www.CreativeMindSeries.org

The Creative Mind & Emotions


The Magic of Emotions


1. Insight #1: Emotions are a powerful force that can create or destroy.

2. Insight #2 : Shakespeare, Dvorak, Hemingway

3. Insight #3: Emotions and your Health

4. Insight #4: Spiritual Despair, Physical Despair, and Existential Despair, Hamlet's Soliloquy

5. Tips #1, #2, #3: The Old Creative Mind

6. The Brain & Emotions

7. Neuroplasticity: The New Creative Mind

8. The (empowered) New Creative Mind: Action & Experience

9. The (empowered) New Creative Mind: Depression

10. Emotions Software: The Triple A Survival Guide for Emotions software program

11. Emotions Software: Case Studies and Examples

12. Emotions Software: FAQs

INSIGHTS

1. Insight #1: Emotions are a powerful force.


Ocean Universesmall

Roll over and click on the images above.





2. Insight #2: Emotions can create or destroy.


Emotions
Shakespeare Dvorak Hemingway
Roll over ~~~~~~~ Click~~~~~~~ Play (Listen to Dvorak while our Blog opens)


William Shakespeare, like Antonin Dvorak and many other playwrights, writers, composers or musicians were able to use the magic of emotions in their art. However, like any magic potion, emotions cannot only create but also destroy.

Back to Top Shakespeare, Dvorak, Hemingway Emotions & Health Despair/Hamlet The Old Creative Mind Brain & Emotions
The New Creative Mind: Neuroplasticity The New Creative Mind: Actions & Experience The New Creative Mind: Depression Emotions Software Case Studies FAQs






3. Insight #3: Emotions and your Health


The word "Emotions" comes from the Latin word "emovere" which means "moving out".
Our emotions come from "within" us but are meant to "move out" of us.

What happens if our emotions DO NOT move out of us?


Modern science attributes emotions to different parts of the brain. Interestingly, these modern scientific findings reflect Shakespeare's attribution of emotions to different areas of the body.

The 3 Souls Emotions Emotions moving out Emotions NOT moving out
1. Rational Soul


Reason, Understanding
Head judgment
beliefs
spiritual love
hopes
dreams
gratitude
wonder
interest
empathy
curiosity
alienation
spiritual despair *
mental creativity

physical creativity

writing

music

painting

drawing

conversations

sports

running

walking

yoga

meditation

constructing

building

laughter

tears

dancing
addictions
mental disorders
insomnia
fatigue
sleep disorders
heart failure
2. Sensible Soul


Sense, Perceptions, Major Feelings
body joy
anger
melancholy
humor
envy
worry
hurt
suffering
sadness
shyness
jealousy
physical despair *
digestive problems
general diseases
muscular pain
high blood pressure
anxiety
panic attacks
mood disorders
self-destructive behavior (cutting)
betrayal

3. Vegetable Soul


Reproduction, Nourishment, Growth
Bottom physical love
lust
reproduction
hunger
thirst
arousal
horror
fear,
flight or fight
existential despair *
intestinal problems
IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome)
PMS
urinary tract problems
bladder issues
eating disorders
sexual promiscuity
substance abuse
violent behavior

To learn more about Shakespeare and Emotions and Shakespeare's Theater, please visit our Shakespeare web page.

Back to Top Shakespeare, Dvorak, Hemingway Emotions & Health Despair/Hamlet The Old Creative Mind Brain & Emotions
The New Creative Mind: Neuroplasticity The New Creative Mind: Actions & Experience The New Creative Mind: Depression Emotions Software Case Studies FAQs






Insight # 4: Spiritual Despair, Physical Despair, and Existential Despair


Spiritual Despair, Physical Despair, and Existential Despair are a deadly combination.

In 1941, Virginia Woolf, committed suicide after perceiving her writing as inferior, experiencing depression, fearing the effects of World War II, and having experienced the destruction of her London home.

In 1961, Ernest Hemingway committed suicide after despair about his writing, his physical health, his money, and his safety.

In 1963, Sylvia Plath committed suicide after her published novel was met with critical indifference, her failed marriage, and experiencing one of the coldest winters in London.

The above examples of suicide due to a simultaneous occurrence of all 3 despairs are only a few of the suicides one may encounter among family members, friends, acquaintances, or other famous people.

Like Virginia Woolf, Ernest Hemingway, and Sylvia Plath, many people receive treatment for depression. However, without an understanding of the importance of Spiritual Despair, those treatments remain at times unsuccessful.


IMPORTANT:

If you know of anyone who is experiencing a spiritual, physical, or existential despair, or is dealing with suicidal thoughts or depression, please read our chapter about the new creative mind and depression . You might save someone's life!


While the topics of depression or suicide are discussed in more detail in our Learning Disability book , it is interesting to revisit one of literature's most famous characters and his innermost thoughts on despair and existence.


"To be, or not to be - that is the question:
Whether 'tis nobler in the mind to suffer
The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune
Or to take arms against a sea of troubles
And by opposing end them. To die, to sleep -
No more - and by a sleep to say we end
the heartache, and the thousand natural shocks
That flesh is heir to. 'Tis a consummation
Devoutly to be wished. To die, to sleep -
To sleep - perchance to dream: ay, there's the rub,
For in that sleep of death what dreams may come
When we have shuffled off this mortal coil,
Must give us pause. There's the respect
That makes calamity of so long life.
For, who would bear the whips and scorn of time,
The' oppressor's wrong, the proud man's contumely
The pangs of despised love, the law's delay,
The insolence of office, and the spurns
That patient merit of th'unworthy takes,
....
To grunt and sweat under a weary life,
But that the dread of something after death,
The undiscovered country, from whose bourn
No traveller returns, puzzles the will,
And makes us rather bear those ills we have
Than fly to others that we know not of?
Thus conscience does make cowards of us all,..."

(Hamlet, III, i, 56)


Back to Top Shakespeare, Dvorak, Hemingway Emotions & Health Despair/Hamlet The Old Creative Mind Brain & Emotions
The New Creative Mind: Neuroplasticity The New Creative Mind: Actions & Experience The New Creative Mind: Depression Emotions Software Case Studies FAQs







5. TIPS: Emotions and Behavior


Behavior
Ocean Tolstoy Leonardo grave candle3 universe



Tip #1:

Understand that ALL emotions are part of the human experience.

  • It is important to understand that both positive as well as negative emotions are part of an individual's experience. The duality of emotions is as natural as day/night, sun/rain, hot/cold, up/down, .....

  • A life without the duality of feelings would not be a life: Laughter/Tears, Joy/Sadness, Happiness/Grief, love/hate, affection/anger....

  • It is not whether we perceive emotions as cosmic (in order) or chaotic (in disorder) that makes the difference but whether our emotions can "move out" of us or not.



Tip #2:

Understand that it is the most challenging or chaotic emotions that make us grow the most.

  • Out of Chaos comes Cosmos. Out of Disorder comes Order. Out of Confusion comes Clarity.

  • The purpose of all emotions is to make us grow. However, it is the most challenging emotions that make us grow the most.

  • You can learn to use your challenging or chaotic emotions for your own personal growth with our Emotions software .


Tip #3:

Emotions affect our Behavior.
Our Behavior affects our Emotions.

  • It is most commonly known that our emotions affect much of our behavior.

  • What is less commonly known is that our behavior can affect our emotions.

  • Since the emotions/behavior connection is a unique and individual experience, our Emotions Software is designed to help you through the process of turning your most challenging emotions not only into personal growth but to productively affect your emotions and behavior in many difficult circumstances. After using the software for a few times, you will be able to use the skills acquired in any given situation. A skill that will last a life time.


Back to Top Shakespeare, Dvorak, Hemingway Emotions & Health Despair/Hamlet The Old Creative Mind Brain & Emotions
The New Creative Mind: Neuroplasticity The New Creative Mind: Actions & Experience The New Creative Mind: Depression Emotions Software Case Studies FAQs





6. Emotions and the Brain


Emotions are a powerful force. They can create and destroy.

Emotions are a powerful force because they are one of the most influential motivators that can propel us into action and experience and thus the formation of new neuronal pathways.

Generally, the limbic system is considered to be the "emotional brain".

The limbic system is tightly connected to the Frontal lobe/prefrontal cortex.


A number of closely connected forebrain structures are included in the limbic system.

Those different areas of the limbic system have a strong control over emotions such as pleasure, pain, anger, fear, sadness, sexual feelings and affection.




The major parts of the limbic system include the thalamus, hypothalamus, amygdala, and hippocampus.

