"Half Price" November Covid Special for Consultation
I am not good at keeping up to date with this, but you know why!
The meaning and purpose of life is the creation and enjoyment of harmony. Harmony is a right brain state. Most Western thinking is left-brain, seeking logic and rationality. It is not possible to find meaning in this state, it is focused and analytical. Human function requires a balance between left and right (These are generalities but useful.)
The right-brain is the area of story, of poetry, spirituality, beauty and music, dance, dreaming and imagination, of satisfaction, love, and family, good fun and happiness. And inside all that, harmony, and achievement.
Harmony is created by the balance of compatible states. Many things in our world are chaotic. Forming them into harmony is how and why we live. It may be the architecture of a building or the construction of an efficient sewerage system as much as a poem or a painting.
The spiritual component varies from person to person. It is futile to attempt to prove or disprove the existence of god in a left-brain frame. Focusing on a part means the whole is invisible. Left brain is essential for science and mathematics, it is useless for, say, love, and certainly for spirituality. Much religion starts of as right-brain spiritual and becomes a system with rules and left-brain, so ceasing to be effectively spiritual.
Harmony is dynamic, it is never the same. The appreciation of harmony as beauty involves our emotions. Looking at a wonderful painting or listening to music, even though it has an unchanging form, stirs within us varying emotions each time.
TRAUMA, PTSD, CHILDHHOD HURT & VOO 14/77/20
I am a
Shrink. Not a psychiatrist; I shrank as a child. I shrank away from everything
and froze. I developed a form of immobility response, and maybe dissociation,
which goes with it.
I need to qualify dissociation. In psychology it has different meanings. In this case I am meaning an ADHD not belonging and, in some cases, not having a distinct identity.
What we shrink away from is trauma. The trauma may be major or trivial, single event or a series of events. We often picture trauma as something dramatic, a car crash, say, but in therapy it has a wider meaning.
Shrinking is not just a mental experience. It involves the whole body. We tighten the neck, round our shoulders and constrict breathing. We tighten belly muscles and the muscles and tendons of our legs and feet, the sphincters of anus and bladder.
Now, animals do something interesting. Generally, if they experience trauma they freeze: that’s the immobility response. They “play possum”. Then, when they can, they escape. Next, they shake or tremble, they discharge the energy, and get on with life.
Humans don’t because they think and remember. Instead of discharging the energy they keep the trauma sequence attached to the trigger and often generalize it. As a result, we can end up with chronic anxiety, rounded shoulders, constantly tight neck muscles, constricted breathing, constipation, insomnia, poor relationships, sore legs, claw toes, lack of initiative and motivation, and different kinds of fear.
This response turns up in PTSD and ADHD or as the result of trauma. It is often childhood trauma. Sometimes ADHD symptoms are accelerated by trauma. Some therapists want to dig into the past and sot it all out. I prefer to deal with the present problem, because we can.
The reason is that trauma affects the body, and there is body therapy. It is called somatic therapy. (Soma is an old Greek word for the body.)
There are a number of somatic therapies, I will outline one set here. I am thankful to Peter Levine for much of this.
Understand that thinking and remembering are only a lead into bodily sensation. You are dealing with the body, not the mind.
Be conscious of the awareness that distresses you. You may remember an event in the past or only aware of a time where you believe you were traumatized – infancy or a school grade. Become completely fully aware of what you feel all over your body.
Then you discharge the feelings, the energy, just like an animal. You make yourself tremble or shake vigorously until you feel you have achieved a level of freedom. If you are fit enough you may want to jump about or run.
Then you Voo breathe. It goes like this. You take a deep breath, and then breathe out through relaxed lips making the sound Voo. You breathe deeply down your body making the sound Voo, letting it resonate, vibrate, right down to your gut between your navel and pubic bone.
Do this at least five times.
Next reverse the breathing thus. Breath in deeply and focus your attention at the base of your gut. Voo out and up vibrating up into your eyes and teeth as you sound out the breath. Five times.
You can repeat this as much as you like, knowing you have let go into the past some or all of the trauma.
I would follow this with a meditation type period of imagining that the symptoms you experienced have gone.
This process is not a magic cure. Most people need to repeat it over time. Move into improved behaviour out of the habit of shrinking.
Mindfulness Meditation is recommended.
More information is available on YouTube with Peter Levine and Somatic Therapy.
One of the best personal development writers is William Whitcloud. His great book The Magician's Way is written as a story, and that is followed by Secrets of Natural Success.
People sometimes ask: What is the purpose of my life, I don't know what to do? Is there any point to life?
We can be very self-centred and so self-referencing. We go inside and worry. But
It is the wrong question to begin with.
The right question is
What is our purpose?
What is our purpose as a family, a community, a tribe, a nation, a world?
What is our good purpose?
Lots of bad purposes are generated by individuals who are sociopathic (Putin, Xi, Trump) or just greedy (name a supermarket you know).
A good aim is to build healthy caring communities, whether in a family or beyond.
Inside this we can build our own purpose. It may be individually focussed and expression of skill or even survival, it is all contributing to community. We hope that it will include a specific contribution to the community to build up a healthy, caring, and respectful life for all. (Do the Interests exercise in the left margin if you would like some help.)
You cannot save the world, but you can make some part of it better.
If you ask, What is my purpose?, the answer is that you do something, give some service to others, earn enough to support you and yours using some ability that you have, express yourself and enjoy yourself. You do not have to justify yourself to God or any one else.
ALL ABOUT MOTIVATION 27/5/20
Many of us struggle with motivation. We start things and then we run out of steam and stop, even forget what we started.
Some of this is the ADD view of time - we are inside it and don't take an overall view. But the major reason is that this is the wrong kind of motivation. If you want to achieve you need to be motivated by the end result.
