Should We Trust the Church to Treat Mental Illness?

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Good news! Here are some reason why we hopefully don’t trust the church or any religious organization to help regarding our mental health. At this time, church leaders and the church overall aren’t researching, praying or reading up on these issues. Most religious organizations have trouble looking into these issues. Perhaps some are and I’m thankful for this. If you know of any churches with qualified medical staff and an open mind when it comes to mental health research, please let me know.


We’re not living in the days when foods are free of chemicals. So, before
we diagnose and say every illness is caused by demons, we do have to do
some research, some praying and discerning while keeping an open mind. Even medical psychiatrists do not test for nutritional deficiencies at this time. Now, I can’t diagnose anyone. I’m just pointing out a few facts. One day, maybe these church leaders/religious leaders will take the time to pray and do some research. In the meantime, we can sure do so ourselves.

Depression can be caused by nutritional deficiency. So, hopefully you will consider these things and do your own continual research. Again, I’m not a medical doctor and certainly don’t know all the causes for mental illness. If you are suffering from any issue involving mental health, please see a medical doctor. Here’s a great video on the topic of Vitamin D from YouTube:

Mercy Ministries Exposed: Survivor Testimony

Mercy-Ministries

Mercy Ministries Exposed! This is my interview with one of the Mercy Ministries Multiplied Survivors. Mercy Ministries operates a group of residential treatment centers for the mentally ill.  This is a Christian organization. Cynthia G spent a few months living in a Mercy Ministries home.  The program is free! Cynthia recounts some of her experiences in the article below. Mercy Ministries offers other services but this article keeps its focus on one of their mental health treatment centers. Complaints about this ministry have been coming in ever since 2008. The complaints have not been addressed by Nancy Alcorn, CEO of Mercy or any of her staff as far as I know.

This article will help you understand why survivors of Mercy Ministries need attention. We can’t accuse Mercy Ministries without official investigation by a government agency. But the alleged abuse reports are pretty numerous.

Here’s the Mercy Ministries website if you need further information:

http://www.MercyMultiplied.com

And now, let’s hear from Cynthia G about her experiences at Mercy:

1. Cynthia, when did you live in one of the Mercy Ministries mental health treatment center homes?
Cynthia: January 2009-thru March 2010


2. Which facility? Did you live there?

Cynthia: ______________________


3. Were you prevented from taking medications?

Cynthia: They changed my medications often without consulting my doctors at home. They made me see a doctor they picked. The doctor they picked did not take both of my insurances, They made me pay tons of out- of- pocket medical costs to try to get me off medication. They said I didn’t need medication. I was not allowed  any privacy. Seeing a doctor there was confidentiality. Mercy Ministries(Mercy Multiplied) had my medications so messed up. I was a walking zombie.
I needed a Cpap machine to sleep. My roommate often complained  about the noise from it. So when certain a staff worked, I wasn’t  allowed to use it. Then when the nurse  heard she always tried make  it right but I lost sleep .
I was not allowed  to keep my inhalers with me for asthma. So, my asthma  was out of control. Mercy Ministries staff called it anxiety and accused me being  an  attention seeker.

4. I’m truly sorry to hear this Cynthia. Were you isolated from family members?
Cynthia: I was not allowed  to have communication with my family. They told me I had to cut ties. We even prayed to cut ties.

5. Were you told you had a demon?
Cynthia: Yes, on many occasions


6. Were you told that sin caused your illness?

Cynthia: They told me that the abuse from my childhood  was my fault that un-forgiveness was making me sick, I had already forgiven my family. They also told me the sins of my family cursed my health.

7. Did your symptoms become worse because of the abuse at Mercy Ministries?
Cynthia: My PTSD got worse. When I had flashbacks, Mercy Multiplied Ministries tried to make me feel shame and humiliation,  They often said I didn’t  want to be in the program. Also, Mercy Ministries did things that were acts of public humiliation. This caused me more trauma.
My eating disorder got worse at Mercy Ministries. I went there due to extreme episodes  of starvation. Then mercy continued to cause further harm with use of excessive  exercise. They focused on my BMI as my worth. Public humiliation and much more made things worse. They caused me to have a lot of emotional  damage that took a long time to undo.

8. Cynthia, how do you feel today?
Cynthia:Well, I have finally recognized that God is not disgusted  with  me. After Mercy Multiplied Ministries, I lost a lot of friends, My social  interactions are a challenge. It’s  hard to put words to what life is like for me today. I have overcome a lot but my life has its complications. It’s  hard to explain!

9. Were you punished for breaking rules?
Cynthia: My counselor  and the nutrition  coach held private  meetings  with me. They told me that had extreme  expectations. I got told a lot that I didn’t want to follow the program. They called secret meetings  to humiliate me over health stuff I couldn’t control. I was mandated  to take two showers a day. I had very extreme  exercise plans. If I  didn’t obey rules, Mercy Ministry staff threatened probation or some extreme  punishment.

10. How did you pay for medications at Mercy Ministries?
Cynthia: I had medicare part D insurance however they often filled my medications  at out of network  pharmacies. This cost me extreme amounts of money. They ignored my secondary  insurance when something  wasn’t covered by their pharmacy  They made doctor change my medications to something else. Instead  of finding  a solution or letting me go with a pharmacy  where my medications would be covered.

11. How do you think the church can better serve those
with mental health issues?

Cynthia: Have compassion. Don’t judge and realize were all imperfect  people in an imperfect  world. Mercy Ministries needs to acknowledge that we all have hurts habits and hang  ups.

