where hypotheses come to die (madman101) wrote,
where hypotheses come to die
madman101

MANIC DEPRESSION - Part 1

Long ago, I once told a friend that, "What this country needs is a really good depression." He found that funny. But, I was serious. It just so happened that this country did in fact go through a major depression, which is now called, "The Great Recession of 2008." It actually was a depression, but, analysts these days have a need to ignore reality, being paid so well as they are. Well, this big depression did in fact have the effect of retraining the American mind to fight, for growth. I am not sure that the depression of 2008 really turned Americans into better people. But it did get them to be more real for a while. And getting real is what is needed for making real money, as opposed to investing in derivatives, and all that.

Now, this is the same for the psychology of individuals. one might think that an emotionally depressed person is somehow detached from reality - delusional, selfishly masochistic and impractical. In fact, whereas there may be a touch of this going on with a depressed person, it is actually the UNdepressed person - the normal person - the happy person, who is more detached from reality. Scientific studies bear this out.

If you offer a dog a treat, and then follow this offer with an electrical shock, eventually the dog will act like the robot in, "Cafe at the end of the Universe," or whatever that was called: "What's the use? Why even try?" That is how depression is created, through something called, "learned helplessness." In fact, the depressed dog is not enraptured in promises of a future treat, which might be unrealistic. The dog pretty much knows the score.

I have to insert a mention of something I call, "Paradoxical Learning." If you offer a dog a treat, and then shock him AFTER he has eaten the treat, then you will egg him into paradoxical learning. He will start going CRAYCRAY for the treat, even though it is followed by a painful punishment. And, ultimately, he will learn to desire the punishment itself. This is why frightened horses will run back into a burning barn, where they die. And this is explanatory of a lot of addictive and dysfunctional human behaviour. For example, gamblers. The punishment of LOSING spires them further to gamble. Paradoxical learning is a commandeering of the prefrontal cortex by anxieties in the limbic system. It is also a broken memory loop in the amygdala. This is all stuff I have thought up on my own, so you will find this nowhere else.

Well, in contrast to the learned helplessness of depression, there is an alternate yet comparable learned helplessness in HAPPY people. This is where non-depressed people learn to be unrealistic in their optimism, and it usually involves a lot of abstractions cognitively. This is what I call, "Rose-Coloured Helplessness," based on the idea in cognitive psychology that such people see life, "through rose-coloured glasses." These people religiously borrow and invest in things not entirely rational. When you have a whole nation of such people, there is danger ahead. Because, without a social or economic check on this sort of optimism, it can quickly turn into a mass mania, a mass narcissism, and war. Or, when there is a sudden giant check via the economy, it can plunge the nation into an economic depression - which is also a depression of a lot of individuals.

What is rose-coloured helplessness? How did it get there? How do people learn false truths when given insufficient information? First of all, we all know life is a gamble, right? Well, there are well-off people, at the top, who professionally gamble, and really do not have much to lose by it. The banks, etc. But also in general society, we invest ourselves, every day, in futures that we expect to happen - but maybe they won't. We do not have every bit of info and processing from the globe or universe, so, we have to take chances that tomorrow will work out the way we expect it shall. However, something across the globe might throw this headstrong helplessness for a loop, and then we receive a shock.

In fact, the most confident, assured people amongst us can turn out to be the most helpless, masochistic, and vulnerable to being exposed for strange sex crimes in the news. Religious, political, military leaders, all at the mercy of our own attentions, project our optimism and can be felled by it in an instant. These are not solid people, but wanton, craven puppets.

So, still, how do these people learn something that isn't there? Religion helps. Patriotism. Theories. Groupist moralism. Words. Big words. However, I think there is ALWAYS a tincture of paradoxical learning involved in positivistic learned helplessness. This is probably my one-day major contribution to the field of psychology. The fact that rose-coloured optimists keep pushing on, day after day, despite insufficient confirmation of their theses, means that something more than normal learning motivates them. And that would be: social anxiety pushing a need to be more 'right' than others - i.e., to be more correct regarding the future. Most of them may forever fail to reach this future, and so be punished and so addicted further towards it, but as long as their words, promises, deceptions, lies, etc., are given authority, then they prevail. So, we now have an entire planet full of these people dictating our future, despite the oncoming reality of mass extinctions. The fear drives them all the more manic.
Tags: psychology - bipolar/ manic depression, psychology - learned helplessness, psychology - paradoxical learning, s - manic depression series
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