A Guide to Pain and Suffering

Your feelings tell you about the state of your body. If you’re putting on a roof, carrying shingles up a ladder, swinging a hammer until your hand falls off, sweating it out at a hundred and ten degrees, your body will have a lot to say. You may not want to listen to it. You’veContinue reading “A Guide to Pain and Suffering”

Dissatisfaction and Craving

Sharpening your point until you miss it There are two ways of wanting something; you can be broad, or you can be precise. It’s possible to be too broad or too precise. There are many other words in the vast family of wanting: annoyance, anxiety, boredom, complaint, discomfort, dismay, displeasure, disquiet, distaste, exasperation, frustration, discouraged,Continue reading “Dissatisfaction and Craving”

Driving to Death

Taking the long way through trauma Why do trauma victims re-experience their trauma in flashbacks and nightmares? We need some help from Freud to explain. In Beyond the Pleasure Principle. Freud noted that, in their dreams, flashbacks, and patterns of behavior, trauma victims compulsively repeated their horrible experiences as if they were happening in theContinue reading “Driving to Death”

How Normal is Abnormal?

Just how common are mental health problems? According to researchers following more than a thousand New Zealanders for 35 years, they’re extremely common. By age 38, they say, 83% have had a diagnosable mental health condition at some point in their lives; in most cases, a mild depression, anxiety, or a substance use disorder. Also,Continue reading “How Normal is Abnormal?”

Why Can’t We Turn Away?

The fascinating and appalling state called abjection There’s a psychological mechanism that isn’t very well known, yet it’s involved behind the scenes in many emotions. It plays a part in disgust, revulsion, repugnance, aversion, distaste, nausea, abhorrence, loathing, detestation, horror, contempt, weird, outrage, terror, fear, fright, panic, dread, trepidation, hatred, hate, abomination, execration, odium, antipathy,Continue reading “Why Can’t We Turn Away?”

How Your Body Can Help You Find Peace

If you’ve been feeling depressed, anxious, grieving, guilty, or preoccupied with cravings, then you probably tried to reason yourself out of it. You’ve wanted to get your head screwed on right and the clouds cleared from your mind. You believed if you talked to somebody, they could tell you things that might help you feelContinue reading “How Your Body Can Help You Find Peace”

The DSM: A Mad Attempt to Classify Madness

The Diagnostic Statistical Manual (DSM) is a large book, in five editions, that you will likely find in every shrink’s office. It has every kind of mental illness recognized by the American Psychiatric Association defined, classified, and numbered; all 157 of them. Your therapist will refer to it daily, not because it unlocks the doorContinue reading “The DSM: A Mad Attempt to Classify Madness”

Walk the Dog and Understand How your Minds Work

(Image/Pigsals) If you’ve ever watched a person walk a dog, you’ve seen a good illustration of your mind at work. You have two minds: one is like the dog, the other like the dog walker. If you’ve ever watched a person walk a dog, you’ve seen a good illustration of your mind at work. YouContinue reading “Walk the Dog and Understand How your Minds Work”