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Dis-Chem Benefits - 1 Dec 2016

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ALL OF US HAVE HIGHS AND lows in our emotional feelings. If these swings are within a certain normal range, we remain selfgoverned and functional. But when they become extreme. they can lead us into the poles of mania (high) and depression (low). FANTASIES AND NIGHTMARES Similar, but other forms of these manias and depressions can be fantasies and nightmares. When we are up, manic and elated, our brain can become flooded by the increased releasing of dopamine, oxytocin, vasopressin, endorphins, enkephalins and serotonin. When we are angry and depressed the AT CAN CAUSE DEPRESSION AND PAD TO SUICIDAL THOUGHTS? BY DR JOHN DEMARTINI HUMAN BEHAVIOURIST, AUTHOR, TEACHER AND CONSULTANT reverse can occur, and cortisol, epinephrine and norepinephrine, dihydrotestosterone, substance P and other neurotransmitters can surge. If we have an unrealistic expectation to remain living in a sort of everlasting manic or invincible fantasy world or state, we can have depressive thoughts of suicide as a counterbalancing thought. When dopamine is released in the brain, whatever we associate dopamine with, we can become repeatedly attracted or addicted to. So if we create a fantasy that stimulates dopamine, we can become addicted to that fantasy and our life in.comparison can become perceived as a relative nightmare if we can't or don't fulfil that fantasy. The fantasy is how we would like and imagine our lives to be. our possible unrealistic expectation. Our depression is a.comparison of our current reality to a fantasy that we are addicted to. If that fantasy is extremely unreasonable and nonobtainable, thoughts of suicide can emerge. The longer the fantasy is held onto and the more we are addicted to it, the more the depression can linger, and the more the thought of suicide can become the only way out, as our life is not matching the fantasy. CHEMICAL VS BEHAVIOURAL There is no doubt that we have a biochemical imbalance associated with these feelings and pharmacology and psychiatry focus on the biochemistry. Psychology focuses on the expectations and internal and unconscious strategies. Both approaches have their place. But before tampering with the chemistries of the brain, it's certainly wise to get our expectations in line with a more balanced reality. So our mood swings can stabilize and we can appreciate and truly love our life again. could lead ourselves to suicide. There's never a problem without a solution, there's never a crisis without a blessing, there's never a challenge without an opportunity. They.come in pairs like two sides of a coin. Although our apparent mood swings, manias and depressions, fantasies and nightmares seem to be consciously cyclic and separated, they are actually unconsciously synchronous and inseparable. I Evaluate your expectations. Unrealistic expectations in life can lead to developing unsustainable fantasies about what life should be like. Being unable to live the fantasy life can lead to depression. 2 Learn to balance out selfdepreciating feelings like guilt and shame over your actions by carefully exploring how your actions have benefited others. Depression can be biochemical and / or behavioural. Before tampering with the chemistries of the brain, ensure that you are not living in a fantasy world with unrealistic expectations of what your life should be like. t Don' yourself to others, thinking others have much easier lives. This is not realistic. Most people experience challenge in their lives. Your challenges are aligned to you and your value system. You are able to overcome your challenges. 5. Consciously work on understanding that life has two sides highs and lows and that to expect only highs is unrealistic and can lead to depression. INDICATORS OF DEPRESSION Any time we have an expectation that is delusional or extremely unrealistic, or is not aligned with our true highest values, depression can ensue and suicide can become a persisting thought. Many of us have had moments where we have contemplated and considered it. Another initiator of depression can be an action that we feel guilty or shameful about like bankrupcy, an affair, violence, sexual offence or failure or a guilty action that we don't see a solution or resolution to. The result, selfdepreciative feelings, which if extreme enough, can also lead to an unworthy driven suicide. So any time we feel guilty or shameful and have selfdepreciating feelings about ourselves, because we are not living up to some idealistic expectations (sustained fame, fortune, saintliness, influence, power etc.), suicidal thoughts can enter our minds. REALISTIC EXPECTATIONS Anything that we are having difficulty loving about ourselves and that we don't want the world to know about us, that then gets exposed, can also lead to suicidal thoughts — to save us from further social humiliation. Just like most fears are often assumptions and don't.come to be, so too are these despairs and depressions. The situations that make us think about suicide are seldom as challenging or terrible as we initially imagine them to be. So it's wiser to set realistic expectations that match a more balanced reality. COMPARING YOURSELF TO OTHERS One of the fantasies that people have is that other people have an easier life. That's not generally the case. Other people have different challenges that we probably wouldn't want. Our own values and priorities determine what challenges we experience. It's not what happens to us that matters; it's our perceptions of what happens to us and how we respond that matters. If we become victims of our history because we've stacked up challenges instead of mastering our destiny by seeing opportunities, the challenges are overwhelming and we UNDERSTANDING THE BALANCE BETWEEN THE HIGHS AND LOWS The more we are addicted to experiencing only support, ease, pleasure, positive and fantasy, the more likely our depression, and the more likely that our daily life challenges will overwhelm us. But if we understand that life has both sides — support and challenge, ease and difficulty, pleasures and pains, positives and negatives, we're less volatile and we're less likely to be depressed. When we live congruently, in accordance with our true highest values and when we embrace both sides of life equally and simultaneously, we're more resilient, adaptable and more fit. Life has two sides. Embrace both sides. 0 Or John Demartini is a human behaviour specialist, educator, author and the founder of the Demartini Institute.

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