No. of Recommendations: 7
Choose Your Attitude-

The Choice you make affects more than just you!



READ THIS. LET IT REALLY SINK IN. THEN CHOOSE.


John is the kind of guy you love to hate. He is always
in a good mood and always has something positive to
say. When someone would ask him how he was doing, he
would reply, "If I were any better, I would be twins!"


He was a natural motivator.


If an employee was having a bad day, John was there
telling the employee how to look on the positive side
of the situation.


Seeing this style really made me curious, so one day I
went up and asked him, "I don't get it!


You can't be a positive person all of the time. How do
you do it?"


<He replied, "Each morning I wake up and say to
myself, you have two choices today. You can choose to
be in a good mood or ... you can choose to be in a bad
mood.


I choose to be in a good mood."


Each time something bad happens, I can choose to be a
victim or...I can choose to learn from it. I choose to
learn from it.


Every time someone comes to me complaining, I can
choose to accept their complaining or... I can point
out the positive side of life. I choose the positive
side of life.


"Yeah, right, it's not that easy," I protested.


"Yes, it is," he said. "Life is all about choices.
When you cut away all the junk, every situation is a
choice. You choose how you react to situations. You
choose how people affect your mood.


You choose to be in a good mood or bad mood. The
bottom line: It's your choice how you live your life."


I reflected on what he said. Soon hereafter, I left
the Tower Industry to start my own business. We lost
touch, but I often thought about him when I made a
choice about life instead of reacting to it.


Several years later, I heard that he was involved in a
serious accident, falling some 60 feet from a
communications tower.


After 18 hours of surgery and weeks of intensive care,
he was released from the hospital with rods placed in
his back.


I saw him about six months after the accident.


When I asked him how he was, he replied, "If I were
any better, I'd be twins Wanna see my scars?"


I declined to see his wounds, but I did ask him what
had gone through his mind as the accident took place.


"The first thing that went through my mind was the
well-being of my soon-to-be born daughter," he
replied. "Then, as I lay on the ground, I remembered
that I had two choices: I could choose to live or...I
could choose to die. I chose to live."


"Weren't you scared? Did you lose consciousness?" I
asked.


He continued, "..the paramedics were great.


They kept telling me I was going to be fine.But when
they wheeled me into the ER and I saw the expressions
on the faces of the doctors and nurses, I got really
scared. In their eyes, I read 'he's a dead man'. I
knew I needed to take action."


"What did you do?" I asked.


"Well, there was a big burly nurse shouting questions
at me," said John. "She asked if I was allergic to
anything. 'Yes, I replied.' The doctors and nurses
stopped working as they waited for my reply. I took a
deep breath and yelled, 'Gravity'."


Over their laughter, I told them, "I am choosing to
live. Operate on me as if I am alive, not dead."


He lived, thanks to the skill of his doctors, but also
because of his amazing attitude... I learned from him
that every day we have the choice to live fully.


Attitude, after all, is everything.


Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow
will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble
of its own." Matthew 6:34.


After all today is the tomorrow you worried about
yesterday.


"YOU are what YOU THINK you are, No more or no less"
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No. of Recommendations: 11
Hi Tuni,

Don't you think that if I could just "choose" not to be depressed, that I would? Have you any idea what it is to wake up every morning and think "Damn, another day to get through"?

I had a friend who has a similar attitude to the one you appear to have based on your post. Both my therapist and my doctor are in complete agreement on one thing - having to deal with people who tell me it is all in my mind, that I can just decide not to be depressed any more, or that I need to cheer up or I'm going to lose my daughter to foster care are doing me more harm than good.

Somehow, I don't think that is what you intended by this post, but for many with depression, it will be the result.

Ellen
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Hi Tuni,

Don't you think that if I could just "choose" not to be depressed, that I would? Have you any idea what it is to wake up every morning and think "Damn, another day to get through"?

