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Saturday, January 24, 2009

New Year, new president, new attitude on life

Hey again. It's been a long time since I've been here. I've been busy with life. My New Year's Day was good. I had a quiet, relaxing vacation. The highlight of this year so far is the inauguration of the first black president in the U.S., Barack Obama. I was so thrilled when he won the 2008 Presidential Election. Big smile and a Yes! to that. And since the inauguration, I've been feeling better and I have resolved to change my attitude on life. I will be happy and content like I once was. Say good-bye to depression. I've started reading Feeling Good: The New Mood Therapy by David D. Burns this evening. He says that depression is not a mental disorder. He says that people feel sad because of their distorted, negative thoughts. He has a point, but this point doesn't address the chemical imbalance aspect of depression, but I digress. Anyway, so through cognitive therapy, which his book is about, people can and do feel happier. He wrote that within 12 weeks, there was a noted difference in people's mental state. How does he measure mental state? With a test called the Beck Depression Inventory. It has 21 questions and for each question, there are 4 options. Each option has a value ranging from 0-3. My score was a 20, which put me in the category of Borderline Clinical Depression. It is serious, but not as bad as moderate, severe, or extreme depression, the categories above the category I fit in right now. Ideally, my score should be a 10 or below 5. But if I keep reading and learn the therapy, I should be able to see improvement. I got to stick with it, just like how an athlete should keep training so that they will perform well during competition. My competition will be how I hold up through life's many situations.