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Special Edition regarding
Section 1. Grace's column on Overcoming Depression
Section 2. Tom Cruise and Matt Lauer transcript June 24, 2005
Thank you for this heartfelt and complex question. Depression can be triggered by many circumstances in life, particularly by loss: death of a loved one, loss of a job, ending of a relationship, even the loss of a beloved pet. Most people will experience some degree of depression during their lives, but most of these wounds can be healed with time. For some people, however, depression can set in and become a state of being that darkens all of that person's experiences of life.
More than 18 million people suffer from depression in the United States alone, and 1 in 8 Americans are on antidepressants (to the tune of over $20 billion annually), so you are certainly not alone in your experience. The question is, why are so many people depressed when they live in one of the most prosperous countries in the world? Depression is massively promoted in Western Society, not only to get people to buy anti-depressants and all kinds of other drugs, alcohol, and other substances, but also to get you to buy anything and everything.
Companies sell us the idea that we can't be happy unless we look a certain way, or our homes, families and relationships look a certain way. We are made to believe that if we buy the latest diet or beauty product, drive a certain car, give our kids a particular toy or game, and have our house sparkling clean, then (and only then) do we have the right to feel happy. The mass media sells us a belief that we are not okay as we are, and we buy it, and everything that goes with it that is supposed to make us feel better. Depression can be a disease of "affluenza": in societies where survival is at stake, there is no option to feel depressed, however, in affluent nations, there is often a greater sense of "poor me" than there is gratitude, even among the wealthier people.
The cure for depression is gratitude. Gratitude shifts one's perspective on everything, which raises one's vibration. Depression, on the other hand, lowers one's vibration, depresses the immune system, weakens the aura, and leaves one vulnerable to all that is on lower frequencies, including disease and other forms of negativity and attack. Depression comes from having a deficit perspective on life, seeing and feeling everything from a negative point of view, and taking life personally. It is the result of a habitual negative response to one's circumstances and experiences.
Depression comes from focusing on what is missing in one's life, and this creates a sense of a void, or a hole that one digs one thought at a time. It takes a long time and many negative thoughts to dig a hole so deep that one arrives at despair, where it seems there is no way out. For most people, depression is essentially about wanting life to be other than what it is, but feeling somehow powerless to change it. Suicidal thoughts occur when the desire for profound change turns to hopelessness, and death seems to be the only way to experience change and transformation out of a painful existence.
Life can be painful, and pain is part of the human experience; however, suffering is optional, it is a choice of how one responds to one's pain. Often depression comes from living in the past, and being stuck in some painful or traumatic time of life. That initial experience was a gift and an opportunity for the soul to grow and evolve, but if a person gets stuck there and holds onto that experience and its pain, then growth and evolution get stunted and frozen in time. Forgiveness of self and others is the key to freeing oneself from the pain of the past and the hold it still has on you. Childhood can be a wonderful time for some, agony for others, and somewhere in between for most. However, it is never too late to have a happy childhood - you are your own parent now, and you can experience joy, if you choose to.
Depression comes from having a victim perspective. Things happened to you, but you have choice as to how you experience them, and your responses determine your ultimate outcome. Every experience offers a gift - if you receive that gift then you empower yourself, but if you deny that gift in favor of blame and victimization, then you suffer. If left unchecked, depression can become a hole that sucks everything into it, causing one to spiral downward into despair, hopelessness, and worse. Most people don't like to be around those who are depressed because it drags others down, so one can end up alone, or surrounded by other depressed people who support the depressed condition.
The chemical approach is not a cure, it is a support for those who need it, but there are many serious problems involved with the proliferation of antidepressants. Tom Cruise has taken a lot of heat lately for bringing the problem of antidepressants to light, but he is not wrong. Antidepressants mask symptoms, but they do not cure depression. They numb a person so they can no longer feel anything, which does not heal or address the root of the issue, it is simply a bandaid to cover it.
Any drug alters who you are: it alters your biochemistry and the frequency of your energy, and over time, alters your personality. We call these "side effects", and for some people, an increase in suicidal thoughts is a side effect of the antidepressants that are supposed to make them feel better! England banned most SSRI antidepressant use for children because of this. There are times when antidepressants can save a person's life, just like antibiotics can, but you wouldn't stay on antibiotics for extended periods of time, as one does with antidepressants. Antidepressants should only be taken under the supervision of a medical professional, and tapering off them should also be medically supervised, as there have been reports of increased risks for suicidal thoughts when coming off antidepressants.
