Even Lovers Need A Holiday

Couple holding hands on top of hill above clouds

Give Space Where Space Is Due

Whether in a casual, short-term or long-term relationship, giving space to your significant other is very important. Being clingy and always available can actually turn off your partner; it signals weakness and desperation. These traits can become apparent at any point in a relationship; no one is 100% immune.

Giving space to your significant other means what it sounds like: allow them to breath and live their life without your constant input and presence. Giving space helps build lost attraction and intensifies your relationship when the two of you do come together. When you sense yourself becoming desperate, remind yourself that this may be a form of anxiety.

Desperation may be a form of anxiety because you unconsciously worry that you might lose your lover. Therefore, you become clingy: you text them all the time; you breath down their throat; you always want to do things together; you lose interest in other activities. When this happens, you are setting yourself up for failure; a major buzzkill and blow to your ego.

Giving others space is a basic human concept that should be applied to everyone, not just lovers. The absence of presence builds curiosity, interest and passion way more than if you’re around them all of the time. Allow life to naturally bring people to you; don’t force things to happen when your intuition is telling you otherwise.

It sometimes feels like your mind and intuition are opposing forces and you’re stuck in the middle; you often fall for what your mind tells you. For instance, your mind may tell you to text a person you’re interested in, while your intuition is screaming “hold your horses, don’t do that!” When you ignore your intuition, that is when negative results begin to pile up.

If you got as far as being in a casual, short-term or long-term relationship, then put your anxiety aside and keep doing what you’re doing; there is no need for clinginess, desperation and unattractive behavior. Don’t shoot yourself in the foot because you have been closer to your prize than ever before. Maintain the attractive qualities of independence, confidence and honesty and you will be in good shape!

Are you Ready? (This is Defeating Stigma Mindfully)

Lust Epidemic

Lusty woman wearing blue lingerie

Don’t Get Locked Into Lust

It seems that nowadays, relationships have taken a slip and sexual encounters a trip; people want sex! And they want it now. Values and morals are being sacrificed for instant gratification and pleasure; say goodbye to dignity. Welcome to the age of lust, where a strong sexual desire prevails.

As society keeps moving forward with improved technology and on demand access, both men and women are sacrificing meaningful relationships for the single life. It has become easier to get “your fix” and “ghost on.” Why is the divorce rate so high? Even if people are getting married, they are ending back at square one.

With cam models, porn and sexting available at peoples’ fingertips, the concept of delayed gratification has been replaced with “today’s gratification.” Some people are so addicted to porn that they call it their “second job.” Sexting has become so convenient that one doesn’t even need to meet up in person anymore.

And cam models, well . . . they’re cam models. They want you to pay them to appear on their web show, and in return, they allow you to have sex with them; absolutely no emotional connection whatsoever. Everything is strictly business. It seems as if there is a floating spirit named the “whore of Babylon” and she is not planning to rest anytime soon.

When you sense that lust is creeping into your life, seek God for assistance. He can help you get rid of this sin from your life. But as with any sinful action, the more you partake, the harder it becomes to hold yourself back. And lust is no easy sin to get rid of, especially after it grabs a strong hold of you.

If you are single and find yourself lusting after women or men, then go and find yourself a preoccupation that can distract you from your fleshy desire. There are many activities that can help take away lust, but you just have to find the strength and desire to seek them.

As with anything, discipline paves the way for a happy and successful life!

Are you Ready? (This is Defeating Stigma Mindfully)

Struck By Catatonia

Young man in a catatonic stupor looking down at ground

A State Of Trance

Catatonia is a state of abnormal movement and behavior arising from a disturbed mental state, typically from schizophrenia. But catatonia can also occur independently of schizophrenia. When a patient is in a catatonic state, it is very obvious. They may demonstrate mutism, negativism, resistance to passive movement or repetitive and purposeless movement.

Some patients who are catatonic urinate and defecate on themselves. They have no logical explanation as to why they do it. They may say that they “didn’t have enough time to get to the bathroom.” That being said, you would think that they would at least clean up after themselves. Wrong. Catatonic patients can remain soiled in feces for hours at a time if undetected by staff or family.

