Sunday, October 10, 2004

Forcing my old mind to learn new tricks.

One of the premises of Quantum mechanics and the human mind (from my limited grasp) is that the mind can be reprogrammed to handle emotions differently. The idea is this: the body gets used to feeling certain feelings, and gets addicted to the hormones released when that situation is realized. For example, if one gets used to depression, or aggression, or being a victim, the mind will set up situations so it can feel those emotions and get the high from the hormones released. Now the Quantum theory on this is that you can decide to handle situations differently, to reprogram the body to loose the addiction to the situation, and then replace the negative addiction with the positive. Now this hits some sensitive areas within the mental illness issue. What if the mind is incapable of making that kind of concentrated effort to change its body chemistry? It begs the question: if a person shows signs of mental illness, is it truly an illness or an addiction to the cause/affects of the hormones released? It has taken years to remove the stigma of mental illness from being a personality fault to a legitimate medical condition. Is it reasonable to think someone who is schitzophrenic, or psychotic and actually change their behavior by force of will alone? What if they don't have the capacity to even realize there is anything "wrong" with their behavior? Depression is way different. I know I have been depressed my whole life, and I know that is caused by a chemical imbalance in my brain. Am I actually addicted to the way I feel when I'm depressed? Sweet Goddess, I really don't see how I could be? I feel miserable as hell. I have trouble functioning sometimes. But I find it intriguing that I could possibly change my life by forcing myself to react differently to everyday stimuli that causes me to feel depressed. Like today for example. I was stood up on a date. I normally would have walked home sobbing and feeling like it was my fault, with a dollop of self loathing I-deserved-it emotions on top of it ( the poor me reaction). I decided differently. I was justifiably pissed, but I didn't cry. I didn't kick the crap out of my own self esteem, I merely decided it wasn't meant to be, and went on. Yes I am disappointed, but it is not going to debilitate me the rest of the day. I have been fighting the feeling of depression though, and that's harder. The feeling of on the verge of tears, anxious and worthless. So far this experiment has been mixed. I have always considered myself a work in progress anyway. Maybe after the next week when the no meds mode stabilizes, I will have a better grasp of this theory.


Clint said...

I diagnosed myself as a sufferer of depression and about a half-dozen other issues (mainly dealing with extreme anxiety) some time ago, but I've always been reluctant to take medication. There are many reasons for this reluctance. One, I think medication tends to be overprescribed, and other than occassional extremely low periods, I generally function fairly well. My case is probably fairly mild compared to many. Two, I don't like the trial-and-error nature of medication ... too much of it seems to be a "Take this and see what happens" sort of thing. Three, I fear the inevitable press release telling us that this new wonder drug causes encephalitus. Four, I am who I am, and I don't know how comfortable I am trying to force my way into being somebody else. My personal preference has always been to embrace whatever my brains decides to send my way. That's not for everybody, of course ... where I worse off than I am, I'd feel differently. But I don't take drugs for a cold or a headache, so why should I take drugs for my mental issues? The roller coaster ride isn't always fun, but I try to get out of it what I can.

I wish you well on your experiment ... if you need somebody to talk to, let me know. (And yeah, I know I disappeared there for a while. Sorry about that ... the my mental balancing act doesn't always work as well as I'd like, and I fell into a down period. I'm done with that now.)