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Old 02-21-2005, 04:54 PM
deborah1118 deborah1118 is offline
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Default Depressed

Dear Dr. Joe,

I am a middle aged women who in the past 7 years suffered two brain bleeds due to an AVM. Had radio surgery and within 3 yrs. the AVM disappeared. Side effects have been short term memory is not so good and visual instances. I have discussed these with my Dr's and they have not been able to pinpoint anything definite.

The point is that I am not the same person I was since these occurrences and I should also mention that my husband and I had moved to where we are now about a year before these occurences.

We have been here for 10 years and I have not made one friend and my employment has been sporatic due to either company layoff's or making bad decisions on positions that I have chosen.

I feel like a such a loser. Right now I am unemployed and am having trouble find a job because I can only work part time, and my self exteem is real low. My husband is a wonderful man who is extremely supportive but he cannot be everything to me, I am aware of that. Our life has been reduced to the daily grind and TV reality shows. We have not been on vacation in 7 yrs. , there is always a financial obligation standing in the way.

My family including my son, his wife and grandchildren live in another state 6 hrs away so I cannot interact with them or anyone other than on the phone.

I have tried church, clubs which cost money and various other ways to meet people and nothing seems to click.

I am at my wits end and don't know where to turn or what to do to get out of this depression I am feeling. I try exercising, painting and it works for awhile but I always end up sad. Some mornings I wake up and cry before I even get out of bed.

Thanks for allowing me to express myself.

Sincerely,
Deborah :? [/quote]
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Old 02-22-2005, 01:59 PM
Dr. Joe Dr. Joe is offline
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I totally disagree with your conclusions that you are a loser or that you were born a loser, or worse that you are destined to remain loser. What I do know is that your self-perception has been significantly eroded and that youíve been victimized by a habit of insecurity that has been dictating to you the myth that you are worthless. With all my heart, I believe that human beings are born with a propensity for goodness, well being, and yes, even a capacity for genuine happiness.

Before you begin to get your hackles up, let me explain. Clearly there are people who do terrible things in life, terrorists, thugs, and other undesirables, but the question for me is whether or not these people were born evil, destructive, or misguided or did they learn it. It is my contention that when the ego gets distorted with negative influences, insecurity, and trauma, than our natural potential is eclipsed. What was potentially good becomes arrested and overshadowed by the distorted effects of defense and control (take a look at my Self-Coaching philosophy articles for more on the corruptive influence insecurity has on our lives).

The question I ask is what if we were to take away the distorted, habituated, reflexive thinking and allow a more spontaneous, instinctual personality to reach the surface? The answer Iíve seen over and over again is that what emerges is a healthy potential for living in harmony with life and with others. So when you tell me how worthless you are or how you feel like a loser, I know this isnít true, but I also know that you believe it to be true. And this is the problem! It is absolutely imperative that you recognize that you are being dragged around by an old reflex of insecurity and distortion of truth.

Your life and relations have become contaminated by the effects of your negativity, but this scenario does not have to persist. I believe that if you begin to understand that thereís really nothing inherently wrong with you (this wonít be easy at first because of all the years youíve been falling into a victim-mentality), you can begin to chip away at this habit. I had similar hesitations in my youth, and let me tell you, I remember the night when that little light bulb when on and I realized there was really nothing wrong with me or my life (nothing, that is, that I couldnít change)óit was a true epiphany. Until that night when this realization clicked, I would argue with anyone who tried to tell me I was okay or that thing could be different. But once I recognized that there wasnít anything in my way, my life shifted on its axis. Do keep in mind, it wasnít about telling myself I was okay, it had to do with realizing this simple truth. And then believing it. And this has made all the difference in my life. I suggest you go to the home page, under the Whatís New section and watch my interview on the program Bright Moment. I think it will help you understand why a Self-Coaching approach is whatís needed.

I need you to know that my words are no replacement for a face-to-face contact with a mental health professional. Iíve tried to give you some thoughts that hopefully will aid in your confusion about depression and your negative self-image. At least you need to know that there is legitimate hope. But please, keep in mind, with severe depression, especially with any thoughts of suicide, itís imperative that you contact someone immediatelyñtoday! One thing about depression, it has the tendency to compress and distort your perception of life and livingñthe benefit of speaking to a qualified professional, one who can offer an objective view and support you during these difficult times, is essential.

Disclaimer: The diagnosis of clinical anxiety or depressive disorders requires a physician or other qualified mental health professional. The information provided is intended for informational purposes only. Please understand that the opinions shared with you are meant to be general reference information, and are not intended as a diagnosis or substitute for consulting with your physician or other qualified mental health professional.

Yours,
Dr. Joe
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