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Help!! Right when things got good, my brain is f'ing up again!!


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I would like to thank anyone for their responses to my previous post, and things got way better- I love my new school, joined a sport I am really good at after quitting and am making friends and actually look forward for the future, and the present. Moved into a new house. 

I have all the symptoms of Pure OCD (i know pure obsessions do not exist, but Pure O in the sense mental OCD, no visible but mental compulsions).....and I thought I had thing sunder control, but I keep ending up in the same vicious cycle. I never got officially diagnosed with OCD, but many emails with Centers confirmed that I did have the symptoms, but cannot officially diagnose. I know this is the depression forum, but this is causing me such brutal emptiness and depression, I need this forum's support.

The themes of my obsessions always delve around taking the meaning out of regular daily life, and each time I just lose control of reality, only to gain it back. This may not sound like OCD, and may not even be OCD, but hear me out.

Here is my current obsession that renders all my life meaningless, and takes over my brain 24 7-   When we as people judge other people, and think about their personality, we see them through third person view. But, their "personality" is how they live their life, then its through first person- its just a field of vision, along with their internal thoughts and imagination. 
Many of us, including me, are not aware of how we look when talking to people, how our expressions look, our entire outer body looks, we have no clue unless in front of a mirror.

I am confused on how to see other people. Do I see them through 3rd person like everyone else does, and I used to, like a normal person, or do I see them through what they see- their 1st person view. They are not entirely responsible of their facial expressions, their body movement, etc, so is it an accurate judge of them as a person?  

I know this sounds like BS, but I want to know what other people think of this. I need other people's opinions on this. It is so frustrating, having my mind latch onto these thoughts. I am super depressed and cannot "solve" this obsession no matter how much I try. 

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Hi HopeBoi,

    I don't know if I can answer the profound questions you are posing, but perhaps I can offer some  reflections that might be helpful to you.

    We human beings cannot take in the full reality of things without simplifying them.  For example, my ideas about trees are never going to be the same as real trees.  We must be content with maps of things.  A word is a simplified map.  A sentence is a map.  A paragraph is map.  Even a book is a map.  All are "simplifications" of realities which are deep, rich and complex and cannot be reduced to our simplifications.

     Using the example of trees.  Take a large university science library and all the books written about trees.  All of these books put together are profoundly useful, but they are maps of reality not the fullness of reality.  For one thing, all the thousands and thousands of scientific books on trees do not include all the literature about trees, all the art and so on.

     You are a complex individual made up of millions of things and events.  There is no way you can be equated with a word or simple judgement without gross over- simplification.   Sadly, we often forget that maps are not the terrain.  Let's say a person does something foolish.  Some might call that person a 'fool'.  But if one could see that person's entire life, one would find that this person has done literally millions of clever, intelligent and wise things. 

    So reducing the person to the label "fool" would be an inaccuracy and an injustice to them.  But of course, this happens all the time.  Think of labels like lazy, cowardly, weak, ugly, no good.  Such labels leave out more reality than they include.  They are not merely half-truths, they are 1/1000000ths of a truth.

     Another point might be this.  We often judge as if there were only two values.  But actually there is usually a large range involved.  If a person tells me "I am bad," I can ask him:  "Well, how bad are you?"  Adolf Hitler caused the destruction of as many as 10,000,000 people . . . are you that bad?  No.  Well have you destroyed 1,000,000 people . . . 100,000 people . . . 10,000 people . . . 1,000 people.  It is often the case that we forget that values fall on a range.

     A final point . . .  Many people are sort of locked into a "could be better, but isn't better" way of looking at things.  Stuck in this perspective one sees oneself and others and everything and thinks . . . could be better, but isn't.  That way of looking at things usually leads to anger, sadness, frustration, agitation.  

     But there is a whole other way of looking at the very same things:  "could be worse, but isn't worse."  I or you or they could be weaker and more cowardly but are not, thank goodness.  I or you or they could be more foolish or uglier or less good, but are not, thank goodness.