Hypothalamus:
The hypothalamus links the nervous system to the endocrine system via the pituitary gland. It is roughly the size of an almond. The hypothalamus controls body temperature, hunger, thirst, fatigue, and sleep.


Thalamus:
The thalamus relays sensory and motor signals to the cerebral cortex and regulates consciousness, sleep, and alertness.


Amygdala:
The amygdala performs a primary role in the processing and memory of emotional reactions. It is involved with strong feelings of rage or aggression.


Hippocampus:
The hippocampus helps control the transferring of present experiences into permanent memories. It is also closely linked to the cerebral cortex. In Alzheimer's disease, the hippocampus is one of the first regions of the brain to suffer damage. Memory problems and disorientation appear among the first symptoms.


Olfactory Bulb:
The olfactory bulbs are located at the base of the forebrain. These structures receive and process information about smell. The fact that our sense of smell is connected to our emotional system, the perfume industry has an excellent business.
limbicbrain

limbic

Source:



How is the information from the limbic system transferred to other parts of the brain?






The human brain may contain up to one trillion neurons.


















These neurons are interconnected via neuronal pathways so that they can transmit electrical impulses—and information—to other cells.



















A message (an electrical impulse) is passed from one neuron to many others along an almost endless number of neuronal pathways. (picture to the right)

brainneuron


brainneuron3

brainneuron





Because neurons cannot touch each other, the electrical signal or impulse has to change into a chemical signal.


electrical signal -- chemical signal -- electrical signal



The electrical output signal travels along the axon to the synapse (synaptic terminal) where it triggers the release of chemicals called neurotransmitters (serotonin, dopamine, norepinephrine, and epinephrine (adrenaline) into the synapse.

The neurotransmitters are picked up by receptor sites on the dendrite of another neuron where they again are transformed into electrical impulses.


neuron

The neurotransmitters at the synapse are important chemicals that affect our emotions:

Serotonin is a common neurotransmitter manufactured in the brain where it performs important functions. Besides the brain, 90% of a person's serotonin supply can be found in the digestive tract and in blood. An imbalance of serotonin can affect a person's appetite, mood, memory processing, sleep, sexual desire, and social behavior.

Dopamine is another common neurotransmitter that helps control the brain’s reward and pleasure centers. It helps to regulate movement and emotional responses and enables people to see rewards and work towards them. A deficiency in dopamine is the critical factor influencing Parkinson’s disease. Physicians often prescribe dopamine therapy to increase dopamine levels in the brain. (Source: )

Epinephrine (also known as adrenaline) is a neurotransmitter and a hormone. It increases heart rate, constricts blood vessels, dilates air passages, and participates in the fight-or-flight response of the sympathetic nervous system.

Norepinephrine (noradrenaline) . Norepinephrine is a neurotransmitter and a hormone. It assists in the body's response to stressful situations. It is also involved in increasing blood sugar levels, opening up the bronchial airways, converting bodily fats to fatty acids, controlling heart rate and blood pressure, and participates in the fight-or-flight response.

Endorphins (endogenous morphine)
Endorphins are endogenous opioid peptides that function as neurotransmitters. They are produced by the pituitary gland and the hypothalamus in vertebrates during exercise, excitement, pain, consumption of spicy food, love and orgasm. They resemble the opiates in their abilities to produce analgesia and a feeling of well-being.


dompamine

The neurotransmitter serotonin also plays a role in aggression.

A lack of dopamine reduces frontal lobe activity and has been associated with schizophrenia.

Endorphins play a role in the system which produces sensations of pain and pleasure.



Back to Top Shakespeare, Dvorak, Hemingway Emotions & Health Despair/Hamlet The Old Creative Mind Brain & Emotions
The New Creative Mind: Neuroplasticity The New Creative Mind: Actions & Experience The New Creative Mind: Depression Emotions Software Case Studies FAQs





7. Neuroplasticity

With the new discovery of neuroplasticity (the brain's ability to reorganize itself by forming new neural connections through action and experience), neuroscientists are now revising their previous findings of the immutability of the brain after development with the more recent research showing how the brain can, and does, change.


Neuroplasticity is the brain's ability to reorganize itself by forming new neural connections or neural pathways through repeated action and experience.


Neuroplasticity allows the neurons (nerve cells) in the brain to compensate for injury, disease, or chemical imbalances and to adjust their activities in response to new situations or to changes in their environment.


Neuroplasticity differs from one individual to another.



Because of neuroplasticity, most recent Neuroscientific research shows that action and experience can actually change both the brain's structure and functioning.

brainneuron2


With new scientific techniques like MRIs (Magnetic Resonance Imaging), or Pet scans (Position Emission Tomography), researchers can observe changes in an individual's brain as it responds to an odor, visual stimuli, auditory stimuli, or other stimuli.

The right shows the Pet scan of a person as he/she reacts to outside stimuli.



brain11



Similarly, the damaged region of stroke patients can be precisely localized by the lack of blood flow, metabolic activity, and neural activity.

brainpetscan


You are not dead until your brain is dead. Your brain needs two things to survive and to form new neuronal pathways:
Fuel and Activation
Fuel comes in the form of oxygen and glucose.

Glucose comes from the food you eat, and oxygen comes from the air you breathe.

The art of breathing as well as the art of eating has therefore a major impact on how our brain functions!



Activation of our brain comes through our actions and experience.


The art of breathing can be learned through meditation:

Research on the processes and effects of meditation is a growing subfield of neurological research. Modern scientific techniques and instruments, such as fMRI and EEG, have been used to see what happens in the body of people when they meditate. Meditation changes the brain.

Neurological studies have shown substantial bodily changes as a consequence of regular meditative practice including growth in regions of the brain.

Learning Meditation is similar to learning other skills like how to ride a bike or play the piano.
Chakras


While we are born with a complete set of neurons, the connections between them are determined in major part by a learning process . Even though the overall program for determining which neurons should be connected together is under genetic control, it is external stimuli which are crucially important in determining what neuronal network connections are made.

Neuroplasticity, the brain's ability to form new neuronal pathways and connections through activation (action and experience) adds a new perspective and insight into the brain's response and mutability to positive/negative short-term stimuli and long-term stimuli.


Protecting the Creative Mind:

Unfortunately, neuroplasticity (the ability of the brain to restructure and reorganize itself through experience and action), can have a negative impact on a person's brain, especially young children. Brain plasticity is involved in the development of sensory functions. The brain is born immature and it adapts to sensory inputs after birth. Neuroscientific research has found that repeated action and experience can change both the brain's physical structure (anatomy) and functional organization (physiology) not only during brain development of a child but throughout a person's lifetime . Research can now show that substantial changes occur in certain brain areas, and that these changes can profoundly alter the pattern of neuronal activation in response to experience.


Air Pollution:

Air pollution can have serious effects on how our brain and creative mind functions. Currently, air pollution is known to cause damage to the central nervous system by altering the blood-brain barrier , causing neurons in the cerebral cortex to degenerate and destroy glia cells. These changes can permanently alter brain structure and chemistry, resulting in various impairments and disorders. (last 3 links open in a new web page)


Nutritional Pollution:

Artificial colors, artificial sweeteners, and unnatural preservatives can alter neuronal as well as glia functions in the brain. Below is just one example of a recent research linking artificial colors with hyperactivity.

"In 2008 the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) in Washington, DC, petitioned the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to ban artificial food dyes because of their connection to behavioral problems in children. Two years later, a new CSPI report, Food Dyes: A Rainbow of Risks, further concludes that the nine artificial dyes approved in the United States likely are carcinogenic, cause hypersensitivity reactions and behavioral problems, or are inadequately tested. Artificial dyes derived from petroleum are found in thousands of foods. In particular breakfast cereals, candy, snacks, beverages, vitamins , and other products aimed at children are colored with dyes. Even some fresh oranges are dipped in dye to brighten them and provide uniform color, says Michael Jacobson, executive director at CSPI. .. Red 40, Yellow 5, and Yellow 6 contain benzidene, a human and animal carcinogen permitted in low, presumably safe levels in dyes... Meanwhile, in Europe, as of July 2010 most foods that contain artificial dyes must carry labels warning they may cause hyperactivity in children. “ (Source:


Emotional Pollution:

Another study conducted by J. Douglas Bremner, M.D., and colleagues at the Yale University Medical School also linked left-brain damage to childhood physical or sexual abuse. When they compared MRI scans of 17 adult survivors of childhood physical or sexual abuse with those of 17 control subjects, they found the left hippocampus of the abused subjects was 12 percent smaller than that of the controls. What’s more, the abnormalities were mostly or even exclusively in the left hemisphere of the brain.

