Victoria NeuroNotes

Into the Gray

How I Overcame Fear Using Mental Training Techniques


These Neuroscience Techniques Are Also Used In Navy Seals Training

Warning:  Explicit Content — Suicide

Amygdala_smallI spend a lot of time reading blogs where believers are becoming aware of the lack of credibility in their holy books but have an extremely difficult time with fear because of their indoctrinated beliefs about eternal hell. Some Christian apologists will state that scriptures related to hell are not about fire and torment for eternity, but they are.

For example, Matthew 10:28 states:   “And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather fear him who can destroy both soul and body in hell.”

In Four Views on Hell, p. 20, John F. Walvoord writes:  “Luke 12:5 has a similar thought to that expressed in Matthew 10:28, that one should fear the devil far more than those who might kill them physically. Though not always expressly stated, the implication is that the punishment will have duration and be endless.”

1 Peter 5:8 states:  “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.”

Approximately 56% of Americans surveyed believe in the devil, 53% believe in hell and 43% believe in hell as a place of suffering and punishment.   In an interview in New York Magazine, with U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, he stated that he believed in the devil (Satan).

“You do?”

“Of course! Yeah, he’s a real person. Hey, c’mon, that’s standard Catholic doctrine! Every Catholic believes that.”

“Every Catholic believes this? There’s a wide variety of Catholics out there …”

“If you are faithful to Catholic dogma, that is certainly a large part of it.”

“Isn’t it terribly frightening to believe in the Devil?

Scalia’s reply:

“You’re looking at me as though I’m weird. My God! Are you so out of touch with most of America, most of which believes in the Devil? I mean, Jesus Christ believed in the Devil! It’s in the Gospels! You travel in circles that are so, so removed from mainstream America that you are appalled that anybody would believe in the Devil!”

In the comment section of a post “Gary Responds” published by Ken on his blog The Divine Spark Within, Gary, a physician who was tormented by the thought of hell being real, replied to my comment and this was what his wrote:

“You may very well be right, my friend, and to tell you the truth, I hope that you are right.

I would happily give up heaven and seeing my loved ones again if it meant that no one else has to go to hell. Hell is an absolutely horrific concept. In my opinion, no one deserves to be burned alive day, after day, after day, without there ever being an end.

I hope you are right: I hope that when we all die, the only thing that will happen to us is that our bodies will decay and provide nutrients for new life from the earth. And that’s it. However, if you atheists are wrong, and I buy into your story, I will suffer horrific torment, possibly being burned alive, in a black hole, in the center of the earth, forever and ever.

Maybe some of you ex-Christians have been able to get that fear out of your heads. I can’t.

I’m not going to take the chance of YOU being wrong. I will obey God. Whether I believe in Him or not is irrelevant in Lutheran theology. I have been baptized. I am a child of God. As long as I do not reject God, or willfully disobey him, I will attain eternal life. The consequences of not obeying are too horrific for me to contemplate.”

Photo credit: — Raphael Galante

Anxiety, distress, and fear are closely related negative emotional states associated with physical or psychological harm. These three emotions can be differentiated by the temporal relationship between the feeling and the potential threat. Anxiety is characterized by the anticipation of being harmed in the future, where as fear is characterized as the anticipation of being harmed in the present. Distress is characterized by the awareness of being harmed at this particular moment. The three emotions can diffuse into one single diffuse state.  Source

So you say to yourself — hah — I don’t believe all that mythological stuff.  Good for you., but millions do.  Millions have had their brains wired (indoctrination) to believe it.  I was one of them.  I was indoctrinated by the Roman Catholic Church (the largest Christian denomination in the world) at a very young age.  I was told by those I trusted that hell was real.  That demons and Satan were real.  It caused night terrors for several years during those very impressionable years. Such indoctrination is a form of child abuse.  But the RCC isn’t the only Christian denomination teaching this.

Most do.


Photo credit: Wikipedia Commons Biblical Jesus casting out demons.

When we were both in our twenties, my husband was told he was being oppressed and possessed by demons after seeking spiritual counseling.  Who told him this?  Christian clergy from the 2nd largest denomination in the United States.  What he was actually experiencing were hallucinations caused by a traumatic brain injury he had sustained in a car/train accident.  The symptoms of neurological disorders caused by traumatic brain injuries were not very well understood in the medical profession 20+ years ago.

His brain progressively worsened to the point that he could not fully reason.  In ignorance, the clergy instilled this belief.  My partner was overcome with fear and in his fragile mental state, killed himself.  It took me over 20 years to talk about this publicly, and my journey was long in figuring out how to overcome my own fears and the repercussions of post traumatic stress disorder.  I was home the day my partner ended his life.  I heard the shotgun go off.  When I entered the bedroom I saw the brain matter, pieces of skull and teeth scattered throughout the room.  I saw his blood splattered on the walls and bed linen, and I saw it gushing out of my partner’s body.


I’m sorry to be sharing something so grim and graphic, but I wanted the reader to see, at least in part, the trauma I had to overcome.  Had it not been for mental training I wouldn’t be able to write about this.  I share to offer encouragement.



“In [the] pre-9/11 United States, more than half of all adult men and women have been exposed to at least one traumatic event in the course of their lives. If you go to countries where there’s much more civil unrest, the rates are higher. For example, in Algeria, 90 percent of all adult men and women will have been exposed to at least one traumatic event.  Same is true in Palestine, Cambodia, other places.  So the lesson from this is that traumatic exposure is not unusual, and we as a society need to be prepared for that. This is not just something that happens to war veterans, to police, to firefighters, to emergency medical personnel; it’s something that can happen to almost anybody, and there’s at least a 50 percent chance that it’s going to happen. And this is before 9/11.

For many years, if I heard a loud sound like a balloon popping or fireworks, I would be startled and immediately have flashbacks.  Even though it wasn’t happening in real-time, by brain and body reacted as though it was.  In a split second fear and panic came over me.  My heart would race and I’d start sweating.  Sometimes I had difficulty catching my breath.  Stress hormones, like cortisol and adrenaline, would course through my veins leading to an increase of visceral fat in my abdomen.  Visceral fat is a key player in a variety of health problems.  Chronic stress can put your health at risk, both psychologically and physically.    PTSD was first defined back in 1980, but for many years to follow, many, if not most therapists were not well-educated in helping people find the tools to reverse the toxic side-effects of PTSD.

I have experienced PTSD more than once.

