Kuro5hin.org: technology and culture, from the trenches
create account | help/FAQ | contact | links | search | IRC | site news
[ Everything | Diaries | Technology | Science | Culture | Politics | Media | News | Internet | Op-Ed | Fiction | Meta | MLP ]
We need your support: buy an ad | premium membership

[P]
The Schizophrenic Symptom of Flat Affect

By MichaelCrawford in Culture
Tue Aug 15, 2006 at 12:00:00 PM EST
Tags: Psychology, psychiatry, schizophrenia, schizoaffective disorder, emotion, affect, negative symptoms, writing, music (all tags)
Music

I am often warned that my time here at Kuro5hin exacerbates my symptoms of mental illness. But in one very important way Kuro5hin serves as a medical device that enables me to enjoy a certain very important component of sanity that would otherwise be largely unavailable to me.

It enables me, for a time, to live free of a devasting symptom that was notably absent from my list of symptoms that I published in three years ago in Living with Schizoaffective Disorder because I was at the time so completely in its grip as to be unaware even of its existence. While I had by then undergone over a decade of psychotherapy, I had not yet gained the insight necessary to recognize this symptom, let alone do anything about it.

As I will explain, it is also one of the most difficult symptoms for mental health practitioners to treat. While some claim that some newer medications can help, that's not my own experience. I have found that talk therapy helps, but only very slowly, over a period of years.


Contents

What Kuro5hin Does for Me

[Top]

What kind of sanity can Kuro5hin possibly give me that my doctors, with all their years of training cannot? Simple: the expression of human emotion. My schizoaffective disorder renders me largely incapable of it.

You will surely protest that my writing clearly demonstrates that I am by no means an unemotional person. And that's the very point I'm trying to make. If it weren't for my writing, which takes place mostly at Kuro5hin, I would be almost completely incapable of expressing any emotion whatsoever.

The symptom is known clinically as "flat affect". "Affect" is the clinical psychological term for one's emotional expression; for one's affect to be flat means that one is devoid of any emotional expression.

And if any of my Kuro5hin friends were ever to encounter me in Meatspace, that would be by far your overwhelming impression of me: I am a blank slate, hardly ever able to crack the barest of smiles, even when I try.

But you see, flat affect is not the absence of emotion. I am under the impression that even many mental health practitioners don't know it's true nature, as those of us who experience it are so unable to make our feelings known to our therapists. No, flat affect is not the absence of emotion, but our inability to express it outwardly, publicly, in such a way that other people are able to connect to us.

I am unable even to express my feelings towards my own wife Bonita. One of the reasons she became so fascinated with me so early in our relationship is that she is quite keenly attuned to human feelings; she can read the feelings of anyone like the pages of a book.

But not my feelings. To her I am, in her words, "an enigma".

Imagine my lifetime of torment, when I tell you that for my entire existence I have known the very heights of passion, that most tranquil of joys, the lustiest of libidos, the sweetest of sorrows, the torment of seemingly-endless despair, furious anger, well you get my drift, my list could go on and on. I am a helpless little boat tossed constantly by the stormy sea of my feelings.

My Kuro5hin friends will already know from my writing that I am among the most emotional of men, quite often irrationally so. So you must certainly understand my lifetime of repeated, inevitable disappointment that my overwhelming experience in trying to relate to other human beings has always been an absolute...

Utter...

Failure...

To connect.

Because so much of human relationships are based so intimately on our emotional expression, our empathy with the emotions of others, or our fearful reactions to their wrath.

For all my life, I have been largely unable to even register 1.0 on the Emotional Richter scale.

Except when I write.

It didn't come automatically; I had to work hard, over a period of years, to learn to express my feelings through my writing. Thus most of my earlier written work is purely technical, meant to inform but not to convince or to convey any sort of feeling.

I often despaired at my inability to express my feelings in writing, but one way or another I learned to do so. It wasn't by any educational method I set out to practice.

It was largely by writing diaries, and followup comments to the diaries and stories of others, at first at Advogato, and then here at Kuro5hin.

Just as riding a bicycle is a skill one can learn but cannot be taught, I learned to express my feelings right here in Kuro5hin, in my writing.

Just ask trane and Orion Blastar Again - they are schizoaffective too. Orion Blastar Again experiences flat affect. I don't know as again I never asked, but I suspect trane's notorious misogyny is the result of his inability to ever connect emotionally with a woman.

Another Way Out

[Top]

There is one other way I can express my feelings, and I am able to do so in a way that far exceeds any expression I can accomplish with my writing. Hence my endless diaries espousing its importance to me, my struggles against its seemingly-insurmountable difficulties, my grand plans to go back to school at well-over forty years old to study...

Music

I was able to express myself in my music for many years before I could do so in my writing. My piece Recursion, my own personal favorite of my own compositions, was composed during a period in my early twenties when I was almost continuously suicidal for a period of several years.

