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Complete Psychological Topics 2: Chapters 3

 

by Ben Huot

July 10, 2018

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Table of Contents

From 20 Years Collection

Spiritual, Emotional, and Physical Reality

To many today, the only real world is what they can experience physically. Many of us know that there are many more ways to suffer and many other ways to understand and experience things. Physical suffering pulls us into the physical world violently against our wishes to leave that reality. But those who do not know that suffering transcends the physical world do not truly know suffering. Suffering comes from our own bad decisions, but it takes place in our minds, where the physical and spiritual world intersect.

To say that the physical world is the only one, because it is the only thing you can experience is like saying because you are blind, the physical world does not exist to you. We may not identify the true sources of our pain and of what drives change in the world, but that does not make it any less real. Just like not knowing about the history of another nation or the personal lives of individual people make those experiences any less real to them. Not knowing why you are in pain does not make it hurt less.

So whether we believe it or not, the spiritual world does affect us greatly. We may not want to accept why it works the way it does or purposely keep ourselves ignorant of this understanding, but that does not make something less real. You may not understand why someone hates or distrusts you nor they be able to even verbalize it, but people feel the way they do regardless of evidence. Whether or not there is evidence available to prove what we know to be real by experience, finding the evidence does not actually change anything.

So evidence will not change reality. Our opinions rarely change, because of this either. Some things that all of us agree are real can be hard to define. Emotions are one example. We know we love certain people, but we don't know why we do. Life is filled with us running into things we don't understand and dealing with them, without us ever fully being able to explain them. We make decisions like career choices, where even after years of training, we later find that they are not like what we thought they were.

We make decisions early in life that affect us more greatly then we could ever imagine before hand and then later experiences like illness or injury dictate our life to be entirely different, than we could ever have believed. Life is full of uncertainty, but we still feel the effects of what drives reality.

Cause and effect seem simple enough and they explain a lot, but they operate in more areas than just our bodies and minds. We feel all the effects of other people's choices, even if we do not know what they were and our own, even if we don't think that they are significant enough to be consequential.

Reality is what it is regardless of what we want it to be. We hurt emotionally. even when we have no rational reasons. to feel the way we do. But our choices, especially how we respond to others choices. can be what we want them to be. We cannot change what someone else believes. or even what they choose to do, but we can choose our attitude towards the situation.

We will suffer and we will make bad decisions, but that does not need to define us. We can find hope beyond the physical reality and we can overcome our own issues, but we need to look to a higher power, while still acknowledging our complete responsibility, for our own choices.

When you do something wrong to someone else, it does not matter much to them, if it was unintended. You don't stop having a broken arm, because the person who gave it to you signed your caste. It does of course matter spiritually why you do what you do. The significance of intent is one of the most basic differences between physical and spiritual reality. Just like the physical world, the emotional and spiritual worlds operate according to specific parameters.

Faith is when you believe in something you do not fully understand and that is the way in which we perceive God. Of course, believing in God does not make Him real, but Him being real gives you good reason to believe in Him. Belief in something does not make it real, but believing in someone real has value.

God has no responsibility to solve our problems or prevent our suffering, because He never caused sin to happen. But God does still intervene constantly in the world. In fact, if God did not intervene at all, after He created the world, believing in Him would not solve any problems. Knowing God to be real and following Him matters, because He intervened, to take our place in suffering the penalty, for our immoral choices.

It is great that God is perfectly good, so we know He won't create problems for us, but it is essential for our protection that He is also merciful, because we do create problems, that we seek God to help us through. The full penalties for our bad decisions are incomprehensibly horrid. That is why God treats immorality or sin as such a serious issue. He went to the greatest lengths possible and likely suffers eternally for our sins.

It is hard for many to understand why God chose to forgive any and every sin and base the criteria for salvation solely on what He did for us. It does not seem to make sense, from a human point of view. Humans have a hard time accepting the idea of forgiveness, until they need someone to forgive them. Animals understand forgiveness though, although they seem to be the only ones doing the forgiving. So what we really need as people to overcome our bad decisions and immoral acts is the forgiveness of sins. And for our world to heal, we need to forgive the sins of others.

Meaning in Life

Many people talk about finding meaning in life, but what do they mean? What exactly does one do that is meaningful and to whom? How do we know we are doing enough? For many people, sports, video games, Hollywood, drugs, or music are the key to a fulfilling life. But that is not enough for me and many others. But at the same time, is more than that realistic, especially when you have a severe disability? I think our expectations are too high.

We are expected as Americans to solve everyone's problems, because we have so much more wealth than the rest of the world. Most Americans though have very little extra time and those that do have very little money. To most people, their family is more important than anyone else's and so they usually devote most their free time to that and the single over-achievers often spend their free time putting themselves into better shape financially. And with all these vices on the Internet, we have very little left to give.

Is it even possible to find meaning in life and how should we respond? Reading is one way to find meaning in life, but if you spend so much time on that, you sacrifice time to spend on other life experiences. The more you learn, the more you learn that you know very little and this knowledge helps little to improve your or anyone else's life and you can get easily discouraged.

