Parapsychology Journalism: The People, The Theory, The Science, The Skeptics
Minor update 4-24-10
Not much is written about what it’s like to be an overly sensitive person in this world. There are some that believe that it must be really cool to be psychic. Indeed if you look at a lot of psychic literature, it is generally very positive about using your intuition and connecting to the world. The New Age stuff has a lot of emphasis on the positive as well. Everywhere you look, it’s supposed to be this wonderful magical experience.
I know better. Yes, there is something special about being able to connect with others on a deep level, there is a possibility of real joy and happiness that I think is denied to most people, and there are a wide range of experiences that are very rich and rewarding. These parts of our lives need to be honored and respected, but we must also acknowledge that this is not the whole story.
For anyone who doesn’t understand this I’ll give you a dose of reality. If you are psychic, you can’t help it. It’s not a choice anymore than being gay or being of your ethnicity. You are born with it and all the sensitivity that comes along with it; it is your life and you have to deal with it. You get the whole package and you don’t get to choose which parts you will keep and which you won’t.
One aspect of this sensitivity is that psychic people tend to become people pleasers. The natural empathy we are capable of can be focused on putting the needs of others before our own. We’re less likely to stand up for our own needs because we can so easily understand the needs of others. This leads to an inability as an adult to know what we want or even what we like. That is the highway to depression.
Very few psychic children have understanding parents and relatives and do not understand what is different about them or even that there is something different about them at all. To each of us, the world we inhabit looks normal and we don’t understand that other people don’t think the same way. Soon enough though, we begin to comprehend that we don’t quite fit in. I can remember as a child constantly being on the outside looking in. Other kids could laugh and play and get along with each other. I just couldn’t quite manage that.
I did what I think most psychic children do. I began the slow and painful process of trying to fit in; something that never quite works, but which becomes a talent of sorts. I was very good at acting because that was how I was spending most of my time. There is no identity to be had in western culture and certainly no respect or understanding. One should always keep in mind that a great number of people are convinced that psychic abilities do not even exist. Of course this means that people such as myself are viewed as delusional; naturally, I cannot help but feel hurt by this.
A very few psychic people grow up in households that accept psychic ability and they fare much better. They grow up with a strong sense of self; but most of us have to learn it on the fly. We have to learn about our own sensitivity the hard way: by making mistakes and getting hurt. The need to fit in and be accepted is very strong, but is always denied to us; what most people don’t realize is that only normal people want to be different. For those of us who really are different, being normal looks pretty good.
We are profoundly affected in who we are by being psychic, even if we never use the talent, and when we go out into the world we discover that the gift is not taken seriously, is not understood and is not considered to be of much value. In fact, embracing who we are is sure to put us on the fringes of society in a hurry. That’s a choice that can make us miserable: We can only fit in by denying who we are. If we embrace the reality that we really live in, we leave most of the world behind.
Because we are so emotional, and we have these constant conflicts, we struggle with depression. Many psychic people deal with it their entire lives; it makes alcohol attractive. I don’t think that there is a single psychic person who doesn’t go through this at some point, and most of us have gone through depression several times.
Many people think that depression is about feeling bad. But that is not the case. Depression is about not feeling; that is to say, the ability to feel is severely depressed. The emotions are shut down and we feel disconnected. It becomes an actual neurological condition. To get out of depression then, means feeling again. It is something that we’re good at and that comes naturally to us, so that if we’re able to address what’s causing the depression, we’ll generally be able to lift it without resorting to medication.
To even begin to unlock our emotions during depression it’s important to understand the importance of the role our subconscious plays in our lives. What we feel and think on the surface may be the complete opposite in our subconscious. For example, while I may be able to talk very convincingly about the reality of psi and have all the facts at my disposal, I may still be unconsciously doubting myself. That’s normal and if we are going to address depression we have to be aware of this aspect of our psyche.
It’s hard to say exactly what gets us all locked up, and I’m sure that some of the reasons for our depression we share with the rest of the world, but we have some of our own unique issues to deal with. And the one that is probably the most frightening to us is:
Are we making it all up?
In other words: Are we crazy? Are we deluding ourselves? On the surface we may have convinced ourselves that we’re completely confident, but underneath, we may still be questioning ourselves. The test for this is to see how we react if someone doubts us. The strength of our reaction to people who are skeptical of our abilities is an indication of how strongly we hold that fear. I have personally never met a psychic person who did not react. Apparently we all doubt ourselves to some extent despite all evidence to the contrary.