     Take anything or anyone in the world and you can either look at them and think "could be better" or "could be worse."  But one way of looking at things produces anxiety feelings and depressed feelings.  The other way produces feelings of peace.  Usually when one meets someone who is very unhappy or very agitated, one finds that they are stuck . . . stuck in the "could be better, but isn't" way of looking at things. 

     Often the people don't even realize that they are stuck.  Perhaps they don't even realize there is another way of looking at things.   It is as though they are seeing things through dark contact lenses.  Everything seems dark.  But it is the lenses that are creating the darkness.  Take away the dark lenses and things appear differently.  

     I can look at myself, at my parents, at my friends, my co-workers, anyone and think "could be better, but isn't."  But I can also look at them and think:  "could be worse, but isn't."

     One can view events in the same way.  Today an airplane crashed.  That is a fact.  But it is also a fact that there are other facts.  Today, for example, 10,000 aircraft transported hundreds of thousands of people safely.  Or . . . today a student went to school and did great violence.  A fact.  But it is also a fact that there are other facts.  Today, a billion students went to school and did not commit great violence.

     I am sure that none of these reflections will solve the question you posed, but perhaps they might be helpful [or not].

     Maybe I could try to be more concise.  While we all oversimplify complex realities, we can try to remember that we are doing that at times.  We can try to remember that we are oversimplifying ourselves and others and restore some wholeness to our thinking.  Also when we get stuck in a certain negative attitude, we can remind ourselves there is another way of looking things.  When we find ourselves stuck in all or nothing thinking we can try to remember that most values fall along a range . . . we can reintroduce perspective into our thinking.

     Most people in their lives have done literally millions of strong, courageous, smart and good things.  But it is like walking.  We can take a thousand steps and never fall, but if we fall, we tend to focus on that are forget the thousands of times we never fell.  So we  can try to refrain from overgeneralizing and oversimplifying.

    It can also be helpful to remember that bad things make the news because they are more rare than good things.  Imagine a world where almost every student was psychotically violent, where  every person was in jail for violent crimes, where earthquakes struck every place in the world every second of the day, where fires consumed every bit of forest every day and so on.  In such a world, goodness would make the news because of its rarity.  But we don't live in that world.  We live in a world where the good is taken for granted and the bad is news.

     I want to wish good luck in your questioning.  I am sorry that it is causing you suffering.  You deserve a life where you would be able to have some peace of mind and joy of living.  Hopefully you will get many responses to your post and probably better responses than my poor words.

- epictetus


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By all means, what you said helped me a bit, thanks for the response! So what I gathered is that, there really is not a right way to look at a person, and although it could be considered right to look at a person as complex as they really are, it could be also right to acknowledge they are complex, but at the same time maintain some simplicity. 

My struggle is whether or not looking at someone by 3rd person view and judging them, positively or negatively, is correct or not. Like if they do something good, should I think of them as good people by visualizing them first person or 3rd person view?

You are right. No way is wrong, no way is right, as long we do not label them as simply "nice" or "weak" in our minds. It helped me, thanks?

P.S if i interpreted you wrong, let me know.

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Welcome HopeBoi! Glad that you reached out and found us. I think we can't really judge someone in a completely correct way because we can't know/see their heart. We can just use good judgement as to if they are safe for us the be around. I believe we all have layers of stuff that has piled up around our true self by all the influences we have been exposed to in our life. We may not even be able to know our true self under all that stuff. It takes work to peal off the layers of our life to find out who we really are. We most certainly can't do that for someone else.


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Being able to put yourself in somone else's point of view is a special skill. I think a lot of people lack the ability and it causes a lot of friction. I developed that skill dealing with my mom, who was in and out of mental hospitals since i was s kid. I had to do a lot of millisecond calculations to figure out how to deal with her without upsetting her which would make her emotionally shut down.

The result for me is that i am very tolerant of everyone's idiosyncrasies, because i can see their point if view.

Maybe that's more confusing than being opinionated and closed minded???

Anyway dont worry about which view to follow. Bounce between the two and use all information to deal with people. It will probably make you a more compassionate and understanding person. You might even have a future as a therapist.

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