LaLa

Recommended TED(x) talks and The School of life videos

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A very positive example of psychological interventions in areas in crisis and war:

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When Jungian analyst Inge Missmahl visited Afghanistan, she saw the inner wounds of war -- widespread despair, trauma and depression. And yet, in this county of 30 million people, there were only two dozen psychiatrists. Missmahl talks about her work helping to build the country's system of psychosocial counseling, promoting both individual and, perhaps, national healing.

By building psychosocial care into the primary health care system in Afghanistan, Inge Missmahl offers hope to a society traumatized by decades of conflict and insecurity.

 

 

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Leslie Morgan Steiner: Why domestic violence victims don't leave

Leslie Morgan Steiner is the author of Crazy Love, a memoir about her marriage to a man who routinely abused and threatened her. In it she describes the harrowing details that unfolded unexpectedly -- from the moment she met a warm, loving, infatuated man on the subway, to the moment he first laid a hand on her, when he grabbed her neck just days before their wedding.

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Meg Jay: Why 30 is not the new 20

Clinical psychologist Meg Jay has a bold message for twentysomethings: Contrary to popular belief, your 20s are not a throwaway decade. In this provocative talk, Jay says that just because marriage, work and kids are happening later in life, doesn’t mean you can’t start planning now. She gives 3 pieces of advice for how twentysomethings can re-claim adulthood in the defining decade of their lives.

In her book "The Defining Decade," Meg Jay suggests that many twentysomethings feel trivialized during what is actually the most transformative — and defining — period of our adult lives.

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This isn't a TED talk, but maybe I can post it here...

I think mainly the ideas about asking for help or assistance (about the social context etc.) could be applied to asking for help or assistance with mental problems, too. Maybe people who feel reluctant to ask for such help could benefit from hearing this (?). But, of course, the dialogue is interesting for other reasons, too.

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Not really a talk, this is a kind of poem:

http://ed.ted.com/featured/p04GkF0j

Have you ever been bullied? Do you know someone who has been bullied? Are you a bully? Find out how bullying touches us all and get involved so that you can help stop bullying in your community and around the world.

But it's not only about this topic...

Here is an actual talk;

I recommend other texts from this poet, too. For instance:

P.S.: Sorry for not being present on the forum; now I only stopped by for sharing this...

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P.S.: Sorry for not being present on the forum; now I only stopped by for sharing this...

i hope it's because you're doing well.

take care.

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i hope it's because you're doing well.

take care.

Thank you, resolute.

Honestly, I wouldn't say that, but I'm well aware of the fact that I'm doing much better than too many people, including most of the active members of this community :(. Sometimes I'm "too negative" (in my thoughts) myself, so I don't feel like having anything to offer to those expressing their suffering here...

I do feel selfish due to it, but... I just prefer to "be silent" :o.

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https://www.ted.com/playlists/175/the_struggle_of_mental_health

https://www.ted.com/playlists/65/personal_tales_from_the_edge_o

For instance:

https://www.ted.com/...uicide_and_life

As a member of the California Highway Patrol with assignments including patrolling the Golden Gate Bridge, Sergeant Kevin Briggs and his staff are the last barriers between would-be suicides and the plunge to near-certain death.

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Very important for everybody "interested in" addiction, mainly people who have somebody suffering due to addiction among family or friends:

http://www.ted.com/t...iction_is_wrong

What really causes addiction — to everything from cocaine to smart-phones? And how can we overcome it? Johann Hari has seen our current methods fail firsthand, as he has watched loved ones struggle to manage their addictions. He started to wonder why we treat addicts the way we do — and if there might be a better way. As he shares in this deeply personal talk, his questions took him around the world, and unearthed some surprising and hopeful ways of thinking about an age-old problem.

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Wow... (I don't like much her way of talking, but I like the main idea, the principle of her advise.)

 

A bit related to that:

 

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Re the screwing yourself over video, I felt like there was some interesting things said but I forgot them. I remember some other ideas she had which seemed to be:

-stop saying your fine

-be your own parent

-"force yourself" to physically do things

I feel the last two pretty much fall under the "try harder", or "be better" category.

