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Anyone relate to a kind of non-psychotic 'logical idealism' underlying things?

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Shlink

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I can explain what I mean more but having a hard time doing so upfront. Partly because I have various issues with the current diagnostic scheme as it lumps and splits things, as I guess many do though (such as the US NIMH) but it's tricky to explain without going into all that mess.

I say non-psychotic because I'm not referring to what would be considered frank delusions/hallucinations. So this might not apply at all to people who feel they're totally free of anything like that most of the time but have discrete manic episodes in type one or whatever.

What if there's an underlying belief system (perhaps linked to a genetic neurodivergence but not talking about an autistic syndrome) that both motivates hyper attempts to fulfill it, but also inherently undermines those attempts resulting in frustration, social confusions all around, and thus social anxiety and depression for example.

That could just an after-the-fact ideological justification that the brain comes up with, as we are so adept at doing naturally.

But of course religions pursue a lot of this stuff. And they even bundle it up with a load of non-logical stuff that would probably be considered psychotic (or their historical heroes would be) if it wasn't such huge numbers of adherents mostly functional individually (though some might do self-neglecting disepowering martyr type stuff but somehow benefitting the religious group overall?)

Basically how do you resolve an independent non-functional logical idealism? (extremism?). There's a diagnostic overlap with the concept of 'personality disorder' too though where there's a supposedly inflexible (maybe just different to everyone else's inflexible) response set somehow out of synch.

I suspect this may not make much sense without more concrete examples but feels a bit too personal then I dunno.
 
HLon99

HLon99

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Dear shlink,

I'll cut right to the chase. You're clearly a very intelligent person, which makes looking after yourself during a mental health crisis twice as difficult. You are not used to being wrong, so when you are you conjure up an elaborate explanation in your brain. Believe me, I used to do the exact same thing during my episodes and come up with seemingly 'rational' explanations for the irrational thoughts and feeling that I was experiencing. I know that this can be a bitter pill to swallow but all of these thoughts you are having are simply part of your condition. You need to get yourself into treatment and comply. When I was going through the same thing, I kept coming up with outlandish theories which made sense to no one apart from myself. I have a pretty high IQ and even I can most certainly tell you that what you just wrote make absolutely no sense. I do not mean to offend you but incoherent pseudo-philosophical musing are a symptom of delusion.
Please speak to your doctor about this and let them take care of you. In time the cobwebs will lift and you will know that I'm right.

Wish you all the best and hope you feel better soon.

-H
 
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Shlink

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I recognise that you're seeking to help and that what you say can apply in many cases, but you have jumped to some stereotypes there which I ask you to reflect on.

My comment was not about psychotic mental health crises, as in the diagnosis of type 1 bipolar. That is not a diagnosis that's applied to me and I am not non-compliant. That's why I said people used to manic delusions may not relate.

I was not denying that anything is part of a condition. If anything the opposite - I was saying that beliefs and 'idealism' which are not generally noticed as underying these things across the board, may in fact underly them, in a similar way to how cognitive behavioural models of other conditions take into account underlying 'core' assumptions or schema.

But there are legitimate questions about interpreting them and legitimate difficulties expressing things, which should not necessarily be pathologised. I was not trying to engage in philosophical musings as much as psychological ones (with inevitably a broader cultural context). I don't know about commenting on general intelligence as you do but I do have some background in clinical psychology including research publications and I am in long-term therapy.

All the best to you too.
 
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Anne Has A Way

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Yes!

I was initially diagnosed with major depression but it switched to bipolar when my moods started cycling on anti-depressants. We got to the diagnosis when I was able to identify hypo-manic episodes that were hidden in my devotion to a cult-like religion.

I experienced religious highs that I now realise were not exactly normal. If I describe them, they might sound psychotic, though, as you mention, they were normalised because there was a "logical" explanation for it that everyone believed. I was one of the few devotees who was able easily transcend my earthly body. I don't have hallucinations or psychosis, but the religious practice allowed me to let my hypo-mania flag fly undetected.

