How ‘Bout We Shake Hands and Move on With Life – Together?

How ‘Bout We Shake Hands and Move on With Life – Together?

Our guy looks friendly, doesn’t he? Downright welcoming, if you ask me. Could you refuse his gesture? I’d shake his hand, even if I knew we disagreed on the issues of the day. If you’d take him up on his offer, maybe we’re the exception. Sadly, I’m beginning to think so…

In my opinion, society has been navigating with a broken moral compass for quite some time. In addition, coveting money and power has gotten way out of hand.

So I make my move to get in line at the convenience store yesterday, as another guy did the same. It was a draw. But the man took a step back, looked me right in the eye, smiled, and said, “Go ahead. People get so upset over the silliest things these days.”

I returned the smile, thanked him, and took my place. We went on to shoot the breeze as I waited for my turn to visit the cashier. Sure, the encounter was brief, but it was warming.

Naturally, it got me to thinking…

The Times: They Have Changed

At 65-years-old, I’ve been around the block a time or two (or ten). I can tell you the way we’ve treated each other during difficult times hasn’t always been pretty. Significant trigger events you may not have been around to experience? The assassinations of John and Robert Kennedy, the Viet Nam War, the beginnings of the civil rights movement – to name a few.

But as threatening, scary, and mean as things got during those times, none of it compares to the cold and hateful rage we’re seeing – feeling and reeling from – these days. Believe me, it’s different.

The Polarized Madness

I don’t think it takes a PhD in sociology to figure out that politics is the driving force behind the tornadic circumstances we’re trying to survive. Now, my context is one of living in the United States, but I don’t think it’s terribly different elsewhere.

We’re all so polarized, aren’t we? So either/or, good/bad. I mean, it’s left or right, liberal or conservative, democrat or republican. And, of course, the interpretation of the issues – climate change, impeachment, immigration, abortion, and so on – is largely based upon one’s either/or.

Thing is, there’s no middle ground, no compromise. You’re in or you’re out. And if you’re out, you’re stupid and scorned.

So Why Is This Happening?

I can’t count the number of times I’ve wondered how it came to this. Of course, there’s also the matter of how it’s sustained. Funny, I suppose the answers depend upon who you ask. I mean, where are they in the either/or of it all?

But maybe someone who’s striving to play it more down the middle can provide some worthy answers. And maybe, just maybe in a fleeting moment of clarity the either/or’s will open their minds and hearts to reason. Yes, maybe there’s another way to perceive and subsequently make decisions.

social media and depressionWell, I’m going to stick my neck out and suggest there are three biggie culprits driving the mess we’re in: a broken moral compass, coveting money and power, and social media.

(Man, did I just open one gigantic can of worms, or what?)

Now, one could write a book about any of the three, but I’m just going to make a statement or two. And, again, my point of view is life in the U.S. I’ll also add that I’m speaking in societal generalities.

Let’s dig deeper…

Moral Compass, Money and Power, Social Media

In my opinion, society has been navigating with a broken moral compass for quite some time. In addition, coveting money and power has gotten way out of hand. Each of these culprits influences the other in a cycling chain reaction.

Sad thing is, there’s an endless supply of fuel when it comes to the mobility and growth of these two. And that means an illusion is created that’s there’s so much to lose, so much at stake. That being the case, winning is the only option, because in a society of polarization, yes, one is either a winner or a loser.

Hey, by no means am I a participation trophy kind of guy. However, I strongly believe that “winning” can occur on middle ground.

Social media? What can I say? Where else can you coldly and cruelly rip someone open without having to look them in the eye? Accountability? You’ve got to be kidding. If you want to take a cheap shot, you’re good to go.

And think about what social media has done to our motivation and ability to personally and effectively engage with another human being. It’s become a lost art.

For Mood & Anxiety Disorder Sufferers

What we’ve just reviewed is tough for most anyone to take. However, it can be especially difficult and disruptive for someone enduring a mood or anxiety disorder. Believe me, I see and hear it all the time.

What to do? There’s no shame in turning it all off. Just stay away from the news and social media if you need to. Find other things to entertain yourself and fill your time. No, I don’t believe you’d be burying your head in the sand.

Finally, monitor your own take and behavior when it comes to opposing opinions. If there’s an issue, a little restraint and kindness go a long way.

Let’s Wrap It Up

It’s a tough world, isn’t it? Things can be so cold and hard anymore.

Take a look at our guy again. Could you refuse his gesture? I sure hope not, because we really do need each other. Now more than ever…

Please accept my invitation to join the private Facebook group Chipur: Living With the Mood & Anxiety Disorders.

And don’t forget to peruse the hundreds of Chipur titles.

The Chipur Facebook Group Is Ready for You. Join!

The Chipur Facebook Group Is Ready for You. Join!

If you want to do all you can to manage your mood or anxiety disorder, having a safe place to share, learn, compare notes, and chat is huge. There’s just something about interacting with people in the same boat. That is, people who can help you and to whom you can offer assistance…

That’s why I created the Facebook Group, Chipur: Living With the Mood & Anxiety Disorders.

Naturally, it’s private, so only members can see who’s in the group and what’s posted. And there are specific rules that address issues such as confidentiality, bullying, aggression, triggers, and selfish posting. In fact, one has to agree to the rules before being approved for membership.

I’d love to have you onboard, so how ’bout giving it a go?

