Discover our App

Centerpointe Research

Depressed People, Fragile? Or Dangerous? Or An Easy Target?

Did you know that depressed people can be very rageful; but don’t feel that they can get it out or let it out.  To hate yourself so very much that you feel that you should die like Jesus so somebody else (anybody else) could be saved.  Depression is exceedingly complex and the depressed person is exceedingly perplexed.  To die; but at the same time to get revenge by taking somebody else with you either someone you hate or someone you love. People who have not been depressed, don’t understand this and never will unless or until they have been on the dark side.

Adolescents’ egos are very fragile and what they feel at the moment can be so overwhelming that they may kill themselves and make the biggest mistake of their lives.  They can be so humiliated that they can’t face other people if the other people find out how they have been humiliated.  They don’t expect support and/or understanding just humiliation and defeat.  It really doesn’t help if other people know this can happen and use it to humiliate them.  The part of the brain that considers long-term consequences is not fully developed yet in adolescents and even in some young adults.

My ex sent me a Christmas card (like one we had sent out the Christmas after we were married)  after he had gotten remarried less than a year after we got divorced.  No, I was not married at the time; but I did express my anger in a somewhat more appropriate way by throwing darts at the card and destroying it, not myself.  Thank God, I no longer was an adolescent or a very young adult at the time.

P.S. :  I don’t recommend that anybody get remarried less than two years after they break up with someone or lose someone.  One should not make any changes that they can not undo either during this period of time.  I know of widows who have done this and regretted it.  There is a strong desire not to have to live alone and one’s ability to make such an important decision may be impaired.  Some people know this and take advantage of someone in this situation especially if there is something to gain by making this liaison.

P.P.S.:  WARNING IF YOU NOTICE ANY OF THESE THINGS HAPPENING EITHER WITH YOURSELF OR SOMEONE ELSE, SEEK HELP IMMEDIATELY!  Call your local suicide prevention service hotline, local mental health center emergency number, local hospital emergency  room number or immediately go to the emergency room.  Call 911 to get emergency information on who to contact or where to go for help.

 

 

Have You Been Brainwashed As A Child To Not Notice Certain Things?

Have you been brainwashed as a child?

Have you been brainwashed as a child?

Have You Been Brain Washed As A Child?

It is likely that you have.

In order to understand our world, we quickly accept our parents and others views of the world and begin to reject or deny those things that don’t fit these preconceived notions.  How much evidence from our own senses do we reject in order to fit in?  Researchers have found that sounds not used in our native language atrophy  if we don’t use them.  How many other things atrophy from disuse.  Our caregivers teach us what to pay attention to and what not to pay attention to and thus, limiting what we take in in terms of our senses (normal vs. paranormal?).  Yes, if some limiting does not get done, a child will be confused by all the input coming from his or her senses and his or her ability to pay attention will be impaired.

rp_300px-TV_highquality.jpgFor example, still today professionals in my field, psychology, deny that children see monsters in their rooms when they try to go to sleep and give advice to parents that they should reassure their children, when this happens, that this is not so, and not to  encourage them to make a big deal of it.  This can make children doubt their senses and this can be seen as a form of manipulation.

rp_3112139566_2b90ffcc0e_m.jpg

When Things Are Black And White

Recently I have discovered that this is not true.  Things do look different in a darkened bedroom with only a little light from a night light or from the hall through a barely open door.  Our pupils dilate in these circumstance and we can see more with less light.  True, it is the multitude of  black and white sensors (which are called rods) in the retina that perceive this as they are the most sensitive in this type of situation of low light.  Also their accuracy in perceiving things is only fair unlike that of the cones which are not operating. Cones perceive things in bright light and do so with a lot more accuracy than the rods which take over and dominate when there is not much light.  Part of the reason for this is that there are more rods than cones.

Sweet Dreams?

Sweet Dreams?

I’ve tried this out in my bedroom in the middle of the night and things don’t look the same as they do when the room is well lite.  I often initially have difficulty figuring out what things are, even familiar things like my spouse laying besides me.  I am an adult and I know that this is happening.   What about about a child who naturally sees things differently when the light is dim and he or she may see formless shapes that don’t look familiar and is scared.  A parent denying that this happens doesn’t make it go away and further more it doesn’t change what and how children see in their dimly lite bedrooms.  It just encourages them to deny that what is really happening is true.

