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Re: inside outside

Posted by Julie on October 21, 1999, at 17:17:51

In reply to inside outside, posted by Bob on October 20, 1999, at 9:33:15

> I've long noticed a correlation between the degree of order to my living space and the degree of order to my thinking and emotional state. Now, the obvious next step would be to say that the causal link is that a disordered mind will produce a disorderly living space.
> I beg to differ.
> I have it based upon my own empirical research into this area (N=1, longitudinal study going on its, oh, 20th year or so) that while the exact causal mechanisms that lead to the "unkempt mind, unkempt home" syndrome (UKUH), efforts to restore order that focus on cleaning up your room to clean up your mind have a significantly and substantially greater effect than working on the mind to restore external order. In my extensive research on UKUH, there is significant evidence of bidirectional causality in the relationship between these two variables, in that the initial disorder of the mind may influence just how much order can be brought about by the external ordering of one's home. In other words, the therapeutic measure commonly referred to as "clean up your room" is a self-limiting process and there comes a point of diminishing returns in conducting such a cleaning. In deed, further efforts to clean beyond this point may actually reverse prior gains in internal orderliness. This suggests a curvilinear response of UKUH to this measure, indicating an Optimal Degree of Order (ODO). We speculate (I'm a researcher, so I'm allowed to use the Royal We without actually being a monarch or having tapeworm) that exceeding one's ODO for an extended period of time can lead to two complications of mental order. Complication A involves an increased drive to attain outward order, believing that this will produce the desired mental effect. Such Type A patients show an intense and perpetual desire for order and actually show moments of deep satisfaction upon finishing a cleaning task. However, like a house of cards, this elevated mood crashes once the thrill of the cleaning act has diminished and one's own inner state returns. Complications of Type B follow a route which is the converse of Type A. Type B patients work long past their ODO as well, but receive no reinforcement from the extended cleaning activity. The more the Type B cleans, the less efficacious she believes the act of cleaning and organizing to be in combatting UKUH. This quickly leads to a state of learned helplessness, as Type Bs will abandon any attempt at improving internal order through ordering their external world. Both these points are, as yet, matters of conjecture based upon anecdotal evidence and personal communications with fellow UKUH researchers. It should also be noted that there is a growing rift in the UKUH research community. On one hand are the traditionalists, who stand by the internal/external order distinction as the primary relationship of concern. Lately, however, there have been some who have put forth the notion that mental disorder might actually be influenced by factors other than how clean and orderly one's living space is. While our own research shows a great deal of support for the ODO hypothesis, we are intrigued by the notion that mental disorder may have co-determinants other than one's degree of personal environmental order. Clearly, more research needs to be done in order to ascertain what these co-determinants might be, and how they interact with the variables in the ODO treatment model for UKUH.
> (In other words, if anyone from the NIMH is listening out there, I wouldn't mind a few bucks -- you know, just one, two, maybe three million dollars or so. It would be money well spent, I assure you. I'll give you all the numbers you need to make those GPRA hounds happy!)
> Bob (definitely NOT Dr.!)

hey Bob,You're not some kind of teacher are you? Yikes! (actually that was pretty funny.)

I too, am exceedingly ashamed of my messiness. But now, at last I have an EXCUSE. Yeah. Procrastination, needing the adrenaline push, financial dissaray and other "bad habits" can be attributed to ADD. Okay now, I feel better knowing this, but where do I go from here?




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