Thursday, October 3, 2013

Mood Swings, Depression and Lack of Sleep - Are You Trying Too Hard to Be Normal?

I have a love hate relationship with Raffaello Colombo because of her 'pure science' approach to the human psyche. Whenever I attend one of her lectures she manages to push all my buttons about the nature of the human psyche yet at the same time she makes me think more deeply about ideas I take for granted.

How so?

Once, in a previous lecture, she demonstrated that religious experience can be had on tap just by electrically stimulating a certain place in the brain!

I got my own back after the lecture by demonstrating to her how thought can instantly impact on the body; that one can make one's hand grow in an instant as much as quarter of an inch just by intending this for a few seconds. (Ha ha, nothing like instantly measurable results to blow the mind of a scientist.)

Anyway, back to her lecture on mood swings and musing about mood, sleep, humanity, and the danger of 'normalcy' ever since.

If you only sleep a few hours a night, this is time to prick up your ears. Some useful info follows.

If you're not manic, depressed or bipolar or prone to mood swings of any type, have no sleep irregularities whatsoever and consider yourself 'perfectly normal' you can save time by just skipping down to 'what's normal for humanity?'

Colombo spoke about the fact that mood decides and informs the life of a person. She also spoke about the historical link between creativity and 'the melancholic temperament'. I'm interested in this as a hand analyst because this tendency is visible in one's hand, (through the degree to which one's headline (thinking style) curves down into the spiritual 'unconscious' side of the hand. (the moon). )

What I found really interesting was the idea that there are degrees of mania. And what really is 'normal'?

Gradations of mood:

Severe mania
mild depression
moderate depression
severe depression

We're mostly all familiar with the extreme version of mania where the person is overly confident to the point of putting themselves and others at risk. (eg. Movies Eternal sunshine or Mr Jones.) Or the slightly less extreme form which Colombo labelled 'hypomania'.

What are the characteristics of hypomania?

  • Elevated mood, euphoric, unusually cheerful

  • Uncritical self confidence/ inflated self esteem,

  • Decreased need for sleep

  • Over activity and acceleration of thinking

  • Distractibility

  • Increased involvement in goal-directed activities (!)

  • Not able to consider the painful consequences of behaviour. Therefore, excessive involvement in pleasurable activities (eg. Buying sprees or indiscriminate enthusiasm for sex.)

  • Rapid non-stop talk without regard for other's communication wishes (difficult to interrupt)

  • Objective time slow/subjective time fast. Time is too fast so one is not capable of doing 'mind reading'/getting feedback from others.

  • Flights of ideas: Feeling one has the capacity for more thought than others, don't understand why others are so slow. Joking, punning, amusing irrelevancies.

Colombo also described the characteristics of depression and the tendency to swing up and down, like a pendulum. The higher you go, the lower you go.

What was most interesting to me was Colombo's description of a mild form of mania, a state called 'hyerthemia'. Also, she gave the key how to control this and stop yourself slipping into a more extreme form of manic behaviour.

Sleep is the core of the problem and therefore points to the solution. If your sleep is totally unbalanced you will start tipping in the direction of mania. If you want to control this you have to control your sleep either naturally or chemically (taking fish oil, vitamin D and minerals ( magnesium, chromium and lithium) or by taking sleeping pills. All foods, whether natural or junk, have a chemical effect. We tamper with sleep and mood all the time through the quality of the food we eat or our use/abuse of caffeine, alcohol and drugs.

So what is hyperthemia and have you got it?

Hyperthemia (I love the proximity to hyperthermia!) is a state of elevated mood, cheerfulness, optimism, where one is overly confident but not totally out of control. It is characterised by being able to achieve a super human go-go-go work load without rest or much sleep.

Colombo said you know you are in this state if your sleeping pattern is irregular. People who 'suffer' from this condition are often highly successful. The danger is that if one stays in this state too long one can progress to full blown mania characterised by irresponsible behaviour and the other symptoms listed above.The other danger is the cumulative lack of sleep could tip you into the other side of the pendulum swing, namely mild or severe depression and longer periods of required sleep.

You can prevent yourself toppling into depression by making sure you get enough sleep. You carefully manage and control the pendulum swing, making it shallower rather than deeper.

So what is 'normal' for humanity?

Raffeala Colombo prescribes (chemically induced) 'normalcy' as the solution and this is where I disagree with her. I think this is extremely dangerous advice for humanity at this point in our evolution. Not the method of getting there so much as the condition.

I maintain that if most humans didn't have hyperthemia flushed out of them at an early age, this would be the rightful 'normal' state for humanity. We are extraordinary beings, capable of transcending the human form. Deep down we know this and fear it too. Because if we acknowledge that we are at the steering wheel of our own lives then there's no one else to blame...

The main problem with humanity is that we totally under value our potential and capabilities. Both as a species and individually. Humanity is in danger of slipping and the entire world with us because we are all pretending to be far smaller than we really are.

Hence the powerful wake up call by Marianne Williamson '.....our real fear is we are powerful beyond measure....your playing small does not serve the world.....'

The extreme manics are right in a sense. But they are leaving out essential details such as, yes we are spirits at play and we are capable of everything but we do also have a body. This is a material world and there are responsibilities (and also delicious rewards) that come with this... I think to really cure mania one shouldn't aim to bring them right down to the lowliness of 'normalcy' but rather teach them the rules of this universe and self mastery skills to cope with being in a body.

I think of the many people doing really important work right now to help us step into our full human potential one man stands out and that's Paul Scheele of Learning Strategies.


Because he teaches practical techniques to step past one's conscious mind to access infinite mind. E.g. His PhotoReading program.

I think the world is speeding up and information doubling for good reason. It's forcing us to each connect with source/our infinite genius minds.

How does Scheele's system work? The starting point to this method is intention. Once one has clear objectives about why one should read/listen to anything one then has choice. Do I need/want this or not? Then we step beyond conscious mind which goes too slow and allow genius mind to find quickly exactly the phrase we need.

If we are fully connected to source we can do this anyway (like Emma Kunz could) without seeking information outside of ourselves. It all comes down to intuition. But sometimes we confuse the small voice of fear with our genuine intuition/connection with source. Actually, there is a huge difference. We need to learn to recognise the difference and we can do this by monitoring how the thought makes us feel or other signs. For example, when I get genuine intuition I get a tickle on the back of my neck.

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