By expressing my sorrow through playing Recursion, I was able to find some meaning in my seemingly-endless torment of despair. The worst torment can be borne by almost anyone if they know it serves some higher purpose. The worst torment of all is to suffer for no good reason whatsoever.

How Music Expresses Emotion

[Top]

nombre claims that one cannot really express emotion through music. Most people are certain that music expresses emotion because of their own experiences with it, but that's not a rigorous argument. The fact that one can, and how it is expressed, is well-known.

I discussed this a while back in an essay called I Have So Many Questions About Music. I considered the question of why music matters so much to us. The reason I gave is that music makes us feel connected to others. To feel connected is a desperate need, not just of humans but of many animals as well. It is a need that can be satiated for a time through music, but that can never be completely fulfilled:

Thousands of years ago, the Buddha explained that the fact that we are ultimately all alone in the Universe is the cause of much of humanity's despair. Many of the ways we seek to fill this void, such as striving for wealth or love, ultimately cause even more sorrow than they cure. Buddha's solution is to simply accept our loneliness. Such acceptance is the cause of the deep, abiding sadness many Buddhists feel.

But we can forgot our sorrow for a little while by using music to connect ourselves to each other. I explain how we are connected by quoting Philip Dorrell:

In order for the listener to perceive patterns of neural activity in the speaker's brain, there would have to be some relationship between neural activity patterns in the speaker's brain and neural activity patterns in the listener's brain, in a way which preserves the geometric nature of those patterns, at least to a sufficient extent that the patterns can be perceived. This implies some form of "neural mirroring". The mirroring does not necessarily have to be very accurate - it just has to be accurate enough that some observation can be made of the patterns of activity in the speaker's brain.

Then I explained:

Music makes us feel connected because it transports a complex and time-varying neurological and psychological process from the brain of the performer to the brain of the listener. It enables us to think the thoughts, and to feel the feelings of another living being. It enables us to become one with them, and in this way pierce the boundaries that separate us, so that for a few fleeting minutes we no longer feel so alone.

I'm afraid I never finished that essay. After my wife read my explanation of Why I Write, she said "You're chasing a White Rabbit down its rabbit-hole". She was right: five days later I went to the emergency room. I told the doctor that every previous time I felt the way I did then, I soon required admission to a psychiatric inpatient unit. He sent me on my way with enough Librium to stun an ox.

My psychiatrist called me later that day. After I told him what happened, he said "If you're having some kind of psychotherapeutic breakthrough, taking medicine for anxiety will lessen its effect."

Heeding his advice, I did not take any more.

Schizophrenia's Negative Symptoms

[Top]

I wrote in Living with Schizoaffective Disorder that being schizoaffective was like being manic depressive and schizophrenic at the same time. (There is also a more common form of schizoaffective disorder that is like being a "unipolar" depressive rather than manic depressive.) The symptoms I described included mania, depression, dissociation, auditory and visual hallucinations and paranoia.

Mania and depression are the symptoms I share with manic depressives. It turns out that dissociation is a symptom of neurosis, not schizophrenia as I first thought. The hallucinations and paranoia are the symptoms I share with schizophrenics; these are known as "psychotic" symptoms, or disorders in thought, while mania and depression are "affective" symptoms, or disorders in mood.

Each of these psychotic symptoms are classified as positive symptoms, in that they add something to my experience that should not normally be there. Completely unmentioned in my essay are the negative symptoms, so-called because an experience or behaviour that is normally present is missing or diminished.

Flat affect is such a negative symptom: emotional expression that is normally present is missing. One can also be missing emotion entirely, which happens to me sometimes, but flat affect is still present even when my emotions are otherwise normal.

One cannot tell by watching someone whether they really feel flat or just appear that way. My affect is flat when I feel joy but cannot smile, or feel sad but cannot cry; instead I show only a pokerface. I may try to force a smile to show others my happiness, but it won't appear genuine. They will have the sense that I'm just faking it. Bonita often expresses frustration at being unable to get any reaction out of me. I tell her "I really am happy to see you. I'm just not able to show it."

Flat emotion isn't the simple absence of emotion: everyone is calm at times. Instead feelings don't appear in response to events that would normally stimulate them. One reacts to news both happy and tragic with dispassion or disinterest. One no longer finds pleasure in activities that one once enjoyed.

Some of the other negative symptoms are catatonia, poor or inappropriate social skills, difficulty in speaking or thinking logically, and social isolation.

Some of the negative symptoms, especially flattened affect, lack of emotions and social isolation are also symptoms of severe depression. It is often difficult to correctly diagnose many mental illnesses because some symptoms are common to several possible diagnoses. Most symptoms come and go over time, so one must observe the patient over a long period of time to see if new symptoms eventually show themselves.

More Serious Than You Would Expect

[Top]

You might ask whether flat affect is really all that serious, given that one can still experience normal emotions, just not express them. Am I not able to enjoy life just like mentally healthy people?