You may repeatedly instruct a catatonic patient to shower because they are soiled in feces, but they will not react. They may enter the bathroom and just stand there, giving no logical reason as to why they are refusing to shower. Often, Ativan 2 mg IM must be given to catatonic patients; it helps them to snap out of it.

Some catatonic patients can be observed to be non-responsive in bed for hours at a time. You can ask them how they are doing and try to help them get out of bed, but they will just stare back at you with an expressionless face as if they just had a stroke. But no stroke has occurred. They are just in a mental state called catatonia.

Catatonia can occur unexpectedly. One minute a patient is sitting in a chair and talking with you, and the next minute he or she is down on the floor unresponsive. Patients with catatonia will continue to blink, but they’ll appear expressionless; you’ll call their name and attempt to comfort them, but they won’t budge.

It is important to remain patient with catatonic patients and to not lose your composure. It can become frustrating to have a catatonic patient not react to your verbal commands, but just be cognizant of the fact that catatonia is a mental illness. Many patients cannot even explain to you what catatonia feels like.

It just happens. So do your best to remain composed, professional and supportive. We are all in this together!

Are you Ready? (This is Defeating Stigma Mindfully)

Opening Up To Strangers

Shy redheaded woman covering up face with red sweater

The Game Of Life

It’s easier to be rude and reclusive than to become friendly and polite with a stranger. The society we live in promotes selfishness, competition and getting ahead of others. In return, this causes us to become motivated and independent but at the expense of opening up to others.

You will feel much better about yourself if you step out of your comfort zone and talk to strangers or coworkers who you don’t usually talk to. This is because you will start to feel less selfish; it feels good to hold a conversation or small talk with someone new. It breaks your pattern of communicating only with those who you are familiar with.

If you are shy to begin with, then start by just saying hello to someone who comes your way. For instance, when paying for your groceries, say hi or even strike a small conversation with the cashier; these small random talks spice up your day and prevent you from feeling lonely and isolated all of the time.

With practice, you will become more confident holding conversations with random people. More confidence will help you develop more charisma and people will become more attracted to you. When you start earning more attention and attraction from others, new doors of opportunity will begin to open up for you.

Sometimes you may experience awkward or uncomfortable situations. When this happens, move on and forget about it. Don’t dwell on the past. What’s done is done. But this should not prevent you from trying again. You need to experience uncomfortable situations in order to gain more confidence to set yourself up for pleasant ones.

Life is like a game of trial and error. If you don’t participate, then you will never get better at playing it!

Are you Ready? (This is Defeating Stigma Mindfully)

Your Health Comes First

Brunette woman performing handstand on beach with golden retriever in water

Make Your Health A Priority

Don’t wait until your later years in life to start caring about your health; start caring today! Lifelong habits are easier to develop and maintain from a younger age. Many people don’t care about their physical or mental health because they assume that they are or will remain healthy. That is the wrong mindset to have.

But if you will ever experience a first panic attack, heart attack or brain attack without previously caring about your health, you will be in more shock shortly thereafter. The key is to live a life without surprises regarding your physical and mental health; sometimes it’s possible while sometimes random events occur.

But there is a higher chance of random events occurring when you don’t take your health into consideration. Just because you are young does not mean that you are healthy; your mind and body may still be in the process of becoming damaged. And just because you are young does not mean that you can use drugs without worrying about their damaging effects.

Damage has been done to your body since you were a child; it’s called living life. But accelerated damage is done when you don’t eat healthy, do not exercise, consume drugs and alcohol and smoke cigarettes. Why take a chance in life and wake up one day with a mental or physical condition, when you could have avoided them by paying a little more attention to your lifestyle?

On a positive note, medical and psychiatric research are advancing: new treatments are being developed and more information is being discovered regarding the pathophysiology of diseases. But you cannot bank on the research, expecting to be in good hands. You never know what mental illness or physical disorder you may experience in the future.

At the end of the day, it’s your body and mind. It’s you who has to defeat the illness!

Are you Ready? (This is Defeating Stigma Mindfully)

Unique Keys To Mental Illness

Focus photography of psychedelics used for treating mental illness

Psychedelics For All Walks Of Life

Can chemical compounds such as DMT, psilocybin, LSD and mescaline be one day utilized to treat mental illness? MDMA is already in phase 3 clinical trials for the treatment of PTSD. Defeating mental illness has already proven to be a difficult challenge for the medical community, with many drugs simply not touching the pathology responsible for these destructive conditions.

