Posts Tagged ‘depression’

IMG_7618.JPG4 years ago I made the decision that I was sick and tired of being sick and tired being a Negative Nancy and being down in the dumps constantly. 6 months of a deep depression where I had lost almost 70 pounds due to stress and anxiety, unable to complete sentences because my mind would not allow me to choose the right words in fear of saying something wrong, weeks upon weeks of insomnia in which even if I was able to fall asleep, I’d wake up in the middle of the night with sweat-soaked pillows….a point in my life I wouldn’t wish upon ANYBODY, but I know people who are in my life currently are at.

What I realized that day was that I had not only the ability to choose thoughts that empowered me, but the responsibility to do so….not only for myself, but for people in my life that DEPENDED on me. In a world that pumps us full of negative information from the TV, the Internet, the radio, the check-out lane gossip magazines to the people in our lives that thrive on neighborhood gossip…I CHOSE to inoculate myself with the teachings of Les Brown, Tony Robbins, Jim Rohn, Zig Ziglar….and I still have the bookmark folder on my internet browser I titled “cognitive development” to prove and remind me of it. I chose not to live being dependent on anti-depressants or anti-anxiety pills for the rest of my life….and instead chose to take full responsibility for my life and the happenings in it and chose to be bigger than my problems by RE-WIRING and RE-TRAINING my brain. Personal development is the exercise your brain needs…just like those squats you do for your butt. No personal development and your brain atrophies.

Worry is a useless emotion…once you understand just what it is. If you’re going to THINK about a future event, you might as well think positively about it and fill that time reading or listening to things that empower you…not by listening to the voice in your head that continues to scare you.

My Christmas wish is for everyone who is currently suffering from depression to take steps to start to re-train their brain. Your past does not equal the future….and nobody’s opinion of you equals your reality. Each and every one of us has the ability to make today the first day of the rest of our life….and make it the BEST of our life.

God bless.


20140612-161228-58348283.jpg. Self-fulfilling prophecy. It’s the concept in which one has either a positive or negative expectation about circumstances, events, or other people and that the very expectation one has causes the exact behavior that allows those expectations to be fulfilled.

In the service industry, self-fulfilling prophecies are everywhere…most commonly, a server who has waited on a certain customer before and had been tipped badly, so the next time they come in, they tell the server who is waiting on them that they’re bad tippers, and voila! That server doesn’t give them good service and they don’t get a good tip!

Don’t pay attention to these claims! I had this happen time and time again, and each time I did, my thought process was, “They’re not bad tippers, they just tipped YOU badly” and I’ll show that server my 20-30% tip after the customer received great, genuine service. People will PAY for VALUE received.

What self-fulfilling prophecy are you telling yourself ABOUT yourself? And most importantly…listening to about yourself??? Most get “stuck” because they listen to their own voices of the past, and those voices continually reinforce this prophecy that things will never be better, so why even try?
Decide that in order for you to realize value, you need to value yourself, and that you need to PROVIDE value TO yourself. Read good books, not the fad fiction of today. Listen to audios. Read the Bible. Exercise. Take time out of the day for you. Meditate. Pamper yourself with a professional massage. A pedicure. Take action today towards something you want. The big thing you want tomorrow can be reduced to a small action that can be done today. See yourself TIPPING you abundantly. What kind of service would you provide yourself if you KNEW you would receive a good tip from yourself?

depressedAt times, we may get into a state where we just feel stuck. A state where no matter how positive our outlook is, the blows keep on coming. It can get exhausting. The truth is, none of us are immune from problems. Life happens to everyone, it’s how we react to life that will determine the quality of it. Easier said than done, I know. Car break down at the most inopportune time? You’re working overtime busting your butt trying to pay the bills but they don’t seem like they’re going anywhere, possibly even getting worse? It’s easy to want to feel like no matter what you do, it’s not worth it.

This post is not to cram some positive thinking hodge podge down your throat. I’m not going to do that because I know that no matter what I say to you about telling you to do something or to think something, it’s not going to work. I will however challenge you to think differently. I will challenge you to think about the process, the process moving from a current struggle in your life THROUGH it to where you want to be. It’s to get you UN-STUCK.

