Friday, November 3, 2017

Can just one week of NEWS and a World Series Cause You to be Down?

Okay, as a psychologist providing therapy in Los Angeles the majority of my work is on the client analysis of Self, couples counseling, and relationships (in marriage, family, or social relationships).  However, lately, I have just recognized a theme in my blogs.  “Down, Blues, Depression, Grief, Masked Depression, In-a-funk.”  So for me, I have to ask why am I spending a lot of time on this subject when there are so many other interests in mental health and couples counseling?
The answer is this:  
This week we have had three (THREE) horrific shootings or terror events.  They came at us so fast that many of us were being informed about the third attack and were argumentative as we were trying to correct the informant on the phone about the events. Only to realize that the informant was indeed correct and that we were errored by living in the past event unaware that there had been another event.
So I want to take this time to provide a mindful space for men as we have had recent severe stressors.  Men and Depression.  Our culture often can force men to not express their emotions and feelings.  The danger in non expression?  Creating strong defense mechanisms.  The healthy higher functioning defenses are great vehicles for self and social growth.  However, the primal mechanisms might express sinister presentations.  We experienced acting out and darkness this week; and, we experienced the impact of these actions.
So to recap for this week:  on Monday, many of us living in Los Angeles were stressed about the Los Angeles Dodgers as there was a realistic probability of winning the World Series.  Tuesday was quirky as Halloween creates a certain type of once a year anxiousness.  Tuesday we learn of a Manhattan truck attack that killed people in the street.  As New York City is so large many of us have friends in NYC (I have a few).  The trigger from 9/11 that was 16 years ago was brought to the present creating historical stressors.  Then the next day in Thornton Colorado at, of all places, a Walmart we learned of three being killed by gunfire.  And as the World Series was winding down and as Angelenos were working through the loss (grief/bereavement -- mildly funny how we can become so impassioned about sport) we learn of Uptown Starbucks embodying the trauma of a shooting of three that involved a child.  Oh, and if someone is lucky enough to have escaped the news let me remind you of the fires that ravaged the wondrous wine country of Napa Valley (I know many who are from the area), or the floods that demoralized the pride of the Houstonian; and the U.S citizens of the Boriqua Commonwealth having to show a collective utter humbling and resilience by being stripped of nature’s security.  So although we are recapping this week we came into the week with the inheritance of early September’s aftermath.
How do we manage these residual stressors?  How do we handle the shock of new traumas? There is a difficulty in these psychic and direct attacks that need addressing.  Each person handles pain depression differently.  For women there are studies that show a familiar in social community and sisterhood.  With men, often and isolatory behavior is commonplace.  This might be perfectly acceptable.  But be careful.  As humans we need the human touch, the psychic touch the social touch.  What is repressed gets expressed:  Talk to others.  If you can not do it right away find one person and just be in your state with them outside you solitude.   Depression is not a bad thing.  How you live in your depression and how you choose (or how it chooses) to affects you affects the community.  So, for some the Dodgers lost (or to reframe: Had a wondrous 3/7 exciting World Series); and for many of us the country (and Argentina) suffered tragic losses (how could you reframe this?  Perhaps the Country will become stronger and socially more loving and we could use these losses as a platform to advocate for what could make our Nation stronger).   So yes, I have noticed a theme in my blogs.   “Down, Blues, Depression, Grief, Masked Depression, In-a-funk.”  I am starting to identify why am I spending a lot of time on this subject of depression despite so many other topics of interests in mental health and couples counseling.  

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