Talk therapy can be very helpful, as long as there is a clear goal and intention on all sides for healing. It is important to be able to get things "off one's chest", because if these emotions remain repressed, physical problems can manifest in the body, particularly in the heart. However, some forms of therapy can simply rehash the pain over and over again, especially within group settings or workshops where pain and victimization can almost become a competition. In your group, support one another to receive the gifts from the situation; help each other to see the light instead of focusing on the long dark tunnel. Friends and associates can hold us in old places, or they can support us in our rebirth.
The goal of therapy must be to release the pain of the past, and be able to enjoy the present and the future. There must ideally be tools for dealing with painful and negative situations, so one can take one's power back. It is essential to have a therapist who seeks to empower you to live well, not one who fosters dependence on long-term therapy or drug use. Ideally, you should have a therapist with whom you feel safe to share your innermost self, and one who you feel genuinely cares about you and your wellbeing. Growth and healing is a life-long process, and therapy can support that, but the goal of any therapy should be to support you to fly on your own, and to be the wind beneath your wings.
Every experience in life gives us opportunities to learn, to gain life experience and wisdom; depression can also serve this purpose. Depression is ultimately a way to drive you within yourself, in order for you to develop love, compassion and appreciation for yourself, for others, and for your life. It invites self-examination and re-evaluation of what is truly important and how one is living one's life. Many people, however, go within and fall into a pit of self-judgment, self-criticism, regret and negativity, which only promotes a deeper depression.
You ask in your group, "What possible good can come of this condition?" That is a matter of perspective. The perspective of depression does not allow one to see things as good, but in the big picture, it's all good because it contributes to the growth and evolution of the soul. Depressed people see life through very dark glasses that make everything look dark, and prevents them from seeing the light, or gaining enlightenment. The major problem with depression is that like attracts like, and depression is a low vibration, which is why we call it "feeling low". Low frequencies attract other low frequencies in terms of people and experiences, and these lower energies are not generally things that we would call "good" (the things we think of as being good are usually those that resonate on higher frequencies).
It might be helpful to slightly rephrase the tone of the question to "How can good things come from this experience?" Or, "What positive things have I gotten out of this experience?" Then you will start to get answers that will serve you and help you. For every question, there is an answer, but you must ask the right question in order to get the answers that you seek. Words are key and very precise. The words we say and the thoughts we think generate and affect our emotions and outcomes. A depressed person often uses depressing language and thinks depressing, defeatist thoughts. Changing these words and thoughts will shift the emotional condition, but this requires diligence and discipline to overcome the negative thinking that causes depression.
Our body produces chemicals in response to our thoughts and emotions: positive thoughts and activities produce chemicals, like serotonin, that make us feel good, while negative thoughts and emotions produce chemicals that bring us down, attacking the body and our sense of wellbeing. Over time, repeated negative thoughts and emotions will cause a chemical imbalance (so depression may actually cause a chemical imbalance in the body, rather than being caused by one). We can increase the effects of chemicals like serotonin with drugs like SSRIs (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors), or with diet and exercise, with positive thoughts, and with activities that make us feel good.
It is absolutely possible to shift the frequency of energy that depressed or ill people generate and attract, and it can be done quite simply, but it must be practiced diligently. After all, it takes a great deal of negativity over time to manifest depression and/or disease, so it will also take a great deal of positive energy over time to bring that back into balance. However, there are some quick fixes that can shift energy instantly. Depression has a posture and a facial expression, which is often low and heavy, affected by the forces of gravity and by focusing on the gravity of life. Simply changing this posture and expression can shift your energy, raise your frequency, and give you more power and confidence, making you more attractive for positive things, people, energies and experiences. Try it right now: sit or stand up straight, take a deep breath and smile. Doesn't that feel better already?!