To see the cause of our problems, in the world today, you have to have a very wholistic worldview, which is contrary to the way society wants us to think and act. Our leaders say that we are unwilling to do what is right and stand out from the crowd, but the work world does not support that premise. Famous people all want you to think for yourself and be open minded by doing exactly what they say.

This is where I see religion providing an answer and Christianity actually providing a solution that works. Life is short and has little meaning by itself. God is the ultimate source of meaning, perfectly good, all powerful, and wants to help us out. We are really the source of our own problems.

The situation we are in, where we find no meaning in life, is caused by our decision to attempt to live without God's help. Just like it doesn't work well for us to live well without a good diet or enough rest, spiritually we need to find meaning. The only meaning in life that will improve our lives is Christ. And the situation in which we will find that meaning will be after we die.

So it seems odd to many people that Christians only really expect to be happy after they die, as it appears as nihilistic and cynical. Life is hard and short for most people throughout history and there is only so much time and money to try to deal with life's continual challenges and setbacks. You don't need to do something immoral to destroy your life. You can do so by just not taking care of your health or failing to engage in networking.

Do not get discouraged, if life is very difficult, and you feel like giving up. Just find and then maintain your faith until you die, and you will be happy forever. Americans are mostly unhappy, because they expect too much out of life and we think because we have more money, we can avoid the principle causes of suffering in this life. Intelligence rarely help avoid many of these problems and self control only solves some.

Many solutions to finding purpose in life are based on making yourself smarter, imparting you with special knowledge, developing more discipline, or making yourself richer. Creativity and motivation seem to me to be the best ways to make your position in life all it can be. Combine that with prayer and praising God and you will find it more encouraging than just trying to become smarter or richer.

What does a psychologist often tell you to do when you are feeling depressed or having a lack of meaning in life? Volunteer. When you change your focus on solving your problems, to solving someone else's, you get perspective and often find out your situation is much better. That is actually encouraging. We need to expect things to go wrong, get worse, and life to generally be difficult and just surviving is quite a challenge. This is the way things are in the other 95% of the world and the other 99% of history.

