This week is Mental Health Awareness Week. Each day of the week we will highlight one aspect of mental health.
Today, we recommend that you look at our second podcast, this one on Listening. You can find it on https://www.cwwpp.org/podcast.html. Many people feel that they are not listened to and/or acknowledged. This podcast gives some ideas as to how you can assist other people in that. This is extremely important.
During Mental Health Awareness Week, we will be concentrating on COVID-19. During the official period of the COVID-19 pandemic, we have written a number of articles on how to deal with it. The links are given here.
We hope that this is valuable to you and will assist you with dealing with your psychological issues.
Podcast 4 on COVID https://www.cwwpp.org/podcast.html
The connection between psychological and somatic (body) issues is crucial, so much so that, in the future, we will produce a podcast on it and create a section on it in one of our Pragmatic Empowerment Training (PET) courses.
For the moment, very briefly, we must note that there is a two-way relationship between the body and the mind. People frequently translate their psychological issues into somatic issues. Psychological issues must get out somehow. When they do not, they go inside and are translated into somatic symptoms and physical diseases.
All systems of the body are affected. Thus, people have issues with their sight, hearing, and other senses, with their circulatory system (heart, blood pressure, etc.), with their hormonal systems (thyroid issues, diabetes, etc.), with their digestive systems (stomach and intestinal issues), with their urogenital systems (including sexual function), with their neurological systems, with their immune systems, this sometimes even leading to cancer, and with every other system in their bodies. In short, everything is possible.
Thus, we strongly advise anyone with psychological issues also to see a doctor. The ailments are real and must not be ignored.
Conversely, sometimes, people will have somatic symptoms for which a doctor cannot easily find a cause. These are not “just” psychological. The traumatization and the psychology of the person is important. These are psychological reactions that the person uses.
Furthermore, all physical ailments and changes and challenges have psychological consequences. They change the way that a person looks at all aspects of life. Good psychological work can be extremely important in coping with these challenges and with dealing with physical disease.
All of these are natural reactions and should not be stigmatized. Both the somatic and the psychological sides of the issues should be worked on in parallel. Work on psychological issues can assist in physical wellbeing and vice versa. Many philosophies have adopted this principle. Western medicine, both physical and psychological, is beginning to see this. Thus, by working on your mind you are working on your body. By working on your body, you are working on your mind.
Today we are concentrating on depression and suicide.
We have made two podcasts on this, which you can find on https://www.cwwpp.org/podcast.html as Podcasts 7 and 8.
Please watch, listen to, and or read these podcasts if you yourself are depressed and/or have suicidal thoughts or if someone close to you has such feelings.
Today we are concentrating on trans-generational transmission of trauma and negative narratives.
Very briefly, all people transmit their feelings and emotions and their experiences, and thus their traumas, to people around them, that is, to their children, to the people whom they teach in school, to their friends and colleagues, and to others. Politicians also transmit these issues to their constituents. Most of this is unconscious. This occurs at a number of levels, that is, the individual, the family, the group, and location, and the society as a whole. There is some recent evidence that at least part of the transmission may be genetic.
The implications of this kind of transmission are huge. There are families, as well as communities, that are highly traumatized, and this goes on for many generations. There are groups of people, such as those who have been the victims of slavery and of discrimination and of wars, who transmit the qualities of their lives to future generations. Further violence can be caused by this kind of transmission.
We believe that it is essential to work with these issues at the earliest possible moment, even if that is several generations after the original event. We believe that such transmission is the cause of many forms of psychological reaction in current generations in many places, and that wars and other violence are the result of not having dealt with them.
These issues are too large to deal with in a short posting such as this one.
In the future, we will produce a podcast about this very important issue, and include a section on it in one of our Pragmatic Empowerment Training (PET) courses.
A bibliography may be found here https://www.cwwpp.org/learning-materials-and-course... .
Today we will concentrate on self-image.
This posting will be short. As this is a key issue for many people, in the future we will produce a podcast on it and make it an integral part of one of our Pragmatic Empowerment Training (PET) courses.
Self-image and self-confidence are issues for many people. There are very few reasons not to have a good self-image. Each person is doing the best that s/he can at any given moment, given his/her personality, education, the way s/he was brought up, the environment in which s/he lives, etc. In general, there is no reason for guilt or shame. Other people try to put you down because they want to feel bigger.
Also, every person has a right to be the individual s/he is with regard to race, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation, profession, interests, etc. as long as it doesn’t hurt anyone else.
Each one of us is an individual, and that is the beauty of human beings. You do not need to conform to the standards of anyone else, be that relatives, the government, or the society. You are you. Frequently, perpetrators of crimes, such as abuse, try to say that the victim has caused the abuse. This is not true. You need to put the blame where it really lies.
None of us is perfect. We all make mistakes sometimes. What can be called “positive guilt” is to admit to those mistakes and to learn from them. If you do that, you can be proud of yourself and not have a low self-image.
Also, with regard to beauty and function, we all are different. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Each one of us has challenges in life. Thus, some have challenges with regard to weight, for example, others have challenges with regard to illness, others have challenges with regard to movement, others have challenges with regard to learning various things, etc.
The point is to attempt to get through those challenges. When you do, you should not have a low self-image, but a very good one because of your efforts.
In short, take a good look at yourself. Reframe your challenges and see yourself in a new light.
We will continue to write about trauma and mental health with somewhat longer pieces and with courses, as time permits. We are committed to working with you and to informing and assisting you in any way that we can.
Today we will concentrate on loss and mourning. Later, we will produce a podcast and incorporate loss and mourning into one of the Pragmatic Empowerment Training (PET) courses.
Mourning is the process of putting things into psychological and emotional place after loss. The loss can be of a person. However, the loss can be of other things, such as a pet or a home or a place or a job or something else that you have loved or thought of highly or something that was important in your life. It can be the loss of a way of life.
“Putting in place” here means not only dealing with the loss of the good things, but also admitting and dealing with the bad parts of what has been lost and giving yourself permission to do so.
We think that mourning is essential for your psychological wellbeing. We know people who block mourning. Inevitably, the thoughts and emotions involved with the events return. Frequently, if you repress them at first, they are even more difficult to deal with later.
Mourning takes time. It cannot be done overnight. At first, you probably will want to spend time mourning. Later, events, or dates, or things that you see or hear or taste or otherwise experience may remind you of the person or thing that you lost and you will go through another, usually shorter period of mourning. That may be the day that an event occurred, or an odor or a color or something else.
It is important to get your feelings out. Please see our podcast (https://www.cwwpp.org/podcast.html Podcast 1) about doing that.
Don’t hold yourself in. Talk to people, preferably people who knew the person or thing that you lost. Write, draw, make music, and/or do something else creative to get it out.
Most religions have rituals with regard to loss. Even if what you have lost is not a human being, use those rituals. We suggest making a ritual of your own that is more personal and that speaks more to your needs. That ritual can be anything that you think is appropriate. It may involve celebrating the good aspects of what is now gone.
We have mentioned that you also may want to put in place something bad or a bad aspect of a person or thing. This is important. You then can realize and incorporate into you that this bad thing is over. Even if the person or thing was close to you (example: an abusive parent), we urge you to give yourself permission to admit that the thing was bad and that it now is at an end. You may even want to celebrate that it is over.
As mentioned, you may be reminded of the loss periodically. Each time, figure out a way of dealing with it.
Dealing with loss isn’t easy. However, don’t avoid it. Avoiding dealing with it will create even more issues.