So why do some people achieve success and why do others seem to get stuck? Why do some people quit trying to achieve a goal while others achieve them so easily? Why do people quit in the face of adversity? The number one reason why people quit doing the things they want is simply because they fear being uncomfortable. They don’t understand that there is going to be some sweat equity involved. They don’t understand that in order to have something you’ve never had, you have to do things you’ve never done. Most people are simply afraid to step out of their comfort zone. Also, successful people (I’m referring to successful people as those that have achieved what they’ve set out to) have adopted a framework, a process that makes the goal real and achievable.

Loving-Couple-Photography-19The first thing you can do is to create a compelling future for the thing that you want to do. This is simply a reason, a feeling that is generated by the action that you want to create. This should be a statement that actually draws you TOWARDS the goal, not keeps you where you’re at. If you want to lose weight you shouldn’t say, “I want to lose weight because I’m fat.” Can you feel how big of a drag that is? There’s no compelling future there, only a compelling thought that you want to go plant your ass back on the couch! Instead, ask yourself how would it feel for you to lose weight? What would it look like to you? How would your spouse feel about you losing weight? How would you feel about the way your spouse feels about you losing weight? Would you feel happy? Would you feel more energetic? Would you be more hopeful? See how this creates positive emotion inside you and how it generates excitement for you to act? A lot different than the opposite, right?

Secondly, MATCH AND MODEL. Find the tools that will get you to where you want to go. Seek advice from people who have done what you want to do. If you want to lose weight, obviously you’d want to get a gym membership and maybe even enlist the help of a personal trainer…at the very least, learn different exercises and how the machines work, talk to a nutritionist and learn about what to eat and what to stay away from. Find people who have done what you want to do and do what they’ve done. Now, if the personal trainer and the nutritionist are overweight and out of shape, should you listen to them? Probably not!!! If you want advice about how to have a healthy relationship, should you take advice from people who have had multiple divorces? Probably not! Find someone that has what you want. Find out WHAT they did to achieve those results. Do EXACTLY what they did to get those results, and guess what. You’ll achieve the very same results. This example may be a little outdated since most refrigerators these days come standard with ice-makers, but we all remember filling up ice cube trays and throwing them in the freezer, right? Think about how UNCONSCIOUS we were at doing that. Did we ever stop and think one time, “I dunno…maybe this time it may not work…” NO! Of course not! A long time ago, someone discovered that if you have temperatures that are less than 32 degrees Fahrenheit, you can create ice cubes by putting water in this little plastic contraption with little dividers in it that look like squares!

There is one more aspect, and that is the freedom of, or acting despite inner conflict. If you have a compelling future, if you have the tools and have found who to match and model, but you don’t believe you deserve the success you may achieve, do you think you’ll be motivated to achieve it? If you have a compelling future and have the tools and found someone to match and model, but you still don’t believe you can achieve it, do you think you will? Probably not. It is ESSENTIAL for one to be free of personal conflict. You must believe you deserve and you must believe that you can. OR, find a mentor, a close friend that will push you so that you can borrow THEIR belief in you until you develop it yourself. This is acting despite inner conflict. Franklin D. Roosevelt once said, “Courage is not the absence of fear, but rather the assessment that something else is more important than fear.” Back to the compelling future! Is your goal more important that the pain you may experience or the fear that you’re experiencing now? It should be. There may be other inner conflicts one may experience as well. This could be resentment of others, regret for past actions/choices, guilt for previous actions/choices, among others. I’ll agree with you…just those three last conflicts I listed are tough to overcome. They require deep soul-searching. The good news is that you can DECIDE to live your life differently starting TODAY that you have up until now. YOUR PAST DOES NOT DICTATE YOUR FUTURE.

