Depersonalization symptoms - age or wear and tear?

Postby Algorithm » Wed Jun 16, 2021 8:24 pm

I see but I don't feel. I hear but I don't care. Depersonalization. Emotional detachement from your surroundings. Everything I do that resembles interest is mere autopilot.

Is it a normal byproduct of ageing or a symptom of psychological wear and tear? My outlook of the world remains the same - mixed. No real depression onset.

How are you, the ageing reader, processing the unfolding world? Have you been desensitized? Have I simply entered a new phase of biological ageing?
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#1

Postby Richard@DecisionSkills » Wed Jun 16, 2021 10:24 pm

Algorithm wrote:I see but I don't feel. I hear but I don't care...Emotional detachment from your surroundings...Is it a normal byproduct of ageing or a symptom of psychological wear and tear? My outlook of the world remains the same - mixed.


When younger our mental models of how the world works are naive. This works just fine when younger, because we do not need accurate models. We are free to play and believe whatever we like. We can believe that reindeer can fly or that the world is flat.

As we age, having poor mental models of the world doesn't work out so well. Holding a worldview that is not aligned very well with how the world actually functions can place a lot of psychological wear and tear on a person.

How are you, the ageing reader, processing the unfolding world? Have you been desensitized? Have I simply entered a new phase of biological ageing?


Over the years I've definitely become desensitized to a number of things. I think that is a natural outcome of spending years helping individuals and families deal with immediate trauma. And I don't think this is necessarily a bad thing. In fact, a certain degree of desensitization is beneficial.

I think a useful analogy is that of a surgeon. You want to balance empathy with the need to desensitize or appropriately detach in order to shoulder the duties of your profession.

As for processing the unfolding world? I don't experience much in the way of psychological wear and tear. I attribute this to holding a worldview that is functional.
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#2

Postby Algorithm » Wed Jun 16, 2021 11:42 pm

My mental model of the world was fine. I got to experience what everybody else was. I even got to experience more than that. Those experiences were more precious to me however. I had more to lose if they didn't go my way.

An extroverted person can replace old episodes with new ones at will. The introvert such as myself cannot.

And so I could not adjust myself to failures like a regular person. There was no way to distract myself from setbacks with new experiences. I was bleeding without a bandage. No coping strategies were sufficient.

Taking a plunge is devastating for me. I never know when the next time will be if it fails.

I will take the plunge nonetheless. I believe in myself and my abilities. I may have to bite the bullet once more, but a life of solitude is a mental prison.

The man taking the plunge this time is different. But maybe I needed this desensitization to survive life.
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#3

Postby Algorithm » Thu Jun 17, 2021 12:14 am

The infamous psychic I visited was amazed that my 23 year old self was able to function being both highly analytical and emotional at the same time. "I don't know how you do it but you manage it somehow".

That person no longer exist.

I was going to reference a Nietzsche quote about someone being dead. But I guess that's too narcissistic.... 8)
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#4

Postby Richard@DecisionSkills » Thu Jun 17, 2021 1:45 am

Algorithm wrote:An extroverted person can replace old episodes with new ones at will. The introvert such as myself cannot.


Kant, Spinoza, Descartes, all introverts.

I guess it depends on what you mean by "old episodes". Both the extrovert and introvert experience "episodes" each day. Arguably, the introvert can replace old episodes simply by reading another great work of literature, by spending time in nature, by spending time in contemplation.

The extrovert, by definition, requires more resources, time, and effort to arrange "episodes" that coordinate other people.

Algorithm wrote:That person no longer exist.


I certainly hope not. You don't want to live the life of Peter Pan, never getting older, never gaining the experiences and wisdom that is gained over time, being the same person indefinitely.

Algorithm wrote:But maybe I needed this desensitization to survive life.


Yes, if by desensitization you mean becoming increasingly aware of your own mortality and the suffering that is life. Life can be a lot of fun, but at the end of the day there is also suffering that we all must face.
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#5

Postby Algorithm » Thu Jun 17, 2021 11:01 am

Extroversion and introversion are labels to social behavior, not philosophy work. Thus by episodes I obviously meant social episodes.

