We’d like the Tending Souls blog to be an informative and healing resource. As such, we will update the blog with inspirational articles, descriptions of our methods & treatments, information from experts as well as real life case studies.
Take the case of Sarah, a 29 year old public relations specialist who struggled with depression and perfectionism. Sarah often questioned her abilities and was afraid of not living up to expectations. She was sensitive to interactions with friends, family and co-workers with a tendency to over-personalize and over analyze the situation. For example, she admits that if a friend paused during a conversation - even for a second- she would assume it was due to something she had said wrong and was unable to consider a possible alternate reason for the hesitation. She would look for an explanation and heighten terrible feelings of anxiety. She felt like a failure and could not figure out what to do to avoid these negative feelings in the future.
“What Sarah didn’t know at the time was that her brain was sending her the destructive message that to receive love, acceptance and adoration she had to be perfect and take care of everyone else. In essence, she had to ignore her true self and focus on others no matter the cost to her.” (Schwartz & Gladding, 2011)
Her brain was sending her overwhelming deceptive brain messages. Deceptive Brain Messages are any false or inaccurate thought or any unhelpful or distracting impulse, urge, craving, sensation (physical or mental) or desire that takes you away from your true goals and intentions in life (i.e. your true self). (Schwartz & Gladding, 2011)
She eventually developed physical symptoms such as headaches, body aches and lack of motivation. The depression progressed and Sarah tried to shut the world out; diminishing interactions with friends and family as well as losing interest in normal activities and exercise.
Sarah did however begin treatment in the Four Step Method Program. Please join the blog next week for an explanation of Sarah’s 1st Step in the treatment.
Schwartz, Jeffrey M. & Gladding, Rebecca (2011). You are not your brain. New York: Penguin.