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Posts Tagged ‘bipolar’

“We are whole as well as unique, and each aspect of our lives–the emotional, mental and spiritual as well as the physical–is rich and complex and deeply connected to the others. Each of us is brought up in a particular family at a given time and in a specific place. Each of us is a member of a socioeconomic and ethnic group.

 ….Understanding all the dimensions of a life is crucial to understanding each person and his or her illnesses. Addressing them may make possible a successful treatment that a more narrow approach would dismiss or ignore.” MANIFESTO FOR A NEW MEDICINE ~ James S. Gordon, M.D.

When a person contacts me for a distant healing, we create a time when he or she can join in at the same time—this moment of meeting is also arranged at a soul level—a moment of sacred synchronicity. Asking a client to join in frequently allows them to sense the energies in all kinds of ways and they can also give you feedback about their healing experience. All that a practitioner needs is the name and birth date of the subject and the place where they reside now. Inviting the healing process begins at the spiritual level addressing imbalances at present time … this spiritual connection helps to pick up a range of messages coming from different parts of a person’s body. Many times, after the client and I have discussed the healing, we may also focus on his or her astrological chart to gain a greater understanding to their current issues. 90% of the time, the client is eager to have an astrological point of view that provides a reflection of his or hers own ‘inner nature’.

Many people, often as the result of a life crisis or through a gradually increasing interest, feel a pressing need to get in touch with their Self and to discover, in their own unique way, their nature and place in the universe.   In the search for a method to be used as self-development they turn to sources of inspiration from ancient times—one such system is astrology. Carl Jung, saw the human psyche as a rich tapestry of forces and interactions—he used astrology to access aspects of the human personality which still lay below the surface.

Carl Jung used astrology to reveal the psychological characteristics, patterns, and dynamics of his clients. In a letter to a prominent astrologer (Dr. B.V. Raman of India) he wrote, “As I am a psychologist, I am chiefly interested in the particular light the horoscope sheds on certain complications in a person’s character. In cases of difficult psychological diagnosis, I usually cast a horoscope in order to have a further point of view from an entirely different angle. I must say that I very often found that astrological data elucidated certain points which I otherwise would have been unable to understand.”

Your natal chart is like a fingerprint, there’s none other like it in the world. Wherever you are in the world you’ll react in the same way and respond in the same; why .. because .. you are you.

The type of astrology we’re going to look is called astropsychology (individual astrology). When doing a chart, what we’re looking for is a pattern, a repetitive pattern in your behavior—the way you take information in and the way you send information out—it will show, how you respond to any environment. Astropsychology is about self-awareness, self acceptance and eventually leading to better ways of knowing yourself, of knowing what you’re doing, understanding why you act in certain ways and then disciplining yourself with higher awareness to overcome imprinted beliefs and behaviors. It’s about balancing our energies and discovering our natural abilities and merging them with our knowledge to manifest in our lives day in and day out. We are responsible for our own actions as others are responsible for theirs.   Astrology is about stripping ourselves of our outer masks (superficialities) and exposing our true inner nature. And it’s about now, it’s about change happening now, for as you will discover you have ultimate control over your chart.

Manic Depression/Bipolar people are truly gifted with many wonderful attributes that have been masked by their symptoms. Their bodies are increasingly sensitive to things the mind cannot know—physically they feel their depressions and anxieties—even when hidden under the guise of good humor and a couple of stiff drinks. Social pressures at home, at work and at school can intensify this disorder, creating other conditions such as Diabetes, Thyroid disorders, Rheumatoid Arthritis, Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) and many more.

“Creativity is closely associated with bipolar disorder. This condition is unique. Many famous historical figures and artists have had this. Yet they have led a full life and contributed so much to the society and world at large. See, you have a gift. People with bipolar disorder are very very sensitive. Much more than ordinary people. They are able to experience emotions in a very deep and intense way. It gives them a very different perspective of the world. It is not that they lose touch with reality. But the feelings of extreme intensity are manifested in creative things. They pour their emotions into either writing or whatever field they have chosen” ~ Preeti Shenoy, Life is What You Make It

We know from the previous articles on manic depression that the brain of a person with bipolar does not move dopamine and other chemicals of the brain in the same way that the brain of someone without bipolar does. A lack of dopamine may explain the drug addiction and thrill-seeking behavior of most people with bipolar. However, I do believe everyone can sculpt a fulfilling life out of what they’ve been born with, but it will take a lot of hard work and willpower to change old habits developed in response to bipolar symptoms.   Being realistic about the great stress it has on your life and in your relationships is important but also doubly important is being hopeful and optimistic. Medications can help find your own balance point as you see bipolar in fresh ways. And all medications should be tried under the direction and observation of your doctor whom you told of your medical history.

When the harder aspects of astrology are accepted as the flip side of the very positive aspects of a natal chart, a balance can be achieved. So often astrologer’s have found a person’s greatest talents arose directly out of their most challenging aspects. Yet many astrology books will describe squares or oppositions as indicating a person’s greatest faults or weaknesses, whereas trines and sextiles shown a person’s talents or virtues.

“The energies expressed by planets in square to one another are often compulsive, too forceful, and often rooted in feelings of resentment or vulnerability. Obviously, these circumstances tend to bring out the less pleasant qualities of the energies involved. The energies represented by planets in square aspect can be very dynamic and productive – rather like an athlete who can objectively accomplish more because in training he must constantly work with a handicap … like running uphill, but they are not comfortable – either for the person who owns them, or for the people who have to deal with him.” http://www.enchantedspirit.org/Astrology/Definitions/Square.php

The first step in breaking habits is to become our own spectators. Paying attention to our facial expressions, gestures, tics, and posture can help us to see ourselves more clearly so we can begin to change certain performances of our personality. We need to learn to test ourselves too, to see where we hold strengths and weaknesses and continually improve on the weaknesses or use our strengths to counter balance them.

“In the Yoga Vasishtha, the Goddess of Wisdom explains, “Consciousness, mind, and space: These are not different things. Each of these is all pervading. This true intelligence inside you, the awareness buried beneath the everyday rambling of your mind, pervades all space. All living things are connected through this network of intelligence. It is the basis of telepathy, precognition, spiritual healing, astrology, and other occult powers.

This intelligence is perfectly tranquil, which is why people with agitated minds are unable to tap into it. There is a part of your mind which swells within this Divine Intelligence. Yogis call it the confined body. It is everywhere, and its powers are unlimited. It is the Supreme Divine Awareness Itself.” Yoga Journal May – June 1996

THE ASTROLOGICAL NATAL CHART

The astrological natal chart reflects both our light and dark shadows, our strengths as well as aspects of ourselves that need healing. It’s a way of being able to ‘observe the self’ and understanding a deeper meaning of the life journey, particularly our painful life experiences. Awareness of certain energies at work within ourselves gives us the opportunity to shift out away from our typical knee-jerk reactive mode.   The most practical perspective that will help you understand astrology in general is that everything works in polarities.

“Astrology is neither a perfected science nor solely an art form created by the intuitive faculties of the various people who practice it. Astrology combines certain elements of science, art, and intuition and as such it is a unique field of study. Astrology is a diagnostic tool which has been given to Man so that he may begin to understand his roots in infinity and the higher laws of creation which govern him. Astrology, therefore, is not an end unto itself. On the contrary, it is a beginning, for the planets and stars are but giant, symbolic bodies through which the complicated truths of the Universe may be expressed.” Alan Okin’s Complete Astrology ~ Alan Okin

The process of becoming aware and learning/discovering what’s best in us takes courage, as we are being readied to meet oneself. We all come with our own unique history; bringing our own particular strengths and weaknesses, performances and abilities. For most of us, we often find ourselves playing a role, just showing a part of ourselves and keeping other parts hidden. As we gain control of our abilities and interactions with the spiritual side of life, we are able to co-create, give form and manifest results in our physical world.

We are all familiar with some aspects of ourselves that are resistant to change, even if we feel quite aware about what we would like to do. If you encounter resistance, don’t berate or judge yourself, relax, sit down and take the time to explore your chart and find out why certain aspects are there.

Inside each of us is a variety of subpersonalities (archetypes) (eg., the hero, the victim, the nurturer) that contribute to how we respond to life experiences. We’re going to look at the astrological chart of a person diagnosed with manic depression who blamed his parents for the ‘screw-ups’ in his life. “My parents haven’t any idea what they’ve done to me, I don’t know who I am, I haven’t any self-esteem and it’s ‘all’ their fault”.

Our identity stems from our family and if that is removed, it often leaves us hanging emotionally. I mean—think about it—our family is our foundation, our home. There’s no question that what a person has been through can impact how they feel about themselves. It alters the way we look and deal with the world; bitterness can lead to depression and a lack of motivation. Instead of dealing with our anger and sad feelings, we tend to blame our screw-ups on those closest to us .. our parents.

In astrology, the ascendant, rising sign or 1st house represents our appearance, the physical body, and its overall health and vitality. Your body image has been influenced and shaped by your parents and people who influenced your family and the environment/society you lived in as a child. You could say it’s the landscape of your body, formed by the foods available to your parents at the time. It’s also based on the genetic makeup of your early ancestors and the food they ate, especially if from a different land. It’s also been called the mask we wear when relating with other people. Planets that aspect the rising sign can alter the flow of energy, positively or negatively throughout the body.

The sun and moon reflects the energies that were going on between our parents at the time of our conception. The relationship between the luminaries in the natal chart also plays a significant role in our behaviors, attitudes and beliefs as well as our relationship with others.

Anger, blame, guilt, fear and all other negative emotions when not acknowledged and released weaken your natural resistance to disease and aging.   They clog up your cells, slow down your metabolism and wear out your heart. Where we’ve been hurt, abused, abandoned or betrayed .. any of these wounded feelings can settle in your arteries, joints, throat, eyes, brain or digestive track.

CASE STUDY #1

Mitch astro

The name and date of birth of the following person has been changed to protect his identity.

The natal chart we’re looking at is a young man named Mitch, born in 1997 and diagnosed bipolar at the age of 12. At this tender age, Mitch was already heavily into drugs and in trouble with the law .. as you can tell by his birth date, he’s only heading towards his 18th year.   Here’s a short overview of his chart…

SUN IN CANCER

In Cancer, we enter the world of emotions and feelings as well as needs, intuition and our ability to bond with another human being. Cancer’s Moon has been said to represent the wounded inner child, since it holds the sensitive part of us that is vulnerable, dependent and needy.