A study funded by the National Institutes of Health, NARSAD, and donations from the Simches and Rosenberg families. "Hurtful Words: Exposure to Peer Verbal Aggression Is Associated With Elevated Psychiatric Symptom Scores and Corpus Callosum Abnormalities" found that physical and verbal abuse can damage the corpus callosum . Physical and verbal abuse can result in a major reduction in the size of the corpus callosum . It also appears that the psychological impact of childhood physical abuse can especially harm the left hemisphere of the brain.


Back to Top Shakespeare, Dvorak, Hemingway Emotions & Health Despair/Hamlet The Old Creative Mind Brain & Emotions
The New Creative Mind: Neuroplasticity The New Creative Mind: Actions & Experience The New Creative Mind: Depression Emotions Software Case Studies FAQs





8. Empowering the New Creative Mind
through Action & Experience

The old creative mind used life for the exploration and enrichment of creativity.
The (empowered) new creative mind uses creativity for the exploration and enrichment of life and new human frontiers.

chacraman


Because of neuroplasticity, most recent Neuroscientific research shows that
action and experience can actually change both the brain's structure and functioning.




Actions: Neuroscience: (electrical signals or chemical neurotransmitters)

Besides neurotransmitters, a number of closely connected forebrain structures are included in the limbic system , which participates in many emotional, learning, and motivational behaviors.

Click on the blue links below to return to the definitions in chapter 6 (Emotions and the Brain) of this web page. (Source links will open in a new web page).




Meditation
Research on the processes and effects of meditation is a growing subfield of neurological research. Modern scientific techniques and instruments, such as fMRI and EEG, have been used to see what happens in the body of people when they meditate. Meditation changes the brain. Neurological studies have shown substantial bodily changes as a consequence of regular meditative practice including growth in regions of the brain.

Richard Davidson, a neuroscientist at the University of Wisconsin, has led experiments in cooperation with the Dalai Lama on effects of meditation on the brain. His results suggest that long-term, or short-term practice of meditation results in different levels of activity in brain regions associated with such qualities as attention, anxiety, depression, fear, anger, the ability of the body to heal itself, and so on. These functional changes may be caused by changes in the physical structure of the brain. Source: DalaiLama.com

Sara Lazar, "We use neuroimaging techniques [MRIs] to study neurological, cognitive and emotional changes associated with the practice of meditation and yoga. We also incorporate measures of peripheral physiology (breathing, heart beat) in order to understand how meditation practice influences the brain-body interaction." Sara Lazar


Part of the reason for this [research] lies in new, more powerful brain-scanning technologies [MRIs] that not only can reveal a mind in the midst of meditation but also can detect enduring changes in brain activity months after a prolonged course of meditation. And it hasn't hurt that some well-known mainstream neuroscientists are now intrigued by preliminary reports of exceptional Buddhist mental skills. Paul Ekman of the University of California at San Francisco and Stephen Kosslyn of Harvard have begun their own studies of the mental capabilities of monks. In addition, a few rigorous, controlled studies have suggested that Buddhist-style meditation in Western patients may cause physiological changes in the brain and the immune system. Source: New York Times


Exercise
(Endorphins)
Endorphins are endogenous opioid peptides that function as neurotransmitters . They are produced by the pituitary gland and the hypothalamus in vertebrates during exercise, excitement, pain, consumption of spicy food, love and orgasm. They resemble the opiates in their abilities to produce analgesia and a feeling of well-being.

Endorphins can be activated by exercising, acupuncture, breast feeding, and deep relaxation.




Food
(Serotonin)
Eating regularly and at scheduled times is as important as eating a balanced diet. About 90% of the human body's total serotonin is located in the gut where it is used to regulate intestinal movements. Other functions include the regulation of mood, appetite, sleep, memory and learning . Only about 5% of Serotonin is produced in the brain.

Serotonin levels are affected by diet. An increase in the ratio of tryptophan to phenylalanine and leucine will increase serotonin levels. Fruits with a good ratio include dates, papayas and bananas. Foods with a lower ratio inhibit the production of serotonin. These include whole wheat and rye bread. Research also suggests eating a diet rich in carbohydrates and low in protein will increase serotonin.

There are foods and some nutrients that can increase levels of tryptophan which is the amino acid from which serotonin is made. Eating a carbohydrate-rich meal will have your body trigger a release of insulin. This in turn causes any amino acids in the blood to be absorbed into the body except for tryptophan. It remains in the bloodstream at high levels following a carbohydrate meal, which means it can freely enter the brain and cause serotonin levels to rise.

Eating too much of anything though can backfire, so as a rule of thumb it is always best to remember - balance.

Sunlight
(Serotonin)
Sunlight has an immediate effect on our mood and how our body processes food.

Sunlight also has an effect on serotonin which is involved in the regulation of functions such as mating, feeding, energy balance, and sleep.

SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder) has been linked to a biochemical imbalance in the brain brought on by the shortening of daylight hours and a lack of sunlight in winter. Read more about SAD below.
Dopamine European scientists discovered Parkinson’s disease patients can suddenly become creative when they take dopamine therapy, producing pictures, sculptures, novels and poetry.

However, the extreme focus on the new interests may limit performance of normal daily tasks and social activities. (This explains why many artists with the old creative mind struggled with daily tasks and social relationships as shown in our list of famous people with learning disabilities ).

Key findings of the above study included: The artwork presented by the patients was mainly drawings/paintings (83%), poetry/novels (50%) and sculpture (28%). In 78% of cases, the patients showed more than one skill, normally writing plus painting or drawing. Some of the patients produced art that was sold and books that were published, but, at the other end of the scale, some of the creative work was of a very poor quality. Source: PsychCentral.com
Norepinephrine Today, scientists do know that people tend to remember extremely happy or sad occasions vividly because of the emotional connection.

Extreme emotions trigger the release of a chemical in the brain called norepinephrine . Norepinephrine somehow helps memories last a long time – some even a lifetime. For example, when a person asks, “Where were you when the 9/11 attacks happened?” most people can recall immediately where they were and what they were doing when they heard the news. They remember the moment as if it just happened because a national tragedy arouses emotion and emotion somehow makes memories last for a long time. Source: PsychCentral

Human Echolocation Human echolocation is a learned ability for humans to sense their environment from echoes. This ability is used by some blind people to navigate their environment and sense their surroundings in detail. Studies in 2010 and 2011 using Functional magnetic resonance imaging ( fMRI ) techniques have shown that parts of the brain associated with visual processing are adapted for the new skill of echolocation. The potential powers of the new creative mind are infinite.

Equine Therapy But we must also be aware that starvation itself, alters emotional responses. As an anorexic goes without food, the body responds by resorting to alternative fuel sources. The adrenal glands activate, epinephrine and nor-epinephrine are released, and the anorexic experiences what is known as “starvation high.” In fact, the physiology is not that different from a stimulant medication, or drug. However, as the person is essentially in flight mode, anxiety levels rise, and the desire to restrict food increases to counteract it. Yet, as time goes on, cognitive deterioration is more likely, and the potential to understand what is happening, on a cognitive level , decreases. This also means the anorexic’s chance of recovery declines. So enter a horse. A horse, communicating primarily on a physiological level, uses emotional responses — which have physiological ramifications — to receive and convey messages, read others, and determine roles, expectations and intentions. By responding to the physiology that the client presents with, the horse opens to window to her repressed emotions . PsychCentral

The Equine Assisted Growth and Learning Association (EAGALA) is dedicated to improving the mental health of individuals, families, and groups around the world by setting the standard of excellence in Equine Assisted Psychotherapy and Equine Assisted Learning, also known as horse therapy or equine therapy. Equine Assisted Psychotherapy (EAP) incorporates horses experientially for emotional growth and learning. EAP is a powerful and effective therapeutic approach that has an incredible impact on individuals, youth, families, and groups. EAP addresses a variety of mental health and human development needs including behavioral issues, attention deficit disorder, autism, PTSD, substance abuse, eating disorders, depression, anxiety, relationship problems and communication needs . EAGALA is an international non-profit organization with locations around the world. To find a program near you, please visit their website.
Balanced actions We are obviously emotional when it comes to eating, drinking, and sex.
The hypothalamus also produces our so-called fight-or- flight response to emergencies. Electrical stimulation to parts of the hypothalamus can produce pleasure, rage, and fear as well as predatory behavior.
Smell/scent/aromatherapy Coming soon.
Massage Coming soon.
Laughter Coming soon.
Acupuncture The limbic system is tightly connected to the Frontal lobe/prefrontal cortex. and there is some evidence that the lobe left prefrontal cortex is activated by positive stimuli.