I have learned to handle skeptics much better, but I it took an enormous amount of factual data and a sharp memory to get to this point. To get past this, you have to be able to clearly understand what kind of people they are as well. (I’ve covered this in the post: There are no good skeptics.). But a steady diet of these people is going to drag us down and it’s best to avoid them. To constantly debate and argue with them is nothing more than a reflection of our own insecurity.
We can also suffer from chronic over stimulation. If we are in a situation where our mind never gets a rest from the emotions of the world around us, it will start to shut down. An example of this situation is working in a high pressure job. It’s not just the pressure that we feel, but also the pressure that those around us feel as well. This is as much a cause of depression as any other.
Another thing that contributes to depression is being a passive aggressive personality, which is very common in highly sensitive people, and therefore psychic people.. This kind of behavior eats away at the gut and deprives us of happiness. I changed that behavior in myself simply by refusing to be dishonest with people about what I thought, how I felt and I stopped agreeing to do things that I knew I wasn’t going to do. It was very hard at first and it upset my family quite a bit for awhile, but things did settle down and I’m much happier for it.
To avoid depression we need to own up to the things that cause us stress. Jobs that require a lot of contact with people, high pressure jobs and being treated poorly in a job affect us more than other people. If we can’t spend some time alone to concentrate and do our work; if demands are constantly put upon us, we’ll wear down quickly mentally and be susceptible to depression.
I don’t have any empirical proof for this, but I suspect that the mood altering drugs used for depression do not work very well for psychic people. We tend to avoid mind altering drugs anyway since we don’t get the same effects everyone else does.
The key to ending the cycle of depression is positive thinking, but done in a very specific way. The absolute master of this is Louise L. Hay. Her book on this subject, “You Can Heal Your Life” is highly recommended reading. Absorb her message and this will help a great deal. She got it right.
In addition, Dr. Maoshing Ni, longevity expert offers these helpful tips:
- Hands-On Healing Human touch increases the production of endorphins, growth hormone and DHEA, all of which lengthen your life span and lower the negative impact of stress. Studies have found that patients who are regularly touched recover faster than those who are not touched. Perhaps give someone a foot massage, or give someone a hug and feel both of your moods improve.
- A Laughing Matter “Laugh Therapy,” pioneered by Norman Cousins, has turned out to have real substance. Research has discovered that laughter and joy boost immune functions, especially the production of the natural killer cells that help defend the body from illness and cancer. Laughter also increases the release of endorphins — compounds that give you a sense of well-being — in your brain. Without a doubt, joyful people live longer and healthier lives. So read your favorite comics, watch your favorite comedies and laugh it up!
- Amino Acid for Restored Mindset When an imbalance or deficiency is creating a bad mood, the Europeans use supplements of a natural compound found in human cells to regulate mood and restore a healthy mindset. SAMe (S-adenosyl-L-methionine) is produced from methionine, an amino acid that plays a role in the production of uplifting neurotransmitters like serotonin and dopamine. One study indicated that SAMe worked on patients who had unsuccessful results with conventional antidepressants. To get a boost from SAMe, take a supplement combining it with vitamins B6 and B12.
- Raise Your “Youth Hormones” You don’t need pills to flood your body with a rejuvenating flood of growth hormones. Research has found that doing squats and leg presses will greatly increase your natural production of the “youth hormone.” Increased growth hormone translates to an elevated mood, among other physical benefits. Keep it up with weight training, knee bends, push-ups and rowing.
- Acupuncture Boosts Brain Chemicals Many patients with depression and anxiety have benefited from acupuncture. Studies show that acupuncture increases the production of neurotransmitters endorphins, serotonin and dopamine–the happy, easygoing and calming brain chemicals that are found to be in low levels in depression and other mood disorders. Our team of doctors at Tao of Wellness has successfully helped numerous patients with mood disorders with acupuncture while collaborating with their mental health professionals. Contact Tao of Wellness for more information or go to acupuncture.com to find a doctor of acupuncture near you.
If you are taking antidepressants, you should probably read this article by Mark Hyman, MD. Why Antidepressants Don’t Work for Depression.
There is really only one door open for us. We must learn to face the world on our own terms. We must accept that there will always be people that think we are batshit crazy and simply avoid them. We must acknowledge our sensitivity and its limitations and work to reduce the things in our lives which cause us the most stress and we must let go of dreams that conflict with our sensitive nature and embrace those things which play to our strengths.
It is very hard and it can take a very long time, but really, we don’t have any better options.