Psychedelics may one day prove to be unique keys to mental illness because of the altered states of consciousness in which they provide. It’s not necessarily their mechanism of action in the brain which is proving to be useful, but the meaningful and profound experiences which they provide for users.

Many patients in clinical trials have reported relief in their anxiety and depressive symptoms after having meaningful trips on psilocybin. The idea is that hallucinogens force the user to confront their troubles and unconscious conflicts directly in the trip; their madness comes out in a controlled and supervised medical setting.

Perhaps anxiety and depression is much more complex than the monoamine hypothesis of not having enough serotonin circulating in the synaptic cleft. Perhaps the reason why psychedelics are proving to work against these mental illnesses is because they directly tackle the unconscious conflicts which have gone haywire; psychedelics help the user untangle the intricate and sticky unconscious webs.

One exciting point about hallucinogens is that they’re non-addictive; no one wakes up everyday and states, “I want to trip on ibogaine today.” This is because hallucinogens provide such powerful experiences, that the mind simply does not have energy to “trip” on a consistent basis. This prevents users from becoming addicted.

Throughout history, psychedelics have been regarded as sacred medicines used for guidance, learning and healing. They were even previously used in the field of psychiatry in the 1950s before they left the laboratory and blew up into the free love social movement. In return, the Nixon administration viewed hallucinogens as a threat to the mind and soul of America’s youth and made them schedule I drugs; the research was buried underground.

As more traction is gained regarding the research studies on psychedelics, maybe one day we will be able to utilize these powerful medicines to help alleviate mental illness, and provide a higher quality of life for people from all walks of life.

Are you Ready? (This is Defeating Stigma Mindfully)

Picking Your Battles Wisely

Black horse chess piece cornered by white king and pawn

Don’t Corner Yourself

Many times you will find yourself wanting to make an argument regarding a certain issue to someone or a group of people. Sometimes an argument may be fueled by fatigue, emotions, a bad experience or simply the desire to express yourself. Whatever the reason, make sure your argument is sound and that you place yourself in a position with a good chance of coming out alive.

What is meant by “coming out alive” is that you avoid cornering yourself during an argument secondary to multiple people disagreeing with your stance. This is important because if you become cornered, you start to wish that you never had brought up the argument in the first place; this makes you feel defeated and disappointed.

But you learn from experience. There will be times in life where you will become cornered, especially by a group of people, and you will feel upset and annoyed in return. When this happens, do not escalate the situation! Maintain your composure, agree with the other argument if it’s appropriate and logical to agree with and move on.

From experience, you will learn how to wisely pick your battles in life. You will be able to withhold yourself in certain situations based on intuition and past experience. Sometimes you will have a burning desire to express your argument, but you will be able to hold yourself back based on prior results.

And keep in mind that fatigue can impair your decision-making; you may bring up arguments which never stood a chance of winning from the start. This is why you must always be rested by getting a good night’s sleep; your mental and professional performance depend on it!

Are you Ready? (This is Defeating Stigma Mindfully)

State-Specific Memory

Young man with glasses smoking a marijuana joint

Altered State Of Consciousness

State-specific memory is the phenomenon in which events experienced in an altered state of consciousness can be recalled clearly when reentering that state, and not when in a normal and sober state of mind. This can occur with many drugs such as marijuana, benzodiazepines and alcohol.

This is because drugs allow you to experience an altered state of consciousness. This altered state provides you with new experiences, interpretations, perceptions, thought processes and behaviors. Part of the reason why drugs are so addicting is that because the user can develop a wonderful and inspiring connection to an altered state of consciousness.

When someone is no longer in an altered state of consciousness, their mind distances itself from the memories formed in that state. One can still remember the memories shortly after the experience, but over time, they slowly begin to fade away. This is not to say that a meaningful trip on psilocybin will not be remembered; it can actually be remembered for a lifetime!

