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Re: Testing the Waters of SI ..(possible trigger!!!!!)

Posted by finelinebob on August 15, 2006, at 22:19:03

In reply to Testing the Waters of SI ..(possible trigger!!!!!), posted by shar on December 23, 2005, at 18:03:26

I've spent too many years as a psych researcher to not stop thinking like one. My take on SeI?

Perception of control.

Perception of reality matters so much more than "reality." I've always felt, for myself in particular, that when you're feeling some pain that is completely outside your control, you can replace that pain with something you CAN control. Never was into cutting myself, but when I hit bottom with my PTSD I came up with a new one -- extreme sleep deprivation. 80-90 hours awake at a stretch. I'd force myself to stay awake until it felt like every nerve ending in my skin all over my body had that "pins and needles" feeling, and then I would let myself collapse for half a day.

It sure took my mind off of my other troubles, most of the time, because it took so much mental discipline and focus to force sleep away. And I knew that sleeping twice a week was probably very bad for my health. But it was just so rewarding to make it 6 more hours or 8 more hours or even 15 minutes more ... and it was my choice.


But it gave me the perception of control, it gave me a pain that could drown out pains I felt helpless against, and it felt GOOD to hurt that bad.

I dunno ... that's a study where n=1, but the perception of control is a powerful movtivator. It's a teacher's best friend -- for example, give your students two choices on completing a task for a grade instead of one. Kids will love you for it, because they think you've given them control -- but you've designated what the tasks are, and you are still requiring they do a task for a grade. The students have little to no choice in the matter, but they think it's all them.

Yeah, maybe SeI is a means of beating back any SuI. Control trumping a lack of control, beating back spirialing out of control.




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