Daily Archives: July 7, 2017

Has Self-Expression Affected Your life, If So, In What Way?

Just met a new friend here who very, very smart. I have no idea if he meets criteria for genius, but he’s close enough for me. I’ll just call him my New Genius Friend, ZE. We are having a dialogue lately on creativity. His interests include the intersection of creativity and leadership and how one informs the other. His work seems to be mostly directed at the business sector where leadership training is often used and I would argue very much needed, though I have no interest in this sort of thing, mostly because I seriously suck as a leader. And I’m not sure I care about that at all because I hate the idea of leading people in much of anything, except maybe leading a herd of humans racing like scampering rodents off a steep cliff, and I might even have to think twice about that one, as momentarily thrilling as it sounds.

ZE: Has self-expression affected your life, and if so, in what way?

To me self-expression is my writing. For many years, I did not write. Now I write all the time, so I am expressing myself and my emotions to the whole damn world every day, with thousands of rapt listeners. God I love it so much. But I do not write to express myself.

I write because I have to or need to. This is a gift I was born with, and as with many people with gifts, I have been working like mad overtime on my gift for most of my life.

This is where people confuse giftedness and hard work. They think it is one or the other, but often it is both. Many people are born with a gift but then work, often very, very hard, on their gift for years or decades.

It’s my opinion that they get better at it, but I suppose that remains to be proven.

It’s a good question. Would I be just as good a writer if I picked up a pen now for the first time as opposed to working like Hell on my skill for years? I say no, but has it been proven?. It probably doesn’t matter because most with a gift secretly think they suck and always look to those who do the gifted thing better than they do. This makes them mad and insecure, so they are always trying to be better. I am always trying to be a better writer because I look around and see better writers all the time. They often make me a bit mad that I can’t write that well, so I kick myself in the butt for being a lousy writer and resolve to beat that guy if it’s the last thing I do.

Even if you could prove that practice is worthless, I think a lot of us gifted folks would do it anyways because the gift seems to compel you to insecurity and constant upward striving.

The most gifted people often secretly feel that they suck. This is interesting. Lousy writers don’t get blocked. Every blocked writer I knew was a great writer.

Also blocking is usually stupid. Blocking is caused by fearing that you can’t write well, which in the case of most good writers, is pretty much a lie. Once you sit down and start doing it, you usually see that the blocking was a lie, and you can actually do it well. This is because gifted people are perfectionists, but that is a rather good thing I think.

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Filed under Psychology, Writing

What Have You Learned from Self-Expression, Whether Chosen by You or Imposed upon You?

ZE: What have you learned from self-expression, whether chosen by you or imposed upon you?

It was better when I chose it.

When it was imposed on me, I often did not enjoy it and felt I had been taken prisoner, often by a hostile force.

These questions are hard to answer, as I bottle stuff up inside. Even people like me feel emotion, but we feel it in our minds more than in our bodies.

My theory is that running from your feelings is the problem. I work in mental health, and increasingly I tell my clients to just accept their feelings and quit trying to run from them. If you feel sad, say, “Thank God for that feeling!” and sit there and be with it. The universe is about 1/2 sadness, and that’s on a good day! You may as well sit down and be alone with the sadness of life and the world, which is quite ample. Just be OK with it. Life is sad. That’s fine. That’s part of the experience of being here.

People panic when they are sad. My best friend is a young woman. She calls me up panicked that she is feeling sad, as if it is a terrible thing. So she wants to run from it. But that doesn’t seem to work.

Say I had a client who was in a bad marriage and getting ready to leave his wife. He feels guilty for being a bad father, for leaving his son, for all sorts of things. Normally therapists will tell you to stop thinking that, as it is irrational, but the thing is, you tell people that, and they are going to go ahead and feel it anyway. So I tell would him to just sit there and be OK with those feelings.

I would say, “Well there is a part of you that feels a need to have these feelings. Just sit there and have those feelings and be OK with them. I think after some time, you will get these feelings out of your system, and you might even get sick of them. I don’t want you to feel this way for too long – say five years would be too long – but you need to feel this way for so me time – even up to one to four years I would be OK with you just experiencing that as part of the process and then finally moving on.”

But the role of originality in creativity, I would say that to some extent they are one and the same. But the original thought is more your own as opposed something truly sui generis. And you borrow all the original thoughts you want to. And while you’re at it, you can borrow all the creativity you want to also. You don’t even have to pay to rent or buy ideas, concepts, metaphors, turns or phrase, figures of speech or even jokes and laugh lines. Just go ahead and steal em.

Come on, just do it! Look around, make sure no one is looking, and nab that cute turn of phrase. Stick it in your pocket real fast before the Thought Police can figure out what you did. Now move away quickly and stash that fancy little phrase in some safe place wherever you store your stolen verbal material. I would suggest a locked briefcase. You can try to put them in your mind, but lately just about everything I store up there seems to get lost somehow, but that might not be a good idea.

You can’t copyright words! Or phrases! Or even sentences, really. You certainly cannot copyright or patent concepts, ideas, theories or notions. It’s all up for grabs. I assume that the capitalists are going to try to figure out a way to copyright or patent all this stuff just so the sick fucks can make a buck off it, but in the meantime, it’s mostly up for grabs.

Plagiarism is not illegal, but it’s a career killer. I would advise to tread cautiously, but trust me, we writers steal stuff all the time. You have to be very careful how you do it, and when it comes to famous or popular works, you just steal a tiny bit here and there, better yet completely unconsciously.

We all gather information from everywhere all the time. We do not have to go around crediting everyone we grabbed some idea from. I sure as Hell don’t.

