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Epictetus last won the day on July 28

Epictetus had the most liked content!

About Epictetus

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    New Mexico, USA
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    Philosophy. Theology. Jainism. Music. Comparative Religion. Poetry. Nature and animals. Fine Arts and Music. Cinema. Travel. Meeting people. Humor and cartoons. Neurobiology. Asian culture. Japan. Flying.
    Philosophical foundations of the natural and social sciences. Dining. Airliners. SimCity 4D. Learning. Aerodynamics. Jet propulsion and jet engine technology.

    Suffer from Depression, Anxiety and Panic Attacks. Also suffer from a hospital-acquired super-infection I am on the antibiotic of last resort and hanging in there. My meds are Citalopram daily and Clonazepam as needed.

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  1. Hi Cent, I'm sorry this happened to you. I don't know if this would be helpful to you, but I will take a chance and share it with you. A famous psychiatrist named Aaron Beck, one of the fathers of Cognitive Psychology believed that human beings seem to be wired for focusing on negatives and ignoring and not appreciating positives. This, he theorized is probably because focusing on negatives might have more survival value than appreciation and gratitude. According to this psychiatrist we notice and zero in on negatives in ourselves, in others and in the world around us. It is a trait in human beings that has survival value. This is one reason, he theorizes that a lot of our thoughts involve "should" and "shouldn't" We don't generally go around appreciating and being grateful to those around us except perhaps on special occasions. We often "should" or "shouldn't" people for the way they dress, wear their hair, how they drive, how they act and , and, and. In the animal world, "should" and "shouldn't" are generally tied to matters of life or death urgency. Survival. In the animal world, "shoulds" and shouldn'ts", "must and "must not" are tied to real matters of life and death: must find water, must find food, must escape predator and so on. Stress is reserved for life or death situations. Human beings, unfortunately give a sense of life or death urgency to matters than are not really life or death: getting the best parking spot, getting the shortest line at the checkout counter and a million other "shoulds' and "musts." So we can spend a lot of time picking on each other or ourselves, either openly or in our minds. This happens of course in families. "Sons" should... ""Mothers" should . . . This creates a climate where appreciating ourselves and others is rare and where feeling grateful is rare. I'm sure there are thousands of things your mother could appreciate in you and that you could appreciate in her. Thousands of things to be grateful for. Thousands of reasons to compliment instead of criticize. This applies to me too! I guess in a "perfect world" appreciation and criticism would be balanced. But sadly we seem hard wired for criticism. Let me give you an example. I don't know much about you, but I know you are not a vicious criminal. I doubt that you have ever committed a serious felony against anyone. Adolf Hitler and some other men caused the destruction of tens of millions of people. I doubt that you have caused the destruction of tens of millions of people, millions, hundreds of thousands, tens of thousands, thousands, hundreds and so on. Now I don't know much about making people uncomfortable or spending too much screen time. But I do know this. On the scale of good and bad, those things are far, far, far, far, far, far, far, away from causing the destruction of tens of millions of people as Hitler did during the Holocaust or Stalin did through his forced starvation campaigns. You are a good person, Cent. There are countless things to treasure about you. But in the real world, how often do parents tell children: "It is so good that you exist. I am so very glad that you exist in this world. I appreciate you so much. There are so many reasons to be proud of you. In your life so far, I have so many memories of little courageous things you have done, little clever things, little sweet and beautiful things." Your posts here on the Forum help me and so many other people, Cent. That is a wonderful and beautiful gift you give to us here. Something that helps me a lot when people are judging and being critical of me is remembering that human beings seem to be hardwired for criticism. It is easy for us to judge, but hard for us to appreciate. It is easy for us to criticize but difficult for us to be grateful. Some people don't even seem to know that there is an alternative to criticism. Perhaps they were overly criticized as children themselves and not appreciated and valued. Perhaps they don't know anything else. My mother was very critical of me, but now that I am an old man I realize that I wasn't a perfect person myself when I was a child. I wasn't as great as I thought I was and my mother wasn't as bad as I thought she was. She could have appreciated me more perhaps but I could have also appreciate her more. I think we were both basically good people for our ages. Sometimes we have to become our own parents. When others are criticizing and being hard on us, we have to be good to ourselves. If others do not treasure us, we can treasure ourselves. If others cannot or will not acknowledge that it is good that we exist, we can acknowledge it to ourselves: it is good that I exist. When others focus exclusively on things that bother them about us, we can focus on our good traits and appreciate them. This is not always easy. But it gives us a sense of balance against exclusive negativity. People [usually] choose to be parents. No one chooses to be born. Relationships are usually messy. When people are criticizing me I try to remember not to take it too personally. I realize that people are hard wired to focus on negatives. I realize that people often confuse matters of personal taste for matters of high morality. I realize that people take matters that are really not of life or death importance and urgency as if they were matters of life and death importance and urgency. This helps me a lot. I wish I had some practical advice to offer you about your situation, but sadly I don't. I hope you will get lots and lots of responses to your post. Cent! - epictetus
  2. There was a cute little bug walking on my bathroom floor. Never seen one like it before. After a lot of Googling, I found out it was a strawberry weevil. I put some honey on a Qtip and he or she seems to be enjoying it.
  3. Not a joke but I heard someone singing a song but they had the lyrics wrong: "You pick a find time to leave me Lucille, 400 children and crap in the field."
  4. A used Boeing 707 airliner. I'd just put it in the backyard and live it it. Ok, who am I kidding? Its like the size of half a city block. lol