When Is Reassurance Necessary?

When Is Reassurance Necessary?

Often the child learns that asking for reassurance doesn’t work.  It just teaches them to keep it to themselves and to be afraid of the dark like I was as a child.  The only time I could sleep comfortably is when there was another person staying in the room with me or when I had a low wattage light nearby where I could see it.  This fear can spread farther if parents’ continue to tell children to deny what they see and how it makes them feel.

Can You "See" What he is feeling?

Can You “See” What he is feeling?

For awhile there was a lot of research on the “double bind”and how it was often found in families of schizophrenics (which is a serious mental illness) and their ability to think and reason is also often impaired.  A family member would say one thing when he or she  obviously looked like and or sounded like he or she meant something else.  For example, by holding a small child at arm’s length and saying, “I love you.”  Sometimes adults’ think that they are being polite when they do this and often people are trained to not “see” this or if they do, to not comment on it.  This can completely mix up a child’s brain.   He or she can not be confident that what they are seeing and/or hearing  is what they are actually seeing or hearing.

A Perplexed Child

A Perplexed Child

Genuineness can become a rare commodity if this is constantly done.  The child’s gut feels one thing when he or she is told that the person with them is not feeling that way.  Lately people have been told to trust their intuition or instincts more.  So many people have shut off that “still small voice” so often that they don’t hear it anymore.  How often have we been taught not only what to think, but also what to feel.  Does the word “propaganda” sound familiar?  It starts when parents are uncomfortable with children who see and feel things  like they really are and that is not what the parent wants the child to see and hear.  This makes them uncomfortable because they don’t want a child to feel or think that way for some reason.  What is the difference, if any, between this and outright deliberate lying?rp_Feelings.jpg

We naturally are able to perceive many different things and people find it easier to deny this ability in others so they can control them, not only what they do, but also what they think.  We are not a bunch of sheep who must be herded in the direction that the “shepherd” wants us to go for his or her own convenience or nefarious ends.

How often have we heard the response, “No, I am not angry,” when a person obviously is.  Lying is often a convenient thing to do.  It aids in the manipulation of others and has almost become a way of life for many if not all people.  In this society we continually put people down and this most often happens after we have encouraged someone to tell the truth.

rp_Is-Status-More-Important-Label-LB-1981.gifDon’t put people down.  There are enough people doing it already.  Bring them up instead.  No wonder we are so sensitive.  Sometimes I feel that I should be wearing a suit of armor.  This is often done in childhood when it is most easily done.  Children are innocent and don’t realize what is being done to them.    Do people put other people down just so they can bring themselves up?  Sounds phony doesn’t it?

What do you think?  Continuing to explore this issue, was your childhood family motto:”Don’t Ask Don’t Tell?”  More on this in a future post.

 

 

 

 

Living Through Your Children And Why It Is Bad For You As Well As For Them

How Realistic Are Your Expectations For Your Children?

How Realistic Are Your Expectations For Your Children?

It is not difficult to look around and see parents trying to live out their thwarted dreams through their children. In fact it is so frequent and so common that I can’t give some examples because they are so close to home. I have even done it myself trying to make up for my husband (he was a farmer and also ran a dairy) not doing “father-son things” with our son. I was a dramatic failure at most of those things. It was almost as if the “cosmos” knew what I was trying to do and was working against me. The stories are “funny” now but not when they happened. They could have made for a situation comedy.

 
Remember my recent post on this website, “Weeds Versus Flowers”. This gives some background for why this is a problem. I think we all have a purpose in this life and no one person’s purpose is exactly like another’s and no matter how much we admire a person and want to emulate them we can’t as our life experiences and inborn abilities are not exactly the same.

 
rp_Skills_Like_This_poster.pngI greatly admire Joyce Meyers; a Christian author and speaker; yet, I probably would not be happy doing exactly what she does and has done to get to where she is . I have learned that as a psychologist. I admired some of my professors. I thought I wanted to emulate them; but I found some of the work boring and unsatisfying and some of the theoretical thinking rather narrow minded. (Yes, I’ve always been very competitive.)

