Self Help Sanctum

fulfill your self

Rx against trauma

By William T. Hathaway

We live in traumatic times. The shock waves from wars, terror attacks, and spree shootings reverberate through our society and impact us all. For the direct victims and their family and friends this can be life shattering. Many of them suffer from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), a debilitating condition that can last for decades unless properly treated. (more…)

Manchester: Now Is the Time to ​Take Action and ​Heal

by David Shapiro

The May 22 bombing in Manchester has left many dead and more wounded. The short and long-term traumatic stress on Ariana Grande Concert participants and their friends and families may also be horrible and extensive. Everything should be done to support their physical and mental healing.

This is the time to do everything possible to reduce the anguish, traumatic stress and anxiety among survivors and their friends and families, both to reduce their suffering and to prevent them from developing post-traumatic stress disorder from the horror of the event.

But what are the symptoms that may lead to post-traumatic stress if left unchecked? (more…)

When Life Seems Too Much - Prioritize!

Isn’t life wonderful? Like a County Fair with so many attractions and activities all vying for - and demanding - your attention. So much to see, so much to do. The trouble is, you're only human. That means you're limited, with only so much time and energy to give.

It can be overwhelming. And that's why stress and its close relatives depression and anxiety are running at epidemic proportions in the modern world.

So, what can we do about it? How can we meet infinite demands with a finite supply? (more…)

Meditation Basics

What is Meditation?

Life is demanding, with numerous calls on our attention at any time. For all its benefits, technology has made life even more demanding; with cell phones and the like we truly seem to be open to the world 24/7.

In addition to the multitude of external demands the supercomputer that is our mind spends much of its time behaving like a nagging child, pulling our attention this way and that, never giving us the space to truly think.

Meditation is about disconnecting from all the noise, external and internal, and giving yourself the time and space to simple "be". Imagine your mind is a computer connected to the Internet, constantly sending and receiving data. Meditation is taking it offline for a while to allow time to tidy its filing system; deleting what's not needed, identifying what's important and moving it to the desktop, and filing everything else for later retrieval.

On hearing the word 'meditation' many people picture an enlightened guru sitting motionless in the lotus position for hours on end chanting some obscure mantra. Sure, this is one (extreme) version of meditation, but there are many other forms, and the key to success is finding one that works for you. This article introduces the basics of meditation. (more…)

Wisdom of The Serenity Prayer

In just three lines, Reinhold Niebuhr's Serenity Prayer (as adopted by Alcoholics Anonymous) encapsulates a profound philosophy of life.

God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
courage to change the things I can,
and the wisdom to know the difference.

We are each endowed with free will, but are bounded by external circumstance, personal limitation and the choices of others. We each have finite energy/resources but are exposed to numerous (infinite?) competing options/demands as to how these are employed. (more…)

Understanding Stress, Anxiety and Depression

The Modern Epidemic

Despite modern life offering unprecedented technological benefits, and medical science being able to cure or alleviate many more physical ailments than ever before, somehow "happiness" seems more elusive than ever for a growing number.

Stress, anxiety and depression are a modern epidemic affecting literally millions. The effects of these debilitating conditions are made even worse by the stigma they carry.

If you're unfortunate enough to suffer a physical problem friends, family, colleagues invariably rally around with offers of help. If you're unfortunate enough to suffer a mental problem those same people frequently keep their distance as though you're highly contagious or somehow responsible for your suffering. (more…)

Facing Difficulty

A Coping Strategy for Dealing with Life's Problems

The question of meaning, purpose, or why we are here is one we've all surely asked at one time or another. Given that physical death (and maybe taxes) is the only certainty of this incarnation it is a question without answer in a purely materialistic framework.

Instead we must seek a solution through Spirituality. If we accept that at essence we are immortal Spirit temporarily journeying the earth plane in a body of atoms and molecules then clearly it is in the Spiritual journey that our true purpose lies. (more…)

Coping with Depression and Stress

I am no psychologist, but I have suffered from depression and stress for as long as I can remember. I therefore present the following framework based upon my first-hand experience, observation and reflection in the hope it may in some way be of help to my fellow sufferers.

Depression is something that will inevitably be your close companion throughout the journey of life. It cannot be beaten or banished, but it can be managed and controlled through knowledge and understanding. There is no reason why those of us with depression cannot live fulfilling and successful lives. (more…)