Yes one can, but is unlikely to unless one finds a way to overcome or compensate for flat affect. Left untreated, flat affect all by itself can be devastating or even fatal.

Flat affect prevents us from forming or enjoying normal human relationships. Schizophrenics and schizoaffectives have difficulty finding friends, enjoying the company of other people, starting or maintaining romantic relationships, and getting or holding jobs.

It's actually worse than that. Flat affect makes us sicker than we would otherwise be.

Schizophrenia can have a sudden or slow onset. Slow onset schizophrenia is very common, with the transition from health to full sickness often taking a number of years. Quite often the appearance of new symptoms is so slow as to be unnoticable, with the first sign of trouble being that the sufferrer has become so crazy as to be brought to a psychiatric inpatient unit by the police.

The reason that one's friends and family do not notice is that the sufferrer gradually withdraws from human contact. Sometimes subtle paranoia causes one to distrust strangers who might otherwise become friends. Flat affect prevents others from enjoying our company, so others withdraw from us.

Social isolation is very dangerous to the mentally ill. One way sane people stay sane is that others around us let us know when we are straying from the rational path. If I were to post something crazy here at K5, one of you would probably say "Hey Mike, what you just said is crazy". If I'm not too delusional, that may be all the treatment I need to stay healthy.

If others don't enjoy my company, I won't enjoy theirs. Thus flat affect leads schizophrenics to avoid even trying to make friends, even if we are not paranoid. Eventually there is no one to correct our delusional thinking, and our thoughts stray farther and farther from reality.

I claimed flat affect can be fatal: suicide is very common among schizophrenics. Complete isolation is a very lonely experience, often a heavier burden to bear than we are capable of carrying.

At my first therapy session after my first hospitalization in November of 1984, my therapist urged me always to live with other people, never to get a house or apartment where I lived alone.

The Therapeutic Treatment of Flat Affect

[Top]

All of the negative symptoms are notoriously difficult to treat. It is much easier to stop something abnormal than to add something which is missing.

While antipsychotic medication has been available for decades, it didn't work very well at first. "Classic" antipsychotics like thorazine and haloperidol require such large doses that they often cause terrible, debilitating side effects. Some patients found them so unbearible they refused medication, preferring their delusions and hallucinations to the tremors, seizures and sedation caused by their medications.

Treatment of schizophrenia was revolutionized with the discovery of the "atypical antipsychotics", starting with Clozapine, licensed by the FDA in 1989. Lori Schiller wrote in her book The Quiet Room that her severe schizophrenia so resisted treatment that she was hospitalized for many years before being accepted for treatment with Clozapine during its experimental trials. She now lives independently and is able to hold a job.

I myself have taken Risperdal since my hospitalization for mania and psychosis in the Spring of 1994. It is also recommended for bipolar mania. At the time of my hospitalization, it had been on the market for only a few months, and seemed to be regarded by the hospital staff as a wonder drug.

All the antipsychotics reduce the activity of the neurotransmitter dopamine as an excess of it is the immediate cause of psychotic symptoms. The atypical ones also effect serotonin and sometimes other neurotransmitters.

The classic antipsychotics were largely ineffective for treating negative symptoms. Atypical antipsychotics are thought to be somewhat helpful, but I cannot tell if there is any difference as a result of my Risperdal. I'm not usually aware when I don't express my feelings though, and emotional expression is often subtle, so it is quite possible that it helps me without my being able to tell.

However, I have come a long way in overcoming flat affect: when I commenced psychotherapy back in Santa Cruz in 1986, my complaint was that I was unable ever to get a date, let alone a girlfriend. When I terminated therapy in 2000, I did so because I was moving to Newfoundland for my wedding to Bonita. We recently celebrated our sixth anniversary.

Not often, but sometimes, I am able to bust out and jump for joy. And sometimes, when overcome with grief, I am able to cry.

What made the difference? Practice: one can learn to express emotion through conscious effort. With enough conscious practice, affective expression can become unconcious and natural. However, even after all these years I usually seem stoic and unemotional. That is, except when I play music or write, or am incredibly overcome.

My therapist warned that it was likely to take some time to reach my goal, but she asked me to regard every attempt to attract a woman as practice towards gaining the skills I needed to succeed someday. And friends, that's what I did: during some sessions she assigned me the task of chatting up a strange girl, and at the next we would discuss my experience, as well as how I could do better next time.

While consciously forcing a smile appears insincere, with enough practice and experience one can learn to smile spontaneously. I doubt I will ever be as expressive as I would have been had I never gotten sick, but at least can now live a more or less normal life.

To Know My Passion

[Top]

At a very young age I chose to lead a life of the mind: I wanted to be a scientist when I grew up. I was accepted to the California Institute of Technology to study astronomy in 1982; my lifetime goal was the Nobel Prize in Physics. Things looked promising at first, as I was hired by a Caltech astronomer to help with his data analysis and observing work. We coauthored a few papers in the Astrophysical Journal and spent time at the sixty and two hundred inch telescopes at Palomar Mountain. I had it all!