“In Gemini, the soul was urged to move out of its self perceptions and embrace its universal self, the one that knows it is connected to all things.   If this did not occur, then the phase of Cancer will be difficult. The self beomces imprisoned in itself and indifferent to others. Spirit provides warmth, compassion and understanding; when it’s missing, reality appears distorted. Emotional needs become “black holes,” and nothing in the material world is enough to make the soul feel secure.   The dark feelings of the Cancer find relief in humor and in an interest in society and all its frivolities. Cancers are either the king and queens of superfluous behavior or courageous navigators of the truth and the unknown.” The Day We Were Born ~ Linda Joyce

For most of us it is much harder to express our feelings than to opinions, facts or theories. If you listen to people’s conversations, they are either describing things, events or people or exchanging ideas and/or opinions about something. Very rarely do we hear things about personal feelings, because talking about feelings is risky. Feedback is the risk of learning something about yourself you didn’t know before (or did, but didn’t want to know) And there’s also the risk of being misunderstood or not accepted. Yet, are these worthwhile risks to learn more about ourselves.

Mitch told me he often bottles up his feelings, especially around his friends and mother but ends up losing his temper at someone else, causing a reaction he was afraid would happen in the first place.

“Cancers struggle with mood swings, and their obsessive behavior demands they learn emotional control. Constantly battling frustration, they seek stability in their environment. It’s why they like antiques, tradition and the past. It gives them a feeling of connectedness and belonging. They are prone to collecting and easily fall into habits. They’d rather repeat an experience any day than try something new. They can easily get stuck in a rut. A mate can help here. Often Cancers are attracted to partners who bring the change they themselves are afraid to initiate.

 All Cancers deal with fear. It’s the neck brace that keeps them rigid. They also struggle to contain emotional tension, beginning in childhood.” The Day You Were Born ~ Linda Joyce

I told Mitch that from Aries through Cancer, we experience the elements of Fire (Aries), Earth (Taurus), Air (Gemini) and Water (Cancer). Water has no taste, no shape or color; water ‘needs’ other materials ‘to be observed’. Pour water into a container and suddenly it takes shape. Flavor it with something and it has taste. So feelings and emotions are only seen by something outside of us, causing internal ripples.

SUN SQUARE SATURN IN 4th HOUSE

“…When Saturn is shadowing the Sun in the natal chart, for the Sun describes the ego and sense of self-worth. In the final analysis, the individual feels a lack of acknowledgment for who he really is and usually goes through life feeling unrecognized no matter how much acclaim comes his way. The sadness that sets in is like putting shade over a bright light. The sun describes not only the ego and sense of self-worth but the real essence of soul quality. If a person is denied by others often enough, he quite naturally begins to deny himself and his existence. He feels unimportant, and may be motivated to get the acknowledgment he craves and feels he deserves in a variety of ways, sometimes by being lured on by the reward or ego stroking he hopes to receive for a job well done. His diligence is rarely acknowledged fully, however, as he was programmed for lack of acknowledgment at that all-important time of birth.” ASTROLOGY AND YOUR PAST LIVES ~ Jeanne Avery

Child abuse and feeling deprived has created a huge chip on Mitch’s shoulders; he feels rejected and betrayed by life and trusts no one. He has such a great fear of being controlled by others that any restriction causes Mitch to fight back with a fighting rage. The root and deep scar of his sorrow is a sense of emotional abandonment from his alcoholic father. All his stuffed-down feelings have kept him moving to avoid feeling. He couldn’t turn to his mother for help who cleaned endlessly and was overly involved in the community; she went out of her way to help others to avoid her pain.

Mitch left home at the tender age of 15; he realized too that he was like his mother, running and keeping his life in high gear to avoid facing his real feelings of loss and emotional intimacy.

I told Mitch to see his constant running as a form of addiction.   We will see with other aspects that he was into drugs and alcoholism but not all forms of addiction are physical.   Addictions can represent desires, attachments, demands, expectations, emotional programming, anything that keeps us in the past instead of the here and now. Addictions disempower you by making you worried, anxious, resentful, uptight, afraid, angry, bored or any other obsessive thought pattern that prevents you from taking responsibility for your life.

Mitch told me “Then I guess you’d say I’m addicted to cutting. When I’m feeling down about myself I hurt myself by cutting my arms all up. I would rather feel physical pain then the emotional hurt that I have in my life”. Overall he felt anger, sorry, hurt and frustrated; instead of talking about it, he hurt himself.

I told Mitch that cutting make take his mind off his problems but that wouldn’t make them go away. Self-mutilation is connected to low self-esteem. Think about it. It makes sense .. Mitch cuts himself with words like “you’re worthless: or you’re not going to amount to anything.”

At some point, I told Mitch, you will decide that your “background” isn’t going to stand in your way any longer. You’re young and your wounds are fresh; it’s your fear of emotional pain that makes you so sensitive and hell-bent it won’t happen again. But this energy you’re feeling radiates from you to others—they know on a deeper level what you’re thinking and feeling—they act in accord. People’s reactions to you. are from what you’re projecting—energy put out into the world comes back to us like a boomerang.

To come into balance we have to embrace our polar opposite and for you that’s Capricorn. Capricorn is about responsibility, it’s showing you that you alone are the creator of your experiences, that no one else can cause you to feel what you feel in any situation. As mentioned in the summary Mitch needs to share himself with others; once he does his problems will begin to dissolve.

“The wonderful light that each person is needs a distinct darkness to define it. The darkness providing your balance and cosmic equilibrium is now only a vague shadow. By witnessing true darkness, the opposite of the goodness that you are, your spirit will become more clearly defined. You will become more fully aware of when darkness or negativity has come into your life, and you will be able to acknowledge it, change it, or leave the situations, instead of simply becoming entangled or lost in the darkness.

ASCENDANT SQUARE NEPTUNE – SUN IN CANCER OPPOSITE NEPTUNE – MERCURY OPPOSITE NEPTUNE

Before you get to know someone, their ascendant or rising sign will probably make a much bigger impression on you than their sun sign. The rising sign will play a big part in the way someone dresses, looks, and the way they carry themselves. Your Ascendant/Rising Sign also represents your general outlook on life.   It is the lens through which you view the world.

“A person does not have to be behind bars to be a prisoner. People can be prisoners of their own concepts and ideas. They can be slaves to their own selves.” – Maharaji

Mitch felt he had little worth, he felt depreciated by others and felt cheated and stepped on. At school he was bullied quite possibly because he didn’t feel so great about himself. To defend himself he hid behind a wall of distrust and put others down to elevate himself. He sank into terrible feelings of loneliness and isolation, cutting himself and turning to drugs and alcohol.

“Compulsive and addictive behaviors such as overeating, compulsive exercise, gambling, spending, workaholism, relationship addiction, and drug and alcohol abuse are born of intense craving for nurturing, affection, connection and personal power. Under the surface of compulsive behaviors lies an insecure, frightened and angry individual crying out in loneliness, isolation, helplessness, fear and anger. Compulsive behaviors represent an attempt at survival, security, satisfaction identity and safety. The compulsions become replacement for nurturing; the means to diminish anxiety and insecurity, and experience brief pleasure and gratification; the means to repress anger and hostility; and an avenue to find temporary security. Compulsive behaviors represent the paradox of both an overwhelming desire for connectedness and a fear of intimacy and conflict. The spending, hoarding, sex, compulsive work, etc., reflect an effort to protect oneself against overwhelming feelings of helplessness, hopelessness and fear of abandonment should emotions held in check be released. Good and Mad: Transform Anger Using Mind, Body, Soul and Humor ~ By Jane Middelton-Moz, Lisa Tener, Peaco Todd

When I scanned Mitch’s energy field during our distant healing session, his aura was like a wall of steel not wanting or letting anything through. Mitch had gone through many trials in his young life, including physical abuse, abandonment by an alcoholic father and trying to cope with a learning disability. His strong feelings had never been talked about or dealt with. They were buried. The more we conversed over email and skype, the more I realized how great the tension was between him and his parents. Mitch left home at 15 years old and lived on the streets for almost a year.

(Any type of armor around the body represents all a person’s accumulated feelings and repressed rage that’s never been processed. Mitch had only one planet in water (Sun in Cancer in 4th house)—he was definitely not comfortable in the world of feelings, or expressing himself well—another reason why his wall was created. But this form of protected armor was causing tissue inflammation and muscle pain in his body.)

Cortisol can create a fearful, threatened feeling that over-stimulates our whole system. Unexplained muscle aches, chronic headaches, feeling hopeless or helpless and crying more than usual are signs of chronic anxiety. Anxiety coupled with cortisol has been known to cause unexplained heart palpitations, a nervous stomach, road rage and short temperedness.

“The Ascendant also represents the body and with Neptune in conflict, we could by physically below par – mostly due to our uncertainty. When we are going through a difficult patch we may need to sleep on our problems, and we can suffer from tiredness without obvious physical cause. Creative talents can be wonderfully stimulated if we take up artistic or mystical pursuits.”   ‘Aspects and Personality’ by Karen Hamaker-Zondag

Cancer is a cardinal sign and for many a Cancer business is the strongest creative outlet in the horoscope. But Cancer is looking for fulfillment for the Moon, for something that is nurturing to do, for people who need help.

MOON in LIBRA CONJUNCT MARS – TRINE URANUS and NEPTUNE

The moon is normally associated with home, family life, one’s mother, motherhood, bonding with others and habits and behaviors. Anatomically the moon represents the stomach, which emphasizes a direct link between what we eat and how we feel. It also provides clues to what may be “eating” at us. Cancers tend to eat when their inner child has been deprived; emotionally starved, neglected or abandoned. Each of us responds to the Moon’s cycle in our own unique manner and through its regular rhythm, it can provide us with clues to the direction our unconscious is taking.

“You may be surprised to learn that your food absorbs and transmits consciousness…and the subtle energies in your meals can profoundly influence your entire life. When you take the time to tune in and connect with the vast array of energy fields within your meal, magic happens. Suddenly you’re no longer contained by the confines of your identity and your physical body. You enter into the awareness that you’re not separate from the universe. Each item of food you ingest can be a key that opens doors of perception and connection….. 

 Your food is indeed composed of undulating energy fields that can profoundly impact your life. Many people view their physical body as a static biological entity. However, in reality, your body is a vibrating, intelligent force field of energy that’s constantly transforming and renewing itself. When the viable energies of your food interface with the energy flows of your physical form, it allows you to step into a higher level of spiritual frequency. (But only if you understand how to attune to those fields; this is one of the secret recipes for savoring your life.)” Denise Lin and Meadlow Lin ~ The Mystic Cookbook

“We who have Moon in Libra crave the experience of beauty and peace; we seek to co-operate with others, to please, and to establish one-to-one relationships which are mutually gratifying. We also find satisfaction in using our minds, particularly our powers of objectivity and synthesis. A parent who valued us highly, and enjoyed pleasing us; who encouraged our aesthetic and intellectual development, and who was willing and able to appreciate our points of view… may have helped us to become attuned to the constructive dimensions of our Libran Moon.

