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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2007

    Default The self-help "phenomenon"

    Are you a part of it?

    I've been very depressed, lost, and confused for the last 10 years, and I'm trying to get my self together.

    As depressed as I am, I still manage to push through in life, but I always wonder when everything is going to fall apart.

    Sometimes I see the things people get judged for and put down based upon, and it scares the shit out of me. Like, losing all friends and respect, because someone leaked some nasty outburst from the past. Is this real?

    My past sucks. I've never done anything wrong or illegal, but being the typical INTP that I am, I err more towards the side of asocial asshole, and stubborn prick. Now, things aren't too bad, and I'm wondering what is going to happen when my past is put in the face of those I'm surrounded by.

    Anyway, the fear of falling back into disgrace, and my dislike for my current depressed state has led me to try a great deal of new things that I normally would not do.

    For example, I dabbled with hypnosis for a while. I took some free course online, but I ended up not finishing. Even though I didn't finish, I was practically sold on its legitimacy. I also started listening to the richard bandler tapes, and the Paul Scheele tapes, and getting into PhotoReading, and into listening to Les Brown and into Master TV, and into Tony Robbins, and Brian Tracy, and The Secret, and all these other things that would probably make me look like a nut around people that are around me. BTW, I also got into the MBTI typing, Socionics, and all this personality type stuff as part of this yearning to solve my life's problem.

    What have they done for me? Nothing. I've just done what I suppose I would normally do in any challenging situation: procrastinate. I suppose this may be one of those long standing interests in which I just feel a need to read/experience everything I can about the topic, and feed myself into an actionless state.

    All the tapes I've listened to don't really seem to be doing anything other than driving me to write this post, and to ask others what they think of the self-help industry, and what experiences have they had.

    I am curious to know..

    Has it worked for you?

  2. #2
    Resident Snot-Nose GZA's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2007


    I've never used one, and I never plan to, but they make me sick. I hate seeing ads for them, because they are so exploitive. They say you can be thinner, smarter, more popular, or whatever, but it always comes off as "you are a worthless peice of shit and you better buy my product so you won't be any more". I think they probably cause more problems then they would solve. If they make people feel guilty for their body or personality or whatever, thats one big problem. What happens when someone orders the product and it either simply doesn't work or it doesn't work for that individual's body/lifestyle/personality? More guilt, more failure, more problems. It's all a business. "This didn't work? Oh, try this one, then". Or you can talk to a doctor who actually knows what they are doing and has nothing to win or lose.

    Bleh, don't believe the hype, I say.

  3. #3
    Arcesso pulli gingerios! Eldanen's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2007


    I'm not exactly sure what to say. In around October of 2006 I started on a magnificent journey into psychology and metaphysics, and I'd say that my life has been utterly and irrevocably changed for the better (even though I've encountered a lot of problems along the way that kind of made me wish I could "go back to the way things used to be.") My first exposure to the realm of personality was MBTI, and after that, Socionics. What really flipped my switch was the latter theory. I find that I can walk around and type people spontaneously, and I do believe my typings are accurate. Understanding how the functions work has changed the way I fundamentally perceive reality, because I'm able to notice the underlying patterns of peoples' behavior, mannerisms, and speech patterns.

    Before my individual foray though, I had a remarkable friend who flipped the switch on my mind to begin with. FYI, even if you don't care hehe, he was an Aquarius, if that tells you anything about his personality. (He's quite like the stereotype.) The most important thing that he did for me was pour a lot of his knowledge and love for learning into me, and he sort of sparked me, to be metaphorical. Though looking back on it now, I can sort of see that I had it all along. (How strange.)

    One of the more eye-opening books and sets of information for me has been Robert Anton Wilson (Prometheus Rising), Chaos Magick, and Discordianism. It's interesting stuff if you can read it and get into the mindset long enough to sort of "convert" yourself, as if running yourself through a machine.

    A problem that you might want to look at is that you might not have been seeing the emotional/heart side of things. (Doesn't it sound crazy?) It's the cerebral area that initiates the change, but the other half is emotional, our imprints that we carry with us for a long time, and those have to be converted too for real change to happen.

    As far as "The Secret" goes, I'd say that it's baloney and popular hype hee, but that's just my opinion on that singular book.

