Happiness at What Price? By Melody Brooke, Motivational Speaker, Conlfict Coach, Author#
by Melody Brooke, MA, Conflict Coach, Motivational Speaker
Sadness Phobia
This past week there was a great article in Newsweek about the value of sadness. Funny thing is that of course, depression and "sadness" are not the same thing. We have become so phobic of depression that we obsessively label anyone with normal sadness, stress or grief as being depressed. We even say that about ourselves don't we?
When we get down we say to our friends "I'm a little depressed today." Depression is such a catch all word. What does it really mean? In the DSM for clinicians it means more than a bit of sadness or even prolonged grief. Depression is when we lose the capacity to function at normal levels for prolonged periods... not weeks, but months or more. When we can't sleep, can't eat, lose interest in our favorite activities and lose awareness of our appearance and it goes on for months; that's depression.
Showing Sadness
When we allow our sadness to be seen by others, we risk being labeled as "unhealthy" or "depressed" when what we are feeling is NORMAL. Isn't it normal to be upset if our cat dies or we lose our jobs? Isn't it normal to grieve for a loved one over a period of years? What happens if we don't allow ourselves these feelings?
I read something recently about a new trend in Japan among business managers. Japanese workers are REQUIRED to keep a smile on their faces at all times. The result is that the incidence of depression, anxiety disorders, suicidality and alcoholism have radically increased.
Our bodies are designed to release the the pain we feel through our tears. Tears actually release toxins created from the pain. Tears from watery eyes are not the same, chemically, as tears from pain or sadness. When we stuff these feelings and or pretend they are not there, the result is like a toxic waste dump in our bodies creating stress and illness in that show up as a variety of illnesses.
Being sad or suffering from grief is what makes us human!
My clients often feel they are "wrong" for feeling sad about sad things. Yet isn't this what separates us from the psychopaths of the world? Because we can feel sadness when something horrid happens, we know we have heart. How would you feel about someone talking about the shootings in Northern Illinois with no sadness about them? Someone who could hear of horrors like these and not feel something is missing a piece of their humanity.
Isn't this what we do to ourselves?
We limit our own ability to process or grief and sadness when we tell ourselves we "shouldn't" feel something we feel. This week a friend of mine said, "I was driving home from work today and just started crying. I don't know what is wrong with me." Yet this very friend was going through a painful divorce, moving into a new home and having to deal with her children blaming her for the divorce, and her mother died last spring. I said, "Your are kidding me! You have every reason in the world to feel sad. I want to cry just thinking about what you are going through."
When we minimize or deny our very real sadness we set ourselves up for depression. Depression, as it turns out, is less about being sad than it is not being able to BE sad. When we keep ourselves from having our sadness we are much more at risk of depression. 
Let yourself cry!
Allow yourself to have your feelings, and better still, let yourself cry on someone's shoulder. A man I know recently realized the career choices he had made have limited him so much he now feels trapped. He turned to me and said "I just want to drive up to my sister's have have her hold me while I cry." "Do it!" I told him. This would be the healthiest thing he could do for himself. Oh, wow, this changes everything, when we let ourselvs feel our pain.
Therapy is largely about helping clients connect with and release the feelings they have stored up in their bodies perhaps for a lifetime. Therapy works as well as antidepressants for depression, and it's effects last longer.
But you may not need therapy, you may just need the shoulder of someone who loves you.
Do you let yourself cry?
Let me know what you think. Is it too hard for you to let loose with your tears? If so, what do you think this has cost you? Maybe you think these emotions are best avoided. Let me know, comment below.

Saturday, February 16, 2008 2:59:34 PM (Central Standard Time, UTC-06:00) #    Comments [0]  | 
Empathy on OPRAH by Melody Brooke, MA, LPC, Conflict Coach, Speaker#
by Melody Brooke, MA, Conflict Coach, Motivational Speaker
Empathy requires us to step out of our shoes to see things from another's eyes. Some of us do it too much, what happens then?
Thursday, February 14, 2008 8:22:13 AM (Central Standard Time, UTC-06:00) #    Comments [0]  | 
Patty Hearst Wins at Westminster! by Melody Brooke, Conflict Coach, Speaker, Author#
by Melody Brooke, MA, Conflict Coach, Motivational Speaker
Good for Patty! She has overcome a horror that is surreal and now look at her. What makes personalities split like hers, like Herschel Walker and others?
Tuesday, February 12, 2008 9:51:30 AM (Central Standard Time, UTC-06:00) #    Comments [0]  | 
My Article on Helium.com by Melody Brooke, Conflict Coach, Author, Speaker#
by Melody Brooke, MA, Conflict Coach, Motivational Speaker
Melody's article is available on today front page of Helium.com. Check it out. It's relevent to PTSD and Veterans.
Monday, February 11, 2008 3:53:19 PM (Central Standard Time, UTC-06:00) #    Comments [0]  | 
The Picking of a President by Melody Brooke, Conflict Coach, Speaker, Author#
by Melody Brooke, MA, Conflict Coach, Motivational Speaker
We select our president hoping for a hero. What happens when he turns out not to be one? What does he become? Can we pick a president based on something else, something more human?
Sunday, February 10, 2008 10:16:56 PM (Central Standard Time, UTC-06:00) #    Comments [0]  | 
Heath Ledger's Tragic End by Melody Brooke, Speaker, Trainer, Author#
by Melody Brooke, MA, Conflict Coach, Motivational Speaker
Heath should not have ended up this way. He was talented and in pain. How does our way of coping with pain affect everything?
Saturday, February 09, 2008 3:44:38 PM (Central Standard Time, UTC-06:00) #    Comments [0]  | 
Blame seems to have started this tragedy, and it appears to be the defenses case as well. What does blame do and why do we engage in it?
Friday, February 08, 2008 8:29:23 PM (Central Standard Time, UTC-06:00) #    Comments [0]  | 
My Take on Britney Spears by Melody Brooke, MA, Author, Speaker, Relationship Coach#
by Melody Brooke, MA, Conflict Coach, Motivational Speaker
The different sides of Britney appear as a consistent set of roles typical to Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID). Does she have this disorder? Is she that different, in some ways, from the rest of us?
Thursday, February 07, 2008 10:00:44 AM (Central Standard Time, UTC-06:00) #    Comments [3]  | 
Man Stomped Baby to Death a Monster?#
by Melody Brooke, MA, Conflict Coach, Motivational Speaker
When someone does something this horrific how do we respond? Do we think of them as a monster and have no empathy? What really happened to this man?
Tuesday, February 05, 2008 10:54:27 AM (Central Standard Time, UTC-06:00) #    Comments [0]  | 
Vatican Encourages Exorcisms#
by Melody Brooke, MA, Conflict Coach, Motivational Speaker
The Holly See now encourages the practice of exorcisms among priests. What are "demonic possessions? Is it really Dissociative Identity Disorder? Could any of us be "possessed?
Monday, February 04, 2008 8:40:48 AM (Central Standard Time, UTC-06:00) #    Comments [3]  | 
Suicide Rate Up Among Soldiers in 2007#
by Melody Brooke, MA, Conflict Coach, Motivational Speaker
Vets suffering from PTSD often return home in terrible shape and little support, resulting in abhorrent behavior. They attempt suicide, they beat their wives and their children, and are generally violent and angry. What happens if someone else has these behaviors? Could we consider that they may be in pain too?
Sunday, February 03, 2008 7:07:26 PM (Central Standard Time, UTC-06:00) #    Comments [0]  | 
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