Archives for April, 2011
Is an emotion the name that you give it-- Love, fear, anger, sadness, anxiety, despair, happiness, joy? These are just a few of hundreds of emotions that have names in the English language. There are probably 8 or so primary or basic emotions—think of those emotions that we seem to be born with like fear, sadness, and joy. Others are learned and are some combination of basic emotions. Disgust might be a combination of shame and anger or optimism a combination of anticipation and joy. In DBT we learn that emotions are patterned reactions to events. They are complex and come and go like waves in the sea. Emotions are triggered by events, influenced by our thoughts, comprised of both changes in our bodies (say increases in blood pressure or sweat) and changes in our brains (the release of neurotransmitters). We express our emotions in our body language, verbal communication, and actions. It is all of the components in this complex process that we might label as love or anger or disappointment. An emotion can be brief—a fleeting pleasure in a warm breeze—or can last a long time—unrelenting grief. Our thoughts play an instrumental role in how long we experience an emotion. Ruminating on each time your partner forgot an important event or failed to do a household chore will keep you feeling angry and irritated.
In 1999, in the early days of the Internet, author of LOUD IN THE HOUSE OF MYSELF: Memoir of a Strange Girl, Stacy Pershall moved to New York and became one of the first “camgirls,” women who videotaped themselves in their homes, capturing the spectrum of their daily routines-- from the mundane to the most intimate--twenty-four hours a day, and streaming it over the Web. In July 2001, when her marriage was dissolving, Pershall attempted suicide. The entirety of it was documented live on the Internet. This probably saved her life, as it was a stranger who happened to log in to the feed who called 911.
“This is the story,” Stacy Pershall begins, “of how a strange girl from Prairie Grove discovered she had a multitude of disorders and how she survived.” In this deeply honest and sometimes shocking memoir, LOUD IN THE HOUSE OF MYSELF: Memoir of a Strange Girl, Pershall chronicles her lifelong struggle with mental illness. Pershall grew up in Prairie Grove, Arkansas, a town so small that the neighbors might as well have resided in her living room (population: 1,000) and where the prevailing wisdom was that Jesus healed all. Deeply sensitive and intelligent, Pershall felt a constant and profound sense of displacement. From starving herself for days to forcing herself to sleep in her closet because she wasn’t “worthy” of the comfort of a bed, Pershall chronicles with heart-wrenching accuracy the self-loathing of a young woman struggling with anorexia and bulimia.
Do you want to change problem behaviors that leave you financially unstable? People perceive, value and treat money differently. But regardless of how you interact with it, money and your financial circumstances play a major role in your life. Money can provide security, freedom and power and lack of it can leave you feeling inadequate and trapped in undesirable circumstances.
DBT assumes analysis and insight of problems are not enough. Therefore, problem solving strategies go beyond simply understanding the origins of problems and focus on active attempts to develop a plan for making change. These strategies address specific problems that come up in everyday life.
We all know that eating balanced meals and getting our vitamins is essential to maintaining optimal physical health. But when you’re moody or depressed, you probably don’t look to balance your diet or take a multivitamin to decrease your symptoms.
We’ve all tried to make improvements in ourselves at one time or another. Sometimes you’ve had set backs and sometimes you want to change something that you’ve struggled with for quite some time. It is possible to change your behaviors, such as eating unhealthy foods, smoking, overspending or self-injury. Even when you’re stuck in a rut and not living the life that you want to live, you are still capable of change. Most of us have goals to do better, achieve more or improve ourselves in some way, but many of us feel stuck by our problems and our circumstances.