Tuesday, August 9, 2011
Photo: Lucian Pellat Finet
A trait that applies generally to the people of Argentina is Pessimism; Argentines tend to see the negative side of everything. One explanation for this is that our country was originally made up of foreigners who missed their homelands and who were sad because of this. That sadness and the resulting negative outlook passed on from
one generation to the next.
Paul Watzlawick has a book called "How Real is Real?," in which he discusses the influence people have on reality. What is real, I think, is what we make out of life. As children, we are mainly influenced by what goes on inside our families, and that sticks to us, so if you have suffered a negative event and given it a certain amount of relevance, it tends to add some grey to your life, to make it sadder. The more space you give it, the busier your head will be, in a negative way. What we are not always taught while we are growing up is a positive way to deal with situations.
We are often taught single sided answers to situations when there are many. We are taught one person is the leader, the other the disciple; one person is the victim, the other the offender; one has a passive role, the other has an active role, and this isn't always the case. Whoever plays the victim likes to play that role, and has probably contributed to the situation. Perhaps it's necessary to find an offender to be upset with. Is acting the victim a good position in life, or is playing the role of offender better?
I think some currents of Psychology focus too much on a person's traumatic events. However, due to the fact that most psychologists need to remain neutral during the course of a treatment, they don't guide patients enough on their way towards happiness. They say that is up to the patient. I think a lot of psychologists can't do that because they themselves are searching for happiness. Freud said that a psychoanalytical treatment offers relief but does not guarantee happiness. I believe that the key to happiness lies inside our own heads. I think a good way to be at ease with ourselves is to take time to learn about ourselves and our issues, knowing that there is not only one solution to a problem but many and that it is up to us to stretch our minds so as to search for those answers.
When a child is diagnosed with ADD, Attention Deficit Disorder, what can his parents do? Can they just give medications? The words in the diagnosis itself are indicating the problem: deficit, lack of attention. Aren't parents capable of realizing that their child is acting strangely as a way of demanding more attention? Perhaps children diagnosed with ADD are just bored. Does anyone ever think about that? Medication in such cases does not necessarily solve the problem. It just suppresses a child's feelings.
When someone is diagnosed with "Depression", is it necessary to accept the diagnosis, or is it better to decide to overcome that state of mind?
Martin Seligman, the founder of a movement in Psychology called Positive Psychology, says we shouldn't get stuck on the issues that bother us, or the mistakes we have made. We shouldn't ask ourselves in regards to those events, "Why was I such a fool?".
I think happiness has more to do with being positive, forgiving, with having good expectations and most of all, with being active and pushing things so that they go the way you want them to go, not thinking that reality has already been determined and that you have to accept it.
Post by: Valeria Mendez Cañas