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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am lifting a post by g_funk from another thread because it's very well written, and I think the ideas are interesting. No one really has a definitive explanation of how the old mind works, but there are lots of theories and many of us have our own ideas, or metaphors for it. Thought I'd post g_funk's thoughts here and invite others to add their own perspectives.


Discussion Starter · #2 ·
This is my understanding of the human mind, feel free to correct me- its just my opinion, or way of making it easier to understand.

I imagine us to be like graphic equalizers.

Instead of bass and treble etc, along the bottom is each personality trait/behavioural pattern/thought pattern/defence mechanism. Aswell as positive ones, everybody would have a certain amount of black and white thinking, narcissism, avoidance, and all the other crap traits that make up the human mind. Most people, I guess over half, would rate pretty lowly on the negative ones. If you have faced any kind of psychological 'trauma' then you are likely to rate higher on the negative traits.

'Traumatic situations are events that violate our existing ways of making sense of our reactions, structuring our perceptions of other people's behaviour, and creating a framework for interacting with the world at large. In part, this is determined by our ability to anticipate, protect and know ourselves' (Mc Farlane and de Girolamo)

'A traumatic event whether it be objectively tragic or not, opens in the mind a corridor to the apprehension of our essential helplessness and the possibility of death. A traumatic stressor is overwhelming not because it is colossal - for it may not be to observers - but because it has a certain meaning for the individual' (Martha Stout)

In short, we develop faulty mechanisms in order to cope. These are usually during our developmental stage, though not necessarily, and as we get older, they are less likely to work and cause internal conflict. Or even external conflict. So we develop symptoms. OCD, anxiety, dp, depression and so on. These could be like a graphic equalizer too. We would experience some or all chronically for a long time and sometimes none at all.

I don't know whether diagnoses refers to symptoms or their causes, but I imagine that to make sense of the graphic equalizer (in order to medicate or document or make money ) if one or several parts of the graphic equalizer goes over a certain point and for a certian amount of time, we give that 'profile' a name. eg Borderline Personality Disorder. Although the symptoms/causes may be prevalent in other 'disorders' too.

Does that make any sense to anyone other than myself?!?!?!

From what I understood from Janine's post on Borderline States in the Other Mental Health section, can borderline not be a term to describe the level of manifestation of a symptom? Did it not originate from the idea that symptoms were either of a neurotic or psychotic nature, but there were some people who operated on a level that fluctuated between both?

I read that it is because (as part of a faulty coping mechanism not unlike splitting or black and white thinking) that those who don't understand their confused or numb feelings and over-the-top emotions, they change the facts. Most people have rational feelings in response to facts, but if your responsive feeling is inappropriate, you may subconsciously change the facts to fit your emotional response. Feelings fit facts versus facts fit feelings. ( A tongue twister for you all to try. Though not in public, you may be sectioned) I guess in extreme cases this may result in psychosis or delusions and hallucinations. So anybody whose symptoms frequently push the boundaries of impulsive or inappropriate behaviour and constant paranoia of being abandonned, may be classed as BPD.

I have seen this behaviour, it definitely exists. I have even heard the words spoken 'something just isn't right, there's like, something driving me all the time, causing me to do these things'.

Which is why people tend not to be responsive to therapy because like Janine says, these traits are intrinsic to the person, it is all they know, so look to blame other people for their behaviour. Extreme disorders quite often affect other people as opposed to the neurotic behaviour we all drive ourselves up the wall with.

It is difficult for any of us to recognise our faulty coping mechanisms because they are part of us, but I would hazard a guess that most of us here aren't 'disordered' to that level, so stand a good chance of recognising what causes our symptoms and dealing with them. Also, since our symptoms bother US, we seek help to get us out of the misery.

I'm sure there are flaws in what I've written and welcome any homework marking by Janine/ Dreamer et al!!!!
written by g_funk (from another thread)

Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I really like your metaphors there. The only thing I'd add is this: we tend to think of our defenses and/or disorders as something "Underneath" our thoughts and feelings, as if the defenses or problems COLOR our thoughts and responses.

But that implies that our thoughts and feelings would be exactly as they are, with or without pathology. (implies that the pathology only "colors" those thoughts)

In truth, the very thoughts we HAVE are colored by all that we are. Our thinking is much more subjective than anyone wants to believe. We like to assume that if we're sane, we can Report on what we see around us, that we can Report on the dynamics of our relationships, etc. But we're seeing what we see because of who we are.