I had a friend who has a similar attitude to the one you appear to have based on your post. Both my therapist and my doctor are in complete agreement on one thing - having to deal with people who tell me it is all in my mind, that I can just decide not to be depressed any more, or that I need to cheer up or I'm going to lose my daughter to foster care are doing me more harm than good.

Somehow, I don't think that is what you intended by this post, but for many with depression, it will be the result.

Ellen


***********************************


Perhaps you could start by simply acting as if you are happy. In other words, to the extent you are able, change your behavior rather than try to change your feelings. Sometimes feelings follow behavior, not the other way around.

I think it is about trying to take control of what you are able to control.

Your therapist and your doctor are just people. Why would they tell you that someone who happens to say something stupid and unfeeling to you can "harm" you? Why can't they tell you that if someone says something stupid to you, it won't hurt you at all?

Just asking.

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sorry, didn't mean to step on toes here....just thought that, to some, it might be helpful...

mea culpa,
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No. of Recommendations: 1
sorry, didn't mean to step on toes here....just thought that, to some, it might be helpful...

mea culpa,


No need for apologies, I liked it. It kind of fits the Cognitive Behavioral Therapy model I've been using in my own life.
Keep posting.

Ed
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No. of Recommendations: 5
Choose Your Attitude-

The Choice you make affects more than just you!


I read the story that you posted several weeks ago, and I thought it was a good message.

My thoughts on whether you can 'choose' your attitude is, it depends. I think that for a 'normal' person, this story can be very motivating. But for someone in the depths of depression, there would have to be some kind of reinforcement to make it work.

From personal experience, I know that if my depression is under control [i.e, I am thinking rationally], I can read stories like this and actually feel empowered, knowing that I CAN change my life. I subsribe to a couple of different email newsletters, and they are sometimes quite helpful in keeping me on an even keel.

But, on those days when I don't want to even get out of bed in the morning, and haven't taken a shower in 5 days, then I see this story as just another platitude: Yeah, right, as IF I could choose to not be depressed.

FWIW, I don't know what your source of this story was, but next time you want to post something like this, you probably should give the source, and also check to see if it is copyrighted material. Lots of sites have legal disclaimers regarding reproduction of their material.

Peg
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No. of Recommendations: 22
sorry, didn't mean to step on toes here....just thought that, to some, it might be helpful...

mea culpa,


Hello Tuni,

I had mixed feelings when I read the subject line, then started to skim the post; I've read this before in other venues. I'm glad others have already responded here about your reply, both pro and con.

The thing is that the "you can do it!" philosophy is good for people who may be suffering from self-esteem and self-confidence issues who presumedly are lacking only in motivation, esteem, and confidence, but it is not conducive to people who suffer with mental health issues, generally speaking. It is a sore issue. It isn't simply a matter of being optimistic versus pessimistic about changing outlook: depression (and other mental health issues) is more insidious than that. It oversimplifies difficult issues.

I hope the following doesn't sound like a lecture; I mean it to be taken as food for thought and explanation and background for why it's a touchy subject.

Being told "it's your choice" is a very touchy issue for people dealing with these types of problems, largely because we were often undiagnosed and blamed repeatedly with terms like, "getting over it already!," "it's all in your head," "you can really get over it, if you really wanted to [make an effort]," "what? you're not over your funk yet?," "just smile, pretend to be happy, and quit whining, and you'll start to feel better automatically," etc.

People who suffer with depression, like many other mental health issues, often seem very functional, intelligent, and capable in general, but simply seem unable (unwilling) to cope. It is the heavy connotation that this is all about "choice" and conscious, deliberate volition, completely within our control.... if we "really" wanted to. Over the years, throughout history, the mentally ill have been judged as bad, evil, weak, or otherwise questionable in character. We have been judged and blamed for what befalls us.

Above are comments addressing general mental health concerns; now, specifically on depression. As far as depression, there are some types of depression that have been shown to respond well to Cognitivie Behavioral Therapy (CBT) modalities. In a nutshell (and I am grossly oversimplifying this), CBT typically includes a combination of talk therapy with a trained therapy provider plus also very specific, directed, and tailored techniques to teach the depressed individual how to manage depression. CBT has been shown to make impressive strides with a depressed person's mental well-being in as brief as a few months, but this depends largely on the individuals (patient and therapist) as well as various issues of the specific depression. This is a best-case scenario.