I’m a Christian. I’m not here to push my beliefs on you, but it’s where I draw a considerable amount of my strength from. My beliefs are my beliefs. I believe that we were created in God’s image. I believe that we were created with greatness and we all have God-given abilities to do anything we want to do. Its just up to us to learn where to find them and how to use them. I also believe that God wants us to live in abundance. Not just in terms of abundance of money, but abundance of health, abundance of love, abundance of friendships, abundance of DREAMS! I believe that God put dreams in our heart not to torment us, but so that we pursue them! Our dreams are most often our purpose! A lot of people will say that what they have currently in their life is good enough. It could be a great marriage, healthy children, a secure job…that’s all fine. That’s okay. But appreciation for what you have is different than a dream that is untapped. Remember when you were a child, an adolescent. We all spoke with conviction about how we thought our lives would look like later in life. We were CERTAIN. Remember it. What did you tell your parents your life would look like? What did you tell your friends you would be doing? Is that the way life is looking for you currently? Most often with most people it isn’t. This creates an inner conflict. Achievement of our dreams is where one finds personal fulfillment. Pursuing your dream gives others permission to achieve theirs! One of the greatest speakers of our time Mr. Les Brown once said, “The graveyard is the richest place on earth, because it is here that you will find all the hopes and dreams that were never fulfilled, the books that were never written, the songs that were never sung, the inventions that were never shared, the cures that were never discovered, all because someone was too afraid to take that first step, keep with the problem, or determined to carry out their dream.” You’ll be amazed at the results you can achieve when you act with faith, belief, and conviction of your dreams.

“The man who thinks he can and the man who thinks he can’t are both right. Which one are you?” – Henry Ford

If you are currently seeking answers, if you are currently looking for a way for you to get “un-stuck” via a proven system for success, please read my story about how I turned my Mess Into A Message.

In a follow up to my last post, I stumbled upon one of my favorite discussions of Les Brown. I had first seen this over a year ago.

We all may not know what we want to do in life, what our goals are, what are dreams are….but we all know when we get that icky feeling deep down inside when we’re doing something that we KNOW isn’t what we want to do. In this video, Les talks about how we need to stop playing it safe. He says, “If you go through life being casual, you’ll end up a casuality.” You see, my passion in life has sprung out of the lowest low of my life. I know first hand what work-related stress can do to someone physically and mentally. Stress is the number one cause for heart disease, which in fact, is the number one cause of death amongst Americans today. Life is too short to creep through life…find your passion and pursue it wholeheartedly. It can actually EXTEND your life.

“The majority of people suffer their first major heart attack on Monday morning, between 8 am and 9 am, people getting ready to go to jobs that they don’t like. Jobs that are making them sick. You see, when you’re not pursuing your goal, you are literally comitting spiritual suicide. When you have some goal out here that you’re stretching for and reaching for that takes you out of your comfort zone, you’ll find out some talents and abilities that you didn’t know you had!” -Les Brown

High Fives Are Free tips their hat to Mike Wallace, a tough, gritty reporter whose public talks of depression and mental illness was one of the main inspirations for this organization. Here’s to knocking down the stigma of mental illness. This article is taken from CNN.

Mike Wallace on Depression – CBS Cares

Since his death at age 93 Saturday, much has been written about hard-edged ex-“60 Minutes” reporter Mike Wallace’s epic verbal battles with world leaders, swindlers and alleged crime bosses.

But in 2005, Wallace made news of his own when he acknowledged his longtime war with depression – a fight that nearly caused him to take his own life.

“I came perilously close to committing suicide,” Wallace wrote in his memoir “Between You and Me.”

He described in dramatic detail how he was crushed by a devastating depression fueled by stress from a $120 million libel suit over a 1982 CBS documentary about the Vietnam War. The subsequent trial, he wrote, pushed him “more deeply into a dark and devastating malaise, which was crushing my spirit and even sapping my will to live.”

Going public with his struggle did much to help others know they weren’t alone, said Dr. Charles Raison, CNNhealth’s mental health expert.

Telling everyone that someone as famously intelligent and successful as Wallace could be taken down by the disease helped to lessen the social stigma that often comes with the label “clinically depressed,” said Raison, an associate professor of psychiatry at the University of Arizona College of Medicine.

It wasn’t surprising the pit bull of old-school TV journalism had the tenacity to confront his demons in public – displaying his dirty laundry on his own terms. It was classic Wallace, the king of confrontation using the tools of his trade to melt away the stigma like so many scandal-plagued politicians sweating under hot TV lights.

Wallace’s admission humanized him against a self-described “tough guy” reputation, said Dr. Aaron Rochlen, a professor of psychology at the University of Texas at Austin.

