evolutionary significance of emotions !!

John H. johnhkm at netsprintXXXX.net.au
Wed Mar 8 05:49:15 EST 2000

Etaoin Shrdlu <cooper17.spamless at xs4all.nl> wrote in message
news:8a5l09$aer$3 at news1.xs4all.nl...
> > I did not say that all creativity arises out of depression
> I did not say that you did. I was responding to the discussion as a whole,
> and providing my take on the idea that there could be an inherent, rather
> than a developed, tie between depression and creativity, and responding to
> the provision of statistics regarding depressed artistic types. Some
> do believe that all creative people are depressed, etc., and that either
> depression causes artisitic tendencies or the other way around. I thought
> this was a broadish discussion of the concept, that's why I posted
> at the top rather than doing a point-by-point take on any individual post.
> >and the fact that
> > your depression vanished means I wouldn't classify you as a depressive
> > the chronic sense, whereas most creatively depressed people do suffer it
> in
> > the chronic sense.
> I didn't say it vanished. I said I had _problems_ with it until I met my
> husband. I can handle it now, now that the universe contains one absolute
> certainty, and that certainty is that I'll never be alone again... not in
> the "nobody loves me, nobody cares" sense, anyway: he could _die_, powers
> forbid, but that couldn't take away the love and acceptance that is now an
> inherent part of my world. But no, the problem is not _gone_. I still get
> overwhelmed by a bleak certainty that nothing anyone works for is ever
> to be worth anything in the end, that the human race will never cease to
> overall cruel and stupid and misguided, that the planet is going to die,
> that the universe is a great weight that must be fought, and that nobody
> (with one, eternal exception--that's the point, here) cares one whit about
> me or anything I do. I still sit, head in arms, in a depressed rage about
> something, crying out, "Well, nothing really matters anyway, what's it
> matter, everything's useless!" But it's not useless anymore and there will
> always be one thing that matters, and to whom I matter, so how can I,
> an intelligent person, not respond to that? I just can't take it (the
> depression) _personally_ since finding that truly rare thing, another
> being who makes it all worth it. I want to cry all day sometimes because
> the creeping, bleak hopelessness that I have always called my "biological"
> depression... but I don't. I can recognize it for what it is now, now that
> the world is composed of something else for me, and I can, to some degree,
> ignore it, rather like I can ignore the pain in my arms, which have hurt
> intensively and been a severe limitation for a year now due to RSI
> at a rough job. I still _have_ a depression; I just have things in my life
> now that make living my life too important to let it get me down that I'm
> down, if you see what I mean. I see it as an undertow, something that
> come and try to drag me down; it is no longer an overwhelming flowering of
> total hopelessness from within my soul, because the center of my emotional
> life, my soul if you will,  has been taken over by something that causes
> joy, and is too unassailably and indisputably  wonderful to be shifted by
> anything as trivial as any other emotion. Call it a miracle; I do.
> > Alienation will cause depression, being a freak I can assure you of
> Well, yes, of course it will. I guess my point in the first post was
> basically that any group statistically consistently alienated would be
> to show a statistical tendency to depression. It didn't help that I was
> bisexual, too (well, still am, but of course I no longer have any urge to
> anything about it. Well, I look, OK?); even in California that was just
> another reason to bash the redheaded book freak.
> > By the way, I like Sci-Fi and fantasy, how about a title?
> > John H.
> Unfortunately, my first novel is still under consideration--wish me
> luck!--and the stories aren't out there yet either. As soon as something
> published, I'll post a self-congratulatory message on the right
> like sf.composition... hey, I will have an excuse to post here too, if the
> book is published, because it's very much about hypothetical advances in
> neuroscience! It would almost not be off-topic.... There's some of my art
> at www.xs4all.nl/~cooper17/katrina/gallery.htm , but bear in mind that
> within a week the site will have undergone a TOTAL revamp, and will also
> contain the two pictures I just had published in Valkyrie #18 (British
> role-playing mag, but one of the pictures was for an SF story).
> --Katrina

I certainly wish you the best of luck Katrina. I've written a bit myself,
without success, been hanging around here too long while hoping to create
something to write. Some waiting, once I begin writing something it is a
complete joy but so absorbing I find myself waking up with the next
paragraph in mind and wondering how long I can run my credit card facilities
down before having to rush out and find work again. Fortunately some kind
friends provided me with an ideal part time office job about 6 months ago.
Enough money to survive, but I still have all those credit card debts. I'll
just have to learn to write well one day!

Which isn't entirely fair, the market is extremely crowded and I am
something of an intellectual vagabond. I like reading much as writing but
lately my reading has been leaning too much on this science stuff. I'm not
sure that's good for the writing side. I don't appreciate having over half a
million words of completed text lying around and been deemed unpublishable.
That hurts. Mind you I'd have to agree that a fair amount of it ... .

Churchhill's Black Dog, the little bastard creeps up behind and takes out
your achilles tendon; down you tumble wondering what the hell happened. I
tried SSRI's but the last, zoloft, was an absolute disaster. Three years,
just about to start a novel, knew I needed a final leg up to get going, but
the zoloft wiped my long term memory for nearly 3 months (took for 3 weeks).
I will never take another SSRI in my life, I cannot explain how scary it was
to be sitting there looking at all this preparatory work, a list of readings
to get through, and not being able to do a damned thing about it. It took
another six months to recommence that novel. These days the most effective
thing I find is pot, but that has its downsides .... although I remember one
piece of research indicating it boosted "fuzzy logic" or something like
that. It certainly boosts a fuzzy something or the other.

My depths of depression have also alleviated with age but I think this has
more to do with the all too slow development of coping mechanisms and a lot
of hunting around for whatever tricks I could find to deal with it.
Unfortunately my freakishness is such that at my age I am convinced that I
am better off being away from the world. I am happier with that and it is
happier with that, but I still need to make a living. This also may explain
why I have been spending too much time around here lately.

Your comment re "a tough job". Well, since leaving a good solid job about 6
years ago I have gone all over the place and some of the jobs I have done
... . People in offices think they work hard, I worked in offices for 15
years about after a few months in the freezer at the local meatworks
(seasonal work, save money, quit, then write like hell) or emptying shipping
containers in the 30 degree Australian summer ... . Now that's hard work.
Give me office work anyday, its a breeze compared to that stuff.

This mad gamble of mine better pay off!

Good luck with yours.

John H.
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