Even so, being told "it's your choice" as if it was as simple as turning on or off a light switch is still miles away from being given a combination of talk therapy and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy techniques to teach a depressed individual and put into practice ways of coping with depression. I look at it as treating someone who is recovering from a physical (a tangible "real" illness) disorder like knee or back injury, muscular or neurological illness, with physical therapy assistance to help them carefully exercise and use body parts that are weak, fragile, or need to relearn new ways of functioning than before.

I've heard of infrequent cases of people with physical injuries that refused medical treatment and were, eventually, able to compensate or finally become functional again (most recently, a woman with a severe burn to her leg who checked herself out of the hospital after three days, and took nearly 10 years to walk normally again, without a crooked leg/foot). The same may be true for people with depression, or other mental health illnesses. Still, it means the vast majority never learn to return to "normal" functioning, or require too long a period of adjustment before they can be fully functioning again.

People rarely tell someone with a broken leg to just walk on it, it will heal better if you do so. People will rarely tell a diabetic to just ignore insulin levels, it is a matter of mind over matter. People often believe that mental health issues are literally all in one's head and, therefore, it is a matter of conscious control to just "think" or "believe" one is healthy and all else matters. Brain cancers are also in one's head, but I've rarely heard of people believing that it is treatable just by thinking and believing alone (though I personally do believe strong mental and emotional foundation can be conducive towards a holistic approach to medical treatment). Mental illnesses are legitimate concerns and need a multi-pronged tactic and concern to be addressed adequately.

One of the major battles the mentally ill have to deal with is begin accorded with consideration and the respect that they really are ill and require some degree of outside assistance, not something that should be unassisted.
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<Yeah,right,as IF I could choose to not be depressed.>

One of the best descripions of clinical depression I have ever heard was on the Larry King show.

The whole programe was on depression and the guests were well-known people.One gentleman,former CEO of a Fortune 500 Co. explained how clinical depression felt to him.

"It's when your best friend comes over to visit and make you eat.He tells you the cure for your depression is in the other room.All you have to do is get up and go get it but you still can't make yourself move.

Been there,got better after 5yrs. of Hell,and afraid I'm sliding back.

Fox
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Peg,
A friend sent it to me, source not identified. In that case, I tend not to be quite as concerned re. the "origin"....

thx,
t
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Perhaps you could start by simply acting as if you are happy. In other words, to the extent you are able, change your behavior rather than try to change your feelings. Sometimes feelings follow behavior, not the other way around.


We've discussed this here before, but "fake it till your make it" does not work. For example, my best friend was suicidal for a year and no one knew it, because she pretended everything was ok when other people were around. Her closest friends knew she was "down" but they didn't know how bad it was and the people she worked with had no idea because she was good at pretending.

Pretending doesn't work. It can make the situation worse sometimes. How can you reach out for help, when you're trying to convince everyone else everything's ok?

Ishtar
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No. of Recommendations: 5
FWIW, I don't know what your source of this story was, but next time you want to post something like this, you probably should give the source, and also check to see if it is copyrighted material. Lots of sites have legal disclaimers regarding reproduction of their material.

Peg


If it helps, this is one of those gazillion things that make it on the internet recirculated ad nauseum; some are considered urban legend proportions. I think I've seen it a few times over the last many times. I've read many similar "don't worry, be happy" platitudes.

Some are more effective than others, but largely depends on the audience, venue, or the teller of the moment. When I've read this type of thing in a more mainstream environment, and not feeling depressed or otherwise mood-disordered, I'm fine with it. If I feel like someone is making it a very directed or personal statement for some reason, I tend to respond less favorably.

