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David O

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It's a very taboo subject. I know when I have tried to talk about it, it has been a real conversation-killer. People literally just stare at you. That's why it is so tremendously freeing to talk to someone else who has attempted and had to come back, Just at our last depression support group meeting, I talked about it; the feeling and the wish still occurs to me sometimes.

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Our mental health and well-being are so important. I feel we really do need to get this type of discussion out in the open. Perhaps the more we talk, the less discomfort people will feel, the more people will reach out for help when they need to.

I'm always willing to listen.

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One of the values of this site for me is knowing I can talk about struggling and can be accepted, not rejected for it. And I know I will find others that have felt something similiar, even though we are all different people. In so many other settings people are unwilling to admit to having problems.

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There are people who can survive without any self-work?

I haven't met any, and if I had, I'd probably have to kill them.

{"If you meet the Buddha, kill the Buddha" goes the Zen koan.}

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Where can you go where you (or the hole) won't be there?

Now, that's not the same as needing to spend every moment tending to one's holes, but you know that.

Forgetting they're there, on the other hand, is how we fall in.

And for some reason I always seem to end up sounding like I know stuff, when I'm talking to you (to the point where I'm surprised you don't come after me ...) I just wish you well, and as happy as possible ...

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I hear that you're feeling frustrated and impatient at this time, k. Walking through this pain is so very difficult. I'm sorry your heart hurts. :( I hope you will keep reaching out. I hope your therapist is supportive and helpful. We are here too. Take care of you.

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Here is a site (mostly for therapists, but... in fact for everybody interested, I'd say) with free e-books about psychotherapy (or psychology):

http://www.freepsychotherapybooks.org/about/about-ipi-e-books

It really works, it's really for free, you can even choose a format - for PC, Kindle, ...

You only have to register to the website and then when you decide to download an e-book, they send you a link where you can do it. (I downloaded two already and there was no problem, no virus, ...)

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Don't know if anyone mentioned it already, but www.archive.org has over 100,000 books in various ebook and formats, and best of all in text (.txt) format. Some audiobooks too. I downloaded a compilation book "the entire works of sigmund freud" for example. This is killer combined with a kindle, as you won't damage your eyes. :( You'll find almost any major psychology, philospical, literature etc book here, but unlike a real library you don't have to return it. :) There are some other similiar sites too, http://openlibrary.org and many others I guess.

Oh I forgot to add, archive.org stands out for me because it doesn't require java so I can browse it on my text browser, wasting less MBs on the ol' phone inet.

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Thanks, MissedTheStop! I've known about archive.org for already maybe 2-3 months but it somehow haven't occurred to me to mention it here :o. It's a great project, a really superb site!

One of the books I'm reading and enjoying now (and I've almost finished it) is Art of life by Zygmunt Bauman:

http://www.amazon.co...n/dp/0745643264

From Google books:

This new book by Zygmunt Bauman - one of the most original and influential social thinkers writing today - is not a book of designs for the art of life nor a 'how to' book: the construction of a design for life and the way it is pursued is and cannot but be an individual responsibility and individual accomplishment. It is instead a brilliant account of conditions under which our designs-for-life are chosen, of the constraints that might be imposed on their choice and of the interplay of design, accident and character that shape their implementation. Last but not least, it is a study of the ways in which our society - the liquid modern, individualized society of consumers - influences (but does not determine) the way we construct and narrate our life trajectories.

If you don't know Z.B. (now a 87 y.o. sociology professor in England), you might want to read something about him

http://en.wikipedia..../Zygmunt_Bauman

or some of his essays... For instance, today, I've read this

http://www.salon.eu....of-human-nature

- it's mostly about totalitarianism (and its "heritage") and "the beast in man", but there are remarkable ideas on other subjects, too, as, for instance, language:

As we acquire our mother tongue we would not even notice it has a grammar, were in not for our teachers pointing it out to us, at first to our surprise, later also to our irritation. Grammar is the Cerberus blocking the entrance to all languages - with the exception of the mother tongue (it is precisely the lack of a Cerberus at the gates that makes it our mother tongue). Grammar in our mother tongue is a reliable, yet unobtrusive guide, a thoughtful, yet invisible guardian angel; in all other languages it is a demon lurking in the darkness at the top of Jacob’s ladder.