IMPORTANT:

The fact that the limbic system participates in learning and emotions and the fact that our brain can change and form new neuronal pathways (neuroplasticity) makes each negative and challenging emotion an excellent motivator and messenger that can propel us into action and personal growth.


Most recent research results support new findings that different forms of exercise induce neuroplasticity changes in different brain regions. Neuroplasticity and the formation of new neuronal pathways differ from one individual to another. The Triple A Survival Guide for Emotions software program is an excellent tool to explore the effects that different kinds of actions and experiences have on one's brain and the creative mind.

Scientific studies have found that numerous brain areas show altered activity in depressed patients but it has not been possible to determine a single cause for depression.


Back to Top Shakespeare, Dvorak, Hemingway Emotions & Health Despair/Hamlet The Old Creative Mind Brain & Emotions
The New Creative Mind: Neuroplasticity The New Creative Mind: Actions & Experience The New Creative Mind: Depression Emotions Software Case Studies FAQs






9. The New Creative Mind and Depression


The old creative mind used life for the exploration and enrichment of creativity.
The (empowered) new creative mind uses creativity for the exploration and enrichment of life and new human frontiers.



Depression is the brain's loud and clear message - SOS



To be able to interpret the brain's loud and clear SOS message, it is helpful to understand the physical processes that happen during a depression.


The key to understanding the true message of a depression
lies in the interaction of nature (genes) and nurture (experiences, environment).



Modern brain imaging technologies are revealing that in depression, neural circuits responsible for the regulation of moods, thinking, sleep, appetite, and behavior fail to function properly, and that critical neurotransmitters -- chemicals used by nerve cells to communicate -- are perhaps out of balance. Genetics research indicates that vulnerability to depression results from the influence of multiple genes acting together with environmental factors . – Research on Depression: John M. Grohol, Psy.D. & the National Institute of Mental Health, 07 Nov 2005



Individual genes do not cause depression, but they are thought to increase the probability of an individual having a depression in the face of other accumulating risk factors, such as other genes and environmental stressors . One gene that has been shown to increase the risk for depression in the context of multiple stressful life events is the gene for the serotonin transporter protein.– Molecular Psychiatry. "Yin And Yang Of Genes For Mood Disorders." ScienceDaily 17 March 2008. 16. February 2009.
serotoninpathway
Image Credit: Davidson College

serotoninsynapse
Image Credit: Davidson College



The changes in the neural circuits responsible for the regulation of moods, thinking, sleep, appetite, and behavior do not only happen during a depression but also during other instances of survival.


Depression Famine or Fasting
High Mountain/Altitude Sickness

Causes lack/loss of resources lack/loss of food lack/loss of oxygen
Symptoms According to the American Psychiatric Association at least five of the below symptoms of depression must be present to the extent that they interfere with daily functioning over a minimal period of two weeks.

  • Mood changes
  • Fatigue
  • decreased interest/enjoyment in once-favorite activities
  • Headache
  • Dizziness
  • Insomnia
  • Shortness of breath
  • Nausea, weight loss
  • Decreased appetite
  • Social withdrawal
In a landmark study by Dr. Ancel Keys, published in the book "The Biology of Human Starvation", subjects who were place on a starvation diet experienced psychological changes .

Depression was one such symptom. Dr. Keys found that those who ate the least calories were the most depressed.
Anxiety is another psychological symptom of not consuming enough calories. Dr. Keys noted nervousness and impatience among the participants in the study.

Source: LiveStrong.com Signs & Symptoms of Starvation Mode

Altitude sickness develops when the rate of ascent into higher altitudes outpaces the body's ability to adjust to those altitudes. Acute altitude sickness may be associated with any combination of the following symptoms:

  • Mood changes
  • Fatigue
  • Headache
  • Dizziness
  • Insomnia
  • Shortness of breath
  • Nausea
  • Decreased appetite
  • Swelling of extremities
  • Social withdrawal

People with acute altitude sickness often attribute their symptoms to other causes such as an uncomfortable bed, bad food, or a hangover. However, it is important to recognize that these symptoms may indicate a high altitude illness. Source: emedicinehealth.com

Additional Sources Depression has a similar purpose – survival within an adverse environment. During a depression, the body shifts from an extro-perspective to an intro-perspective. Physical needs such as food, sex, and sleep are altered. Mental activities shift away from work, studies, family, and friends. With the shift of energy away from external physical and mental activities, surplus energy is directed internally, easily resulting in more pronounced feelings of melancholy, subdued moods, or gloom.
Source: What's the Deal with Learning Disabilities




Please note:
When comparing a depression with fasting/famine and high altitude sickness, it might help to think of "food" and "oxygen" not just as physical entity but also as life-sustaining energy and food for the mind and soul.

For example, if you are meant to be a writer, an artist, a musician, a painter, a businessman, an entrepreneur, or a founder of something but you do not follow your calling, your brain might use a depression as a clear SOS signal that change is needed.

Similarly, the brain's biochemical and physiological abilities might communicate (through a depression) that you are ready for a change in environment, change in relationships, or any other changes needed for your destiny, life's path, and personal growth.

In these cases the survival is about change and growth, not just food or oxygen.
The ability of animals to survive food deprivation is clearly of considerable survival value. Unsurprisingly, therefore, all animals exhibit adaptive biochemical and physiological responses to the lack of food .... these species offer interesting opportunities to study physiological adaptations to fasting and starvation. When deprived of food, animals employ various behavioral, physiological, and structural responses to reduce metabolism , which prolongs the period in which energy reserves can cover metabolism. Such behavioral responses can include a reduction in spontaneous activity and a lowering in body temperature, ....
Source: THE COMPARATIVE PHYSIOLOGY OF FOOD DEPRIVATION: From Feast to Famine Annual Review of Physiology Vol. 68: 223-251 (Volume publication date March 2006)

It is well established from longitudinal studies of human starvation and semistarvation that weight loss is accompanied by a decrease in basal metabolic rate (BMR) greater than can be accounted for by the changes in body weight or body composition... Although the survival value of such an energy-sparing regulatory process that limits tissue depletion during food scarcity is obvious, there are considerable uncertainties concerning its nature and functional significance.
Source: The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition 68 (3): 599–606. Abdul G Dulloo and Jean Jacquet
Experienced mountain climbers are also familiar with the mood changes, fatigue, headaches, digestive problems, lack of appetite, nausea, fatigue, weakness, dizziness, headache, light-headedness, insomnia, sleep disturbance, stomach illness, and general malaise that accompany high mountain sickness-- the very same symptoms that can be experienced during a depression . Source: What's the Deal with Learning Disabilities



One way to avoid altitude sickness is allowing the body to get used to the altitude slowly. •Acclimatization is the process by which the body adjusts to high altitudes. •The goal of acclimatization is to increase ventilation (breathing) to compensate for lower oxygen content in the air. •To compensate for this extra ventilation, blood needs to have a lower pH. In response, the kidneys excrete bicarbonate into the urine, which in turn lowers the body's pH to accommodate for this extra respiratory effort. Source: emedicinehealth.com
Treatment change of internal environment change of external environment


supply of oxygen & food
change of internal environment
change of external environment


supply of food
change of internal environment
change of external environment


supply of oxygen

Change nothing --- nothing changes


Through centuries, the change in the functioning of critical neurotransmitters in the brain has enabled mankind to survive situations in some of the most adverse environments. During stages of famine, alterations in body metabolism, appetite, sleep, thinking, and behavior make it possible for man to make it through otherwise agonizing circumstances. To understand the positive function of a depression , the importance of environment, environmental stressors, and environmental factors is a major issue in dealing with a depression.


In a depression, the brain's loud SOS message means that there is a loss or lack of one or more resources:

The loss/lack of resources can include:

  • the loss/lack of existential necessities of life: food, money, shelter

  • the loss/lack of physical necessities of life: health, ability to move,

  • the loss/lack of spiritual/psychological necessities in life: love, friendship, trust, intimacy, faith,

  • the loss of someone by death

  • the loss of someone because of a move

  • the loss of a familiar environment

  • the loss of someone because of a break up

  • the loss/lack of trust

  • the loss/lack of closeness to someone

  • the loss/lack of a skill, talent, or destiny that is meant to be explored. This characteristic is the most common reason for a depression in people with a creative mind. Potential writers, musicians, and other artists might experience a depression as their brain's SOS signal that they are meant to do something that they are not doing.

According to the American Psychiatric Association, DSM-IV (The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition), below are the signs and symptoms of some mood disorders:

Major Depression in Adults For a diagnosis, at least five symptoms must be present to the extent that they interfere with daily functioning over a minimal period of two weeks.

