Re: Whining [not]

Rohit Khare (
Tue, 2 Sep 1997 02:30:00 -0400 (EDT)

[I know I could trust *someone* would be awake on FoRK to take this one in r/t]

Joe III quoth:
> Wow, there are a lot of parallels between us. That might explain a lot
> of why I'm on your list.

Thanks! and that's *our* list, buster: don't go blaming the whole schmear on

> > FoRK is a damned good coping mechanism -- perhaps too good.
> Use what works.

Well, it does work, but the strategic goal is healthy 'real life'
relationships; a lot of that is listening, sharing, taking turns, all
sorts of unwritten social rules we can skip in email...

Small talk, party dynamics, invitations, graceful engagement and
disengagement, deescalation (so everything doesn't require
overexcitement and hypomanic reactions). Words are such a simple,
simple medium!

> You do know about Seasonal Affective Disorder, don't you???
> (

Yes, but not enough to say it's defintely my problem. Whether it's
hypomania, bipolar, attention defecit, it's unclear. They all get
worse with age, so part of the strategy is to just wait and see if
it fractionates or goes away with the environment.

> Depression is DAMN serious stuff. PLEASE get a copy of Listening to
> Prozac (if you don't have one already).

Definitely agree with you! I have been quite lucky compared with much
of what I've found in the literature, but I can see myself sliding
towards it. Pills, in minor doses, haven't helped; talk therapy has
identified a lot of issues, though. Not many intrapsychic traumas
which would explain this, though: just a lot of aspects of the
developmental lag I'm laying out (the HMO called it "adjustment
disorder" -- adjustment to what? Internet time? :-)

Other recommends (Joe already knows these, I'm sure): _An Unquiet Mind_,
_Driven to Distraction_, _Shadow Syndromes_, _Borderline Personality
Disorder_. In another vein, I recommend David Baldwin's Trauma info:

As you know, many of these disorders are progressive, in harmony with
the animal results you quoted. I have faith that even if the onset is
in the twenties, I've learned enough to reach out to a good network of
friends. I don't suffer in silence anymore -- too bad for all of you!

I can't say what the straw will be, but I know enough that I extracted
the right graduation gift from Ernie: a go-to-the-mountains-free card for
my first breakdown :-)

> The animal models imply that a number of
> environmental factors, including stress, and perhaps especially the
> stress of social separation, can give rise to changes in the brain that
> then predispose the animal to ever more poorly modulated responses to
> subsequent stress.

A true statement, whether rooted in chemistry or psychology (indeed,
the new book _The Science Behind Psychotherapy_ aims to ground the
field against scientific attack by arguing a chemical/structural
effect in the cortex from talk therapy alone).

> My mood swings have certainly gotten worse over the years. There's a
> really good chance I wouldn't be alive right now if it weren't for the
> meds I'm taking.

I can sympathize! Not empathy, but you have my sympathy. I really admire
your story, and still spend a lot of time thinking over your points about
free will on- and off- meds.

Deep down, I kind of wish there were a pill; but then I immediately
chase that thought with a bout of self-recrimination for trying to
blame chemistry.

Part of that reason is that a 'cure' may as much be spiritual. The
woman I met a few weeks ago is quite forceful on that point -- beyond
merely meds, one needs to get off the treadmill and become centered in
body and spirit. It's taken her in many directions I wouldn't follow,
personally, but hey, it's working for her, and I'm only grasping my

This strikes at the heart of the problem, the pathology I closed the
last message on: first you have to want to change. Resistance, in the
psychotherapeutic literature, implies that the cure works, whatever it
may be. I fit that profile on both counts: I don't believe the cure,
and I don't want to change. True, I'm beginning to understand how I'm
different, to put a name on the social skills I find so difficult, for
example, but I've built such a personal history and personal theology
around my outsiderness, I cringe at normalcy. (though I fear not the
Comma Splice, apparently :-)

If it ain't broke, why fix it? Like HAL 9000 and the AE-35 unit, why
not replace it until it breaks, that we may truly know the source of
the error, and work the golden goose while it lasts?

For example, on opening the Pandora's Box of relationships
vs. ignorance, Adam has vehemently advocated putting work first: it
ain't worth the trouble. It certainly *is* trouble: at first I thought
it was comic exaggeration, but now I'm measuring it: I *do* spend an
*order of magnitude* more time obsessing and responding and
deconstructing than the real exchange: two hours together over dinner
can wipe out an entire day. Adam's additional, moral, reasoning is that
happiness is the enemy of innovation. Creative destruction *calls for*
that permanent anxiety, that edgy repression, that anger.

I don't want Adam to be right, but deep down inside, I fear he
is. I've come this far down the road of ostracism, might as well pour
in good money after bad and stick with work until it pays off --
success there seems so much more assured, with benefits to so many
more, than to play the extremely uncertain hand of chasing after
romance. Let it find me. I dare!

"I'm gonna count to ten",
Rohit Khare