 If, however, our Moon is in difficult aspect, or if its trines or sextiles suggest a parent who was only superficially available to us, we may be attempting to gain from a partner what we were never able to experience from our parents. We may become overly dependent upon others, seeking to win their favor by being indispensable and satisfying their every desire. We may also be inclined to avoid confronting our anger and pain, suppressing emotions because we fear any threat to our relationships which might force us to acknowledge our separateness and aloneness. These patterns may have been influenced by a parent figure who placed too much emphasis upon appearance or surface harmony, who was unable to tolerate discord, or who led us to believe that relationship always means subordinating oneself to another. Such a mother or father may have brought many unfulfilled needs into parenting, expecting us to compensate for deficiencies he or she experienced in childhood or marriage.

 Although our Libra Moons suggest that our emotional fulfillment requires co-operative relationships with others, we can only build truly satisfying connections by first developing a secure relationship with ourselves, accepting as valid our own feelings and needs, and being willing to assert ourselves, even when it means experiencing temporary discord for the sake of deeper and more authentic contact. We need to apply our openmindedness and our capacity to identify with many points of view in relation to both ourselves and others – to listen to and affirm each of our internal personalities, willingly entering into disharmony and imbalance when necessary in order to create the more enduring harmony and balance which is so vital to us. At the same time, we need to honor our Libran need for beauty and peace, creating environments and relationships which, whenever possible, soothe and uplift us.” ~ Tracy Marks

The moon in astrology represents the mother, your first bond with life and your early experiences of how she loved, protected and cared for you.   The Moon represents how we were emotionally held and provided a place of safety so we could explore and express our feelings, no matter what they were. The Moon in Libra is a bit uncomfortable because the Moon is feminine and Libra is Masculine—the Moon is emotional—Libra is logical.

When I asked Mitch to describe his mother he said point-blank “a people pleaser”. He said his mom couldn’t say no to anyone and it would really tie her in knots when she couldn’t help someone.   “She gave the appearance that everything in her life was ok, even when her problems were obvious .. at home she could be critical fuzzy and demanding.. but she allowed herelf to be used, especially my father. My dad was an alcoholic and mom would go about her days avoiding it, ‘keeping up appearances’ with friends and family. She was well read and had an enormous library of music and books but kept a blind-eye to what was happening in her life. Mom even had a tendency to turn her problems into jokes; this way no one could confront or question her lack of insight into her financial and marital problems. Some of her best friends were lost because they saw through her façade … they couldn’t understand why she didn’t want help or to help herself. When I ran away from home she was deeply hurt but probably knew deep down inside it was best for me to leave the abuse of my father”.

When we turned the tables and looked at what the Moon in Libra meant Mitch, he had to laugh, “my mom wanted to be friends with everyone, where here I am fighting everyone like a raving maniac! I’m afraid of my emotions because their so intense”. Where my mom wouldn’t make a scene, scream or put anyone down I’m totally the opposite. Mom didn’t realize the shame I had about our family and it only grew worse because she wouldn’t talk about it.”

With the Moon conjunct Mars we tend to react without thinking and may impulsively, angrily leap into action. Coupled with Uranus, even though a trine, indicates spurts of little shocks that come like a bolt out of the blue.   With these aspect comes great sensitivity and intuitive abilities as well as erratic mood changes—Mars and Uranus with the every-changing Moon may appear to others as unpredictable or unreliable, lacking in commitment and responsibility.

“Every time they revert to Moon behavior, or, in other words, to a search for peace and safety, Uranus springs into action, and the planet, although intervening harmoniously, does tend to make them restless and impulsive. In breaking free they may also want to be unconventional, and interests may include astrology or esotericism, subjects which lie outside the present scientific world-picture. Of course, by no means everyone with strong Uranus aspects will become an astrologer, but they will probably be interested in something pioneering – say some innovative branch of technology like radar.

 

Once they have found an interest, then they can throw themselves into it heart and soul. They become absorbed in each new bright idea. Not all of these are likely to be usable, but that’s not important; what matters is that the idea interests them intensely, and they have scant patience with the comments or criticisms of others. These people always give full rein to individuality and act according to what they think at the time. Possibly they shall bring about reforms in society, but these attitudes can also isolate them. Not for nothing is Uranus called an eccentric, solitary planet; and Uranians feel compelled to push themselves forward in order to express their individuality although, incidentally, they would be scandalized at the suggestion that they were being egotistic or self-centred.” Karen Hamaker-Zondag ~ Aspects and Personality

NEPTUNE CONJUNCT *MIDHEAVEN – SQUARE ASCENDANT – SQUARE CHIRON – CONJUNCT URANUS

*The MidHeaven (10th house) represents our direction in life, what we strive to achieve, what we are reaching up for …

 Some people with the aspect, Neptune conjunct Midheaven (MC) suffer from identity problems most probably caused by parents who already decided what ‘they want’ for their child. As a result the child can grow up wondering who they are and what their role might be in life. This is why Mitch has become so super-sensitive to what others think and say. When we talked of his parents, he said he hated them and had even told them this to their face. Was it true? No, I think he was using these harsh words as a verb weapon to get my and their attention. He wrote more than once, “I haven’t done anything wrong, it’s all ‘their’ fault’. He also wrote “I’ve always felt like I was born in the wrong family, like what I wanted, what I cared about was completely opposite of my parents.”

The 4th house, Imum Coecli (IC) represents our heritage, our home and family’. The Moon is the ruler of this house (Cancer) representing our upbringing, the mother and our needs, instincts, and subconscious urges. The Sun rules this house in Mitch’s chart, it indicates one’s ego, vitality, pride and leadership. The Sun, not well aspected in Mitch’s chart showed he didn’t think much of himself or his sense of self-worth and that most of his upbringing was from his mother.   Insecure, she didn’t reflect his sense of self-worth and he lacked a healthy ego that affected his feelings about himself. With Sun square Saturn in the 4th house, the mother was deeply insecure herself … you see Mitch’s dad was an alcoholic and abandoned or was absent most of Mitch’s life.

Excellent article on the 4th house  http://www.astro.com/astrology/in_dgfourthhouse_e.htm

With Neptune conjunct Midheaven (10th house), Mitch needs to find a job in a quiet, low-stress environment that allows him to daydream, fantasize and create. With this aspect he is likely to dedicate a great deal of his time and energy to his chosen career because it will provide him with a tremendous sense of fulfillment, something he couldn’t match in other areas of his life. He also needs to develop some outside interests and form some personal relationships; this will keep him balanced.

Sometimes the 10th house is related to the father, who in Mitch’s case was withdrawn in a world of disillusion. His father could have shown Mitch all the negative attributes of Neptune: alcoholism, drug-addiction, chronic mental or physical illness, weak character, or all of the above. Mitch needs to examine his beliefs about why his father was in his life instead of avoiding the issue. When he does this he’ll discover, understand and appreciate his Neptunian gifts. (Mitch is being counseled as we speak.)

Mitch has a wonderful imaginative talent and loves painting mythological creatures and anything to do with the  fantasy world. He’s written poetry that is truly alive with deeply felt emotions and feelings.  Just as we need sleep, he needs to escape to a dream world of magical spirits and whimsical creatures; it helps him relax and to transform his visions into works of art. It is very probable Mitch is here to inspire us to our sense of wonder and to learn how to free our imagination.

Mitch and I talked about him taking an art workshop, or creative writing, which would bring his talents out and could also be an effective counselling tool.  We also explored meditation, some which are located on this blog.

URANUS ~ BREATHE

“Uranus is the first of the higher octave planets. It describes a quality of electric energy that is very high in vibration. …

Uranus also describes healing, enlightenment and mental brilliance ~ for a person it show one who is a humanitarian, individual and unique. Special and unusual situations occur when Uranus is stimulated in our chart. They can lead to new awareness as a result of breaking up old patterns. A person who has Uranus strong in their chart can be rebellious, high-strung and nervous. At times the electrical energy in our bodies is so strong it can cause physical conditions such as bronchitis, allergies, asthma, etc.. So you could say the body’s on overload, and we need to let off all that excess steam within our own system so we don’t damage our health.

Uranus rules the breathing mechanism as well as indicating the nervous system, tension may produce shallow breathing or a general lack of oxygen in the system. The meridians in the body may be reversed. (Meridians are the lines that connect acumpuncture points in the body.) Reversed meridians may lead to what appear to be learning disabiities. Actually the individual may learn so rapidly and be so far ahead of the norm that he tends to jam his own circuits by trying to slow down or cnform to the methods of others. This is especially true if there are difficult aspects to Mercury or to the ruler of the third house of communications. In extreme situations, those difficult aspects may indicate a potential for dyslexia as a result of those reversed meridians.” Astrology and Your Past Lives ~ Jeanne Avery 

We contract or hold-in our breath, when we’re tense or protecting ourselves from something or someone in our environment. Usually when we feel safe, the body relaxes; the breathing slows down and drops farther into the belly, becoming deeper and more nurturing.   But if we continue to tense up this area, our breathing becomes shallower and the body’s back and neck will have to compensate for it. With the lungs imbalanced, the neck will be forced to crane forward, having to physically carry the weight of the head rather than allowing it to balance naturally on the spine. The neck pulled forward causes undue strain in many of the muscles in the shoulder and back area.

When working on Mitch’s energy body, his breathing appeared shorter, shallower and more in the chest than in the belly. The muscle that is responsible for controlling the lungs is the diaphragm (ruled by Uranus). This is a large dome-shaped muscle that separates the chest cavity from the abdomen.   It lies directly under the lungs and when we breathe in the muscle stretches out to let air into the lungs.   As you exhale, the diaphragm curves inwards and upwards to force all the unwanted air out of our lungs. The diaphragm is one of the most under-used muscles in the human body.

“Uranus represents the need for independence and originality; it crashes through forms and restraints and helps develop individuality on the basis of inwardly desired change. Neptune on the other hand, represents the desire to experience what lies beyond individuality itself. Hence it stands for a need to disassociate and blur things, to idealize and perfect them. But there is a danger of the individual mind becoming chaotic and losing itself in the collective. When the two factors come together, as they do here, we get a highly idealistic personality displaying an impersonal attitude every now and then.” Aspects and Personaltiy ~ Karen Hamaker-Zondag

A lack of life-energy (chi) can cause the entire body to experience health problems and cause the entire body to slowly deteriorate. I suspected Mitch had a skin condition and called him on it. Mitch said he suffers from a skin condition called psoriasis.

Psoriasis is an immune disorder said to originate in the intestinal tract. (Mitch’s 6th house in Virgo rules the intestinal tract and this area of the body is where he’s most affected). Those familiar with leaky-gut syndrome know that toxic substances that normally pass through the intestines are instead seeped through the walls, entering the lymphatic system and invading the blood stream. The liver and kidneys attempt to filter out these toxins but when the liver becomes overloaded the skin comes to the rescue to help eliminate them. Psoriasis, then, is an overproduction of skin cells that cause a pileup of dead cells, thickening the skin with raised red patches.   Metaphysically this is a mental issue of patterns and attitudes that are already dead and finished with but haven’t yet been released.