Depressed mood most of the day
Decreased interest/enjoyment in once-favorite activities
Significant weight loss/gain
Insomnia (too little sleep) or hypersomnia (too much sleep)
Psychomotor agitation/retardation
Fatigue or loss of energy
Low self-esteem; feelings of guilt
Decreased ability to concentrate; indecisive
Recurrent suicidal ideation or behavior
Major Depression in Children or Young People In children, the above classic symptoms for a major depression often may be obscured by other behavioral and physical complaints:

Irritable or cranky mood;
Preoccupation with nihilistic song lyrics
Loss of interest in sports, video games, and activities with friends
Failure to gain weight as normally expected; anorexia or bulimia; frequent complaints of physical illness, e.g., headache, stomach ache
Excessive late-night TV; refusal to wake for school in the morning
Talk of running away from home, or efforts to do so
Persistent boredom
Oppositional and/or negative behavior
Poor performance in school; frequent absences
Recurrent suicidal ideation or behavior
Dysthymia Dysthymia is a mood disorder in which symptoms generally are less severe than in major depression, but the illness is marked by a more chronic and persistent course
Bipolar disorder Bipolar disorder is a mood disorder in which periods of depression alternate with periods of mania (unnaturally high levels of energy, grandiosity, and/or irritability).

Bipolar disorder may first appear as a depressed episode. Research has shown that treating unrecognized bipolar depression with antidepressant medications may trigger the manic phase of the illness.

Children who have a family history of bipolar disorder will require special treatment considerations that should be addressed in any comprehensive treatment plan.


Below are some additional topics relating to mood disorders:
Diagnosis The diagnosis of depression or other psychiatric disorders should be made only in the context of a complete medical examination to identify and/or eliminate any comorbid and/or confounding psychiatric or somatic conditions. More than half of all youth with MDD have other psychiatric disorders, with a significant proportion having two or more disorder Source:

DSM-4: The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition (DSM-IV) is the current standard classification of mental disorders used by mental health professionals in the United States. It is intended to be applicable in a wide array of contexts and used by clinicians and researchers of many different orientations (e.g., biological, psychodynamic, cognitive, behavioral, interpersonal, family/systems). Source: DSM-IV-TR® Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders

DSM-5: The Future of Psychiatric Diagnosis Publication of the fifth edition of Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5) in May 2013 will mark one the most anticipated events in the mental health field. As part of the development process, the preliminary draft revisions to the current diagnostic criteria for psychiatric diagnoses are now available for public review. We thank you for your interest in DSM-5 and hope that you use this opportunity not only to learn more about the proposed changes in DSM-5, but also about its history, its impact, and its developers. You can search the DSM-5 for changes at: American Psychiatric Association DSM-5 Development
Research Studies The National Institute for Mental Health (NIMH) supports research studies on mental health and disorders. If you are interested in participating in a clinical research on mental health, you can download a free brochure on the following web site: A Participant's Guide to Mental Health Clinical Research .

As of March, 2012, the NIH-funded studies are currently recruiting participants in the following mental health topics: Anxiety Disorders Generalized Anxiety Disorder Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD) Panic Disorder Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) Social Phobia (Social Anxiety Disorder) Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD, ADD) Autism Spectrum Disorders (Pervasive Developmental Disorders) Bipolar Disorder (Manic-Depressive Illness) Borderline Personality Disorder Depression Eating Disorders HIV/AIDS Schizophrenia and Suicide Prevention
Source: National Institute of Mental Health
Treatment The effectiveness of treatment was demonstrated recently in a definitive study supported by the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH). The Treatment of Adolescents with Depression Study (TADS) showed that a combination of fluoxetine (Prozac®) and cognitive behavior therapy (CBT) led to significant clinical improvement in 71% of moderately to severely depressed adolescent patients. Improvement rates for other treatment groups in the study were 61% for fluoxetine alone, 43% for CBT (Cognitive Behavior Therapy ) alone, and 35% for placebo . Source:


Placebo:
A placebo is a fake treatment given to a patient for a disease. Patients that are given a placebo treatment (knowingly or unknowingly) will show an actual improvement in their condition. This phenomenon is called the placebo effect. In medical research, placebos are given as control treatments. Common placebos are inert tablets, 'pretend' surgery, and other procedures.


Cognitive Behavior Theory:
Cognitive behavior therapy (CBT) is a psychotherapeutic approach that includes behavior therapy and talking therapy. Research has shown that CBT is effective for the treatment of a variety of problems, including mood, anxiety, personality, eating, substance abuse, and psychotic disorders. CBT is used in individual therapy as well as group settings, and the techniques are often adapted for self-help applications.


"A Harvard scientist says the drugs used to treat depression are effective, but for many, it's not the active ingredient that's making people feel better. It's the placebo effect."


The challenge of dealing with a depression is the important question: What do I do?

1. Hear your brain's SOS message. Hearing your brain's SOS message is the first important step in dealing with a depression. Failure to recognize the brain's SOS signal can result in alcohol or drug abuse, physical or mental disease, food disorders, heart attack, or loss of life. Drowning out the brain's SOS message through self-destructive behavior like cutting does not change or result in anything.

2. Evaluate the severity of your depression. Evaluating the severity of your depression is the second most important step in dealing with your brain's SOS message. On a scale of 0 to 10, how emergent is your brain's SOS signal? If necessary, call 911 or a suicide hotline.



Suicide Prevention Services Depression Hotline 630-482-9696 Twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week

3. Understand that you are not alone and that a loss or lack of a resource is part of the human experience. It is important to understand that your depression makes you a human being and that a lack or loss of a resource is part of the human experience. You are not alone!

Look around you - how someone reacts to the lack or loss of a resource varies with each individual. Depending on your empathy and observational skills, you might be able to recognize someone else's SOS signal. How do even the most toughest individuals in your life deal with loss? You might not only gain some amazing insights into the human experience but also learn some amazing traits. These traits that are the tools of writers, painters, actors, musicians, and a creative mind.

Many potentially artistic people or people with a creative mind receive the brain's SOS signal (experience depression) as a clear message to explore, discover, nourish, or expand their creative potential!
4. Find out what loss or lack or loss of resource your brain is communicating. If you do not know what lack or loss of a resource is causing your brain to send a SOS message, there are several choices of things that you can do. You can talk about it to a family member, a friend, a psychologist, a counselor, listen to your dreams, or write (as a means of self exploration). Your goal is to answer the question, "What resource am I lacking or did I lose?"

Look for subtle and/or significant changes in your social, economic, physical, or spiritual aspects of your life.

By using The Triple A Survival Guide for Emotions software, your feelings can be your guide to discover what lack/loss you are dealing with and what actions you can do.
5. Use your knowledge about Neuroplasticity to respond to your brain's SOS message. Once you know (or if you already know) what resource you lost or are lacking and understand why your brain is sending you an SOS signal, you can use Action and Experience to respond to your brain's SOS message.

Our Triple A Survival Guide for Emotions software program was designed to help an individual with neuroplasticity and the formation of new neuronal pathways through action and experience . Because the brain's SOS message (a depression) depends on the individual and what lack/loss of resource causes the depression, it is important to explore a variety of actions to find out what actions are most effective.


Below are some additional actions to the software program that focus specifically on depression:

The experience, the feeling or reaction that you have after having taken action, is the best indicator how your brain responds to your action and whether you want to repeat that action to form new neuronal pathways . You will know that you are responding to your brain's SOS message and that you are on the right path when you feel a sense of clarity, enlightenment, uplift, satisfaction, and empowerment.

Software program: Action Experience/Comment:
Click on the "Write" option. Either in the software program or on paper, write about what lack/loss of a resource you think is causing your depression.

Do not expect to already know exactly what lack/loss of a resource is causing your depression (your brain's SOS message). The process of writing is an inner exploration. By writing, you are slowly accessing different regions in your brain. You might think one thing is causing your depressed feelings, but through the process of writing you might discover that it is actually something else. Follow your brain's SOS message. Feeling pain or crying while writing are a sign that you are getting closer to the source of your depression.

Talking Unless you find out what loss/lack of resource you are dealing with, it will be difficult to respond to your depression. Similar to writing, talking can be an excellent way to explore something. Try to talk to different people to see which ones help you gain more insight what is causing your depression. Try talking to
family members, a psychologist, a counselor, friends.....

Make sure that you note in your software program how talking (and with whom) made you feel.
Listening If you know what lack/loss of resource is causing your depressed feelings, the action of "listening" is very powerful.

If you have the chance to join a support group for even just one session, it might be a great opportunity to try out the "listening" action at least just once. There are support groups for many losses. Since your goal is to try "listening" rather than talking for this action, we do not recommend an online experience.

