Change Your Brain to Change Your Life with Debbie Hampton

Show NotesToday's GuestTimeline
In this podcast, I had the pleasure of speaking with Debbie Hampton. Debbie suffered a traumatic divorce and three suicide attempts, the last of which left her severely mentally impaired. It was at this point that Debbie decided to change her brain and change her life. Listen in to her inspiring story and discover how you too can pick up the pieces, take control of your brain to build a life you enjoy living.

About Debbie Hampton

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. 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’ brainwave 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 possible.

Neuroplasticity is the super power we all are born with and possess until the day we die. On my blog and website, I share information about the tools I used to heal myself and my life physically, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually and related topics to inspire and encourage you to take control of and change your brain and life for the better. Promise!

I live in Greensboro, North Carolina with my six cats (yes, six) and an elderly Jack Russell Terrier where you can find me reading, writing, gardening, and doing hot yoga.

I have written a memoir, Sex Suicide, and Serotonin, and have an edited, full manuscript ready to go. Are you an agent or publisher or know of one and want to help me share my story?

0:00 Dr. Seng's Introduction

2:23 Introducing Debbie Hampton

5:41 Debbie's infancy and growing up

  • Challenges and strengths

12:08 Depressive tendencies and relationships

  • A shift in self value and priorities

15:26 Life during college

  • Marriage and a lack of self-worth
  • A lack of support and friendships

19:22 After having children and the death of a brother

  • Multiple moves and family tension
  • Marriage counseling

25:39 Attempted suicide and a threat of divorce

  • An unhealthy dance
  • An awakening

32:30 Finalizing divorce

  • Kids in the middle

37:05 Other suicide attempts

  • A culmination of problems
  • Labeling self as a victim

41:37 Genetic predisposition to suicide and depression

  • Medications and therapy
  • Family history

46:15 Dealing with a brain injury

  • Blessing in disguise
  • An innate desire to continue living

50:45 Learning to repair the brain

  • Neuroplasticity

52:17 Advice for people struggling with suicide and depression

  • You can take control of your mind
  • Daily, small decisions and changes for big results

54:10 Debbie's books

  • “Beat Depression and Anxiety by Changing Your Brain”
  • “Sex, Suicide and Serotonin”

Learn More

 

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4 replies
  1. Kimberly Wilson
    Kimberly Wilson says:

    Ms. Hampton is truly an inspiration to all who battle depression. Her story of survival shows her great strength and I resonate so much with her story. I think we could be kindred spirits to some extent.

    I’d like to share my story:

    I had a very traumatic childhood mostly because of a mother who could not love. The summer before I entered junior high, my brother, with whom I was extremely close, died in a tragic drowning. Because of the stress, anxiety, depression, and mostly no tools to deal with this incredible loss, I began to pull my hair out. You can imagine how I looked entering junior high. My mother told me when I brought home my school pictures that they weren’t very pretty. Of course, I was an outcast. I was a full year younger that my classmates but my grades were excellent. I threw myself into gymnastics, without any formal training and became quite good. I made the cheerleading squad. I, of course, thought that all cheerleaders were popular and that my high school status would change. But, nope. The clique had been formed, and I was not included in their group. I became anorexic – eating 1/2 sandwich a day then running to my room to exercise like crazy to make sure I didn’t gain any weight. At this time I weighed 89 pounds and had a 17 inch waist. I was in my room when I overhead my father tell my mother that he didn’t think I looked well. Absolutely no response from my mother. When I entered high school I was accepted more and became very good friends with a group of girls. Then, one of the most handsome boys in class asked me out. We became married and were married 18 years. We were babies and had no business getting married so it didn’t last. Within 17 months after our divorce, my husband married a woman he worked with who was 18 years younger than us. I still remember his cutting words ‘ This is what a REAL woman looks like’. Back comes the depression.. I was diagnosed as clinically depressed and lost 35 pounds. Anti-depressants didn’t work for me – I suffered too many side effects and couldn’t function through out the day. My husband tried to get custody of my children but failed. He tried to use the ‘clinical depression’ diagnosis against me. I tried therapy but it wasn’t for me. We just rehashed everything over and over again and I wasn’t given any tools to manage my issues. I stopped therapy and decided that I needed to fix myself. I reconnected to my Spiritual Source and listened. I listened to the message inside me that assured me that I was strong and that I was going to be ok. It hasn’t been easy by any stretch of the imagination and I still have a tendency toward depression. But with my morning routine of alignment, and meditation throughout the day, along with other tools, I can see the Oneness within, between and beyond and have become a much stronger, compassionate, and understanding person. You’d be surprised to know that my ex-husband and I are now friends and even spend holidays together. Forgiveness. It heals the soul and body.

    Reply
    • Michael Seng
      Michael Seng says:

      Debbie,

      The pleasure is mine! You are a precious gift. You are courageous and excellent at sharing your many experiences in ways that will long serve people and families that are suffering.

      Please never hesitate contacting me for any other way I can serve your mission!

      Namaste,

      Michael

      Reply

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