I didn't watch the other video yet.

I watched a ted video on negativity, which said that once you focus on the negative it's hard to turn it around, it's solution was, gratitude, and to focus on the positive.

Well those are my thoughts. Thanks for sharing.

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2 hours ago, mts said:

I watched a ted video on negativity, which said that once you focus on the negative it's hard to turn it around, it's solution was, gratitude, and to focus on the positive.

i don't wanna rain on anyone's parade but gratitude=delusion. as has been said before, the only way--for those who have shitty lives--to get by is by being delusional in some way. and there is no positive for some of us.

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Resolute, do you think it's possible for positive and negative to coexist simultaneously? Recognizing one need not negate the other. To honor one aspect of our lives doesn't mean we then deny other aspects. For example, I might know my leg is injured, acknowledge that it hurts, feel that pain and at the same time feel grateful that I am alive. I don't need to always be fully immersed in my pain to acknowledge it. I miss my friend and it hurts that he is gone now. I acknowledge that. I am also grateful for the friendship we shared. That's not delusion in my mind. In no way do I deny my pain in this; I just also acknowledge what there is to appreciate too.

There are some studies about gratitude...Robert Emmons maybe...that show its benefits to our well being.

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I found this excerpt from this link. Maybe I can research and find a TED talk to go with the thread topic as well.

http://greatergood.berkeley.edu/article/item/how_gratitude_can_help_you_through_hard_times


"To say that gratitude is a helpful strategy to handle hurt feelings does not mean that we should try to ignore or deny suffering and pain.

The field of positive psychology has at times been criticized for failing to acknowledge the value of negative emotions. Barbara Held of Bowdoin College in Maine, for example, contends that positive psychology has been too negative about negativity and too positive about positivity. To deny that life has its share of disappointments, frustrations, losses, hurts, setbacks, and sadness would be unrealistic and untenable. Life is suffering. No amount of positive thinking exercises will change this truth.


So telling people simply to buck up, count their blessings, and remember how much they still have to be grateful for can certainly do much harm. Processing a life experience through a grateful lens does not mean denying negativity. It is not a form of superficial happiology. Instead, it means realizing the power you have to transform an obstacle into an opportunity. It means reframing a loss into a potential gain, recasting negativity into positive channels for gratitude."

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5 hours ago, IrmaJean said:

Resolute, do you think it's possible for positive and negative to coexist simultaneously? Recognizing one need not negate the other. To honor one aspect of our lives doesn't mean we then deny other aspects. For example, I might know my leg is injured, acknowledge that it hurts, feel that pain and at the same time feel grateful that I am alive. I don't need to always be fully immersed in my pain to acknowledge it. I miss my friend and it hurts that he is gone now. I acknowledge that. I am also grateful for the friendship we shared. That's not delusion in my mind. In no way do I deny my pain in this; I just also acknowledge what there is to appreciate too.

that is the delusion part; actually believing that there is something to appreciate.

 

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There are some studies about gratitude...Robert Emmons maybe...that show its benefits to our well being.

that depends on one's definition of well being. these so called scientists are idiots in disguise. based on these people's interpretations, actual truth has no benefit to our well being, because it demonstrates the utter falsity of the actual existence of anything truly positive.

 

3 hours ago, IrmaJean said:

"To say that gratitude is a helpful strategy to handle hurt feelings does not mean that we should try to ignore or deny suffering and pain.


The field of positive psychology has at times been criticized for failing to acknowledge the value of negative emotions. Barbara Held of Bowdoin College in Maine, for example, contends that positive psychology has been too negative about negativity and too positive about positivity. To deny that life has its share of disappointments, frustrations, losses, hurts, setbacks, and sadness would be unrealistic and untenable. Life is suffering. No amount of positive thinking exercises will change this truth.

bingo! to believe that something that is synonymous with suffering can have any positiveness is pure delusion, no matter how you spin it.