Philosophers had passions about their work. I don't. That's not a way to distract and distance myself from setbacks. I don't even have a thesis. I do have brain power on par with those gentleman but I would trade it for a normal social life.
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#6

Postby Algorithm » Thu Jun 17, 2021 11:14 am

Richard@DecisionSkills wrote:
Yes, if by desensitization you mean becoming increasingly aware of your own mortality and the suffering that is life. Life can be a lot of fun, but at the end of the day there is also suffering that we all must face.


That's not desensitization. Desensitization is the absence of negative and positive emotions. I don't remember the last time I felt joy. I'm basically operating as a psychopath. Everything is just red or green light.

The strange thing is that I do have shorter spurts (a few days) of negative emotions and sorrow, but never joyful emotions. Then I'm right back to apathy.
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#7

Postby Richard@DecisionSkills » Thu Jun 17, 2021 1:05 pm

Algorithm wrote:The strange thing is that I do have shorter spurts (a few days) of negative emotions and sorrow, but never joyful emotions. Then I'm right back to apathy.


Why sorrow? That would be an interesting emotion to tease out, to figure out what triggers that emotion.

For me, at least currently, regret is a negative emotion that I try to regulate.
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#8

Postby Algorithm » Thu Jun 17, 2021 2:05 pm

Richard@DecisionSkills wrote:The strange thing is that I do have shorter spurts

Why sorrow? That would be an interesting emotion to tease out, to figure out what triggers that emotion.


I have certain trigger points. For an example couples that remind me of my past with someone, or meeting someone new that triggers emotions from the past. I can suddenly wake up and care again. But I don't have any regrets. I know I made the right call. I have seen old flings with boyfriends and husbands and I don't feel a thing. My instincts were right. I can still mourn the validation those episodes brought me however.

Like I wrote before, it's not the actual people or events that I mourn, it's that there was nothing in their place. An extroverted person has replaced those events threefold by now.
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#9

Postby Richard@DecisionSkills » Thu Jun 17, 2021 2:41 pm

Algorithm wrote: But I don't have any regrets. I know I made the right call. I have seen old flings with boyfriends and husbands and I don't feel a thing. My instincts were right. I can still mourn the validation those episodes brought me however.


Without experiencing any regrets, how do you expect to avoid repeating the same mistakes in the future?

I've broken off relationships and know that I made the right call. And while ultimately I tell myself that I don't regret the decision to end the relationship, I still experience the pain of various regrets that led to the overall outcome.

I think it is natural to frame it as a "learning experience" to minimize the sorrow. But, for this to hold true it requires an admission that at least some mistakes were made, that some of the decisions we made were less than ideal.

If we can't admit the errors that we have made, are we not then destined to repeat the same mistakes?
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#10

Postby Algorithm » Thu Jun 17, 2021 2:51 pm

Richard@DecisionSkills wrote:

Without experiencing any regrets, how do you expect to avoid repeating the same mistakes in the future?


It wasn't a mistake. I did not love said person.
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#11

Postby Richard@DecisionSkills » Thu Jun 17, 2021 3:05 pm

Algorithm wrote:
Richard@DecisionSkills wrote:

Without experiencing any regrets, how do you expect to avoid repeating the same mistakes in the future?


It wasn't a mistake. I did not love said person.


That doesn't answer the question.

When we make mistakes, even small errors it leads to experiencing the pain of regret. This helps us learn. It helps us to anticipate future regret, allowing us to avoid repeating the same mistakes.
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#12

Postby Algorithm » Thu Jun 17, 2021 3:10 pm

Richard@DecisionSkills wrote:
That doesn't answer the question.


It does answer the question. Your premise was false, yet you keep pushing it. I miss the ego boost and lifestyle, not the person. I would never commit to someone that I don't love.
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#13

Postby Richard@DecisionSkills » Thu Jun 17, 2021 4:50 pm

Algorithm wrote:
Richard@DecisionSkills wrote:That doesn't answer the question.


Your premise was false, yet you keep pushing it.


What false premise, that you...like every other human on the planet, makes mistakes?
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#14

Postby Algorithm » Thu Jun 17, 2021 5:07 pm

Richard@DecisionSkills wrote:What false premise, that you...like every other human on the planet, makes mistakes?


Whatever mistake I've made does not pertain to the trigger points discussed. I think our conversation has run its course.

Goodbye.
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