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What is the truth?

Screenshot 2021-07-25 153448

As I begin this article, let me say from the onset, I am not a medical doctor, however as my own GP recently reminded me, I am a Doctor of Psychology and my counsel and opinion are valuable and I should never apologize for being a doctor; no matter what my specialty. I should also point out however, that I did work for a very large Pharmaceutical Company in my twenties and I learned a lot about medical research, trial studies and test subjects.

Never in the history of our country has the question of “What is the truth” been more important with all the concern about Covid-19 and the Delta Variant.

Over the past month, I have seen four separate doctors; each for different reasons; 3 specialists and my GP. Each ask if I had one of the Covid-19 vaccines and each volunteered their own thoughts on why I should consider getting the vaccine since  I have not been vaccinated.

Only one of the four doctors was insistent that I should get vaccinated and he was extremely forceful and told me to ignore rumors and only look at the science; which I have. That particular doctor looked me right in the eye and told me he had read ALL the information on the various vaccines and had studied all the science and there was nothing to support increased risk to epilepsy patients or non- epilepsy patients prone to seizure. So, I came right home and studied the “science” provided to doctors and contrary to that doctor’s obvious miss-information each of the manufacturers had dozens of pages on the negative side effects for epilepsy and seizure prone patients and not only concerning epilepsy but literally hundreds of other medical problems.

It seems part of the problem is, that not even the “so called” medical research scientists agree on what is supposedly the truth and facts concerning their own conclusions concerning their own vaccine.

What our government tells us is that Covid-19 is one of the easiest viruses to catch and fastest spreading the world has ever seen. I guess they forgot about the Spanish Flu in 1918.

What our government is less open about are the side effects of any of the 3 Covid-19 vaccines.

The reason that the government is less than open about the side effects of the 3 Covid-19 vaccines   is because all of the vaccines are still “technically” in trial use and we the entire world population are the trial subjects; it doesn’t matter if we die or not, you see that’s what happens in trial studies. Of course, Big Pharma can do no harm, right? But I can tell you what one Pharmaceutical executive told me back in the 70’s, while I worked at that major Pharmaceutical company, “What the public doesn’t know about the medicines they’re taking won’t hurt us” (the Pharmaceutical Industry).

When I checked the Covid-19 vaccine interaction with two of my three Anti-seizure meds, this is what I was told:

No interactions data were found for Covid-19 Vaccine, Azd-1222 (Astrazeneca) (Pf) 0.5 Ml Im Susp (Unapp). That does not mean there are no existing interactions (In other words there could be, negative interactions but since we are fast tracking this vaccine, we don’t have time to study. My words NOT  Astrazeneca). Consult your pharmacist or healthcare provider before taking these medications.

We do know minimal information about the various vaccines.

This is the consensus of the information provided by the vaccine manufacturers:

When we get a vaccine, it activates our immune response. This helps our bodies learn to fight off the virus without the danger of an actual infection. If we are exposed to the virus in the future, our immune system “remembers” how to fight it. All authorized COVID-19 vaccines provide significant protection against serious illness and hospitalization due to COVID-19. (Their words, not mine)

The Moderna and Pfizer vaccines use messenger RNA, or mRNA. mRNA vaccines do not contain a live virus — they give our bodies “instructions” for how to make and fight the harmless spike-shaped proteins that will protect against a COVID-19 infection. While these vaccines use new technology, researchers have been studying them for decades.

The Johnson & Johnson/Janssen vaccine is a viral vector vaccine and also does not contain a live virus. It uses a harmless adenovirus to create a spike protein that the immune system responds to, creating antibodies to protect against COVID-19.

Although the mRNA technology being used supposedly does not effect our DNA, one doctor told me what we know about DNA is still in it’s infancy and in his opinion their is no certainty that the mRNA can be guanteed as to not effect our DNA. 

The fact that no live virus is being used also leaves a lot to be questioned.

Even though they (The vaccine manufacturers) admit those with epilepsy may be seizure susceptible after receiving the vaccine. And this is only one example; there could be hundreds more side effects. That’s why normally it takes five to seven years in a research study for any medication to receive FDA approval, in order to factor in all of the possible existing medical conditions and pharmaceutical interaction; in other words, there are so many variables that the fast track approach to FDA approval that the current vaccines has overlooked that anyone taking these vaccines cannot be assured of complete safety.