 

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So telling people simply to buck up, count their blessings, and remember how much they still have to be grateful for can certainly do much harm. Processing a life experience through a grateful lens does not mean denying negativity. It is not a form of superficial happiology. Instead, it means realizing the power you have to transform an obstacle into an opportunity. It means reframing a loss into a potential gain, recasting negativity into positive channels for gratitude."

b.s! this is where delusion comes in; in order to "benefit" from suffering, we simply redefine anything that resembles an obstacle/loss into something that resembles an opportunity/gain, for which we can have gratitude. this is essentially gratitude for something purely fantastical (which we constructed with our minds and which has nothing to do with actual reality). how can you (and those "scientists") not see that this is the definition of delusion.
 

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For women who feel ugly, i highly recommend Cameron Russell's TED talk:

 

She knows what she's talking about; she was a Victoria's Secret model.

The gist of her message is:  society (meaning me, and you, and most of us, folks) is dead wrong when we value beauty.

Because beauty isn't the product of hard work, education, or unselfish dedication; it's an accident of genetics.

"I don't deserve to be valued more highly than other women, because I DIDN'T EARN IT."

Not a direct quote, but close to it.  And i hope this comforts many women in this Forum.

 

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On April 27, 2016 at 1:53 PM, Resolute said:

b.s! this is where delusion comes in; in order to "benefit" from suffering, we simply redefine anything that resembles an obstacle/loss into something that resembles an opportunity/gain, for which we can have gratitude. this is essentially gratitude for something purely fantastical (which we constructed with our minds and which has nothing to do with actual reality). how can you (and those "scientists") not see that this is the definition of delusion.
 

I'm surprised, Res, by your certainty about "what is reality". As this is a "TED talks" topic, I'll quote a TED talk as an example of part of what I mean, although there are many other sources (philosophical or from natural sciences and psychology) that say - from different perspectives - that there isn't an "objective reality", there's only "perception of the individual". You may call it delusion (it seems to me you're in fact using this word for the notion which includes "some kind of perceptions" - I'd say those that don't correspond to your own perceptions). But then let me ask you: Why are you so much against delusions (in this sense of the word)? I'm genuinely curious about your view. Are you sure the answer is easy an obvious? Because... yes; I would also quickly say that "delusions are bad for us", but then... when we understand the term as broadly as you seem to do, we may find many, many examples of cases when such "delusions" (or rather: a specific type of "delusions") have been very helpful to people - mainly to overcome a very difficult period of their lives or to process something that has happened to them and that would otherwise "poison" their life forever. 

 

 

Moreover, we can't even say - in such an objective way as you seem to require - "who we are and what our life has really been like". To be able to "have an idea" of ourselves, we have to create stories of our lives, of the major events that have happened to us, ... That's in fact one of the crucial part of psychotherapy. Here are some texts to illustrate / explain what I mean here:

http://www.apa.org/monitor/2011/01/stories.aspx

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But do good stories really lead to good lives? Longitudinal studies, such as Adler’s and King’s, suggest they do

http://psychcentral.com/lib/the-power-of-stories-in-personality-psychology/

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One of the most important things that stories can do is a process called “integration,” bringing “together into an understandable frame disparate ideas, characters, happenings and other elements of life that were previously set apart.” We try to find meaning in everything from a minor event to major life experiences, which is called “autobiographical reasoning.”

[...]

As time passes and our goals, concerns and motives change, we may attribute different meanings to events. In a 3-year study conducted by McAdams and colleagues, the authors found that over this period of time, students’ recollections of certain life events “became more complex, and they incorporated a greater number of themes suggestive of personal growth and integration.”

[...]

According to narrative therapy (also see here for more info), “clients often present disrupted and disorganized life stories that contribute to their symptoms and underlie poor mental health.” Narrative therapists help people change their stories into ones that “affirm growth, health and adaptation.”