Neighborhood by the Road

Like a room full of wood fire smoke

Like a low fog down by the river

Like the neon green grass constantly being mowed

Like the splashing of rainwater under car tires

Each step I take and as I look around

There are big groups of people walking together

The trashes are full of new electronics

And people on bicycles root through the trash

Walking along the side of the road

Littered with dog poop and broken glass bottles

The street is a tribute to a great leader

And the big thing here is a football stadium

I don't go one way because I fear falling off the bridge

I don't go another because the apartments are depressing

I don't go to the nearest mall because of the homeless trash

I don't go to down to the park and river because everyone is fishing

Everyone has a big dog and a big car

But not everyone has a job

The stink of pot is everywhere

Except in front of the pot store

When you have so many trees

There are many little birds

When you have so many cell phones

You get poor reception

We are all looking down walking

Me to avoid stepping in poop or glass

And everyone else

To play a never ending game

We take everything with us on these little machines

Be careful not to drop yours

They cost a lot to fix

But they still work with broken screens

What is the cost of modern life

Less and less jobs over time

Everything costs a dollar

But no one has even that much money

I consider todays world

And compare it to others

Before, after and parallel

We have too much of a good thing

People can even die of water overdosing

Too many things are too easy

We can afford too much sugar

No wonder everyone has diabetes

We have the local mental health, National Guard and juvenile detention

Just a short walk away

And this is the wealthier end of the road

The police seem to be constantly patrolling

Maybe there are too many students

Or just too many apartments

At least the stadium keeps expanding

And we can buy more cars just up the road

Gift of Boredom

To many people

Life should be an adventure

They want to be a hero

In an action movie

Or be famous

And have a huge number of fans

In real life

No one plays a theme song

When you are going through something tough

No one claps or pays money to see you

Your adventure does not end in 2 hours

You do not get advertised in commercials

And you are not monetized with games or toys

You do not get your own website

You don't get a gold star in Hollywood

With the other famous people

You cannot afford to travel between LA and New York

You do not have time to show up in the best clubs

A hero in real life

Often cannot release what happened to them

Life in the military is far from exciting

It looks cool to jump out of an air plane

And it sounds cool to fire assault rifles

But the greatest adventure in the Army

Is carrying things around and cleaning things

It looks cool to be in combat

But this part of the military is terrifying

Until you get a leg blown off

Or catch on fire

You are either terrified or bored to tears

There is no in between

Torture is not cool in anyway

Even though most action films

Seem to think it necessary for their plots

A life of boredom

Sounds like a movie without a plot

And a life lived like that

Of no importance

But today the real luxury

Is being off social media

And not having to carry a smartphone

You surely can do great things with fame

But is distracts you from your own life

Who you are matters more

Than what you do

Just because you do not record something

Does not lessen its importance

You have only so much time and energy

No matter who you are

Do you want to spend your life

Gaining low quality friends

Or spending time with people

Who care about you unconditionally

Jesus changed the world

More than anyone else

But he didn't travel far

He wrote no books

We do not know what He looked like

He didn't even own a house

And He would be considered homeless

And likely mentally ill today

He received no awards

And no one paid any money to see Him

He did not live to middle age

He only really spread His message for 3 years

He had not children or wife

His entourage was by no means special

And His friends uneducated and poor

He was not even a citizen

Of the empire He lived in

But He did forgive sins

And we can live forever because of Him

Not in the underworld of the pagans

But in the paradise of the Bible

Schizophrenia

Experiencing Schizophrenia

In our society, like in movies, when something crazy happens our first thought is that we are an under cover agent or the world is ending, not that we are mentally ill. We are not taught in school to doubt ourselves. When we did research papers in school we chose our topics and our thesis at the same time.

When we have political or religious differences, each person think the other person is wrong and they are right. No one is taught to think maybe I am wrong. We see our conflicts and problems as external which is probably why Christians are often so afraid of spiritual warfare but still pray a lot.

We operate on the level that being irrational is being stupid or an insult. We see truth in reason and facts and discount feelings or beliefs as less important. We say someone is not just evil, they are crazy. When someone disagrees with us or wants to make us feel bad they call us crazy. We never consider that we might be the problem or the crazy one.

We also assume crazy is an all or nothing thing. If someone mentally ill was irrational about everything, then how could they end up orchestrating such involved responses to their perceived threats? There are degrees of crazy. There are many very different kinds of Schizophrenia.

Many people with Schizophrenia do not hear voices (hallucinations) or have paranoia (a specific kind of delusion). Not everyone acts on their voices and voices are not always bad. Most people with Schizophrenia do not see hallucinations.

Many religious people think that Schizophrenia is the same thing as being possessed of the devil or that being insane means that you can't understand faith or make spiritual decisions. Just like intelligence not being made greater or less because of Schizophrenia, spiritual and psychological things are as different from each other as physical and psychological things are.

A person with Schizophrenia has a very hard time controlling their brain and so would make a very poor new age practitioner. Most people with Schizophrenia have paranoia that is religious and are often obsessive compulsive about it. So a person with Schizophrenia may think thy are a shaman or a witch, but hopefully they don't actually pursue that area of study.

Dark knight of the soul and long periods of depression are different things as well. You could easily experience both independently of each other or at the same time. But Schizophrenia is not caused by sin nor is it the result of poor living. Having Schizophrenia does not lower your likelihood to have cancer or not be able to walk.

Having Schizophrenia does not make you more violent because you are afraid and so avoid conflict whenever possible. If a person with Schizophrenia gets stressed out too much they just stop showing up. People with Schizophrenia often direct their paranoia towards the medicine so that they think you are poisoning them or trying to control their thoughts.

Paranoia is basically really bad fear of something irrational happening. Remember that to a person with Schizophrenia, these appear totally real although on medicine half our brain is telling us this is doesn't make sense. Then the other aspect of our brain keeps saying that this is crazy but in this case this is what is really happening to you now.

Paranoia is a delusion where you believe a sentient being is coming after you. Paranoia is very real for the person experiencing it because if your brain thinks things and the rational part of your brain that is taught to control your fight or flight response gets destroyed when you have Schizophrenia. On this level of the brain, the brain is you. There is no way to get under or over this part of the brain. You cannot treat Schizophrenia by reasoning with the person in counseling.

Paranoia comes in waves where it is a problem for a period of time maybe days, weeks, or months. Typically it is one of several things with variations. Often times there is a trigger seeing something on TV or the Internet. Paranoia is always worse at night. Paranoia's often involve religious themes and are almost always bad things.

IDLE (Isolation, Depression, and Lack of Energy)

Schizophrenia can often appear the same to Bipolar Disorder to people who know nothing about mental illness or when you do not see a person for more than a few minutes at one time, but they are actually very different. Schizophrenia is much harder to deal with and much harder to treat than Bipolar Disorder, because Bipolar Disorder is a mood disorder, whereas Schizophrenia is a thought disorder.

Mood disorders are simpler to understand and can be treated easier with medication than thought disorders. With Bipolar Disorder, your mood goes to extremes, but with Schizophrenia, your senses and thoughts are much more intense. Everything has meaning to someone with Schizophrenia.

Getting an accurate diagnosis from a doctor who is qualified to diagnose is the essential first step in treating any mental illness. The wrong medicine can have either no effect, bad side effects, or make things worse. You should not do any drugs, even pot as they exasperate both the mental illness symptoms and make it harder to diagnose. Only a psychiatrist with a doctorate in both medicine and psychology who specializes in mental illness is qualified to diagnose you.

Many people take a long time to get the right diagnosis or often never do. The hardest part for the person with the mental illness to do is to keep taking the medicine as they often either feel they don't need it when they are manic or with Schizophrenia transfer their paranoia to the medicine. The even harder part is accepting you need help and believing you are the source of the problem and not the world around you. Schizophrenia gets worse over time, if you wait to get on your psychiatric medicine, as you have each psychotic episode.

To get state aid, you first need to have a stable address and someone to fill out all the forms for you. Do this as soon as possible. It will likely take years to get into a program. When you apply for SSI, they will almost undoubtedly turn you down the first time, so you need to get a lawyer, before they will even consider giving you disability compensation. Get on all the free version of stuff, get into section 8 housing, get Obamacare and basically pay for nothing as you will make almost nothing in state assistance.

Schizophrenia amplifies your thoughts and senses, because you constantly have adrenaline running through your system and the body is constantly in a fight or flight response mode. You are always terrified of and often depressed about something as well. People with Schizophrenia are no more likely to be violent than anyone else and are usually the victims of crimes rather than the perpetrators. Schizophrenia makes people feel afraid, not powerful. Adrenaline feels very different over a longer timeframe than most people experience.

Many people associate Schizophrenia with genius, but the disease does not affect intelligence either way and people with Schizophrenia vary widely in intelligence levels. Have you heard about all those people who were great artists or leaders who were mentally ill? Almost all of them suffered from Bipolar Disorder. You cannot have both at the same time. You can have a less severe form of Schizophrenia called Schziooeffective Disorder with either depression or mania (but not both).

There are two major groups of symptoms in Schizophrenia, which are called positive symptoms and negative symptoms. The positive symptoms are things that you have in addition to a normal person like paranoia, hallucinations, and delusions. The negative symptoms are things a person with Schizophrenia is lacking that an average person has like isolation, depression, and a lack of energy.

Most forms of Schizophrenia do not include audio hallucinations (hearing voices) or paranoia (a specific type of delusion where you believe people are coming after you). All types of Schizophrenia have types of short term memory loss, inappropriate facial expressions, and delusions. Schizophrenia has similar symptoms to those people who have brain damage and it like a much more intense version of an anxiety disorder.

The primary treatment for Schizophrenia is an anti-psychotic medication that is related to the older type of sedatives given to people during surgery. You also must always keep your stress level under control, and live a low stress lifestyle, as high stress will undo the effect of the medicine. Counseling, religion, and many other types of treatments may be helpful in addition to the medicine.

There are no alternative medicine treatments that can substitute for the modern medicine. The real break through in Schizophrenia medicines were in the 1990s. This medicine treatment goes back to about the 1950s.

Before this modern medicine, people with Schizophrenia were usually committed to an institution. Counseling people to accept that their delusions are not real is ineffective. The brain itself is what is damaged chemically and there is no way of getting between the brain and the person as the person is the brain. It is like trying to perform brain surgery on yourself or teach yourself to write when you cannot yet speak.

The medication did not make me any less extreme in my beliefs or change my views on religion or morality and does not make me less creative or more easily controlled by others. I have more control, more happiness, and find it easier to create things since I got on my medicine. It is more painful to not be on the medicine.

I have a combination of both being terrified about something but at the same time knowing it is unlikely to happen. I believe something to be true and nonsense at the same time. This is how the medicine interacts with my paranoia and other delusions. I feel like I have adrenaline running through me as well as feel that I am being pushed down at the same time. I also feel like I am slowly waking up more and more.

The medicines are supposed to just target the brain, but almost always slow the entire body down causing constant tiredness, weight gain, and heart disease/high blood pressure/diabetes. Many of the newer medicines developed after 1990 are not effective with many patients, so that they have to take older drugs, which have even more extreme side effects.

I have Paranoid Schizophrenia and suffer from paranoia and depression mostly and I hear voices sometimes. The most disabling aspects of Schizophrenia and hardest to treat are the social ones. I have gradually re-learned how to fit in with normal people better over many years. Although Paranoid Schizophrenia is the hardest to deal with form of Schizophrenia, it is often more successful in its treatment, because the medicine is more effective with treating the positive symptoms.

Lack of energy, isolation and depression can feed off each other to form a cycle that lasts forever. You are tired because you are taking a sedative, so you do not get out and interact with other people, and then you get depressed, because you become more and more isolated. Ironically, the one thing I wish I could do more than anything else is work a job, even if it was just minimum wage.

Anything that requires me to go to regular meetings or get something done by a certain time stresses me out (which usually triggers paranoia). I have volunteered a number of times, but few organizations will give you the opportunity to do something you find personally fulfilling for them. I have tried to go to school but get stressed out and start getting paranoid.

Computer work has been one of the most successful thing to do, because I can do it at any time and do not have to commit to anything. Even deciding beforehand where I am getting food later that day or my what my next project on the computer will be is stressful to me. I even have a hard time getting on time to movie theaters showings.

One of the things I enjoy in interacting with other people is explaining things to them about academic or technical topics. I find the mentally ill to be the easiest group to work with that needs extra help, because they are actually more sane and less obnoxious than the elderly, the homeless, or young people. I used to be annoyed by what I use to call bus people, but now I think other people see me that way.

Who is Speaking?

God designed the Bible for anyone to understand even to young children and people totally out of their mind. The Bible has a very simple message at its core but it does not give easy answers for difficult problems. Although God is constantly intervening to help us out, He never promised to do so. We brought evil into the world, not God, and we make things complicated and unclear, not God.

As a person who sometimes hears voices even under low stress, I experience a wide range of auditory hallucinations from simple sounds to positive voices, impressions of being communicated to by God or generic voices, sometimes I hear voices that make me afraid, but I can usually tell that someone is not actually talking to me. This is one of the symptoms of a certain kind of Schizophrenia called Paranoid Schizophrenia and also occurs in people without mental illness especially when experiencing high stress situations like solitary confinement or even just not sleeping for 3 days straight.

One of the concerns psychiatrists have about voices is that you will follow whatever you say. Since the voices are often very religious and are often the voice of God or the devil, psychiatrists are deeply suspicious of religious belief in the mentally ill. They think you might mix up the delusional voice that you think is God with the actual God.

To determine whether the voice is God or not, you should be able to safely ignore it because it would be unlikely for a God to communicate to you in that manner because it would be easy to mix up. If God we're really talking to you, He would continue to give you more and more obvious signs to the point that you would have to go out of your way and comment obvious sins to choose the wrong path. Just remember to follow the Ten Commandments and live your life as close to Christ's as possible. These are also the same thing as your conscience.

One of the very frustrating aspects of the state of Psychology and Religion today is that people tend to believe in the Bible or modern psychology, but rarely both and even more rarely have adequate training in both areas. Since many people with Schizophrenia are actually very religious, separating out what is a religious experience and what is a psychological experience or something is caused by religious or psychological reasons could be very helpful.

Many people mix up dark night of the soul, mystical experience, religious rituals, struggles with addictions, existential crisis, news related crisis, depression, psychosis, obsessive compulsive behavior, and other experiences like these because religious and psychological therapies are rarely combined. Diagnosis is critical in these areas of affliction as much as it is for physical ailments. How can you find the solution to anything without knowing its cause?

You can do so with prayer, but I believe that God wants us to have the common sense, maturity, and self responsibility to go beyond this. God can and likely will help you solve any problems in your life, but this is not an excuse to give up and just expect God to solve all your problems Himself. The same is true with sin: just because we are saved no matter what we do, this is not an excuse to continue doing evil.

Many people do not realize this but the Bible is the source of both modern psychology and existentialism. Psychology and theology are both branches of philosophy. Just as God has 3 revealed aspects, we also have three aspects of our existence as well. We are just as much spiritual as we are emotional people.

The ironic thing is that although there are many connections between spiritual and mental disorders in mental illness, Schizophrenia is primarily treated by medicine as people cannot be talked out of their delusions because the part of the brain that handles this in normal people is destroyed or doesn't work properly in people who have Schizophrenia. Even though this most important part of the brain does not work properly in these people, it does not inhibit the ability to make religious decisions or to practice a religion.

So people with Schizophrenia have all the same odds and potential to have as many other emotional as well as spiritual and physical problems as anyone else. But Schizophrenia does not give you any more problems in the spiritual realm than others without the illness. There are other physical and emotional problems that are either symptoms of the medicine to treat the disease or the disease itself which include depression, diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, lack of motivation, loneliness, constant tiredness, poverty, and often homelessness or hospitalization.

Do Not Engage in Battle!

Introduction

Many people see a mental problem in their lives and constantly fight it and come up losing every time. There are 2 basic techniques for resisting thoughts and living with psychological issues. These can apply to anything from mental illness to addiction to obsessive compulsive behavior and depression. If your battle is with yourself then this is for you.

These two techniques are accepting your situation and the things you cannot change about it and distracting yourself from the symptoms, when they are particularly distressing or flaring up. Never take on any fight that you can avoid like someone else's and let God fight the ones within you. Surrender to God rather than fighting the devil. Do something proactive rather than merely resisting.

Acceptance

The first technique is to accept that whether or not your symptoms are good or bad or you deserve them or it is unfair they are just a constant and a reality in your life and are not going away anytime soon. As they say, you cannot break the tree that bends. This means that sometimes resisting something inevitable or something you have no choice over is not effective. What you cannot change are other people and your past.

When I was in the military, I survived well because I knew how to and was willing to do whatever I was told immediately without question and always give at least 150%. No one ever tried to break me because I did everything asked of me.

One of the problems with my just accepting this reality at the time was that I never changed who I was and so was out of place culturally which made some aspects of the military very difficult. I was willing to cooperate fully and give my all, but I was never going to change how I thought.

Stress caused by fighting your issues can cause a huge range of health problems and I had this occur in my life for about 3 years. After Basic Training, I got pink eye which I realized was related to a sensitivity to chemicals that I developed during my first few months in the Army. I thought I would have this for life.