 
Then when I became acquainted with some of the great therapists, I felt doomed to fail because no matter how much I read and studied about them, I couldn’t get “it”, whatever it was they had. All along the way I (to some extent) ignored what I had to give and enjoyed doing and that I had had some experiences which taught me something which is where I am at today.  I once toilet trained a young boy by playing miniature basket ball with him in play therapy.

 

 

 

Personal Fulfillment Achieved Through Prayer

Personal Fulfillment Achieved Through Prayer

Back to the subject of raising children to fulfill their life purpose and to use their life experiences as learning experiences while also using their own inborn talents. Many parents did not get to do this themselves and have tried to make up for this by using their children to do this. Either they push experiences on them that are not appropriate for that particular child or they discover some natural talents that their children have and try to develop them so that they ( the parent) can bask in the limelight or reflected glory of their successful children.

 
You must nurture your child like the particular and special “flower” that they are requiring different amounts of “moisture”, “soil”, “sunshine”, and fertilizer from other plants. Even if they seem to be very similar to you as a child and seem to have the same gifts, no one is exactly the same. Check your DNA!
And you must also continue to nurture yourself as an adult and make sure you get what you need to thrive and be “YOU”. What do “empty nesters” do after their children are gone?  (Oops, I know, take care of their elderly parents. But that’s a topic for another post.)

Nothing Is More Enticing Than Negativity Especially In These Trying Times

Versus Bad Vibrations

Versus Bad Vibrations

This may not cheer you up and make your day; but you and everyone else needs to hear it!  Have you ever seen Bubble Guppies (you would have if you had grand babies the same age as mine)?  On Bubble Guppies there was an episode which featured Mr. Grump Fish.  Do you know him or is that you some days?

Mr. Grump Fish was not very attractive.  That’s not very surprising is it?  Oh, he wasn’t particularly handsome and he wasn’t particularly ugly until you noticed the grouchy expression on his face.  Also he wasn’t especially good company and prolonged exposure to him was definitely a “downer”.

I have had some people for friends that when I called them, would often tell me the same depressing stories over and over that to them justified their conclusion that the world had given them a bad rap.  It was difficult being sympathetic because these people felt that anything they had tried failed and would do so in the future.

This Will Make Some Juicy Gossip!

This Will Make Some Juicy Gossip!

Have you noticed that gossip is mostly negative and would do things that would hurt the people’s reputations that were being talked about.  Why does saying something bad about or to someone else make people feel good?

Now Mr. Grump Fish, of course, was not very good company; and when he entered a room, he could clear the place just by his mere presence let alone by what he could contribute to the conversation.

Do you feel you would be considered a “goody, goody two shoes” if you did just the opposite.  That is said something nice about somebody and/or remarked about how good you felt that day?  Remember you feel just exactly what you think.  Negative thoughts breed negative feelings.

Yes, bad things are happening in the world, but dwelling on them when you are not being constructive will bring you down.  This is just what the enemy wants to do if they can’t kill you or hurt you otherwise.  No, we shouldn’t act ignorant let our fears keep us in the dark; but we can keep our morale up and fight the cloud of negativity that the enemy is trying to cover free nations with.

 

 

.

Sometimes It Is Hard To Be Me

rp_Truman_pass-the-buck.jpgSometimes it’s hard to be me.”  Do you ever think that especially after a hard day when you feel like you really got nothing done and several things have gone wrong?  I tried that out on some people the other day and they had to agree with it.

If you challenge yourself frequently to meet up to certain standards and set yourself multiple goals as well as take on too many responsibilities, you might feel that way.

rp_Anxiety.gifFrequently I suggested to people I saw for counseling that they set more manageable goals on which they could be better able to focus.  Simply the plan is to either to set a time limit on how long you are going to work on a given problem and then go on to something else or to determine what part of the problem you are going to work on and finish before going on to something else.

Don’t set yourself up for failure by not changing your goals when and if you realize that it is not possible to meet them on a certain day.  Everybody needs to experience a certain level of accomplishment and don’t be too hard on yourself if you realize that you haven’t set reasonable goals.

