Mar. 21st, 2004

urocyon: Grey fox crossing a stream (Default)
When I become aware of sounding eerily like my ranty uncle, it gives me pause. Among your own family and friends, you've likely gotten to know the type--something usually seems to be bothering them acutely, and they rarely hesitate to spout off about it ad nauseam. I realise that I have done so more readily online recently, not being able to watch others' reactions directly.

I think I've figured out what's behind this tendency, but the behavior is still good at sneaking up. I'd be surprised if a similar process weren't causing the abovementioned uncle to sputter and rant, knowing that he is perhaps a worse worrywart than I am.

One common misconception concerning anxiety seems to be that people must appear fearful when anxious, and try to live around active fear and dread. Instead, some of us funnel the more overwhelming feelings into anger and aggression, not always being aware that we're doing so. In my case, besides a longterm coping mechanism, this may be partially due to basic wiring; one psychologist was rather impressed by my mother's apparent lack of half the "fight or flight" response. It does seem common in the family. Whatever the reason, some of us, if confronted by a menacing bear, would surely try to kill it with the nearest stick before even considering making a run for it. This approach can have both benefits and serious drawbacks, as one can imagine.

For more fun, combine this basic tendency with some imagination and an aptitude for juggling worries. Humans are prone to trying to distract themselves anyway; working to obscure a significant point of concern by finding--or creating--a whole constellation of other things to worry about is but one annoying variation. I only figured out that I was doing this a couple of years ago; it's just so senseless. Starting into this pattern in earnest leads to grousing about a great variety of things.

It's a bit demoralising to realise that you're getting yourself terribly worked up on a regular basis, only to distract yourself from what you're really worried about. It's also a devilish pattern to break.

Now that I'm aware of what I'm doing again, I'll try to temper my comments. Unintentionally being offputting is not good.
urocyon: Grey fox crossing a stream (Default)
I ran across an insightful (if rather long) essay on identity and meaning in conjunction with mental illness. I'd like to see more of this sort of thing; so many affected aspects of life are just not addressed by the "recovery" model. I must agree, from another of her essays, that "The basic assumption that recovery involves restoring a person to a life that mirrors closely someone else's life is absurd."

Yes, I've been considering "Meaning" a bit much lately.

Until I spotted an ad, I had no idea that aripiprazole, a relatively new atypical antipsychotic, is being marketed as Abilify. Unfortunately, this does not seem to be a joke.

Why I'm glad I'm not in CSB Hell.
Only three states spend less per capita than Virginia on community care for the mentally ill and the mentally retarded. In 2002, Virginia's per-capita spending on community service for the mentally ill was $1.58, barely half the national average of $3.07.

Ca. 1996, any psychiatric treatment was also only available to those who had been in state hospitals; everyone else was allowed a few counselling sessions. Further restrictions have likely been imposed to match the dwindling budget.

Perhaps a bit much of a theme here, but I do get on kicks.

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