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Reality - its depressing

1476 Views 12 Replies 7 Participants Last post by  Ben
So I just got back from an appointment scheduled with a psychiatrist for me because of my porphyria. There really isnt much that can be done medically for its brainfog. But we're going to give it our best shot - thinking for me lately has been a bit like being drunk and alot like slogging my way through mud. I'm not as attentive to detail nor as quickwitted as before. Anyways, the specialist I went to see is an old Dutch psychiatrist named Rolf Jacobs. Nice old guy. I think Janine might like him. He's very well read when it comes to new statistics as well as old psychological schools of thought. We were talking about my life and how I feel unfulfilled as of late, mostly becuase it pretty much came to a standstill the past year I was sick and I lost alot of social contacts. And I said that my life really isnt in the best of states, and I dont know if it will get better, although I'm working on it. And he said, you know, I feel the urge to reassure you, but I honestly cant. And he told me about this recent study.

Depressives and "normals" were given a video game to play. Afterwards they were told to rate what percentage of their success was due to skill and what percentage was due to luck. As you all probably guessed, the normals gave more credit to skill and less credit to luck for their success. The depressives gave more credit to luck. But it was a computer game, so the percentage due to each was actually knowable. And here's the twist - The depressives rated the amount due to each the most accurately, while the "normals" falsely inflated the place their own skill had in the game. Depressives tend to see reality more realistically, while "normals" see reality with rose colored glasses. And so, the psychiatrist said, if he told me that my appraisal of my situation was incorrect, he would probably be lying. It probably is a realistic view of my life. His job as a psychiatrist is to help people put back on the "rose-colored" glasses. I thought that this was one of the most honest things a psychiatrist ever told me, and I dont know if its because he trusts my intelligence, or if its a story he told others before, but I found it refreshing, and hopeful in a way. So I asked him, what makes the "normals" correct and the depressives sick? He said that its too bad I wasnt around in the 60's because they were asking the same questions at that time. He just said that it helps people survive, because life is pretty miserable without the glasses. I guess you can take that to the extreme and say that everything someone with a mental illness thinks is an accurate appraisal of life - that would be false. He was referring to moderate depressives and not delusional schizoaffectives. But it makes sense with what I think deep down- that sometimes depression is a good thing, or hitting bottom, becuase it lets you know something is wrong and you have to change it. Anyways, I'm not feeling that bad today, and I have hopes of landing a job acting in a commercial, so who knows? Maybe a realistic statement to make is that things are looking up.

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Dear Homeskooled,
I'm sorry you're in a funk.

This harkens back to the "labeling" of humans into four categories -- see below. I found an amazing link that shows the interconnectedness of these personality types as described by the anceint Greeks, etc.

I think there are "personality types", and for the sake of my "Darwinist" psychiatric influence these days, perhaps each serves a purpose. There are several basic personality types, that do serve a different purpose.

Also, Wendy, I recall reading of many such studies. I also know of this from my DBT group where we noted our self-defeating behaviors. I guess I am a Melancholic in this regard, a negative thinker, etc. I'm not gluttonous however, LOL -- I don't think! :shock: .


I don't know if Hippocrates came up with this....

In Greek, Medieval, and Renaissance thought, the traditional four
elements form the basis for a theory of medicine and later
psychological typology known as the four humours. They constituted
the western equivalent of the Chinese five states of change.

Each of the humours were associated with various
correspondences and particular physical and mental characteristics,
and could, moreover, be combined for more complex personality
types: (e.g. choleric-sanguine, etc). The result is a system that
provides a quite elaborate classification of types of

And for those of the literary inclination:

The Four Humours*:
A traditional theory of physiology in which the state of
health--and by extension the state of mind, or character--depended
upon a balance among the four elemental fluids: blood, yellow bile,
phlegm, and black bile. These were closely allied with the four
elements (air, fire, water, and earth). Their correspondence is
described as follows:


Air - Fire - Water - Earth --Excellent musical group by the way 8)

hot and moist/hot and dry/cold and moist/cold and dry


"SANGUINE" (amorous, happy, generous)
"CHOLERIC" (violent, vengeful)
"PHLEGMATIC" (dull, pale, cowardly)
"MELANCHOLIC" (gluttonous, lazy, sentimental)

The "humours" gave off vapors which ascended to the brain; an
individual's personal characteristics (physical, mental, moral)
were explained by his or her "temperament," or the state of theat
person's "humours."

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I do think we are hard-wired with a certain type of temperament that certainly can be manipulated by environment, but is pretty much a core of who we are.

And I don't think any one "type" is any better or worse than any other.

This could reflect nature's way of dividing us up so that we would be attracted to certain labor vs. other, etc.

This could also reflect the rather limited choices of emotions we have.

It also shows it's rather amazing that humans are as well constructed as we seem to be. Things go wrong at every step of development from womb to tomb. (Where did I get that, LOL?)

It would be boring if everyone had Sanguine rosey glasses, but it would be equally as boring if we were all Melancholic.

Vive la difference!
And to Hell with DP. Does nothing for me! 8)

I need a nap, and it's going to snow this week!
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maria said:
people with depression or dp/dr or whatever don't see the reality as it is, they see only the downside of it. How's joy, love and excitement not real?
Yes, absolutely.
We don't have a special view on the world, we have a curse
as I see it. IMHO.

Also, I agree with Janine's comments on a "healthy ego" which has "healthy defenses" that do filter out the pain of existence.

Again like Buddhism. "LIFE IS PAIN" ... no one ever said it wasn't.
Unfortunately, some of us don't have the ability to deal with it all
as well as others.
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