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Change Your Brain

Today is Bell Canada’s “Lets Talk Day” with the purpose of encouraging people to join a conversation to support Canadian mental health.  One of the biggest hurdles for anyone suffering from mental illness is overcoming the stigma. It is the number one reason why those living with a mental illness do not seek help.

Depression is very real but it is a symptom, not an illness and it has debilitating symptoms that include feelings of helplessness, crying, anxiety, low self-esteem, a lack of energy, sleeping difficulties, physical aches and pains, and a bleak view of the future.  It shows itself in many different ways, but it typically interferes with a person’s ability to function, feel pleasure or take an interest in things.

Starting the conversation is good, but what happens after the conversation is started is what makes the difference.  Your mind is the only thing you control exclusively. You should not give it away too freely through useless arguments and thoughts. Bells campaign is noble, but it is one day.  Our world has lost many amazing individuals to suicide and it will continue to do so until we as a culture embrace the fact that we are adding to the stigma by filling the minds of the vulnerable with negative thoughts and words and you may not even know it.

We have a sick care system that treats the symptoms with drugs, a pharmaceutical industry that is driven by profits that doesn t want people to get better, a governmental system that is so archaic the rules are meant to keep people oppressed and an insurance system that would rather deny claims in the hopes people just go away.

I was raised in a strong catholic family.  I was taught to believe that if you lived a clean life and worked hard you would be successful.  I believed that there was something wrong and the matter with the character of people who were drug addicts and those who took their own lives.

A year ago, I wrote this sentence Being at the end of my rope, I have nowhere else to turn... If it wasn t for my son I would have committed suicide as it really would have been easier. I feel like I need a telescope to see who I was a year ago and am eternally grateful to one of my closest friends, Doug Dane, for making me join the Proctor Gallagher Institute Thinking Into Results. After studying and learning about the brain and human psychology, my perspective has changed. 

When behaviour is out of bounds, it is essential to evaluate the brain. Jump in and explore, it may be a scary journey but the results are worth it. The brain is an organ that dramatically influences behaviour, thoughts and feelings.  If you are experiencing abnormal behaviour study your brain.

What we need is more knowledge, more understanding and less judgement.  Knowing where I have come from, I become sad when I think about children who run away because their families cannot deal with them any longer and cry when I hear stories of children who take their own lives. 

Not only do brain problems never get properly evaluated but also we have an education system who does not teach students how to be self-confident and capable when it comes to managing their own emotions.  Perhaps they have seen a local counsellor or physician who looked at their abnormal behaviour and told them that they would be fine if only they really wanted to. In today s enlightened society, that attitude is as prevalent as ever. No amount of punishment can change someones behaviour.

Suicide is the 8th leading cause of death in the united states. It is often attempted when a person feels as if they have no other option. Suicide devastates a family, often leaving parents, spouses and children abandoned, guilt - stricken and depressed.

The Serenity Prayer is repeated by millions of people around the world especially those in 12 step programs.  It is a beautiful reminder that there are limits to what we can do in life, and we need to respect that.  I found it helpful to repeat it when I was bothered by repetitive negative thoughts.

God grant me the serenity

To accept the things I cannot change;

Courage to change the things I can;

And wisdom to know the difference.

Living one day at a time;

Enjoying one moment at a time;

Accepting hardships as the pathway to peace;

Taking, as Jesus did, this sinful world

As it is, not as I would have it;

Trusting that you will make all things right

If I surrender to your Will;

So that I may be reasonably happy in this life

And supremely happy with you in the next.


Dr. Thurman Fleet and Dr. Maxwell Maltz were pioneers in the study of mental health and are considered by some as the fathers of modern psychology.   Their work highlighted the need for understanding the relationship between the conscious and the subconscious minds in order to treat the underlying causes of mental health. When your subconscious mind is filled with fear it will lead to anxiety. We have all been trained as children to suppress our anxiety and by suppressing anxiety in the physical body will lead to depression.  When your body is in a state of depression it is at Dis-ease which leads to Dis-Integration and the end result is no control.

Societies ignorance surrounding tough and controversial subjects in the quest for political correctness is our downfall and is leading to increased mental health related issues. We have a sick care system that is great at treating the symptom of depression but there remains limited support for individuals to treat the cause which is worry and doubt caused by ignorance. 

Cybernetics and paradigms are both control systems and operate essentially in the same principle.  Both maintain a definite course of action and will not deviate from the course that has been established.  You must alter the paradigm to achieve the results you desire.  The key to many of the problems in our world including suicide and depression  is found in knowledge and understanding.  Remember Napoleon Hill once said, It takes no more effort in order to aim high in life, to demand abundance and prosperity than is required to accept misery and poverty.

Depression isn’t one-size-fits-all, depression can take many forms. There are a cluster of symptoms that are typically present, but one person’s experience of depression often differs from another’s.  Like a pebble thrown into a pond, depression, creates ripples that spread far from their immediate point of impact. Everything starts with a conversation, but it needs to go well beyond that.  So, if you know someone who s having mental health problems, don t ignore them. Listen to them and tell it is going to be okay. It s going to be okay. And keep telling them until they are strong enough to say it to themselves.

You can change your brain.


Kevin Cahill

By Referral


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