After becoming an atheist, my symptoms were the traditional hyper-sexuality, substance abuse, etc.

I would never have been correctly diagnosed if I had not thought about relating these religious experiences with hypo-mania, which is why I felt it was important to reply to your post.

Is this what you meant? The neuro-divergence in my case would then be suggestibility? I will readily admit to it.
 
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Shlink

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Seriously thank you for your reply. That's making me think. So an episode that only occurs while on antidepressants doesn't count towards the bipolar diagnosis - only if it happens anyway after clearing the antidepressant - so I assume that's the case with yourself, that even without antidepressants you would get these hypomanic states. I looked into that previously, and since the DSM-5 which tightened it up, because that was an issue for me one time when younger.

And hypomania is by definition non-psychotic I believe. Whereas if there is frank psychosis then it is a manic episode. So I assume your psychiatrist agreed that because your transcendence was facilitated so to speak by the religious group (assuming you were off the antidepressants), that it didn't count as psychosis (so not bipolar type I) but does count as hypomania (bipolar type II) because you get the hypomania anyway.

In my case I don't link my attitude to any particular group, but to ideals that are commonly put forward, for example around total equality, rationality, non-ego, meritocracy (ego drives the ambition to some extent ultimately). But I guess you could say that's like a secular religion. Some people call it cultural marxism don't they, though some of it is quite christian. What was the process by which you disentangled from your religious feelings/beliefs?

I see what you mean about suggestibility with those issues and I think that is an intriguing possibility of being the underlying issue. In some ways it is for me, not with those issues but with like.......it's really difficult to pin down so I'll have to come back to it. Something to do with being a bit adrift from the social structure of things, the power dynamics, so I'm either suggestible or I'm ideologically aloof so I'm not, I dunno.
 
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Anne Has A Way

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The religious highs were quite a few years ago, I only started medication this year, so yeah. The high was only a hand full of times; since then the highs were the "naughty", impulsive kinds. But I am more of the mostly depressive sort with family history. The highs were just very exaggerated on the antidepressants. I'm steady on lamotrigine. I overshare because it seems that you are collecting data (figuratively speaking) and I don't mind adding to it. I am not qualified, but I am an avid reader.

Do you mean that, when you were younger, you had an episode or a is religious high on SSRIs :)

I want to agree with you on idealism being a conduit for hyper episodes and disillusionment a trigger for depression. I wonder if it links to the imperfect studies that connect creativity and bipolar disorder? Creativity and imagination give us the ability to see a "better world" (according to our individual ideologies) and suffer when we see how very far off reality is. My current ideology is more humanist and I have to constantly reign it in or I get too excitable. I was raised in a very conservative community and my humanist desire to rail against the system is very strong (connects to your thought on ideological aloofness?). Oh, and I test very high in Openness (Big 5) and Intuition (MBTI). Possible connection? Your own thoughts on that?

I've slowly been reading Sapiens (Harari) that hypothesises that believing in things like limited companies or law requires belief/faith much like religions, which makes the idea even more intriguing.

As to disentanglement - I studied the texts voraciously, which led to a study of foundational religions and eventually the history of these religions. I started questioning when I discovered that a lot of the supposedly fundamental beliefs had no direct textual empirical evidence (a lot of the texts required interpretation facilitated, of course, by spiritually elected authorities - I have a strong disinclination towards The Man). Physical evidence was, oddly, never an issue. The cons of growing up in a closed community. When I raised these questions I was told to stop thinking about it too much and just believe. I joke that the best way to lose your religion is to actually study it.

It was a blessing in some ways, because I am very wary of any extremism now. It's difficult with the massive echo chamber I tend to fall into on the internet and in the community. It's near impossible to find a place where there is some compromise or moderate approach that considers all sides and is willing to admit to its own faults.

By the way, I still respect these religions and won't suggest that all people will reach the same conclusion - that was simply my path. I am trying to be subtle about the specific religion out of respect and because I am honestly not trying to convince anyone of my views.

