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07-22-2020, 09:32 PM   #16
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I really appreciate this reply. It's thoughtful and contains some very good ideas. I hope I'm taking sufficient time with myself to address it as best I can.

Part of the problem is indeed the breadth of the issue. We suffer many conditions, and we try our best to categorize them, but there are real problems with how we look at mental health. There is nothing wrong with any person expressing their own interpretations.

You bring up the subject of medications, and somebody else did earlier, but I dodged it. I will say firmly I will not discuss the use of medications with people here. It is not my place, and I am not a doctor. I will not interfere with any person's interactions with their doctors. I won't offer opinions on any other person's use of meds. I do not use them. I have never used them, and perhaps I suffered more, but I believe they could have affected me in ways that may have prevented me from finally solving many of my problems. That's all I will say about meds, and I'd ask everybody here please do not ask me more about this. If you have concerns about meds, ask a doctor.

We are all capable of considering new ideas and information whether we're on meds or not if we're capable of maintaining the composure to use forums like this. There is no prohibition in psychiatry on open discussion between people.

I think what I'm reacting to here, the bit of defensiveness I see in my words, is because there is no reason to protest my ideas with anything but clear factual corrections. There is no basis and no person has standing to argue their arbitrary view in competition with mine, because that's not what this dialogue is about. If they don't apply to you, if they don't resonate with you, they're not for you right now, and that's as far as it goes. The only reason for a person to feel a desire to argue against ideas like this is if they're insecure in what they believe, and that's a strong indicator of denial we can leverage to become more self honest if we choose to recognize it.

I have no illusions about changing the world or anything grandiose like that. What I have are some coping techniques that apply to what I'm currently, informally calling "self selected mental illness", and all of the feelings we endure that don't quite rise to that level. We experience a great deal of intolerable feelings (beyond depression) that are simply not classified as clinical conditions. They make our lives harder and less fulfilling. They impede our ambitions and deteriorate our quality of life.

I'm trying to find ways to articulate what I've learned so that people who want to can ask me questions about how they might apply this to themselves. It's they who are the target audience here. I would love to be able to help all people, but that's beyond my capacity. I can offer ideas that helped me. It's a waste of time for us to argue about them because if a person is already arguing against, rather than asking questions, their intent isn't to learn. If they really knew better, why would they be upset? We get upset when we refuse to accept things.

Working to acceptance is a long and difficult process. I'm trying to find the flashpoint, some arrangement of words that might inspire in others what I've compelled myself to explore. I don't care about any person's protests of why they think these are not good ideas, because I accept those opinions only matter to them. If everybody who disagreed with me showed me the same respect, they wouldn't be arguing. This is an example of the falsity of our expectations of each other, and how we can end up blaming each other for our own false expectations.

There's no reason for any person to be mad or upset by my post above. There is no honest reason for it to be as controversial as it has been. Those are feelings we cause ourselves. I'm trying to teach the act of taking responsibility for our feelings.

I'm not perfect and I'm not immune to my feelings. I think and feel like any person, and I have struggled hard. I've learned when I feel a strong emotional reaction starting to question it. I ask myself "Self, where is this feeling really coming from? Is it honest?" and if I can't answer that the feeling is already dissipating. It's not a trick, it's a simple technique, and to work it requires building a little trust with yourself.

I am also out of my depth, because as far as I know nobody has taken precisely this approach. Certainly nobody I've read. I'm searching for that on an ongoing basis, too. So I'm winging it here, people. Have a little sympathy for that which you'd more comfortably perceive as a devil, because those feelings are the problem. Not my words.

QuoteQuote:
But, you touch on another point, which I feel needs further discussion: Feelings. (Whether intolerable or not.) There seems to be a big proportion of people today, who address many aspects of their daily lives on how they're "feeling", both in terms of how they get through the day (or night) by themselves and in their interactions with others. But 'feelings' are just feelings. 'Feeling' one way or the other does not make the feeling real. That's not to say that what you feel may not be real to you. To you, what you feel may well be very real, intolerable even, as you rightly state. But that does not make the feeling real in the sense of real like gravity or real like the sun rising in the east and setting in the west. What, I believe, is the issue here is that many of us find it hard to distinguish between what the consequences of an action are or how something makes us 'feel'. The difficulty is that, what I may view as a pretty inconsequential 'feeling' may, for you, be a subject of absolute terror and/or crisis. I have no idea how to address that other than to suggest that dialogue about one's hopes and fears, with someone close to you, may be a good starting point.
Some good stuff here, Mark. This is the kind of stuff to which I can add something. Feelings are just feelings, as you say, but it's not a question of reality. Feelings are real. All feelings that we actually experience are real. They're real cascades of chemical reactions in our brains, so they only matter in the space between our ears. Just like most of our opinions. Making it a question of reality leads to the all too common tactic of trying to repress feelings, and this is antithetical to what I'm suggesting. We need to accept our feelings for what they are so that we can control them rather than trying to live in this paradoxical state of being afraid of our own brains. This is why acceptance of physics and all it entails is paramount to self honesty. Without this foundation of science it is impossible for us to resist our fears and other feelings. We have a primal need to understand. We need to work on our acceptance of our understanding.

