Every achiever I have ever met says, 'My life turned around when I began to believe in me.' (Robert Schuller)
As the lion in the Wizard of Oz had to learn, courage exists inside of you. You just have to dredge it up after years of burying it behind your safety zones.
Everyone was born with courage. You may not remember learning how to walk, but you know you fell hundreds of times before you stood on your own. Learning to walk took courage. And you succeeded because you had little fear or doubt.
Eventually, that changed. Parents and other caregivers told you to be careful, to avoid dangers. Society, after all, values comfort over fulfillment. "We've been exposed to a barrage of messages that discourage us from being courageous," says Harold Bloomfield, MD, a Yale-trained psychiatrist and author of Making Peace With Your Past.
Why do you need courage? Because courage will help you live your life the way you want. "Courage is learning to overcome fear," says Dr. Bloomfield, "and when you do that, you grow."
Today, courage is needed more than ever before. In polls that Stoltz conducted, 98% of people predicted more difficulty, chaos and uncertainty in their lives in the future. Stoltz says that 10 years ago, the average number of challenges people faced in a day was seven. Today, that number has risen to 23.
Linda Larsen, author of True Power, knows firsthand the power of courage. Over 20 years ago, she was kidnapped, raped and held hostage for over five hours. She summoned courage she didn't know she had and escaped. "My courage didn't let me down," she says. "Once you know courage is always in you, you can start learning to act more courageously in life."
There are, though, things that stand between you and your courageous self. Dr. Bloomfield lists the following obstacles:
Stoltz says you draw courage from what matters to you. "The changes you're willing to make are the ones that have the greatest significance," he says. For example, if you've been offered a job that will force you to move across the country but you don't care about the job, you'll have a hard time finding courage to make the move.
Once you've decided what matters, then follow these suggestions for becoming more courageous.
Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD)is characterized by anxious thoughts or rituals you feel you can't control. People with OCD are plagued by persistent, unwelcome thoughts or images, or by the urgent need to engage in certain rituals. Symptoms of OCD include:
The disturbing thoughts or images are called obsessions, and the rituals that are performed to try to prevent or dispel them are called compulsions. The person with OCD gets no pleasure in carrying out the rituals they are drawn to, only temporary relief from the discomfort caused by the obsession.
A lot of healthy people can identify with having some of the symptoms of OCD, such as checking the stove several times before leaving the house. But the disorder is diagnosed only when such activities consume at least an hour a day, are very distressing, and interfere with daily life. Most adults with this condition recognize that what they're doing is senseless, but they can't stop it. Some people, though, particularly children with OCD, may not realize that their behavior is out of the ordinary.
If OCD grows severe enough, it can keep someone from holding down a job or from carrying out normal responsibilities at home, but more often it doesn't develop to those extremes. Left untreated, obsessions and the need to perform rituals can take over a person's life. OCD is often a chronic, relapsing illness. Fortunately, effective treatments have been developed to help people with OCD.
About 2% of the U.S. population has OCD in a given year. OCD typically begins during adolescence or early childhood. At least one-third of the cases of adult OCD began in childhood. Roughly 1 in 50 people develop OCD and it affects men and women in approximately equal numbers. It can appear in childhood, adolescence, or adulthood, but on the average it first shows up in the teens or early adulthood. A third of adults with OCD experienced their first symptoms as children.
The course of the disease is variable-symptoms may come and go, they may ease over time, or they can grow progressively worse. Evidence suggests that OCD might run in families. Depression or other anxiety disorders may accompany OCD. Some people with OCD have eating disorders. In addition, they may avoid situations in which they might have to confront their obsessions. Or they may try unsuccessfully to use alcohol or drugs to calm themselves.
There is growing evidence that OCD has a neurobiological basis. It is no longer attributed to family problems or to attitudes learned in childhood - for example, an inordinate emphasis on cleanliness, or a belief that certain thoughts are dangerous or unacceptable.
Instead, the search for causes now focuses on the interaction of neurobiological factors and environmental influences. Brain imaging studies using a technique called positron emission tomography (PET) have compared people with and without OCD. Those with OCD have patterns of brain activity that differ from people with other mental illnesses or people with no mental illness at all. In addition, PET scans show that in patients with OCD, both behavioral therapy and medication produce changes in the caudate nucleus, a part of the brain. This is graphic evidence that both psychotherapy and medication affect the brain.