Or so it seemed. It all came crashing down when I had my first manic episode in the Summer of 1984. My first hospitalization was in November, for acute anxiety. I was diagnosed with schizoaffective disorder in July of 1985, during a six-week hospitalization for profoundly severe mania.

Very few who share my diagnosis are able to provide for themselves as I do. Most have to get by on their government disability checks, be cared for by their families, or try to make it on the street, homeless and tormented by madness and despair.

My madness took all I had from me: my education, my career, my reputation and many dear friends, most of whom refused ever to speak to me again. But I was determined not to let it take everything: I wanted my life back.

While I was accepted to transfer to the University of California Santa Cruz, I often got poor grades because of my illness. My therapist quickly realized I must find a job to support myself.

At the time I looked, dressed and acted just like any other crazy street person, so she was astounded when I showed her my resume one day. As a career in Physics no longer seemed a possibility, our therapy began to focus on finding a new career. I began to teach myself to program computers from books using a Macintosh 512k my roommate and I bought secondhand. I got my first career programming job in November of 1987; I have since been steadily employed as a software engineer for nineteen years. I received my B.A. in Physics from UCSC in 1993.

But I had a problem: as a software engineer, I still lived a life of the mind. That's not good for someone with flat affect, or any kind of mental illness. As I recovered I began to enjoy the experience of my own thoughts and feelings more, but I experienced little of the real world, and other people experienced little from me. It didn't help that I was a hopeless geek.

My wife and I met online in late 1997. During my first visit in January of '98, Bonita noticed my tendency to "space out", or retreat into my thoughts, which was so severe at times that I became completely unaware of my surroundings, unable even to hear her speaking to me. When she urged me to live in the real world, I protested that I had a vivid imagination, and preferred living in my head. A Shambhala Buddhist, she urged me to meditate that I might learn to be mindful. She pointed that I was particularly unmindful as I was prone to bump into other people because I was unaware of their presence.

While reluctant to leave my inner world, I discussed my tendency to space out with my therapist upon my return. She too urged me to give it up.

I am not clear what made the difference, but I don't space out anymore. Most likely it's from being with Bonita, as I previously spent very little time speaking with other people.

After a hiatus of several years, I took up my piano again when we moved to Nova Scotia in the Fall of 2003. Stress from my consulting work caused my paranoia and hallucinations to appear again for the first time since 1994. I knew that playing my piano was one of the few things that I could do completely on my own to comfort myself when I was wigging. I have been taking piano lessons since January of '94, and a few months ago started appearing at a local Open Mic. While I am a long way from passing my music school audition, I am very determined.

These last three years have been a struggle for my wife and myself. While I avoided the hospital, I have required emergency room treatment five times since moving to Canada, the last time just a couple weeks ago. Many times I did not earn enough to get by.

But on the whole, I am improving. If you saw me today you would never suspect I was just in the emergency. I just got a good consulting contract, and this morning will be turning down a highly paid permanent position that I was offerred because I like my new client's work better.

Along with my music, my writing, especially that published at Kuro5hin, was a critical component to my recovery.

Music alone is not enough, you see. My piano so far is only a one-way emotional expression, as I am only just beginning to feel I play well enough to jam with other musicians or play in a band. I am eager to do so, I know very well how much better it feels to play music with others as I used to play the conga in drum circles at the beaches of Santa Cruz.

While I can express feelings by playing piano, even complex feeling, being instrumental music those feelings are raw and pure, with no factual content. It is only through my writing that I am able to explain why I feel the way I do, and to emote in a conversational way, by carrying on discussions with all of you.

All You Need To Know

[Top]

For over twenty years I desperately sought the key to happiness. It's easy for me to tell you what that key is; to obtain it is quite another matter. Timothy Miller explained it on page 80 of his book How To Want What You Have:

A sincere and scholarly religious seeker occasionally experimented with mescaline. While spending an evening in his study amid his books, music, and works of art, rapturously intoxicated, he suddenly figured out the secret of happiness. After recovering from his initial exhiliration, he realized he could not trust himself to remember the secret, so he wrote it on a slip of paper where he would be sure to find it later. Sure enough, he felt groggy the following morning, recalling only dimly that he had discovered something momentous. When he eventually came across the slip of paper, he recalled that he had written the secret of happiness on it, and that he had felt quite certain of its power and correctness at the time he had written it. Hands trembling with anticipation, he unfolded the scrap of paper. He had written, "Think in different patterns".

I know you won't believe me, but after twenty years spent learning how, I can reassure you that all it really does take to be happy is to think in different patterns. There are many ways to learn: for me there is therapy, medicine, music and writing. (And yes, meditation, but I'm afraid I'm not a very good Buddhist.) But you must understand that to think in different patterns must be a lifelong quest, as we otherwise slip back into the bad old unhappy thought patterns. One must seek endlessly because the path itself is the goal.