 

And if you understand French or are willing to use Google translate, here is a text I recently enjoyed:

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«La parole est le propre de l’homme. Elle lui permet de dire ce qui est et ce qui n’est pas. Le problème est que les mots sont terriblement imparfaits. Ils n’arrivent jamais à dire la totalité de ce qui est. Ils sont réducteurs, simplifient les choses. Mais il n’y a pas lieu d’y voir un drame. L’imperfection de la parole est en réalité une chance : elle fait des hommes des êtres créateurs. Certes ce qu’ils créent est imparfait, mais cette imperfection sera elle-même à nouveau source de création. Qu’en est-il lorsque les êtres humains racontent leur vie? Là aussi ils utilisent des mots imparfaits. Dans une relation de soin, ils les utilisent pour se faire connaître, établir un lien, arriver à une intelligence commune. Mais l’essentiel est que narrer sa vie c’est la créer. Les mots imparfaits que j’utilise pour parler de moi sont créateurs d’un “autre moi”. Nul ne sait totalement ce qu’il est. Lorsque l’homme se raconte, il découvre dans les interstices des mots cet autre lui-même qu’il ne connaît pas et qui surgit de l’imperfection des mots. En se racontant, il advient. Et lorsque, en tant que soignant, on se met à l’écoute du soigné qui se raconte, ce n’est pas là un simple acte d’écoute, mais un acte catalyseur de création.»

 

The point is: When you've been qualifying here some attitudes or views or ways of looking at the world/life as "delusions", it's been just your personal way of looking at things. I have a tendency to say that the views you've criticized are "right, much closer to reality than yours", but... I suppose it's mainly because they are closer to my view of reality. I may be wrong in saying that "you're wrong and those are not delusions", but I doubt I'm wrong when I'm saying "the ways of looking at things you've been criticizing are helpful and for many (if not all, to some extent) important for a supportable or even relatively "happy" life".

 

It seems to me I've already posted somewhere this: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Depressive_realism 

It shows that it seems that depression makes many people in some ways "more realistic" (but they are also often "less realistic" in others - cognitive bias modification being an important part of some psychotherapies! https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cognitive_bias_modification ), so you may say "less delusional", but hey; this "realism" makes them also more depressed! 

One last comment: I don't want to say by this all that delusions don't exist. I just think this terms refers to a much narrower category of phenomena than in your interpretation. You may interpret it as you wish, the problem is the negativity, judgement (that it's stupid?), and rejection you're attaching to it, because then some people may feel attacked and/or almost harshly criticized for something that has been helpful and important for them (something that didn't hurt anybody (!), so you can't even say they're egoists - doing what's good for them ignoring others - so what is there to criticize after all?). It probably would be a big issue in a debate on a forum discussing worldviews or philosophy, but here are many people struggling with a lot of "negativity" in their lives and can be hurt or in another way negatively influenced by voices (like yours, for instance) that argue against the only hopes or advises available to them. I'm sorry I can't be here most of the time and so can't offer alternative views to "smooth down" a little the posts that may have such an impact :( ... See? I don't want to censor you, but... we (I'm not the only one, I'm sure) would appreciate if you could present some of your very pessimistic and "negative" views (in case you're only debating something, not sharing your current distress that you need to "vent in order to feel better for a while") in a... perhaps less radical, accusatory, offending way? I'm sorry I'm addressing this here to you (and I hope very much you won't take it personally or as an inappropriate critique, because it's more an attempt to promote a better / safer / more appropriate (for such forum) way of communicating then a critique) because, of course, it's not at all "just about you", it's something that should be written somewhere for all to see. Well, that's also why I'm posting it publicly and not in a PM. I hope others will see it, too, and perhaps also contribute to a debate about this. If there will be such debate, we may displace it from here to another forum as a topic on its own.

Sorry everybody, this is really a too long and complicated post :o ... And, Resolute; I hope I haven't hurt you in any way; it seems to me you like debating and are able to take these comments as  part of debate ;) .

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OK, now I've found also something about the very, very troubled lives and it shows the idea about creating a helpful narrative of one's life is more complicated:

http://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2015/08/life-stories-narrative-psychology-redemption-mental-health/400796/

 

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Studies have shown that finding a positive meaning in negative events is linked to a more complex sense of self and greater life satisfaction. And even controlling for general optimism, McAdams and his colleagues found that having more redemption sequences in a life story was still associated with higher well-being.

