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Can Philosophy Help with These Psychological Issues? What advice would you give?

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anonymous66
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Can Philosophy Help with These Psychological Issues? What advice would you give?

Post by anonymous66 » August 14th, 2019, 11:27 am

I've been thinking about these 2 issue for a while, and I wonder what advice this group would give- from a philosophical angle (Would reading the works of certain specific philosophers help? How about understanding certain concepts in philosophy?) Assume that both of these people do take philosophy seriously.

Person 1- Has an issue with anger. He has angry outbursts and feels embarrassed by them.

Person 2- Is about 26 years old and doesn't have a driver's license or job. He has held jobs in the past. He is depressed and sometimes suicidal-but he reaches out to others for help. But he doesn't seem to want to do much to help himself- and he expects others to take care of him by giving him a place to live and/or provide food.

MAYA EL
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Re: Can Philosophy Help with These Psychological Issues? What advice would you give?

Post by MAYA EL » August 15th, 2019, 2:14 am

Can you narrow in on what the exact question it is that you're asking please?

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Felix
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Re: Can Philosophy Help with These Psychological Issues? What advice would you give?

Post by Felix » August 15th, 2019, 3:43 am

Try Dr. Albert Ellis' books, a few of them can be had with free Kindle Unlimited trial.

Interview -- https://bit.ly/31Pv75V
Happiness -- https://amzn.to/31HaEzX
Anger -- https://amzn.to/302gJGV
"We do not see things as they are; we see things as we are." - Anaïs Nin

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chewybrian
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Re: Can Philosophy Help with These Psychological Issues? What advice would you give?

Post by chewybrian » August 15th, 2019, 5:33 am

Felix wrote:
August 15th, 2019, 3:43 am
Try Dr. Albert Ellis' books, a few of them can be had with free Kindle Unlimited trial.

Interview -- https://bit.ly/31Pv75V
Happiness -- https://amzn.to/31HaEzX
Anger -- https://amzn.to/302gJGV
Ellis is one of the founding fathers of cognitive behavioral therapy, which he readily admitted was formed on the principles set forth by stoic philosophers like Epictetus and Marcus Aurelius.
Ever wonder about the origins of Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy? First of all, Albert Ellis was first on the scene -- not Aaron Beck, as is commonly believed. Secondly, Ellis plainly stated (as was his wont) that he lifted the ideas for his Rational-Emotive Behavioral Therapy from the Stoic philosophers like Epictetus and Marcus Aurelius.
https://clinicalpsychreading.blogspot.c ... idion.html

From the Enchiridion:
Men are disturbed, not by things, but by the principles and notions which they form concerning things.


From Beck, one of the other founding fathers of CBT:
the way that individuals perceive a situation is more closely connected to their reaction than the situation itself.
https://beckinstitute.org/get-informed/ ... e-therapy/

CBT, and various 12 step programs used to treat depression, anxiety, anger, substance abuse and such, are largely based on the philosophy put forth in The Enchiridion and Meditations. These principles are very effective in treating the issues mentioned by the OP. The key is to separate those things we can control, like our own attitudes, opinions, habits, and actions, from what we can not control, which is pretty much everything else.

From the Enchiridion:
The things in our control are by nature free, unrestrained, unhindered; but those not in our control are weak, slavish, restrained, belonging to others. Remember, then, that if you suppose that things which are slavish by nature are also free, and that what belongs to others is your own, then you will be hindered. You will lament, you will be disturbed, and you will find fault both with gods and men. But if you suppose that only to be your own which is your own, and what belongs to others such as it really is, then no one will ever compel you or restrain you. Further, you will find fault with no one or accuse no one. You will do nothing against your will. No one will hurt you, you will have no enemies, and you not be harmed.
In the case of the depressed man, we often reach such a state because we attach false hope to events outside our control, and take things personally which are really not our fault, not our problem, not worth the effort of stressing about. We develop bad habits of seeing the negative in events, which is easy enough to find if you are looking for it. We look for and find good and evil in the outside world, instead of inside ourselves, where it is really to be found, and where we can control the outcome and work to make things better.