A combination of the two therapies is often an effective method of treatment for most patients. Some individuals respond best to one therapy, some to another.
Clinical trials in recent years have shown that drugs that affect the neurotransmitter serotonin can significantly decrease the symptoms of OCD. These drugs include fluvoxamine, paroxetine, sertraline, clomipramine and fluoxetine. All these serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SRIs) have proven effective in treatment of OCD. If a patient does not respond well to one SRI, another SRI may give a better response. For patients who are only partially responsive to these medications, research is being conducted on the use of an SRI as the primary medication and one of a variety of medications as an additional drug (an augmenter). Medications are of great help in controlling the symptoms of OCD, but often, if the medication is discontinued, relapse will follow. Most patients can benefit from a combination of medication and behavioral therapy.
Traditional psychotherapy, aimed at helping the patient develop insight into his or her problem, is generally not helpful for OCD. However, a specific behavior therapy approach called "exposure and response prevention" is effective for many people with OCD. In this approach, the patient is deliberately and voluntarily exposed to the feared object or idea, either directly or by imagination, and then is discouraged or prevented from carrying out the usual compulsive response. For example, a compulsive hand washer may be urged to touch an object believed to be contaminated, and then may be denied the opportunity to wash for several hours. When the treatment works well, the patient gradually experiences less anxiety from the obsessive thoughts and becomes able to do without the compulsive actions for extended periods of time.
Studies of behavior therapy for OCD have found it to produce long-lasting benefits. To achieve the best results, a combination of factors is necessary: The therapist should be well trained in the specific method developed; the patient must be highly motivated; and the patient's family must be cooperative. In addition to visits to the therapist, the patient must be faithful in fulfilling "homework assignments." For those patients who complete the course of treatment, the improvements can be significant. With a combination of pharmacotherapy and behavioral therapy, the majority of OCD patients will be able to function well in both their work and social lives. The ongoing search for causes, together with research on treatment, promises to yield even more hope for people with OCD and their families.
OCD is sometimes accompanied by depression, eating disorders, substance abuse, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, or other anxiety disorders. When a person also has other disorders, OCD is often more difficult to diagnose and treat. Symptoms of OCD can also coexist and may even be part of a spectrum of neurological disorders, such as Tourette's syndrome. Appropriate diagnosis and treatment of other disorders are important to successful treatment of OCD.
Source: The National Institute of Mental Health
Adapted from the National Institute of Mental Health by HealthGate Editorial Staff
Beliefnet.com: Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD)
"There are some people who live in a dream world, and there are some who face reality; and then there are those who turn one into the other." (Douglas Everett, American Hockey Player)
Strength does not come from physical capacity. It comes from an indomitable will. (Gandhi)
I do not generally focus on the morbid things of life because God knows that there is enough of that around without me writing about it! Some of life's oddities do intrigue me however, such as how or why certain celebrities met with their deaths. If this catches your interest, then perhaps you will enjoy my post for today.
Duane Allman - musician
1971 --- motorcycle accident.
Sherwood Anderson - writer
1941 --- after swallowing a toothpick at a cocktail party he died of peritonitis on an ocean liner bound for Brazil.
John Jacob Astor
1912 --- drowned with the "unsinkable" Titanic.
Attila the Hun
453 AD --- bled to death from a nosebleed on his wedding night.
Alexander I of Greece - king of the Hellenes 1917–20
1920 --- died October 25, from blood poisoning after being bitten by his gardener's pet monkey.
Aleksandr II (Aleksandr Nikolaevich) - Czar of Russia 1855-81
1881 --- assassinated by a bomb which tore off his legs, ripped open his belly and mutilated his face.
1817 --- Addison's disease.
Sir Francis Bacon
1626 --- pneumonia. He was experimenting with freezing a chicken by stuffing it with snow.
Lucille Desiree Ball
1989 --- died after undergoing heart surgery.
Velma (Margie) Barfield
1984 --- 1st woman executed in US since restoration of death penalty in 1967. (For poisoning her fiancée.)
Cheri Jo Bates
1966 --- 1st victim of the Zodiac killer. Murdered at Riverside Community College in California, her jugular and larynx were severed.)
Thomas a Becket - Archbishop of Canterbury
1170 --- murdered in the Canterbury cathedral by four knights, supposedly on orders by Henry II.
Ludwig van Beethoven
1827 --- cirrhosis of the liver.
