Sunday, April 30, 2017

Comments by dfk

Showing 14 of 14 comments.

  • I’ve talked to a handful of therapists, and most have not helped, so I have had various theories about what they should have been doing. My latest thought is that a therapist should make expressing your feelings a positive experience, and nothing more. When they give advice, it just makes things worse. One that I spoke to listened for a short time, and then told me I should go home and take up knitting, and he even wrote it down on a piece of paper and gave it to me. I wish I was making that up.

  • It seems like what’s needed is a more humane and ethical treatment of people in distress. What if someone very influential wrote something which changed the public’s perception of those who have painful emotional problems?

    What it could say is that the brain is like a computer, and has software and hardware. The hardware is the neurons, and the software is the meanings in the organized connections between the neurons.

    Now the basic idea with the article is that mental distress is mostly a software problem, not a hardware problem. In fact, the brain’s hardware conforms to the software. It increases or decrease it’s resources to accommodate the software.

    All that is done by drugs is to interfere with the hardware so it can’t efficiently run the software. But this is an impossible job to do without undesirable side effects, just like in a computer in which you sabotaged the hardware by cutting wires and circuit traces to inhibit some rogue software.

    And now the clincher is that you say something like, if a person can become part of a social grouping in which they are unconditionally accepted and acceptable, their brain software is gradually rewritten and new software put in place that will allow them to feel much better.

    The goal is to have an analogy that ordinary people can understand. Of course it would be written better than this, but I hope you can see what I’m getting at.

  • Insanity is probably defined as when a person’s feelings are so extreme and disabling that they can’t function as the culture they live within requires. And culture is defined as the way people do things because that’s the way people are doing things. Our culture is becoming more heterogeneous than we humans were designed for.

  • I have been a very anxious person throughout life, and talked to several therapists, tried a couple of medications which didn’t do much one way or the other. None of these therapists really had any insight to offer about my problems, either what to do about them, or where they came from. Since reading on the internet, I have come to realize that early developmental emotional neglect is the source. I have come to wonder if developmental traumas are not the source of most distress. But it seems like most people are not very curious about whether that could be true. It’s almost like they are fond of their own ignorance. People seem to instinctively avoid any area of discussion which could make them responsible for some one else’s problem, even if they were ignorant of what they were doing at the time.

  • Sometimes the language in the articles and replies is hard to follow, but I think this article really captures what others on this website have said, that the social and emotional connections in childhood really are what causes later mental distress. And the distress is a reaction of the brain to an unnatural environment, and not something wrong with the “hardware.” And the point of trying to work at prevention is also very important. But it is hard for people to just read about how to provide the right environment for their children and then actually do it. And it seems very hard to provide a way to remedy mental problems once they happen, but I think that the social and emotional connection remedy, if it can be done, is vastly better than even considering medications. My own mother lived most of her life on several meds for schizophrenia. It is too bad that some other kind of help was not available. For some reason I will never fathom, it seems like we do just about anything for people with problems other than the one thing that will really help them, and I think this article kind of makes this point.

  • Good comment. I think there is a subtle but important message that we need to get from parents or from others, which is “you’re just as human as I am, and you’re a real person just like me.” We really need to be “one of” and “ourselves.”

  • I have heard the analogy that people, like plants that need the right sun, water, and soil, need the right social, emotional environment to do well. I can see that my beginnings with parents who were stressed, emotionally closed off to me, one schizophrenic, had a lot to do with my experience of a lifetime of anxiety. I sometimes feel that even now if I could find a way to construct a good social environment, that I could make progress to feeling better, but I see that as impossible. My experience with psychotherapy is that if you find one that uses a person to person approach, it is a lot more helpful than one that uses the standard professional advice giver approach, which is most of them.

  • I agree very much with this article.

    I think mental distress comes from the instinctive reactions to an unhealthy social environment, mostly in childhood. And the symptoms of mental illnesses are the survival adaptations. Most therapy tries to suppress these adaptations through medications or talk.

    But the problem is that to our subconscious mind we only have one choice: to use them or to not survive.

    What we really need is another choice, which would come from experience in a healthy social environment. The problem we have is a scarcity of healthy social environments.