12. Has your faith changed in any way because of the
abuse you experienced at Mercy Ministries?

Cynthia: Well, I think my faith is challenged. I know it challenges my career. My silence has forced my creativity into the ground. It also caused me to mask a lot of how I truly feel about life and certain religious  topics.

13.Mercy Survivors view this organization as an abusive Christian program. In your own words, where do you think Mercy Ministries went wrong?

Cynthia: I think Mercy Ministries started out okay but greed and deception  got in the way, They put themselves  on a pedestal and took God out of it. Mercy Multiplied Ministries cannot heal. They can act as a vehicle to  help facilitate change. However, God is the ultimate healer. No one can claim to heal. Personally, it has to do with intimacy with God. The abuse happens because Mercy Ministries think they’re higher than God . When in fact they are not! When anyone  has to bow to an authoritative figure like Mercy Ministries, it causes problems.

Mercy Ministries IS NOT God, They do not hold the golden ticket to healing. However, they are religious powerhouse that used fraud to work their way to the top manipulating other religious leaders to believe their  lies. Plus, because they’re financially supported by big names  they can get away with this. The houses look so nice. After all, us Mercy Ministry girls, scrub the floors to make the houses we lived in look neat and tidy.The supporters don’t  see beyond the masks Mercy Ministries puts on. Abuse will not stop until crap is brought to light . And the abuse might not stop!

Please go to http://mercysurvivors.com for additional articles from Mercy Survivors.

Partial list of people listed on  Mercy Ministries promotional materials as supporters include:

Dave Ramsey Financial Expert and Author of The Total Money Makeover

Sue Semrau Head Women’s Basketball Coach, Florida State University

CeCe Winans Grammy Award-Winning Recording Artist

Niki Taylor International Supermodel

Victoria Osteen Co-pastor, Lakewood Church

Joyce Meyers

 

Guest Post: Journaling By Steve Pavlina

Journaling-reduces-stress

Journaling is one of the easiest and most powerful ways to accelerate your personal development.  By getting your thoughts out of your head and putting them down in writing, you gain insights you’d otherwise never see.

Beyond sequential thinking

While your brain is technically capable of processing a great deal of input simultaneously, your conscious thoughts play out in a certain sequence.  One thought triggers the next, which triggers the next, and so on.  Sometimes these sequences have a few branches, but they’re still subject to linear time, and at any given moment, you’re following one of those branches.  These thought sequences have a beginning, a middle, and an end, and it’s nearly impossible to see the big picture overhead view of a sequence while you’re stuck in playback mode.

This is where journaling can provide huge advantages.  Journaling allows you to break free of sequential thinking and examine your thoughts from a bird’s-eye view.  When you record your sequential thoughts in a tangible medium, you can then go back and review those thoughts from a third-person perspective.  While you’re recording the thoughts, you’re in first-person mode.  But when you’re reading them, you can remain dissociated instead of associated.  This dissociative view, when combined with what you’ve already learned from the associative view, will bring you much closer to seeing the truth of your situation.

Very shortly I’ll share a couple of excerpts from one of my old journal entries, and you’ll have a chance to apply that overhead view to what was originally a very linear thought sequence.

While many people use journaling to record a personal diary of their thoughts and experiences, the power of journaling goes way beyond verbal photography.

Here are 3 other powerful benefits of journaling:

  • Solve tricky problems.  Some problems are very difficult to solve when you’re stuck in an associative, first-person viewpoint.  Only when you record the situation and then re-examine it from a third-person perspective does the solution become clear.  Sometimes the solution is so obvious that you’re shocked you didn’t see it sooner.
  • Gain clarity.  A great time to turn to your journal is when you’re just not clear about what to do.  Should you quit your job to start your own business?  Should you marry your current romantic partner?  Are you on the right track financially?  It’s amazing how much clearer things become when you explore them in writing.
  • Verify your progress.  It’s wonderful to go back and re-read journal entries from years ago and see how much real progress has been made.  When you’re frustrated that your life doesn’t seem to be working out as you’d like, go back and read something you wrote five years ago — it will totally change your perspective.  This helps you in the present moment too by reminding you that you are in fact growing and changing, even when it feels like you’re standing still.

A real entry from my personal journal

Recently I went back and read some of my old journal entries.  At the risk of embarrassing myself a little, here’s an excerpt from an entry I wrote on June 13, 2004.  This was about 3.5 months before I launched StevePavlina.com.  I hadn’t even committed to building the site as this point.

Keep in mind that this journal entry represents my linear, sequential thoughts at the time.

June 13, 2004, 3:24 pm

So far this year I’ve spent a great deal of time on non-work activities, including reading, playing games, spiritual development, etc.  But now I’m feeling my energy return to a desire to really put some effort into my career for the second half of this year and to work hard at pulling ahead financially.  The difference is that now I feel I’m being drawn forward out of a sense of ambition and positive energy rather than being compelled by fear and disappointment with the past.

I’m ready to begin working on business projects again, for Dexterity Software or otherwise, and get some energy moving forward.  I feel I’ve had enough private victory in order to be able to push myself ahead into public victory.  Whereas the past year has seemed like a time of contraction and turning inward, I feel that the next year is a time of expansion and turning outward.  I can practically feel the cycle of energy shifting.

I sense there is a wave of energy entering into my life right now, and I want to ride it forward as far as I can.