    I'm not sure what to say. It seems like you've been in some of the right circles to be picking up some good information. I'm not sure why it hasn't triggered at least some change. Perhaps it's something in what you said: reading everything you can on a subject, but never doing anything about it. This is a problem I've found myself in all too often, and I'm still trying to work myself into actually doing something about what I want, rather than sitting in a chair or on my bed dreaming about it all day long. And I think it's partly a matter of discipline and partly a matter of motivation. Sometimes you have to do things that are extremely painful for you if you want to break old conditioning. Some exercises that you might want to try can be symbolic, like eating things you normally wouldn't eat as part of your diet, and holding that as a symbol of breaking some mental programming in yourself. I've done it myself and it has helped with my OCD habit of only wanting to eat the healthiest food, when it's more practical to be balanced in that area.

    Oh, and being an asocial asshole and a stubborn prick is fun . Flaunt it all you like. It'll probably help you change into what you desire to be. It's what I do, lol. Especially if the other person doesn't like it, then I try to piss them off on purpose :d.

    My most recent lesson that I've been working into myself is that I should think for myself and not rely on the opinions of others if I'm not able to see what they're saying. I don't accept anything as true unless it sounds right to me. (No, this doesn't mean I go overboard and reject all logic. But I've seen far too many cases where hard logic and linguistic plays have distorted reality in my own life, and so I go by my own reason, common sense, and intuition.) It's the, "Think for yourself, schmuck!" kind of thing. Before, I'd feel almost unconsciously compelled to accept some sort of idea from a person I'd arbitrarily placed trust in, just because it "felt" right. And I know when that instinct hits me when I'm receiving new information, so I consciously work against it.

    It /has/ worked for me, I'd say, but that's because I build my own viewpoint on something now, rather than just assimilating everyone else's opinion. I have my own framework about how I think reality works, and also, more importantly, I'm more secure in having my own viewpoint than listening to someone else more now than I ever was. So, you can read a lot of stuff, but it's important to "search inside yourself" and try to tilt the glass to see it from your own point of view, through your own reality tunnel. Once you do this, you'll find that you can sort of "unlock" other perspectives of reality and start to explore your innards, and those around you.

    One other thing to assess, related to the cerebrality vs. emotions comment that I made above is this: how thoroughly have you sorted through the information you've read in your mind? It's important, I think, to process something repeatedly until it finally strikes bedrock in your brain, so to speak. Don't just read something and accept it intellectually, and move on to the next thing, but think about the new possibilities you might have, and follow the threads of thought that originate from each new idea. See where they go. Do they take you anywhere? Try to find underlying patterns that relate to interdisciplinary stuff. See if you can relate subjects to give yourself a broader viewpoint. All of this takes time and effort, and it helps sometimes to just sit back and dream. In the end, you won't find something in an external media that is you, you'll find something external that mirrors the attitude you have of the world inside of yourself already. This is how you know that you've struck gold.

  4. #4
    Senior Member Ilah's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2008


    I have been doing self help, both the (pop) psychology and the metaphysical type off and on for years. I would say that it has helped me - I was pretty messed up - but that it is kind of hit or miss. Some authors are good, some are not. Some are "good for me" others are not.

    I didn't get any through infomercials. Most are books I picked up at the bookstore or library, flipping through to see if they "feel right" (this is an intuitive thing) for me. I don't get books just because they are popular. I only got one CD set and I regret it. This is not to say that all the books I picked were winners, but I think it help the odds.

    I think looking at self help through the personality filter is very helpful. Different types have different things that give them stress and anxiety, different things that help them relax, etc. I think some techniques, writing, saying things out loud, art therapy, etc. are better for some types the others. If you know your learning style this help you integrate the information better.

    I am not sure about the content in some of the things your have done, but often you need to address deeper issues. For example, there are lots of things to make you feel better when you are depressed, but for real progress to occur you need to look at why you are depressed. This is the problem with all the positive thinking and "affirmation" based approached, they are not dealing with the root causes. It is kind of like having plants outside your home you are allergic to and dealing with it by taking allergy medicines but not replacing the plants.

    I have also been in counseling, and over all have found it more useful than doing stuff on my own. I recommend that you look into counseling. And be picky about your conseling. If you don't seem to be making any progress, find some one else. The therapist can usually recommend some good books for you as well, so you can do kind of a combination approach.

  5. #5
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2008


    The best self help:

    Search the internet for pics of kittens and viral videos as well. Go crazy from the cute.
    I am an ENTJ. I hate political correctness but love smart people ^_^

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