Mayo Clinic:

The long-term activation of the stress-response system — and the subsequent overexposure to cortisol and other stress hormones — can disrupt almost all your body’s processes. This puts you at increased risk of numerous health problems, including:

  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Digestive problems
  • Heart disease
  • Sleep problems
  • Weight gain
  • Memory and concentration impairment


Depression became my companion though I hid it from everyone.  Antidepressants and anti-anxiety meds only made me worse.  Within a few short months of taking the prescribed medications, I almost died due to Serotonin Syndrome a.k.a. serotonin toxicity.  I’m not sharing this to discourage anyone from taking these medications, nor seeking therapy.   But medication was no longer an options for me.  I was in therapy for a couple of months but my doctor ended up taking an extended medical leave of absence.   How did I find ways to overcome?   I became my own advocate.  I spent countless hours doing research; finding alternative ways to manage my stress, overcome fear, and to curtail the toxic stress hormones associated with fear.  I studied about brain plasticity, finding effective ways to rewire my brain, and prune disadvantageous neural connections in my limbic system.  I read everything I could find about the brain, neurotransmitters, hormones and the mind/body connection.


A neuroscience group at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory led by Assistant Professor Bo Li Ph.D., together with collaborator Professor Z. Josh Huang Ph.D., have just released the results of a new study that examines how fear responses are learned, controlled, and memorized. They show that a particular class of neurons in a subdivision of the amygdala plays an active role in these processes.

To examine the behavior of mice undergoing a fear test the team first trained them to respond in a Pavlovian manner to an auditory cue. The mice began to “freeze,” a very common fear response, whenever they heard one of the sounds they had been trained to fear.

Li’s group found that fear conditioning induced experience-dependent changes in the release of neurotransmitters in excitatory synapses that connect with inhibitory neurons — neurons that suppress the activity of other neurons — in the central amygdala. These changes in the strength of neuronal connections are known as synaptic plasticity.

Particularly important in this process, the team discovered, were somatostatin-positive (SOM+) neurons. Somatostatin is a hormone that affects neurotransmitter release. Li and colleagues found that fear-memory formation was impaired when they prevent the activation of SOM+ neurons.

SOM+ neurons are necessary for recall of fear memories, the team also found. Indeed, the activity of these neurons alone proved sufficient to drive fear responses. Thus, instead of being a passive relay for the signals driving fear learning and responses in mice, the team’s work demonstrates that the central amygdala is an active component, and is driven by input from the lateral amygdala, to which it is connected.

“We find that the fear memory in the central amygdala can modify the circuit in a way that translates into action — or what we call the fear response,” explains Li.


“When a novel stimulus is presented slightly before or at the same time as a well-trained condition stimulus, the condition response will be disrupted.  Another method of inhibiting the fear circuit is through conditioning. In a typical conditioned inhibition procedure, conditions are arranged such that one stimulus, denoted A, predicts shock, while another stimulus, denoted X, predicts absence of shock.

The result of this procedure is that A comes to elicit a fear reaction when presented alone, but not when it is accompanied by X, the conditioned inhibitor . This is a similar method of treatment that is used for people with phobias. This method is inhibiting the emotional response produced by the amygdala during a threatening situation. The patient still remembers that he used to be afflicted by his phobia, but no longer has the emotional response attached to it.”  Source

Amygdala large

Four Steps To Overcoming Fear from the documentary “The Brain

Within the limbic system are the amygdala (demonstrated in red), one in the left hemisphere, and one in the right hemisphere.  Some of you have often seen me comment about the amygdala in relation to fear based religions, e,g., Christian denominations that indoctrinate about punishment and hell.   The amygdala are about the size of an almond.  They are considered the brains central command center for our emotional reactions.

Navy Seal recruits are put through special training to change the way their brain’s react to fear and the capacity to control these impulses is extremely important when having to make quick decisions in fearful situations.  They go through a rewiring process. The amygdala is one of the most interconnected regions of the brain and affects the whole body.  When put in a fearful situation the brain and body can go into a fight or flight mode.  So the key in overcoming fear is to control these signals from the amygdala.

We can train our brain to bypass the emotional center and send the signals to the frontal lobes for quick assessment before reacting.

Suppressing Fear

As we evolved, another part of the brain called the cortex also became involved in processing fear.  The part that makes us most human is our frontal cortex.  The frontal cortex is divided into four sets of lobes.  The frontal lobes are where conscience and rational thoughts are processed.  It’s where we do our problem solving.  The frontal lobes are the conductor of the brain, so to speak.  They synchronize all activity.  Neuroscientists discovered that information from our senses reaches our amygdala almost twice as fast as it takes to get our frontal lobes.

The speed of these different brain signals means that unless we instantaneously know how to react to the potential threat, we might freeze in fear or overreact while waiting for the frontal lobes to catch up to figure out the right response.  So, for example, if I had a flashback caused by a loud sound, and my body reacted as though I was actually experiencing it for the first time, mental training would allow for the signals to bypass the amygdala and head straight to the frontal lobes to assess the situation — that it’s only a memory, thus preventing the release of unnecessary stress hormones.

It’s important to react in a top-down way.  In other words, from the frontal lobes to the amygdala.  Breakthroughs in neuroscience have played a major role in helping the Navy to rethink how they train Seal recruits, and using specific brain plasticity techniques have proven to be quite successful.  Special exercises are used to help the recruits brain regulate fear and avoid panic.

The 4 techniques are:

  • Goal Setting
  • Mental Rehearsal
  • Self Talk
  • Arousal Control

Goal Setting:  This technique works by assisting the frontal lobes.  The brain’s supervisors are responsible for reasoning and planning.  Concentration on certain goals lets our brain bring structure to chaos and keeps the amygdala — the emotional center of the brain in check.  Set small, realistic goals for yourself when retraining your brain.

Mental Rehearsal:  Mental rehearsal, a.k.a. visualization, is when you continually run an activity or event through your mind. You see it in your mind’s eye.   For example, I visualized the fireworks and the balloons popping and over time, my brain didn’t react to the sound of a shotgun.   For Navy Seal recruits, they would visualize a life-threatening combat situation to trick the brain in thinking that this wasn’t the first experience.

Self Talk:  Self talk helps focus the trainee’s thoughts.  The average person speaks to themselves at a rate of 300 to 1000 words per minute.  If these words are positive instead of negative, they help override the fear signal coming from the amygdala.  Taking time out to become aware of your internal dialog is really important and you may be quite surprised to learn what your internal dialog is saying.  I certainly was when I became aware.

Arousal Control:
  The final technique is centered on breathing.  Deliberate, slow breathing helps combat some of the effects of panic.  Taking long exhales mimics the bodies relaxation process, getting more oxygen to the brain so it can perform better.   Breathing is a great focusing strategy as well.  Breathing is a focal point in meditation to help quiet the mind.  The amygdala sends out such a powerful signal it is tough to suppress if we are still feeling fear, but combining the four techniques makes a big difference.