When I went to the eye doctor, I was often in much more pain. After I was on my first anti-psychotic medication for about a week, I no longer needed to take any more eye drops. I still avoid toxic chemicals like cleaners wherever I can, but am fine with just an over the counter allergy pill. So I finally realized that my stress was causing my allergic/ chemical sensitivities.

Distractions

You can only think about so many things at once and so to push something out of your mind, you must add enough other stimulus or thinking to offset what you want to get rid of. Distraction is an important element in warfare. When someone tries to rescue someone, they create a diversion so as to split up the enemy because one part of the enemy forces have to stay guard and the other has to investigate what just happened.

This technique was used several times throughout history, some deliberate and some not. One of the most famous battles in history is when the French (Normans) invaded England and at the same time the Vikings led their last major invasion of England. This required the English to split up their army and so they lost the country to the French. That is officially where the current British royal family history starts.

You never want take on anything strong like yourself in battle. When Apple started the series of products that gradually made Microsoft the company less and less relevant, it first publicly stated that Microsoft did not need to lose in order for Apple to win. Apple then created a parallel computer market for an entirely different market segment - consumers.

Most products Apple created are not workalikes to substitute for Microsoft, Adobe, or other commercial software like you often find in the open source world. OpenOffice.org/Libre Office is a direct competitor to Microsoft Office, whereas Apple iWork suite is really an entirely different product. But I bet a lot more people use Apple iWork suite then use OpenOffice.org/Libre Office.

Conclusion

So in avoiding taking the common approach of using your will to fight the battle alone, focus on what you can do and avoid worrying about what you can't. Keep resisting but be smarter about it and let others help you. Use every available tool and technique. This is not a single battle that you must fight and move on. It is a long war where sometimes just surviving is winning.

Think of how leaders instruct people in emergency situations to not panic and they end up doing what they were told not to, because they didn't know what to do. When someone says "Do not panic", people panic because they don't know how to not do so.

Tell yourself what to do, not what not to do. Don't not panic. Do something slowly that calms you down. Do not try to stop thinking about your symptoms. Distract yourself doing something you love.

Do not use all your energy to fight these difficult situations directly as they are too big for you alone and you need to save your energy for future difficulties. Deny your demons battle.

Feed your good thought and starve your bad ones. Fighting only feeds the bad thoughts because they are actually fighting for your attention. They will settle for even negative attention.

Sound, Sleep, and Mental Issues

Getting a good sleep is one of the best things you can do for your overall health. It is even more important than lowering stress, exercise, or even prescribed medicines. Sleep is often disrupted due to mental illnesses, where you can sleep too little or too much, due to depression and have irregular and less restful sleep due to Schizophrenia due to the medicine and/or the illness. Not getting enough sleep alone can also be the direct cause of mental health issues.

Sound is very tied to sleep. We use sound to wake us up, help us go to sleep, and help keep us a sleep. Most people also enjoy music for recreation. We can use this same technique to help distract us from symptoms from mental illness that keep us awake.

First of all, we have to see sleep as not a shutting off of the mind and that it is connected to the other parts of the day. Getting exercise and allowing enough time to sleep require planning ahead. One of the biggest things that keeps us awake is stress which is often the result of our circumstances and what happens during our day.

We need to keep our minds focused on positive and good things throughout the day. If we see negative images like in the news or on social media, we need to put in enough positive images in our minds to offset these. It is even better to be aware of what triggers your stress and then avoid that task as much as possible.

Music is a great way to help us relax or distract us from symptoms. For symptoms during sleeping, getting to sleep, or getting back to sleep we can use a variety of sounds such as from music. Different genres work for different people and in different situations. Consider music beyond just your personal taste in music.

For distracting yourself from heavy symptoms occurring right then like paranoia or voices, try a much more intense and complex music. Other aspects of music that are better for distracting you include increasing the volume, watching the music video or reading the lyrics at the same time, or listening through headphones. Sometimes you may prefer hard rock, hip hop, or alternative music for when you need heavy distractions.

For trying to get to sleep, try using classical music, Latin music, nature sounds, easy listening, or music from your childhood or your favorite movie. You can still increase the impact by adding more stimulus like having the TV on in the background or turn on a light. You can also vary the music genre and artist or use artists with more emotionally powerful songs or songs with lyrics to add a little more stimulation.

Religion and music go together from the very beginning of time. Music creation or consumption can in itself be a kind of worship. There are a wide variety of genres in Christian music, in particular.

Besides listening to sermons in audio or video and the Bible read aloud as in an audiobook, you also have church worship songs like hymns and modern worship music, Christian songs in other languages and from other time periods and regions, gospel music, and almost every other genre from gothic to hip hop to contemporary. Some might include nature sounds and some classical music like Bach and Handel to be religious music as well.

It is also important to find the paranoia or depressive topics that bothers you personally and what triggers this. It would be good for almost anyone to avoid the news and social media, but science fiction or military based shows can be troubling to even those without mental issues.

Sitcoms, animated movies, romantic comedies, and religious broadcasts can be some of the most positive video genres out there. Other surprisingly negative shows can be found on the family channel called free form and animal channel. Kids like horror movies and animal activists keep showing abused animals.