Or truth and identity:

Truth is what we all know to be true because we believe in its truthfulness - we believe we know that which is obvious to all of us. Obviousness is an alloy of knowledge and belief. Obviousness cannot be acquired, procured or concocted. Something is either obvious or not obvious - tertium non datur. Something is obvious only and exclusively if it appears as such to “everyone” who believes in its obviousness and if nobody can question my right to embrace “everyone” within the personal pronoun “we”. If these conditions are met, I have an identity. If not, all I have is a hint of identity or an idea of an identity; a kind of application for an identity that might be accepted or rejected in a court authorized to adjudicate in this matter, if such a court existed and if it undertook to examine our case. But no such court exists - and the foundations of the globe begin to crumble. And once they do, they can never be stopped.

I'd say it's a bit controversial, but mainly undoubtedly thoughts-provoking...

Oh, sorry for too much quotes :o. That's all for now, I hope ;).

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http://en.wikipedia...._Neurotic_Needs

Theory of Neurotic Needs

While debatable, many agree that Horney's theory of neurosis is the best that exists today. She looked at neurosis in a different light, saying that it was much more continuous with normal life than other theorists believed. Furthermore, she saw neurosis as an attempt to make life bearable, as an interpersonal controlling and coping technique. Horney thought it a mistake to think that a neurosis in adults is caused by abuse or neglect in one's childhood. She, instead, named parental indifference the true culprit behind neurosis. The key to understanding this phenomenon is the child's perception, rather than the parent's intentions, she said. A child may feel a lack of warmth and affection if a parent, who is otherwise occupied or neurotic themselves, makes fun of their child's thinking or neglects to fulfill promises, for example.

Using her clinical experience, Horney named ten particular patterns of neurotic needs. They are based on things that all humans need, but that are distorted in some because of difficulties within their lives. As she investigated them further, she found that she could clump the ten into three broad coping strategies.

The first strategy is compliance, also known as the moving-toward strategy or the self-effacing solution. Most children facing parental indifference use this strategy. They often have a fear of helplessness and abandonment, or what Horney referred to as basic anxiety. This strategy includes the first three needs: the need for affection and approval, which is the indiscriminate need to both please others and be liked by them; the neurotic need for a partner, for someone else to take over one's life, encompassing the idea that love will solve all of one's problems; and the neurotic need to restrict one's life into narrow boarders, including being undemanding, satisfied with little, inconspicuous.

Horney's second broad coping strategy is aggression, also called the moving-against and the expansive solution. Here, children's first reaction to parental indifference is anger, or basic hostility. Needs four through eight fall under this category. The fourth need is for power, for control over others, and for a facade of omnipotence. Fifth is the neurotic need to exploit others and to get the better of them. Another need is for social recognition and prestige, with the need for personal admiration falling along the same lines. The eighth neurotic need is for personal achievement.

The final coping strategy is withdrawal, often labeled the moving-away-from or resigning solution. When neither aggression nor compliance eliminate the parental indifference, Horney recognized that children attempt to solve the problem by becoming self-sufficient. This includes the neurotic needs for self sufficiency and independence and those for perfection and unassailability.

While it is human for everyone to have these needs to some extent, the neurotic's need is much more intense, Horney explained. He or she will experience great anxiety if the need is not met or if it appears that the need will not be met in the future. The neurotic, therefore, makes the need too central to their existence. Horney's ideas of neurotic needs mirrored those of Adler in many ways. Together, Adler and Horney make up an unofficial school of psychiatry and they are often referred to as neo-Freudians or Social Psychologists. Detachment Needs eight through ten were assimilated into the "detachment" category, also called the "moving-away-from" or "resigning" solution or a detached personality. As neither aggression nor compliance solve parental indifference, Horney recognized that children might simply try to become self-sufficient. The withdrawing neurotic may disregard others in a non-aggressive manner, regarding solitude and independence as the way forth. The stringent needs for perfection comprise another part of this category; those withdrawing may strive for perfection above all else, to the point where being flawed is utterly unacceptable. Everything the "detached" type does must be unassailable and refined. They suppress or deny all feelings towards others, particularly love and hate.

Narcissism

Horney saw narcissism quite differently from Freud, Kohut and other mainstream psychoanalytic theorists in that she did not posit a primary narcissism but saw the narcissistic personality as the product of a certain kind of early environment acting on a certain kind of temperament. For her, narcissistic needs and tendencies are not inherent in human nature.