Look what happens to your brain when you change your mind.  <—- Watch  (two minutes)

Photo credit:
Animated Amygdala — Wikipedia Commons

Note: Information presented in this post is for educational purposes only. It is not a substitute for medical advice.  It is not intended to diagnose, treat or cure any mental or physical health conditions.  Please see a mental health professional if you suspect you have PTSD, depression, or acute anxiety.


Author: NeuroNotes

Victoria predominately blogs about religion, and the brain's role in religious type experiences.

159 thoughts on “How I Overcame Fear Using Mental Training Techniques

  1. The 4 techniques are:

    Goal Setting
    Mental Rehearsal
    Self Talk
    Arousal Control

    Well, I didn’t really know any of this, but it’s pretty much what I’ve done to overcome fears. And each time a new fear presents itself now I go through a brief period of anxiety/depression and eventually talk myself back up out of it using these very techniques. When I go through the anxiety/depression part of it I call it falling in a hole. Then I literally visualize myself shoveling dirt from the sides of the hole down into the bottom of it until there’s enough to walk out of the hole. I know, that’s probably weird, but it’s what I do.

    I’m wondering is this in any way similar to CBT? Are the same techniques used?

    Thanks for the valuable information and more techniques for my arsenal!


    • Ruth, you know it’s interesting what you share. My mother was with me the day my partner took his life, so she saw everything, too. It would be years later before we could really talk about it with each other. I didn’t want to re-traumatize her and she didn’t want to do the same with me. But when we did share, she told me that how she learned to cope (nighttime was the worse for her) was she would visualize the scene getting smaller and smaller each night, until it was the size of a pinhole. It did take some time but it was very effective.

      You wrote: “I’m wondering is this in any way similar to CBT? Are the same techniques used?”

      It would appear so. Mainstream cognitive behavioral therapy “helps individuals replace maladaptive… coping skills, cognitions, emotions and behaviors with more adaptive ones”, by challenging an individual’s way of thinking and the way that he/she reacts to certain habits or behaviors.” And CBT is goal-oriented.

      I’m so glad to read that you found effective tools to help you heal and recover from your traumas. I think I could have expedited the healing process had I not been conditioned in a negative way by evangelical Christianity, regarding meditation. I was told that eastern traditions, such as meditation and visualization practices were of the devil. I wouldn’t be the least bit surprised if you taught the same thing.


      • I was told that eastern traditions, such as meditation and visualization practices were of the devil. I wouldn’t be the least bit surprised if you taught the same thing.

        Hahaha! I did a post on yoga. Yes, I was taught that meditation was a gateway to demon possession. What rubbish!

        I definitely think I would have healed more quickly had I not been afraid of meditation. Using meditation I can sometimes catch myself before a fall in the hole. Just picture Wile E. Coyote with the wheels spinning to keep from going over the edge of a cliff. Yeah…that’s me.


        • Clearly, we are not the only ones who were fed such BS. Just another way to keep us enslaved to authoritarian religion. Or another term, as noted in the CBT link — “maladaptive thinking”. If you don’t mind, would you please share the link to your post about yoga?


        • “I was told that eastern traditions, such as meditation and visualization practices were of the devil.”


          How did you (or how does one) get over this indoctrinated aversion? And how did you (how does one) discern whether they are actually beneficial practices?


          • Gah, that was supposed to be a “blockquote” on the first line. Can make it show as a quote somehow? Then feel free to delete this comment. Thanks.

            I added quotes. For some reason the blockquote no longer works in the comment section of this blog. “Tis a mystery because it used to. I just haven’t bother asking a tech to check it out.


          • I’m not sure if you were asking me or Victoria?

            Either way, once I had given up my fear of hell I found it easier to try out some of these things. Now, to be perfectly honest, I don’t meditate in chants like with the eastern traditions. I do find it quite beneficial to clear my mind, relax, visualize my tasks, problems, or what have you, and then visualize the possible solutions, resolutions, etc.

            Sometimes when I meditate it’s just a complete emptying out of mental clutter. So I’ll fixate on some relaxing phrase, music, or even just the rhythm of my breathing until I’m relaxed. Stretching and then completely relaxing each muscle group and then visualizing them relaxed I can feel the muscles relaxing.

            As for how I discerned whether or not it was beneficial: I think each person has to decide that for themselves. I’ve found just sitting cross legged mumbling things isn’t very beneficial to me.


            • ” I’ve found just sitting cross legged mumbling things isn’t very beneficial to me.”

              I can so relate, lol. Besides that, I found neurtechnology that gets you there a lot faster than traditional meditation. I didn’t have 15 years to perfect the art quieting the mind.


              • ” I’ve found just sitting cross legged mumbling things isn’t very beneficial to me.”

                To be fair, maybe they understand those things that sound like mumbling to me so it’s beneficial to them? *shrug*

                But mumbling things I don’t understand; not so much. 😉


                • Heheh, we had our fair share of having to listen to “unknown tongues”.

                  Chanting (if that’s what you mean by mumbling) is simply a form of brainwave entrainment.


                  • we had our fair share of having to listen to ‘unknown tongues’” – so true, I still recall my ex-wife discussing “shoe shopping” —


                  • Heheh, we had our fair share of having to listen to “unknown tongues”.

                    I’m not entirely sure a lot of the “unknown tongues” I’ve been subjected to were very godly. 😉 Though I do remember when I was going through my deevorce some friends laid hands on me and one of them started praying in “tongues”. It was just weird to me.


                    • Ruth, it is weird — and I’m sorry, but some people who claim to have this “gift of the holy spirit” with the “evidence of speaking in tongues” have a self-righteous air about them. I can speak in tongues — indeed I can. You know why? Because I heard it a lot when I was a member for a couple of years at a tongue-speaking church — Assembly of God. I was a member of several Christian denominations through the years during my journey of searching for “truth”.


                    • This particular friend doesn’t have that air about her. She seems almost freaked out by it, herself. She’s also been “slain in the spirit’. She’s not even a member of a charismatic church, but she seems to have been exposed to this pentecostal type phenomena somewhere along the way.

                      She kept chanting the same phrase over and over again. When the whole thing was over I asked her if she knew what it meant. She did not. Nor did anyone else there (another friend and the woman’s husband).

                      I know what you’re talking about though. There are a lot of people who have this “gift” who deem anyone else who doesn’t have it unsaved. They don’t have the holy spirit if they don’t speak in tongues.

