TobyTalk Blog


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Depression, Anxiety, and Sense of Self Issues

By Toby Mautz, LCSW

Depression, anxiety and sense of self issues consume millions of humans around the world. Individuals since the beginning of time have been recording ideas relating to survival, philosophy, science, medicine, sociology, psychology, and theology. The strides in encouraging clients to remain engaged, hopeful, active and alive when the depression and anxiety take hold of their lives is evident. Despite this the overwhelming feelings continue for many and more remains needed to support those throughout our families and communities as they struggle.

For the past 20 years I've observed clients depression and anxiety quantifying as their sense of self depletes. This often leads to an increase in the primary areas of concern and also the increased probability of substance abuse, relationship difficulties, oppositional behavior, school and work struggles, and overall physical health deterioration. To complicate matters as we age so too does the effectiveness of our previous coping mechanisms....


I have worked professionally since the mid ninety's and have worked with thousands of adolescents, young adults, parents, and grand parents who experience anxiety and in turn seem to become confused and overwhelmed with how to deal with all that follows. I've often thought the work anxiety was misinterpreted from our early clinical theorists. Anxiety is simply miss-converted energy. Take a wave in the ocean at the beach for example. It's just energy. If you dive under it you miss the impact this energy has. If you stand in front of it you tend to get slammed down dragged over the rocks, urchins, and depending on the impact you may spend the rest of the day or your life trying to figure out how and why you were so damaged. If you turn and ride the wave you may enjoy it or even get a surfing sponsorship and live a life filled with more beaches, resources and time in the sun. It's all the same energy, however; how a person processes this is what leads to the outcome not the wave itself.

A different way of looking at this is a concept I work with my clients on where...


I've often thought depression and anxiety are the result of what happens when we mis-convert energy. Think about a wave in the ocean that is coming at you. You have a choice in how you respond to the the wave, you can:

  • face it and swim towards it and clear it before it breaks

  • time it, swim under the wave and successfully avoid the impact

  • turn and swim with it and use the energy as a way to propel you forward.

You also have a choice to do nothing and stand helpless in front of it, feeling the full impact of the power behind this energy. You may survive, but the added damage you face will leave you picking yourself up, getting treatment for your wounds, and wondering why the wave had to “attack” you.

Outstanding video examples of using the wave successfully can be found on YouTube by searching for a videos called “surfing a tsunami.” While they are exaggerated examples by great surfers, it represents this point well.


Q: What exactly is Toby Talk?

A: Toby Talk is an open forum for questions, answers, and discussion about how you can use Clinical Concierge and the MySelfScantm techniques to become your most complete "self," via this column, my blog and podcasts.

Q: I'm not familiar with this. What is MySelfScan?

A: I use a theory on the self that I've developed called MySelfScan with my clients. The concepts and ideas of MySelfScan come from applying them first to myself and then sharing them with others. The concepts allowed me to activate who I really am as a human being. My experiences traveling the world have helped this concepts come together. It is a powerful tool that allows individuals of all ages to better understand themselves; their families, communities and the world. If you open yourself up to the process, it can do the same for you.

Q: How does it work?

A: It provides a road map to personal activation and successful engagement in life: no more sitting on the sidelines. The theory teaches us to assess our...