Here are some of the things I want to achieve:

  1. Raise my income dramatically — into the $30-50K/month range
  2. Buy a beautiful 5-bedroom house here in Vegas in a terrific neighborhood
  3. Get really good at poker, and start playing tournaments regularly; be able to win consistently both online and offline
  4. Begin exercising regularly again.
  5. Build a new web site at stevepavlina.com with a focus on personal development, including a blog and some articles, and begin developing and selling audio programs.  Actually create a basic business plan for the site to make it a profitable venture.
  6. Improve dramatically as a speaker through Toastmasters
  7. Be extremely true to my own energy in all that I do, not trying to be something I’m not.  Express myself genuinely.
  8. Write and self-publish at least one book (especially one that can make a decent profit).

It’s very eye-opening to read these old goals, remembering where I was at this point in my life.  This was a time when I was bored with running my games business, but it was still my main source of income.  I felt that it was time for me to move in a different direction, but I was totally unclear about what that direction was.  I thought that boosting my income would be the best way to buy time, so I could figure out what I really should be doing.  In truth, however, I knew what I wanted to do, but I wasn’t convinced I could be financially successful at it.  So I was looking for more money as a way to avoid having to deal with these doubts.  What a mistake that was!

Interestingly, goal #1 was achieved last year… but in a totally different way than I expected.

Goal #2 was achieved 3 weeks ago, when Erin and I moved into our new 6-bedroom home in a “terrific neighborhood.”  Technically it’s a 5-bedroom house plus an office.  Either way it certainly fulfills the original intent.

Goal #3 died a pretty quick death.  In 2004 I was into playing poker semi-regularly, but I totally lost interest in it shortly after launching StevePavlina.com.  I don’t think I’ve played a single hand of poker since 2006.  However, poker has become increasingly popular since then.  New poker rooms have popped up all over Vegas, and they’re bustling with new players.  And not long ago George Bush signed a law that made it illegal for banks to process credit card transactions for online gambling sites — of course that only drives more people to Vegas.  I don’t feel bad at all that this goal wasn’t accomplished.  It was always more of a fantasy than a serious goal for me.

Goal #4 has been going well for years.  I go to the gym several days a week, and I’ve been training in kempo since Oct 2006.  I recently earned my blue belt.

Goal #5 is interesting.  Obviously I created the site, and it’s been a big success.  But I was expecting to create and sell my own info products, much like I did for my games business.  I did create the business plan, and that helped provide some direction, but the plan never accounted for the possibility of advertising income or for the rapid rate of traffic growth.  In a way this goal is still in progress.  I frequently receive requests from people to create my own products, in order to cover certain topics in much greater depth than I can do with the free articles and podcasts.

Goal #6 is still in progress.  At the time I wrote this journal entry, I’d only been a Toastmaster for 11 days.  Now I’m past the 3-year mark.  I’ve certainly made some “dramatic” improvements, but I’ve also become aware of just how much more there is to learn.  One thing I didn’t anticipate was the long-term friends that would be gained from Toastmasters.  Erin has benefited from this as well.  As I write this, she’s out having lunch with one of our Toastmaster friends.  Virtually all of our local friends were made through our involvement with Toastmasters, either directly or indirectly.

Goal #7 is perhaps my favorite from this list, and if I were to judge myself on this one, I’d say I’m succeeding with it.  In the later years of running my games business, I began feeling very incongruent, like I was just supposed to be doing something else.  Now I feel like I’m right where I’m supposed to be.  Of all the goals on this list, this one is by far the most rewarding, and it means more to me than all the others combined.  If you currently find yourself feeling that something just isn’t right, do yourself a big favor and listen to those feelings, even if you fear where they might lead.

Goal #8 hasn’t materialized yet, but I expect it will.  I do have a book in progress, but it won’t likely be released until 2008.  In 2004 I was thinking more along the lines of writing a book on selling software online, so the original intent was a bit different compared to where I am now.  My main reason for wanting to write a book back then was to create another income stream.  Today my reasons for writing a book are more tied in with goal #7 — it would be a means of self-expression and a new way to connect with people.

The same journal entry continues:

Ok, so what about creating a personal development web site at stevepavlina.com?

Now this is a different kind of situation, since initially I don’t have a grasp on how to make money with the site.  If it becomes a serious money-maker, great.  But in the beginning, I’d be creating a blog and possibly a newsletter and putting up free articles.  So where is the sales potential of this site?  There are many possibilities, but before I commit to doing anything here, I want to develop a basic business plan for the site and determine how it can make a profit.  Maybe I can sell articles, newsletter subscriptions, and ebooks.  Perhaps I could sell advertising and join various affiliate programs.

The benefit of this kind of site is that it can grow and evolve with me.  I can make some interesting posts that are basic mini-articles.  I can write whenever I want to w/o a huge obligation.  I can just make some really short entries, or I can take the time to write much longer ones.  It’s a nice outlet for me when I just feel like expressing myself.

So where is the profit potential for this kind of site?

  • Write and sell a self-help ebook
  • Offer to write custom articles for a fee
  • Sell subscriptions to the site (iffy)
  • Paid premium newsletter
  • Advertising and affiliate programs (likely weak)
  • Audio programs (possibly the best bet along with an ebook)
  • Donations
  • Promotion of Selling Software Online book

So at least initially, I don’t see a huge potential with this kind of site for making money.  It’s certainly nice to have as an outlet for personal growth, but it isn’t likely to make me super-rich right away.  There seems to be far more potential right now in writing a book about selling software online.