I am not anti-vaccine and if there is ever a vaccine developed utilizing normal research and development procedures, I would personally consider taking it. Unfortunately, there will probably never be a normal research and development procedure of a vaccine that is safe to use because Bill Gates and Dr. Anthony Fauci have convinced our government who in turn has convinced the American people that the current vaccines are not only safe but essential in destroying the spread of Covid-19 and it’s variant as well as they have too much to lose financially.

If you read the science along with all of the information provided by the three manufacturers ( for the general public) of the vaccines being utilized, it’s very easy to understand why the American people are being fearfully pressured into being vaccinated.

The irony to all of this is that even the three manufacturers won’t guarantee that if you take their vaccine that you still won’t get Covid-19 or the Delta variant; in fact, there are many people that have been vaccinated and still gotten Covid-19.

Most of the manufacturers agree that the vaccine only gives approximately a 68% advantage in not contracting Covid-19 while the use of Hydrochloriquine along with the antibiotic, Aziththromycin (Z-Pack) and massive amounts of Zinc and vitamin D-3 have anywhere from a 78% to 98% chance of complete virus eradication.

Incase anyone missed it, President Biden had a town hall the other night and said if you get vaccinated then you can’t get covid, you won’t be hospitalized and you can’t die from it.  He’s also  considering another round of mask mandates even for vaccinated people.

In fact, the CDC made it clear that the information President Biden gave the White House Press Corp in this most recent Press Conference was wrong.

So “What is the truth?”

Jesus said He was the way the truth and the life. He is the only truth you can believe.

You have to decide for yourself what you will do concerning vaccination and I know many Christians are concerned that vaccination is the mark of the beast. I do not.

The following is my recommendation for dealing with the Covid-19 vaccination: 

 1. If you haven’t done so, accept Jesus as your Saviour.

2.Pray diligently about what you should do. Let the Holy Spirit lead you. 16 Rejoice always,17 pray  continually, 18 give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 NIV)

3.Make sure your prayer is effective The prayer of a righteous man (man trying to do right) is powerful and effective. … remember this: (James 5:16 NIV) In other words, even if you’re a Christian but living  a sinful life , your prayer won’t get above your ceiling.

4. Start or join a prayer group if your church doesn’t have one; also let me know and I will pray with you (For where two or three come together in my name, there am I with them.”(Mtt 18:20)

Don’t let the CDC, FDA or our government attempt to scare you into your vaccination decision. Let it be your’s and the Lord’s alone.

2 Timothy 1:7 reminds us: “For God has not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind”.

God will guide you in your decision if you ask Him and allow Him.

© 2021 Dr. Lee W. Outlaw III

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Food for thought

In the world of Optometry 20/20 refers to clear and perfect vision, ironically the year 2020 for most of us has been anything but clear.

Having just celebrated 10 years on Drtruthman Counseling and Opinion. I want to thank each of you that took time over those 10 years to visit my website, read my articles and leave comments.

As 2020 comes to a close and 2021begins, please join me as I expand the Drtruthman.com site throughout the coming year with new features, original video programs and written articles.

My goal is to help everyone seeking clarity on life.

As each of us begin the journey into 2021, may God grant us clarity and love through His only son, Jesus.

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Click the top bar to listen to the the Drtruthman Program theme intro and the picture for my Personal Thanksgiving message.

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The age old question returns: “What is wrong with people?”

Riot/Protest in Minneapolis

What is wrong with people?

by Dr. Lee Outlaw

 

With the death of George Floyd in the news, the age old question returns: “What is wrong with people?”
In general the question seems to be both cross generational and cross cultural but overall the intricacy of the question can be broken down as follows:

The negative behavior of people (both individually and within any group) seems to be a result of the following:
1. People don’t think things through thoroughly
2. People generally tend to take the easy way out
3. People tend to care more about themselves than the greater good of others
4. People tend to care more about themselves than the law
5. People tend to care more about themselves than God and their faith
6. People care more about feelings than consequences
7. People tend to believe the unbelievable but can’t believe in an all knowing and all powerful God.