Mars in the 6th house can get quite a deal of angry and impatient when our ordinary day-to-day life isn’t going as planned. Fuming over what was, burns up a lot of reserved energy, burning out the adrenals and feeling quite anxious. Again with Mitch we see an accumulation of repressed rage and suppressed feelings that never got processed. Interestingly, in the aura, these appear as dark red spots that can be quite explosive when disturbed.

“Each feeling contains atomic particles, and the feelings which are denied contain particles which spin at a greater force than normal because their natural movement has been suppressed. This greater intensity of spin creates the color, red. When there is a large accumulation of these particles, the energy can no longer be contained, which results in an explosive force which you perceive as violence. This may express itself as a tantrum, as abrasive behavior, belligerence, insult, physical abuse, rape, or even murder. ‘Seeing red’ is an actual phenomenon.” Color and Crystals ~ Joy Gardener

SUMMARY OF MITCH’S HEALING/CHART

There was a lot of personal information discussed with Mitch that wasn’t explained here.   In regard to astrology, For instance, I showed him all the retrogrades (R’s) in his chart, which means that from the earth, these planets (Jupiter, Uranus, Neptune, Pluto) appear to be moving backwards. Because Mitch had so many of them, it means he has to figure a lot of things out for himself, to go within and discover his truths. Once he is able to get himself sorted out, then he’d feel more comfortable interacting with the world.

“Escapism, daydreaming, and fantasies attract, and you may retreat into an ideal and perfect inner world where all is good. This is the conflict between illusions and external reality which reflects the interplay between the Virgoan dream of perfection and the Piscean dream of idealism. A misapplication of these impair your ability to deal with the real world”. North Node In Virgo ~ Paul Hayden

We also talked in great length about aspects to the Moon, Mars, Chiron and the North Node which are all placed in his sixth house. Mitch really wants to push his way through life and once back on track, make up for lost time in his past. It could mean he may have to do a lot of physical work but will have to watch his health. When Mitch was young he had a tendency to run high fevers when run down.

This quote summarizes Mitch’s repressed rage..

“Although it is not like Ares, if he did hold in his anger, he would probably suffer regularly from headaches or more generally turn his aggression against the body. (With the planet Mars in the 6th, feelings and impulses register very strongly in the body and must find some sort of expression if it is not going to short-circuit and blow a fuse.)” Howard Sasportas

With an Aries rising, Mars, Chiron and North Node all in his 6th house Mitch has a great combination of air (intellect) and earth (practicality) to live the way he wants and where he wants. The solution, he has a lot of work to do on himself; Virgo is associated with exercise, health foods, healing and natural products, an area he needs to explore.   Virgo is always striving to learn; this sign needs some form of study to stimulate the mind and Mitch is thinking of going through a graphic arts class sponsored through a government funded program and he’s really interested in exploring the artistic field, especially fantasy art.

“Integration only comes to this individual through service. Must come out of his shell and work. Has been isolated through self-undoing in the past. Either enforced seclusion, or restrictions due to lack of compassion in the past, has made it easy to retreat this time. Fulfilment comes to this individual through serving others and losing the sense of separateness. Humility, the last virtue to be attained, can be the keynote of hits life if the individual is willing to serve others with no concern about the self. In order for any of us to become something, we have to be willing to be nothing. This is the message of the sixth house.” ~ Isabel Hickey

The main thing Mitch and I worked on was for him to be less aggressive and more “assertive”. The key to being assertive is using the “I” statement.   When someone says “I feel frustrated” we open to what they have to say. People are usually more willing to listen to an “I” statement—and—being assertive builds our self-esteem—it’s validating our feelings and opinions. I also told him being assertive wasn’t going to change people; they still may be verbally abusive; but if he made it his goal to stick up for his opinion, even though they spoke the same way, it was a victory for him.

Important aspects such as Chiron opposite Saturn cannot be denied and applied so strongly in Mitch’s chart.   This is what I wrote him …   Chiron opposite Saturn emphasizes the need to strip away old, outmoded forms of self-expression. We’re challenged to become aware of our woundedness in the areas of thoughts, perceptions and communication. This means playing around with ideas, thoughts and words: what ideas do you have that might move you beyond your current situation? Try out some of these ideas and experiment; have fun with them. For instance do you often feel you’re not heard by other people? Perhaps you could learn more effective ways of communicating or choose to be better a better listener. Are you intimated by what others expect of you, losing touch with your own ideas and opinions? Maybe you could learn how to consciously redefine yourself at regular intervals. Be receptive to feedback from trusted friends, but choose what is right for you in the end. Try not to react to what others are saying but take it in as food for thought. If you’re tempted to react or get angry, let that anger spur you into action for your own self-development.

Mitch has been in spiritual counselling for about six months now.  He’s also seeing a naturopath who gives freely of her time to teach him of the respective foods and supplements he should be taking. Definitely 3000 mg. Omega 3 daily, was at the top of the list along with a Candida diet and moderate exercise. L-Glutamine and N-acetyl glucosamine are excellent for rebuilding the stomach wall.  Mitch was also told to try a homeopathic medicine called Kapli Sulphate, a cell salt for Virgo which neutralizes the acidity in the blood.

Mitch is on Depakote and Seroquel for his bipolar, but Seroquel has been causing him muscular spasms and is presently being weaned off of them.

I promised him the next article on this blog will be an in-depth study into Psoriasis ….

Links to follow …

Excellent article “What a Shaman Sees in a Mental Hospital”  themindunleashed.org/2014/08/shaman-sees-mental-hospital.html

http://www.truenode.org/north-node-by-house/north-node-in-6th-house/

Neptune conjunct Midheaven ~ “Any planet conjunct one of the four angles is significant, and when that planet is the outer planet symbolizing spirituality, sensitivity, idealism, the arts, illusion, delusion, surrender and personal sacrifice, it is very significant indeed. Born when Neptune was as high in the sky as it could be on the day of your birth, your career will probably be related to the arts, film, medicine, service, and/or the ocean. Who, what, and how you profess yourself to be will have a deeply sensitive and spiritualized tone. You may be denied some of the natural ego gratification or public acclaim many seek in a career. With other contributing influences you could even serve as a psychic or a sensitive. You have a natural sense of what the public wants and dreams, and can project images of the desirable or the ideal in an enchanting and spellbinding manner.”

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“Compared to bipolar’s magic, reality seems a raw deal. It’s not just the boredom that makes recovery so difficult, it’s the slow dawning pain that comes with sanity – the realization of illness, the humiliating scenes, the blown money and friendships and confidence. Depression seems almost inevitable. The pendulum swings back from transcendence in shards, a bloody, dangerous mess. Crazy high is better than crazy low. So we gamble, dump the pills, and stick it to the control freaks and doctors. They don’t understand, we say. They just don’t get it. They’ll never be artists.” ~ David Lovelace

Creativity does seem to feed off emotional turmoil and often in the works of great poets we can feel the soul’s pain and turmoil. In fact, heightened imaginative powers, depression, insomnia, fatigue, rapid thoughts, inflated self-esteem, panic attacks, rage and intense emotions all swim about in an ocean of ever changing moods of heightened creativity and suicidal tendencies.  It is within this ocean that brilliance is born and fed by the storms raging in many artists’ minds.

“I was diagnosed bipolar 6 years ago. I recently decided to come off my meds. I’ll admit it took me a while to cope with certain situations and learn to focus and concentrate on just taking one day at a time. I’ve learned to cope through eating healthy, exercising and trying to get at least 8 hrs sleep a night. It’s no walk in the park, I’ll tell ya. I have to be very strict with myself and stick to my routines. If I’m feeling low and unmotivated I make myself exercise, even if it’s only for 15 minutes. I’ve learned this removes a buildup of toxins and gets my happy chemicals moving. I take 6000 units of vitamin D daily and a 100 mgs of a B multi-vitamin twice a day. The doctor gives me injections of vitamin B12 once a month to keep my energies up. It’s very common for individuals with mood disorders to have low vitamin B levels. I also keep close contact with my doctor. I don’t think there is a cure for Bi Polar. I do however think it can be managed. For me it always comes back to quality of life or quantity of life. Everyone is different. Medication helped me when I was very unwell. I’ve learned what works for me.” (Matthew B.)

I do believe we need to find a better way of treating manic depression, rather than through high dosages of lithium and antipsychotic drugs. Even uses of antidepressant drugs (SSRIs) and/or stimulants can be linked to the onset of some manic symptoms.  As well, many people on medication for bipolar disorder have complained this kind of treatment has stifled their creative abilities.  Some famous authors suffering from manic depression have said that their suffering is a part of who they are and that without it they couldn’t create. Many turned to drugs and alcohol to counter the effects of their medication or to get relief from their symptoms. In fact people suffering from bipolar disorder are 10 times more likely to abuse drugs or alcohol than most other people because they turned to these substances to help counter the effects of their medication or to get other relief from their symptoms.

We are all born with genetically programmed instincts, which are located in the primitive brain (limbic system).  The limbic system focuses inward on our survival, our emotions and our nurturing needs. When you feel depressed or anxious, these feelings originate from the limbic system but involve the cortex as well, since depression diminishes our insights and judgments as well as our lack of motivation and attention.

What we think, how we feel, what we assimilate into our beings at every stage of life and at every level has a cumulative affect that directly impacts our states of being, influencing our physical hormones, genetic make-up, neural processing etc. And the condition of our states of physical being also affects our states of mind.

Environmental factors also play a significant role. For example, many people with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) later develop bipolar disorder. Repetitive traumas suffered throw the body into a constant state of stress and research shows that stress can induce the hippocampus to remodel itself and shrink. Hormones are also involved. Additional considerations involve head and/or neck injuries.

“World champion boxer Frank Bruno was sectioned for 28 days in a psychiatric hospital and diagnosed with bipolar disorder in 2003 following his marriage break-up. He describes his behavior in the run up to his breakdown: ‘I got confused and snappy and impatient. I couldn’t, couldn’t, couldn’t function. Losing my wife, seeing my kids less regularly, not eating properly, staying up late, living by myself, getting uptight, wound up, over stupid little things [ … ] It’s like a kettle. I wish I could put a hole in my head and let the steam out.’ “Bipolar Disorder: The Ultimate Guide ~ by Sarah Owen, Amanda Saunders

Although the brain, especially the limbic system is quite complex let’s look at specific areas that are related to our most primitive and potent emotional signals.  It has been proven that the limbic system (emotional reactions and emotional memories) can actually hijack other parts of the brain, especially when so overcome with anger, fear or passion, excitement.  You see the limbic brain jumps in when it proclaims an emergency, even before the neocortex, the thinking brain, has had a chance to reason out what is happening.