In the case of anger issues, we lack proper perspective, and falsely assume it is 'all about us', when it seldom is:
When any person harms you, or speaks badly of you, remember that he acts or speaks from a supposition of its being his duty. Now, it is not possible that he should follow what appears right to you, but what appears so to himself. Therefore, if he judges from a wrong appearance, he is the person hurt, since he too is the person deceived. For if anyone should suppose a true proposition to be false, the proposition is not hurt, but he who is deceived about it. Setting out, then, from these principles, you will meekly bear a person who reviles you, for you will say upon every occasion, "It seemed so to him."
I could go on indefinitely praising the Enchiridion in particular and stoicism in general, but anyone who is interested would certainly benefit more from reading the original texts.
The condition and characteristic of a vulgar person, is, that he never expects either benefit or hurt from himself, but from externals. The condition and characteristic of a philosopher is, that he expects all hurt and benefit from himself. The marks of a proficient are, that he censures no one, praises no one, blames no one, accuses no one, says nothing concerning himself as being anybody, or knowing anything: when he is, in any instance, hindered or restrained, he accuses himself; and, if he is praised, he secretly laughs at the person who praises him; and, if he is censured, he makes no defense. But he goes about with the caution of sick or injured people, dreading to move anything that is set right, before it is perfectly fixed. He suppresses all desire in himself; he transfers his aversion to those things only which thwart the proper use of our own faculty of choice; the exertion of his active powers towards anything is very gentle; if he appears stupid or ignorant, he does not care, and, in a word, he watches himself as an enemy, and one in ambush.
I strongly recommend them to anyone, but in particular to those who suffer from the problems brought up to start this thread. If you don't have these problems, then I would suggest that you may have unwittingly adopted stoic principles gathered from other sources, like the serenity prayer:
God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
Courage to change the things I can,
And wisdom to know the difference.
"If determinism holds, then past events have conspired to cause me to hold this view--it is out of my control. Either I am right about free will, or it is not my fault that I am wrong."

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h_k_s
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Re: Can Philosophy Help with These Psychological Issues? What advice would you give?

Post by h_k_s » August 15th, 2019, 1:26 pm

anonymous66 wrote:
August 14th, 2019, 11:27 am
I've been thinking about these 2 issue for a while, and I wonder what advice this group would give- from a philosophical angle (Would reading the works of certain specific philosophers help? How about understanding certain concepts in philosophy?) Assume that both of these people do take philosophy seriously.

Person 1- Has an issue with anger. He has angry outbursts and feels embarrassed by them.

Person 2- Is about 26 years old and doesn't have a driver's license or job. He has held jobs in the past. He is depressed and sometimes suicidal-but he reaches out to others for help. But he doesn't seem to want to do much to help himself- and he expects others to take care of him by giving him a place to live and/or provide food.
There are anger management classes in most self help provider organizations.

Rich privileged trust babies sometimes fail to develop a work ethic. They usually inherit their share of the wealth then go on to squander it. The worst case for them is homelessness when all the money is gone. These people are proof that wealth is toxic same as is poverty.

anonymous66
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Re: Can Philosophy Help with These Psychological Issues? What advice would you give?

Post by anonymous66 » August 15th, 2019, 2:21 pm

h_k_s wrote:
August 15th, 2019, 1:26 pm
anonymous66 wrote:
August 14th, 2019, 11:27 am
I've been thinking about these 2 issue for a while, and I wonder what advice this group would give- from a philosophical angle (Would reading the works of certain specific philosophers help? How about understanding certain concepts in philosophy?) Assume that both of these people do take philosophy seriously.

Person 1- Has an issue with anger. He has angry outbursts and feels embarrassed by them.

Person 2- Is about 26 years old and doesn't have a driver's license or job. He has held jobs in the past. He is depressed and sometimes suicidal-but he reaches out to others for help. But he doesn't seem to want to do much to help himself- and he expects others to take care of him by giving him a place to live and/or provide food.
Rich privileged trust babies sometimes fail to develop a work ethic. They usually inherit their share of the wealth then go on to squander it. The worst case for them is homelessness when all the money is gone. These people are proof that wealth is toxic same as is poverty.
Person 2 grew up in a troubled home. His mom and stepdad are decent people (they've been married for about 16 years), they own a modest home and his mother is a good, dependable person who works full time as a nurse. But he probably saw them using drugs (mom and stepdad were into heroin at one point- but they've given it up). His mom divorced his father, and he doesn't get along well with his step-father. His dad has some pretty severe problems with alcohol and can't keep a job for very long. Last year his father was arrested for trying to kill his mother (person 2's grandmother)- he spent a year in jail. (person 2, his parents, his grandmother and his stepdad all live in the same small town- person 2 sees his grandmother and father often).

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LuckyR
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Re: Can Philosophy Help with These Psychological Issues? What advice would you give?

Post by LuckyR » August 16th, 2019, 9:03 pm

anonymous66 wrote:
August 14th, 2019, 11:27 am
I've been thinking about these 2 issue for a while, and I wonder what advice this group would give- from a philosophical angle (Would reading the works of certain specific philosophers help? How about understanding certain concepts in philosophy?) Assume that both of these people do take philosophy seriously.

Person 1- Has an issue with anger. He has angry outbursts and feels embarrassed by them.

Person 2- Is about 26 years old and doesn't have a driver's license or job. He has held jobs in the past. He is depressed and sometimes suicidal-but he reaches out to others for help. But he doesn't seem to want to do much to help himself- and he expects others to take care of him by giving him a place to live and/or provide food.
Philosophical answers will address what folks should do to stay true to their moral standards or society's ethical standards, though most would prefer to find practical life answers that successfully solve known problems, regardless of their philosophical outlook.
"As usual... it depends."

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