If you are unhappy, I urge you too to learn to think in different patterns.

Sponsors

Voxel dot net
o Managed Hosting
o VoxCAST Content Delivery
o Raw Infrastructure

Login

Poll
Can Emotions Really Be Expressed Through Music?
o Unquestionably 53%
o I think so 38%
o I don't know 4%
o I doubt it 0%
o By no means 4%

Votes: 49
Results | Other Polls

Related Links
o Kuro5hin
o often
o warned
o Living with Schizoaffective Disorder
o What Kuro5hin Does for Me
o Another Way Out
o How Music Expresses Emotion
o Schizophre nia's Negative Symptoms
o More Serious Than You Would Expect
o The Therapeutic Treatment of Flat Affect
o To Know My Passion
o All You Need To Know
o Top
o "flat affect"
o earlier written work
o at Advogato
o here at Kuro5hin
o Orion Blastar Again
o notorious
o misogyny
o endless
o diaries
o espousing
o its
o importance
o to me
o its seemingly-insurmountable difficulties
o Music
o claims
o I Have So Many Questions About Music
o why music matters so much to us
o we are ultimately all alone in the Universe
o Philip Dorrell
o Why I Write
o negative symptoms
o Clozapine
o Lori Schiller
o Risperdal
o recommende d for bipolar mania
o psychotherapy
o I chose to lead a life of the mind
o California Institute of Technology
o a few papers
o profoundly severe mania
o University of California Santa Cruz
o nineteen years
o Physics
o Shambhala Buddhist
o mindful
o Stress from my consulting work
o piano lessons
o Open Mic
o emergency room
o a couple weeks ago
o the key to happiness
o How To Want What You Have:
o the path itself is the goal
o Also by MichaelCrawford


Display: Sort:
The Schizophrenic Symptom of Flat Affect | 243 comments (167 topical, 76 editorial, 2 hidden)
Poetry and Music is know to heal better (1.75 / 4) (#11)
by RodMcKuen on Tue Aug 15, 2006 at 07:49:32 AM EST

than medications. Write poetry and play music.

--------------------------------

Let love

fall into your soul

like leaves in heaven

as long as it's positive/productive (3.00 / 1) (#112)
by boxed on Wed Aug 16, 2006 at 05:37:38 AM EST

I did a lot of writing downer poetry and listening to depressing music and the only thing it got me was even more depression.

[ Parent ]
I can't listen to Pink Floyd's The Final Cut any.. (none / 0) (#118)
by MichaelCrawford on Wed Aug 16, 2006 at 05:56:26 AM EST

... more. While it was one of my favorite albums, I had the sense that all by itself it would drive me to suicide.


--

Live your fucking life. Sue someone on the Internet. Write a fucking music player. Like the great man Michael David Crawford has shown us all: Hard work, a strong will to stalk, and a few fries short of a happy meal goes a long way. -- bride of spidy


[ Parent ]

Lol! [nt] (none / 0) (#245)
by Star on Fri Aug 25, 2006 at 02:31:23 PM EST



[ Parent ]
And you answered (2.25 / 4) (#12)
by debacle on Tue Aug 15, 2006 at 08:42:08 AM EST

"HEY I HAVEN'T POSTED ANYTHING TO THE QUEUE IN FIVE DAYS."

It tastes sweet.
hi (2.80 / 5) (#13)
by nombre on Tue Aug 15, 2006 at 08:59:58 AM EST

i see that you're attempting to perpetuate the myth that emotions/thoughts can be "expressed" in terms of music. in the name of musicology and science, i must demand that you cease and desist.

You must not be a Billy Joel fan. (none / 0) (#15)
by debacle on Tue Aug 15, 2006 at 09:13:53 AM EST

A pity.

It tastes sweet.
[ Parent ]
Explain your assertion please (none / 1) (#89)
by MichaelCrawford on Tue Aug 15, 2006 at 10:22:37 PM EST

I would say I have most of music history as a counterexample. Certainly my own experience serves. Are you just stating your opinion, or is it the opinion of published musicologists?

I'm not just trolling, I'd really like you to discuss it.


--

Live your fucking life. Sue someone on the Internet. Write a fucking music player. Like the great man Michael David Crawford has shown us all: Hard work, a strong will to stalk, and a few fries short of a happy meal goes a long way. -- bride of spidy


[ Parent ]

too lazy to test your own theory, mr scientist? (2.66 / 3) (#92)
by nombre on Tue Aug 15, 2006 at 11:45:20 PM EST

next time you're performing at an open mic, express your new website to the audience through music and see if any of them get it. or hell, see if they get anything beyond the maj=happy min=sad conventions.