As it is, Tuni is certainly not the first person to do something like this on this board (there's probably been at few times I can remember), and thus far according to my own impressions, it has always been offered with the best of (if misguided) intentions. I think many of us appreciate the good intentions, we just hope that more will learn and understand what depression is really about and why we're sensitive about some things.

Anyway, I like Tuni; he/she (sorry, never knew which) has been very interesting and thoughtful on a number of boards and topics over the years.

Meg
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No. of Recommendations: 3
Perhaps you could start by simply acting as if you are happy. In other words, to the extent you are able, change your behavior rather than try to change your feelings. Sometimes feelings follow behavior, not the other way around.

I think it is about trying to take control of what you are able to control.

Your therapist and your doctor are just people. Why would they tell you that someone who happens to say something stupid and unfeeling to you can "harm" you? Why can't they tell you that if someone says something stupid to you, it won't hurt you at all?

Just asking.


Hi.

My physician and therapist are both specialists in the sort of problems I have, and we are all in agreement that before any sort of "suck it up or else" attitude can do anything other than make me feel more like my life isn't worth living, I'm going to need additional therapy and to get my medications straightened out to the point where I don't respond to the question (from my mother) "If you could have anything at all, what would you want?" with "to die."

Telling someone who has brought her child out of an abusive environment that the child will be thrown into the foster care system if her mother doesn't smile more and stop telling people she's afraid of her husband isn't helpful to anyone. It is not only insensitive, it is controlling and abusive.

Yes, I am overly sensitive to this sort of thing. Yes, one day I will probably be able to just smile and pretend for a while without having to retreat to bed for hours or days afterwards. But not today.

And probably not tomorrow, either.
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The best way I can describe my condition is that it's like driving around with your parking brake on. A lot of the time I am not concious of it. When I am happy, I'm not quite as happy as other people. Most of the time, I can't even give you a good reason as to why I am not as happy as I should be.

Other times, when I am concious of it, it fight it. Like when you are sleepy but trying to stay awake because something exciting is going on. You fight the sleep because you want to stay awake. Sometimes you can stay awake and sometimes you can't but either way, it takes effort. Oh how I wish it was as simple as just thinking happy thoughts.

Alan
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The best way I can describe my condition is that it's like driving around with your parking brake on.

In Roadrunner cartoons, they are often attempting to drop so many MG irons on each other. Depression to me is like carrying around one of these heavy, cold metal pieces inside, but it is also like a headache in that I can sometimes ignore it until
things
get
quiet.

Then, I notice it, and it whispers, and it tells me things.

My life is not that bad. I know this rationally, but I can't handle it from day to day sometimes. But I do.

Depression is like a nagging mother-in-law who takes up residence inside your head. She barks at you, all day long, says what you are doing wrong and how you can never measure up.

Depression is when your unhappiness is irrational, but the person inflicted only realizes it sometimes. Othertimes, they are just so very unhappy.

Wednesday
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Oh how I wish it was as simple as just thinking happy thoughts.

Alan


Hey, don't we need to have Pixie Dust first?


Lady I, thinks that even Peter Pan couldn't do it without help.

(not sure whether I"m serious about this statement or not. )
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My depression is due to a biochemical imbalance. Yes the behavior therapy works. But all of it takes time and a lot of effort. I do need to loose weight and exercise. I am trying now. But I have other problems I can't change a chronic kidney diease, a husband with MS etc.

All you can do, is to learn how to change what you can about your thinking, feelings, and emotions that cause pain and be kinder to yourself and accept the other stuff. I can't get rid of my kidney diease and I love my husband.

The hardest thing is you can't change other people or their views about you. Society as a whole I think may view depression as a weakness, or laziness, or oversensitivity.

A lot of my problem is standards, values and goals I set for myself. I have a lot of "all or nothing "perfectionist type thinking. I do not set the same standards for my friends, family etc. I am constantly fighting to accept my shortcomings and change the ones I can.

I have had a lot of therapy off and on over 40 years. I also have taken several antidepressants. In my case, I need medication.

I can only tell others not to give up that you can deal with depression and survive. I feel like I am living in a black and white world or as if I am carrying a tremendous weight around. But I am sensitive and get a lot of happines from nature, my dog and other things.

