Existential Vacuum

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“He who has a why to live for can bear almost any how.”

― Friedrich Nietzsche

During World War II, Viennese psychiatrist Victor Frankl was held captive in several Nazi death camps.  During this time he was able to view other prisoners and determine if someone was able to survive their experience or not based on whether they had a why to live.  After the war, he went on to develop the third Viennese school of psychiatry, known as Logotherapy. (I actually do his experience a disservice in this short introduction.  Please read, Man’s Search for Meaning by Frankl.  It is a fascinating read.)

Part of his discussion in Logotherapy is the existential vacuum.  This vacuum, to paraphrase Frankl, is created by us living an unsatisfying life and knowing we are unsatisfied, and wanting a better life, but not knowing how to transverse the vacuum to that better life.  Frankl refers to this as an emptiness or inner void.

How does it come about?

Well, from my experience and those of my clients, I have seen the vacuum manifest through a feeling a meaninglessness.  In other words, a feeling of achieving nothing in life, and not sure how to achieve anything–or something–in life.

Add to that feeling, the current COVID-19 environment and lock downs where we cannot go pretty much anywhere; or do anything meaningful.  The we are going to fall into this vacuum and feel hopeless.

So how do we avoid the vacuum, or if you have fallen in, how do you get out?

Read More »Existential Vacuum

Fantastic Video

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I have been following Triggernometry for a while now. They have interviews with great people. This is another one. Well worth a watch.

Drugs and your brain

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Any substance that we put into our bodies, be it food, drink, or drugs (prescription or otherwise) has an effect on our body, brain and our behaviour.  Some have positive effects, others negative.  In this post we will discuss how illicit (illegal) drugs have on… Read More »Drugs and your brain

On hold

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Sorry folks. I know I committed to a post about drugs and the brain, but I underestimated how much I had to do before the weekend ends. So, I have had to hit the hold button. However, it will will appear this week. Brian

Chemicals and your Brain

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Did you know that long-term exposure to chemicals, such as those used in farming, industry, etc can changed the structure of your brain. Changes can be measured through a SPECT scan (SPECT looks at blood flow). The scan image below demonstrates Scalloping / Overall Decreased… Read More »Chemicals and your Brain

Brain Injury Month…

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This month, March, in the USA is Brain Injury Awareness month, which includes Brain Injury Awareness Week in Australia (March 15 @ 8:00 am – March 21 @ 5:00 pm). Often, we think that brain injuries come from trauma, but they can also come from… Read More »Brain Injury Month…

You are not your diagnosis…

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Often I see people who start with, “I am…(insert diagnosis here)”. I then speak with them and ask them to rephrase what they said to, “I have been diagnosed with…(insert diagnosis here)”. The change is subtle but very very important. No-one says, “I am the… Read More »You are not your diagnosis…