The only way for you to find out whether a support group contributes to you forming new neuronal pathways or not is to try it out. Record in your software program how you felt after just one visit. If it was a positive experience, you can repeat it. If not, you have no obligation to do it again. The choice is always your.
Antidepressant Medication - record your experience If your psychologist or psychiatrist prescribes antidepressant medication, you can use the software program to record your experiences while being under medication.

Do not stop taking any medication without the consultation of your doctor!

However, merely taking medication does not respond to your lack/loss of a resource. With or without medication, your brain's SOS message might come back even louder if you do not respond to the lack/loss of resource that you are experiencing.

Antidepressant Medication -
read & research
We highly recommend PsychCentral or the to read the most current research on antidepressant medication. You can find a wealth of the newest research. (It is changing constantly!) Here is an excerpt from PsychCentral:

"Although it is widely believed that a Serotonin deficiency plays a role in depression, there is no way to measure its levels in the living brain. Therefore, there have not been any studies proving that brain levels of this or any neurotransmitter are in short supply when depression or any mental illness develops. And while blood levels of serotonin are measurable — and have been shown to be lower in people who suffer from depression — what doctors still don’t know for certain is whether or not the dip in serotonin causes the depression, or the depression causes serotonin levels to drop." (PsychCentral)

If you do take antidepressant medication, don't forget to read the description that comes with your medication. If you did not get one, please ask your doctor or pharmacist for it. The FDA requires all antidepressants to carry a black box warning stating that antidepressants may increase the risk of suicide in persons younger than 25.

After doing the action of "read & research", record in your software program how you felt afterwards. Your goal is to form new neuronal pathways and if reading makes you feel empowered, try to include reading about topics that help you on a regular basis.
Food Many people wonder if Serotonin can be influenced by diet. Sera ton in is a neurotransmitter that works especially along a neuron's synapses . Because of the brain-blood barrier , the brain is protected by access of many substances.

Serotonin levels are affected by diet. An increase in the ratio of tryptophan to phenylalanine and leucine will increase serotonin levels. Fruits with a good ratio include dates, papayas and bananas. Foods with a lower ratio inhibit the production of serotonin. These include whole wheat and rye bread. Research also suggests eating a diet rich in carbohydrates and low in protein will increase serotonin.

There are foods and some nutrients that can increase levels of tryptophan which is the amino acid from which serotonin is made. Eating a carbohydrate-rich meal will have your body trigger a release of insulin. This in turn causes any amino acids in the blood to be absorbed into the body except for tryptophan. It remains in the bloodstream at high levels following a carbohydrate meal, which means it can freely enter the brain and cause serotonin levels to rise.

Eating too much of anything though can backfire, so as a rule of thumb it is always best to remember - balance.

Eating a balanced supply of food is important for everyone, but especially for people dealing with depression since energy, appetite, and nutritional needs are easily affected by one's mental state.

Eating regularly and at scheduled times is as important as eating a balanced diet. About 90% of the human body's total serotonin is located in the gut where it is used to regulate intestinal movements. Other functions include the regulation of mood, appetite, sleep, memory and learning. Only about 5% of Sera ton in is produced in the brain. Keep a schedule of when you are supposed to eat and try to stick to it. While it can be a challenge (especially during difficult times), it will take care of your nutritional needs and not add on any physical challenges in add it on to dealing with a depression.

One of the fun actions to do when using the Triple A Survival Guide for Emotions is trying out the effects of different foods on one's mental state. Strawberries, bananas, pineapple, juicy apples, potatoes, spaghetti, and even chocolate - are some ideas that have worked for some people. Unprocessed, uncolored, and food without preservatives are the most recommended types of food to eat.
SAD/ Sunlight A most often overlooked factor in a discussion about depression is light, specifically sunlight.

Sunlight has an immediate effect on our mood and how our body processes food.

Sunlight also has an effect on serotonin which is involved in the regulation of functions such as mating, feeding, energy balance and sleep.

According to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) published by the American Psychiatric Association, SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder) is “...'a real mood disorder that requires diagnosis and may require treatment. If you regularly experience a significant, lasting, downturn of mood when the weather gets colder and daylight lessens then you should consider consulting a psychiatrist or other health professional to discuss your symptoms,' says Douglas Jacobs, M.D., Executive Director of the nonprofit organization Screening for Mental Health and Associate Clinical Professor of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School. SAD has been linked to a biochemical imbalance in the brain brought on by the shortening of daylight hours and a lack of sunlight in winter. The most difficult months for SAD sufferers are January and February. Younger persons and women are thought to be at higher risk. There is also some evidence suggesting that the farther someone lives from the equator, the more likely they are to develop SAD. Whereas the exact number of Americans suffering from SAD is not known, it is believed that between 10 and 20 percent of the U.S. population may suffer from mild symptoms associated with the disorder. These symptoms can include: - excessive sleeping, difficulty staying awake, overeating, and weight gain during the fall or winter months; - feelings of extreme fatigue, inability to maintain regular lifestyle schedule; - depression (feelings of sadness, loss of feelings, apathy) combined with irritability; - lack of interest in social interactions, losing interest in activities of enjoyment; - remission of symptoms in the spring and summer months."

Research on the effects of light therapy on seasonal affective disorder suggests that light deprivation is related to decreased activity in the serotonergic system and to abnormalities in the sleep cycle, particularly insomnia. Exposure to light also targets the serotonergic system, providing more support for the important role this system may play in depression. Sleep deprivation and light therapy both target the same brain neurotransmitter system and brain areas as antidepressant drugs, and are now used clinically to treat depression.

Try out the effects of sunlight on your mood. Spend just 5 minutes in the sunlight and enjoy the warmth and light. By recording your action and experience in your Triple A software program, you will have a record of what to do when you might need it most.
Sleep Besides food and light, sleep (or the lack thereof) is an important factor in responding to the brain's SOS signal. Finding a balance of how many hours of sleep is beneficial versus how many hours of sleep is an escape is an individual experience. If possible, establishing a sleep pattern (time and amount of sleep at night that are beneficial, and nap hours) can be beneficial in dealing with a depression.

Light therapy, sleep deprivation, and sleep time displacement (sleep phase advance therapy) are being used in combination to interrupt a deep depression in hospitalized patients.
Exercise "Exercise can do a lot to improve your mood — and across the board, studies have shown that regular exercise can be as effective a treatment for depression as antidepressant medication or psychotherapy. In the past, it was believed that several weeks of working out was necessary to see the effects on depression, but new research conducted at the University of Texas at Austin found that just 40 minutes of regular exercise can have an immediate effect on mood." (PsychCentral)

Endorphins are endogenous opioid peptides that function as neurotransmitters . They are produced by the pituitary gland and the hypothalamus during exercise, excitement, pain, consumption of spicy food, love and orgasm. They resemble the opiates in their abilities to produce analgesia and a feeling of well-being. Endorphins can be activated by exercising, acupuncture, breast feeding, and deep relaxation.
Herbs Herbs have the power to heal and to harm. Many herbs sold in non-specialized stores have been processed or manufactured in a way that little or none of their benefits remain. The only benefit is for the stores, not the consumers.

St. John's Wort, which is commonly sold as an antidepressant herb can result in sera ton in syndrome. " Serotonin syndrome can occur when you increase the dose of such a drug or add a new drug to your regimen. Certain illicit drugs and dietary supplements are also associated with serotonin syndrome. .. But too much serotonin causes symptoms that can range from mild — shivering and diarrhea — to severe — muscle rigidity, fever and seizures. Severe serotonin syndrome can be fatal if not treated." Mayo Clinic

Learning about herbs and their power is an exciting experience that involves smelling, touching, seeing, and breathing them in. Investigate in the yellow pages, colleges, with medical providers, or specialty stores to find the right teacher.
Selflessness We highly recommend learning the skill of selflessness during times when you are not focused on your depression. Selflessness is a skill that has to be learned and exercised like any other skill until it becomes automatic. Selflessness includes doing something for somebody or something else because it is done for them. Actions that exercise selflessness are taking an animal for a walk, petting an animal, doing chores for someone, doing community service, giving someone a massage, writing something nice to someone, ... coming up with actions for selflessness is only limited by the creative mind. Like food, regularity is important for learning selfless actions.

Some people use the term Altruism instead of selflessness. Pure altruism consists of sacrificing something for someone other than the self (e.g. sacrificing time, energy or possessions) with no expectation of any compensation or benefits, either direct, or indirect.

