LOOKING FOR WHAT CAUSES ANXIETY AND DEPRESSION

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Nobody knows why mental illness occurs. Doctors can treat only the symptoms but not the cause of deviant behavior. But surely, there is something that triggers the mechanism of abnormality. What could that cause be? Do external circumstances or other people give rise to the weakening of mental faculties? Or, in some manner, even without willing it, are we ourselves the ones who cause our disease? Are we already born with our sick brain and mind, or does our illness develop little by little as we live our life? To what degree have outside events affected us, and how much have we ourselves contributed to our disease?

Each one of us is able to know his own mind, not that of others. Supposed knowledge of others’ minds is just the fruit of analogy, since mental and logical processes are the same in all humans.
I intend to set out on a journey through my mind to find out the cause of my anxiety and depression, so others also will be able to do the same by analogy. Let me start my travel from the beginning, that is, from my childhood to my teens.

This is an excerpt from Travels of the Mind by Ettore Grillo
Ettore Grillo, author of these books:
– A Hidden Sicilian History
– The Vibrations of Words
-Travels of the Mind
http://www.amazon.com/author/ettoregrillo

WHO CONTROLS THE MIND?

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All human actions are unintentional. They derive from the frailty of the human being. The external world is like a picture painted by the mind. If it is calm and serene, the painting will be magnificent. Yet, if the mind is uneasy and suffering, it will paint an ugly picture.”
“Do you mean that intentional actions and free will don’t exist?”
“I don’t want to arrive at such a conclusion. Nevertheless, I can say that almost all my clients in the prisons are ignorant with uneasy and dull minds. It is rare to find a scholar in jail. That means that crime is mostly caused by ignorance and fault. Hence, where is the intention? Where is the conscious mind? Everything depends upon our mind. But who controls the mind? Honestly, I don’t know. Maybe it is I who controls my mind. Or is it my mind that controls itself? If it is so, I want to know how. If the mind is fidgety, how can it calm itself down? And, if it is peaceful, how can it keep itself calm? It is not possible that the controller and the controlled coexist at the same time. Therefore, we can’t think about the mind that controls itself.”
“It is obvious that it is the ego that controls the mind. So, I can say, with absolute certainty, that at this very moment I, Lorenzo, am controlling my mind, keeping it either calm or uneasy according to my will.”
The discussion in the lounge of The Club of the Noblemen became animate. My Uncle Salvatore also joined in.

This is an excerpt from Travels of the Mind by Ettore Grillo
Ettore Grillo author of these books:
– A Hidden Sicilian History
– The Vibrations of Words
-Travels of the Mind
http://www.amazon.com/author/ettoregrillo

WHAT AGORAPHOBIA IS

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“Since I was a child, I had suffered from anxiety. It was so much that I couldn’t stand in crowded places. My disease is called agoraphobia. The etymology of the word agoraphobia is from Greek. Agora means square and phobia means fear. So agoraphobia is fear of open spaces and often of any place outside home. The agoraphobic feel comfortable only within their domestic walls. In more serious cases, they can’t leave their home.
“Agoraphobia includes fear of traveling. The world is seen as a minefield. One often feels faint while one is outside home. The more the agoraphobic strive to be normal and at ease, the more this effort of will turns into tension, cold perspiration, and accelerated heartbeats. Apparently, behind agoraphobia there is something related to the relationship with others. Conditioning by religion, society, and family is buried deep in the mind, and it generates a permanent conflict between repression and expression of emotions and feelings. I felt my conflict was unbearable. Accordingly, I fled the external world and withdrew to my home and the office of my haulage company to feel better. I was tortured by a huge ambivalence. On the one hand, I wanted to live my life fully, going out and walking freely on the streets, squares, and crowded places. On the other hand, I felt dizzy outside my home and my office, as if I were about to faint.
“Uncle Salvatore, I didn’t know about your disease. It looks very serious. How did you overcome your agoraphobia?”
“I was helped by the divinity that sent me persons as healers and teachers. Events don’t happen by chance. Our path of life has already been designed by an invisible entity that leads us along the way. An invisible and subtle thread led me to Osho. ‘Please, St. Michael the Archangel, help me and make it possible for me to walk the streets without anxiety and panic attacks!’ I prayed to St. Michael the Archangel when his statue passed by me during the procession on July second.”
“What happened to you afterwards, Uncle Salvatore? Did St. Michael the Archangel answer your prayer?”
“I can just say that from that day on, my life started to change for the better. I met many masters. Little by little, I could get over my anxiety and panic attacks.”

This is an excerpt from The Vibrations of Words: second edition by Ettore Grillo
Ettore Grillo author of these books:
– A Hidden Sicilian History
– The Vibrations of Words
-Travels of the Mind
http://www.amazon.com/author/ettoregrillo

THE BORDER BETWEEN SANITY AND INSANITY

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“I think, Uncle Salvatore, it is not difficult to behave like a madman, because the boundary between insanity and sanity is like thin paper.”
“Yes. The border between sanity and insanity is not based on the quality of abnormal behavior, but rather on the quantity of behavioral abnormalities. In other words, everyone has a certain amount of garbage inside. Madmen have more garbage than those with a normal mind. Neurotics are halfway between sanity and insanity, for they have a lot of garbage inside, but it is not enough to make them cross over the border to madness.”
“You say, Uncle Salvatore, that the state of the human mind depends on the quantity of garbage inside. Can you give me an example for me to understand better?”
“Yes, of course. For example, fear is an emotion that can be considered garbage. If you don’t have much fear inside, nothing bad happens. But if fear is excessive, it becomes pathological and turns into anxiety or panic attacks.”
“Give me one more example, please. This is really interesting.”
“The same happens with regard to paranoia. It is just a question of quantity. Let’s take a suspicious person as an example. Being distrustful is normal, but when mistrust becomes bigger and bigger, it turns into the belief that others may harm you and, finally, into paranoia. As you know, I love money. I consider it God’s blessing. If love for money is not excessive, it is called thriftiness. If greed for money is excessive, it is called miserliness and it is pathological.”
“I don’t think so, Uncle Salvatore.”
“Go ahead!”
“I think the causes of mental diseases lie not only in the amount of garbage inside but also in the quality of the brain. In fact, mental disease often comes from a sick or damaged brain, regardless of the garbage inside.”
“Yes, you are right, a sound brain as well as the chemical processes inside the human body are important, but, this is the point, body, brain, and mind are connected. Therefore, if you reduce the quantity of garbage inside your mind, also your brain will benefit from it, and the body’s chemical processes will work better.”
“According to you, Uncle Salvatore, what causes fear, anxiety, panic attacks, and paranoia?”
“Sometimes we can’t control those states. It happens because there is a substratum under the mental condition. What is the basis of neurosis? Can you answer, Benedetto?”
“I think the substratum is our past failures, the emotions we have suppressed over the years, trauma, and, above all, our difficult relationships with others.”

This is an excerpt from The Vibrations of Words: second edition by Ettore Grillo
Ettore Grillo author of these books:
– A Hidden Sicilian History
– The Vibrations of Words
-Travels of the Mind
http://www.amazon.com/author/ettoregrillo