[ Parent ]
My new website isn't an emotion (none / 1) (#95)
by MichaelCrawford on Wed Aug 16, 2006 at 12:49:54 AM EST

That's factual information. Emotions would be stuff like joy and sadness.

If sobbing can express sadness and screams can express horror or rage, all without the use of words, then surely the far more sophisticated sounds of music can express complex emotion.

However, you've given me a good idea for the poll: "Can music express emotion?". I'll post it in a little bit.

Your turn.


--

Live your fucking life. Sue someone on the Internet. Write a fucking music player. Like the great man Michael David Crawford has shown us all: Hard work, a strong will to stalk, and a few fries short of a happy meal goes a long way. -- bride of spidy


[ Parent ]

i'm not saying music can't trigger emotions (2.50 / 2) (#125)
by nombre on Wed Aug 16, 2006 at 10:35:45 AM EST

i'm saying it can only trigger the limited set of emotions that people have been trained to associate with certain scales etc by society.

and just because you felt a certain way when you wrote Recursion doesn't mean the piece somehow "contains" that emotion. that kind of superstitious thinking is half way wicca.

[ Parent ]

trigger is the wrong word (2.50 / 2) (#126)
by nombre on Wed Aug 16, 2006 at 10:49:58 AM EST

any meaning a listener percieves beyond the conventional set is his own personal delusion.

[ Parent ]
Music *does* communicate feelings. Here's how: (2.50 / 2) (#127)
by MichaelCrawford on Wed Aug 16, 2006 at 10:50:28 AM EST

I explained it in an essay I wrote a while back called I Have So Many Questions About Music. I develop my explanation through several of its sections starting with the one called Why, concluding with the technical specifics in Quality.

The question I'm specifically addressing in that essay is why music matters to us so. The reason it matters is that it makes us feel connected to others such as the performers or the computers. To feel such connection is a very deep, very basic human need. The way we are connected is that music causes us to feel their feelings.

I may address this directly in my current story. I'm not sure, let me think about it.


--

Live your fucking life. Sue someone on the Internet. Write a fucking music player. Like the great man Michael David Crawford has shown us all: Hard work, a strong will to stalk, and a few fries short of a happy meal goes a long way. -- bride of spidy


[ Parent ]

wishy-washy anecdotal crap (3.00 / 3) (#128)
by nombre on Wed Aug 16, 2006 at 10:55:34 AM EST

write a piece of music, send me the meaning in a private message, post an mp3, and we'll see how many people on k5 can guess what you're trying to "communicate."

[ Parent ]
It's based on rigorous brain research (3.00 / 1) (#130)
by MichaelCrawford on Wed Aug 16, 2006 at 11:00:19 AM EST

Just ask Philip Dorrel. I link to his K5 story about it in my essay; he has an electronic book about it that you can purchase for download.

The fact that our desperate need to connect with others can never be fully satisfied was given by the Buddha as a root cause for all of human misery. Thus there is several thousand years worth of writing that addresses the topic.

You clearly didn't have the time to read my essay before you posted your rebuttal. Come back to me with more substantive arguments after you've done so.


--

Live your fucking life. Sue someone on the Internet. Write a fucking music player. Like the great man Michael David Crawford has shown us all: Hard work, a strong will to stalk, and a few fries short of a happy meal goes a long way. -- bride of spidy


[ Parent ]

Speaker's Mental State (3.00 / 1) (#132)
by nombre on Wed Aug 16, 2006 at 11:33:22 AM EST

Philip Dorrel prefaced that section with a warning that it's pure speculation. now it's Rigorous Brain Research(tm) because you based your whole argument on it? IHBT.

i should have read your essay before i ever posted my first comment. when a personal makes claims like:

It enables us to think the thoughts, and to feel the feelings of another living being. [...] sheet music is a compact and efficient way to transport the mental processes of the composer through both time and space to the brain of the performer, and on to the listener.
...you know the cognitive dissonance is going to be too thick to reach them

come back to me when you're willing to test your assertion.

[ Parent ]

What do you think about things like (none / 0) (#153)
by levesque on Wed Aug 16, 2006 at 05:55:19 PM EST

singing, hand gestures or facial "expressions", does it involve things like emotional "expression" and emotional  "perception" involved.



[ Parent ]

I just read your appendum (none / 0) (#155)
by levesque on Wed Aug 16, 2006 at 06:03:59 PM EST

So trigger is out.

Do I get you right: "Music only expresses emotional meaning according to the "convential set" i.e: we interpret music according to how we are taught to interpret it



[ Parent ]

yeah (none / 1) (#169)
by nombre on Wed Aug 16, 2006 at 10:37:08 PM EST

and the "teaching" is all done by movies/commercials nowadays, so the development of the "set" has been retarded, possibly irreparably.

[ Parent ]
What (none / 0) (#206)
by levesque on Thu Aug 17, 2006 at 07:27:59 PM EST

or do you think that expression and reception include a continuum from what people might call emotional or inate stuff to what people might call social convention stuff.

