraid to take responsibility and ownership of their statements. So they defer ownership by using rhetorical situations or using pronouns like "we" or "you". My theory is that if you really are not sure of an opinion, you probably shouldn't share it. If you believe something and want other people to know it, you should just say "I believe this..." It's more responsible and makes you instantly more likable. Someone could completely disagree with you, but will respect and like your conviction.

Holding Your Cards too Close - I had a problem for a long time in which I would gloss over details about my life that I thought were dull to other people. To me, what I did for a living wasn't that interesting or they had preconceptions that I was projecting onto them. In truth, most people are very interested in what I do, but I never gave them the opportunity to learn more because I covered it all up. There are quite a few things that can mess up a conversation; if you follow common sense and are truthful and open about yourself and what you hope to get out of the exchange, though, I think you'll find that all that stress goes right out the window. What type of romantic partner do you want to be? Are you involved in a romantic relationship? If not, do you want to be? And if yes, why are you in this relationship? What type of parent do you want to be? What type of son or daughter do you want to be? What type of family member do you want to be? What do you value in friendship? What do you value about your own education and training? Are there areas you'd like to learn more about or skills you'd like to develop? What type of boss or employee do you want to be? What values do you have about your role in the work environment? Do you value productivity, integrity, approachability, or other aspects of your job? What contribution would you like to make to the larger community? Do you value giving back, helping others, being politically involved, or other aspects of community participation? What does spirituality mean to you?