There are many ways to raise one's vibration quickly and easily. Laughing or singing (even if one sings the blues) causes the cells in the body to vibrate faster, raising the frequency of the body to that of joy, which can overcome disease or dis-ease on all levels. Exercise and dancing raise serotonin levels, as do certain foods that affect brain chemistry (John Gray addresses this in his latest book). Some forms of depression can be caused by not getting enough bright light, particularly during the dark days of winter (known as Seasonal Affective Disorder, or more appropriately, SAD), so "light therapy" with a light box, or using full-spectrum light bulbs, sunlamps, or clocks that wake one up gradually with light can help to alleviate this condition. Aromatherapy can be very helpful in affecting mood, and citrus smells can be very uplifting. Massage can also be helpful for releasing toxins and promoting a general feeling of peace, relaxation and wellbeing. Surrounding yourself with beautiful things or colors, and with plants or animals can be uplifting, as can activities like gardening, listening to inspiring music, or doing any form of artistic expression.
Any activities that you find joyful will raise your frequency. The problem is that depression can hold you down and make you feel like you don't want to do anything. That is because depression itself does not want you to change because it wants you to maintain that certain frequency in order to keep your pain alive. You must choose to change and to do those things that will make you feel good so you can overcome depression. Chemicals such as alcohol, drugs or prescription drugs simply mask the feelings of depression for a time, but when their effects wear off, one can be even lower than before, needing a fix to get high again.
Life has natural highs and lows, but when you have peace and take care of yourself, it is more balanced. Maintaining a state of peace and gratitude can make it easier to manage the ups and downs of life. The key is not to let the pendulum swing too far, because what goes up must come down. If you find yourself feeling really high and excited, it might be wise to take a breath and bring it down a notch to a state of joy and peace. Likewise, when you find yourself feeling really low, take a breath and bring it up a notch to feel more peaceful and at ease. The focus on peace creates a sense of balance, and meditation can be very helpful for achieving that state of balance and peace. Deep breathing can create an immediate sense of peace, calm and relief, and sighing deeply can shift and release old energy and emotions quickly and easily.
The things we do, the thoughts we think, the people we surround ourselves with, the things we watch, listen to, or read, all influence our thoughts and emotions. They can either be uplifting or depressing. A depressed person often has a lot of habits and patterns that support and promote the energy of depression, such watching a lot of TV, especially watching the news late at night or reading the paper first thing in the morning. The news affects people's emotions and can be very depressing, therefore I recommend abstaining from the news and finding more uplifting ways of being informed (if there is anything really important going on, other people will certainly spread the news). Gossip is also very damaging and depressing for all concerned, so change the topic when confronted with any form of negativity, or avoid having conversations with negative people.
In order to change your experience of life, you must change the way you live your life. You must change your patterns, your habits, your thoughts, your words, your actions and activities, and perhaps even some of the people in your life. If you want to feel joy, you must surround yourself with the things and people that give you joy, and do things that are uplifting. If you keep repeating the same patterns, you will keep experiencing the same results, so you must choose what you want to experience, and then do whatever you need to do in order to have that experience. The first step to create change is always the most challenging, but every step after that gets easier and easier if you stay committed.
Gratitude is the major key for overcoming depression. When you hold the energy of gratitude, not only do you feel peaceful acceptance for yourself and your life, but gratitude also raises your vibration so you attract more positive things to feel grateful for. When you are filled and surrounded with positive energy, there is no space for depression or disease, which vibrate at lower frequencies. Wake up each morning feeling grateful for all that you are and all that you have, then go to bed counting your blessings, and you will experience the joy of life. The more you feel grateful, the more you will have to feel grateful for.
For those who have read this far, I will confess that I know depression well from first-hand experience. It has been a companion of mine since I was seven years old, although it has certainly not been a friend. For me, it originates from being too sensitive, from taking life too personally, and from negative self-talk. Unfortunately, it does not take much to trigger it, and it comes along when I allow myself to think that life is doing things to me, or when I allow myself to feel hurt in response to others. For those who have walked this path to depression many times, the path is well worn and can become a rut, making it far too easy to fall back into the pit of depression, and challenging to climb out of that hole. I know from experience that gratitude works to uplift the energy of depression, because it is essentially a lack of gratitude for self and for life's experiences that causes depression in the first place.
I created affirmation cards called "GRATITUDES" to help people experience gratitude on all levels every day.