Sorry about my lack of words, nobody seems to agree on terms and I don't think I know enough to define my own.

[ Parent ]

whenever someone gestures me with their hands (none / 0) (#170)
by nombre on Wed Aug 16, 2006 at 10:37:53 PM EST

i assume it means "fuck you, buddy"

[ Parent ]
Yeah (none / 0) (#201)
by levesque on Thu Aug 17, 2006 at 07:09:22 PM EST

Ok, I assume I feel a phenomenon, then feel a cognitive meaning and then feel, or not, some emotion

I was actually trying to speak of mostly unconscious behavior that might be refered to with terms like body language or paralanguage. A simple example would be an unconscious smile that infects someone else.

[ Parent ]

You're missing it (none / 1) (#247)
by localman on Sun Aug 27, 2006 at 07:01:15 PM EST

Having read your other comments on the topic, you're obviously missing some fundamental stuff here.

First off, music expresses much much more than major=happy, minor=sad.  In fact, if you actually write music you'll know that it's not the key that determine the mood, it's the juxtaposition of different notes.  It certainly goes well beyond major and minor.  Most people (I don't know about you) can pick up anger, amusement, playfulness, peace, longing, excitement, sexual tension and probably others.

You then say that it can only trigger emotions that society has trained us to respond to.  Well of course... that's how communication works.  The same could be said of words.  It is only my learned associations between words and concepts that allow me to communicate emotions through language.  And obviously I can't communicate emotion through languages I don't understand.

Music is just another language, admittedly an abstract one without conceptual detail, but a language nonetheless.  It can communicate some things more easily than through words alone.  Don't dismiss it just because you don't understand the language.

Cheers.

[ Parent ]

Thanks for explaining what I knew but could not... (none / 1) (#248)
by MichaelCrawford on Sun Aug 27, 2006 at 10:37:26 PM EST

... articulate: I know in my bones that I can express complex emotions through my music, but as my piano is mostly self-taught and I have only barely started studying theory, I simply did not know how to express what you just said.

Evidence to support your assertion that language expresses emotion only because we are taught by our culture and education to expect it to is that even the most powerful of emotions can be quite effectively expressed purely through printed text, without any form of illustration or the emotional emphasis that is applied by the tone of human speech.

Take the Gettysburg Address as a particularly poignant example. Here is an appalling one: Mein Kampf by Adolf Hitler incited a whole nation to murder tens of millions through almost purely emotional arguments.

Now that you made this point, I find it odd that he took issue with my assertions about music but not my assertions about writing at Kuro5hin, as Kuro5hin presents its writing in a particularly dry, context-free way with nary an image.


--

Live your fucking life. Sue someone on the Internet. Write a fucking music player. Like the great man Michael David Crawford has shown us all: Hard work, a strong will to stalk, and a few fries short of a happy meal goes a long way. -- bride of spidy


[ Parent ]

my entire rationale for coming to k5 (2.50 / 10) (#20)
by circletimessquare on Tue Aug 15, 2006 at 11:33:20 AM EST

is that, via catharsis, it allows me to be less psychotic in real life

i don't think it makes me more psychotic

because i'm psychotic to a certain amount regardless of the existence of k5 or not, and i need to express that, or it just builds up until BOOM!

so better to unload it on random assholes who i will never meet here on k5 than real people in real life i work with/ live with where expressing my psychotic side will lead to bad repercussions

there are no repercussions of calling people here on k5 stupid fucktards

YOU HEAR ME CRAWFORD!!!??? YOU FUCKING FUCKTARD!!???

...joke, nothing but love mike ;-)


The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

no repercussions? says you (2.70 / 10) (#21)
by balsamic vinigga on Tue Aug 15, 2006 at 11:59:19 AM EST

You called me a pedophile so many times i wanna touch your kid outa spite.

You said you're within walking distance to that sushi restaurant..  I'm gonna track it down, then i'ma track down you...  then i'm gonna punch holes in your condoms.  Then when your kid is old enough to be traumatized for life i'm gonna...

---
Please help fund a Filipino Horror Movie. It's been in limbo since 2007 due to lack of funding. Please donate today!
[ Parent ]

welcome to k5 fellow psychotic!!! ;-) (3.00 / 6) (#22)
by circletimessquare on Tue Aug 15, 2006 at 12:09:57 PM EST

now wipe that smile off your fucking face before i wipe it off for you >:-(

The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]
I too experience flatness (2.85 / 7) (#24)
by Orion Blastar Again on Tue Aug 15, 2006 at 01:16:36 PM EST

and hardly ever smile.

My depression makes me look grumpy sometimes it makes me frown.

People are always telling me to smile more. I wish I could.

My wife is a nurse and knows about my mental illnesses and can read me like a book. She knows when something online affects me. Most of the time it does, but being online is one of my only sources of human contact because I have a hard time meeting people in real life.