Would you say that your own path is very different from your immediate community?It's probably off topic and inappropriate, but I am curious about your personal ideologies.
 
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Shlink

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I know I went a lot into the bipolar diagnostic nomenclature, but I try to keep it clear because normally psychosis is considered a big dividing line in psychiatry, yet the bipolar category covers both sides of the line.

I hope you don't share more than you're comfortable with (I need to keep that in mind too...). It is good to hear that lamotrigine seems to be helping. I have taken anti-convulsant med before, but last time I discussed one with a psychiatrist, I asked her what's the long-term like years data, because I couldn't find it but had seen anecdotes about effects wearing off or side-effects, and the psychiatrist just never answered the question and never advised general doctor of a dosage either. It is intriguing that lamotrigine may work on the depression side of it, which is longer for me also and for most I gather.

I didn't have a religious high when younger but when I was 19 and first asked for help from a doctor for suicidality and was simply palmed prozac - something they're theoretically banned from doing now in youth without therapy and supervision (the damn risk data was available back then though) - it simply gave more impulse to my attempts to deal with people over-idealistically, and more impulse to my resulting frustrated trapped despair, and I then did something that could have killed a bunch of people which was never mentioned again bizarrely. Unbelievably they put me on another SSRI and I then saw an advert to fly to an island off Africa to work in sales which I did, and the expensively-trained expert psychiatrist wrote that I'd gone on holiday so she was discharging me. Then after managing to get back and ending up suicidal in hospital, the experts put me on a tricyclic antidepressant and kept increasing and increasing the dose until I became psychotic - it was along the idealistic (but also egotistical) lines of understanding and helping problems, I thought radio songs were relating to what was happening etc. So they stopped that drug and that quickly stopped.

Yes that is very interesting about the function of imagination. And I do think I'd also score high on openness. I deconstructed my psychological defenses because I mistakenly thought they were causing my problems (or that just happened neurologically who knows), and I thought socioeconomic divisions could be overcome by ignoring them with innocence. What's the connection you refer to between the conservative religious upbringing and your railing against the system? My schools were religious in a moderately persistent way but I never bought into it factually, yet at the same time I argued for the underlying ideals more than they did, weird.

I remember reading about that book you mention, maybe a year ago, and it sounded great but also that he bit off more than he could chew scientifically. But I see what you mean about the link between this and his specific thesis about imagining not just religions but like human rights etc - so I'll check it out actually. I was reading more recently about another synthesis that it was adaptations for social learning and retention over generations that made us so unique rather than the over-hyped individual problem-solving etc. Cultural intelligence hypothesis.
 
T

TheHeartHasAVoice

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I can explain what I mean more but having a hard time doing so upfront. Partly because I have various issues with the current diagnostic scheme as it lumps and splits things, as I guess many do though (such as the US NIMH) but it's tricky to explain without going into all that mess.

I say non-psychotic because I'm not referring to what would be considered frank delusions/hallucinations. So this might not apply at all to people who feel they're totally free of anything like that most of the time but have discrete manic episodes in type one or whatever.

What if there's an underlying belief system (perhaps linked to a genetic neurodivergence but not talking about an autistic syndrome) that both motivates hyper attempts to fulfill it, but also inherently undermines those attempts resulting in frustration, social confusions all around, and thus social anxiety and depression for example.

That could just an after-the-fact ideological justification that the brain comes up with, as we are so adept at doing naturally.

But of course religions pursue a lot of this stuff. And they even bundle it up with a load of non-logical stuff that would probably be considered psychotic (or their historical heroes would be) if it wasn't such huge numbers of adherents mostly functional individually (though some might do self-neglecting disepowering martyr type stuff but somehow benefitting the religious group overall?)

Basically how do you resolve an independent non-functional logical idealism? (extremism?). There's a diagnostic overlap with the concept of 'personality disorder' too though where there's a supposedly inflexible (maybe just different to everyone else's inflexible) response set somehow out of synch.