                      Weird is too mild a word.


                    • LOL — I haven’t heard the term “slain in the spirit” in a long time. After years of research, I call it a seizure. Though having a seizure doesn’t necessarily mean someone has epilepsy. After reviewing hours and hours of video footage of these pentecostal services I saw a lot of seizure activity. A LOT.


                    • I wonder when they have those “revivals” where there are mass “slayings” how that plays out. I’d probably be the one yelling, “WE NEED A MEDIC UP IN HERE!”


                    • Hahah — I would probably be thinking the same thing. But, in all honestly, I think a lot of those mass “slayings in the spirit” are a form of mass hysteria. Same thing when people say they got “drunk in the holy ghost”. Here’s a good example.

                      Did you ever hear of the Tanganyika laughter epidemic?

                      “The Tanganyika laughter epidemic of 1962 was an outbreak of mass hysteria, believed to have occurred in or near the village of Kashasha on the western coast of Lake Victoria in the modern nation of Tanzania near the border of Kenya. It is possible that, at the start of the incident, a joke was told in a boarding school, and that this joke triggered a small group of students to start laughing. The laughter perpetuated itself, far transcending its original cause. The school from which the epidemic sprang was shut down; the children and parents transmitted it to the surrounding area. Other schools, Kashasha itself, and another village, comprising thousands of people, were all affected to some degree. Six to eighteen months after it started, the phenomenon died off. The following symptoms were reported on an equally massive scale as the reports of the laughter itself: pain, fainting, respiratory problems, rashes, and attacks of crying.”



                    • I would guess that sensory overload could trigger a seizure.

                      “I can speak in tongues” – another fantasy bites the dust, I didn’t need to know that —


                    • “I would guess that sensory overload could trigger a seizure.”

                      Exactly, Arch.

                      “another fantasy bites the dust, I didn’t need to know that –”

                      LOL — My point being that I remember that BS language. When some holy roller comes up to me and tells me I need to be saved — I like to mess with their head and answer in their “unknown tongue”.



            • “I’m not sure if you were asking me or Victoria?”

              I’m happy to have answers from both of you, and anyone else who wants to chime in. Thanks. 🙂


          • It’s interesting that you ask, Ratamacue. I had to think about it for a while before responding. Looking back, I can’t believe how much this indoctrination had a hold on me. One of the manipulative techniques these authoritarian religions use is to make you fear the devil, and use your love for god (don’t want to come out from under the umbrella) — *waves to Ruth* 😉 — as a way to keep you from exploring ways to control your brain waves and thought life outside of memorizing scripture. It only serves to further wire (indoctrinate) you. Reinforcing and strengthening those neural connections/networks.

            But I never did start out using traditional meditation techniques. I used brainwave entrainment neurotechnology, such as isochronic tones, and this technology helped me get into a meditative, relaxed, focused state. I was plagued with mind chatter for the better part of my life, and entrainment helped to quiet my mind. After that, I started reading more about the benefits of meditation without trepidation, and science backs that up.

            “And how did you (how does one) discern whether they are actually beneficial practices?”

            When you start seeing the benefits you know. 🙂


            • Hi Victoria, thanks for your reply.

              May I ask you to elaborate on what you mean by “mind chatter”? I think I get the drift–and perhaps experience it too?–but I’d like to be more sure that I am understanding you.


              • “May I ask you to elaborate on what you mean by “mind chatter”?”

                The average person speaks to themselves at a rate of 300 to 1000 words per minute. That’s 5 to 17 words per second. Mind chatter is when the left hemisphere won’t shut up. Ever lie in bed and think about what you need to do tomorrow or think to yourself “I wished I had done or said such and such”? It’s been my experience that many people are not very aware of their own internal dialogs playing over and over. And yes, I said dialogs — multiple. When we take time to be still, they can become very apparent, which is why most people are more likely to hear the chatter when they are lying in bed in a quiet room. When we are busy doing something, your chatter is still there, we just are aware of it unless we take the time to become aware of it.

                So those 300 to 1000 words a minute are responsible for establishing neural connections. This is why what you think about is very important. If you are generally a worrier, those words in your mind will create neural pathways that will become reinforced by creating networks. I linked a video in my post, but I’ll post it here, as well. Two minutes:


      • Neuro, I realize you probably can’t answer this, as no one can assume what goes on in the minds of bureaucrats, but if there are so many verified mind-altering techniques out there, why aren’t they being used in prisons for rehabilitation?


        • Why? Because incarcerating people is profitable in the U.S. among investors. But not only that, the U.S. Department of Justice stats show that over 60% of people incarcerated have mental illness. A recent study came out showing that about half of teens between the ages of 16 and 18 suffered a traumatic brain injury before being locked up in a New York City jail.

          Prisons don’t rehabilitate people with mental illness and TBIs. In fact, violence experts state that prisons don’t rehabilitate, period. They make things worse.


          • incarcerating people is profitable in the U.S. among investors” – but since our tax dollars are paying for this, WE are the ultimate investors, and I sure ain’t gettin’ no annual dividend!


            • Nope, we are certainly not gettin’ no annual dividend. Crime has dropped significantly yet incarcerations have risen significantly. Slavery is still alive and well in the U.S.

              “The private contracting of prisoners for work fosters incentives to lock people up. Prisons depend on this income. Corporate stockholders who make money off prisoners’ work lobby for longer sentences, in order to expand their workforce. The prison industry complex is one of the fastest-growing industries in the United States and its investors are on Wall Street. “This multimillion-dollar industry has its own trade exhibitions, conventions, websites, and mail-order/Internet catalogs. It also has direct advertising campaigns, architecture companies, construction companies, investment houses on Wall Street, plumbing supply companies, food supply companies, armed security, and padded cells in a large variety of colors.”

              According to the Left Business Observer, the federal prison industry produces 100% of all military helmets, ammunition belts, bullet-proof vests, ID tags, shirts, pants, tents, bags, and canteens. Along with war supplies, prison workers supply 98% of the entire market for equipment assembly services; 93% of paints and paintbrushes; 92% of stove assembly; 46% of body armor; 36% of home appliances; 30% of headphones/microphones/speakers; and 21% of office furniture. Airplane parts, medical supplies, and much more: prisoners are even raising seeing-eye dogs for blind people. ”


              • Wow – I can see that evolving into privatizing of police and fire protection, and eventually into SkyNet! How does one turn it off?


    • Your hole-digging sounds like the K-Ross Transition Curve. Simple, but descriptive and clear.

