Great PBS Special that discusses emotions
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Great PBS Special that discusses emotions

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Old 03-17-10, 03:19 AM   #1
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Default Great PBS Special that discusses emotions

This Emotional Life Ep01 - ?? - ???? - ????
This Emotional Life Ep02 - ?? - ???? - ????
This Emotional Life Ep03 - ?? - ???? - ????

The special called "This Emotional Life" discusses why we experience certain emotions and how we cope with them. Some studies suggest that many of our emotions are beyond our control due to past experiences (esp childhood ones) and genes.

The Special features case studies. One that struck me was a Vietnam Vet who suffered from PTSD for over 30 years and have recalled scenes of the war every night since then. The PTSD essentially paralyzed him to the point where he rarely left his home and barely socialized. Only recently has he decided to seek CBT, and he is better now. The therapist suggested that instead of blocking the images of war out of his mind, he replay the images in his mind and watch Full Metal Jacket over and over and experience his feelings until they don't bother him much.

Other case studies include the following:

- one sister of a twin who is depressed, while sister is not suffering from depression, and how she deals and seeks treatment with the depression.

- an adopted boy who has a hard time bonding with his parents and peers, while his adopted sister is "psychological sound".

- a girl who overcomes her fear of flying.

- a girl filled with rage who used to be confrontational and violent towards other people and how she has learned to understand her behavior and control her rages.

- A Iraq war veteran who suffered from PTSD after seeing an Iraqi die in front of him. He struggles with his PTSD and is reluctant to take pharmaceuticals because, "He's not there yet." He knows drugs could help him, but he remains stubborn in trying them out.

I can't remember the others. I am still in the process of watching it and find it quite fascinating. Ultimately what I have gathered so far is that our physiological responses are largely out of control and people prone to depression and anxiety produce higher levels of certain stress hormones in certain situations and their levels of the hormones tend to remain elevated for longer periods of time compared to so called "normal" people. Although we can not change our emotions, we can change who we react to them how we shape our states of mind. Also, drugs to have the potential to regulate our neurotransmitters and stress hormones.

The special also features short clips of celebrities (including Chevy Chase, Alanis Morrisette, Katy Couric, among many others) and how they've dealt with certain emotional issues.
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