Thursday, June 25, 2015

Debbie Hampton


Greensboro, North Carolina

Age:  51

Question:  How long have you been writing?

     I’ve been blogging since 2010.

Question:  What was the name of the first book you ever published, and when was it published?

     "Beat Depression and Anxiety by Changing Your Brain" eBook 2/2015 expanded and print 5/2015

Question:  Was this book published by a publisher; or did you self-publish?

     It was self-published on Amazon.

Question:  Tell our readers about this very first book.  (For example:  What was the inspiration for writing it, and what was it about)?

     After taking care of my brother as he wasted away and died from AIDs, the end of my 18 year marriage to my high school sweetheart; in an ugly parting that made Divorce Court look civil, and years of wrong turns, things not working out, and being flat-out disappointed with life, I tried to kill myself in June of 2007, by swallowing over 90 pills; mostly brain drugs. But because I wasn’t found in time, the drugs went all the way through my system wreaking destruction.

   After a week in a coma, I woke up with a global, acquired brain injury (ABI), technically labeled encephalopathy, to a very different world. Initially, I was seriously mentally impaired and couldn’t retrieve words, remember the day, my sons’ ages, or that I’d gotten divorced. Physically, I could barely speak, couldn’t coordinate the acts of breathing and swallowing anymore, and had no fine motor skills. My ex-husband sued me for custody of our two sons; won, and promptly moved out of state with them. And I thought things were bad before?
   Alone, for the first time in my life, I had no one to put my limited energy into but myself. Getting down right pissed off, I told myself, “If I have to live, I’m NOT living like this!” Over the first year, I naturally healed somewhat and, in the following years, the more I recovered, the more I learned. The more I learned, the more I recovered.
   Through years of daily work and such practices as neurofeedback, Brain State Technologies’ brain optimization, hyperbaric oxygen therapy, acupuncture, voice therapy, music therapy, cranial sacral massage, hypercapnia, visualization, meditation, cross lateral movement, yoga, cardiovascular exercise, cognitive behavioral therapy, and more, I made a remarkable recovery. Although I still talk funny and have some slight manual dexterity issues, I’m better than ever, even with these.
   The brain injury forced me to make radical changes in my lifestyle and mindset that I’d needed to make long before. Better late than never! Because the underlying belief systems and the perceptual foundation upon which I’d built my reality withered away along with brain cells, I got to start with a clean slate; so to speak.
   By consciously working with and altering my thoughts, behaviors, and emotions, I transformed my world which, in turn, changed my physical brain and its default mode of operation. Today, I live a brain, healthy lifestyle incorporating mental health practices daily to maintain the balance and happiness I’ve found.
   Our brains are neuroplastic, meaning that their structure and function are literally, physically shaped by that which we do repeatedly in our lives – behaviors, emotions, and even thoughts. This works both for you and against you. We have much more power to recover from a brain injury, improve our brain’s functioning, recover from depression, and create our own happiness and reality with the gray matter between our ears than ever thought.
   Neuroplasticity is the super power we all are born with and possess until the day we die. The key to overcoming depression and anxiety and to stop living a numb, fear-based existence is in your head. Literally! By taking control of your mind and thoughts and adopting brain healthy habits, you can harness the super power you were born with, your brain’s proven ability to change itself, neuroplasticity, to optimize operation, change negative thinking patterns, and actually alter the chemical balance and physical form and function of your brain so that happy and healthy become your default.
   I know. I did it – but only after a decade of depression ending in a suicide attempt that left me with a seriously compromised brain. In healing my brain, I healed my life. You can do it too.
   I’ll tell you, in plain English backed by science, how you can improve your brain and life through simple practices:
– diet and exercise
– mindfulness and meditation
– responding rather than reacting
– gratitude and forgiveness
– making friends with fear
– visualization, thought reframing, and more.

Question:  Can a person still buy this book?  If so, where?

     Yes, at Amazon.

Question:  How many total books have you published?

      Just this one is published. 

     I have written an intimate, enlightening, and entertaining memoir, "Sex, Suicide, and Serotonin", detailing how I got to the point in life that I wanted to end it all, and how I came back against the odds to not only survive but thrive. You sit beside me on the seat on the rollercoaster ride that used to be my life, and I let you in on how I learned to stay calm and happy even with a shit storm swirling around me.  To be published next year. Click below url to read an excerpt. 

Question:  List all of your titles:

     See above.

Question:  Any future writing projects in the works?  If so, tell us about it, and any pertinent dates to go with it.

     "Sex, Suicide, and Serotonin" to be published in Spring of 2016'.

Question:  What is the title of your current book, and tell us a little about it.

     See above.

Last question, if someone comes across this article and reads it, what would you like to tell them about why you think they should try reading your book or books?

     You can change yourself and your life for the better with simple practices incorporated into your daily life that over time will change your brain – and you don’t have to be a neuroscientist to understand and accomplish this. Peace and happiness are entirely within your reach. I did it. You can too! I’ll tell you how.

BLOG WRITER'S NOTE TO AUTHOR: I have to tell you I was totally blown away by your story.  You know they say that sometimes bad things that happen in our lives put us directly on the path to the BEST things that will ever happen to us, can only explain what happened to you.  I'm glad you survived and that you are now on a path to hopefully helping others who might think that nothing will ever be better.  Thank you for your interview and my best to you.  I hope the next fifty years end up being your BEST ever.  Good Luck.

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