You need to create a powerful vision of what you want to achieve. It doesn't have to be with chrystal clarity, but you need to make it as intense as possible.
It needs to be made up of what you will see, what you will hear in your own thinking and the words of other people, what you will feel both emotionally and sensually, anything you smell and taste, and your movements.
You then intensify this to the highest level possible. Next attach it to a reminder. I use a gold circle on my computer, mirror and wallet. I also use a cold circle in the floor (imagined) and physically step into it.) Some people use an app on the phone, whatever. It is best to have several as we adders need them.
The purpose is to have reminders of the outcome, which is your real motivator!
Why do it this way? We have an unconscious mind (otherwise sub-conscious or "the brain") and its job is to keep us "normal" which is the way we were last week and the week before and before that. It resists change, which is its job as it protects us.
We have strong unconscious beliefs about ourselves and the world. Some of these are real identity beliefs. If we choose an outcome which is in conflict with one or more of these our unconscious really objects (E.G., All people with Afro hair are too odd. My daughter is going out with a man with Afro hair. Ahhrraggh! Oh, he has a Ph.D. in law and is already a Partner. Errumm ....nice boy. OR Talking to strangers is very disturbing and my stomach is tight! ....But ... They are probably just as frightened as me, perhaps I had better take a chance and break the ice.)
When we choose a result which involves change, it says "No!"
Fighting this is stress, sometimes to the level of paralysis, so the task is to set up a very attractive and powerful outcome in our mind which by-passes the "No".
Key answer: Really love yourself. Love yourself for who you are and recognise that hidden in your centre is a perfect you that cannot be damaged>
PHYSICAL RELATED CONDITIONS 15/5/20
IN NEARLY EVERY CASE ARTICLES ON RELATED (CO-MORBID) CONDITIONS OF ADHD deal with dysfunctions of the mind, and we are very conscious of these.
However there are physical problems that are more common in people with ADHD than the general population.
Some of these are
Restless leg syndrome
Irritable bowel syndrome
trichotillomania, - hair pulling
excoriation disorder – skin picking
There is also discussion about possible confusion between ADHD and Potts Syndrome, and ADHD and Bipolar Disorder. Research continues.
IMMEDIATE GRATIFICATION 17/1/20
Nearly everyone is familiar with this as an occasional event, but some of us knowit as a constant experience.
We want to feel good now, and ignore the consequences. It is evident in smoking, overeating, and alcohol problems. It is also a major problem in ADHD.
Many of us live in our thoughts and feelings. But it is important to be aware that we have two states of awareness. There is our thinking mind, which runs continuously during consciousness, and the part which is aware that we are aware, often called the Observer. This part of the mind we can notice as we have feelings about out feelings, and can observe and think about our thinking.
The Observer allows more than observation. Having noticed what we feel and think, we can make changes. We decide to feel and think differently. So the Observer is more of a Manager, and we use it this way. We guide our mind.
For many with ADHD distraction is a real problem. Taking deliberate steps to focus when we need to is important.
The key is to deliberately make the future more powerful, attractive, and attainable. You aim to be more focused, a healthy non-smoker, controlled eater or drinker, or whatever. This can take effort. I have clients who expect to change their lives in the same level of energy they have been living in with the problem. You can call it will-power.
However, people get will-power wrong. You can imagine a smoker saying: " I want a smoke, I shouldn't smoke, I want a smoke, I shouldn't smoke, I want a smoke, I shouldn't smoke, ......" This not will-power, it is struggle. Will-power involves saying "I will not smoke." and that's it. It is a decision flowing from "I".
Achieving "I" is very powerful. Deciding exactly what you want, stating it powerfully and doing it is effective.
Oh, yes, it takes practice and effort, and if there seem to be reasons you have great difficulty with it, you may need professional help.
There is more and more discussion about what we eat and how it affects ADHD. Some people find that a gluten free diet helps. There are a variety of diets available on the internet. (Some recommend soy, which I would avoid).
Some people find allergies to specific foods or additives, e.g., colouring. Professional allergy testing con be helpful. Otherwise it is a case of experimenting by planned elimination of possible problem foods and noticing the results.
More than the Mind 30/12/19
Latest research into ADHD (and ADD which is part of it) reveals that it is more than a neurotransmitter problem including oppositional defiant disorder (ODD), obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), Tics and Tourette Syndrome, Substance abuse, addiction, an overlap with Asperger's syndrome and Bipolar Disorder (sometimes misdiagnosed). Oh, there is also dyspraxia, disgraphia, dyscalculia, and dyslexia.
There is an increased risk of problems, like a learning disability, conduct disorder, depression, anxiety, but also physical difficulty with hearing or speech, chronic itch, allergic disease and sleep disturbance, constipation and fecal incontinence, Celiac disease, among others.
Many of these are discovered statistically, that is, in case reviews these complaints occur more frequently in ADHD cases than in the "normal" population.
We do not yet know why the genes involved in ADHD produce these complaints. Much more research is needed.
There has been a tendency in some psychological circles to separate symptoms into different disorders; that is, say, someone has ADHD, and anxiety, and depression, and learning difficulties. This is not generally useful; they are all part of ADHD. It has more to do with American insurance programs than solving problems.
IS IT REAL?
There has been another splurge of people saying ADHD isn't real. I have one response. They haven't got it and haven't experienced it. I have it, so I know that it's real.
It's true that in America in particular for a while every problem child was given Ritalin, and that was wrong. (Nice for the drug companies, of course.) We have better diagnosis now and improved medication.
Logic will get you from A to B. Imagination will take you everywhere.
The intuitive mind is a sacred gift and the rational mind is a faithful servant. We have created a society that honors the servant and has forgotten the gift.
© David Townsend 2014