1982 --- drug overdose.
1936 --- the last publicly executed criminal in US. Executed by hanging.
1991 --- died of AIDS. She had contracted the disease from her dentist.
1692 --- 1st of the witches hung in Salem, Massachusetts. She was executed on June 10.
(Salem witches: Almost 150 "witches" were arrested, but only 31 were tried in 1692. All 31, including 6 males, were sentenced to death. Nineteen were hanged, 2 died in jail, and 1 man was slowly pressed to death under heavy stones. None were burned.)
Amanda Blake (Beverly Neill) - actress (Miss Kitty on "Gunsmoke")
1989 --- AIDS contracted from her bisexual husband.
1536 --- beheaded for adultery by request of Henry VIII.
Neil Bonnett - race car driver
1994 --- car crash, killed during practice at the Daytona International Speedway.
Salvatore "Sonny" Bono
1998 --- crashed into a tree while skiing.
1976 --- on July 27th - 1st person to die of "Legionnaire's Disease."
Charles Brooks, Jr.
1982 --- 1st criminal executed in US by lethal injection.
Elizabeth Barrett Browning - poet
1861 --- acute bronchitis.
Jeff Buckley - musician
1997 --- drowned in the Mississippi River, near Mud Island Harbor, on May 29. His body wasn't found until June 4.
Lord Byron (George Gordon)
1824 --- died of malarial fever.
Calamity Jane (Martha Jane Canary)
1903 --- pneumonia following a bout of heavy drinking.
Al Capone - Chicago gangster
1947 --- syphilis.
Karen Carpenter - singer
1983 --- heart failure caused by anorexia nervosa, at age 32.
Jack Cassidy - actor
1976 --- died in a fire, while asleep on the couch in his apartment.
Catherine the Great - Empress of Russia
1796 --- a stroke, while going to the bathroom.
Nicolae Ceausescu - Romanian president
1989 --- executed by firing squad, on live television, along with his wife.
Anton Joseph Cermak - mayor of Chicago
1933 --- assassinated by accident when riding with Franklin Roosevelt in motorcade.
Sergei Chalibashvili - diver
1983 --- diving accident. Attempted a three-and-a-half reverse somersault in the tuck position during the World University Games. On the way down, he smashed his head on the board and was knocked unconscious. He died after being in a coma for a week.
Raymond Johnson Chapman - Cleveland Indians baseball player
1920 --- died one day after being struck in head by baseball pitch, becoming the only player ever killed as result of major league baseball game.
Charles I - English king
1649 --- beheaded by order of Parliament under Oliver Cromwell on January 30.
Conor Clapton - son of musician Eric Clapton
1991 --- fell out of 53rd floor window at the age of 5.
30 BC --- suicide by poison, supposedly from a venomous snake.
Nat "King" Cole - singer
1965 --- died of complications following surgery for lung cancer.
1939 --- cancer of the jaw, palate, throat and tongue.
Bobby Fuller - musician
1966 --- his badly beaten body was discovered in a parked car in Los Angeles. His death was attributed to asphyxia through the forced inhalation of gasoline.
Rajiv Gandhi - prime minister of India from 1984 until 1989
1991 --- killed by a bomb, hidden in a bouquet of flowers, which exploded in his hand. Like his mother, Prime Minister Indira Gandhi, Rajiv Gandhi was assassinated.
Judy Garland (Frances Gumm)
1969 --- overdose of sleeping pills.
Marvin Gaye (Marvin Pentz Gay, Jr.) - singer
1984 --- murdered on his birthday by his father.
Vitas Kevin Gerulaitis - tennis player
1994 --- died in his sleep of carbon monoxide poisoning at the home of a friend.
Andy Gibb - singer
1988 --- heart infection.
Gary Mark Gilmore
1977 --- 1st American executed after restoration of US death penalty in 1976. (Executed by firing squad.)
John Glasscock - musician (Jethro Tull)
1979 --- heart infection caused by an abscessed tooth.
Olivia Goldsmith - author, "First Wives Club"
2004 --- complications resulting from anesthesia during plastic surgery.
Taken from an article titled: Unusual Celebrity Deaths, www.corsinet.com - Trivia
The life of the individual only has meaning insofar as it aids in making the life of every living thing nobler and more beautiful. Life is sacred that is to say, it is the supreme value to which all other values are subordinate. (Albert Einstein)