In the area of psychology, we refer to this study of people and what sometimes appears to be a less than normal and lack of common sense approach to life as “Social Psychology”.
Of course within secular psychology, the study of such is an attempt to scientifically understand and explain how thoughts, feelings, and behavior of people are influenced by the actual, imagined, or implied presence of others within society. Simply stated, social psychology is all about understanding how each person’s behavior is influenced by others and their social surroundings; a.k.a “peer pressure” as we have seen in the protest and riots all across our country.

Although there are many theories concerning this man’s horrific death (including numerous conspiracy theories), the bottom line is that every part of this story from the police action to the resulting protest and riots are the result of humanity’s sinful nature. The Bible says, “All have sinned…”Romans 3:23.

The problem within mainstream secular psychology however, is that there is no real defined moral base or ethical value such as the Bible from which to standardize such a study of an individual’s thoughts, feelings and behavior. Sadly, people, especially our youth no longer attend church or even believe in God.

As a result, apart from fluctuating statistics in comparison analysis of the same given criteria among ones peers or an established psychological norm (at any given moment) there is no established standard for people to follow, so if one person does a certain thing and it seems right to another person, then the same action is repeated.

Regardless of one’s philosophical, political, religious or psychological view, we have all been dissatisfied, disappointed or even frustrated by people either within or outside our social and family circle and we have asked the question or variation thereof, “What is wrong with people?”

It is time for this destructive behavior going on throughout our country to stop.
Either a strong rational behavioral modification must be attempted or a more radical consequence utilized to force these adult children to relinquish their riotous and dangerous actions.

Let me emphasize that I do not desire any further hurt, death or destruction but the recent riotous actions must stop and not be allowed to continue.

Let us pray that the Holy Spirit will give strength and comfort to our president along with the wisdom to make right and Godly decisions and may God intervene to destroy the demonic powers which have possessed those committing these heinous acts.

For more, read my series from 2018 on Drtruthman Counseling, “What is wrong with people?”
Links below:

https://drtruthman.com/2018/03/11/what-is-wrong-with-people/
https://drtruthman.com/2018/03/23/whats-wrong-with-people-part-1/
https://drtruthman.com/2018/06/14/whats-wrong-with-people-part-2/
https://drtruthman.com/2018/09/15/whats-wrong-with-people-part-3/

© 2020 Lee W. Outlaw III, PhD

Precious memories

Memories

 

As those of us from the “Baby boomer” generation continue to get older, there’s an increasing discussion about memory; the loss of it from age or disease as well as ways to increase and restore memory.

As a psychologist I have always been aware of hypnotherapy, regression therapy, the power of suggestion and a variety of short term memory induced medications which have the ability to expand the far reaches of our mind.

The hippie movement and psychedelic drug use of hallucinogenic medications such as LSD along with the research of Dr. Timothy Leary as well as Angel Dust and others brought new meaning to the terms of “getting high” and “mind expansion”. Ironically, these illegal medications were in wide use by the military in an attempt to seek out how much the human mind could be expanded for use in memory and neurological research.

Reportedly, the results were quite incredible.
Many test subjects claimed they could remember all the way back to their birth and some claimed they were even able to recall some of the womb experience.

The interesting reports were from the test subjects claiming to remember past life and even “other worldly” life experiences.

I have often utilized the power of suggestion as a therapy tool to help patients cope with grief or a traumatic experience; even to the point of helping them to forget. I also worked with a Psychiatrist friend who was also a certified hypnotherapist and he would often utilize this tool in taking some of my patients back to a point in their life they needed to remember in order to forget.

All of this said, I thought very little of mind expansion drugs or medication; I considered it all “bunk” and nonsense, that is until I was fully and officially diagnosed as an epileptic.

Although I am a genetic epileptic, I wasn’t officially diagnosed until 2005 when after a full blown Grand Mal seizure (in which I was pronounced dead) I was put on anti-seizure medication. Until 2005, I could not remember nearly anything from my childhood before age nine or ten and even much of that through age fifteen was often strained at best.

Once I began taking the anti-seizure meds, I almost immediately had clarity of memory going back to when I was six years old. It’s actually quite amazing; I now remember things I had totally forgotten.

Even more amazing, is that after my most recent two grand mal seizure this past December my neurologist added a second daily dosage of an additional new anti-seizure med and now I can remember many things all the way back to when I was two years old.