I suspect this may not make much sense without more concrete examples but feels a bit too personal then I dunno.
Hello,

Are you able to see answers in nature?
 
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TheHeartHasAVoice

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I think not in the way you might mean though I appreciate it and being in it, is it an idealism of yours?
No idealism from me, but something I appreciate too.

I see simplicity, beauty and ease in nature. Interestingly, human beings can live without writing a single word. They can just speak to each other.

You know what that means? Life is incredibly simple.

In nature I see incredible mercy and simplicity. Many female mammals have maternal instincts. If they lose their young they are literally upset and go searching. They will ensure their foot doesn't crush their young.

I don't see extremism in nature.

However I see extremism in humans. When they are confused, misinterpret things or have incorrect information. Or when they are oppressive or unfortunately isolated (the reasons are many).
 
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Shlink

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I'm really with you on how simple it could be at core.

But I would see that view of nature as idealistic. Not that altruism isn't abundant, but so is a lot of all those things you mentioned for the human animal.
 
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TheHeartHasAVoice

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I'm really with you on how simple it could be at core.

But I would see that view of nature as idealistic. Not that altruism isn't abundant, but so is a lot of all those things you mentioned for the human animal.
I'm not too familiar with the word idealism to be honest. But I guess my point is, humans change things. We have been given that ability. So we mess up things badly sometimes. Look at the world.

Do you agree beliefs should be healthy and balanced? A true and healthy belief achieves balance. We are creatures of balance and justice. The earth is fine-tuned at a certain position or there would be no life on earth. Water has a certain pH. There is a centre of gravity etc.

There is an observable consistency in the universe where you can see balance. Without balance things don't function.

I don't know your personal situation but just know this. Throughout history, human beings changed things from their original form and that's how they lose peace and balance. Thats what makes persistent inner disturbances.
 
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DianneM

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Wow, reminds me of myself. You are inteligent and brave. I had logical-philosophical negative ideas or even obsessions for years. I got your point. If this way of analysis is not causing you disstress and more depression, it's ok probably?. But, see this. I had "own" world where everything was fine logically, nothing bizzare. Like 2+2=4. World was like 2+2=4,5 and I was like no, 4. My therapist couldn't say - no you are wrong, because it was like mathematic. And you know what my therapist said ? World is not logic. Reality is not logic. Nothing is logic. No need to logic explanation. Emotions, appearance, anything. My ideas was causing me deep depression. The hardest years of my life, more and more logical ideas, what if that and that, must be that and thar.. My ONLY escape was NOT thinking. I know that sounds stupid, but it kinda worked. Yes, not like actual delusions but obsessions. Getting new hobby, new book, movie, friends, songs, people... Was on meds too. But had major depression too.Hugs for you
 
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Shlink

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Wow, reminds me of myself. You are inteligent and brave. I had logical-philosophical negative ideas or even obsessions for years. I got your point. If this way of analysis is not causing you disstress and more depression, it's ok probably?. But, see this. I had "own" world where everything was fine logically, nothing bizzare. Like 2+2=4. World was like 2+2=4,5 and I was like no, 4. My therapist couldn't say - no you are wrong, because it was like mathematic. And you know what my therapist said ? World is not logic. Reality is not logic. Nothing is logic. No need to logic explanation. Emotions, appearance, anything. My ideas was causing me deep depression. The hardest years of my life, more and more logical ideas, what if that and that, must be that and thar.. My ONLY escape was NOT thinking. I know that sounds stupid, but it kinda worked. Yes, not like actual delusions but obsessions. Getting new hobby, new book, movie, friends, songs, people... Was on meds too. But had major depression too.Hugs for you
Yes that's a lot of what I meant by logical and thank you. What kind of negative ideas/obsessions about the world have you had though?
 
Zero One

Zero One

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I don't really think a genetic neurodivergence of that sort exists it seems environments have an impact on fundamental behaviors and ideas which are learned through adaptation.
 
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