Copyright ©2005 Grace & Grace Associates Consulting, Inc. All Rights Reserved
courtesy of DRUDGE REPORT.com
FRI JUNE 24, 2005 10:51:08 ET
CRUISE 'WAR OF WORLDS' INTERVIEW TURNS INTO SHOWDOWN ON PSYCHIATRY, SCIENTOLOGY
NBC 'TODAY SHOW' host Matt Lauer was lectured by star Tom Cruise on the dangers of psychiatry and antidepressant during a promotional interview for WAR OF THE WORLDS.
The exchange aired Friday morning.
LAUER: TOM CRUISE CREATED A FIRESTORM WHEN HE CRITICIZED BROOKE SHIELDS FOR REVEALING THAT SHE WENT INTO THERAPY AND TOOK ANTIDEPRESSANTS TO DEAL WITH HER POST PARTUM DEPRESSION. AS A SCIENTOLGIST, HE DOESN'T BELIEVE IN PSYCHIATRIC MEDICINE. I ASKED HIM ABOUT HIS COMMENTS.
CRUISE: i've never agreed with psychiatry, ever. Before I was a Scientologist I never agreed with psychiatry. and when i started studying the history of psychiatry, i understood more and more why i didn't believe in psychology.
//And as far as the Brooke Shields thing is, look. You gotta understand, I really care about Brooke Shields. I-- I think here's a-- a-- a wonderful and talented woman. And-- I wanna see her do well. And I know that-- psychiatry is-- is a pseudo science.
MATT LAUER: But-- but Tom, if she said that this particular thing helped her feel better, whether it was the antidepressant or going to a counselor or psychiatrist, isn't that enough? //
TOM CRUISE: Matt, you have to understand this. Here we are today where I talk out against drugs and psychiatric abuses of electric shocking people (PH), okay, against their will, of drugging children with them not knowing the effects of these drugs. Do you know what Aderol (PH) is? Do you know Ritalin? Do you know now that Ritalin is a street drug? Do you understand that?
The difference is--
No, no, Matt.
This wasn't against her will, though.
Matt-- Matt, Matt, Matt--
But this wasn't against her will.
Matt, I'm-- Matt, I'm asking you a question.
I understand there's abuse of all of these things.
No, you see. Here's the problem. You don't know the history of psychiatry. I do.//
//aren't there examples, and might not Brooke Shields be an example, of someone who benefited from one of those drugs? TOM CRUISE:
all it does is mask the problem, Matt. And if you understand the history of it, it masks the problem. That's what it does. That's all it does. You're not getting to the reason why. There is no such thing as a chemical imbalance.
So, postpartum depression to you is--
--kind of a--
--little psychological gook--
--no. No. I did not say that.
I'm just asking what you-- what would you call it?
No. No. Abs-- Matt, that is-- the-- post-- now-- now, you're talking about two different things.
But that's what she went on the--
No. MATT LAUER:
TOM CRUISE: But what happens, the antidepressant, all it does is mask the problem. There's ways of vitamins and through exercise and various things. I'm not saying that that isn't real. That's not what I'm saying. That's an alteration of what-- what I'm saying. I'm saying that drugs aren't the answer, these drugs are very dangerous. They're mind-altering, anti-psychotic drugs. And there are ways of doing it without that so that we don't end up in a brave new world. // the thing that I'm saying about Brooke is that there's misinformation, okay. And she doesn't understand the history of psychiatry. She-- she doesn't understand in the same way that you don't understand it, Matt.
// MATT LAUER: But a little bit what you're saying Tom is, you say you want people to do well. But you want them do to well by taking the road that you approve of, as opposed to a road that may work for them.
TOM CRUISE: No, no, I'm not.
MATT LAUER: Well, if antidepressants work for Brooke Shields, why isn't that okay?
TOM CRUISE: I-- I disagree with it. And I think that there's a higher and better quality of life. And I think that promoting for me personally, see, you're saying what, I can't discuss what I wanna discuss?
MATT LAUER: No. You absolutely can.
TOM CRUISE: I know. But-- but Matt, you're going in and saying that-- that I can't discuss this.
MATT LAUER: I'm only asking, isn't there a possibility that-- do-- do you examine the possibility that these things do work for some people? That yes, there are abuses. And yes, maybe they've gone too far in certain areas. Maybe there are too many kids on Ritalin. Maybe electric shock--
TOM CRUISE: Too many kids on Ritalin? Matt.
MATT LAUER: I'm just saying. But-- but aren't there--
TOM CRUISE: Matt.