There IS no objective Reporter. The very thoughts we have and emotions we feel are the products of our pathologies and/or our personality quirks.

In keeping with the musical metaphors here, a specific pathology might "Create" thoughts the way a fugue leads to the next octave, then to the next. "Where" our thoughts go, and how high they go, and at what specific point the descent down the scale begins, all are products of Who we are. And in neuroses, we are very "stuck" in a specific fugue pattern that keeps repeating all the time. Fearful thoughts ALWAYS lead to the same fugue. In someone else, the same fearful thought might not go up the scale at all, but instead inspire a melody line that is both simple and brief.

Then SOME of us, me for sure, at our most troubled, will have a fearful thought and immediately conjure up a symphony of every remembered fear, of every imagined fear, with a leitmotiff of "life is dangerous"

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We could very well be the only ones enjoying this thread... :lol:

Was my idea of symptoms/causes are just all a matter of degree and how each unique fragile ego manifests its pathologies differently causing the resulting diagnosis kind of on the right track?

I'm sure you wrote some other musical type stuff that has disappeared? I know the board is going awol at the moment so maybe that's why?

As it happens, it was a bit like going into a shop in France and using your well rehearsed, thought out sentence, and then the French shop keeper, thinking you must understand French really well, rattles off something back to you and you nod politely...

I understand bass and treble, but beyond that, I mean, I played the triangle at school but that's as far as my understanding of music goes. I KNOW there would be a very interesting and revealing message in your musical metaphors, so please may I have a translation? Jeez I feel so uncultured!!!

Right, I get the bit about how we don't have an objective reporter, that we are obviously a product of our environment and there is no way we could be neutral or non biased in anything at all. We are who we are - is that what you meant when you said about not meaning 'fake' when discussing narcisissm etc? Since getting to grips with all this, I get kind of disturbed by the idea of real me versus false me, so this is somewhat comforting. At least its all me -I became a little obsessed with trying to find the real me, thinking that when in dp mode, that was the real me and just generally getting confused and far too deep into it all, making me feel more 'fragmented'.

Still a bit confused. When we talk about developing a false sense of self, what does that mean? I don't mean DID, just the broader sense of the term. Also, what is it that guides us in the right direction, shows what we are doing wrong and leading us to insights, do we have to have an external source (eg therapist) to point us in the right direction, because of the lack of an objective reporter?

An example of what I'm trying to say, and I think we've both used it as an example before.

If someone walks into a shop, rather than picking out, what they like, they maybe a bit more 'teenager-like' (for want of a better analogy) and pick out the 'image' they want to project. Everybody must do this to a certain degree, surely? I understand that this is something explained in literature on ego, id, super ego etc of which I have done no reading at all.
If you have an unempathic carer during the developmental stage, when your needs and wants are either nurtured or discouraged etc, something happens to your sense of identity - and you may develop a false sense of self. Is this kind of along the right track - so in essence, the true self has never had a chance to develop, so nothing actually underlies this 'false' sense, so in a sense, it is the real self ?!?!?!!??! Which is why nothing lies underneath our patholigies, they are us? (my brain hurts). So, 20 years down the line, when you walk into a clothes shop, you don't actual know what you want, you could like anything on the shelves or none of it. Could be any image, according to your latest desperate attempt to be someone eg Goth or barbie doll. So when I say how do I find the real me, what I mean is not how to become true to oneself, but how to become at peace with your identity. And how to rid yourself of these destructive patterns regarding your identity. But if you've never learnt to know your own wants and needs - can you ever? I guess I'm questioning the phrase 'being true to oneself'. I'm sure Des touches upon this in his posts.

Sorry to use the blank canvas expression again, but when I discovered that I didn't have to fit into any image or category and I could just go with the flow, it was very liberating. But it's also like being given a fresh start and having the need to put something on the canvas real quick, before it disappears. But the canvas is for other people to see, maybe you don't need to put anything on it at all and stop talking absolute bollocks and getting way beyond comprehension now... :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll:

OK brain overload. Not even sure what my point was.

Basically, not to 'find' the real me but to become someone who just is, and not obsessed with what they could be, or what they should be. Then you won't question it. Then you won't obsess, and 'obsess yourself right into a stroke' :lol: which is what will happen if I don't log off right now.
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