      One of the things that helped me in viewing everything differently was an MBA component on creative management. I went to a taster for the course and was hooked. The first part of the course is about managing yourself – the rest goes on to organisational and external management – but we learned a lot of good techniques, including visualisation, about mentally dealing with different situations, and about ourselves.

      Right now, I’m tending to look ahead. Not to wish time away, but rather than worrying about surgery (for example) I think rather, by this time tomorrow this will be over. Or in five hours time, I will be back on the ward, and out of anaesthesia. It works for me. I was offered sleeping tablets the night before the op! I refused, went to sleep at the usual time, woke up early as usual, and apart from no food, followed my usual morning routine. Wash, read, and wait for op. All the time fixing on that point in time when I would be back in bed. And so it was.

      Which is to say, whatever works for any of us is worth using, and being receptive to new ones we don’t know about.

      Sorry, gone on a bit, as I read down before I answered this. I liked Victoria’s mother’s pinhole too. That was what made me mention thinking ahead, and not visualising me on the operating table with blood all over and metal bits being inserted. It’s really a response to you both.


      • I’m a visual person. I tend to visualize everything from design to resolution. When I have a problem I mentally visualize the possible resolutions and outcomes. There is typically some resolution I ‘see’ that I’m satisfied with and so begin to put into motion the steps to achieve the outcome.

        For instance, the hole I recently found myself in, I was in a depression for a minute (still mildly am, but only mildly so), then I began to think about the things I could do, the things I have control over, and I’ve begun to implement those things. I can’t control other people and all situations. What I do have control over is myself, my actions, my behavior. And so, that is what I do.

        I have serenity knowing that I will have the courage to change the things that I can, I will accept the things I cannot change, and I do have the wisdom to know the difference.

        It might take me a time or two to try to change something that isn’t mine to change, but it usually doesn’t take me long to figure it out.


        • I visualise a lot. My mind is full of pictures, never words. It’s like a non-stop cinema screen.

          One if the other techniques was about (career related) visualising yourself where you wanted to be, otherwise you had no chance of getting there. But it applies to life. My mother told me my ideas about living in Spain were castles in the air.

          Serenity, courage and wisdom eh? One of the shod-related quotes I like. Oops, my iPad didn’t like God and changed it to shod … Heretic iPad.

          However I like your re-interpretation of it. Very much. It will be stolen. And that’s about the only passing acquaintance you’ll get from me on Xianity apart from school hymns.

          Putting yourself in charge is a lot more satisfying and stimulating than waiting for God(ot) isn’t it?


          • You noticed I left ol’ shod out of it, did you? 😉


          • One of the shod-related quotes I like. Oops, my iPad didn’t like God and changed it to shod … Heretic iPad.

            One thing I’ve noticed is that whenever God’s name is invoked the workmanship seems a bit shoddy.

            Putting yourself in charge is a lot more satisfying and stimulating than waiting for God(ot) isn’t it?

            If I’ve learned anything it’s this: If you ain’t the lead dog the view never changes. And you catch a lot of shit.


            • Reminds me of the various quotations on the lines of ‘if you want to run with the big dogs’. You can interpret these on whatever lines you like, but so many are about growing up, mentally, character-wise, accepting responsibilities, and, back to non-shod 😉 – having the courage to make our own lives. However short they are. Once you realise there is no eternity, best to make the most of the short life we have.


              • “Once you realise there is no eternity, best to make the most of the short life we have.”

                Hear, hear. I also think that when one has this attitude one tends to be more empathic.


              • “….having the courage to make our own lives.”

                Right, I did want to clarify that anything I’ve said here about being the lead dog or whatever pertains to pulling my own sled and letting other people pull theirs. It’s not our job to change or control anybody else. They’ve got their own choices to make.


                • Do I need to say that I didn’t take it any other way? Just that you personally were trying to get away from the crap in your life.

                  Too many metaphors, but interesting. As I say, you can interpret most things how you want.


      • Also, I know that everyone isn’t visual like that. I see a ‘dump’ and I don’t see a ‘dump’. I see what that dump can be. Which isn’t always a good thing, maybe? Because sometimes a dump is just a damn dump.

        I’m having an aha moment here….

        Anyway, I don’t really know how people who aren’t visual handle this type of thing and maybe that’s why, for them, life is a bit more chaotic?


      • Kate, I think that what you did, not visualizing yourself on the operating table and such, was a great strategy and no doubt helped in curtailing unnecessary and often toxic stress hormones, though what you had already been through was stressful enough.

        “but we learned a lot of good techniques, including visualisation, about mentally dealing with different situations, and about ourselves. “

        That is fantastic.

        “Which is to say, whatever works for any of us is worth using, and being receptive to new ones we don’t know about. “

        I couldn’t agree more.


        • I’m not bring entirely honest. The home movie did flicker there and got instantly switched off. And I did consider (but not watch on screen) DVT and PE. I’ve written enough patient information to know it’s a standard risk if a low chance. I took out an insurance policy (sic) which means I wrote a list of things to do for partner if I didn’t come round.

          One of the techniques I find helpful is reframing. So, if I died on the operating table, I wouldn’t have to complete the list of things to do. And, as I was under anaesthetic, I’d know nothing about it. Two good things 🙂 not that I wanted to die, but there are always different ways to look at things. Anyway, now I’m left with the bloody list of things to do!

          And my last comment was about being interested in the posts you write as it is a totally new field to me. I know you’ve posted some before and given links, but I hope you continue, it’s a lot to take in from scratch. Well, it is for me. 😀


  2. Although many blogposts are well worth reading, few are worth preserving for future reference. I bookmarked this.


  3. First, I’m so sorry for what you had to experience with the suicide of your husband. I’ve had a suicide in my family, and knowing about it was hard enough; experiencing something so terrible first-hand is quite another. I also wanted to say what an insightful piece this is. You’ve offered up something very personal to provide context and a connection, then adeptly explained the science behind it. Recently, I wrote about a mini panic attack I had last week, right before entering a burning building with the fire department — and how a fellow firefighter had once told me those kinds of feelings are normal in a situation like that. He told me once in a while the rational part of your brain comes to the surface and says, “Hey, there’s FIRE in there!” You have to override the rational part of your brain in order to do the irrational, which in this case is running into a fire. When I remembered that, it made sense and helped me to regain my composure with some deep breathing. It’s only happened to me twice in my five years as a volunteer, but your piece this morning added another layer of understanding. Thanks for that 😉


    • Ned —
      Wrong on SO many levels to break into Neuro’s thread to say this, but that’s never stopped me before. I promised you I’d read your blog, and I’ve been slowly doing that. Just wanted you to know – since you seem to have no space there for comments – that I laughed, I cried, and I may have even peed myself a little. You’re almost as funny as I like to delude myself into believing I am.


