I spent a fair amount of time this weekend reading about something called High Activation. Most of the information I found was at www.myshrink.com. I read it with interest because the site suggests that it is ‘high activation’ that causes anxiety and depression.
To be fair, I don’t know what science they are basing it on, but it certainly sounds plausible. High activation means that the nervous system is overactive, and that the fight or flight desire happens more frequently. Some of us live with a constant fight or flight response which spurs anxiety, depression, and even panic attacks.
This particular site recommends something called Body Psychotherapy. I couldn’t find what exactly this was, but I can assume some things based on other parts I read. The site talks about depression and anxiety being felt physically in the body. It talks about how panic attacks can include rapid heartbeats, and shortness of breath, and how depression feels like a weight in your body pulling you down. The theory is that your unconscious is in high activation causing a multitude of symptoms. My guess is that the therapy they use has to do with retraining your body to not go into these modes, or possibly to go into different modes. The best thing about this idea of therapy, in my opinion, is that it states that cognitive therapy only addresses one thing – the mind, while this kind of therapy addresses the body and the emotions.
If you are not in a period where you can afford to go to therapy what can you, yourself do to avoid overextending your hyper activation? Again, I’m not a mental health professional, but I think it’s safe to say to look at your life and what ‘triggers’ your feelings. It’s helpful for me to make lists, and then write ways that I can potentially change the triggering scenario.
Personally, I’m not convinced that anxiety and depression can completely be cured with therapy. In my life, it is a fact that depression and anxiety run in families, and to me that bespeaks a physical or chemical imbalance. I believe therapy can help these genetic imbalances by giving us coping skills, but in the long run, science still has a lot of discovery to do to make these imbalances a thing of the past. Retraining your body’s responses, however, like the people at this site talk about, does seem like it has a possibility of success – not in curing it completely I’m guessing, but activating it less often.
But as Dennis Miller used to say, “That’s just my opinion, I could be wrong.”
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