I had to laugh at myself when I read this.  In all fairness though, the overall context of my journaling during that particular week involved exploring ideas to boost my income, so this entry’s focus on money was subject to that context.  But it is true that I was stuck in the trap of thinking that boosting my income was very important and necessary to figuring out what I was supposed to be doing.  Eventually I did work through these blocks and just decided to launch the site without worrying much about generating serious income from it.  Of course, that early income boost never materialized, but I didn’t need it.  I actually experienced a drop in my income after starting StevePavlina.com because I was stealing time from my games business, but I was enjoying it so much that it didn’t matter.  I think even Erin didn’t worry so much about our financial situation because she could tell I was very happy.

It’s funny that I virtually dismissed advertising and affiliate programs as an income generator with the words “likely weak.”  Perhaps I deserve a good kick for that one, but at least I was willing to try it 5 months after launching the site.  I still get emails from people telling me it’s impossible to generate income from blogging though.  I think those are the same people that emailed me several years ago saying it’s impossible to generate income selling computer games online.  :)

When journaling I often write down my goals and intentions, identify obstacles, and work through challenges.  Journaling has been a tremendous long-term problem-solving tool for me.

My favorite journaling software

I do have a specific product to recommend for keeping a journal:  The Journal from DavidRM Software.  I’ve been using it since 2002, and it’s by far my favorite journaling software.  I don’t recommend journaling in paper notebooks given that there’s such a good technical solution available.

In fact, I like The Journal so much that I worked with the program’s developer, David Michael, to create a custom add-on for it based on material from StevePavlina.com.  This add-on is called the “Steve Pavlina Templates,” and it includes 20 original journaling exercises based on material from StevePavlina.com.  I scoured the roughly 600 free articles I’ve posted in the past 2.5 years and reviewed many of my old journal entries to identify which exercises produced the best results for myself and others.

These are not one-shot exercises either — you can re-use them again and again.

Best of all, this add-on is being offered as a free bonus for Steve Pavlina visitors when you order The Journal at its regular online price of $39.95.  The software is downloadable, so you can get it right away if you’d like.  There’s also a CD shipping option available for those who prefer a hard copy.

I’m a long-time customer of The Journal myself.  In 2004 I bought a second copy for Erin, and she’s been a big fan of the program as well.

I actually wrote about The Journal in one of my first blog entries on this site, but back then I had virtually no traffic.  So I wanted to re-recommend it today in the hopes that more people will take advantage of it.

I created a special page to share more info about The Journal and to explain what’s in the Steve Pavlina Templates:  The Journal.

The Journal includes a free 45-day trial too, including the Steve Pavlina Templates.  You’ll find the download link for the trial at the bottom of the page I just mentioned.  Here’s a direct link to the trial if you want to start the download going:  Download The Journal (4.8 MB).

And here’s the ordering link for the full version:  Order The Journal with Free Steve Pavlina Templates ($39.95).

I do earn a commission on these sales.  I think that’s fair given that I worked hard at creating the templates… and they provide extra value for you at no extra cost.  David and I began discussing this project in February, so it’s been a long time coming.

If you’ve never been into journaling before, this is a great opportunity to get started.  $39.95 really isn’t a lot of money for the value this software provides, and it’s extremely well-supported too.  If you think keeping your journal entries in a regular word processor is a good idea, then at the very least take a moment to scan the feature list on The Journal page to see what you’ve been missing.

Happy journaling!

There IS a Cure for Depression

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Depression is an awful illness. If you suffer from it, it can make your life a living hell. Thoughts of self-doubt, feelings of helplessness and hopelessness, insomnia or oversleeping, feelings of anger or irritability, loss of energy, strong feelings of self-loathing, worthlessness or guilt, problems concentrating and suicidal thoughts are all common symptoms and can all make life seem pointless.

Then there is the stigma, that even in the 21st century is still attached to mental illness. People with depression are sometimes thought of as weak and stupid and told to “just get over it”, which of course just makes the depression worse. 350 million people suffer from depression globally, and less than half of them get any kind of treatment for it because of this stigma, which is just terrible.

Then, those that seek treatment are given antidepressants to treat their illness. The trouble is, antidepressants have a very low success rate, and even what is considered to be a ‘success’ is just a lessening of symptoms – they don’t cure depression at all. Plus, these pills come with awful side effects. These include a risk for increased hostility, agitation, anxiety and sexual dysfunction. The worst side effect has to be a risk that suicidal thoughts will increase. Yes, that’s right, for a depressed person who may be having suicidal thoughts, the usual course of action is to prescribe them a drug which is known to increase suicidal thoughts! Antidepressants can also cause severe withdrawal symptoms if you stop taking them abruptly.

These drugs also cost a small fortune. Even if you are lucky enough to live in a country with a National Health Service like the UK, you still need to pay for the prescription to get them from the pharmacy. That’s around $15 every 2 weeks, or roughly $400 a year – all without any guarantee of success.

The other options people with depression have are talk therapy, counselling or psychotherapy. While these sessions are known to have a better success rate than antidepressants, they have one major drawback: They cost a fortune! It is not unusual for a top psychiatrist to charge over $800 for an hour of their time, and will usually mean a visit every week. And do these forms of treatment come with any guarantees of getting your money back if they fail? Of course not!

There has to be a better way to treat depression than just throwing pills at the situation or charging ridiculous amounts of money for an hour of someone’s time. There has to be a cure for it, rather than something that ‘might’ lessen the symptoms. We put a man on the moon, we invented the Internet where the answers to almost any question mankind has ever asked can be found at our fingertips, we live in the 21st century for Pete’s sake! There has to be a way to actually cure this illness doesn’t there?

Fortunately, there is….

