Imagine Yourself Happy


One doesn't need a B.A. in Classical Studies to be familiar with the mythological tale of Sisyphus.  The abbreviated version is that Sisyphus, as punishment for his wrongdoings, is sentenced to push a large stone up a steep hill and every time he approaches the zenith the stone rolls back down the hill and the cycle continues, for eternity.  This existence of failure and repetition bears overarching similarities to those who are battling the problems of the 21st century — feeling that they are destined to their fate.  Yet, there is hope for those fighting the 21st century woes of constantly pushing that rock up a hill: clearing the memory of its clutter.

This revelation has come from researchers at Brigham Young University who took it back to the basics with their study.  Brock Kirwan, a neuroscience and psychology professor at BYU, along side his former grad student D.J. Shelton, put participants through a computer-aided memory test to get a better understanding of depressions effect on our memory (read more about the research method here, at ScienceDirect).  

The study revealed that participants with varying forms of depression have more trouble remembering and retaining new information than contemporaries who are free of depression.  Professor Kirwan elaborates on this as he explains, “There are two areas in your brain where you grow new brain cells," adding, "One is the hippocampus, which is involved in memory.  It turns out that this growth is decreased in cases of depression.”   This news may be alarming for those with depression or those having trouble treating their depression.  Life is full of new experiences, and being held back from retaining and holding onto these memories seems to be a sad cherry on the top of an already challenging outlook. 

When you finally reach the top of your hill, you will have to find a new one to conquer. 

When you finally reach the top of your hill, you will have to find a new one to conquer. 

Depression, however, is not a life sentence.  Having this mental disorder enter your life does not have to be a Sisyphean fate.  Finding the proper medication coupled with the right team of people (psychiatrists, therapists, etc.) to speak with and mentor you is an important first step in the conquest.  Other helpful steps in attempting to live a happy life with depression include telling those you love what you are going through, finding communities and forums comprised of individuals who have gone through and are going through similar ordeals, and finding outlets to refocus your energy, to name just a small handful.  

Take it from someone who had a two year run-in with his own mental shortcomings in the form of obsessive compulsive disorder and anxiety.  OCD and anxiety, albeit a different demon than fighting depression, finally presented me with an ultimatum: either live with the constant speed-bump down every path I walk, or attempt to skate downhill happily uninhibited, as I once had.  Although I believe that medications are very helpful for a vast majority, I was one who wanted to treat my aliments naturally. It takes a strong person to attempt to deal with such complex issues alone, and it is not a recommended pursuit, for mine proved to be unobtainable.  Through a combination of support and self betterment, I was able to conquer my demon -- although it still presents itself and when it does I use the tools I have to put it in its place. 

Each individual can benefit from gaining further insight as to why they are suffering from a mental health issue.  This is where neurofeedback and BrainPaint, such as the services being provided at Urban Brain and Body, LLC  in Chicago, can make a profound impact on your well being.  Seeing the image of your working brain is a powerful vision.  Over time, with neurofeedback and BrainPaint, one is able to clear the clutter that is blocking one's brain waves from flowing properly.  It is fitting that BrainPaint seems destined as the tool of the next decade and beyond in helping with the fight against mental health issues.  BrainPaint is natural, interactive, and individualized; terms and ideological principles of this new generation of people dealing with problems that are generations in the making.  As we continue to learn more about depression, OCD, anxiety, and the like, those suffering from such fates will continue to look for help in an array of avenues.  

Help is here, and it is on an avenue -- well, a plain old city street -- near you.  BrainPaint and neurofeedback may be the help you have been searching for all along, because in the end, seeing the way your brain works takes you back to a time where you remember it working the way you liked; where you remember being the person you wanted to be, where you were happy.  It takes time, but the constant pursuit of happiness and fulfillment is a pursuit always worth taking, because as Albert Camus said, "One must imagine Sisyphus happy."  That is life, attempting to conquer your goals and setbacks, making your way up hill, and regardless of the outcome one has to believe that the pursuit is worthwhile.  


*photo is my own