Talk about precious memories, I was recently holding my nearly one year old grandson and watching him smile as I let him hold the TV remote control. Suddenly, my mind flashed backed to when I was about a year older sitting in my granddaddy’s lap and he gave me an old style striped peanut butter candy. He used to save them after the barber gave them out at the barbershop. Anyway, my granddaddy saw me trying to eat thru the cellophane wrapper so he tore it open and let me lick it. It was great.

After he saw how much I liked it and nearly licking the candy to death, he took his pocket knife out of his pocket (every man and boy use to carry one back in the day) and he began to scrape the candy into his hand and then fed it to me. This is such a wonderful memory.

Memories are indeed wonderful and should be cherished.

The Apostle Paul said “Let the mind of Christ Jesus be also in you” (Philippians 2:5); in other words think like Jesus and live like Jesus and the result will be good living and good memories… just like Jesus.

Paul went on to say, “…whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.”

Paul is basically telling us that good and Godly thinking produces good and Godly memories. Good in and good out.

I am always amazed at people which have been diagnosed with dementia or Alzheimer’s disease that have lost most of their memories yet still have vast memories of church, scripture, old hymns, Sunday School and Baptism. It’s as though the Godly memories rise to the surface of their life.

Let’s exercise our memories and think on the things of God.

God bless us all as we think on HIM.

© 2019 Lee W. Outlaw III, PhD

Ageless wonders

My late father used to say, “Just wait till you get to be my age boy”.

Of course, like many of our parents that was one of many of my Dad’s favorite sayings to me throughout his long life of 83 years; from the time I can remember till just before he died.

The older we get, the more we tend to reflect on our age and the past. If it’s not the result of a deep lingering memory, it’s that old sports injury or new diagnosed illness which creeps up behind us, taps us on the shoulder and says, “you’re old”; you want to just turn around and slap it but then you realize you can’t turn around like that anymore.

None of us want to believe we’re getting older. I know a writer I met a few years back in her nineties told me she couldn’t believe she was as old as she was because she just didn’t feel like it.

One of my university “Geriatric psychology” professors used to say, “You can try to run from it, ignore it or simply change the subject but the fact is, if you’re lucky age will catch up to you.” Think about his remarks,”…if you’re lucky…”. He would also add, “If you’re not lucky enough, it won’t really matter and you and God can discuss what happened up close and personal”.     Most of the class didn’t appreciate his dry humor at the time but it was his way of saying “don’t take life too serious”.

In other words if we’re fortunate enough to experience all that accompanies a long life, we will have aches, pains, difficulties and the emotional stress of moving forward in time and “getting old”.

A Christian Psychologist colleague of mine (who is no spring chicken) says repeatedly that the older we get the more important it is to have a daily personal reaffirmation which involves positive affirmation about our present life situation; regardless of our current circumstances.

Everyone should formulate their own daily plan. My simple fifteen to thirty minute daily “re-affirmation”  (reaffirming the life God has given me) usually goes something like this: I pray thanking God for today, my life, my family, church and our nation. As an epileptic I also ask for a “seizure free day”. I sing one of my favorite praise choruses, “Let’s forget about ourselves and magnify the Lord and worship him”, I read scripture (currently reading through Proverbs and Ecclesiastes), I read a portion of a favorite book or two and finally I formulate a plan for the day.

We must never dwell on the past because we’ll never get it back. The past poisons and penetrates our mind and very ounce of our being; to quote a popular cliché’ of our day, “Just let it go”.

The bottom line is that each of us are “Ageless wonders”. Leave the past behind, don’t worry about the future and pursue the present.

Jesus said it best, And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life? If then you are not able to do as small a thing as that, why are you anxious about the rest?” (Luke 12:25:26)

God bless your day.

© 2019 Lee W. Outlaw III, PhD

The Importance of Sam’s Law

Hopefully, as I prepare to publish this article, “Sam’s Law”, House Bill 684, was being heard in front of the Senate Education Committee (Tuesday, April 30) and will be placed on the agenda for a vote prior to the ending of the current Texas State Legislature.

The reason this law is of vital importance is that it will require all schools to become epilepsy educated and aware. Epileptic seizures (of all kinds) are often misidentified and epilepsy itself is so misunderstood that many people don’t recognize a seizure when they see one. Some seizures such as absence, simple or complex partial seizures are simply unrecognized.

Even when a seizure is recognized, people often don’t know what to do. This is especially true in our schools. Children and teens with epilepsy can experience a seizure and depending on the type of seizure, teachers, coaches, principals, counselors and even some school nurses are unaware of how to proceed.

This is also true of School police officers and security. In fact certain seizures such as grand mal and petite grand mal seizures are all too often perceived by police and security as simply disobedience and a behavioral or drug related problem sending these epilepsy effected students needlessly and incorrectly to the local jail, juvenile detention facility or a behavioral hospital leading to misdemeanor or even felony charges against a sick person needing immediate medical attention and wasting valuable time.

Please remember, Epilepsy kills.

Sam’s law,  (HB 684), introduced by Rep. Travis Clardy, would require that ALL Texas public school personnel — meaning anyone who has contact with a child with epilepsy — will be trained in seizure recognition and seizure first aid. People who interact with children with epilepsy on a daily basis should be trained to care for them if they have a seizure.

Sam’s Law would ensure seizure education and first aid training for employees in Texas public schools who have contact with children. It would require teachers to take an online course effective Dec. 1, 2019. The bill proposes free seizure recognition and seizure response training for teachers and staff at Texas public schools.

The bill is named in honor of Samantha (Sam) Watkins, a Kilgore ISD student who passed away in December 2016 after complications from a seizure just three months after she had been diagnosed with epilepsy.

Again, not to be morbid (but as an epileptic myself) Epilepsy kills and both time and the proper response can be the difference between life and death.

Much of the foot work in getting this bill introduced into the Texas legislature was due to the efforts of former teacher, Shari Dudo who is also an epileptic. After suffering a seizure at the school where she taught, she founded the Purple Warriors of Texas. Samantha (Sam) Watkins’ mother, Barbara Watkins, also a teacher has worked with Shari to get this bill introduced into the Texas State legislature and bring it to its current point in the state senate.

At the same time, there are many others throughout the nation attempting to get similar legislation introduced into their own states.

Still others such as the RGV’s own April Flowers and her daughter Lili are spending time in Washington D.C. meeting with Congressional staff and Senators in an attempt to raise attention to the need for Sam’s law nationwide.

© 2019 Lee W. Outlaw III, PhD

Depression can be a dangerous thing

In follow up to my previous article, “Depression is everybody’s problem”, this article will point out the danger of depression when gone unchecked.

The 2015 crash of the Germanwings  Airbus A320 flight 4U9525 on March 24, 2015 which killed all one hundred fifty persons on board is a stark reminder of the need for closer scrutiny of those who are put in charge of the lives of others.

In the crash of the Germanwings  Airbus A320 flight 4U9525, the co-pilot Andreas Lubitz had apparently been struggling with mental  illness and depression for some time. He even received a letter declaring him unfit for work (at some point)which somehow officials are only finding out about now as a result of Lubitz hiding the letter.

Like many depressed and psychologically distressed people, Lubitz apparently was able to hide his illness all too well; many who knew him, found him, normal, capable and even fun.  

Even when he was originally hired by Lufthansa in 2008, the company said Lubitz was psychologically sound and completely fit to fly.

As of today however, after the New York Times, Wall Street Journal and Bild (a German  Newspaper) citing unnamed sources claiming that Lubitz had suffered severe mental illness, Lufthansa has now admitted they learned in 2009 that Lubitz had suffered  a “previous episode of severe depression”.

Although Lufthansa, the parent company of Germanwings, knew of Lubitz’s battle with depression, they allowed him to continue training and ultimately put him in the cockpit.

Lufthansa contends however, that because “Lubitz had a valid medical certificate, had passed all his examinations and “held all the licenses required”; there was no reason not to let him fly.

This is a staunch reminder of the need by every one of us to take a proverbial pinch of our mental capacity to see if we’re really ok. We all need to maintain good mental and emotional health but unfortunately not everyone is willing to check their mental and spiritual compass.

If you doubt your mental stability for even a minute, for goodness sakes talk to somebody professionally. Don’t be so proud that you endanger yourself or those around you.

On another level of mental health, too often like the recent German Air crash, someone with less than competent mental capacity gains control of people and either limits or ends their lives.

The potential for anyone with power over people to take such control to the extreme is just too fragile to allow incompetency to be put in control.

Having worn so many professional hats over the years as a pastor, theologian, psychologist and insurance adjuster, this writer has seen far too much incompetence among those in charge of others.

The old saying of “Absolute power corrupts absolutely” is so true.

This writer has seen good men and women totally collapse under the obligation of power and control.

I’ve seen pastor’s attempt suicide after major catastrophes like hurricanes which wiped out their churches and homes, theologians who couldn’t handle a flaw in a theological truth they once held firm, attorneys who lost major cases, athletes who lost the big game, parents who lost children and on and on.

In short, everyone is vulnerable to mental illness and associated depression at some point in their life.

When life becomes more than we can handle on our own, that’s when we need to talk to someone professionally.

But what about the professionals who think they’re above talking to someone?

Does this not support the need for a required mental assessment of every major professional?

Certainly all pilots, bus drivers, train operators, ship captains and personnel, doctors and hospital staff, law enforcement, attorneys, prosecutors and certainly all politicians should be required to have an extensive mental health screening; not just a  criminal background check but an intensive mental health checkup.

Most of all both the Democratic and Republican Parties should include in their Presidential Candidate vetting process a mental health checkup made public to all.

Good mental health is very important and should never be taken for granted because the mind can indeed be a dangerous thing.

Please, if you are having strange or unusual thoughts, feeling depressed or lonely, call someone today at 1-800-950-NAMI (6264) or info@nami.org.

Also call your political party requesting that a mental health checkup be required in all political candidate vetting processes; especially of those running for the office of president.

© 2019 Dr. Lee W. Outlaw III

Unrecognized Seizure Signals


 
Epilepsy is certainly a disorder of mystery and unpredictability as any epileptic will tell you.

 After ten years being grand mal seizure free, just one day after this past Christmas I found myself waking up in an ambulance from a grand mal seizure in route to the hospital where I encountered a second seizure only three hours later. This has been the worst seizure ever and roughest recovery. After coming home from the hospital, I slept for nearly 3 days and remember almost nothing.

 Although unknown to me until I was fifty-seven years old, I was born an epileptic and had experienced seizures all my life; in fact my grandfather was an epileptic as was his grandfather and his grandfather before him and who knows how far back.

 For those of us older such as me, we grew up in a time when epilepsy had many labels and taboos even linked to mental disorders and demonic possession. As a result, your family or even family doctor might not pursue any detailed medical investigation. In my case, my parents and I were told it was just part of growing up; or so I had always been told. But shortly before my father died, he confided in me that our family doctor had suspected I might have epilepsy but to quote my father, he told “old Doc Holden, there was no way his son was crazy”.

 My father also, didn’t understand that what he witnessed so often in his father as what was called “fits” was actually epileptic seizures as well.

 Although I don’t blame my parents for my epilepsy, it’s very sad to think what just a little more knowledge and information might have done to help me today.

 Since having my first full blown grand mal seizure in 2001, I have made every effort to learn everything I could about epilepsy and how to recognize and avoid the proverbial “seizure triggers” and how to prevent them.

 As most epileptics know the two basics to control and prevention are, 1) take all your meds as prescribed and 2) get at least eight hours sleep every night. In most cases, if an epileptic follows this regiment of treatment the chances of having a seizure are greatly reduced.

 Unfortunately Epilepsy is a neurological disorder and not a disease resulting in the reality that at present there is no cure. The best that can be done at present is the prescribing of a variety of medication, electronic stimulators and surgery. As such the bad news every epileptic receives once diagnosed is “epilepsy is for life”; so your neurologist will instruct you in how to recognize the possibility or the signs of an upcoming seizure.

 Most epileptics are well aware of the most obvious sign of a possible seizure which is the dreaded “aura”. For most of us, we hate the aura worse than the seizure. The seizure strikes and is usually over in just a few minutes but the aura is totally debilitating and can last from a few minutes to several days. Like it or not, the aura is usually a sign of a potential seizure.

 The aura is difficult to describe; especially to non-epileptics.  The average aura time for most epileptics I know is about 15 minutes. My average aura last 24 hours but I have experienced a pre-seizure aura which lasted 2 days and a post-seizure aura which lasted almost a week.

Auras are terrible. They can be mild to migraine headaches, the proverbial “seeing stars”, visualizing “saintly” like glows or halos around people, visualization can take on a yellowish hue as well as the experience of strange sounds and odors.

But the worst aura experience of all for most epileptics is disassociation; the feeling of uncertainty of where you are or what many epileptics describe as the sensation of feeling like you’re in more than one place at a given moment. Some have described it as feeling like you’re here but also somewhere else. Some have likened the experience to a type of “déjàvu”.

The aura often causes an epileptic to lose momentary thought, focus and concentration.

Some research now suggests that due to their debilitating effect on the epileptic, these auras are actually partial seizures. Regardless of what these auras are, they can certainly slow a person down, delay or even force a change or cancellation to plans.

It is important to note that although some epileptics never experience an aura, those that do have different aura experiences. One such experience is “mood change”.

Mood change (which is usually a side effect of anti-seizure medication and not epilepsy) itself is often a signal or precursor to a major seizure. Of great importance is the “Unrecognizable Mood Change”. It might be subtle or it might be drastic. It might not be recognizable to the epileptic patient at all but very noticeable to everyone else. The mood change can begin weeks before the seizure.

As a lifelong epileptic and Christian psychologist I was well aware that mood changes could be a part of epilepsy but as a lifelong epileptic I had never seen myself as having mood changes.  Recently however, my reaction to what I interpreted as a bad smelling slice of ham was actually seen by family members as both irrational and mean spirited. The bottom line is others saw the mood change but I didn’t. In addition my family informed me that over the past forty years I had many similar experiences. 

The bottom line is if you haven’t experienced an epileptic aura, you simply can’t understand but you can try and be observant of the epileptic in your life.

If the epileptic in your life begins demonstrating unusual or a sudden change in behavior, be certain to make them aware of those changes in a very caring and constructive way. You might ask if they have taken all their meds on time or ask how they’re feeling.

If you’re an epileptic, listen to those around you, they might see things happening in you that you don’t see in yourself and if you listen carefully you might prevent a seizure or even save your life.

Let others help you recognize the unrecognizable signals in you.

© 2019 Lee W. Outlaw III, PhD

 

What’s wrong with people? Part 2

Part 2 of A Seven Part Series on Why People Do What They Do

Part 2

People tend to take the easy way out

 

People do tend to take the easy way out; often making both their life and the lives of others more difficult.

In the continuing look at the ““social-psychological” problem of “What’s wrong with people?” it’s not only evident that people don’t think things through but that they also tend to take the easy way out. If there is an easy way to accomplish something most people will take the easy road to their intended accomplishment.

This is not to say that the easy way is never the best way; sometimes it is. Even the problem-solving solution by the thirteenth-century English Franciscan friar, William of Ockham stated that “when presented with competing hypothetical answers to a problem, one should select the answer that makes the fewest assumptions”. In other words, what has become commonly known among scholars as “Occam’s razor “suggest that the best solution or answer to a problem is often the simplest or most obvious conclusion that sometimes the simplest and easiest way to a solution is the best.
Occam’s razor does not seek to offer complete and absolute proof, but to find the simplest probable answer to a question of why an event happened.

Although the good Friar was a man of God and quite learned for his day in the fields of science, math, philosophy, and theology, the overall theme of the church was that every choice man made should be attributed to God or the church. As a result, everything people did that was bad for them was due to their disobedience to God.

Over time, people began to blame God or the Devil for everything that was good or bad in their lives. God and/or the devil were the obvious “easy answer” to all of life’s situations, difficulties, and problems. In essence, the most obvious answer to “What’s wrong with people?” was simply they weren’t obedient to God.

That trend continued over the centuries which followed and continues today; only now God becomes less and less the “easy way out” and other people, places, and things become the easy road or solution to humanity’s problems or accomplishments. After all, man has moved beyond God (or so most think).

Generally speaking, the easy way out for many people is the “blame game”; the idea that “it wasn’t me”. It was somebody else, it was a professor, a parent, a college, a pastor, a love relationship, the car they were driving or the road on which they were driving. For others, it was the job or the lack thereof, the foods they eat, the stress in their lives, sibling rivalry, bad genes, not enough money or too much money, alcohol, drugs or sex.

Unfortunately, Psychology, the very profession I’ve been a part of for over forty years has made the blame game the top “easy way out” for most people.

After all, it was the father of Psychiatry, Sigmund Freud who concluded that all of our problems can be traced back to our parents and our childhood; we could now blame our parents for our flaws, our frailties, and our failures.

Even though Carl Yung attempted to emphasize that personality traits and behavior were learned through social interaction and environment, the tendency within the Mental Health Community has continued to allow the blame game a significant area of emphasis.

Although blame is a simple and easy road on which to escape responsibility, it isn’t the only “easy way out”.

One of the easiest ways out of any situation in life for many people is the age-old art of lying. I use the term “art” here as opposed to sin because even though everyone does it in one form or another, some people have indeed made lying an art form due to their pathological infatuation with its use.

For far too many people today, the failure to keep the ninth commandment is not even considered a sin since everybody does it. Even many theologians argue that technically there is no “Thou shalt not lie” found anywhere in the Ten Commandments or anywhere else in the Law of Moses. These Theologians would argue that the ninth commandment is about “Not bearing false witness against one’s neighbor”; in other words claiming or saying your neighbor said or did something they had not done; most would even argue that the commandment was primary about land and property disputes. Of course, lying is still implied even though not stated specifically.

So choosing the simplest way of doing something, blaming someone or something else for our mistakes or failure and lying are all ways of taking the easy way out. The most common way of taking the easy way out, however, is simply never committing to a task or quitting after the task has begun.

As we continue our look at “What’s wrong with people?” it’s obvious that people all too often tend to take the easy way out leading to mistakes and difficulties which affect themselves and everyone around them.

If more people would slow down their lives and stop to think things through, they’d be less apt to take the easy way out making life better for everyone.

© 2018 Lee W. Outlaw III, PhD

What’s wrong with people? Part 1

Part 1 of A Seven Part Series on Why People Do What They Do


Part 1
People don’t think things through

“What is wrong with people?” is what many of us think, say, or shout in the wake of a seemingly senseless, sudden action or comment we encounter by another person or persons.

It might be someone cutting us off while driving, using profanity in front of children, making rash or unthoughtful comments, making a senseless financial decision or wrongful action to a friendship or relationship.

On the grander scale, it might be a political decision you don’t favor, a disagreement with a theological or ecclesiastical (church) decision or a troubling socially and politically correct trend.
For many of us, these kinds of things not only upset us but make our blood boil with anger.

This often stated frustration made by many appears to be on the increase; in reality however, this “social-psychological” problem is as old and as common as man himself.
The main cause or ingredient to this problem is a lack of common sense or critical thinking; in essence, people simply don’t think things through. They neither think things through thoroughly and completely nor weigh the consequences of the subsequent action.

Some would say such critical thinking and evaluation is near impossible “on the run” or in the “heat of the moment”. Therein lies one of the most serious of this social-psychological problem; most of us need to slow down.

It is impossible to think a thing through if you’re living life at the speed of light.

The computer era has made the term of “multi-tasking” the common cliché. In reality multi-tasking is all too often the attempt to do too much at one time and like the old adage says, “A jack of all trades is the master of none”.

This multi-tasking develops an environment of increased personal pressure forcing many to toss critical thinking or  “common sense” out the window; the result is another common cliché of our day, “It is what it is”.

The reality of this nonchalant attitude of “It is what it is” is simply a “don’t care” attitude; seldom is what something appears to be reality.

When the majority of people develop this “It is what it is” attitude there is no base for establishing common sense or critical thinking and no reason for people to think things through thoroughly.
The failure to think things through thoroughly ends in negative results from not considering all the possibilities, ramifications and consequences of a possible action.

As stated in the introduction to this seven part series, you will not only find a discussion of what’s wrong with people but also answers.
People can only begin to use common sense and critical thinking if they have a standard on which to base their actions and decisions.

As a Christian Psychologist and counselor, I find no better standard than the Bible.

There are three verses which emphasize what people can do to think things through thoroughly:

Think:
“If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you”. (James 1:5 NIV)
Decide:
“Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight”. (Proverbs 3:5-6)
Act without anger:
“In your anger do not sin”: Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry,” (Ephesians 4:26)

Part 2 of “What’s wrong with people?” will discuss “Why people take the easy way out?”

© 2018 Lee W. Outlaw III, PhD

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