Wednesday, January 4, 2012

what to do if you can't afford therapy

eat chocolate. okay, you didn't need me to tell you that. the stuff can be amazingly effective. i don't know how many times i've shifted a mood simply by crunching an oatmeal-chocolate-chip cookie. no, it doesn't always work. that's a given. it can be an addiction on its own. and what we know about addictions so far, even strong drugs can't end them. only five-step programs have a prayer of doing so.

i do get mixed up. am i a social being or a chemical animal? how does the first affect the second and vice-versa. considering my blood travels 50,000 miles a day, my kidneys processing 300 gallons, a lot of stuff must be sailing thru my system. how the body keeps all that in balance, or doesn't, a great mystery. no wonder what we eat determines who we are. well, not totally, exercise, for instance, can rouse endorphins and a feeling of well-being, unless you get so exhausted you fall in a ditch and expire of hypothermia.

we're meant to move, and a lot of problems arise when we don't. i wonder if a personal trainer couldn't do more than a therapist? and the right drug does work wonders. i met a guy in costa rica taking a vacation from running a biology lab. he invited me to visit him in oregon, which i did. he said the day before i arrived he suddenly felt normal for the first time in his life, his escape to central america giving a respite for the drug to take affect. and just this past week a friend suffering from long-term depression said people finding her more relaxed, the right drug discovered after an extended and painful search. 

personally, i've spent thousands of dollars on therapy when it was a lot cheaper than now. having always having had pretensions to being an elitist,  I barked up that wrong tree and fought off suicidal impulses simply with luck.  my medical doctor encouraged me to try prozac for a year before i would. and once that worked, i added welbutrin to beef up the dopamine. yes, we're chemical beings and somehow we've got to accept it and get the balance right. otherwise it's crack cocaine and heroin, deployed in a war only they can win.

my friend dennis palumbo has a new article on the subject of therapists as villains. i wonder if they're seen as anti-democratic (expensive) and conservative. my therapist years ago said, 'most people happier mainstream'. and in japan therapy states, 'your problem not loving your mother enough.'

in berkeley over new year's i took a few pics. a lot of people out there could use some help: