ASC eBook 2nd Edition Draft]
Chapter Six: Some History
Yep, I can see how that idea sprang forth!
More on the Origins of
In 1976, after experiencing the "natural high" episode, while speaking outloud while looking into the mirror, I was so excited I did not sleep for three days. I had mistakenly thought that my new "revolutionary discovery" had proven that a person can operate just fine without sleep.
Well, this quickly proved false because I realized I had accidently induced a cyclothymic episode (an elevated mood state which can lead to hypomania or mania if not controlled in some way). Looking back I realize I could have easily avoided it by simply reducing my stimulation right after doing the mirror-work).
So, here I was, all wound up a result of this cyclothymic state (an altered-state of mind) and I starting experiencing some intense thoughts of grandiosity (more on that later).
Fortunately because of my educational background (including an under-graduate degree in psychology) and with some feedback and support from my ex-wife who was-psychiatric R.N., I decided it would be prudent to admit myself voluntarily to a local psychiatric facility to get some help.
The admitting doctor gave me a diagnosis of BiPolar Disorder (called manic-depression at that time). Upon admission I was given tranquilizers (which immediately put me to sleep and then I woke feeling back to normal.
I self- discharged after a few days of observation and then quickly stopped taking the medication they had prescribed, having no further symptoms at that time.
Fortunately, I did not experience a psychotic break (become psychotic) during either the initial or future hypomanic episodes, but it sure scared me and made me realize that, even with my undergraduate degree in psychology, I had failed to recognize that I had allowed myself to "work myself up" over a period of several days into an actual manic-like episode.
In other words, if would have realized the importance of not staying in the cyclothymic (natural/runner's high) altered-state of mind for long periods of time, potential of the routine to induce I would have never triggered the progression into hypomania)episode.
From what I read, it takes a lot of stimulation to actually get to the point of mania for most people (except perhaps with others like I used to be (prone to mood swings). But, because of that initial manic
episode, and three other manic episodes since 1976 (one of which did not appear to be precipitated by an ASC routine), naturally, I have had an intense fear of inducing a manic state as a result of using this
So why do I now want to promote the routine to others? Basically, it's because, the routine so powerfully controls my depression and helps me change behavior! And now, "hopefully", I've learned to recognize the symptoms and signs of hypomania well enough to prevent further episodes regardless of what the trigger might be. And, I feel that based on my results with others that most people would never get close to hypomania while using the ASC routine.
These days, long before letting myself maintain a natural high for long periods of time, I just stop doing the ASC routine immediately and start going into my relaxation routines right after the ASC routine. If I'm still too high, I have learned other methods for slowing my thoughts, etc. which I will explain shortly. Also, it is not necessary to do the routine all at one time. Sometimes, I do it for 5 minutes only, several times a day if I feel I'm a little too high.
Even though I've had a few hypomanic episodes (due to my own ignorance), don't get me wrong, I have used ASC a great deal over the years. And I have also promoted it to others upon occasion. For example, in 1983 I was working as a psychiatric nursing assistant at St. Luke's Behavioral Health Hospital in Phoenix, Arizona. For a few weeks, they allowed me to run an experimental program teaching the routine to patients suffering from depression. And, I was fortunate enough to get some good results. In fact, the great majority of the patients participating wrote testimonial letters stating they felt it was the most helpful of all the types of therapy on the unit!
Unfortunately, (or so I felt at the time), the unit told me they didn't have the budget to continue the experiment. We were working with patients on an acute ward where the average stay was only seven days. And, I have since realized that I wasn't even touching on the full power of ASC at that time. I also believe now, it takes more like three weeks, rather than seven days, to really get the "hang of it", when it comes to inducing the amount of euphoria I can during an ASC routine and seeing some permanent changes in compulsive behavior. When Saint Lukas hospital ran out of funding for my work, I took it personally, and became discouraged and then scared once again (or depressed). When I got scared and stop using the routine, I used to go into long periods of depression).
I guess I'm putting a lot of negatives in the book, but understand; I don't want to influence or persuade people to attempt this routine without being prepared by reviewing the warning signs for mania.. On the other hand, Accelerate-State Conditioning has the potential to change millions of lives in the future! Why do I feel so strongly? Well partly because of my powerful experiences, partly intuition, and also because a few mental health professionals and suffering individuals have reviewed this article and provided helpful feedback and encouragement. They concur, the concept is worth investigating. But it will take the courage of those suffering from depression and the help of many in the care-giving community, to prove-out what I have already experienced over many years.
Some Personal Notes on Using ASC
And, of course to me, there in just no question that ASC works. In thirty five or more years of knowing I might be BiPolar, aside from four brief voluntary admissions for hypomanic episodes, (each episode getting shorter, the last one involving just a five hour visit to an
emergency room), I have lived a pretty normal life, free of medication. In the late 80's, I did try a 6-month trial on 300 mg. of lithium daily (a very small dose, not even requiring blood level draws), but realized it wasn't necessary. I knew I had the "tools" to handle my illness without medication. In fact, my life has had what many would feel were substantial successes, including owning my own business', winning national sales awards, etc.. And, had I known then, about how to recognize and "deal with the mania", I doubt I would have ever felt the need to hospitalize myself at all! And, from everything I read, coping with Bipolar Disorder, without medication is pretty rare in the U.S.. (That should be the most compelling reason for you mental health professionals to pay very close attention to this essay in my not so humble opinion!).
To further impress upon you the power of this routine, I need to explain how I discovered the idea for Accelerated-State-Conditioning it in the first place. In 1976 I was working as a real estate agent. I'd been working for about three years and was not very successful (actually, I was a "flop")! Selling is not exactly the job of choice for someone who suffers from shyness, but there I was, working late one night, alone in my office, practicing a "listing presentation" (sort of a one-on-one speech), out loud.
The interior lights in the office formed a mirror on the front plate glass windows and I was watching my facial expressions in this "mirror" as a spoke. I had been doing this for around an hour, when all of a sudden I started feeling "extremely good". And the better I felt, the more dynamic my speech became! All of a sudden, I started feeling extremely confident and I "realized" (hope springs eternal) that I had the potential to be a powerful speaker! (A thought completely opposite from my "self-image").
Of course what had happened was, I had worked myself into a euphoric (hypomanic state) (probably another personality)! In fact,
because I didn't realize what was going on, (as I mentioned earlier), I ended up eventually working myself up into a "manic" episode after a couple of days of running around like superman without sleeping or eating. (I was too excited thinking about what a terrific salesman I was going to become to realize I was getting sick (manic))! Now that I think about it, I had every reason in the world to be excited! I knew I had stumbled onto a procedure that can change personality over night! In fact, my poor eye-contact problem, that I had suffered with for years, literally vanished that night, and has never really come back! I had literally become a different person as a result of that one manic episode!