The trouble comes when redemption isn’t possible. The redemptive American tale is one of privilege, and for those who can’t control their circumstances, and have little reason to believe things will get better, it can be an illogical and unattainable choice. There are things that happen to people that cannot be redeemed. 

It can be hard to share a story when it amounts to: “This happened, and it was terrible. The end.” In research McLean did, in which she asked people who'd had near-death experiences to tell their stories to others. “The people who told these unresolved stories had really negative responses,” she says. If there wasn't some kind of uplifting, redemptive end to the story (beyond just the fact that they survived), “The listeners did not like that.”

“The redemptive story is really valued in America, because for a lot of people it’s a great way to tell stories, but for people who just can’t do that, who can’t redeem their traumas for whatever reason, they’re sort of in a double bind,” she continues. “They both have this crappy story that’s hanging on, but they also can’t tell it and get acceptance or validation from people.”

In cases like this, for people who have gone through a lot of trauma, it might be better for them not to autobiographically reason about it at all.

“The first time I ever found this association, of reasoning associated with poor mental health, I thought that I had analyzed my data incorrectly,” McLean says. But after other researchers replicated her findings, she got more confident that something was going on. She thinks that people may repress traumatic events in a way that, while not ideal, is still “healthy enough.”

“The typical idea is that you can repress something but it’s going to come back and bite you if you don’t deal with it,” she says. “But that’s still under the assumption that people have the resources to deal with it.”

"However"... (the 1st paragraph is a reaction to a very "negative" narrative of a patient):

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[...]

“That’s pretty intensive reasoning,” McLean says. “So that’s meaningful in understanding who you are, but it doesn’t really give you a positive view of who you are. It may be true in the moment, but it’s not something that propels someone towards growth.”

It’s possible to over-reason about good things in your life as well. “There’s been some experimental research that shows that when people are asked to reflect on positive experiences, it makes them feel worse, because you’re like ‘Oh, why did I marry that person?’” McLean says. “Wisdom and maturity and cognitive complexity are all things that we value, but they don’t necessarily make you happy.

[...]

there are better and worse ways of doing that narrative process for our mental health

;) 

 

 

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this is in response to the post right before the last one.

@LaLa, your post is too long for me to address it point by point, so i'll just address the whole post (minus the french part, which i didn't translate) in general.

first, i'd like to mention that i don't really have any animosity towards people who "benefit" from changing how they think or perceive things. in fact, i've even excerpted some parts about "positive illusion", from a wikipedia link which you had posted. anyone who has "benefited" from this type of thing, or believe that he/she can "benefit" from it, should feel free to do so. i certainly won't stand in their way.

that said, however, two things should be understood;

1. that the potential benefit of these approaches does not change the fact that they are still illusions/delusions.

2. that any benefit illusory/delusional approaches provide is artificial, because only what is based on pure reality can be real.

my problem is with inaccurate definitions. the definition of "benefit/beneficial" for instance; i can't, in good faith, accept that delusion is truly beneficial. it might be necessary, but it's still bad in my book (a necessary evil perhaps).

the problem is that most people simply can't grasp certain (most) philosophical concepts. and no matter how or how much we explain them, it still does no good. you can decide for yourself whether this is a good or bad thing. i concede that understanding and knowing certain things brings much more pain than peace or pleasure. but that doesn't mean that ignorance is the solution. i agree that ignorance is usually bliss, but as i've noted, it's an artificial bliss, and nothing more. the suffering of those who aren't "obsessed" with truth, reality or meaning of life is without a doubt significantly less than those who are, regardless of circumstances (except for rare exceptions).

and as to there not being any objective reality, i'd say that's simply relativistic gibberish.

in closing, i should mention that i doubt that many people are gonna read my "very pessimistic and "negative" views" and make life-altering decisions based on them. moreover, i am also a member of this community, one who is severely depressed (with both clinical and existential depression), and i think i still have some sort of entitlement to express the things that are at the heart of my suffering, such as the purposelessness of life and existence.

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