Mental Illness Update!

The news kind, not the my personal hell kind. Actually, probably a mix of both.

But yes, tonight’s blog entry is brought to you by, for, and about mental illness.

First of, there is this little number which blew my mind when I read it :

Your mouse pointer feels good on my screen

It’s so obvious!


The second I read that, it clicked with me. It’s one of those brilliant ideas that seems blindly obvious once you hear it.

Of course this would work! Saying “I can’t” sets up a tension with your sense of identity. There is you, the person who wants the thing, and then there is your superego (also you, natch) depriving you of that thing.

That is a tension that cannot last and sooner or later the superego, like a tired parent worn down by a determined toddler, will give in and let id-you have what you want… knowing that it will punish you after, when the reward-need[1] craving has been satiated and the higher brain functions can resume functioning.

And as you alert readers know, I believe that anything that conflicts with your sense of identity is doomed to failure because identity always wins. Maintaining one’s identity always has the topmost priority because your identity is the overarching structure that keeps the whole psyche together and on which are installed things like memory, lust, opinions, and all that other jazz.

So until you are willing to change your idea of who you are, you will fail over and over again to change anything else.

That’s what “I don’t” does. Instead of “I’m not that kind of person who resists junk food but I am forcing myself to do it anyway”, which is, like I said, doomed to fail, it instead says “I already am the sort of person who resists junk food and therefore doing it is no big deal for me. It’s part of who I am. ”

This is not normally an easy adjustment to make because our high-priority sense of identity resists change by default, and and most people are not self-aware or informed enough to realize that they themselves have to change on a deep deep level if they want to achieve their goals.

There is no spoon. It is you that bends.

Myself, I have always had a somewhat fluid sense of identity. Not in the sense of not having an identity (I defeated that delusion a long time ago) but in having little problem shifting form to suit the situation.

And it might well seem to someone who doesn’t know me well that I am different people in different settings based on what “mode” I was in at the time.

But I am not any of my shapes. I’m the shapeshifter. I am always the same person inside, I just switch modes.

There are both good and bad things about being able to take the form of whatever container you are in.

But it’s always the same ol puddle deep down.

The other thing that blew me away was this video :

In fact, that video did far more than blow my mind. It changed everything. A lot of things I had been thinking for a long time suddenly slid into place and went CLICK. ! felt like my entire consciousness had just leveled up.

First I will tackle the “depression is just a chemical imbalance” part of it. Mind = blown.

Of course it’s a not simply a chemical imbalance that some people mysteriously have for no reason. It’s so obvious to me now. Treating depression as merely a chemical imbalance in the brain is like… well like this.

Nurse : I’ve noticed that we have a lot of people come in with giant glowing holes in their necks lately.

Doctor : I suppose so.

Nurse : Well what are we going to do about it?

Doctor : Give them Nexafix. Clears it right up.

Nurse : That’s great, but why do the people have holes in their necks ?

Doctor : I dunno. Some people just get neck holes. Some people are just neck-hole prone and sooner or later they end up with neck-holes. So we give them Nexafix.

Nurse : But where are the holes coming from?

Doctor : Glowing Neck Hole Syndrome.

Nurse : That doesn’t answer the question!

Doctor : It does for me. Besides, writing prescriptions is a lot easier than actually learning about the patient’s life. And the faster I get fees – I mean, patients, in and out of my office, the more money I make. Add the kickbacks I get from the makers of Nexafix and you can see why I feel absolutely no compulsion to look any further into it.

Nurse : Oh come on, nobody actually talks like that!

I wonder if there is some sort of template I could get that would format my little dramas properly in WordPress.

But of course, the real bombshell is the social treatment stuff. Of course depression is a social problem. It’s only our excessively individualistic culture that blinds us to the idea.

The root problem is that the depressive is socially isolated and incapacitated. Myself, for example. Sure, my meds have kept me alive, and therapy has helped me a lot, but do you know what would really help me?

A job. Something I could do. A job would do a hell of a lot to improve my self-esteem, ease my feeling of worthlessness and uselessness, give me a place in society. get my involved in the flow of life, give me a peer group, structure my time, rescue me from the dead calm seas of the unemployed life, and give me cash to spend on things I want instead of my constantly being on the outside looking into the toy shop at things I want but know I can never have.

That would be my “buy me a cow”. Give me a job.

And true, a doctor can’t write me a prescription for a job, but the whole point of this is thatg this is not a medical issue. It’s a social issue.

We need to bring back the days when the government took an active interest in making sure people had the right job for them and that employers got the employees they needed. Whatever happened to that?

Oh right, the barbarians who call themsleves conservatives (ha!) cut it because they can’t stand the very thought of being nice to somebody.

Well fuck that shit. Bring back the good old days.

I bet, dinars to donuts, that if that happened, both the unemployment rate and the depression rate would go way down.

I will talk to you nice people again tomorrow.

Footnotes    (↵ returns to text)

  1. Mein Gott, I’m starting to sound like badly translated Nietsche.

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