"Let me see here,"

“Let me see here,”

For example when I studied for my licensing exam as a psychologist, I set my self a certain number of pages to cover a day during the week and if I reached that goal, I did not have to cover any pages on the weekend to make up for what I didn’t get done during the week.  Also I was just starting to juggle my new role as farm wife with that of fledgling psychologist.

Also don’t forget to say to yourself (when this is going on), “Take good care of yourself.  You belong to me.”  You get that?  This is “you” saying it to “you”!rp_300px-Sweet-dreams-dreaming-of-snow-white-and-the-seven-dwarves.jpg

 

 

Procrastination Is Making You Wait…

rp_4266893491_71b4f4f722_m.jpgProcrastination often occurs because of the fear of failure or doing something wrong.  You can never get something done right or learn something that you don’t know how to do without going ahead and trying.  Some people avoid doing something because they would rather do something else like nothing.  I have had jobs where at times I had to be at work and had nothing to do but I had to stay there.

I often spend more time avoiding something than it might actually take to do it and then either fail or succeed.  What would happen if you did something when you saw it and/or thought of it?   Might you save time and energy and/or actually learn something about something you are afraid to do for various reasons.  A coward dies many deaths, but a hero dies but once.

rp_4612035503_13ffb333f8_m.jpgHow much clutter do you accumulate because of the fear of throwing something away and needing it later however so slight.  In the long run would it be cheaper in terms of time and energy to redo or replace something or hunt the information you didn’t save up again on the internet.  I got a bargain individual serving coffee maker that did not have the instructions and it really was no problem as I found them on the internet and printed them out?

I have always heard that if you live in New York City where rents are extremely high and space is extremely limited that you have to learn to do this and that people who have amassed collections of stuff over the years sometimes feel relieved when they no longer have to keep track of them and or maintain them.

rp_8182308742_11e245507e_m.jpgAnother problem is the “I can’t” response.  Have you ever really tried and at the same time remembered that other people have been able to do it and they had to learn sometime.  It also improves your self-concept and makes you less dependent on others.

Either farm the job out on a regular schedule like most people do that with their trash or do without.  For example get a duvet and a duvet cover which is washable to replace your top sheet and blanket and simplify a bed making job and/or wait until just before you go to bed to straighten the bed up and now you won’t need the bedspread and fancy extra throw pillows.  Whoever thought a bed had to be dressed up and often didn’t kings and emperors hold court from their beds and I guarantee that their beds weren’t made when they did that.

Aim too highI once solved a patient’s problem with organizing and submitting paperwork so he could get what would amount to a very substantial amount of money refunded when he got all done.  I gave the patient a time limit to get it done in and if he didn’t meet the time limit he would have to agree to throw all the paper that he had saved away so he wouldn’t have to worry about it anymore.

Sometimes we take more time ensuring that we not do something than it would actually take to do it.  We sometimes are so busy ruminating about something that we don’t realize this until it is too late.  One thing I am doing is fixing up a standard card table to use only for the current  paperwork that I am doing and it is removed from the TV and the the refrigerator and the company of any human beings (haven’t pledged yet to keep my pets out as the cat likes to sleep in the middle of my paperwork and/or stand in front of my computer screen and paw at it.  He can no longer sleep on top of the monitor (because it was warm) as it is now a flat screen.  No, I don’t know why he does this?

aim at nothingSomewhere we learn early on to drag our feet this way to get out of doing something (going to bed?).  As I have said in another recent post, some people spend more time in the workplace avoiding work than working.  I don’t know how or why they get paid for this?  At least when I do this, I am usually only cheating myself.  Now when you think of it, it seems awfully stupid when we take these things into consideration.the-greatest-barrier-in-success-is-the-fear-of-failure

Men & Women? Or Women & Men?

amygdalaEver wonder about the differences (if any) between the sexes in childhood and in adulthood?  Sometimes I wonder if my husband is blind in one eye and can’t see out of the other.  What strikes me constantly when I pull in the drive or come in the back door is what needs to be done.  There is trash in the yard and trash in the house that needs to be picked up and/or disposed of!  There are things that are completely worn out and that need to be replaced.  Things that need to be finished that were started several years ago before they completely deteriorate and fall down and have to be torn down and probably never replaced.  A lot of wasted money and energy have gone into those things.  I never miss seeing these things and it frustrates me every time I see them.  It is like I have a huge “to do” list that I can never even start let alone finish.