    • Ned, I got butterflies in my tummy reading this. I highly recommend that documentary “The Brain” linked in the post. You are really going to relate to it. These Navy Seal recruits learned the same thing. Your fellow firefighter is a very wise person — and yes, those kinds of feelings are normal, absolutely. I hope you’ll watch it. It’s around 16 minutes. The pool (training) scene towards the end is especially interesting and highlights what your fellow firefighter said. I really appreciate you sharing about your own personal experiences, and I’m profoundly sorry to read about you losing a family member to suicide. Thank you for your caring words. 🙂


  4. Excellent piece. I will read this over and over and implement the techniques you describe. Thanks.


  5. you are a wealth of information, Victoria. I am actually listening to the isochronic tones you sent me last time as I type this…lol. I am trying not to nap, though, although I want to…ah well, progress not perfection.

    I can’t speak to the indoctrination stuff, although I did go to Roman Catholic schools in my youth and partook of all that stuff. I never clutched onto the teachings in any way, so when I got caught up in my drinking ways, things like heaven and hell were abstract things. I never felt or thought about Jesus, or the Devil or anything like that. I have always felt there was something out there, but didn’t investigate it. Was too busy poisoning my body, mind and spirit.

    What you speak about here, and in what you have so generously have showed me as of late, is something that I wouldn’t have been too open about not so long ago. It’s like the running for me – never interested in it until one day I just was. It was an opening. And what you speak about here and in your other posts is stuff that I am open to, namely the brainwave entrainment, etc. I know I told you I did one session and felt different. So I continue to to that (not every day – I would be lying if I said that), but often, and it’s helped me. And I know it’s just the tip of the iceberg!

    Anyway, thanks for this…and wow, you seem to be everywhere these days – lucky us 🙂



    • you are a wealth of information, Victoria” – indeed she is, a regular suppository —


    • Paul, we meet again. Thank you for always delivering the goods — lots and lots of endorphins. 😀

      And I’m glad you didn’t get indoctrinated. Spirituality can certainly be beneficial, but there are not many benefits to authoritarian religions. They recruit for filthy lucre’s sake. Having a sense of community would be one of the benefits of organized religion. But it often comes at a great cost if you buy into the teachings about hell, punishment, demons, tribalism, blind faith, obedience, or being condemned for not following Jesus and his OT daddy, etc. I’ve been raked over the coals for coming across as anti-religion when exposing the negative aspects of religion, but I make no apologies in the advocacy work I do. Religious beliefs that cause harm, especially to innocent children who have no voice or choice, should be exposed.

      I’m so glad you are open-minded about the entrainment. It really had a profound effect on me and my well being. I was quite skeptical at first, so I knew it wasn’t a placebo effect. You’re right about it being just the tip of the iceberg. Lots more to come, you just wait and see.



  6. Sam Harris has some good resources and also a book coming out.

    Mindfulness meditation has been really helpful for me in the month or so I have been doing it. Thanks for posting this.


    • Michael, it’s great to see you. I really enjoy Harris’ blog, especially his pro-spirituality articles. As he mentioned, authoritarian religions tainted the meaning of spirituality. Also unfortunate was that some New Agers tainted it with a lot of woo woo. I appreciate the link. I’m glad to read that mindfulness meditation has been helpful for you. There’s a lot of research about benefits, not only for individuals but for humanity. 🙂

      Thanks for stopping by and commenting.


      • I made it the topic for my final project in the Wellness class I just completed this semester, so I have been able to do a lot of research on it recently. There’s no magic to it, and I don’t expect miracle cures, but it’s good to know it isn’t just so much woo. I have even looked a little deeper into some aspects of Dzogchen, per Harris’ suggestion. Fascinating stuff but I’m far from an expert on any of it.


  7. First of all I truly admire how you can write about your husband’s suicide the way you did (I guess ‘honestly’ in each and every way best describes it in my opinion). Sometimes experiences in life are so traumatic it’s almost as if there’s some kind of taboo about talking about them publicly or online. I for one am glad you told your story, including the many uncomfortable details that I think a lot of people can appreciate, for sometimes life just can be awful and there’s no need to deny that in any way; there’s a lot of comfort in truth…
    Second the insights in your posts were very exciting (I used to be a psychologist, but that was a long time ago, so I kinda feel like I’m studying for an exam again when I read your work;))
    Third, I find it disturbing how much religion still affects people in a way that ends up harming them. Your article poignantly shows us how this has affected your life. While I personally have nothing against spirituality or spiritual treatment, I was very disturbed by what happened to your husband. I should hope your writing may reach those that can be prevented from going down a similar road.

    Thanks for the experience that was reading this article;)


    • Arend, I was quite moved by your comment and thoughtfulness. I couldn’t agree more with your assertion that sometimes experiences in life are so traumatic it’s almost as if there’s some kind of taboo to talk about them publicly or online. But people long to connect, and sometimes have a need to relate. When I first opened up about my experiences I was stunned when I started getting flooded with emails from people who had had similar experiences or knew someone else who had. I agree — there’s a lot of comfort in truth. Numbing our limbic system in order to keep us from feeling fully the reality that life sucks sometimes, does not benefit us in the long run.

      Like you, I have nothing against spirituality. What I do take issue with are the ones who market spirituality in a way that does more harm than good. But exposing the harm is still considered taboo in most religious/spiritual cultures, including the U.S.

      “I’m studying for an exam again when I read your work;))”

      Hahaha — I am not fond of exams. You are brave visiting these here parts. 😀

      Thanks so much for taking the time to share your thoughts. I savor your in-depth comments.


      • Thanks for the lovely comment to my comment.
        I really like the phrase ‘numbing the limbic system’. I guess that really sums up nicely what lies at the core of a lot of mental disorders. (I don’t mean that to sound demeaning, though when I read it back I get the feeling it does…maybe that’s because there’s still a bit of a taboo on the word ‘mental disorder’ too:S)

        I’m glad your responses have been positive and, hopefully, strengthening. I for one am glad I found your site. I think you offer very exciting reads; my limbic system seems to like it;)


        • I just realized that I wrote “I could agree” rather than “I couldn’t agree more”. I’ve edited it. Btw, I didn’t take your comment regarding mental disorders as you sounding demeaning. From my angle I was meaning that people find ways to calm down their overactive limbic system — find various methods to release dopamine such as overeating, substance abuse, religion — to numb their fears, or perceived fears from their thoughts. And what I meant by it doing more harm than good is obvious when looking at it from that angle. With regard to authoritarian religions, pharmacological studies show that religion plays a major role in releasing dopamine — and the stronger the belief the more dopamine.

