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28/30: Could Stoicism Be Right For You?

While I stand here listening to Coffitivity and more-or-less patiently waiting for the lieutenants of finance to finish closing the damn fiscal year already, I found an ancient approach to mental health, Anxious? Depressed? Try Greek Philosophy, by a guy named Jules Evans.

Jules admits to having wrecked his own mental health with drug use in the 90s. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, with its roots deep in Stocisim, was his road back.

I'm especially impressed by this statement (because I feel like I'm right at this very crossroads in my own mental health journey):

...after 10 years of practising philosophy, I wonder if it leaves something out, if it’s too rational, self-controlled and unemotional... this year I have started researching ecstatic experience, and how people can achieve euphoria through music, dancing, drugs or the passionate love of God. As a friend put it recently: 'Back on ecstasy, eh?'

He has a book, of course. Good advance reviews.

Crossposted from Dreamwidth, where there are comment count unavailable comments.


( 3 comments — Leave a comment )
Jun. 30th, 2013 01:27 am (UTC)
Have your travels taken you to The Brain That Changes Itself by Norman Doidge yet?

It has nothing to do with this post, and only somewhat to do with mental health, but I just had my copy of the book returned to me so it's on my mind and it seems like the kind of thing you'd enjoy.

The entire premise is that of neuroplasticity -- the idea that the brain can rewire itself and be strengthened and trained rather than a more hardwired view of the brain where senses and neurological functions and personality-type things are fixed (or become fixed after a certain point) or are only processed by a fixed portion of the brain. It's a neuroscience book rather than a mental health one, and a lot of the book is about brain trauma or neurological dysfunction, but the author's background is in psychiatry and mental health is obviously closely related to how the brain functions.

It's been a while since I read the book and I can't recall specifics of why I found it fascinating, but I do remember missing a night of sleep in its entirety because I couldn't stop reading the book once I'd started it (now that I've got my copy back, a reread is definitely in order).

Highly recommend in general, but it also seems like a good fit for the type of books you're reading these days.
Jun. 30th, 2013 02:41 am (UTC)
Wow! Yes, thank you! How have I missed this title? It is exactly the type of book I'm interested in, and I've added to my Audible queue.

I really appreciate the recommendation!
Jul. 2nd, 2013 06:24 pm (UTC)
Just circling back to let you know that I've begun the audiobook of The Brain That Changes Itself and I am totally absorbed!

I'm only a little ways in so far, but it seems to me that neuroplasticity and mental health might be very closely related. At least, I feel like I've resolved some of my most pressing mental health issues--or at least coded around them--through repeated mental and physical exercises not that different from what the chapter on the Arrowsmith School describes.

Anyway, fascinating reading. Thanks again for the recommendation.
( 3 comments — Leave a comment )



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