  5. :Good judgement is the result of experience and experience the result of bad judgement" -- Mark Twain
  6. I'm so sorry you are under this terrible dark cloud, Saprkzz. I suffer from depression, anxiety and panic attacks. In my case [and this is not advice since I am not a doctor or medical professional of any kind] medication did the most to help me to lessen these burdensome illnesses so that I could have some peace of mind and joy of living again. I hope you get lots of responses to you post. Panic attacks are just awful beyond the power of words to convey. It is really, really heartbreaking what you are going through. It must be so difficult for you. I am 64 years old. You deserve some relief from your pain and anguish ! ! ! - epictetus
  7. Hi Sentinel2, I am so sorry you are struggling with so many anxious thoughts and feelings. What you describe is similar to what I used to experience. It really destroyed my joy of life. I was on antidepressants for depression and anxiety but did not get any real relief from my anxiety until a new doctor prescribed some different medications for me. Cognitive therapy also helped a lot, although the self-help books by cognitive therapists seemed more helpful to me than face to face therapy. I can only share what has helped me. I am not a doctor or medical professional of any kind and so nothing I say should be relied upon. I hope you find something that works for you. Anxiety is such a heavy and tiring burden to carry. Sorry I cannot be more helpful to you ! ! ! - epictetus
  8. Its so awful that you are subjected to this, John_in_SF. Depression is such a cruel and heartless illness. For me, it is upon wakening that things are at their worst. I wish I had some ideas but sadly I am at a loss. I hope we both get some relief ! ! ! My heart goes out to you ! ! ! - epictetus
  9. 6Dantex6, It seems like you are a little bit conflicted about this situation. There is nothing wrong with that. When I am conflicted about something, it often helps me to put something down on paper such as a list of the pros and cons of various courses of action. The act of writing can have a calming effect and allow one to gain some distance from a situation. Listing the pros and cons of going on another date with this woman can sometimes help one to reach a surprising and unforseen insight beyond the list. What do you think? Dating is a kind of learning experience. It can take awhile to learn about someone. We all have different desires, hopes, dreams and needs. Some things in others are real deal breakers when it comes to relationships. If I felt pressured to be physical in a relationship when I wasn't ready, that would be a deal breaker for me personally. But that is me. Others might feel this was no big deal and something to shrug off. That is why I am really the last person on earth to offer you advice. I do want to tell you that I hope everything works out for the best for you. I am rooting for you to find happiness ! ! ! - epictetus
  10. Hi Trad, I'm glad you posted your questions because I think a lot of people have struggled with the same questions. I know I have. For me, personally, cognitive therapy psychologists helped me the most. I realize this type of therapy is not everyone. It is a very problem solving approach where the model is teacher/student rather than doctor/patient. One of the creators of this type of therapy used it on himself when he was a psychiatrist and professor. Sometimes in therapy there can be a sense that the therapist is in some sense, overtly or covertly, looking down on the patient. The therapist is the professional. The patient is the one with problems. There can be a kind of authoritarian aspect of this. In cognitive therapy, when it is done well and with compassion and empathy, . . . the sessions are more collaborative. The therapist offers ideas for the client to try, ideas that have helped others. Some things help or don't. And it goes on from there. One of the great cognitive therapists was a professor named David Burns. He wrote a book called "Feeling Good." It is a self-help book where someone motivated can try out cognitive therapy techniques for problem solving in their own lives. To be quite honest with you, I was helped more by books by cognitive therapists than by face to face therapy with cognitive therapists. Different people are helped by different types of therapy. I was once helped a lot by an elderly woman who was simply a counselor. Unfortunately, empathy and compassion are not things that can be taught in the university. A wise and compassionate and empathetic therapist can be really helpful regardless of his type of therapy or what college degrees he or she has. If a person lacks wisdom and empathy, even effective therapeutic principles and techniques can sometimes prove unhelpful. I think you might find some helpful information by Googling "How to Select a Therapist" on the internet. Since I can only speak of my own painfully limited and fallible experiences, I hope you get many, many responses to your post. I wish you only the best! I hope you will continue to post on the Forums. Your posts help so many people here! - epictetus
  11. I'm so sorry for what you are going through, Manicdepressive. I am 64 years old and although I only suffer from unipolar depression, it is really brutal sometimes. I can only imagine how awful bipolar depression must be. It seems like those who have not experienced these things personally cannot really understand how terrible and devastating they are. And without understanding, empathy can seem empty too. I like your icon of Jimmy Hendrix. When I was a teenager I saw a Jimmy Hendrix concert. It was amazing and I still remember it very vividly. I wish I knew what to say to help but I am struggling myself. So sorry about the loss of your wife. That is so tragic! I hope you find something that helps you. You deserve some happiness and joy of living in your life ! ! ! - epictetus
  12. @hendricksbrock. How are you doing today? You asked me about books which helped me. I have been helped a lot by self-help books written by Cognitive Therapists. Some that helped me personally were "Feeling Good" by David Burns and then a somewhat technical book called "Cognitive Therapy Techniques" by Robert Leahy. It was a little deeper than the Burns book in my opinion and I couldn't have followed his ideas if I hadn't read the Burns book first. Books by Aaron T. Beck also helped me a lot. I am not sure any of these are still in print but perhaps they are available through a public library. I am not trying to "promote" these books or authors. There may be much better books that these and what helps one person sometimes isn't helpful to someone else. I can only share with what helped me personally. I sure hope you find relief! It is really terrible that you are suffering ! ! ! - epictetus
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