“Lithium tweaks many mood-altering chemicals in the brain, and its effects are complicated. Most interesting, lithium seems to reset the body’s circadian rhythm, its inner clock. In normal people, ambient conditions, especially the sun, dictate their humors and determine when they are tuckered out for the day. They’re on a twenty-four-hour cycle. Bipolar people run on cycles independent of the sun. And run and run.” ~ Sam Kean, ~ The Disappearing Spoon: And Other True Tales of Madness, Love, and the History of the World from the Periodic Table of the Elements

The brain responds to chemical changes, by adjusting the feelings and thoughts within the physical body. Psychologists have shown us that we can react a whole variety of ways to one single hormone—this mostly depends upon our expectations.  The parts of the brain that are involved in thought, memory and sensations are connected by direct neural pathways with emotional centers—and  with the pituitary gland that controls hormone output.  The pituitary actually suspends from the hypothalamus, which controls emotion, appetite and desire.

There does seem to be a stress loop that connects the adrenal glands, brain, hypothalamus, and pituitary together, which then flows back to the adrenals again, pushing them way out of kilter.  This stress loop also affects the other endocrine glands creating a continual cycle of stress in the body, causing bizarre mood swings, muscle tension, stiffness, eating disorders, depression, heart palpitations, excessive sweating and migraines. Too much cortisol in the blood damages our memories, our learning capabilities and our creativity.  This stress cycle will, if not corrected, eventually affect the immune system.

“If you are suddenly anxious, under threat, or furious about something, your brain via your pituitary gland tells your adrenal glands to pump up production of epinephrine, cortisol and other hormones to put your body into high alert. Once the threat goes away and you “cool off,” the adrenal glands stop their escalation of hormones. However, if your mind ruminates about the anxiety and threatening events, with such thought patterns as “It’s hopeless”; “My life is a disaster”; “things should be different!”, and “This is unfair!” your adrenal glands continue to overproduce cortisol and estrogen. This leads to your pancreas secreting more insulin, and you get symptoms of what is commonly known as “adrenal gland exhaustion.” All is Well ~ Louise L. Hay and Mona Lisa Schulz

Continual high adrenaline (epinephrine) levels cause the repetitive release of insulin increasing carbohydrates to convert to fat in the liver.  Weight gain and obesity add to ill effects to the endocrine system, muscle joints, and digestion, with loss energy and self esteem.  In bipolar people, this is all that is necessary to produce insulin insensitivity and, ultimately diabetes.  These are genuine threats to their health.

“A balance of thyroid hormone in the brain is crucial for maintaining mood stability. If you suffer from a deficit or an excess of thyroid hormone resulting from a dysfunctioning gland, you may even experience clear-cut mood swing disorder. Severe hypothyroidism has even been blamed for causing manic-depression, with poor judgment and hallucinations. Doctors always wonder, however, whether such patients might not have preexisting minor forms of manic-depression, which have become more severe as a result of the thyroid imbalance.

 Hyperthyroidism can also cause mood swings in a person who does not have a preexisting mood disorder. In some people, an overactive thyroid can result in an elated mood called “hypomania” or “mania” depending on whether the elation is moderate (hypomania involves no major behavioral disturbances) or severe (mania is associated with irrational behavior). In some patients, the thyroid condition may not be diagnosed until several years after the onset of the mood swing disorder that it caused  ~ The Thyroid Solution: A Revolutionary Mind-Body Program for Regaining Your Emotional and Physical Health ~ Ridha Arem

LITHIUM AND THE BRAIN

 “Lithium tweaks many mood-altering chemicals in the brain, and its effects are complicated. Most interesting, lithium seems to reset the body’s circadian rhythm, its inner clock. In normal people, ambient conditions, especially the sun, dictate their humors and determine when they are tuckered out for the day. They’re on a twenty-four-hour cycle. Bipolar people run on cycles independent of the sun. And run and run.” ~ Sam Kean, The Disappearing Spoon

The brain is what helps you to make sense of the world, taking in information from your environment and sending messages throughout your body. Sights, sounds, smells, tastes and touch are not only an essential part of our memories, they help to understand the changes happening around us.  But any change in the brain, even the subtlest change, can have a major impact on our feelings, thoughts and action.

Suppose you were given a chemical that blocked the absorption of the vitamin niacin in your central nervous system. The result would be “instant mental illness,” most likely violence, during which you might smash all the furniture, throw it out the window, then run out into the street and attack a total stranger passing by who had stopped to watch the ruckus.

“For some people, use of antidepressant drugs and/or stimulants can be linked to the onset of some manic symptoms. Research has shown that B complex deficiencies commonly occur in 80 percent of bipolar people. Also, many bipolars are anemic, with low levels of B12 and folic acid, and shown a lower uptake of inositol when compared to a control group. So orthomolecular physicians have now paired the use of lithium with the intake of daily B complex vitamins, which work synergistically with lithium. In this way, high lithium doses can be substantially reduced, thus eliminating many devastating side effects.”  ~ Depression-Free Naturally: 7 Weeks to Eliminating Anxiety, Despair, Fatigue And Anger From Your Life ~ Joan Matthews Larson, Ph.D.

Our blood circulates the love of life from the heart throughout our whole body.  When we are anemic, we are deficient in red blood cells, which carry oxygen to the tissues and removes carbon dioxide.  One of the causes of anemia in manic depressives, is excessive blood cell destruction which can be metaphysically explained as ‘losing one’s will to live. When we feel discouraged, hopeless or helpless we lose touch with our needs and desires—we feel as if we’re withering away.

“The messages we unconsciously give our bodies are thus a determining factor in our state of wellness. Messages based on failure, despair and anxiety are ones that present a negative, dying feeling and will cause the body to react by breaking down the defence mechanisms (that is, the immune system) and preparing for death. Even if our worries and fears are imaginary, the message will still translate into physical illness as our bodies feel endangered and threatened”. ~ Debbie Shapiro ~ The BodyMind Workbook 

Research at the National Institute of Mental Health suggests that bipolar people are hypersensitive to acetylcholine, a chemical that carries memory messages in the brain. They found that cholinergic receptors (the chemical hitching posts on cells that receive acetylcholine) are far more numerous in the brains of manic depressives.

(Acetycholine controls the brain’s speed, creativity, self-esteem, criticism, short-term memory, language, sensory impressions and interpretations, speech, reading and thought. It also controls all muscle contractions.)

One substance that blocks acetycholine is lithium, which we all have in low levels. It is one of the best drugs, at the moment, for treating bipolar depression.  But is it the best treatment?

Psychiatric News outlined the widespread difficulties that lithium causes in an article called “Lithium and Memory Loss.” Besides causing memory loss, the high does of lithium needed to stop manic moods are often toxic to the nervous system, causing tremors in many users. And at high levels lithium suppresses thyroid function and can cause hypothyroidism and mental confusion.

“Scientists have gained insight into why lithium salts are effective at treating bipolar disorder in what could lead to more targeted therapies with fewer side-effects.” http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/03/120313103922.htm

“I have often asked myself whether, given the choice, I would choose to have manic-depressive illness. If lithium were not available to me, or didn’t work for me, the answer would be a simple no… and it would be an answer laced with terror.

 But lithium does work for me, and therefore I can afford to pose the question. Strangely enough, I think I would choose to have it. It’s complicated…” ~  Kay Redfield Jamison

“Lithium, don’t want to lock me up inside.

Lithium, don’t want to forget how it feels without…

Lithium, I want to stay in love with my sorrow.

Oh, but God, I want to let it go.” ~ – Lyrics from “Lithium” by band EVANESCENCE

NEUROTRANSMITTERS

A neurotransmitter is a brain chemical specifically for communication that happens between brain cells.  It’s incredible that these neurotransmitters can zigzag and flash through the mass of brain neurons at speeds of up to 150 mph carrying your every thought and feelings.  Of the 100 identified, the one’s best known are: acetylcholine, dopamine, gamma aminobutyric acid (GABA) and serotonin.

Everyday our neuropeptides try to work hard to keep us functioning at a peak performance but chemicals, food colorings, sugar, trans-fats, food preservatives, traffic fumes, second hand smoke, stress, anxiety and lack of sleep slows them down.  One of the best ways to boost your dopamine is exercise, swimming, biking walking and running. Playing board games and computer games help to replenish dopamine too. Walking in nature enhances GABA, and creative writing (poems, songs) help to restore acetylcholine.  Violent movies and loud ‘hard’ music or angry words decrease the production of acetylcholine.

“[An] exciting safe substance that has a lithium-like effect on the brain is the amino acid taurine, which is a calming inhibitory neruotransmitter that naturally blocks the effect of excitatory transmitters like acetycholine. Manic depressives have very low taurine levels when measured in the lab. A taurine deficiency cuases far greater symptoms in women than mean (hypothyroid, lethargy, and depression), and bipolar disorder is twice as common in women. Science also documents hereditary depression in taurine-deficient persons. Taurine has been successfully substituted for lithium (500 mg. three times daily) and, unlike lithium has no side effects.” Depression-Free Naturally: 7 Weeks to Eliminating Anxiety, Despair, Fatigue And Anger From Your Life ~ Joan Matthews Larson, Ph.D.

And from another source…..

“Taurine is an amino acid made in the liver from cysteine that is known to play a role in the brain by eliciting a calming effect. A deficiency of this amino acid may increase a bipolar patient’s manic episodes. In addition, eighty percent of bipolar sufferers have some vitamin B deficiencies (often accompanied by anemia [46]. The combination of essential vitamin supplements with the body’s natural supply of lithium reduces depressive and manic symptoms of patients suffering from bipolar disorder [47]. ~ Functional Foods: The Connection Between Nutrition, Health and Food Science ~ edited by Leah Coles

THE LIMBIC BRAIN

LIMBIC SYSTEM

The main transportation of the nervous system is the brain.  It is the best organized 3 lbs of matter in the known universe.  Tens of billions of tiny nerve cells transmit electrical signals from the nerves to the brain.  And each nerve cell in the brain is connected to many other cells in the brain and is affected by them.  The whole brain hums actively firing in circuits or loops, round and round like a pinwheel, throwing off sparks of energy on each cycle.  Great masses of nerve cells unite together to create a marvelous orchestra which plays thoughts of truth and beauty, which creates creative imagination.

“How do billions of nerve cells within the brain communicate with each other? One way is through the amazing molecules called chemical messengers or neurotransmitters. These substances are made within each nerve cell and are secreted through the synapse, the space between one cell and the next. The “mood pathways” in the brain that we have been referring to consist of the chemical messenger systems that travel through and innervate the prefrontal-limbic complex”. Women’s Moods ~ Deborah Sichel, M.D., and Jeanne Watson Driscoll, M.s., R.N., C.S.