Don’t think that men don’t notice things.  They are always noticing things that you have done to cope with these problems that they don’t like and complain about and threaten to tear down or throw out.  Some men (oh, my) even cuss about these things as though you really deserve a cussing out rather than some appreciation for trying to do something about the problems.  Doesn’t it seem here that there is some attempt to not take responsibility for all the problems you have to live with and cope with everyday and to shift the blame onto you.

rp_300px-Determinants_of_Forgiveness_Graphic.JPGThere is an idea going around that men are more able to focus on things and ignore what is not relevant.  The idea is also that women are more able to multitask and get more done because they can’t as easily let things go.

Men also can also divert themselves by horsing around and talking about what other people, not them, are doing or not doing.  Men also can pull pranks on each other and then forget about how awful they were to each other and even laugh about it.  Women take things more personally and like an elephant they can never  not forget.

For example, I remembered being pranked by my room mate’s future sorority sisters who tried to throw me in the shower clothes and all I fought them like a wildcat.   I still am mad at them for tearing up the room including dumping out my things and attempting to haze me as well as my roommate.  I was not a pledge of theirs and didn’t deserve that. Now if it had been guys they might have forgotten it and /or even thought it was funny after the fact.

Guys can get angry at each other, even fight each other physically, and apparently forgive and forget the next day.  When in training for something that they must complete and reach a certain standard of excellence, they expect to be treated badly and brag about surviving and even plan ahead as a group how to outwit their trainers attempts to subdue them.  To them, it is part of the game.   Is the mistreatment of women trainees partially because they don’t understand this or can’t or don’t want to participate in this?  It’s a guy thing?  Do men think “Why doesn’t a woman think like a man?” like in the musical, “My Fair Lady.”

rp_3126327492_30718d4524_m.jpgThe next part of the problem is whether or not men think of it as a problem that they should have to do something about?  Or do only women do?  Do they find it is more impossible to live with than women do?  Or do men think they have already done something about it when women can’t get them to notice the problems let alone do anything about them?  Do they feel that hurt feelings don’t count and should be forgotten as easily as they forget them and/or don’t acknowledge them and/or pass them up as not counting for anything.  I guess if you can forget about a guy socking you in the face the next day and go on about your business with him as if nothing has happened, you can do it.  As a woman, I may still have a bruise or injury that reminds me of what that person who hurt me owes me and which can not be forgiven easily if at all?

 

 

How Demanding Or Neglectful Are You Of Your Partner?

rp_319628280_150_150.jpgDo you treat your partner like anybody else you know or are you less patient and more demanding?  Do you have higher expectations of him or her?  Are you sarcastic and critical of him or her? Honestly would you like to hang around you if were your partner?

Dear partner, to put the shoe on the other foot, why don’t you treat me like happyoldercoupleyou treat other people, your friends, other family members?  You are very likeable and courteous with people who come to our door or who you meet on the street.  I hear you having long conversations on the phone but you never tell me these things that you talk about.  I feel left out of the loop and that I often am the last person to find out something if I ever find out at all (even if it includes me).

not.talkI would love to have coffee with someone and find out how their day went and with whom I could share my troubles, no matter how small.  I am not seeking to blame someone and I only want to receive a little compassion for my troubles.  Life can be very lonely when you spend it this way day after day….

Do You Hear Only What You Want To Hear?

Do You Hear Only What You Want to Hear Or See Only What You Want To See?  Do you sometimes tune things out and skip parts of the material that is given to you? or that is shown to you?rp_3126327492_30718d4524_m.jpgI go to a place to meet my spiritual needs and I go to hear what God wants me to know.  I try to go with no preconceived notions of what I will get from attending church that day.  I quiet myself and pay attention to what is prayed, said, or done.  It is a time to be in the moment, not about feeling bad for what has happened in the past or being anxious or worried about the future.