“There was a lot of positive reaction and appreciation for his public acknowledgment of what was going on for him. It took self-awareness and courage for him to admit that.”

Americans have been more open about their depression in recent years, Rochlen said. The issue has been appearing in pop culture, such as Tony Soprano’s discussion of depression. Soprano’s therapy was a central theme of “The Sopranos,” which was “important in impacting impressions about men and mental health and in therapy,” Rochlen said. “Former NFL quarterback Terry Bradshaw has been very open about his struggles with depression. So I do think there’s been a cultural shift in terms of decreasing stigma, but there’s a long way to go.”

Wallace wrote in his book that he’d sought help from a doctor he’d been going to for years. But that doctor, he said, failed to recognize Wallace was sliding into a clinical depression.

“That’s terribly common,” Raison said. “Studies in both the UK and the U.S. suggest that that happens more than 50% percent of the time. There have been studies in the United States that suggest that of all the people that have clinical depression – probably less than 25% get adequate, appropriate treatment.”

Wallace wrote he was losing his appetite and was taking sleeping pills to offset insomnia during the trial.

“This is a classic symptom,” Raison said. “Among men, somewhere between 90% and 95% of people who get emotionally depressed will demonstrate changes in sleep and appetite. In women, it’s almost 100%.”

Wallace also wrote that he feared the lawsuit and trial – brought by William C. Westmoreland, the retired U.S. Army general who had led U.S. troops in Vietnam – would irreparably damage his reputation as a reporter, which experts say also would have contributed to his deepening depression.

Men often connect their sense of well-being to their careers and their career-related success, Rochlen said.

“When there are threats to that success or obstacles to reaching their goals, that can spur on a depression,” he said.

Raison added, “The stressers that are most likely to make people depressed are things that threaten their image of who they are. Things that are likely to make you lose status, lose power, lose the respect of other people, lose everything you’ve built, destroy what you think your life is about. Even when the stresser gets fixed, the depression often persists.”

Wallace wrote it was only because of the “love and caring support from a friend” that he was able to avert taking his own life.

“Mood disorders seem to be linked to both creativity and intelligence, according to a number of studies,” Raison said. The message: Anyone can suffer from clinical depression.

“Anyone who saw Mike Wallace decimate these people during interviews, you wouldn’t pick him as a guy that had depression,” Raison said. “When you’re depressed, it’s very, very hard to do anything. Isn’t it amazing that a guy who was so bullish, so pro-active, so driven, could at the same time suffer with the condition that eliminates those traits? That’s what really struck me.”

Just sitting here thinking this morning, and I couldn’t stop wondering about all the things that we as a people want to do, not only for ourselves, but for society as a whole. I choose to believe that all people want to do the best for themselves, want the best for their friends, loved ones, family, etc, but what holds them back? I started throwing out a bunch of ideas, or what later I discovered were only excuses…and what I realized was that the “excuses” were stemming out of one emotion: Fear.

People won’t do ALOT of things because of fear:
-What if I can’t do it?
-What if it doesn’t work?
-What will people think of me?

What if fear was taken out of the equation? Watch what happens….
-What if I CAN do it, and I could do it better than anyone?
-What if it DOES work, and it works better than I could have ever imagined?
-People will think no matter what and it’s beyond my control, but at least I took a stand for MYSELF, and nobody can take that away.

See what happens when you’re no longer afraid? Things start happening. If we continually live our lives in fear, the status quo will always remain. If we don’t conquer our fears to change our situation, a situation where we live free of fear will never be experienced! Think about how fear affects us on a daily basis, with work, with investments, with our relationships, with friendships….so give yourself a chance with EVERYTHING in your life. Listen to a friend, give your bf/gf a kiss just because, put yourself out there without fear of what the response could be…you got a 50% shot the results are a positive one! 🙂

In today’s world, mental illness has skyrocketed for a number of reasons. I believe one is valid, and the other may or not be. The one that I believe is valid is because in an economy like the one we are currently in, people are working harder for a dollar that is worth less to put food on the table and a roof over their head. As a result, stress is higher not only in the workplace, but in the relationship at home. People are desperately trying to find a balance between home and work, and most of the time, it is unsuccessful. The second reason, I believe anyway, is that due to the overwhelming number of people who seek attention from medical experts for their stress, depression, anxiety – as acute as it may be – unfortunately do not receive the individualized attention to make an accurate assessment and diagnosis and get grouped into a much larger subset of people needing much more help. With these people, one session with a therapist could be the session to get to the root of the problem but unfortunately they get prescribed an anti-depressant that takes weeks to take effect.