A guy from the UK called James Gordon believes he has found the cure. He had suffered from depression for over 20 years, and had previously spent years on antidepressants which gave him all manner of side effects without helping, and spent thousands on therapy sessions without success. He finally snapped one day and decided to find a cure for depression himself.

He then spent years researching everything about depression that he could possibly find. He trawled the Internet and read thousands of articles on the subject, searched through dozens of medical books and consulted countless specialists. He even downloaded dozens of e-books and systems written by life coaches and gurus, watched hundreds of hours of videos, talked with people who battled with depression themselves who had recovered, and even met with people who had attempted suicide and survived to hear their stories.

What he ended up with was a 7-step plan which eliminated depression from his life completely in just 8 weeks, and never returned. He has now packaged it into what is called The Destroy Depression System™ [http://food2bless.depress1on.hop.clickbank.net/] and made it available to everyone with an Internet connection. And he also GUARANTEES it will work. When was the last time a drug company or therapist did that?

Becoming an Achiever: Guest Post by Steve Pavlina

20150327221922-success-winning-inspirationalYou become an achiever by achieving your goals. If you achieve your goals, you’re an achiever. If you don’t achieve your goals, you’re not an achiever.

This is a simple, binary way to think about achievement. To achieve means toreach, attain, or accomplish. What you choose to reach, attain, or accomplish is up to you.

The difference between an achiever and a non-achiever is largely a matter of attention. Non-achievers give their goals little attention, if they bother to set goals at all. Achievers give their goals sufficient attention so as to reach, attain, or accomplish those goals.

Non-achievers reach, attain, and accomplish something other than their goals. Quite often they will reach, attain, and accomplish someone else’s goals, without consciously making those goals their own.

To be an achiever, you must give your goals sufficient attention to reach, attain, or accomplish them. This means you must withdraw much of your attention from activities that are not directly leading to the accomplishment of your goals.

In a given week, where is your attention going? If you aren’t habitually obsessing over your goals, then what are you obsessing over instead?

What do you normally put ahead of your goals?

Do you manage to watch some TV or movies?

Do you keep up with email, social media, and text messages?

Do you attend to the social obligations that your family, friends, and co-workers expect from you?

What exactly are you reaching, attaining, or accomplishing in a typical week? Are you making progress on your goals by giving them many hours of attention, or are you putting your attention elsewhere?

Achievers accept that in order to achieve their goals, they must withdraw attention from non-goal activities. Achievers also accept that these competing interests may resist being put on the back burner. The cable company may try to talk you out of canceling. Starbucks may send you a reminder email if you don’t show up for too long. Your mother may nag you about something trivial. Achievers learn to decline these invitations for their attention by default. They keep putting their attention back upon their goals.

You must especially be on guard for new invitations and opportunities that come up while you’re working on your goals. These hidden distractions can easily sidetrack you. If an opportunity aligns solidly with your goals, wonderful… take full advantage of it. But if it seems off-course with respect to your current goals, then stick to your path, and say no to the diversion. Generally speaking, it’s wise to be less opportunistic, so you can be more of a conscious creator. You’ll often make faster progress by creating your own opportunities instead of haphazardly chasing the random opportunities that others bring you.

The Scarcity of Attention

Attention is a limited resource. The ability to consciously direct your attention with good energy and focus is even scarcer than the time you have available each day.

In any given week, there may be many interests competing for your attention: friends, family, co-workers, random strangers, corporations, organizations, government agencies, media, and more. And these days they have many different ways to reach you.

Internally you have some competition as well: your physiological needs, your emotional needs, your cravings, your habitual behaviors, etc. You need to eat, sleep, eliminate waste, bathe, and so on. These activities require some attention too.

Somewhere among those competing interests is another voice seeking your attention. This is your goal-oriented nature, your greater intelligence, your desire to live a life rich in meaning and purpose. This part of you craves achievement, and it won’t be satisfied by anything less. It wants you to set your own goals and to reach, attain, and accomplish them.

How much of your attention are you giving to your achievement-oriented self?

If you starve this part of yourself for attention, it will punish you with low motivation, low self-worth, and a general scarcity of resources. But if you give it the attention it craves, you’ll be rewarded with high energy, drive, passion, abundance, and a sense of purpose and contribution.

Directing Your Attention

Fortunately you have the power to consciously direct your attention. You can let your attention float around aimlessly. You can focus your attention on something other than your goals, such as the goals other people have for you. Or you can focus your attention on your own goals.

To really move your life forward requires a major commitment of attention. If you want to improve your finances, you must put your attention on creating value for people, sharing that value, and intelligently monetizing that value. If you want to positively transform your relationships, then give that part of your life some intense and prolonged attention.

Unfortunately we have the tendency to remove attention from those areas of our lives that aren’t doing so well. In the short term, it’s wise to shift focus when we feel overwhelmed because temporary diversions can help relieve stress. But for deeper transformation to occur, we need to put lots of attention squarely on those areas that scream for improvement.

Setting goals requires focused attention. Planning out the action steps to achieve our goals requires even more attention. Executing those action steps takes more attention still. Achievers make such activities a priority in their lives. Non-achievers don’t.

As you get older, keep raising your standards for what deserves your attention. Keep deleting and declining unnecessary fluff and obligations that might otherwise distract you from your magnificent goals. This will free up more attention to focus on your goals.

Have you noticed that when you put your full attention on a goal and obsess about it, you can really move it forward quickly, and you do eventually achieve it? But when you let your attention become diluted by too many competing interests, then progress on your goal slows to a crawl, and you eventually lose your connection to the goal altogether. Goals require significant and prolonged nurturing until they’re achieved; otherwise they die.

