The New Normal is Pretty Much Like the Old, with Scratches

by wlancehunt, July 2, 2021 in Personal Narrative, psychology, resilience

Scary as hell living in Brooklyn, the deadliest place on earth for Covid-19. For a few grim weeks.

Out of the blue
When the world turns upside down in an instant, where do you go from there?

by wlancehunt in Personal Narrative, psychology

The armed troops and the ID cards are gone now, but low-flying planes are still unnerving.

A Year After “the Event”

Resilience after 9-11—it’s about what happens in the mind as much as on the ground.

A Break to Gather Thoughts and Ask a Question

Something completely different? 

Better Living Through Chemistry: Epilogue (One Step Up From Witchcraft)

Unless someone is familiar with the ideas from Thomas Khun’s The Structure of Scientific Revolutions, calling psychology “one step up from witchcraft sounds like the first shot from someone planning a war on psychology. That reading takes the angry words of a disillusioned 22-year-old too literally, even if it was how he had meant them in 1984—long before he understood how science was born, or how disciplines grow and change.

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Better Living Through Chemistry: Notes from Chemically Induced Depression Part 7 of 7+ (Dread, Depression and Disassociation)

While avoiding as much contact with the world as reasonably possible as a husband, father and self-employed writer provided some sanctuary, I remained assailed by accumulating effects, both psychic and physical.

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Better Living Through Chemistry: Notes from Chemically Induced Depression Part 6 of 7 (the Meanings of Nausea)

The unwelcomed journey back to the land of the damned wasn’t apparent at first.

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Better Living Through Chemistry: Notes from Chemically Induced Depression Part 5 of 6 (A Fall leading to a Second Face of Depression: Vimpat™.)

Having escaped the world of the damned and back on a clumsy, but effective seizure prophylactic, I waited until my brain healed from the neurosurgeon’s saw and scalpels. Once the swelling receded and the scaring was set, I was given an EEG that, if clear, would let me say goodbye to phenytoin, be drug-free once again. As I had been for seventeen years before the rude growth under my temporal lobe slapped the epileptic label back on me.

In the neurologist’s office, electrodes were pasted to my scalp. Read More

Better Living Through Chemistry: Notes from Chemically Induced Depression (Part 4 of 6: Inscrutable Chemistry and the 6%.)

Only recently has the concept of decision fatigue as a form of mental exhaustion become a subject of psychological study— decision fatigue acknowledges that

  • decisions take mental energy
  • that any given person has only a certain amount of mental energy
  • that each decision a person makes uses some of this limited resource, and
  • once this resource is exhausted, decision making turns to avoidance—

choosing the least effortful action in every case regardless of possible outcomes.

A recent study (2011) looked at boards granting parole in Israel.

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Better Living Through Chemistry: Notes from Chemically Induced Depression Part 3 of 6 (Having to Think Slowly)

This pervasive, grinding ennui exhausted me.

It also challenged most of what I thought I knew about clinical depression, which I had studied while getting an undergraduate Psychology degree. I’d read about the exhaustion, the feelings of pointlessness, but had always conflated that with what I had personally experienced as feeling down, blue, bummed, hurt, let down, disappointed, fearful—yet my current state bore no semblance to any emotion I’d faced. To any emotion whatsoever.

Rather as I moved limply through the hours of my waking day, I felt nothing at all. As if emotion had been severed from me—all desire, all displeasure, and every shade of feeling in between. Read More

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