I think it’s no secret by now that in the summer and early fall of 2010, I was severely depressed. It was to the point that I no longer had the confidence in myself to be effective at my job being an account executive, but also being a sales manager that needs to guide my sales staff to be effective as THEY can be. It also affected my relationship at home because, working longer hours in the office to make up for my ineffectiveness meant less time at home, therefore raising the stress level at home. It was like a vicious cycle of trying to compensate and find balance. Two months after finally walking away from my job and ending my relationship I fell into a deeper hole in which I did come out of, but what I did not know is that I would fall into one more vicious cycle that sometimes unfortunately gets described as mania, one end of the spectrum as we have all gotten to come to know as bi-polarism.

When I snapped out of my depression, it was great to be ALIVE. To finally realizing for myself and knowing that everything would be ok, that I would be ok…the first thing I wanted to do was to just get out and live life. I wanted to go on vacations, meet up with old friends, have beers (and lots of them), and just get OUT. It was a great time for me, to finally feel ALIVE after 6 long months of NOT feeling alive.

During that time, I was pulled aside by some close friends and was told that I may be out of control. I was told that I am publicizing too much of my social life in public forums and that one would perceive that maybe I would end back up in an a bad emotional place if I continued on the path I was on. I wholeheartedly disagreed and went about my business. The angst that I felt towards my friends set me onto a path of rebellion, of trying to prove to everyone that I was “ok”, and I would say a hint of selfishness. As much it meant for me to be able to be there for people who were in the same position emotionally as I was once was, I still unknowingly was going through a time where I needed to know what I was going through at that current time. Months later, I finally figured it out. See, this is where one would say I was going thru the manic side of bi-polarism. Me, I say I was going thru the second half of the “crazy-eight”.

Tony Robbins, if you haven’t had the chance to hear him speak, is mind-blowing. His ability to talk about human emotion and the way we react to others in the ways we do is undeniable. I first watched this video I’m about to share with all of you in May of 2011, and it changed the way I feel about mental illness. Mental illness, I feel, is being clumped together in one big ball and people of varying symptoms and degrees of seriousness do not get the appropriate care that they need.

In this video, Tony Robbins discusses the emotions that one tends to fall into when they feel their life is out of control. On one end of the spectrum, we have emotions like sadness and depression, and the other we have emotions like frustration, anger, and rage. When we “regain” control of our lives and feel that with others that have importance in our lives, we feel emotions like acceptance and love. The imbalance of these emotions, or should I say, the way we react to these emotions could set us on a path of crazy eights. Fortunately, I only experienced one cycle of this last year, but looking back I may have been experiencing the crazy eights for my whole life.

Yes I do believe that bi-polarism is a real thing and in extreme cases needs to be treated with effective therapy and medication. However, I believe in most cases that effective cognitive behavior therapy is very effective and needs to be explored FIRST as the option. Please watch this video to learn more about the “crazy eights”. He begins to discuss this topic at the 34:30 mark of the video so watch that part first, but I strongly encourage you to watch the video as a whole at some point. Tony does a great job in finding the root causes not only with this womans issues with herself, but with her relationship with her husband and then how to make their marraige stronger.

Thanks for reading this post, enjoy your week 🙂


When I was suffering with my bout with depression, I yearned and searched for any glimmer of hope that I may one day make it through it and come out bigger and better than I was before it. What I found was that there have been many, MANY, people just like me who not only had their own bouts with depression but they went on to lead very purposeful and inspiring lives, and furthermore, being an inspiration to others that need it.

Check out this list of notable celebrities who had personal struggles with depression and beat it. Hopefully this gives you or your loved one hope that they TOO can not only beat this ugly disease, but go on to be the great people that they strive to be!