So while you're very right that we each feel things a bit differently, and we each value our feelings a bit differently, we're all much the same. We're all trapped in the same system, with much the same demands and hardships. We all have the same kinds of feelings. We all suffer them. Accepting this, accepting the emotional realities of other people helps us to accept ourselves.

Dialogue is good. Dialogue is very necessary. I'm not trying to suggest these ideas are a substitute for a personal support net, but they could be an enhancement. I'm just not really good at this, yet. So let's all try to exhibit patience and see if we can't help ourselves a little more collectively. This stuff is hard for me, too.

07-23-2020, 12:34 AM - 1 Like   #17
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QuoteOriginally posted by Philoslothical Quote
I think what I'm reacting to here, the bit of defensiveness I see in my words, is because there is no reason to protest my ideas with anything but clear factual corrections. There is no basis and no person has standing to argue their arbitrary view in competition with mine, because that's not what this dialogue is about. If they don't apply to you, if they don't resonate with you, they're not for you right now, and that's as far as it goes. The only reason for a person to feel a desire to argue against ideas like this is if they're insecure in what they believe, and that's a strong indicator of denial we can leverage to become more self honest if we choose to recognize it.

I have no illusions about changing the world or anything grandiose like that. What I have are some coping techniques that apply to what I'm currently, informally calling "self selected mental illness", and all of the feelings we endure that don't quite rise to that level. We experience a great deal of intolerable feelings (beyond depression) that are simply not classified as clinical conditions. They make our lives harder and less fulfilling. They impede our ambitions and deteriorate our quality of life.

I'm trying to find ways to articulate what I've learned so that people who want to can ask me questions about how they might apply this to themselves. It's they who are the target audience here. I would love to be able to help all people, but that's beyond my capacity. I can offer ideas that helped me. It's a waste of time for us to argue about them because if a person is already arguing against, rather than asking questions, their intent isn't to learn. If they really knew better, why would they be upset? We get upset when we refuse to accept things.
I think you touch upon something here that I feel I need to respond to: The purpose of an internet forum is discussion of ideas. So, when someone challenges your view, that's not a question of them having an insecurity in what they believe, but rather that they may have an equally valid point to make with regard to the subject at hand. It's good that you have found a method (or methods) that work for you, but that's just it: They work for you. It would be irresponsible for lay people like ourselves to suggest that your way may represent a viewpoint not previously considered professionally and found to be lacking (or not).

Therefore, if your purpose for this thread is to "teach" rather than to discuss your hypothesis, then I would respectfully suggest that the thread be closed again, as the forum is probably not the right venue. If, however, the purpose of the thread is to enter into a discussion with others with regard to the hypothesis you propose, and to debate it's merits and failings, then I can see a place for it. If, on the other hand, you hope to "teach" your method without discussion, then you may be best served to purchase a suitable domain name and start your own self-help site.

QuoteOriginally posted by Philoslothical Quote
Some good stuff here, Mark. This is the kind of stuff to which I can add something. Feelings are just feelings, as you say, but it's not a question of reality. Feelings are real. All feelings that we actually experience are real. They're real cascades of chemical reactions in our brains, so they only matter in the space between our ears. Just like most of our opinions. Making it a question of reality leads to the all too common tactic of trying to repress feelings, and this is antithetical to what I'm suggesting. We need to accept our feelings for what they are so that we can control them rather than trying to live in this paradoxical state of being afraid of our own brains. This is why acceptance of physics and all it entails is paramount to self honesty. Without this foundation of science it is impossible for us to resist our fears and other feelings. We have a primal need to understand. We need to work on our acceptance of our understanding.

So while you're very right that we each feel things a bit differently, and we each value our feelings a bit differently, we're all much the same. We're all trapped in the same system, with much the same demands and hardships. We all have the same kinds of feelings. We all suffer them. Accepting this, accepting the emotional realities of other people helps us to accept ourselves.
I think it's important to realise that what we "feel" are simple emotional responses, in many ways programmed into us evolutionary and, indeed, from a young age in terms of our own lifetimes. Many of these feelings (and the complexities around those feelings) relate to our survival instinct and reproductive instinct. Ultimately, the brain is a chemical computer and an alteration of those chemicals changes our thinking, in the same way as behaviour of others or experiences we have changes our thinking. And, because the brain is a chemical machine, it goes without saying that we can alter how we "feel" in simplistic terms, both by means of cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) and by means of correcting or altering some chemical imbalance. That's why medications and behavioral adjustment both have a role to play in how we "feel".

