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Grand Daddy Grunge

questioning/observing yourself

15 posts in this topic

is it possible to evaluate yourself and diagnose any umm.. issues? like psychopathy for one... I mean like because someone with schizophrenia or bulimia won't realize they have a problem, right?

I'm just curious because someone told me that it wasn't possible.

p.s sorry, I cant explain myself too well.

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Self-knowledge isn't acquired free of charge, even when you are mentally healthy. It is reasonable to say that some mental illnesses impair the sufferer's ability to acquire reliable self-knowledge, or impart delusions about the self and the self's true situation in the world.

As to what your friend said, though, difficult is not impossible. Although "talking therapies" have a dismal record, they do apparently help some people. That they work at all, however, suggests that it is indeed possible for an impaired person to acquire reliable self-knowledge.

At a less severe level of impairment, "twelve step" programs have a respectable record of managing problems, especially susbtance abuse, but not only substance abuse. Step one is exactly to acquire self-knowledge, to know and overtly affirm that the sufferer has a serious problem.

The formula opening of an Alcoholics Anonymous talk, "Hi. I'm Cynthia. I am an alcoholic," is an affirmation of her having acquired accurate self-knowledge. The formula response by the audience, "Hi, Cynthia," is in context not just a greeting, but implicitly an acknowledgement that they, too, have accurate knowledge about themselves.

Very often, Cynthia's talk will include an episode described as "hitting rock bottom," some incident where her substance abuse has caused something terrible to happen, and because of that, Cynthia has an epiphany about her situation.

In that moment, then, Cynthia did what your friend said was not possible. On the other hand, that it took something awful to happen before Cynthia wised up shows that what she did was very, very hard for her to do.

Hey, when we speak informally, we often fudge differences like "very, very hard" and impossible.

Hope that helps.

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hey thanks for replying, very informative.

I never even thought about the "anonymous" clubs lol.

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You self-diagnosed and someone argued that you're not "for real"? There are degrees and degrees of awareness and gravity concerning one's mental stability,I think. How easy would it be for a person suffering from psychosis to have an objective view on things inside a web of delusional beliefs?

What I find interesting is that some individuals are attached to their illnesses, imaginary or real, as if they support or create a certain identity of theirs.

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It's easy when you know what's insanity and what isn't. Although working through your disease can be difficult, knowing the difference between indulging in your insanity and questioning it is essential. The first step is to ask yourself if there is a problem. If there is something you've noticed in yourself that's troubling you, you can find help in a psychologist. It really depends on how much you desire sanity. Because many psychologists are unreliable, you need to do in-depth research yourself. Realize that insanity is just insanity and that there's a reason behind everything you think. You are not a tank, everyday things can hurt you emotionally and will alter your thoughts if only slightly. I hope this helped and good luck. :tu:

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The main problem with psychoanalyzing oneself is that humans have a natural tendency to become superstitious when confronted with confusing events. Symptoms are often over-exaggerated in the person's mind and if the researched condition does not satisfy the person to the 't', it will often be discarded, and vice versa: the person may believe themselves to be schizophrenic based on one or two incidents or symptoms that are not always related to the disease.

That being said, psychoanalyzing oneself can be helpful in primitive diagnoses before confronting a licensed practitioner. The person will at least have some idea of what's bothering them and has a deeper understanding of what's going on

So yeah, psychoanalysis can definitely help you, but be wary of exaggerations. Even if it seems right, let the psychologist tell you what's for real before you make any big decisions for yourself.

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I'd think whether or not you could self-diagnose would depend on exactly what your problem was. The bulimic person from your original post probably knows there's a problem but can't fix it. The schizophrenic person probably doesn't know there's a problem and will refuse to talk to the giant purple horse in the mirror (sorry, schizo and turrets - can't be serious talking about either of them).

I think the alcoholic thing is a good example (even though I hate the concept of alcoholism - I mean saying, "Hi, I'm Cynthia. I'm an alcoholic." can be an admission of having come to a realization that she has a problem, or it can mean she's been pressured to say she has a problem. I just don't like that there's no defense to the accusation that you're an alcoholic unless you don't drink at all. If you don't believe it, then you're in denial. It's like being accused of being a child molester - even if you did nothing, there's no defense and you can bet anyone hearing the accusation isn't going to ask you to babysit.

Anyway, back on track. I think you can self diagnose some things and self treat if the problem is a simple behavior pattern. Anything physically wrong almost certainly requires outside treatment (and maybe prevents self diagnosis).

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is it possible to evaluate yourself and diagnose any umm.. issues? like psychopathy for one... I mean like because someone with schizophrenia or bulimia won't realize they have a problem, right?

I'm just curious because someone told me that it wasn't possible.

p.s sorry, I cant explain myself too well.

Hah, simple...

You take a simple test on yourself... how long can you hold your eyes open. (mad people would constantly blink theyr eyes, while nevrotic would get a twinch... scary people would be able to sleep with theyr eyes open and still have them open the next day *in other words, they with murderic intent. Normal people would normaly only make it to 5 minuts at most before getting wery annoyed by the drienes. And some are inteligent enough to paint eyes at the eyelock and sleep instead of doing this test)

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Interesting post, sam.

The reservation I have with the AA formula is that by saying "I am an alcoholic," Cynthia is identifying her self with the condition. She isn't saying "I have a problem with alcohol," but rather "A problem with alcohol is part of who I am."

Realistically, though, the far more urgent problem would be not to recognize that she has a problem. Also, the AA worldview is that alcoholism is incurable. It can be managed, but not removed. It is, then, part of Cynthia, just as she says.