Selflessness is a chosen action to go beyond one's own "self" and it is one of the highest signs of Personal Growth . As such - in making the choice to be selfless- one becomes part of a wider universe and vast cosmos (order). It is the very same cosmos that is responsible for the brain's SOS signal, the depression. (More details are discussed in our What's the Deal with Learning Disability eBook)

When using the Triple A Survival Guide for Emotions software program, do not skip any of the 4 steps. It is only through experience (Step 4) that you will be able to determine how effective your action (Step 3) was. Many software program users have reported to us that the experience they encountered was not the one they had expected. The only way to find out how your brain reacts to the action is by actually doing it. Once you discover through experience how your action affected your brain, you can repeat that action to form new neuronal pathways and have an impact on your depression.

Back to Top Shakespeare, Dvorak, Hemingway Emotions & Health Despair/Hamlet The Old Creative Mind Brain & Emotions
The New Creative Mind: Neuroplasticity The New Creative Mind: Actions & Experience The New Creative Mind: Depression Emotions Software Case Studies FAQs





The Triple A Survival Guide for Emotions Software


EmotionsCD


Our Emotions software does not analyze, interpret, or explain feelings.

The Emotions Software focuses on ACTION & EXPERIENCE.



"Experience is not what happens to you.
It is what you do with what happens to you."

Aldous Huxley


Learning to walk, learning to ride a bike, learning to dance, or learning to swim - these are all skills that do not come from reading about them but actually doing them. While it is certainly helpful and informative to read about a desired skill, it is only with some guidance, practice, and continued repetition that one can master that skill.

Like walking, biking, dancing, or swimming, - turning challenging emotions into personal growth is also a skill that can be learned with some guidance, practice, and repetition.

The "Triple A Survival Guide for Emotions" software is a an easy to follow 4-step program that teaches how to turn difficult emotions into personal growth through action and experience.



The Triple A Survival Guide for Emotions Software Process


With a new understanding of creativity and how our brain functions, the new creative mind can use emotions to access and connect different areas of the brain.

For the old creative mind, emotions were a source of inspiration that was often guided by innate talent or intuition. Many composers, musicians, writers, painters, sculptors, and other artists were able to bring the powerful force of emotions to life in their art. Unfortunately, being to able to feel and artistically express those emotions also came with the price of melancholy, depression, anger, fear, or despair. (Our eBook What's the Deal with Learning Disabilities discusses in detail the challenging emotions that many famous artists experienced)

Unlike the past, the new creative mind can be much more empowered. Today, the powerful force of emotions can serve not only as an inspiration for art and creativity but also as a powerful force for personal growth .


One of the major tasks in using the powerful force of emotions for creativity and growth is to move emotions from the limbic system into the prefrontal cortex (a cognitive level). Once the emotion has reached the prefrontal cortex, the "emotional signal" can be processed and directed to different areas of the brain for exploratory "testing" purposes.

The fact that emotions are mainly processed in the limbic system and not in the prefrontal cortex (area for conscious thought and decision making) makes many individuals feel powerless when it comes to dealing with emotions. Feeling powerless and regarding emotions as something that has to be managed or controlled though, misses the true potential of emotions and the impact they can have on our life.

Whether or not an emotional signal has reached an area of the brain that is responsive to forming new neuronal pathways can only be experienced through the actual activation of the brain - action.

The Triple A Survival Guide for Emotions software program was developed to explore the new creative mind, to develop new neuronal pathways through neuroplasticity, and to turn the most challenging emotions into personal growth.

Some software users have observed that the action they would have expected as responsive to their emotions was not the action that their creative mind needed - the difference between thinking about doing something versus actually doing something was quite surprising to many.

From a Neuroscientific perspective this is not surprising since the process of thinking occurs in the prefrontal cortex while the process of action can happen anywhere in the brain. As the case studies below show, the exploration of the creative mind through action can reveal some amazing discoveries and insights.


Case studies & Examples:

Jeremy:
At the age of 11, Jeremy was an intelligent but overweight, overemotional, and over-vigilant young man. He hated his school, friends, his father (divorced from his mother), and his mother's boyfriend. After reading the What's the Deal with Learning Disability eBook, his mother recognized a potential artistic talent in her son but felt powerless and did not know how to help him. During the following weeks, Jeremy was shown how to use the Triple A Survival Guide for Emotions software whenever he felt sad, angry, frustrated, and overcome by feelings that were difficult to cope with. The immediate effect of the program's first two steps (which focus on moving an emotion from the limbic system into the prefrontal cortex) became immediately obvious in Jeremy's grade improvement. Jeremy was now able to focus on his studies rather than on his emotions. Jeremy's activation of different brain areas - his actions- became a true exploratory journey. While his brain reacted positively to both left as well as right hemisphere activities (he became excellent in playing piano, writing, Karate, oil painting, and drawing), his brain's neuronal pathways really began to react and develop when he tried out Yoga.
At the age of 12, Jeremy attended his first yoga retreat and approximately one year later, he graduated from a 200-hour teacher training course through the Deep Yoga School of Healing Arts (DYSHA). At 13, Jeremy became a certified yoga teacher. At 14, Jeremy was recorded while chanting the 40-verse long Sanskrit prayer, Sri Hanuman Chalisa, which he originally memorized at 13. Currently 15 years of age, Jeremy continues to study Ayurveda, yoga's sister science, and Yoga Therapy.


Tom:
At the age of 8, Tom was diagnosed with severe active and passive language processing disabilities and characteristics of borderline autism. Tom's parents were dedicated, supportive, and willing to invest everything in their son's well-being and education. Even though the book What's the Deal with Learning Disabilities and the software program The Triple A Survival Guide for Emotions had not been published yet, they were more than interested in applying the concept of both to their own and their son's life. After learning about the concept that every disability has an amazing ability (as documented in What's the Deal with Learning Disability book) and the concept that emotions serve to propel us into growth (as exercised in the Triple A Survival Guide software), Tom's parents applied both the book and the software to their daily interaction with their son and their own overpowering, overwhelming, and devastating emotions.
Because of the concept of the Triple A Survival software program, the parents were not just able to deal with their overwhelming emotions but they were able to use those emotions to contribute to their child's growth. Tom's language processing difficulties made it difficult to communicate with him; however, his reaction to being exposed to different actions spoke more than words. To everyone's surprise, Tom's brain did not respond the most positively to painting, drawing, music, Karate, animals, or other boy's clubs activities, but to ice-skating. By combining ice-skating with music and gymnastics, several of Tom's brain areas showed positive stimulation and neuronal growth. Today, Tom is not only a successful college student but also an international ice-skating champion representing a whole nation.


Susan:
At the age of 23, Susan was working as a cashier at a Target store. During Target store rush hours (as she called it), emotions would fly high among customers and her coworkers. Trained by her supervisor not to show her emotions as a cashier (the customer is always right), Susan would come home exhausted, drained, and fed up with people. After using the Triple A for Survival software, Susan reported, "I'd come home, start Triple A, click,click,click..and felt better. The only action I picked was using the program :). I think the reason why it helped so easily was because I could vent my frustrations so quickly. Before I had the program, I would think about everything that bugged me at work for hours and it would make me tired. Now it was out, in the program, and done with it. It was also interesting to see the dates, how I felt, what I did, in the program's journal. That was neat. When I picked writing as an action, I discovered that while I was doing my job as a cashier (having to be nice), those annoying people in line were doing their job as humans (not being nice because of long lines, wrong prices, price-checks, declined credit cards - and what not). As one of my software program actions, I started making a list of all of the human emotions I got to witness from the people in line. Needless to say, since I now approach everything with my head instead of reacting with my own feelings, my whole energy at work and after work changed. I rarely get frustrated at work anymore. When I do, I use the software program in my head. I learned from the program that I can sometimes just let my feelings be and not have to do anything. I found out that by doing that, that I am controlling my emotions rather than my emotions controlling me. I also decided to try out some college courses in human behavior and see where it takes me.


Joe
At the age of 48, Joe was busy working as a custodian at a local college and providing for his family. He liked his neighborhood, his easy access to shopping, his short commute to work, and his children's school. However, dealing with the increasing littering of trash by local kids around his neighborhood used to drive him up the wall and bring up old anger issues. "As a custodian, I have to deal with trash all day long. The last thing I want to see when I come home is trash." By coincidence, Joe heard of the Triple A Survival Guide for Emotions software and since it only required a few clicks, wanted to put it to the test in dealing with his anger. "I actually started laughing when I clicked on the second step of the program." In dealing with his anger about the neighborhood trash, Joe tried different actions. Today, his children's school has a monthly litter pick-up program (under the guidance of Joe's custodian coworkers) with lunch donations from local businesses - and Joe has a clean neighborhood.