Carl Sagan on the Brain http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5SHc67Hep48

When symptoms of depression and anxiety occur, they originate from the limbic brain, but they involve the cortex as well, since severe depression is associated with diminished eyesight, poor judgment, lack of motivation and attention—all functions of the higher levels of brain. As the brain evolved over time, the cortex grew larger and we developed the capacity to control our emotions, hold back our anger and modify the impulses coming from the more primitive part of the brain called the limbic.

The cortex is divided into two halves or hemispheres and each holds a different function—though separate, these two halves are joined by a boomerang-shaped band of fibers’ or bridge call the corpus callosum which allows the left-brain and right-brain to talk to each other.

The left side of the brain controls the right side of the body and enables us to figure out problems logically, to speak and write, to understand science and numbers.  The right side of the brain controls your left side of the body and is your creative side—this is where your vivid imagination and artistic ability comes from and your love for music.

“Rich connections also exist between the amygdala in the temporal lob of the brain and the stomach. These connections allow our intense emotions—fear, anxiety, anger and rage, threat, intimidation—to be felt in the stomach and abdomen.  Since the amygdala plays an important role in memory, it can also moderate the degree to which adverse or traumatic experiences can produce changes in the GI system.  In animals the amygdala controls whether the animals feel resilient (powerful) or vulnerable in stress situations.  The more helpless the feeling in the face of threat, restraint, and aggression, the greater the individual’s likelihood of developing ulcers”.   AWAKENING INTUITION Mona Lisa Schulz

We are all born with genetically programmed instincts which are located in what’s called the primitive brain or amygdala which in the fight/flight response showers the body and brain with chemicals, quickly turning the stress button ON.  When we sense danger, the autonomic (instinctual) nervous system signals the body to release the hormone adrenaline into the blood stream, providing instant energy to the hearts, lungs, and muscles.  We are pumped up and ready to fight or run.

“A fundamental assumption in this work is that the brain has multiple memory systems, each devoted to different kinds of memory functions. For traumatic memory, two systems are particularly important. For example, if you return to the scene of an accident, you will be reminded of the accident and will remember where you were going, who you were with, and other details about the experience. These are explicit (conscious) memories mediated by the hippocampus and other aspects of the temporal lobe memory system. In addition, your blood pressure and heart rate may rise, you may begin to sweat, and your muscles may tighten up. These are implicit (unconscious) memories mediated by the amygdala and its neural connections”. Joseph LeDoux

HYPOTHALAMUS AND PITUITARY

The hypothalamus controls the autonomic nervous system, regulating temperature, water metabolism, reproduction, hunger and thirst, and our state of alertness. It’s responsible for turning the stress switch on in the body—stimulating the fight or flight reaction, raising the blood pressure, the heart rate, and breathing rate—it also has centers for emotions: anger, fear, pain, and pleasure.

Connected to the hypothalamus, and continually influencing it are the ‘higher’ centers of the brain which give us our senses, memory, creativity and thought.  So theoretically, our hormone cycles could be controlled by the power of pure thought.

The pituitary gland hangs like a little round bag from the hypothalamus and controls the total balance of hormones in the body. We have come to call it the Master Gland of the body, also known as the ‘seat of the mind’. Its frontal lobe regulates emotional thoughts such as poetry, art and music, and the anterior lobe regulating concrete thought and the analytical mind.  You could say it is our mission control center that continually sends messages to all the other glands in our body and regulates our sexual development.

Hormones, like the rest of our bodies are created from the food we eat. In order to create all the hormones we need in sufficient quantities, we have to get enough of the nutrients they’re composed of and to make enzymes and other substances that affect the production, metabolism and functioning of our hormones.

When we are reacting to either food, or a situation, or a person, or to the weather, we are actually responding to a signal that started from the hypothalamus to the pituitary gland.  The signal may be in the form of comfort or discomfort, but if we could learn how to listen to these signals that are being sent to us, all the time from within us, then, we’d realize that these signals affect our moods, our behavior, our perceptions, our tastes, our habits, our attraction to other people, our appetites, our urges and so on.  Knowing your body/mind, allows you to ‘tune’ into yourself and of course to others. This allows the pituitary to analyze situations before taking action.

When we’re under stress the brain immediately responds by triggering the release of specific hormones from the hypothalamus, pituitary gland and adrenal gland areas (HPA axis).  Acute and chronic stress triggers the fight/flight response causing our heart and breathing to increase, and the blood vessels to constrict—adrenaline starts to flow through the body, digestion shuts down as blood is shunted away from the digestive tract and sent to the muscles. Most people after a particularly frightful or angry encounter,feel exhausted. They suddenly feel the need to sleep or pull away from the problem.

During traumatic stress, stress neuropeptides norepinephrine and cortisol disconnect the left-brain “talk” memory systems, but simultaneously turn up the process. The neurotransmitter norepinephrine turns on the domino effect of depression to disease in the body, and acetylcholine turns off the inflammatory cascade.

Elevated levels of adrenaline can also cause an elevation in triglycerides, which are fats in the blood, and elevation of blood sugar…also not good. Elevated levels of adrenaline over time can also cause blood to clot faster (which contributes to plaquing), the thyroid too becomes overly stimulated, and the body produces more cholesterol.

“In the last decade, neurobiologists have reported structural differences in at least two regions of the human brain.  One is the corpus callosum, the mind’s big “telephone” cable, connecting as it does hundreds of millions of neurons between the two hemispheres.  The other is the hypothalamus, the master controller for the integration of many basic behavioral patterns from temperature regulation and appetite to sex drives—involving brain and endocrine functions, Neuroendocrine research also strongly indicates that nervous system differences begin as sex hormones bathe the developing fetus in the womb.  Hormonal differences continuing through childhood—and perhaps even through adult life—affect brain activity and guide performance.  Other studies suggest that men and women may process the same information differently and yet come to the same of similar conclusion.”  Kathryn Phillips

Cortisol stays in the body longer than adrenaline, interferes with digestion and suppresses the immune system allowing tumors if present, to grow faster. Cortisol can create a fearful, threatened feeling that overstimulates our whole system. Unexplained muscle aches, chronic headaches, feeling hopeless or helpless and crying more than usual are signs of chronic overarousal. Anxiety coupled with cortisol has been known to cause unexplained heart palpitations, a nervous stomach, road rage and short temperedness.)

The pituitary happens to sit quite comfortably just above the sphenoid bone, which looks very much like a throne made of wings. Side by side these wings have long been referred to as the ‘Swan’, (although to me they look more like the wings of a bat) and in Grail lore the Swan is symbolic of the fully enlightened being. This is the ultimate realm of consciousness achieved by the medieval Knights of the Swan, such as Perceval and Lohengrin. One of the functions of the sphenoid is to solidify and stabilize our digested memories and patterns with the imagination so that we are able to do what we call visualizing, or inner seeing.

For further information on the pituitary and endocrine glands go here

THE PINEAL GLAND

Resembling a pine cone, the pineal gland, located just above the pituitary gland, secretes the hormone melatonin, a light sensitive hormone known to affect sleep, mood and the reproductive cycle.  Usually levels of this hormone rise at night and subside at dawn. In Part I of this series we learnt that melatonin is associated with Season Affective Disorder (SAD) especially in the darker seasons like Autumn and Winter.

The pineal gland acts in two ways to inhibit the action of the pituitary gland. First, the pituitary gland is responsible for activating adolescence and the beginning of sexuality, and the pineal gland checks the pituitary gland to prevent premature sexual awakening. Second, human thought is regarded as a result of suspended action, and the pineal gland holds back your thoughts from charging recklessly into action. It says whoa slow down and think about the chain of reactions and repercussions caused by the thoughts you want to put into action.   It forces you to submerge (like a submarine whose captain yells dive, dive) deep into your own  subconscious waters, using the perascope to see into your thoughts regarding the surface of your outer reality.  When the external world disappears, we fall back into ourselves, kind of like a falling star or a deep sea diver.  Our whole energy pattern contracts because we’re tuned into our own station.  When we plug into our own broadcast, it magnetizes  “spiritual light” like a beacon stimulating the pineal gland to stand straight up attracting and releasing a tremendous amount of powerful energy!  In order for your desire, good or ill to manifest, the pineal gland must join together with the pituitary to create an eclipse, a conjunction, a merging of these two glands creates an opening  what mystics have called the third eye (a higher form of intelligence)

THE SEAT OF ALL PASSION – THE AMYGDALA

The amygdala’s main role is emotion, including what we call intuition. It plays a major role in dreaming, and religious and spiritual experience, Including telepathy and ESP.

“Our world is only one in a cluster of consecutive worlds, arranged like the layers of an onion. Even though we have been energetically conditioned to perceive solely our world, we still have the capability of entering into those other realms, which are as real, unique, absolute, and engulfing as our own world is.” Carlos Castenadas ~ The Art of Dreaming

In the human brain, the amygdala normally filters out most of reality, yet, when its hyperactivated, you will suddenly be able to experience what is normally filtered out—you will suddenly be able to see and taste sound, you can feel colors, and you can experience realms of reality that are normally suppressed.

When bipolar individuals are manic, passion and enthusiasm for life is not without its dangers.  When the amygdala is in a hyperactive state, manics can be carried along in a reckless pace. When passion veers out of control they experience a highly unrelaxing force that when it overwhelms them, their sense of true passion is lost.

“Then, as time rolls on, my head really speeds up; ideas are moving so fast they’re stumbling over each other and I begin to get this sense of power–power over other people. I begin to feel that what I think and do is of significance to those around me, even to the universe at large. I think of myself as having special insight, as understanding things that others do not, and with a special capacity to lead. I recognize now that these are warning signs.”  ~ Stephan Szabo

The amygdala, an almond-shaped structure in the limbic brain is also the brain’s alerting system to stressful and emotional situations. When triggered by stress or anxiety, it alerts several bodily systems—the gut, skin, heart, muscles, eyes, face, ears, and adrenals to be on the lookout for incoming stimuli.  The amygdala notes threats in the environment and decides whether you should freeze, run or fight for your life.  Imprinted onto the amygdala’s memory are massive fears and traumatic incidents that affected you since your birth (even registering unbearable pain in others).  Many of your fears were instigated by your parents in the very early part of your life ‘before’ you developed your ability to think things through.

The amygdala controls the production of neurotransmitters, *serotonin and norepinephrine—low serotonin levels cause us to be impulsive, aggressive, anxious, restless, and depressed—exhibit compulsive habits including overeating and drug and alcohol abuse.

The more active the amygdala becomes, the more you’ll struggle to keep your emotions steady. You may get mad at people for no reason and replay memories and conversations in your head that happened years ago. It’s like every waking moment of your day is spent muttering about something you have no control over.  The amygdala is like a runaway horse, going where it wants, with you barely hanging on—the more you hold on—the more energized the amygdala becomes.  And the stronger the amygdala—the tighter your muscular system becomes and the more tense the mind.