          But the down side is that they may be numbing themselves to curtail the fears that their beliefs/religion brings to the table, like a god who is watching their every move 24/7 and that hell and eternal punishment could be the possible outcome when they die. That does mess with the psyche on a subconscious level, and while they may not be aware of their internal dialog and thought-life, those dialogs-thoughts are reinforcing neural connections and networks in the limbic system. But what I also found interesting and disconcerting was this study: Quote:

          “Significantly greater hippocampal atrophy was observed for participants reporting a life-changing religious experience. Significantly greater hippocampal atrophy was also observed from baseline to final assessment among born-again Protestants, Catholics, and those with no religious affiliation, compared with Protestants not identifying as born-again. These associations were not explained by psychosocial or demographic factors, or baseline cerebral volume. Hippocampal volume has been linked to clinical outcomes, such as depression, dementia, and Alzheimer’s Disease. The findings of this study indicate that hippocampal atrophy in late life may be uniquely influenced by certain types of religious factors.”

          And there’s a large body of research showing that conservatives in the U.S. tend to have increased gray matter volume in the amygdala. Conservatives in America also tend to be more religious, more “born again” religious, and from the study it states that these findings support recent evidence that conservatives show greater sensitivity to threatening stimuli.

          Arend, thanks for reading my ramblings, and I really appreciate your feedback and encouraging words. I’m glad our paths crossed, too. 🙂


          • What I’m about to suggest Neuro, is, if considered, going to make more work for you, but hey, you weren’t doing anything anyway, right?

            When it comes to research, I’ve already acknowledged, multiple times, that you are Queen of the Quotes, and as I was reading your last comment, I found myself asking myself where I could paste those links so that I could find them again, but then I had a light-bulb moment. On Nate’s blog, “Finding Truth,” he has created a section specifically devoted to telling visitors how to use HTML to format various components of their comments. What if you were to create a page that listed all of your links, along with, say, a one-sentence description of what the link refers to – that way, if we bookmark that page, and you continue to add to it, we don’t have to search through all of your posts and subsequent comments to find the information you’ve been so generous as to provide.

            I’d be glad to help – i could stand on the sidelines and yell, “Go Neuro!”


        • A. van – it’s the dopamine, we’re all hopelessly hooked.


  8. The tragedy you suffered…holy shit.

    I don’t know what else to say, besides thanks for your willingness to share.


    • Ratamacue — thank you. One of the things that makes it hard to share is that it can make people feel awkward, and like you said, leave one feeling like they don’t know what to say. I am reminded of the song by Gloria Estefon, Always Tomorrow. These trials in my life have helped me embrace what ever comes my way; savor each moment of the day; and love as many people as I can along the way. 🙂


      • I’m OK with me not knowing what to say, as long as you are OK with me not knowing. I just wanted you to know that I read it, it was moving, I appreciate it, and I feel for you.

        Hmm, maybe I’m not so speechless after all? 😉 Still feels it, though.


  9. That SEAL training should be publicised. We humans need this kind of information – techniques – freely available.


  10. Great post. I’m so sorry for your tragic experience. Fear is so debilitating. I was also raised Catholic, but the doctrine never sank in. I went along with it only because that’s what my family expected of me. So, it was easy for me to cast it off altogether in high school.


    • Thank you Robert. I left the RCC when I was 18, too. But because my partner had sustained a TBI in a specific region of his brain, this led to temporal lobe seizures, which led to a sudden religious experience (clinical term) which led to him becoming hyperreligious (also a clinical term). I didn’t know much about any of this at the time and because I was vulnerable from the trauma from the suicide and having just had a baby, I got sucked in. Authoritarian religions prey on the vulnerable.


  11. Wow, these are very deep waters. I’m going to read in more detail tomorrow. Thanks for posting – I can only imagine the struggle involved…


    • Hi Matt, thanks for taking the time to read and comment. 🙂


      • OK, I’ve read it all more thoroughly now. Very interesting. I am familiar with the SEAL methods, and I first read them in police officer training manuals for surviving high risk patrol, back in the days when I was heavily involved in martial arts training.

        I think the part that was most interesting to me was your autobiographical discussion about suicide and trauma. Course, we’ve exchanged on this before, but the imagery used here was quite visceral. Hard to escape the past.

        Your path out seems to be one of “looking the bull in the eyes” and searching for more solid/better answers. I have to say, at a couple of points, things you said made me hearken back to Bruce Lee. I don’t know if you’ve ever spent time reading him, but you might resonate. 🙂


        • Matt, thank you so much for your feedback — and I appreciate the insight about “looking the bull in the eyes” and searching for more solid/better answers. Solid/better answers I found, indeed. The journey was a long one, but I did finally reach my destination. 🙂

          “I have to say, at a couple of points, things you said made me hearken back to Bruce Lee. I don’t know if you’ve ever spent time reading him, but you might resonate.”

          Do you mind bringing to my attention what points, things I said made you hearken back to Bruce Lee, and do you have any suggestions on what I should read or watch by him?


  12. Big hugs, V. Your grace and honesty are breathtaking.

    This post is one of your best yet, I think. It just may change my life.
    I think I’ll be back to comment more later…


  13. Thanks Victoria for such an educational post.


  14. I’ll have to remember these when my little social anxieties show up.

    I am sorry to hear about your partner, by the way.


  15. Hi Victoria

    What a good and well-crafted post. Very well thought through.

    In vague chron order:

    So many people believing in a literal devil and hell? Groan. I know, you’ve explained it before. But still. I can understand the vague concept of hell and The Devil, but a real animated eternal creature with a pointy tale and a fork? And eternal fires of hell? Where do people think it is? Aaaaaagh!

    And as for Scalia. Who, who, would want to come up in front of him with his biased beliefs?

    Secondly, your experience of your partners suicide is horrific. To pick yourself out of that, was one hell (!) of an achievement. Difficult, but you’ve proved not impossible. I know you’ve told me about it before, but I’d still like to say how sorry I am that you – and your mother – went through it. And also, that your partner didn’t get correct medical treatment after his horrific accident. That he felt the need to go for spiritual training is such a let-down of our society.

    As for your explanation of how our brains work, I think we have all heard of how we can react in situations of fear, but your detailed explanation sheds so much more light on this. Thank you for sharing your experience and knowledge on this hugely difficult, complex, but fascinating subject.

    I commented on the conversation between you and Ruth but I wanted to add a separate comment about the post itself.