But the small details and sensations of an experience are what slowly fade away; the bigger picture remains. Many users who take DMT will tell you that when they lift off on the drug, they will reencounter “them”; the so-called beings present in many DMT experiences. Once the user reenters this DMT state of mind, “them” becomes more apparent and clearer again.

State-specific memory has to do with revisiting a previous altered state of mind. For instance, when one smokes marijuana and has an awesome experience such as the munchies while watching “Shutter Island”, they will recall this memory when they get high again: “munchies and Shutter Island.”

State-specific memory is fun and enjoyable if your precious experiences in altered states of consciousness were pleasant, fun and meaningful. But many experiences under the influence of drugs can be miserable; aka “bad trips.” For instance, marijuana is known to induce anxiety in many people.

When one smokes a joint and is slowly getting high, they may become bombarded with memories of anxiety symptoms from their previous high; this may provoke new anxiety symptoms in the present high. It works both ways with state-specific memory: good and bad experiences can be recalled and relived.

This is state-specific memory.

Are you Ready? (This is Defeating Stigma Mindfully)

Spiritual Nightmares

Person wearing hat and standing next to two spirits

Waking Up Startled

We’ve all experienced good dreams and nightmares. Sometimes we wish that we never had awakened from a pleasant dream. Other times, we wake up terrified and afraid to go back to sleep. But what are the meaning of dreams and should we take them seriously? Freud once said, “dreams are the royal road to the unconscious.”

In that case, are spiritual nightmares related to the unconscious mind as well? A spiritual nightmare is exactly what it sounds like: a dream related to the supernatural that wakes you up from sleep because of its frightening and unpleasant nature. Sometimes a nightmare feels like reality!

How many of you have felt the presence of a spirit in your room upon awakening from a nightmare? How many of you have felt your back touched or bed cover pulled on and then suddenly waking up startled? I believe quite a few people can attest to the above experiences.

The best way to go about analyzing these spiritual experiences is to talk about them in therapy with a psychoanalyst who is interested in dream interpretation. The chances are slim that you will find meaning from these spiritual nightmares on your own; guidance will always serve you better.

Sometimes the experience can be so frightening that you become scared to go to bed the following night. But you cannot allow these nightmares or spiritual experiences to control your life. Whether or not you discover the reason for their appearance, you have to continue to live your life without fear.

You may wake up startled from a nightmare, but don’t allow that experience to turn into a living nightmare!

Are you Ready? (This is Defeating Stigma Mindfully)

What Does Malingering Mean?

Young man showing photo of himself malingering

Malingering Versus Factitious Disorder

To malinger is to exaggerate or feign an illness in order to escape duty or work. There are many malingerers in the world of mental health. Some attempt to avoid long prison sentences by feigning a mental illness: they may try to act psychotic or depressed and suicidal. Some are successful and are sent to a psychiatric state hospital; others return back to prison to serve the remainder of their sentence.

Another example of malingering is a homeless person wanting shelter as winter is approaching. They will enter a hospital emergency department and make up various symptoms such as, “I had a seizure“, “I had a stroke”, “I’m really sick, my stomach has been killing me.” If the neurologist or ED physician is experienced, they will easily catch on to the malingering.

Factitious disorder is when a person presents with real symptoms in order to assume the sick role; they have an unconscious desire to be treated like a patient. They may self-inject fecal material in order to acquire a bacterial infection or self-administer insulin in order to become hypoglycemic.

Patients with factitious disorder are usually female nurses or hospital employees who have general knowledge of the healthcare system and desire upfront medical attention. There is even factitious disorder by proxy, where a person will make their child or elder sick in order to assume the caretaker role!

The clear difference between malingering and factitious disorder is that the former is a conscious act; the latter is a conscious act motivated by an unconscious desire. Malingerers find an excuse to obtain a get out of jail free card, while patients with factitious disorder have unconscious conflicts that become the drivers behind their behavior.

If you find a patient who is unwilling to cooperate with medical procedures and evaluations and paints a sketchy picture, then you have just met a malingerer. If you find a patient who is a middle-aged female and has a medical track record of entering many different hospitals in a short period of time for suspicious and questionable activity, then you have just met a person with factitious disorder.

Welcome to the world of mental health!

Are you Ready? (This is Defeating Stigma Mindfully)