Say No to Almost Everything

The difference between successful people and really successful people is that really successful people say no to almost everything. – Warren Buffet

What does it mean to say no to almost everything?

For me this means being able to work full-time on my goals, without letting anything get in the way. It means keeping my schedule free of distracting entanglements. It means that even when I work on goals that seem to be put on my plate by someone else, I must either make those goals my own (and say yes to them), or I must reject them and not give them any attention. If I cannot make a goal my own in some way, it doesn’t deserve my attention.

Even a goal like doing your taxes, you can make your own. You can commit to keeping your finances up to date and in good order. You can choose to pay the tax contribution for whatever reasons appeal to you. But if you can’t make a goal your own, and you try to work on it anyway, then you’re fighting yourself, and your progress will be stunted and inconsistent, which is an enormous waste of precious attention.

Don’t dwell in the land of half-commitments. Put your full attention on your own goals, including goals you’ve made your own. If you have a job, then either make the commitment to do your very best at that job, or vacate the position and let someone else do it better.

Put Your Goals First

Many achievers have jobs. Many achievers have families. Many achievers have competing commitments of various kinds. But achievers don’t use their job, kids, and other commitments as excuses for not giving sufficient attention to their goals. For everyone who uses these to excuse their inability to set and achieve goals, there’s a real achiever who started from a more challenging position and used those same elements to help motivate them to achieve their goals. Where non-achievers see excuses, achievers find drive.

A good way to put your goals first is to set high-quality, holistic goals to begin with. Don’t squander your attention on shallow pursuits like making money for its own sake. Set goals that will help you grow, build your skills, create value for others, and do some good in the world. Ask yourself: Does the goal seem meaningful and intelligent when you imagine yourself 20 years past its achievement?

Deliberately put your attention on your goals. When you catch yourself standing in line, dwell upon your goals. Visualize yourself taking the action steps. Make this your default behavior instead of pulling out your phone to attend to something trivial.

Carefully plan out the action steps to achieve your goals. If you received my latestnewsletter, you’ll find an extensive how-to article about planning the achievement of your goals.

Clear time to work on your goals, and make this time sacred and inviolable. If you can only clear a small slice out of each week to work on your goals, then consider setting a goal to reach the point where you have the freedom to devote as many hours to your goals as your energy allows. What specific goals would you need to set and achieve to make that a reality? Imagine being able to devote most of your time every week to working on your most important goals, without anything getting in the way. Many people live this way, and they love it. Why not you?

The Destroy Depression™ – That Big Pharmaceutical Companies Don’t Want You To Discover!

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Depression is an illness that has become one of the most widespread disorders in the world today. It currently affects about 350 million people worldwide – and the problem is getting worse. Around one million people every year commit suicide because they are suffering from depression, and year on year that figure rises at an alarming rate. By the year 2020, depression will have become second only to heart disease as a cause of premature death.

In the United States and Northern Europe, around 10% of people over the age of 12 are currently taking antidepressants to ease their depressive symptoms. Just think about that for a second – If this is the case, if so many people are taking drugs for depression and these drugs are so easily available, then why is the problem getting worse?

Well, it’s quite simple. It is because antidepressant medications for depression are notoriously expensive, ineffective and associated with a high risk of sometimes horrifying side effects – including increasing suicidal thoughts. Unfortunately, people with this condition are often desperate for a cure, and are willing to pay any price tag, even when they are told about the problems and limitations of the medication. Every year, the pharmaceutical industry keeps rolling out new, more expensive and still ineffective drugs. And every year, the profits for the industry keep increasing…

In fact, according to NIMH.com, in 2011 the antidepressant market was estimated to be worth $10 billion in America alone. Every year since it has got bigger and bigger, and shows no signs of slowing down. Meanwhile, the number of people suffering with depression grow at an even more rapid rate. Why is that? Pharmaceutical companies will tell you, “more antidepressants are being sold because more people have depression” – but that is just casting a veil over the truth.

The truth is this; The numbers of people with depression should be coming down if more people are taking drugs to help them, the reason the problem is getting worse is the drugs are not working!

Knowing this, if I told you that there was a way to cure depression naturally, without using any useless medication which makes pharmaceutical companies fistfuls of money, and without any weekly sessions with a therapist which will cost a small fortune…would you be surprised that no doctor or therapist is telling you about it? Of course not! In fact, each patient that a doctor treats for depression is worth around $300 to the medical and pharmaceutical profession each year – it is no wonder they hand out antidepressants like skittles!

Well, guess what, there is such a cure! And it only involves the use of CBT (Cognitive Behavioral Therapy) techniques which can be done at home, and some dietary and lifestyle changes.

Now, you may expect such great findings to make big news right? Not so. You see, the pharmaceutical and medical industry is driven by profits, not benefits to patients. That’s why they keep designing drugs that are expensive, of limited effectiveness, and that need to be taken continuously for years.  That’s the perfect combination for ensuring ever-increasing profits.  An example of such shameless profiteering on a large scale is the wide prescription of statins for anyone with even borderline high cholesterol. Statins actually have very limited effectiveness, are associated with a number of side-effects, and…guess what…once a person starts taking them, they will need to keep taking them for their whole lives! Not so surprising is it? If you think about it, when was the last time a pharmaceutical company cured anything? It is the same with the drugs they prescribe for depression – no medical professional or anyone involved in the industry will want you to discover that you can cure yourself of depression for just a few dollars, when they can get you to pay thousands upon thousands in your lifetime for their “latest wonder-drug”, or charge you a small fortune just to sit in a leather chair and listen to you talk for one hour a week, without ever offering any solutions or guarantees.

