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Re: Too bad we aren't well enough to be scientists g_g_g_unit

Posted by SLS on August 26, 2012, at 7:48:57

In reply to Re: Too bad we aren't well enough to be scientists SLS, posted by g_g_g_unit on August 25, 2012, at 7:11:47

> > At some point, I realized just how great an achievement it was to survive with this illness. It was a bitter pill to swallow to lose my intellect and operate at a level way beneath those around me.
> >
> > I push. I push. I push. I constantly push. It grows tiresome, but I keep pushing. I often succeed. Succeed in what? I succeed in trying. Failure to achieve the goals set forth by others is okay with me. It has to be. I must acknowledge that my illness places upon me limitations that most of the people around me do not have. Thus, my expectation of myself is to try to use all of what little God gives me to work with.

> This is something I struggle with. My psychiatrist (who I concurrently see for psychodynamic therapy) noted that my 'self-knowledge' of what I had suffered through was not sufficient enough for me; that I needed external validation of my suffering.

Most of your validation must come from within, especially because so few people around you understand the degree of pain and impairment you are suffering on a daily basis for years at a time. I hope you find validation here. You try so hard. I was fortunate to have doctors from various research facilities who validated me and had an understanding of how debilitating my illness is and how hard I try to remain alive and functioning independently.

> He's right. But then again, am I as well? How is it not possible to compare yourself to the achievements of others?

It is difficult not to compare. Perhaps it is not such a bad thing to compare, as long as you don't judge yourself critically as a result of that comparison. Perhaps "acknowledgment" is a better word to use than "comparison". It would be unrealistic not to acknowledge the achievements of others. It would be equally unrealistic not to acknowledge your challenges and your own achievements in working with them. Acceptance is difficult, but healthy. However, denial can be dangerous when realization hits. It can lead to episodes of suicidality. Discovery is also important. It is helpful to discover what it is that you *can* do.

> I don't think most people credit suffering (and its endurance) as an achievement, unless you survived the Holocaust (I'm Jewish, so I hope that doesn't cause offence) or cancer or the like, or otherwise achieved something notable in spite of your illness (Eric's example of John Nash). There is an evident ideological bias in who society is willing to accept as palatable victims or sufferers or martyrs or saints.

Yes. Mental illness has historically been considered to be a sign of weakness, cowardice, or defect. Such things are not celebrated.

> I'm probably just being narcissistic.

I don't understand how you could come to this conclusion. I don't see narcissism in you. Quite the contrary. I'm not a psychiatrist, though. Perhaps I am missing something.

> But, as much as I love and respect my psychiatrist, I sometimes hesitate (to put it gently) when he, well, implies that part of my inability to get well derives from a 'lack of effort' on my part, and that, ultimately, man must consign himself to the rule of reason.

I would LOL if this weren't such a sad thing for you to be confronted with. If the dysfunction in your neurobiology were successfully treated, you couldn't prevent yourself from getting well no matter how hard you tried.

> What does that mean? Who's rule of reason?

Not mine. But then again, who am I?

> Is all suicide, by default, unreasonable?

No. I believe in autoeuthanasia. However, it is absolutely true that MDD or BD are mind-altering illnesses that affect perception and judgment. It would be difficult to filter out this neurobiological state to be able to evaluate one's fitness to make such an irrevocable decision.

> If you fail to accept an illness that compromises your ability to self-actualize,

I LOVE your statement here. It is almost impossible to self-actualize and experience the joys of peak experiences in such states. Depression is a thief.

> the gap between who I had intended to be, and who I've become (?) makes me feel less intent on continuing. I think it's a profoundly difficult thing to come to terms with and I admire you for it Scott, but I question how much more fight I have in me.


Try to hold closely to your soul the memories of what life can be without depression, anxiety, and OCD - assuming that you were ever fortunate enough to know such a time. I truly believe that it is my memories of remission that helped me to keep going. I knew the potential rewards of persistence. I guard these memories.

I really want to see you well. Please don't give up.

- Scott

Some see things as they are and ask why.
I dream of things that never were and ask why not.

- George Bernard Shaw




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