Something was said yesterday during the service that I caught and am presenting here.  This idea not only applies to worship services, but also to doctor visits, books, lectures or workshops.We often hear what we want to hear not actually was said or intended.  When we learn something new, we often make changes to other ideas we have held or if this makes us uncomfortable we decide to tweak the material that was presented so it fits our notions of how the world should be.

Gossiping

Gossiping

Ever play the game of gossip and noticed how distorted the original message became?

We may tune in and tune out adjusting what we do hear to make it more acceptable no matter what the content.  We can have attacks of boredom.  We can become irritated because we have to sit there and listen to the speaker drone on and on.  We can day dream or even fall asleep.  Pay attention there may be something useful there.

This also can apply to visual material like posters, power point presentations.   Did you read the quote presented at the top of this post.  Here it is again.rp_3126327492_30718d4524_m.jpg How did it make you feel: comfortable or uncomfortable.  Are you generally open and receptive? or do you not like someone else telling you what to do and/or commenting  on your appearance, possessions, and family.  You have your own ideas and are comfortable with them.

I realize when I jump to conclusions I don’t pay attention to what is being presented.  Stereotypes of people and cultures leave much to be desired and prevent us from encompassing diversity and learning what these people and cultures are really like.

Now you may understand why that Active Listening (Carl Rogers) is so important in communication.  Being able to repeat what the other person has said before giving your reply encourages people to hear everything that was said.

Should You Judge A Book By Its Cover? What Do You Think Is More Important? Looks? Or Personality??

Drp_300px-Kohlberg_moral_stages_vop.gifo you realize we learn to like certain skin colors, hair types, body shapes, heights, and to discriminate between them.  To me, my mommy was beautiful and my grandmas were a “sight for my sore eyes,”  although they were older and heavier than my mother.  My BFF, who I met in first grade, was not judged by me on the basis of her physical size but on how much fun we had when we were together.  I had a cousin the same age as I was and I often got hand me downs from her as she (although my age) was “bigger” than me.  We have to be taught to see these differences as significant.  The standards of beauty and handsomeness can vary quite strikingly from culture to culture and have you looked at wedding pictures and seen that there is a man for every woman and a woman for every man.

I was having a discussion with my daughter-in-law and discovered that an actress that I considered to be no beauty was considered very attractive by my daughter-in-law.  Also men and women focus on different parts of the anatomy when they try to decide if a woman is beautiful and/or and a man is a potential  “chick magnet.”  Haven’t you ever heard a discussion about what physically attracts a man to a woman: her boobs, her butt, her legs, her hair color, or whatever.

Remember the saying, “Men don’t make passes at women who wear glasses.”  Doesn’t seem to face-partsmatter now.  It used to be what attracted a woman to a man was his profession or his ability to be able to support her in the style she was or would like to become accustomed to.   At mid-life or latter some men look for a younger woman sometimes even young enough to be their daughter.  Then there women who are “cougars” and seek younger men.  Ever hear the terms, “sugar daddy”or “trophy wife”?

There is one particular cable news channel that is often on at my house and one of the recurring “experts” I became acquainted with was so ugly, I didn’t like to look at him; however he was very knowledgeable and had a very credible life history to support his road to being this “expert.”  All of a sudden one day as I was listening to him, I realized he no longer was bad looking to me.  His looks didn’t change but my attitude toward them had.

rp_5798468679_59ea50286a_m.jpgI came to realize that I had been selling other people short when I concentrated on their looks instead of their personality, knowledge, and abilities.  I also I noticed I was selling myself short too when I dressed to impress and probably could not afford it instead of wearing something flattering and comfortable so I could be comfortable being me.  I don’t mean that looks don’t count.  You can go too far in this direction to the point of being offensive.

I had planned to post on the fact that the cable news channel had only impossibly beautiful women in at least distracting (if not very conservative) clothes, dangerously high heels, high maintenance hairstyles, and glamorous makeup that required that these women show up early for work in order to attain this look.  Also of course, the men who had the same jobs were often not necessarily tall, athletic, and youthful and wore more comfortable, less revealing, clothes.  I then realized I was judging these women on how they looked but in a negative way.  They didn’t deserve that either.  They invested a lot of time and money into looking the way they did and should not be judged for trying so hard.