If you want to know more about the natural cure for depression that the medical industry is striving so hard to keep hidden from you, the go-to guy is James Gordon. Gordon is an independent researcher and former depression sufferer, who in recent years has been working hard to expose the medical industry’s unscrupulous tactics. He has also published the highly acclaimed “Destroy Depression System™”, which you can order directly from his website bit.ly/clinicaldepression.

Treatments For Depression

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Depression is a mental disorder which affects about 350 million people worldwide. Its symptoms include, but are not limited to; Feelings of helplessness and hopelessness, loss of interest in daily activities, appetite or weight changes, insomnia or oversleeping, anger or irritability, loss of energy, self-loathing, reckless behavior, concentration problems, unexplained aches and pains and also suicidal thoughts..
Current popular treatments for depression include antidepressant medications and talk therapy such as counselling or psychotherapy. Unfortunately, these treatments have many drawbacks. AD medication is associated with a high risk of side effects and a low success rate, while therapy sessions are notoriously expensive, and often unaffordable or unobtainable for most people.

Medical Treatments

Medication for depression comes in the form of antidepressants. There are typically 4 classes of AD medication, SSRIs (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors), atypical antidepressants, tricyclics antidepressants and MAOIs (monoamine oxidase inhibitors).

The SSRIs (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors) are the most commonly prescribed class of antidepressants. They act on a chemical in the brain called serotonin. The SSRIs include drugs such as Prozac, Zoloft, and Paxil. SSRIs are preferred over older classes of antidepressants because their adverse effects are less severe, however, like all antidepressants, SSRIs can cause an increase in suicidal thoughts and behaviors. They also carry a risk for increased hostility, agitation, and anxiety. In adults 65 and older, SSRIs increase the risk for falls, fractures, and bone loss. SSRIs can also cause severe withdrawal symptoms if you stop taking them abruptly.

Atypical antidepressants are a variety of newer atypical antidepressants which target other neurotransmitters either alone or in addition to serotonin. For example, Wellbutrin blocks the reabsorption of the neurotransmitters dopamine and norepinephrine, while trazodone affects both norepinephrine and serotonin. Again, as with all antidepressant medication, there are many possible side effects.

Tricyclics are among the oldest antidepressants. They work by inhibiting the brain’s reuptake or serotonin and norepinephrine. They also partially inhibit the reabsorption of dopamine. Because tricyclics have such a broad mechanism of action, they tend to cause more side effects than the other classes of antidepressants. For this reason, the SSRIs and the atypical antidepressants are usually prescribed first. Again, side effects are usual and severe withdrawal symptoms are often the case if you stop taking them abruptly.

MAOIs (monoamine oxidase inhibitors) are the oldest class of antidepressants. MAOIs have severe interactions with certain foods, drinks, and medications. Combining MAO inhibitors with foods or drinks containing tyramine can result in dangerously high blood pressure, which can lead to a stroke or heart attack. Because of this danger, MAOIs are not typically chosen as a first-line depression treatment.

As is usually the case with medication, antidepressants cannot cure depression. At best, they will lessen the symptoms of depression. However, success rates are notoriously low, not much better than a placebo in most cases, while the risk of side effects is extremely high. This is the reason many people in the medical industry refer to antidepressants as“sugar pills with side effects”.

A Better, Safer Option

Although very few doctors or medical professionals will know or tell you about it (there is too much money involved in conventional treatment methods), you can actually cure yourself of depression using only CBT (Cognitive Behavioral Therapy) techniques combined with some dietary and lifestyle changes. Indeed in the past, a number of doctors and scientists had reported such successes in medical journals, but this research is now kept hidden by the pharmaceutical industry.

For the first time ever, this research has been dug up and used to compile a comprehensive step-by-step guide on exactly what you need to do to naturally and safely cure your depression  in just a few weeks – without any medication or expensive therapy sessions. For more information, visit James Gordon’s “Destroy Depression System™”, bit.ly/clinicaldepression where he explains exactly why and how this system works.

Clinical Depression Help Tips

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Depression is an extremely common illness. There are approximately 350 million people living in the world today who are affected by it and it is the leading cause for a visit to see a GP or doctor. Depression also has a stigma attached to it that people who suffer from it are weak which leads to them not seeking treatment – less than half of all of the people with depression are currently engaging in any kind of treatment for it. Long-lasting and moderate or severe depression can be a serious health condition. It can cause an affected person to suffer terribly, leading to problems with work, breakdowns in close relationships and lead to poor physical health.

The worst cases of depression can lead to a sufferer taking his or her own life. An estimated 1 million people worldwide every year commit suicide because of depression. Half of all the people who die by suicide have major depressive disorder.

The World Health Organization have reported that by the year 2020, depression will be the second biggest cause of premature death in the world, heart disease will be the only illness or disease that causes more.

What Causes Depression?

There are many different causes of depression. It has many different triggers and there are multiple reasons it can develop.

Personal Factors are known to trigger depression. Those who have a tendency to worry a lot, have low self-esteem, are sensitive to personal criticism, are severely overweight, perfectionists, or those with a self-critical and a negative mindset all have a higher risk of developing the condition.    

Depression has been known to run in families and some people will be at an increased hereditary or genetic risk. This does not mean that a person will automatically experience depression if a parent or close relative has had the illness though. Life circumstances and other personal factors are still likely to have an important influence.

