A psychiatrist's solution

Discuss philosophical questions regarding theism (and atheism), and discuss religion as it relates to philosophy. This includes any philosophical discussions that happen to be about god, gods, or a 'higher power' or the belief of them. This also generally includes philosophical topics about organized or ritualistic mysticism or about organized, common or ritualistic beliefs in the existence of supernatural phenomenon.
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Hereandnow
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Re: A psychiatrist's solution

Post by Hereandnow » July 20th, 2017, 11:35 pm

-0+ wrote:
By asking: Are we really born into suffering?

If you (any of you reading this) believe we are, what is your belief based on? Personal experience? Indoctrination?

Suffering is an internal experience. What can you know about the suffering of others? Anyone (including robots) may complain or otherwise appear to be suffering, but how can you tell if they are genuinely suffering or not?

What do know about your own suffering? Are you actually suffering at this very moment? If you are, are you able focus all your awareness on your suffering and still experience suffering to the same degree? Do you have memories of suffering? How reliable are these memories, especially around the time you were born? How can you tell for sure that you were actually born into suffering? Is it possible you didn't begin to suffer until later in life? When did you start to entertain tragic fantasies?
Ahhh, inquiry gone astray. Look, I know it's easy to throw a question at something. But I won't play. It is a silly game.

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Greta
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Re: A psychiatrist's solution

Post by Greta » July 21st, 2017, 5:23 am

Hereandnow wrote:The question goes to the tendency we have to dismiss unhappiness as a pathology. Usually, I would admit, this is the case: it is a matter of some unresolved psychosocial issue that gives rise to depression. What about matters of conscience and its sting of guilt? Or, in this case, the terrible revelation that we are "thrown" into a world to suffer, and all of the systems of thought brought to bare upon this business fail completely to redeem, say, the medieval mother watching her children's finger tips turn black with gangrene as a symptom of bubonic plague,while she sees the signs emerging in herself. The point really is this: suffering as a working concept is readily ameliorated simply by belonging to a system of language and culture. That is what language qua language does; it takes the mystery out and replaces it with the certitude and familiarity. But removed from these habits of judgment, we are faced with the sheer "giveness" of suffering. Suffering is a structural part of our Being here, and there is nothing psychiatry can say about this; nor can evolutionary theory (in which I abide, I should add) bring any relief to the question. Indeed science is mute on the matter. This changes the game for humans altogether, for the religion has in this its foundation. The human condition is inherently religious because we suffer and die, and no science can amend this.
To be fair, psychologists are aware that sadness is not pathology unless it interferes sufficiently in a person's life for them to seek treatment.

However, the community at large, lead by the media, increasingly seems to confuse sadness with depression, which much irritates actual depression sufferers. Ideally, melancholia is a natural response to weariness and pressure; it's a retreat with a "do not disturb sign". Like an animal, we slink away to lick our wounds in private. That's the point of westernised meditation as far as I can tell - to take time out to refresh proactively rather than waiting to collapse in a screaming heap.

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-1-
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Re: A psychiatrist's solution

Post by -1- » July 26th, 2017, 3:27 pm

Hereandnow wrote:"Doc, Why?....Why are we born to suffer and die?" The psychiatrist struggles with the question, which had really never occurred to her, at least in any serious way. She then falls silent for a bit, finally responding, "I think you think too much."

What is the psychiatrist's problem here? Is she right? Is such a question simply a sign of a psychopathology? Such an unhappy man, he must be ill to worry so.
While I agree with you that the shrink (easier to type than "spycakhiaatyrist, so I stick with shrink no sign of disrespect) has made an inappropriate answer. She was not a philosopher, but realized the underlying true philosophy behind the question: that there is no rhyme or reason to existence, to suffering, to happiness, they are not in the realm of things that happen because of a will or because of a design.

So she could have said this, but the appointment was over, she needed to say something quickly. Instead of saying (which I would have said under the same circumstances), "perfesser, that was one stupid question," she said something less cutting and less lacking in respect, "perfesser, you think too much."

The stupidity of the question came from the regard of it by a (non-religious, rational) mind that already has decided on the (most likely true) assumption that purposeful will in our fates does not exist.

You, Hereandnow, have identified very correctly the milieu (intellectual milieu) in which the question would not have been regarded to be stupid, but valid, but nevertheless just as unanswerable. And that milieu would have been the religious one.
"You can always live without a lover, but you can't love without a liver."

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Re: A psychiatrist's solution

Post by -0+ » July 26th, 2017, 4:23 pm

Greta wrote:To be fair, psychologists are aware that sadness is not pathology unless it interferes sufficiently in a person's life for them to seek treatment.

However, the community at large, lead by the media, increasingly seems to confuse sadness with depression, which much irritates actual depression sufferers.
What are the key differences between sadness and depression? Can a line always be clearly drawn between the two?

It is easy to talk about resolving an internal conflict by changing one side of the conflict (eg, the idea or the reality), but one may only be able to change what one can control.

If Rick thinks that the world should be X and it is impossible or too difficult for him to change the world to become X then his only remaining option to resolve his conflict may be to change his idea that the world should be X. It is easy to suggest that he always has the option to change his idea, but this may be easier said than done.

If he loses control of his mind, or just his idea, then he may be unable to change his idea despite his best efforts, and he may be unable to resolve his conflict and ease his suffering without help.

The psychiatrist is aware of Rick's obsession with tragic fantasies. It is unclear how much control he has over his fantasies. Perhaps he welcomed them in the past and they have turned into monsters and now he is unable to get rid of them, as if they now have control over him ... It is possible that the fantasies are fuelled by certain lines of thinking and stopping these lines could stop the fantasies - or other lines of thinking could act as an antidote or a distraction to help disempower the fantasies. It is also possible there are physical reasons why he is unable to control the fantasies (eg, chemical imbalance) and medical treatment may be helpful.

All this raises the question: how much control does anyone really have over their mind - at the best of times; and at more depressing times?

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Hereandnow
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Re: A psychiatrist's solution

Post by Hereandnow » July 26th, 2017, 8:14 pm

-1-:
The stupidity of the question came from the regard of it by a (non-religious, rational) mind that already has decided on the (most likely true) assumption that purposeful will in our fates does not exist.

You, Hereandnow, have identified very correctly the milieu (intellectual milieu) in which the question would not have been regarded to be stupid, but valid, but nevertheless just as unanswerable. And that milieu would have been the religious one.
Sorry -1-:I have a hard time with the part about "the purposeful will in our fates." And when you call the "intellectual milieu" a "religious one" bafflement rises to incredulity.

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