Nobody really knows that, and if alcoholism is like other chronic diseases, then its curability would vary with the state of technology, if nothing else. But here and now, for the vast majority of sufferers? They might be right.

Your analysis of denial is correct. People do use "diagnoses" of mental illness as weapons. If you disagree with me, even after I have explained my view, then you are in denial.

Which is obviously BS, and manipulative BS at that. In serious useage, denial would be invoked only if the speaker were morally certain that the listener really had a problem, and that the problem would be obvious to any impartial observer.

You are not saying just that the listener lacks self-knowledge (lol, guilty as charged), but also that there is a particular psychological mechanism actively operating to prevent the listener from grasping something self-evident and urgent.

It should be as straightforward as saying that someone is deaf because you see that she never reacts to loud noises. That the deaf person is unaware that she is missing something is an integral part of her predicament.

But AA is not about accusation. Membership is voluntary, initially and whether or not you stay. There is even some soul-searching about having AA in prisons, or as part of "alternative sentencing" schemes, both because it is not anonymous, and for concern about whether any prisoner really has completely free choice in the matter.

Also, I suspect that self-aware alcoholics know better than most people that telling an alcoholic who is in denial that she has a drinking problem is a waste of breath. There is simply no point in "accusing" such a person of it. Why bother?

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Yeah, your AA example was a good example of the self-diagnosis concept.

I'm just a little hypersensitive about alcoholism because I have a friend of the family who was closer to me than my own mother when I was a kid. She's always wanted nothing but good things for me and always will. There was a period for about 2 years when we only ran into each other on the 4th of July and New Years Eve. Shockingly, on these 4 occasions I had been drinking.

The next time I saw her she oh-so-casually mentioned how her ex husband was an alcoholic but was able to get it together with enough prayer and support from AA. I pretty much laughed it off and told her (the truth) that I only drink maybe once every month or so and even then usually don't get drunk. That's where it came in - "When somebody's an alcoholic, it's hard for them to see that they have a problem. It's called denial."

Now I'm a happy drunk and a p***ed-off sober guy. Things have gotten to the point that I need to be drunk to be around her without saying something that'll hurt her feelings. That simply proves that my 'problem' is getting worse. Talk about your vicious cycle :angry:

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Now I'm a happy drunk and a p***ed-off sober guy. Things have gotten to the point that I need to be drunk to...

That is self-medication, sam. Heads up.

You know your friend means well. Like everybody else, she sizes up current situations based on what experiences she's had. What you quote her as saying about alcoholics and denial is true. Whether that has any applicability to your situation, how would I know?

I'll tell you one thing. She's absolutely the wrong person to discuss this with. But talk it over with someone else who knows you, perferably someone who knows both of you, and ideally somebody who knows what the dynamics of her relationship with her ex were.

Just as there are people in denial about their drinking, there are also people in denial about their driving other people to drink.

None of this is easy. That's why psychiatrists make the big bucks. Good luck with it.

Edited by eight bits

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That is self-medication, sam. Heads up.

Heh! I've eliminated that issue since I don't like feeling forced to drink any more than I like the feeling that someone's judging me badly if I choose to drink. My solution is simply avoid her. I know that isn't the best solution in an ideal world, but I'm a bridge-burner. If I don't like a job I walk. If a friend betrays me, they're no longer a friend.

I always tell people I have a ton of love, but not an ounce of forgiveness.

In this particular situation: She now can wonder how much I'm drinking and whether it's ruining my life all she wants so she's happy, and I don't have to hear her wondering so I'm happy.

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The main problem with psychoanalyzing oneself is that humans have a natural tendency to become superstitious when confronted with confusing events. Symptoms are often over-exaggerated in the person's mind and if the researched condition does not satisfy the person to the 't', it will often be discarded, and vice versa: the person may believe themselves to be schizophrenic based on one or two incidents or symptoms that are not always related to the disease.

That being said, psychoanalyzing oneself can be helpful in primitive diagnoses before confronting a licensed practitioner. The person will at least have some idea of what's bothering them and has a deeper understanding of what's going on

So yeah, psychoanalysis can definitely help you, but be wary of exaggerations. Even if it seems right, let the psychologist tell you what's for real before you make any big decisions for yourself.

this was another thing I was wondering; exaggeration. thanks haha.

First, thanks for all feedback guys.

second, another question: lets say someone has a form of insanity. If this person was able to realize he/she were insane, would this make them sane or at least partly sane by realizing this? lol

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My solution is simply avoid her.

That could work, too. Might even be the only way.

Personally, I am lousy at burning bridges. It's cost me, sometimes, too. Bigtime once.

Which is the other thing about self-knowledge, even though I've got some, at least about that, it still leaves me with the problem.

Where the hell is the user's manual that should come with life?

See you out there, sam.

If this person was able to realize he/she were insane, would this make them sane or at least partly sane by realizing this? lol

Oddly, I think the answer is parallel to what I just said to sam. Knowing you have a problem, in itself, still leaves you with the problem.

If I know I have diabetes, that doesn't fix it. Knowing it might motivate me to do something about it, though. Better that than not knowing and not doing what can be done. But it's not the same as not being ill, either.

Just my opinion.

Edited by eight bits

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First, thanks for all feedback guys.

second, another question: lets say someone has a form of insanity. If this person was able to realize he/she were insane, would this make them sane or at least partly sane by realizing this? lol

I guess that sort of goes in line with admitting you have a problem is the first step to solving it, haha. It's like if I were an alcoholic and knew that I was. Knowing that can help me in my recovery, but it doesn't change the fact that I am an alcoholic.

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