Having a serious medical illness can trigger depression in two ways. Serious illnesses can bring about depression directly, or can contribute to depression through associated stress and worry, especially if it involves long-term management of the illness and/or chronic pain.

Drug and alcohol use can both lead to and result from depression. Many people with depression also have drug and alcohol problems.

Symptoms of Depression

Signs and symptoms of depression include:

  • Feelings of helplessness and hopelessness.
    A bleak outlook—nothing will ever get better and there’s nothing you can do to improve your situation.
  • Loss of interest in daily activities.
    No interest in former hobbies, pastimes, social activities, or sex. You’ve lost your ability to feel joy and pleasure.
  • Appetite or weight changes.
    Significant weight loss or weight gain—a change of more than 5% of body weight in a month.
  • Sleep changes.
    Either insomnia, especially waking in the early hours of the morning, or oversleeping.
  • Anger or irritability.
    Feeling agitated, restless, or even violent. Your tolerance level is low, your temper short, and everything and everyone gets on your nerves.
  • Loss of energy.
    Feeling fatigued, sluggish, and physically drained. Your whole body may feel heavy, and even small tasks are exhausting or take longer to complete.
  • Self-loathing.
    Strong feelings of worthlessness or guilt. You harshly criticize yourself for perceived faults and mistakes.
  • Reckless behavior.
    You engage in escapist behavior such as substance abuse, compulsive gambling, reckless driving, or dangerous sports.
  • Concentration problems.
    Trouble focusing, making decisions, or remembering things.
  • Unexplained aches and pains.
    An increase in physical complaints such as headaches, back pain, aching muscles, and stomach pain.


How is Depression Treated?

The most common form of treatment for depression is the use of Antidepressant medication. Nobody can say for sure at this moment why antidepressants can alter a persons mood, because nobody knows for certain exactly how AD medication works. It is only thought that by increasing or decreasing certain chemicals in the brain, such as serotonin, that this has an effect on the brains neurotransmitters.

Currently, 10% of all Americans over 12 years old take antidepressants daily, and among females in their 40’s and 50’s, that figure increases to 25%. Approximately 254 million prescriptions were written for them in America in 2010, resulting in nearly $10 billion in costs. This figure is also expected to have risen dramatically in the following years.

However, antidepressants do not cure depression, they only lessen the symptoms for a minority of people who take them. A recent report published in The Journal of the American Medical Association stated that the drugs work best for very severe cases of depression, but have little or no benefit over a placebo in less serious cases. It is extremely difficult to put an exact figure on the percentage of people who experience decreased depressive symptoms as a result of AD medication, as reports and results vary wildly depending on the people in the study and their severity of depression, and whether a study is done by an independent body or by a pharmaceutical company. It is thought though, that the overall “success” rate of the drugs is approximately 36% – slightly higher than that of a placebo.

Antidepressants are also known to have side effects for the majority of people who take them. Patients will usually experience one or multiple of the following; nausea, increased appetite and weight gain, loss of sexual desire and/or other sexual problems such as erectile dysfunction and decreased orgasm, fatigue and drowsiness, insomnia, dry mouth, blurred vision, constipation, dizziness, agitation, irritability, anxiety, and increased risk of suicidal thoughts and behavior – especially during the first month of treatment.

Antidepressants come with no guarantee that they will work, on any level of success.

Further treatment options include counselling, psychotherapy or talk therapy. This has a much higher success rate than antidepressants overall, but again the figures at hand vary wildly. The cost of seeing a councillor, therapist or psychiatrist is also very high – the average is around $150-$200 for a 60 minute session. It is not unusual for these professionals to charge upwards of $500 for an hours’ session though – and the sessions usually need to be on a regular weekly basis to have maximum chance of success. It is thought though, that because has a higher rate of success than antidepressants, that it is more cost-effective as a result. Again though, there are no guarantees of success.

Other treatment Options

It is interesting to note, that many health professionals believe there are much better ways to treat depression. Irving Kirsch, the Associate Director of the Program in Placebo Studies and a lecturer in medicine at the Harvard Medical School is quoted as saying; “Depression is a serious problem, but drugs are not the answer. In the long run, psychotherapy is both cheaper and more effective, even for very serious levels of depression. Physical exercise and self-help books based on CBT can also be useful, either alone or in combination.”

CBT (Cognitive Behavioural Therapy) has a much higher success rate than medication. Studies have shown it decreases severity of depression in most patients who maintain a CBT course, with many patients reporting they never relapsed into depression. CBT based self-help books sees an even larger percentage of success rates and numbers of people reporting to be cured, with very little cost involved – so why is this form of treatment not more widely used?.

It seems the answer is quite simple – there is nowhere near as much money to be made from curing depression as there is from helping people live with it. There is little money to be made from a healthy person, or indeed a dead person – however in sick people there is billions of dollars to be made.

Due to the pharmaceutical and medical industry’s wide-reaching influence and the money involved, and due to health professionals who deal with depression and other illnesses being afraid of offering a treatment which may upset those powerful companies, very few are willing to publicize findings that depression can indeed be treated naturally, safely, extremely cheaply and in just a few weeks. One of these few researchers who dares to go against the current trend is James Gordon, a UK-based researcher and former depression sufferer, who is doing a lot of work to try to make these findings available to the general public. He is the creator of the “Destroy Depression System™” [INSERT AFFILIATE LINK], a simple, 7 step guide to self-curing depression naturally using an amalgamation of all the research done in the area, together with his own self-experimentation with which he cured his own depression. Contine reading