The Amygdala and Hypersexuality

“When that pure, euphoric filling hits I become hypersexual—sex is a no-no word even to the doctors, but we have to talk about it!!!  When I’m manic, I can literally have sex with anything that moves—and the truth is I really couldn’t care less about the other person—it’s a conquest, a game, that’s thrilling and fun—a game that can last for hours or days!!  My biggest problem with this is—I’m married!!” (Bipolar woman) 

“I take antidepressants which is like a chemical neutering because it takes away all my sexual desires. (Peter T.)

“When hypersexual I keep myself locked up so i don’t do anything stupid or crazy—it’s like i become very promiscuous and then I feel shameful, dirty and filled with regret”(Susan W.)

“Though hypersexuality may present itself as just one aspect in a constellation of problems, it is often the most destructive and challenging part of bipolar disorder—troubling families of young children suffering from juvenile hypersexuality, ruining marriages, generating life-threatening health problems. “The one thing I regret is what I did to my husband,” says Bev, a middle-aged woman from rural Quebec who was diagnosed with bipolar a few years ago. “He was a good man and we would have had a good retirement together.”http://www.bphope.com/Item.aspx/522/opening-the-door-on-hypersexuality

THE HIPPOCAMPUS

“The stress response can also literally poison the brain—because it causes excessive secretion of the adrenal hormone cortisol.  Cortisol is released at about the same time adrenaline is.  However it stays in your system much longer than adrenaline does, and that creates a terrible problem.  Cortisol gives your hippocampus, as well as other parts of your brain, a highly destructive ‘toxic bath’.  It can be so destructive that your brain may never again recover absolutely all of its cognitive function.” Brain Longevity by Dharma Singh Khalsa, M.D. with Cameron Stauth

 The amygdala adjoins the hippocampus, known as the ‘library of short-term memories’ which converts short term experiences into long term memories and then stores them in other parts of the brain.  (Your hippocampus is active right now as your reading this.)

The brain receives up to ten billion pieces of information per second.  Negative emotional shocks such as fear, tension, stress, frustration, anger and guilt are stored in the brain and sorted in order by a nervous structure called the reticulate ‘substance’ or ‘formation’. Metaphysical causes of the body happen when emotional residue pours into your organs causing pain and discomfort.

 “A fundamental assumption in this work is that the brain has multiple memory systems, each devoted to different kinds of memory functions. For traumatic memory, two systems are particularly important. For example, if you return to the scene of an accident, you will be reminded of the accident and will remember where you were going, who you were with, and other details about the experience. These are explicit (conscious) memories mediated by the hippocampus and other aspects of the temporal lobe memory system. In addition, your blood pressure and heart rate may rise, you may begin to sweat, and your muscles may tighten up. These are implicit (unconscious) memories mediated by the amygdala and its neural connections”. Joseph LeDoux

Repetitive traumas will throw the body into a constant state of anxiety and stress causing the hippocampus to remodel itself and shrink. There are studies out there saying that antidepressants help the hippocampus grow new cells in people with Bipolar, PTSD and other emotional traumas.

THALAMUS

The thalamus is the key relay station or distribution center, transporting incoming information from all parts of the nervous system.  It’s important for processing all sensory data (taste, pain and memory) except smell. “Thalamus” means “couch” in Greek: it is where the cerebral hemispheres sit.

When the thalamus isn’t working as it should, it’s most likely because we are feeling disconnected from our ‘true self’. When we lose touch with our authentic self we feel as if everything in life is piling on top of us.  Life is messy, chaotic and very confusing. This loss of self is an underlying problem with several types of addictive and compulsive disorders such as alcohol and mind alerting drugs.

There is no doubt the earth’s changing energies are intensifying our emotions and feelings. The news tells this to us daily with more and more violent crimes. More antidpressant pills are being taken more than ever. More people are in prison, and more people suffer from serious mental illness than ever before.  I think the root of our problems are literally from anything that upsets the safety of our world—a world that is continually changing.  The earth’s magnetic field has a mutual relationship with both the sun and moon and with all the life forms of the ‘biosphere’ (plants, bacteria, fish insects, mammals).  Although this field is subtle it influences the behavior of every living organism.  We are no exception as we contain an auric field generated by the beating of our hearts and by all our body processes…but our body rhythms respond to fluctuations in the earth’s magnetic field—and our bodies are polarized—the head end negative and the tail or feet positive—similar to a battery.

“Fleeing the raw, wounded places in ourselves because we don’t think we  can handle them is a form of self-abandonment”. John Welwood

If you grew up in a troubled family, more than likely you had to hide your true self to survive and what we call the ‘false self’ dominated most of your life. You soon learned that you could never win the full approval of your parents, no matter how much effort you put forward.  Nothing was ever good enough and you never felt quite accepted and you never learnt to accept yourself either—everything you did was a perfect performance for someone else.  This mask is who we pretended to be in an atmosphere of abuse or neglect from within or, later, outside the family.

I do believe, though, that the ‘child within’ still has needs, and from time to time will peep out or show itself through manic behaviors or violent explosive emotions—often hurting the child or someone else.  If these behaviors continue, they could result later in life as eating disorders, compulsive gambling, religious addiction, workaholism, mental illness and family violence.

INTRODUCING PART III ~ Bipolar

Inside each of us is a variety of subpersonalities (archetypes) (eg., the hero, the victim, the nurturer) that contribute to how we respond to life experiences.

In Part III on Manic Depression we’re going to look at astrological charts of three different people diagnosed with manic depression who’ve worked very hard on  themselves and continue to do so through the aid of self-help groups, books, divination, therapies and frequent visits to their doctors.

We’re going to look at several different aspects, including the association of the moon with one’s home, family life and mother, motherhood and long-term bonds and behaviors.  Anatomically the moon represents the stomach, thus it emphasizes a direct link between what we eat and how we feel. It also provides clues to what may be “eating” at us. Psychology rarely studies the role the moon and how it plays in respect to changing moods or the sensations these give rise to, especially with people with bipolar.  Each of us responds to the moon’s cycle in our own unique way and looking at the moon phases, we can learn from them.

Astrology and numerology are a form of divination containing an internal communication network providing us with clues to our mental, physical, and emotional framework; they help us understand our body’s present state including all its past history. Step by step they point us in the right direction, guiding us through the healing process.

To be continued….

ravenstarshealingroom@gmail.com

Great Links….

This blog takes you to into the heart of a bipolar  https//bruisedbybipolar.wordpress.com

Excellent Lecture on the Limbic System ~ Sex, Hallucinations, Emotions, Memory, PTSD, Amygdala    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T7nXiXQb2iM   

What is Lithium   http://www.nami.org/Template.cfm?  Section=About_Medications&Template=/TaggedPage/TaggedPageDisplay.cfm&TPLID=51&ContentID=20820

Bipolar Disorder and Highly Sensitive People    mentalhealthtalk.info/bipolar_hsp

Bipolar Disorder and Brain   http://www.brainexplorer.org/bipolar_disorder/Bipolar_Disorder_Aetiology.shtml

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If you’re reading this and been diagnosed with depression and given medication, the important thing is to take it but don’t stop there.  The medication is going to make you feel better and with feeling better, you can continue studying and learning how you can heal yourself through different methods.  Yes, I’ve heard people say that medication can be a crutch but if you needed a crutch to help you walk better, you’d use it right?  Sometimes a crutch is what we need to get over the hump and which helps us persevere in learning to walk without it. 

 “Most of us grow up believing that we are not good enough to be loved for just being ourselves.  So we try desperately to live up to a self-created image of how we should be.  The constant struggle to uphold this idealized version of ourselves causes many of our difficulties.  It is, therefore, important to discover on what assumptions you have created your own idealized image and how it has caused distress and frustration in your life.  You will find it has achieved the exact opposite of what you had hoped it would.  This discovery may be painful, but will allow you to reevaluate the way you are presenting yourself to the world and help you to become your true, relaxed self.” Eva Pierrakos, The Pathwork of Self-Transformation

Depression is an affective disorder (dramatic changes and extreme mood swings) that affects us physically, mentally and emotionally.  Any one of us can be catapulted into depression by the death of a loved one, a change in residence; an unexpected financial crisis; bullying; news that suddenly shocks or upsets us; a job that we thought was a given; years working for a company that suddenly goes bankrupt; a relationship breakup; verbal or physical abuse.  Whatever the cause, we lose our sense of direction, our footing, strong irrational feelings and emotions take over and we either overreact to everything or find ourselves withdrawing deep inside.

 Symptoms of depression can include:  low energy, fatigue, feeling slowed down,  poor appetite or overeating, weight gain or loss, insomnia or increased sleep, inability to concentrate, agitation, loss of interest, irritability, indecisiveness, feelings of helplessness, hopelessness and worthlessness, guilt, fatigue, energy loss, headaches, backaches, digestive disorders, inability to perform sexually or decreased sexual drive, and recurrent thoughts of death or suicide.  (Not all these symptoms occur in a person who is depressed, but some or many are present).

 “Depression: This involves a deep inner sadness and longing for life to different, a conflict between the ideal and the real, between who we would like to be and who we are. There is no doubt that there is a chemical or hormonal imbalance that can cause this state, but the cause of the imbalance may be found in deep, underlying attitudes and emotional issues.  How much pressure to succeed did we experience when we were children?  Have we experienced life-changing events, such as war, that make ordinary life seem meaningless in comparison?  Have we lost our purpose and reason for living maybe because a loved one has been lost?  Depression clearly demonstrates the relationship between mind and body, for as the mind becomes depressed so the body loses its vitality and healthy functioning.  Deep relaxation and a reconnection with our purpose are essential.”  Deb Shapiro

 Depression can isolate and even alienate us from friends, family and people in general.  Even when not alone, people can experience extreme feelings of depression and loneliness.  How many of us have found ourselves lying around the house, or staring blankly out the window; then we putter around the house here and there, picking up this and that, pretending we’re doing something but in reality it’s a whole lot of nothing. 

 With depression it takes a lot of time and thought before it feels like much of a blessing. When in the throes of it we have this thought, this feeling, an illusion that things will stay this way forever and I find that that thought is what holds the depression. We forget that we’ve been here before, maybe even not that long ago and gotten through and not only did we get through it but came out the other end much clearer.  It’s as if we have to go through this kind of amnesia when we are in the thick of it to retrieve more of our deepest darkest, unknown parts.

 To free your spirit and learn to accept every part of your being, you have to learn to feel all your feelings.  No matter how dark or hidden….

