Tuesday, November 06, 2012

Diagnosises and contemplation about unseriousness

This morning, I woke up, for the third time, feeling a little groggy. The weather isn't too warm yet. I have to get a whole lot of work done. I must be on my feet as soon as I can. So, I reached for my coffee machine, and didn't think twice before using the double shot filter. My mother was against setting up the machine, because she thought I'd develop a habit of drinking coffee, and then become dependent on it, and then ruin my life like other drug addicts. I have developed a habit, and I have become a little dependent (only on days like today). But the problem wasn't in 'setting up the machine' in itself. The problem was in reaching for coffee whenever I wanted to feel awake, even when I wasn't too sleepy. I realised, we spend a lot of time diagnosing and treating the wrong problems. And when the treatment doesn't yield the intended result, we get frustrated.

I was catching up on my psychopathology lectures (and thinking, I love this, why haven't I listened to these before?). Right now, all psychological disorders are diagnosed categorically - you either have it or you don't. This doesn't make sense, because we can all have symptoms of different disorders. Right now, psychologists draw a line (which is quite arbitrary) and say that this is what makes you eligible to have a disorder. They are changing that next year for some diagnosis into diagnosing dimensionally. The bottom line is, we all have a bit of something in us. We're all a little bit 'crazy'. Sometimes craziness is good. it can make you more creative than the average person. It can make you cleaner than the average person (OCD with cleanliness). It can make you more interesting. But when the craziness gets in the way of living, that is when it needs to be toned down.

One interesting disorder is Histronic Personality Disorder. Some analysts diagnosed Scarlett O'Hara to have it. I think I read Gone with the Wind in year 12. I loved the novel - I loved its development of the characters, which was achieved though its pace and language. It was one of those novels that pulled me right in and allowed me to be one of them. I loved Rhett Butler's bluntness. He was an interesting character - he was truthful and blunt, yet, filled with love for Scarlett. At that time, Scarlett seemed to be a typical woman to me. She never paid much attention to the chasing, she chased another man in her heart - an idolised version of a real person, she was sexy and she knew it, she managed a whole lot of trouble by pushing her emotions deep inside with 'I'll think about this tomorrow'. The other female character that was well developed was Melanie. She didn't have the ego of Scarlett, nor her flare. She was an emotionally stable, consistent woman. Because the novel is set up so that we look through Scarlett's eyes, Melanie seems like a plain girl who is always in the background. Anyway, so, Scarlett, to me, seemed to be on the right path, because most women that I have seen held that kind of an attitude. Therefore, when we were studying Histronic Personality Disorder, and she was used as an example, it made me look at her from a completely different perspective. When I read through the symptoms, she did seem to tick off all of them.

This was interesting, because, as I said, she seemed like most women I knew. This goes back to the notion of disorders being on a scale, rather than being categorical. I think, as humans, we should continually check ourselves for our weaknesses. This is why I find studying psychology to be extremely helpful. It makes people mindful of their own attributes which helps them catch themselves before falling too deep.

I found this post of mine a little accidentally, and I really liked the thoughts there. I was right to cherish the unseriousness of life. I still remember that day - I do remember looking out the window and feeling the beauty that I described there. This year, my mind seemed to be too cluttered to take life unseriously enough. But, I did like this year. It was a different experience, and it taught me a lot. When you try something new, only then can you know whether you will like it or not. I tried living in absolute strict routine, didn't work for me. I tried hardcore science, didn't work for me. I tried sitting in a class with a bunch of people confused over easy linguistics concepts, didn't work for me. I tried never saying no, didn't work for me. There are a few things in my life right now that aren't working for me. However, most things are. I made a list of all the things I know about myself, at the end of first year, in order to decide which career path I should take. And I don't regret it - I love psychology. I am not entirely sure exactly what niche I would like to go into, but I have an approximate idea at least! I should make another list and compare.

On another note - I should find some older friends to hang out with. I hang around too many little kids who make me feel old, both intentionally and unintentionally. (Yes, that's you, Sum. :P)

PS: I realise the photo has nothing to do with the post, unless you want to stretch your analysis and look at the thoughts as 'prying open my heart with my fingers, resulting in victory'. I used to post up slightly unrelated photos with my posts all the time, and I realised I haven't done so in a while. And its a pretty photo I took in May. :)  

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