Several studies have been done about how we can alter what we "feel" and for that reason I don't consider "feelings" to be as "real" as, for instance, where the sun rises and sets as in my previous post. What I mean is that we can't change the rotation of earth around the sun but we can alter our perception of outside impulses and subsequently alter what we "feel" about those impulses. Of course, as you point out, we're in the same system. We all feel fear, happiness, hunger, cold, joy etc. But, in the same was as I think summer in Canada is bloody cold and summer in Africa is nice, so others will experience that differently. And it's much the same with our feelings. We can learn to understand why seeing a certain thing makes us "feel" a certain way and once we do that we're on the path to change how something makes us "feel". In that sense, once we learn that, the feeling is no longer real, but rather a perception of reality which may be false.

Anyway, as I said, if you're keen to discuss, then all good.

Last edited by MarkJerling; 07-23-2020 at 03:37 AM. Reason: Clarified.
07-23-2020, 12:38 AM - 1 Like   #18
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QuoteOriginally posted by Philoslothical Quote
While I realize this is an off-topic forum this thread is intended to discuss the ideas presented. I'm hoping to generate some discussion or dialogue.

It's not a place for people to discuss depression randomly while ignoring the content of the thread. The positive effects these ideas have had on me have about as much to do with depression as they do with photography, which is to say some, but this thread is not specifically about depression, and reading the original post should make that quite clear. Our root problem as people is a result of dishonesty. Improperly valuing and controlling our feelings, including feelings of depression is how we facilitate dishonesty, which is how we end up in depression. This is the vicious circle of depression, but it's not the only vicious circle of feelings we deal with. We could as easily discuss situational anxiety, or any of a number of other conditions that hinge upon our refusals to honestly accept aspects of our selves, our circumstances, and our environments. In each case we are prone to becoming addicted to the pattern of behaviour and feelings involved, turning it into a vicious circle of deteriorating mental health by enabling our dishonest beliefs.

I'd be pleased to entertain further discussion that's on topic.
In light of the above I have deleted my post linking to Arlo Parks' video for Black Dog and apologise if you regarded it as diverging from your narrative.

For those interested it is still in the "What music ...." thread at Post #6473.

Last edited by timb64; 07-23-2020 at 12:44 AM.
07-23-2020, 12:55 AM   #19
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Mark, I have been trying to discuss the ideas. You're making it about me again. My state of mind. That's the basis for ad hominem arguments. We can't discuss the ideas if you keep making it about how I present them.

If you want to lock or bin this topic that's entirely your prerogative. You don't need to keep threatening me with it.

If I see further constructive replies I'll happily discuss this stuff with anybody who doesn't get belligerent about it. I accept PMs about this stuff. Otherwise, I think I'll leave it off here because it's clear the post isn't being accepted. I appreciate your feedback and initial interest.

Edit to add: I also want to make it clear to everybody who has read this that my primary motivation here is due to the way I have persistently felt so much better recently. How much I have been growing. The conviction borne of that makes me want to help others by sharing what I think I know. When people respond and ask me questions, I learn from them. That's all there is to it.

And Mark, you blew the teaching mention way out of proportion. If I share an idea with a person, and they remember it, and it in any small way affects them, what have I done? We should be teaching each other a whole lot more, not slamming people for trying.


Last edited by Philoslothical; 07-23-2020 at 01:06 AM. Reason: typo, addition
07-23-2020, 03:32 AM - 1 Like   #20
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QuoteOriginally posted by Philoslothical Quote
Mark, I have been trying to discuss the ideas. You're making it about me again. My state of mind. That's the basis for ad hominem arguments. We can't discuss the ideas if you keep making it about how I present them.

If you want to lock or bin this topic that's entirely your prerogative. You don't need to keep threatening me with it.

If I see further constructive replies I'll happily discuss this stuff with anybody who doesn't get belligerent about it. I accept PMs about this stuff. Otherwise, I think I'll leave it off here because it's clear the post isn't being accepted. I appreciate your feedback and initial interest.

Edit to add: I also want to make it clear to everybody who has read this that my primary motivation here is due to the way I have persistently felt so much better recently. How much I have been growing. The conviction borne of that makes me want to help others by sharing what I think I know. When people respond and ask me questions, I learn from them. That's all there is to it.

And Mark, you blew the teaching mention way out of proportion. If I share an idea with a person, and they remember it, and it in any small way affects them, what have I done? We should be teaching each other a whole lot more, not slamming people for trying.
I'm sorry, I feel you're misunderstanding my post. There's no threat, merely the observation that discussion requires people to put forth their ideas in a frank manner and if there's no discussion then there's no point in continuing with a monologue. And, please accept my apologies if I have misunderstood your post above. I got the impression from that that you were arguing against debate of the points you raise and I got the impression that you merely wanted to put forth your point of view and not actually discuss it. If I have misunderstood, then please feel free explain further.

This is in no way a personal attack. I find your point of view most interesting. And, as you say, if we all learn something new and interesting, then there's no harm done.
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