 “Some feelings and thoughts seem to emerge only in a dark mood.  Suppress the mood, and you will suppress those ideas and reflections.  Depression may be as important a channel for valuable “negative” feelings, as expression of affection are for the emotions of love.  Feelings of love give birth naturally to gestures of attachment.  In the same way, the void and grayness of depression evoke an awareness and articulation of thoughts otherwise hidden behind the screen of lighter moods.  Sometimes a person will come to a therapy session in a dark mood. “I shouldn’t have come today,” he will say.  “I’ll feel better next week, and we can get on with it.” But I’m happy that he came, because together we will hear thoughts and feel his soul in a way not possible in his cheerful moods.  Melancholy gives the soul an opportunity to express a side of its nature that is as valid as any other, but is hidden out of our distaste for its darkness and bitterness.” Thomas Moore

 

DEPRESSION IS RAGE SPREAD THIN. ~George Santayana

“Depression is anger turned inward.  It is also anger that you feel you do not have a right to have. For instance you may not feel it’s okay to be angry at your parent or spouse or employer or best friend.  Yet you are angry. And you feel stuck. That anger becomes depression. Far too many people today suffer from depression, even chronic depression.  By the time we feel that depressed, it is very difficult to get out of it.  It feels so hopeless that it becomes an effort to do anything.  

I don’t care how spiritual you are, you have got to wash your dishes every now and then.  You can’t let the sink pile up with dirty dishes and say, “Oh, I’m metaphysical.” The same with your feelings, if you want to have a mind that flows freely then clean up your inner mental dirty dishes. Louis L. Hay THE POWER IS WITHIN YOU

 When we feel angry or upset about something or someone and don’t express them, that’s really unhealthy. Perhaps you want to do the right thing by everybody and really dislike hurting or disappointing others.  So with the feeling you have no other choices you continue to live in an abusive or controlling situation.  Because you won’t standup for yourself, you begin to feel lost or don’t feel you belong and to counteract that feeling, you numb or deny your feelings.  Sometimes when we deny or repress our anger, we go on eating binges to cover it up. The problem is, whatever we do to get another’s approval and love, all we end up doing is getting disappointed over and over again.  

“Depression afflicts millions of people in the industrialized world today. It impairs the digestive, nervous and circulatory systems in the body and depletes any remnant of joy and happiness. By itself, depression is not an independent emotion but is directly linked to repressed anger.” It’s Time To Come Alive ~ by Andreas Moritz

 When we suppress our anger the area in the body to react first is the gallbladder located in the solar plexus.  As our frustrations peek and we become more closed and frustrated, the liver (also in solar plexus) will become affected.  The liver is an important organ in terms of emotions because its main job is to regulate the flow of energy (chi/qi) around the body. The kidneys too need this chi energy in order to do its job, which is to support all the other organs. If the kidneys become affected, we experience poor concentration and memory, dizziness and the head can feel ‘empty’.  When we feel empty this affects the pancreas and spleen and we feel that desire to eat sweets or fatty foods which depletes us even further. Then we may suffer from headaches, stomachaches and backaches and yet when we go to the doctor he or she says there’s nothing wrong.

 All our organs are physically and emotionally connected to the brain via the central nervous system (CNS), which is connected to the rest of the body.  It is through this system that the brain and the entire body can be in constant communication…. just the slightest shift in our thinking and feeling stirs our nervous system into action.  Within the brain are chemicals called neurotransmitters that carry impulses between the nerve cells, which regulate behavior.  The way these neurotransmitters work is very intricate. The physical cause of depression is the depletion of these neurotransmitters (e.g. endorphin, norephinephrine, serotonin, dopamine) in specific brain areas.  Serotonin eases tension, while norepinephrine and dopamine cause alertness.  Without self-worth or believing that we’re worthy, the brain loses its ability to function emotionally, when that happens we’ll back down from expression our feelings or nod in agreement when we meant to say no…a form of self-sabotage. 

 “Social conditioning has taught many of us to repress anger right from the beginning of life. When small children don’t get what they want they have tantrums and are often told off by an angry parent. All the small instances of withheld anger or frustration buildup to a highly explosive inner conflict, creating a strong chemical distortion in the body. Every new instance that triggers an emotional explosion reveals an entire past of unresolved conflicts. Anger, if it is dealt with before depression, can be a means to learn about the very weaknesses that we tend to project onto others. Whenever you feel angry, you are never really angry with somebody else, but you are frustrated over your own inability to fulfill your desires, both past and present.” It’s Time to Come Alive ~ Andreas Moritz  

 THE MANY FACES OF DEPRESSION

 In psychological terms, there are many different types of depression:  reactive depression is triggered by a trauma and/or the loss of or separation from an object or a person.  Endogenous depressions are associated with delusions and hallucinations.  Unipolar depression consists of depressive episodes that recur several times or throughout a person’s life.  Bipolar depression or manic depression consists of alternate episodes of alternative episodes of depression and mania. 

 Types of depression http://www.irishhealth.com/clin/depression/types.html

Classification of different depressions http://www.netdoctor.co.uk/diseases/depression/classification_000001.htm

 “The signs and symptoms of the depressive phase of bipolar disorder include unrelenting sadness. It may seem like everything is lousy, always was lousy, and always will be lousy. It may seem that any happiness you enjoyed was phony and fleeting. The hopelessness pervades your body and thoughts like a virus. You may not be able to function at all, and if you are, you feel like a robot going through the motions. You may think that you don’t matter and that everyone would be better off without you—no matter what anyone tells you. You may take no pleasure in anything that gave you pleasure before. It may seem there is nothing you can do about this. You may feel powerless, insignificant, and just a shell of your former self. It seems like this will go on forever. 

The good news is that “forever,” in the case of a depression following a manic episode, may last only six to eight weeks. The bad news is that those weeks feel like forever, no matter what anyone says. You wouldn’t be surprised if someone said to you, “Due to the energy crisis, we have shut off the light at the end of the tunnel.” The Complete Idiot’s Guide To Bipolar Disorder ~ Bobbi Dempsey, Jay Carter

 Clinical depression (depression lasting more than two weeks) ‘is’ a serious illness, and currently the leading cause of disability in the United States, and the World Health Organization expects it to be the second leading cause of disability in the world, second only to heart disease, by the year 2020.

 “The symptoms of clinical depression often closely mimic the symptoms of early Alzheimer’s, because depression severely impairs both memory and cognitive function….Clinical depression is a biological phenomenon, characterized by changes in neurotransmitters and hormones. ….

 Depression mimics Alzheimer’s in several ways.  Clinical depression often slows down all thought processes, and all physical movements.  People with clinical depression often speak very slowly, with long pauses, and have a vacant look in their eyes.  Their movements are painfully slow and deliberate.  This symptom, which is partly caused bv a deficiency of the stimulating neurotransmitter norepinephrine, is often mistakenly considered to be a symptom of early Alzheimer’s.  BRAIN LONGETIVITY Dharma Singh Khalsa M.D. with Cameron Stauth)

 Depression can also be triggered by stress; traumatic events, brain imbalances, thyroid disease, poor diet, magnesium deficiency, allergies, and prescription drugs like birth control pills, antibiotics, antihistamines, arthritic medications, and tranquilizers. Surprisingly food allergies are one of the most common causes of depression as well as cancer.

 When we suppress anger, a chemical reaction in the body causes acids to be secreted and attack the body.  Not only could we develop ulcers, anger, tension and stress also affect the heart and circulation, which in turn affect every other part of the body.  A rigid frame of mind could be expressed as arthritis; a broken heart may manifest as a stroke or coronary; and a need for growth could show up as cancer.

 Other types of depression are:  seasonal affective disorder (SAD), which descends in the fall and reaches an all time low in the winter. People with this disorder tend to overeat, oversleep, and crave carbohydrates. Women who suffer from premenstrual syndrome (PMS) become irritable and depressed at certain stages of the menstrual cycle due to hormonal changes. Some women experience clinical depression after the birth of a child. This disorder is called postpartum depression.

 *We will look deeper into all these in PART III – Healing Depression Naturally

 

EMPATHIC OVERLOAD

 As our consciousness continues to expand outward our nervous systems are becoming more receptive and highly sensitive to every living thing on this planet.  The more sensitive we become the more vulnerable we are to the subtleties of our environment and beyond.  When this happens we can be so out of ourselves, so much out there, we lose the most precious connection we have, our inner center, our soul/spirit. 

 For the first time in history, we have the capabilities of knowing, emotionally and simultaneously what’s happening anywhere in the world. The development of technology has cut us off from being aware of our own human needs. Many of us are tuned into so much content it’s causing us to become emotionally unstable. If we allow ourselves to be swept along with the many highs/lows of life, we will forever feel insecure with our own life. Empaths take on others emotions as their own, so much so, they find themselves exhausted and drained. In the depths of all the pain and suffering in the world they have no idea how they can help a world that seems to be getting worse and worse. But we’re not meant to burn out when these things happen. 

We need to recognize, to the depths of our souls, that we are all part of one whole, that what each of us does individually has a powerful impact on us all. Our global crises relate to and mirror our individual processes. Only through healing ourselves on all levels — physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual — can we heal our families, our communities, and our planet. Shakti Gawain, The Path of Transformation ~ this wonderful and inspiring book is on pdf  http://theawareshow.com/2011/shakti-gawain/tas-attract-shakti-gawain-path-of-transformation.pdf

 We have to train ourselves to focus on the present and it doesn’t come easy.  When we are doing something, we are, at the same time, planning what we’re going to do next or tomorrow.  Most of the time you’re probably deep in thought, pondering the future; going over things in your mind.  You notice what’s around you but you’re so consumed with old patterns of thought, you’re not living it.   

Because all things are constantly in a state of change, it is often difficult to get our bearings if we are constantly looking outside of ourselves.  But when we search within, the answers are always available to us. 

In the next article, we’ll continue to investigate what depression is and how you can make peace with where you are Now.

 An excerpt from the next article…

 THE THREE A’s

Awareness, Acceptance, Adjustment

 “The formula is simple.  Take your greatest victory as your ceiling and your worst defeat becomes the place where your foundation will be built.  Once that’s in place you’ve got a frame which you will fill with joy and sorrow.  From your center will come the creative force of your being, your truth and your instincts.  It is from this place that everything else evolves.” Linda Joyce 

AWARENESS – To make changes to our world, we first need to know where we are before we can decide how to get where we want to go.  If you got lost driving to my house, you’d call and ask for directions.  To help you get here, my first question to you would be “Where are you now.”  Awareness is about asking yourself….”Where am I now”; this always determines your next move. 

 ACCEPTANCE – Awareness and acceptance are intertwined.  By learning to accept freely and uncritically where we are at this moment, we begin to allow our unconscious to release more knowledge about ourselves.  The process of acceptance is one of acknowledging to ourselves that we are in fact perfect—it is where we are supposed to be right now….

 To be continued….

What is Depression “All of these famous individuals [listed] are believed to have suffered from a mood disorder in various forms.  Yet they are remembered, not for their illnesses but for their ACHIEVEMENTS. ~ Mood Disorders Society of Canada.” http://www.mooddisorderscanada.ca/documents/Consumer%20and%20Family%20Support/Depression.pdf

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