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First blog post

This is the post excerpt.

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Welcome! This is a casual medium through which people can discuss problems such as PTSD, Depression, Anger, Anxiety and so on.  I hope that this page grows into a large network of those who not only seek assistance, but those who can offer it as well.

Dan Pierce MS

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Featured

Introduction

Created a Facebook page in order to provide an avenue toward this blog.

https://www.facebook.com/dan.pierce.1840

First post:

I am not a perfect person.  The intention of this Facebook page is to help people. Participation on this page is encouraged to be rehabilitative or of benefit.  Anyone can discuss issues such as PTSD, Depression, Anxiety, Anger among others.  A courteous protocol is expected.  My objective is that this page provides some groundwork for a network of people who can offer help along side of people who seek help.  Discussions in themselves may therapeutic, however; greater guidance, research and resources may be offered or received. This page and it’s concept are in their infancy, so certain “hiccups” are anticipated.

Here at the blog, the mission statement is the same.  These 2 mediums may provide a “casual” atmosphere at which people may problem solve or offer solutions.

DP

Anger Management

Today I let my anger get the better of me…for no good reason at all. I immediately knew that it was happening, as it was happening. Apologies and an explanation of my lack of self awareness were given immediately, however; feelings of guilt lingered much longer than anticipated or wanted.

What’s really happening here?  In layman’s terms, an emotional response is bypassing the frontal region of the brain, where important cognitive skills such as problem solving, memory, language, and judgment are controlled.  Emotions can be divided into 2 broad categories: Primary and Social.  Examples of primary emotions are: anger, fear, joy, sadness and surprise.  Examples of social emotions are shame, guilt, embarrassment and pride.

When the emotion of anger takes hold, if it is not governed by the frontal region of the brain, then we take actions too quickly and without regard for any consequences.  We do and say things because the emotion is triggered and there was simply not enough time for thought or, we lacked the ability to think in a way that limited our angry actions and/or words.

DP

 

Give them a subtle nudge

People with mental health issues or simply just “issues”….are often too stubborn to seek help. They do not want to be stigmatized or perhaps they do not want to be perceived as being weak or deficient. They are not of course. If you know someone like this, here is away to give them a subtle nudge. Tell them a story of person who has endured a similar plight. Tell them how that person’s refusal to get help burdened those around him or her. Perhaps there was a heavy personal cost or loss (e.g. divorce, loss of family relationships, friendships)….or perhaps there was a happy ending because that person did eventually reach out. All of this is the type of networking that we must build to help and heal others. The network may consist of different types of layers, formal and informal. The layers all function together for a good cause.

Alcoholism

Speaking from my own humble observation and assessment, if you are having problems such as: Contemplating suicide, PTSD, anger, anxiety or depression…..DO NOT consume alcohol. This may sound like a Puritanical, antiquated piece of advice, but the aforementioned issues will only become amplified when you drink. Collaborators on this page should feel free to contribute to this thread.

After completing my MS in Psychology, it was automatically assumed that I was ready to join the professional psychological community and solve the problems of my fellow man……well, I had my own problems that needed to be sorted out first.  It became apparent that alcohol increased my own abnormal behavior.  My anger, anxiety and depression increased proportionately to the amount of alcohol that was consumed.  Needless to say that alcohol is no longer a part of my life.

If anything is to be gained here it is this: You are not in a position to get well or offer assistance if you haven’t made life style choices that are nested in improvement, healing and genuinely being positive.

A woman that I worked with was having some mental and emotional problems.  One night on Facebook, she stated that she would not be waking up the following morning.  All her FB friends posted their concern and were reaching out (including me).  She returned my texts that following morning and so I asked her, “Were you drinking”? and of course she said yes.  Not a good idea to consume alcohol when you are in that kind of state.  I feel that a potential tragedy was averted, but what will happen the next time?

Hedonic Set Point

Defined: According to Dale Carnegie, The hedonic set point is a level of happiness to which humans tend to return to throughout their lives, even after dramatic events like winning the lottery or becoming paraplegic. It is a relevant concept throughout effective altruism: knowledge of hedonic set points (like other aspects of neuroscience) informs efforts to improve the well-being of at least humans and potentially also other mammals or even evolved creatures in general.

In chapter 2 of part 2 of his famous classic How to Win Friends and Influence People (also recommended to effective altruists in general), Dale Carnegie writes on the idea that is now associated with hedonic set points:

Everybody in the world is seeking happiness – and there is one sure way to find it. That is by controlling your thoughts. Happiness doesn’t depend on outward conditions. It depends on inner conditions.

It isn’t what you have or who you are or where you are or what you are doing that makes you happy or unhappy. It is what you think about it. For example, two people may be in the same place, doing the same thing; both may have about an equal amount of money and prestige – and yet one may be miserable and the other happy. Why? Because of a different mental attitude. I have seen just as many happy faces among the poor peasants toiling with their primitive tools in the devastating heat of the tropics as I have seen in air-conditioned offices in New York, Chicago or Los Angeles.

“There is nothing either good or bad,” said Shakespeare[‘s Hamlet], “but thinking makes it so.”

Abe Lincoln once remarked that “most folks are about as happy as they make up their minds to be.” He was right. I saw a vivid illustration of that truth as I was walking up the stairs of the Long Island Railroad station in New York. Directly in front of me thirty or forty crippled boys on canes and crutches were struggling up the stairs. One boy had to be carried up. I was astonished at their laughter and gaiety. I spoke about it to one of the men in charge of the boys. “Oh yes,” he said, “when a boy realizes that he is going to be a cripple for life, he is shocked at first; but after he gets over the shock, he usually resigns himself to his fate and then becomes as happy as normal boys.”

If you are still reading this post, I (Dan Pierce) will put the concept into my own, simplified terms.  I see the Hedonic Set Point as a mental and emotional baseline from which a person’s sense of contentment may rise or fall.  There are so many factors that may cause a change from the set point.  Please see the link on this page to a YouTube video that discusses the concept in great detail.

This concept is crucial as it may be the actual cause of distress in a person’s life.

DP

My own issues

As stated previously, I am not a perfect person.  Every day my desire is to be positive, be productive, be sharing and caring.  In this world, daily conflict seems inevitable.  This conflict can occur on any given level…it can even be perceived and possibly not real.  For me, I often struggle with instances in which another person initiates unnecessary conflict.  I find it difficult to control my thoughts and emotions when this occurs because I am instantly analyzing the thought process behind which a specific person generated the conflict.  Do any of you experience this?

DP