Narcissism is different from Horney's other major defensive strategies or solutions in that it is not compensatory. Self-idealization is compensatory in her theory, but it differs from narcissism. All the defensive strategies involve self-idealization, but in the narcissistic solution it tends to be the product of indulgence rather than of deprivation. The narcissist's self-esteem is not strong, however, because it is not based on genuine accomplishments.[10]

_____

Mature theory

Near the end of her career, Karen Horney summarized her ideas in Neurosis and Human Growth: The Struggle Toward Self-Realization, her major work published in 1950. It is in this book that she summarizes her ideas regarding neurosis, clarifying her three neurotic "solutions" to the stresses of life.[12] The expansive solution became a tripartite combination of narcissistic, perfectionistic and arrogant-vindictive approaches to life. (Horney had previously focused on the psychiatric concept of narcissism in a book published in 1939, New Ways in Psychoanalysis). Her other two neurotic "solutions" were also a refinement of her previous views: self-effacement, or submission to others, and resignation, or detachment from others. She described case studies of symbiotic relationships between arrogant-vindictive and self-effacing individuals, labeling such a relationship bordering on sadomasochism as a morbid dependency. She believed that individuals in the neurotic categories of narcissism and resignation were much less susceptible to such relationships of co-dependency with an arrogant-vindictive neurotic.

While non-neurotic individuals may strive for these needs, neurotics exhibit a much deeper, more willful and concentrated desire to fulfill the said needs.

Theory of the self

Horney also shared Abraham Maslow's view that self-actualization is something that all people strive for. By "self" she understood the core of one's own being and potential.[13] Horney believed that if we have an accurate conception of our own self, then we are free to realize our potential and achieve what we wish, within reasonable boundaries. Thus, she believed that self-actualization is the healthy person's aim through life—as opposed to the neurotic's clinging to a set of key needs.

According to Horney we can have two views of our self: the "real self" and the "ideal self". The real self is who and what we actually are. The ideal self is the type of person we feel that we should be. The real self has the potential for growth, happiness, will power, realization of gifts, etc., but it also has deficiencies. The ideal self is used as a model to assist the real self in developing its potential and achieving self-actualization. (Engler 125) But it is important to know the differences between our ideal and real self.

The neurotic person's self is split between an idealized self and a real self. As a result, neurotic individuals feel that they somehow do not live up to the ideal self. They feel that there is a flaw somewhere in comparison to what they "should" be. The goals set out by the neurotic are not realistic, or indeed possible. The real self then degenerates into a "despised self", and the neurotic person assumes that this is the "true" self. Thus, the neurotic is like a clock's pendulum, oscillating between a fallacious "perfection" and a manifestation of self-hate. Horney referred to this phenomenon as the "tyranny of the shoulds" and the neurotic's hopeless "search for glory".[14] She concluded that these ingrained traits of the psyche forever prevent an individual's potential from being actualized unless the cycle of neurosis is somehow broken, through treatment.

http://en.wikipedia....nd_Human_Growth

Neurosis and Human Growth: The Struggle Toward Self-Realization is the magnum opus of German-American psychoanalyst Karen Horney. In it she outlines her theory of neurosis.

In Horney's view, the key difference between neurosis and healthy growth is the difference between compulsive actions fueled by anxiety and spontaneous actions fueled by one's full range of emotions. If a person grows up able to maintain his or her spontaneity, that person grows up by a process which Horney calls self-realization. Horney describes self-realization as the development of a person's given potentialities, and compares it with the process of an acorn growing, given fertile soil, into a tree.

The principal subject of the book, however, is what happens when a person's spontaneity is crushed in early life. The person will slowly lose touch with that spontaneity or real self, and develop, instead, a reactive self which is constructed to respond to dangers of various kinds. If a child's early environment is such that the child grows up seeing the world as basically hostile, compulsive actions will predominate and the child will grow up devoted to allaying anxiety. This development and its consequences for the adult personality are what Horney calls neurosis.

Horney devotes thirteen chapters to an analysis of the neurotic development in all its nuances and the various forms it can take as a person grows into adulthood, one chapter to the process of overcoming neurosis in therapy, and one chapter to how her theory compares and contrasts with classical psychoanalytic theory.

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You're welcome LaLa3. :) It was partly because of your sig that I found the book. Though I'm not sure I understand correctly. How did you hear/read that quote? I will let you know if I see something like it in the book!

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