MATT LAUER: --examples where it works?
TOM CRUISE: Matt. Matt, Matt, you don't even-- you're glib. You don't even know what Ritalin is.// //if you start talking about chemical imbalance, you have to evaluate and read the research papers on how they came up with these theories, Matt, okay. That's what I've done. Then you go and you say where's-- where's the medical test? Where's the blood test that says how much Ritalin you're supposed to get?
MATT LAUER: You're-- you're-- it's very impressive to listen to you. Because clearly, you've done the homework. And-- and you know the subject.
TOM CRUISE: And you should.
MATT LAUER: And-- and--
TOM CRUISE: And you should do that also.
MATT LAUER: And--
TOM CRUISE: Because just knowing people who are on Ritalin isn't enough. //you should be a little bit more responsible in knowing really--
MATT LAUER: I'm not prescribing Ritalin, Tom. And I'm not asking--
TOM CRUISE: Well--
MATT LAUER: --anyone else to do it. I'm simply saying--
TOM CRUISE: Well, you are. You're saying--
MATT LAUER: I know some people who seem to have been helped by it.
TOM CRUISE: I-- but you're saying-- but you-- like-- this is a very important issue.
MATT LAUER: I couldn't agree more.
TOM CRUISE: It's very-- and you know what? You're here on the Today Show.
MATT LAUER: Right.
TOM CRUISE: And to talk about it in a way of saying, "Well, isn't it okay," and being reasonable about it when you don't know and I do, I think that you should be a little bit more responsible in knowing what it is.
MATT LAUER: But--
TOM CRUISE: Because you-- you communicate to people.
MATT LAUER: But you're now telling me that your experiences with the people I know, which are zero, are more important than my experiences.
TOM CRUISE: What do you mean by that?
MATT LAUER: You're telling me what's worked for people I know or hasn't worked for people I know. // i'm telling you i've lived with these people and they're better.
TOM CRUISE: So, you're-- you're advocating it.
MATT LAUER: I am not. I'm telling you in their case-- (LAUGHTER)
MATT LAUER: In their individual case, it worked. I am not gonna go out and say--
TOM CRUISE: Matt--
MATT LAUER: --"Get your kids on Ritalin. It's the cure-all--
TOM CRUISE: Matt, Matt.
MATT LAUER: --and the end-all."
TOM CRUISE: Matt, but here's the point. what is the ideal scene for life
TOM CRUISE: Okay. Ideal scene is someone not having to take anti-psychotic drugs.
MATT LAUER: I would agree.
TOM CRUISE: Okay. So, now you look at-- and you go okay. A-- a departure from that ideal scene is someone taking drugs, okay. And then you go, okay. What is the theory and the science behind that, that justifies that?
MATT LAUER: Let me take this more general, 'cause I think you and I can go around in circles on this for awhile. And i respect your opinion ...
MATT LAUER: Do you want more people to understand Scientology? Is that-- would that be a goal of yours?
TOM CRUISE: You know what? I-- absolutely. Of course, you know. And people--
MATT LAUER: How do you go about that?
TOM CRUISE: You just communicate about it. And the important thing is, like you and I talk about it, whether it's-- okay, if I wanna know something, I go and find out. /Because I don't talk about things that I don't understand. I'll say, you know what? I'm not so sure about that. I'll go find more information about it so I can-- I can come to an opinion based on-- on the information that I have.
MATT LAUER: You-- you're so passionate about it. And I'm--
TOM CRUISE: I'm passionate about learning. I'm passionate about life, Matt.
(the above information is copyrighted by original party and only serves in the spirit of education and awareness)
Oprah has exclusive interview with Brooke Shields
June 20, 2005
"For the first time, Brooke Shields reveals her real-life nightmare. The mental collapse…the misery…the despair…the unthinkable. The chilling secret she hasn't shared until now."
See part of the Oprah's TV show via slides and get full transcript
Brooke Shields responds to Tom Cruise via an editorial in the New York Times
July 01, 2005
" If any good can come of Mr. Cruise's ridiculous rant, let's hope that it gives much-needed attention to a serious disease."
see full editorial letter
Quote on Depression
June 28, 2005
"Depression is a hole that one digs one thought at a time"
see Today's inspirational quote for humanity