Read notes on subject matter I deal with on a daily basis.

In this section, I would like to post notes on subject matter that I have to deal with on a daily basis. My main objective is to explore common topics in a discursive way, rather than in a formal academic style. I would like to include some Jungian ideas however, and hope this is accessible to the general reader.

Alcohol Abuse
What one tries to achieve with patients who drink too much, is to encourage them to have a more conscious relationship with alcohol. I have great respect for the 12-step programme, but one needs to refrain from a “one size fits all” approach when dealing with the complex issue of people’s relationship with alcohol.
Bipolar Mood Disorders
We all have moods that affect our functioning to some extent. When fluctuating moods or changes in psychic energy become a regular part of our lives to the extent that they interfere with our quality of life, or impair our social or occupational functioning, it may then be that we are on the spectrum of a “bipolar mood disorder.”
Cocaine Abuse
Cocaine has become a ubiquitously used drug amongst the higher earning strata of our population. It starts off for recreational purposes, to enhance energy, social chatter and intimacy, but eventually develops into a serious problem for all regular users. Its frequent use is unsustainable, resulting in devastating problems.
What is refreshing about Carl Jung’s notions of the psyche, is that we all have complexes. It is a fallacy that only “dysfunctional” people need to consult a professional. Our complexes lie just beneath the threshold of consciousness, and affect us all very profoundly.
In psychology, the “ego” is the subjective centre of the conscious part of the personality. The strong ego must be able to adapt to different social situations with resilience and receptivity. It allows for the appropriate expression of the personality with minimal self-betrayal.
The Hero
In the typical hero’s narrative, he/she has to survive the night sea journey, slay the dragon, free the dragons captive and discover the gold. We all know about the night sea journey: it is lonely, frightening and dark. We are in a state of disorientation, depression and fear.
The Importance of Dreams
“Psyche” is the Greek word for the whole “mind”, both the “conscious” and the “unconscious” functions. The word “mind” comes from the Latin: “mens” from which we get the word “mental”. Jung used the Greek word “psyche”, to denote the mystery of all “mental” processes.
Anxiety becomes a disorder when it lays one low at times when you need to be functional, and it can be paralysing even when one is alone. It is the primordial response to survival in the face of significant threat, and without it we could not respond appropriately to real danger, however in the psychiatric setting it is disabling.
For someone who has experienced the full weight of a clinical depression, they have truly known what isolation means. The loss of all executive functions and the obliteration of “self” is so overwhelming, that one is left feeling hopeless and helpless and convinced that the depressed mental state will last forever.