The overall idea here is find what works for you. There are many things in life without a clear list of do's and don'ts. This is one of those areas. Lowering stress and sleeping well though should be goals for all of us.

Ben H. check mark

20 years later

The art of failure

Background

Current Occupation

Disabled Veteran

Government assistance

Lived independently for over 15 years

Motivation

Failure is the key to success

Failure is always an option

The ten thousand mile journey begins with one trip

Education

Doctorate I bought online

3 years of college with no degree

Read a lot of books

Prepared for disaster survival

20 years to finish personal website

Work Experience

Military one year enlistment

Discharged for being mentally ill

Retired as Private First Class

Boy Scout Summer Camp Counselor

Phone surveys

Security at football games

Multicultural Experience

Created my own philosophy

Based on eastern and western philosophies

Created a Micro-nation

Oversee and advice stuffed toy conflicts

Travel Experience

Military Base in Hawaii (Oahu) for six months

Basic Training in South Carolina

Day trip to Tijuana, Mexico

Skills

Published Work

Self Published all books

Print on Demand Technology

Concise writing

Only 60 books in 20 years

Clear focus

Almost all non-fiction topics

Consistent progress

One month to five years to complete a book

Completely original works

1/2 of many books length is quoted from scripture

Opportunity for monetization

People don't read anymore

Marketing strategy

Biggest weakness

Future Prospects and Goals

Staying out of the hospital

Keep taking my medicine

Survive global warming

Go north as weather changes

Not panicking during disasters

Live low stress life

Avoid becoming famous

References

My stuffed toys

The voices in my head

To Be Young Again

When you are young

You run many miles

When you get older

You are happy to walk

When I was young

I wanted to be famous

I wanted to be rich

I wanted to live in a big city

I wanted to live far away

The more interesting parts of the world

Are like the more interesting parts of life

At first we seek beauty and pleasure

But later all we can see is trash and danger

If I could return to my youth

I would make some different decisions

But I would never devote 20 years

To a single project

I would have never joined the military

I could not imagine what career I would have

I would be much more cautious

And I would trust people much less

I would seek for a way to pay the bills

I would not be so hard on myself

Or have such ridiculously ambitious goals

I would have not been afraid of failure

I would be happier with less money

I would not expect so much of myself

I would not feel I needed to solve others problems

I would be happy to sleep in a warm bed at night

And accept that much of life is repetitive

At the end of the day

Working an honest job would be more than enough

I would be more concerned with my own well being

I would be happy to merely keep the faith

I would not desire to travel

Or get depressed by the news

I would accept that I cannot change

Other people and their business

I would be happy to read

And watch the occasional movie

If I had enough money

To build up some good amount in savings

I would accept that I did my best

To prepare for the future

I would work much harder each day

But be much happier

Of course if I still became mentally ill

I would need to happy with much less

It is true that Schizophrenia is about fear

And the natural response is to withdraw

No one in government really understands or cares

No one is even aware of how we live

Few of us can advocate for ourselves

Few of us can even read a whole book

Being mentally ill

Is a full time job in and of itself

But honest work

Is what we desire to do the most

So many people despise those on government assistance

And women say they want a man with a job

Being an (old fashioned) man I desire to work

And provide for myself

But sometimes we need to accept where we are

Sometimes merely surviving is winning

Encouraging Words 2

Best Veteran's and Birthday Cards

for the last 15 years

by Leo, Melissa, and Rebecca Huot

Veteran's Day

2007

We are so proud of the service you gave to our country. I don't know why you had to pay such a high price. You have accepted the sacrifice asked of you with such courage and tenacity that I am challenged to reach higher in my Iife too. I suppose there is a reason why God does not answer all these questions we have and why. When I feel so overwhelmed I think of your faithfulness each day and that nothing, nothing can separate us from the love of God. The love that created us, sustains us and will receive us home for eternity. Praise God. You are our hero.

All our love, Dad and Mom.

2009

We are so proud of your willingness to serve your country. You are a fine son and wonderful man - generous, kind, loving, intelligent, with a great sense of humor. You inspire and encourage me many days. The Lord will answer our prayers in the right time and help us to rest in His peace as we wait together. I am very thankful I have you to share with - it makes it easier. All our Love, Mom and Dad

2011

You gave so very much to serve our country and have never complained or been angry! We are also proud of how you have grown into a loving and caring son and citizen and man. We know you have and continue to have to work hard to overcome all the limitations your illness gives you. God continues to give you grace. We also are so blessed by how you grow in your faith. You have been such an inspiration and example to help me. Enjoy the day. We love you with all our hearts. Mom and Dad

2012

Thanks so much for being willing to serve to protect our freedom and wonderful way of life where we can make our decisions and live as we choose. Most important of all, we can worship as we decide. Love you honey, Mom and Dad

2015

Thank you honey, for your sacrifice so we might be free. You handle your disability with such acceptance and grace. You gave up so much and continue to suffer so much yet you never complain. I know there is much we don't understand. We love you dearly and are very proud of you and all you have accomplished. I hope this is a good day for you. All our love, Mom

Hi Ben,

This is the day we celebrate you and your sacrifice. We are proud of you! Love, Dad.

