Psycho-Babble Medication | about biological treatments | Framed
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Racer's Set Point and Ideas on Depression

Posted by PL on July 14, 1999, at 11:19:44

Your ideas of how weight set-point affects feelings of body image makes me think of any analogy to depression. I think as children, how much fun we had or didn't have has a lot to do with depression as adults. I think all children need to be happy or they create it artificially.

Children that become normal adults feel happiness when they get a good grade, when they talk and play with their friends, go to a movie or the park, make the swim team or are made president of the chess club. Their set point for happiness is at a normal level. But suppose these things don't happen.

In that case artificial happiness may occur when they watch TV with their parents NOT fighting. (My dad used to say we "Live in a mad house.") Or a day at school when no one picks on them. Or they get to sleep late on a Saturday.

Suppose the happiness set point of depressed people is at such a low level that they are overwhelmed by really good things. They can't find pleasure from getting a raise at work, going to the theater or taking a ride in the county. Instead, they instigate arguments with their family so they can feel guilty, and everyone is upset, just like when they were kids. They cry uncontrollably for doing this then feel better when they are forgiven.

They get psychotically unhappy about little things, like running out of detergent, finding a spot on a shirt, or having to sew on a button and end up hysterical which brings on suicidal fantasizes and hating themselves for letting these things happen. Later, if they don't die, they feel better. When you hit bottom, you can only go up, if just a little. (Like banging your head against the wall because it feels so good when you stop.)




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