Trish
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perhaps the person who says "just snap out of it" could choose not to be an insensitive jerk... but maybe not...
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having to deal with people who tell me it is all in my mind, that I can just decide not to be depressed any more, or that I need to cheer up or I'm going to lose my daughter to foster care are doing me more harm than good.

Somehow, I don't think that is what you intended by this post, but for many with depression, it will be the result.


It is not possible for anyone to provide commentary, encouragement, or advice that is of use and service to everyone. What Tuni, posted is right on the mark for some people. It isn't even close for others. But, Tuni is not a close personal friend of anybody here brow beating them to just cheer up. So, like anything else on a discussion board, take it with a grain of salt. If you find something helpful... take it with you. If you find it worthless.... leave it behind. But, never put any level of importance on what you see on a discussion board from people you aren't close with equal to the real life interelations with people that know you.

I have personally witnessed the power of positive cognitive therapy. I thought my DW was heading to a padded room when she slipped into a deep post partum depression. There were mitigating factors (past abuse baggage) that set the stage when it was triggered. Her depression was most assuredly tied to self esteem issues. After the crisis post partum bout.... things just still weren't right. After sometime, DW approached me about wanting to seek help. I supported that effort. I have outlined some of that in other places on the Fool. If anybody is interested, let me know and I'll point you to the commentary.

In educating myself, I read "The Six Pillars of Self Esteem" by Nathaniel Branden. It is perhaps the best book I have ever read. I took a ton out of it... both in supporting my wife and for application to my personal life. There is great power in optimism. You can control how you think. And, positive action does help self esteem. Now I do not mean to contend that there are a wide range of mental afflictions involving depression.... nor that self esteem is the only important aspect to one's life.

I really didn't mean to bud in on this board.... I stumbled in here linked from another board. I am a fan of Tuni's and felt compelled to comment. I appreciated the commentary.... and did see relevance to a situation in which I am personally familiar.
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I really didn't mean to bud in on this board.... I stumbled in here linked from another board. I am a fan of Tuni's and felt compelled to comment. I appreciated the commentary.... and did see relevance to a situation in which I am personally familiar.

Greetings coyote97, and nice to see you! :)

I concur that Tuni is a very nice dude; I've long admired his/her posts when I've come across them. I doubt that Tuni meant any insult whatsoever nor directed towards anybody in particular.

I'm just trying to say at the moment:

- I'm certain that Tuni didn't mean any offense whatsoever by the post.

- I'm also aware that it was (is) a sensitive issue that Tuni inadvertently touched upon by posting on this board.

It is not possible for anyone to provide commentary, encouragement, or advice that is of use and service to everyone. What Tuni, posted is right on the mark for some people. It isn't even close for others. But, Tuni is not a close personal friend of anybody here brow beating them to just cheer up. So, like anything else on a discussion board, take it with a grain of salt. If you find something helpful... take it with you. If you find it worthless.... leave it behind. But, never put any level of importance on what you see on a discussion board from people you aren't close with equal to the real life interelations with people that know you.

Understood and agreed upon. I will say, though, the key issue is that this particular board (community) that this was posted upon happens to be particularly sensitive to the response. It might be roughly tantamount to someone telling an ethnic joke, which might be more generally better received or ignored elsewhere, on a board that was intended to address issues of ethnic conflicts. Perhaps not a good place to present it, even if everyone else elsewhere thought it was okay, or benign. Tuni's intention was quite apparently good; in this venue, it was not received as well.

All internet communities presumably would reserve the right to agree or disagree. Regardless of intentions or reputation, not everyone will be well supported in what they say.

At the same time, the wonderful thing about Tuni's post is that it's drawn some awareness to what is actually a very convoluted issue and it's given me (and others) a chance to vent on what is a notably raw issue for us.

As it is, this particular thread and Tuni's post will be forgotten soon enough which is generally the nature of the internet.

Best regards,
Meg
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