2016

We are very proud of you for serving our country. The sacrifice asked of you was very dear, but your response has been truly amazing. Through God's blessing and your constant hard work you are doing wonderfully. I respect the man you have become: loyal, honest, kind, generous and loving. A mother couldn't ask for more. Love, Mom and Dad

2017

Recognizing and celebrating you! Thank you for your service.

We are so proud of you and all you have accomplished on the computer and the website, as well as dealing with and conquering limitations of your illness

We love you, Dad and Mom

Undated

We love you so much! We are very proud of the man you have grown into. You are thoughtful, intelligent, caring, have a great sense of humor and are a very patient teacher. Your mind knows no ends. I love discussing history with you. You gave so much but have worked very hard to relearn and come back to be as independent as possible. I know how hard you have to work at this and you progress is truly amazing. Without the Lord this wouldn't have been possible. I know the Lord watches out for you in a special way. All our love honey, Mom and Dad

Birthdays

2004

Dear Ben, Happy 26th!

I treasure your friendship each day.

Love,

Rebecca

2005

I know we have told you many times how proud we are of you. I want you to know. We don't say this merely in passing. You are truly an amazing individual. You have accepted the very difficult life given to you and handled it with strength and humor - not allowing it to overwhelm you every single day getting up to face the many challenges and pushing yourself to achieve the goals you set. We love you so much and feel very privileged that you include us so much in your life. May your 27th birthday be as special as you are.

Ben, you are a remarkable young man. You have many fine qualities! All our Love, Mom and Dad

2006

You are a wonderful son - loving, caring, generous and full of humor. Thanks for sharing your life with us and enriching us both. God has blessed us deeply with the gift of you as our son. We want you to know you fill our hearts with love and pride.

Happy 28th

All our love, Mom and Dad

2007

Dear Ben -

I enjoy our relationship so much! I am honored to be related to you and I always enjoy the wonderful and stimulating conversations that we have.

Enjoy the last year of your 20s!

Rebecca

2008

Happy 30th birthday to a wonderful son. We are so proud of the man you have become. You are kind and generous, hardworking, caring, tenacious and growing in wisdom and godliness.

All our love, Mom and Dad

Dear Ben, Happy 32nd!

I hope these books help you with your humor and writing pursuits.

Much love,

Rebecca

2010

And you are above the ordinary. You have continued to grow and mature so much this year. Your perseverance in spite of your limitations is an inspiration and motivator to me. This next year is going to be an adventure for you in your new apartment close to so many new opportunities. You have so much to offer to others - you are kind, honest, have a great sense of humor, you are caring, thoughtful and I feel so blessed to have you as my son. You are so sweet and supportive of me. Many days your call gets me up and going. You've already accomplished so much - living independently learning about and managing your illness plus all your research and the many books you have written. The future lies before you and I look forward to you enjoyment of it. We are so proud of you and love you dearly.

Wishing you blessings, peace of God which passes all understanding, and the closeness of God in your life. We celebrate you!

All or love, Mom and Dad

2011

Dear Ben - Happy Birthday!

I'm so glad we have a good relationship.

Love you so much,

Rebecca

2011

How wonderful to have your birthday land on Easter. To celebrate you and the Lord's resurrection on the same day! You are such a joy - a gift from Our Lord to us. Never forget what a special man you are. We love you dearly. Mom and Dad

2013

35 years

Wishing you a relaxing and enjoyable birthday. We are proud of you and your many accomplishments and contributions.

Love you so much my best friend.

Love, Dad and Mom

2014

Happy 36!

Hi Ben - We want you to wish you a very happy birthday. We are both very proud of the young man you are and your many accomplishments.

Have a happy, happy day. I hope the Hurd Herd throws you a surprise party!

All our love, Dad and Mom

2017

Dear Ben,

I feel so blessed to have my son be one of my best friends. I can talk to you about anything. You're a good listener with good advice and insight. You have a wonderful sense of humor that I delight in. You are definitely one of my spiritual mentors and have given me very helpful insights into living my faith. It is a joy to celebrate your 39th Birthday! It was just you and me on that first day when you were born. I remember it well. You have grown into a godly, loving, generous, thoughtful and highly educated man. We could be prouder of you honey.

Love, Mom

Dear Ben - We celebrate you, your accomplishments, the person you are and what the Lord has done in your life.

Love always, Dad

Undated

I think back on the day you were born. I remember it very well. You cried so much your first 4 months I always thought it was because you were taken before you were ready to be born. After that, you were happy and cheerful. You loved to play with blankets and rolled all over the place. You didn't do much crawling, just rolling and then you walked! The Lord has given me such a wonderful gift in you as my son. You are truly my best friend and it means the world to me. I love you honey. Thanks for loving me. Love, Mom and Dad