Roger
At the age of 56, Roger had worked most of his life as a farrier (a specialist in horse hoof care, including the trimming and balancing of horses' hooves and the placing of shoes on their hooves). Roger was not only working with horses but was as strong as a horse. At over 200 pounds, muscular, beard, and a deep voice), he would have been an excellent character as a blacksmith in any Western movie. Roger's physically demanding work had taken a toll on his back and he was suffering from chronic back pain. Medication was not really an option since he needed to be at the top of his mental performance while working with horses. Roger's wife, who used the Triple A Survival Software program, suggested to her husband to give it a try to see if it would lead him into finding an innovative response for his back pain. Most unexpectedly, Roger did find the perfect activity for his back pain - Yoga! Roger told us, "Yoga was the best thing that I could have done. It has taken care of all my back problems. I really enjoyed taking the yoga classes until my wife came to visit one time and saw all the girls in the yoga class in their tights - that was the end of that. Now I just take my yoga mat and do it at home. It is the best time investment ever."


Karen:
At the age of 52, Karen had spent much of her life suffering from clinical depression . After having tried antidepressant medication and experiencing severe side effects, Karen had decided not to take any more medication. Karen enjoyed her monthly sessions with her psychologist but they did not help her with her daily tiresome emotional struggles. As a history high school teacher, Karen found it difficult to focus on her students and her work. After using the Triple A Survival Guide for Emotions software for only 7 days, Karen was able to apply the program's first two steps (moving emotions from the limbic system into the prefrontal cortex) even when away from the program. Whenever possible during school breaks, while eating, or even during class time, Karen documented her experience in the software program. Since the software program records all experiences in a journal format, Karen was not concerned with having to move her actions and experiences into her hippocampus (transfer of present experiences into permanent memories) but could focus on how her brain responded to different actions. To Karen's surprise, her emotions did not propel her into the kind of growth that she would have expected - watching television, treating herself to chocolate or ice-cream, walking animals as a volunteer in an animal shelter, growing vegetables around her house, or autogenic training (a form of meditation).
A few months ago, Karen reported to us that her most interesting discovery in exploring a variety of actions was her positive response to creative growth and change. "I was never interested really in growing vegetables, working in the yard, or building anything. Following the software program, I tried all different kinds of actions, and to my surprise, seeing things grow and change actually helped the most with my depression. Now, instead of draining me of energy, my depression pushes me into creating something new and different."
Karen's most recent e-mail update informed us that she expanded her enjoyment of growth to her professional life. Instead of teaching history, she is now a high school support counselor for students dealing with emotional issues and depression. If you would like to add your Triple A Survival Guide software experience to our Case Studies and Examples list, please send us an e-mail at: [email protected]


Back to Top Shakespeare, Dvorak, Hemingway Emotions & Health Despair/Hamlet The Old Creative Mind Brain & Emotions
The New Creative Mind: Neuroplasticity The New Creative Mind: Actions & Experience The New Creative Mind: Depression Emotions Software Case Studies FAQs






10. Frequently Asked Questions

1. Is the software program difficult to use?

The Triple A Survival Guide for Emotions software program is a an easy to follow 4-step program that teaches how to turn difficult emotions into personal growth through action and experience. The program only requires a few clicks and not a lot of writing or reading. The software program automatically records your activities in a journal which can be saved and printed out. As the above case studies show, the program is being used by children as young as 8 up to any age.


2. How do I know if I picked the right action in the software program?

The experience, the feeling or reaction that you have after having taken action, is the best indicator how your brain responds to your action and whether you want to repeat that action to form new neuronal pathways . You will know that you are on the right path when you feel a sense of clarity, enlightenment, uplift, satisfaction, and empowerment.


3. I am an emotionally oversensitive person, can the software program help me?

The software program was developed to deal with the most mundane (ordinary) as well as the most challenging emotions in life and to turn them into personal growth. You might enjoy visiting our additional Emotions Software User Guide web page for more information.


4. Why do we have to suffer?

Negative and challenging emotions like anger, frustration, despair, jealousy, ... are the biggest motivators that force us into personal growth and change.

If anyone would ask, - we would prefer to say "No, thank you" to any negative emotions or suffering. "I can change and grow without having to suffer."

If asked, Jesus Christ would probably have said 'no thank you' to having to die at the cross. The Dalai Lama would probably have said 'no thank you' to being forced into leaving his home in Tibet and live in exile, and Gandhi would probably have said 'no thank you' to having to suffer for the independence of his country. All of those men's suffering, however, are symbolic for how the most challenging and negative emotions not only lead into personal growth and change for one individual but growth and change for much of mankind.

Unfortunately, our brain does not respond the same way to positive emotions as much as to negative emotions. While we share the most basic needs and the fight/flight response with animals, the human brain is is much more demanding. The brain's potential for amazing change and growth- spiritually - intellectually - physically - requires a powerful motivator. Without the powerful motivator of negative and challenging feelings, we would remain in a blissful, quite static state of happiness and content like Odysseus'men in the story of the Lotus Eaters.


5. Isn't happiness and contentment our ultimate goal?

Absolutely! However, the question is - happiness and contentment for whom?

It appears that the human brain is not only designed for the happiness and contentment of one individual but for the happiness and contentment of many. Can the brain of one individual truly rest in happiness if it witnesses the unhappiness of others? The human brain's ability for higher level thinking skills, compassion, and concern makes it a part of a universal cosmos. As such, happiness is not defined as the happiness of one individual but the happiness of a universal cosmos.


6. So what is the purpose of the challenging and negative emotions that I am experiencing?

Negative and challenging emotions are not only the motivators and messengers for your own personal growth and change but for you as an individual and the wider cosmos that you are part of.

A cosmos (order) exists not only within one individual (see Shakespeare's three souls above) but there is a cosmos with someone that you have a relationship with, in your family, your town, your wider society, your country, the earth, and the universe.

Whenever there is chaos (disorder) within you as an individual (see diseases above) or chaos in your relationship, in your family, your town, your wider society, your country, the earth, or the universe, - your negative and challenging emotions will act as a messenger and a motivator that it is a time for change.


7. How do I use the software program most successfully?

When choosing actions in the software program, notice when certain actions not only benefit your own personal growth and change but also for the growth and change for your relationship with someone, your family, your town, your wider society, your country, the earth (and all its nature), and the universe.

Your feeling and sense of clarity, enlightenment, uplift, satisfaction, and empowerment will let you know.


8. What about death?

Death is one of the most powerful emotions that propel us into amazing growth.

Whether it is our own impending death, the death of a loved one, or a deadly disease, - the topic of death touches our physical, spiritual, and existential being. As such, our response to death "lights up" all of our brain areas and sends the most powerful electrical signals into the Prefrontal lobe (conscious thought, decision making, personality), Parietal lobe (integrating sensory information from various senses), the Occipital lobe (sense of sight; vision), Temporal lobe (senses of smell and sound), and the Limbic system (center for emotions).

Not surprisingly, the overload of electrical signals in the brain manifests itself in shock, disbelief, and despair.

No other emotion can access so many brain areas simultaneously as the topic of death.

Because of its most powerful force as a messenger and motivator, the news of death forces our brain's neuronal electrical signals to explore and access areas of our brain that we would otherwise never even touch.

This physical response of the brain to the topic of death is the reason why many people who have faced potentially terminal diseases say that "it is the best thing that ever happened to me".

Facing death is such an intense and challenging emotion that it has the power to motivate someone to evaluate one's own life and to transcend one's own existence to the existence of a universal cosmos.

Back to Top Shakespeare, Dvorak, Hemingway Emotions & Health Despair/Hamlet The Old Creative Mind Brain & Emotions
The New Creative Mind: Neuroplasticity The New Creative Mind: Actions & Experience The New Creative Mind: Depression Emotions Software Case Studies FAQs



"Experience is not what happens to you.
It is what you do with what happens to you."

Aldous Huxley



Fortunately, today we do not have to wait until we experience a life-threatening illness or death in order to explore and access unknown areas of our brain. With the knowledge of neuroplasticity (the brain's ability to form new neuronal pathways through action and experience), each one of us can use the power of emotions to develop new and unexpected insights.

By using the Triple A Survival Guide for Emotions software program, each individual has the opportunity and potential to not only face and transform the most challenging and negative emotions but to use everyday ordinary negative emotions as messengers and motivators for personal, global, and universal growth.

System Req.: All Windows versions (2000, XP, Vista, 7) not Mac or Apple compatible
CD SOLD OUT
Instant Download Price $6.95 *






E-mail this page to a friend:



Like/E-mail via Facebook: