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You Are What You Think

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Dr. Ernest Levister, Jr.
Dear Dr. Levister: I’ve been depressed since I lost my home to foreclosure last year. While I’m better off without the headache I’m having trouble kicking the blues.  Should I get medical help? F.S. 

Dear F.S.: Recently I saw a patient who complained of feeling poor and blue after losing his home to foreclosure. He wanted medicine for depression. After a brief pep talk I sent the gentleman packing without a prescription.

Don’t get me wrong I didn’t kick him under the bus, instead I urged him to quit thinking like a failure and shine a positive spotlight on why he lost his home and what he can learn from his experience. In other words you are what you think. If you think of yourself as a failure – you probably are. If you used poor judgment – learn from it and get on with life.

It’s a traumatic experience for anyone to lose their home to foreclosure, but it’s no secret that Americans are strung out on acquiring material wealth. While the greedy merchants of predatory lending share a large part of the blame for the housing mess, homeowners who bought in lock stock and barrel must shoulder some of the responsibility.

By all means, if you have a history of depression, get medical help. Feeling blue over losing a home is not a medical condition in and of itself. The humiliation and sense of failure you feel is a temporary state of mind that you have the power to change.

Turn this unpleasant, costly experience into a positive. Get your financial house in order. Take a course in managing your money, if you can hire a financial advisor, pay down and cut up those credit cards. By the way my patient sent me a note he is patiently rebuilding his financial house one block at a time.

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