Incidentally this is part of creativity and originality. Grabbing stuff from other people. Look, there are not a whole lot of new ideas floating around. Humans have been thinking, talking and especially writing stuff down for 2,000 years. Hence almost all creativity, even most originality, is more or less rehash, but that’s the whole idea of it really. Just don’t steal too brazenly and you’ll be fine.

The truly great thinker is running about grabbing great ideas from as many people as possible in as many places as he can. He can then elaborate on them if he wishes or squirrel them away in which case, as long as he can recall them, he can rehash them, add or subtract to them, mix them with other ideas in all sorts of ways or combine them with other ideas to form new theories, patterns, ways of seeing, conceptualizations and especially overarching pattern-theories, which I call “putting it all together” and “seeing the big picture.”

Otherwise known as “wisdom.”

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Filed under Law, Philosophy, Psychology, Psychotherapy, Writing

Is There Any Way to Sustain Emotional Self-Expression?

ZE: Is there any way to sustain emotional self-expression?

I think most people do it anyway because most folks seem to be pretty emotional. They go around expressing their emotions all the time anyway, unless you are getting at something different from quotidian emotionalizing here.

For me, to sustain it, I would have to keep writing because writing expresses my emotions best.

Humor is a good way to express emotions. As long as you are communicating with humans, you can make humorous comments that express emotion very well.

It also helps to be a systematizing thinker.

The more you can systematize, the more wisdom you obtain, and the best emotional expression is in the form of wisdom.

And art.

And then humor.

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Filed under Art, Humor, Psychology, Writing

The Problem of Overdiagnosis in Mental Health

Zed: Most of psychology is whack bullshit considering the Jewish involvement. As many Jews are in medical field, they coin new terms to swindle money. While I am not calling entire psychology bullshit, it’s being stretched to include even normal behaviors. Lots of people are scared that normal behaviour like anger, happiness, crying would be branded as some kind of disorders. I looked up on it. There are many people I could identify as having passive aggression with its definition. It hardly matters, as they appear normal, and to brand them as some kind of mentally ill is a Jewish ploy. What have Jews called their pet groids who’re almost symbolic with destruction? Nothing!! That’s Jew psychopathy for you.

I guess I will have to disagree with you there.

If your personality seems normal to most everyone else, and if it is not ruining your life, we would say it’s not pathological. Only 14% of Americans have a personality disorder. That’s only one in seven. I work in the field though, and I have been studying psychology most via auto-didact for most of my life, and now I actually work as a psychological counselor. The more I work in this field, the more I think that in general, the field is onto something.

There is a lot of misdiagnosis around. I’ve been diagnosed psychotic a number of times by clinicians. That’s all wrong. I’ve never been psychotic a day in my life except when Trash drove me insane.

I received a diagnosis of Depression just the other day, and I think it’s wrong.

This same guy also insisted that I was either psychotic or used to be solely on the basis that I use marijuana. Last time I used it was 3 1/2 years ago, but no matter. Everyone who smokes pot is delusional according to this guy.

I was also recently diagnosed with “narcissism” but he said I did not meet criteria for Narcissistic Personality Disorder, thank God. I despise narcissists, so I contacted my favorite old therapist who I have not seen in 10+ years. He told me that I was not a narcissist. He said that instead I had something called “high self-esteem.” He said high self-esteem is often confused with narcissism, but it’s not the same thing.

In my own practice, I try very hard to avoid Diagnosis Creep. I think we should diagnose people with the absolute minimal number of disorders. A lot of times, someone will meet partial criteria for a couple of disorders, but we can’t give them full diagnosis. I have met partial criteria for GAD and Panic Disorder before, but I doubt if I meet any of those criteria now. If you want to check partial criteria, you will get a lot more people, but those are not full disorders. Diagnosing someone with a mental disorder is pretty serious business. I think we should do so as sparingly as possible.

For instance, of course passive aggression is everywhere. I have been accused of it myself. But in my entire life, I have only met one person who I felt actually met criteria for Passive Aggressive Personality Disorder. His personality is seriously screwed up by this problem, and it makes him a very annoying person to be around. He’s simply not normal. Not only is he passive aggressive, but his PA is so extreme that in my opinion it demands to be called some sort of mental disorder. I would very much object to the idea that this man’s behavior is normal or healthy at all. God forbid that it might become more common.

I would agree with you though that overdiagnosis is a very serious problem in the biz. Sometimes I wonder how much of it is money-driven. There is a tendency of clinicians to look at people, especially clients, as being much more ill than they really are. Their limits on normal behavior are quite ridiculous in my opinion. When you walk in that room, you’re the Sick One, and they are the Healthy One or the Sane One.

As a peer counselor, I try to get away from all that. The first thing I assure my clients is that I’m nuts too! I usually point out that I’m not nearly as nuts as they are (I don’t put it that way usually), but I was at some point, and if I got this much better, they can too! When they go down the list of their symptoms, I often tell them that I have experienced such symptoms myself, but that was a long time ago, or that I used to feel that way a lot, but I worked my way out of it, as I found that that was not a healthy way to walk through life. My basic attitude is, “I’ve been there too.”

In fact I am so sick and tired of playing the Sick Role while the clinician plays the Sane Role or Healthy Role that I have not been in therapy for a few years now. I’m graduated anyway. They told me I’m well enough that they don’t need to see me anymore anyway. I was on the state’s dime, so my care can be rationed which is fine with me.

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Filed under Mental Illness, Narcissism, Personality, Personality Disorders, Psychology, Psychopathology, Psychotherapy