  16. Hi Kate,

    Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts and for your thoughtfulness. Meant a lot. As far as the pointy tale and fork, I think that most who believe in the devil may not actually see him that way, but I do recall that imagery being instilled in me as a child. Also, it boggles my mind that a person who sits in the highest court in the land and plays a major role in determining the fate of millions and millions of people promotes the belief of Satan and then tries to make the interviewer seem like he’s the crazy one for not believing. What kind of role model is he, not only for adults but for children? He lives in a fantasy world.

    “I know you’ve told me about it before, but I’d still like to say how sorry I am that you – and your mother – went through it.”

    Thank you. I do have trepidations in sharing because I do not want what I share to be perceived as me wanting sympathy, though I’m always touched when someone goes out of their way to express compassion. I share because TBI’s and neurological disorders are very common, and religion is cashing in on it. I want to bring awareness of this psychological abuse that is very harmful. There are hundreds of thousands of deliverance ministries (Protestants claiming to have the power of Jesus to cast out demons from people) throughout the world, and last May, the Catholic Church’s top exorcist called for all priests to be allowed to conduct the ritual of exorcism.

    He claims to have cast out 160,000 demons from people. J. de Tonquedec. a psychologist and the official exorcist of the diocese of Paris for over 20 years (now deceased), doubted that he ever found a real case. He wrote:

    “Exorcism is an impressive ceremony, capable of acting effectively on the unconscious of a sick person. The adjurations addressed to the demon, the sprinkling of holy water, the stole passed around the patient’s neck, the repeated signs of the cross and so forth, are very capable of creating a diabolical mythomania in word and deed in a psyche already weak. Call the devil and you will see him; or rather not him, but a portrait made of the sick person’s idea of him. It is for this reason that certain priests, due to their inconsiderate and imprudent practice of exorcising, create, confirm and encourage the very disorders that they want to suppress.”

    I am stunned that this barbaric and inhumane practice is still legal, especially knowing that it does cause enormous harm and takes lives. Dr. Scott Lilenfield wrote: “Exorcism is the most dangerous hoax in treating mental illness.”

    I don’t plan on shutting up about it anytime soon, and if I have to continue to use my own personal story — so be it. I live in a fear-based culture and I hope that what I share here will benefit others.


  17. Pingback: How I Overcame Fear Using Mental Training Techniques | Human Relationships

  18. Hi Victoria – great stuff as usual – thanks for posting all this great information! I’ve used these techniques before and found them very helpful in many areas. The positive self-talk is always helpful especially when I run laps in the morning.

    I’ve never heard of entrainment, so I’m especially looking forward to any posts you’ll do about that.

    I have a post in draft on my blog that partially relates – not really any techniques like you’ve detailed here, but just a general post about anxiety regarding religion. I’ve been waiting until my family and I are done with our summer vacation to post it.


  19. Hey Howie,

    And thank you for your feedback. Yes, future posts will include entrainment methodology. It’s interesting that you have a post in draft about anxiety regarding religion. I used entrainment to help me curtail some of that anxiety and stress related to religion. I used it to help rewire my brain due to religious indoctrination. I look forward to reading your post when it’s published.

    Hope you and your family are having a fantastical time on vacation. 🙂


  20. Pingback: The Unknowable Is Not Worth The Worry | Truth Is Elusive

  21. This is really interesting, Victoria. The tools you list could fit very well with Emotional Freedom Technique, whereby hardwired mis-thinking is addressed through visualization while tapping through meridian points. It works to clear both emotional and physical distress. With deep seated problems it helps to see a qualified EFT practitioner first, but the method literally puts the power to self-heal/find relief into people’s own hands. Stanford Engineer, Gary Craig refined the EFT method, and psychotherapists such as Dr Pat Carrington have refined it further e.g. in her case by adding in the ‘choices method’ which is equivalent to goal setting once some of the limiting beliefs have been cleared.

    A good example of the practice in a non-clinical setting is Brad Yates. He has loads of vids on YouTube that cover all manner of limiting beliefs. With some people the process can produce fast results. With others it may take continuous and dedicated practice over a period of time. Effectiveness appears to relate to how well you can tune back into the event/trauma, and to be very specific about your feelings i.e. running the mental movie of the situation. If this is something very deep and painful then, as I said, a qualified practitioner should be the starting point.

    Liked by 1 person

  22. You are strong for sharing this and I am so glad that you are learning to overcome the fear and the anxiety from that awful time 😞 I send hugs your way!
    I am also so glad you shared this because I am going to try this myself. My deductible is too high to afford therapy and I refuse to take medication (because of fear of what it might do to alter me). So I am left with self-help. So your sharing this helps people like me and I appreciate that 😊 I suffer from social anxiety disorder and a slew of other things- but the fear from anxiety of interaction in daily life alone is staggering 😔 I do not tell people I know outside blogging because there is still such a stigma with mental illness and a part of me feels I have to hide that part of me (the part that society thinks is weak).

    Liked by 1 person

    • “I do not tell people I know outside blogging because there is still such a stigma with mental illness and a part of me feels I have to hide that part of me (the part that society thinks is weak).”

      I’m so sorry to read that you struggle with social anxiety, and I agree that there is a stigma associated with mental illness. It’s such a shame that the very organ that should be getting the most attention and care in the medical community is at the bottom of the list, and many insurance companies don’t carry coverage for mental health care or, like you said, the deductible is too high, so people can’t seek the help they need.

      I’m happy to read that my post help you in some way, if anything, was encouraging. Thank you for your thoughtful words, and for the hug. *hugs back* ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  23. Pingback: Why Politicians and Religious Leaders Get In Bed With Your Limbic System | Victoria N℮ür☼N☮☂℮ṧ

  24. Reblogged this on rogerwillismills and commented:
    Approximately 56% of Americans surveyed believe in the devil, 53% believe in hell and 43% believe in hell as a place of suffering and punishment. In an interview in New York Magazine, with U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, he stated that he believed in the devil (Satan).
    “You do?”
    “Of course! Yeah, he’s a real person. Hey, c’mon, that’s standard Catholic doctrine! Every Catholic believes that.”
    “Every Catholic believes this? There’s a wide variety of Catholics out there …”
    “If you are faithful to Catholic dogma, that is certainly a large part of it.”
    “Isn’t it terribly frightening to believe in the Devil?”
    Scalia’s reply:
    “You’re looking at me as though I’m weird. My God! Are you so out of touch with most of America, most of which believes in the Devil? I mean, Jesus Christ believed in the Devil! It’s in the Gospels! You travel in circles that are so, so removed from mainstream America that you are appalled that anybody would believe in the Devil!”

    Liked by 1 person

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