Chips Off the Old Block | Informative Yummies from the Inbox

Chips Off the Old Block | Informative Yummies from the Inbox

Encouraging readers to email what’s on their mind has always been a priority here. And you’ve kept my inbox hoppin’. Most of what I receive really merits mention on Chipur, but I needed to come up with a practical way of getting the info to you. Problem solved. Here’s the first edition of Chips Off the Old Block…

The knowledge of what it is to suffer and to be desperate and helpless in the face of your distress, when no one really understands you, that’s what makes me so fascinated with this treatment option.

Man, there’s so much wisdom out there, not to mention resources. Try as I may to get all of the mood and anxiety disorder bases covered, it’s just not possible. Thank goodness many Chipur readers are newshawks, and report-in. It’s a huge advantage for all of us – as long as I get the info posted. Right?

Well, let’s get after our first edition of Chips Off the Old Block. Three worthy features coming your way…

Treatment Resistant Depression

Check-out the wonderful information, as well as passion and compassion, a physician recently sent our way…

I have read a few lists from your blog and I found it very interesting. I think that everyone who suffers from depression should see this footage.

(Editorial note: Here’s the “footage,” and it really is a must-see. It features the work of Dr. David Feifel at UC San Diego Center for Advanced Treatment of Mood and Anxiety Disorders.)

Our doc continues…

Treatment resistant depressionThere is hope for people with multi drug resistant depression!!! Deep TMS (transcranial magnetic stimulation) has changed many people’s lives and it is FDA approved and covered by almost all insurance companies.

The problem is that there are a lot of misconceptions and misinformation about it. The media doesn’t speak about it and many psychiatrists don’t even know about it. I really don’t know how to increase the knowledge and the awareness for this magical treatment, but maybe you can help by writing about it.

(After replying to the doc’s email, inquiring about his motivation in sharing, I received this.)

Actually I tried the device of Brainsway, but not to treat depression, but to treat obsessive thoughts and anxiety. Unfortunately, the device was not effective for me because the clinic where I tried the device only had a depression helmet. The company is now conducting a large trial on obsessive-compulsive disorder, with a different helmet that contains a different magnet configuration, stimulating different areas of the brain than those of the depression helmet. If all goes well, FDA approval may be granted by early 2017, and a new hope for OCD sufferers will be available.

Although, unfortunately, I did not enjoy the treatment, I am well aware of the suffering that people experience when they are mentally distressed without responding to drug treatment. This awareness makes this technology solution fascinating for me, especially when I see evidence where people who have lost all hope after almost every possible treatment, return to a normal life.

Unfortunately, as a physician, I know that physicians are by nature conservative and not inclined to adopt innovative therapies and new technologies, especially in the field of mental health, and so many people continue to suffer even without knowing about this treatment option.

I can tell you personally, as a physician who also works in the community, that I once came across a woman who suffered from resistant depression. She turned to me to help her reach a country where euthanasia is permitted by law.

I asked her to contact a clinic that treats with deep transcranial magnetic stimulation, but she told me that they rejected her because her sister suffers from seizures and because the treatment may lead to seizures (rare event). It is absurd!!! The woman would rather take her life because she has no more strength to endure, but is denied treatment because of the risk of the appearance of seizures in the prevalence of 6/5,000.

The knowledge of what it is to suffer and to be desperate and helpless in the face of your distress, when no one really understands you, that’s what makes me so fascinated with this treatment option.

Healthline | Tattoos Inspired by Depression

How do you treat depressionA little over a year ago, my friends at healthline.com asked if Chipur would support their Tattoos Inspired by Depression project. I was all in. Well, they asked again for this year, and I want to help ’em out.

If you’d like to share your depression inspired tattoo, and have it included in Healthline’s slideshow, here’s what to do. Send a clear photo of your tattoo and a short description to nominations@healthline.com. Be sure to make the subject “My depression tattoo.”

I’m told the slideshow has been highly successful in providing inspiration to the community. Over the past year, it’s received 295,000 views and over 12,000 social shares.

Super Down | A Podcast About Life with Depression

How to live with depressionSo they contacted me several months ago, and I’m just now giving them their props (Oops!). Super Down provides a unique (to say the least) “living with depression” delivery.

Let’s finish with their words…

Beyond the stigma and the black and white photos on tumblr, depression exists as a daily reality for many of us. Yet there are few voices discussing what daily life with depression is really like.

Super Down is here to change that, with consistent discussion, supportive & hopeful joy, and jokes. Lots of jokes. Join Will and Lauren as they discuss their experiences surviving day to day life, talk about current events in the world of depression, and offer up healthy activities for coping. The goal: hope for the depressed and knowledge for those who aren’t.

That’s a Wrap on Edition #1

So, what do you think? Chips Off the Old Block. Yeah, seems like a fit from my side of the fence. Maybe we’ll do one every 30 days or so.

A big thank you to our contributors: The Doc, Healthline, and Super Down. It doesn’t happen without you.

Let’s see what we come up with next time…

Hey, 677 Chipur titles to peruse. You know you want to.

Chipur Reader Patricia Featured in The Washington Post

Chipur Reader Patricia Featured in The Washington Post

If you frequent Chipur you know it’s a haven of sharing, learning, and healing for those enduring mood and anxiety disorders. That makes this a community, and one of our members recently shared some very cool news.

Patricia has been a faithful Chipur reader and contributor for quite some time. She’s also a moderator for Pandora’s Aquarium, a message board for survivors of rape and sexual abuse.

Seems Washington Post reporter Tina Griego needed an expert opinion for her article ‘I need to tell you something.’: How survivors of sexual assault tell their children. Guess who she called upon. That’s right, our Patricia.

Be sure to tap both links, k? Great reading.

Hey, if you’re hangin’ at Chipur, you’re hangin’ with some quality folk. Had to share…

Bill