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?
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
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”
- Debbie's site The Best Brain Possible. Join her free, informative newsletter.
- Her books Sex, Suicide and Serotonin: How These Things Almost Killed and Healed Me on Amazon and the site and Beat Depression And Anxiety By Changing Your Brain: With Simple Practices That Will Improve Your Life on Amazon
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