Monthly Archives: March 2016

An Abyss is a pit that is so deep that it visually appears as darkness, even during the light of day. Although not possible, an abyss is said to be bottomless. An abyss is also a descriptive term for division between two or more people or between two or more groups of people. German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche gave us a chilling warning when he said, "If you stare into an abyss, the abyss stares into you." But, what does that mean?

Friedrich Nietzsche was an unfortunate man who was so plagued by illness that he turned to the one thing that he could, his mind, to express himself. His philosophy has profoundly affected people in both the 20th and 21st centuries, about equally so for evil as well as good, with much credit for the evil part due to his twisted sister's refinement of his words after his death to fit her own dark philosophy. I think his words about an abyss mean this: If you concentrate on any subject too much, be that out of hate or love, you risk becoming that thing. Speaking of that, I do not recommend that you concentrate on the writings of that tortured soul.

Have you heard of a Blue Hole? Web search that, to see a good visual representation of an abyss. It is a watery sink hole that is so deep that light will not pass down to the bottom of it, and it's depths are devoid of sea life. A famous and much-photographed blue hole is located near Belize. After I viewed it, I instantly understood the captivation of staring into an abyss. Another example of an abyss is "Sally's well," described in the book and film titled "Cold Mountain," in which Ada Monroe looked down the well, and saw what she wanted to see.

I was compelled to write this article because of what I have seen over many years in someone I love. She suffered illness, tragedy, and emotional neglect to a point that she concentrated on those things. With the help of unscrupulous and unethical physicians, she acquired pills and potions to combat her illnesses, including those that she imagined that she had or were convinced that she had, the latter of which lined up nicely with the latest pharmaceutical on the market.

She gobbles these pills by the handful every day, convinced that they are what keeps her alive. But, what life does she have? She spends her day telling anyone who will listen about the woes of her health, the woes in the health of others, and the imagined woes of strangers, all of which serve to isolate her further from those she truly loves, who are also those who love her. She stared into the abyss, and the abyss consumed her. This article is a warning to you. Don't stare into an abyss, and warn your loved ones not to do it.

 

download (16)Searching for a right therapist is like searching for the right pair of jeans. It can get frustrating and tiring, but when you finally do, the discovery is more than worth it. It doesn't matter what modality your therapist uses, be it counseling, psychotherapy, expressive therapy, hypnotherapy or assessments, you need to find someone whom you can trust, someone with whom you are comfortable enough to share your feelings and deepest thoughts.

It is important to build a strong therapeutic relationship with your therapist. Sometimes, the bond is the most important factor. Here are some sample questions you can ask yourself before actually engaging fully in a therapist:

• Does the therapist really understand you?
• Does the therapist really care about you and your problems?
• Does the therapist accept you unconditionally?
• Does the therapist listen to you and give you full attention?
• Is the therapist judging or biased?
• Do you feel comfortable and safe with this therapist?
• Can you be honest with the therapist and not hide any information from him/her?

People skills are definitely a must in psychology and mental health. However you also need to check the background of the therapist before you start sharing your secrets with him/ her. Below are some vital points you need to be aware about:

• Experience: Paper qualifications are important, so are years of experience and practical work. Search for a therapist who has experience working with clients who has the same issues as yours. Eg: a therapist who specializes in phobias will have loads of other case studies and can definitely assist you better.
• Be aware of treatment plans: Ask your therapist what he/ she is planning to do with you. You are entitled to know the treatment styles. Most therapists use a variety of treatment options which could also lengthen the whole procedure.

 

download (14)The Question whether nutrition or stress is the most important factor in health has long been in dispute. However, both are most important, so it doesn't matter.

Some people get away with poor diet if they are easy going, while others may survive the effects of stress through good diet. Others, who are not so fortunate in either case will suffer. If poor diet and stress are a dominant factor in their live, this will undoubtedly be a recipe for disaster.

On the other hand, if we get the diet right and are able to cope with stress, we are certain to thrive. If the other two key factors: regular exercise and minimizing exposure to chemicals are covered, we have the formula for excellent health.

Men and women who have never married die at younger ages than their married equivalents, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics. Single men between 25 and 64 years of age were approximately three times more likely to die than married men in the same age group, while single women in the 25 to 64 age group were approximately two-and-a-half times more likely to die than their married counterparts.
The higher rates of death were due to cancer, heart and other artery diseases, respiratory and digestive system diseases, car accidents, suicide and drugs.

Similarly, a recent seven year Swedish study found that middle-aged men who have recently endured high levels of emotional stress and have no-one to turn to for emotional support are three times as likely to die within several years as those who have ample supporting relationships.

So being single is a health hazard! Quips aside, there is considerable evidence to confirm this conclusion.

A Swedish study of 1,000 men, followed up from 50 to 70 years of age, found that one of the most important factors protecting them from disease and death, even after allowing for lifestyle factors like saturated fat r smoking, is the number outside of people that live under one roof! The more people you live with, the safer you are.
That's why the family network is so important.

The second important factor is the amount of social contact that people have outside the home. In other words, the number of people in our lives is likely to be of major significance in our well being and survival.

Dr Dean Ornish of the University of California, made the observation of people with heart disease that, "underneath their differences they felt a sense of isolation from parts of themselves and their own feelings, isolation from other people and isolation from a higher force, whatever that meant to them."]

Dr Robert Buist in 'The Cholesterol Myth', adds: "Ornish's support groups quickly focussed on the concept that anything that promotes intimacy and communication is healing, while isolation, alienation and loneliness are probably among the great predictors of heart disease."

If we are not fortunate enough to be part of a big family, we can keep regular contact with friends and relatives. Or in the absence of those, we can join a social group or sporting club.

And when we look at the bright side of employment, instead of whingeing and moaning about having to go to work as we sometimes do, we can appreciate the fact that the emotional support of being part of a team may be second only to the family in satisfying a major need that keeps us alive and well.

In conclusion we can say that the most harmful kind of stress for most people is that associated with social isolation, alienation and loneliness.

So let us never take our relationships for granted. Friendships require nurturing, and the effort required will bring us abundant rewards.