evolutionary significance of emotions !!

sisial sisial at email.msn.com
Wed Feb 16 02:01:24 EST 2000

While I would agree that my cyclic behavior makes me poorly adapted to a
static environment, I respond exceptionally well in dynamic environments.

Unfortunately, society expects steady rates of productivity at moderate
levels. My productivity tends to be periodic, with periods of exceptionally
high productivity and periods of exceptionally low productivity. Because of
this extreme, I am frequently unable to maintain the resources necessary to
produce effectively, or to attain a position consistent with my abilities.
This, in turn, can lead to negative emotionality (stress, frustration, and
even potentially destructive behaviors as I have a need to act).

The first key to understanding depression is to separate the physical event
of depression from the problems which frequently result from depression.

Now, I am fortunate in that my primary activities revolve around solving
complex problems (an activity for which I am also well adapted). Normally, I
spend my time learning everything I can about my environment. I don't really
focus on details, my interest simply being a general understanding of how
things relate to each other. When I encounter a problem, I will usually stop
to research it in greater detail. When I encounter a problem which cannot be
resolved easily, I usually become excited and engage in more intensive
research. My thinking tends to be divergent and inductive, and as the
problem begins to work itself into fabric of my understanding my thoughts
tend to jump around alot. Sometimes I find myself in a position where the
information I need to resolve the problem is not available. In these
situations, my thoughts race and may become redundant; I may find myself
totally overwhelmed. Sometimes I am forced to resort to medication to stop
the cycle, but generally avoid this as it leaves me detached from the
problem and unable to pursue a creative solution.

After a time, my understanding may fragment to such a degree that I feel
there is no hope for a solution. I begin to feel tired. All I want to do is
sleep. External demands may prevent this and leave me anxious and desperate
for an escape. Suicide has never been an option for me simply because I fear
being trapped in such a state for eternity. I empathize with others to
easily to respond other than simple irritability. I tend to hold my
responses in check until either the condition is removed (or more often
avoided), or I have a total breakdown. In the event of near breakdown, I may
resort to medication; but generally avoid it for reasons mentioned above
(antidepressants merely throw me into rapid cycling with little or no hope
for productivity). Fortunately, I have been isolated from such demands for
some time. I can allow myself to shut down with no feelings of guilt. During
these shutdowns my broken thoughts begin to drift freely. Connections are
slowly rebuilt and tested against experience. The problem generally
disappears completely, the solution incorporated somewhere in the new
understanding. Eventually, I achieve full integration and begin to explore
again, and the process begins anew.

Now, I can see how my behavior prevents me from handling the more mundane
aspects of life. I need change and will expend alot of energy pursuing
change if it isn't readily available. One could argue that, in a stable
environment, I waste an abundance of energy and therefore am poorly adapted;
and I would agree.

However, in a constantly or radically changed environment, norms often
expend an excessive amount of energy trying to maintain older patterns of
behavior. They may begin to experience stress, frustration, and even
potentially destructive behaviors as they attempt to reestablish
understanding and/or control over their environment. Fortunately, this often
leaves me free to act, as they may be to exited to require me to explain my
actions. I perform well in such situations and generally find myself pushed
to the front of activity. Unfortunately, once the situation is resolved, I
once again become a maladapted individual.

Personally, I believe diversity in the behavior of individuals in a
population increases the survival rate of the population. The systematic
destruction of such diversity certainly seems unhealthy. Perhaps we should
first learn exactly what depression is before we label it a disorder and
attempt to eradicate it. ???

<cerebrolat at my-deja.com> wrote in message
news:88cjp6$3n8$1 at nnrp1.deja.com...

> I agree with you only while talking about depression. This particular
> state is like a terminal desease and might not help to survive.

Oh, and for my response to the initial question. From someone who used to
inflict burns on their person simply to experience any feeling, negative
affect is not so bad. In fact, it can be positively exhilarating. No affect
is far more discomforting, but I believe still has it's place. Think about
it. What would bother you more? The pain of losing someone you love? Or,
having absolutely no feeling about the loss, whatsoever? And, if you can't
feel the pain of loss, how can you be sure the love was even real? Of
course, you probably wouldn't care even about that.

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