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Reality - its depressing

1472 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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Reality is something complete apart from our senses or our take on things emotionally. Is it depressing that people are dying of Aids right now in all parts of the world? To some, yes - potentially to others, no. However, should I be actively depressed about it? To some, yes, to others, no.

It's my guess that those who are prone to depression and also more realistic about things have a higher potential of becoming depressed. Those who are prone to depression but less realistic could probably fool themselves into a happier state, and those who are realistic but not prone to depression probably aren't depressed about things - or, at least, have varying ways of dealing with the stresses.'s my guess the situation is more complicated than "depressed people are more realistic".
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