Online there is a mask effect in which we become a different person, many do. It is being anonymous and not showing your face. I developed many alter-egos due to panic attacks caused by stress that others gave me online. I did not really mean to use multiple accounts, but I did, and I never heard the end of it even if I did those things years ago. Like my online suicide in Nov 2004 that an alter-ego posted, which was in response to several people online (some of whom I had called friends) telling me to kill myself.

If I exhibit antisocial behavior, it is because someone exhibited antisocial behavior to me first. This had started at the IWETHEY forums as I was attacked for my ideas and views with name calling and being made fun of and a lot of negative things. It was really starting at the Infoworld forums around 1995-1997, but went to IWETHEY when they broke off of Infoworld. If someone used a personal attack on me, I'd use one back on them, or someone else who attacked me. I tried to be friends with them, but I kept getting attacked by various members. It added stress and I had panic attacks and created multiple accounts that mimicked their antisocial behavior towards me, and  those accounts attacked me. I tried to stop, but it kept happening. I know some on IWETHEY are my friends and never did some of those things, but there are some who do those things. I tried writing in Wiki sites, but in 2005 some IWETHEY members vandalized the Wiki I was contributing to, posting links to the IWETHEY forum to posts I had once made. Then in 2006, some forums I was on (PHPBB2) had been hacked and attacked, and I was one of the people attacked with posts going back to IWETHEY, and IP addresses that look like the ones some IWETHEY memebrs used in the Wiki. Whomever did it had Linux and PHP security knowledge, which many IWETHEY members have. The other people I have a history with are not so tech-savvy. I went back, trying to build a bridge to IWETHEY, because we had burnt bridges before. Some are glad to see me back there, others are not. My stay there may be temporary, but I want them to know I am trying to change, and trying not to use mutliple accounts and taking control of my panic attacks

All I can say is that some people make it hard for me, feed my paranoia, and heap stress on me, which manipulates me and pushes my buttons. I am learning how to not let people manipulate me and push my buttons anymore.

Many have mental illnesses, or know people who do, yet treat me differently than they want to be treated or treat others with mental illnesses, because I am honest about my mental illnesses. They think it is all about me, but it is all about the mental illnesses and helping others cope with them who suffer from the same. I see that many think it is all about you, but no, it is all about the mental illnesses we both suffer from, and so do many others.

Learn how to be a liberal.
I can't believe it's not Liberalism!
"Thanks for the pointers on using the internet. You're links to uncylopedia have turned my life around." -zenador

very well said. i am glad that you are able to (none / 0) (#34)
by agavero on Tue Aug 15, 2006 at 03:20:05 PM EST

express feelings online, whether they be positive or negative, it is an out for you. it is not easy living with panic attacks at all. i quite understand how and when they happen, having looked after someone who had them for years. its very scary for them.
"Our knowledge is a little island in a great ocean of nonknowledge." Isaac Bashevis Singer
[ Parent ]
Yes (none / 0) (#53)
by Orion Blastar Again on Tue Aug 15, 2006 at 05:57:26 PM EST

they have been scary for me, esp when I am not in control of the episodes. Most of the people at IWETHEY don't understand that I was suffering when all of that crap was going on. It was just a part of my suffering that caused the panic attacks that lead to the multiple account behavior.

Learn how to be a liberal.
I can't believe it's not Liberalism!
"Thanks for the pointers on using the internet. You're links to uncylopedia have turned my life around." -zenador

[ Parent ]
most people dont understand panic attacks. (none / 0) (#57)
by agavero on Tue Aug 15, 2006 at 06:15:03 PM EST

it is good that mental illness is becoming more understood in the communities.
"Our knowledge is a little island in a great ocean of nonknowledge." Isaac Bashevis Singer
[ Parent ]
The more it is talked about (3.00 / 1) (#69)
by Orion Blastar Again on Tue Aug 15, 2006 at 07:05:34 PM EST

the easier it is to understand. That is why people like me and Michael Crawford talk about ourselves, to give examples of the mental illnesses and how it affects us. Not for some narcisistic reason, but to share our experiences with others.

Learn how to be a liberal.
I can't believe it's not Liberalism!
"Thanks for the pointers on using the internet. You're links to uncylopedia have turned my life around." -zenador

[ Parent ]
THERE IS NO PAIN (2.50 / 1) (#39)
by debacle on Tue Aug 15, 2006 at 04:32:18 PM EST

YOU ARE RECEDING
A DISTANT SHIP
SMOKE ON THE HORIZON
YOU ARE ONLY COMING THROUGH IN WAVES
YOUR LIPS MOVE, BUT I CAN'T HEAR WHAT YOU'RE SAYING.

You should kill yourself, or fix yourself. Whining about it only makes it worse.

It tastes sweet.
[ Parent ]

Hmm (none / 0) (#41)
by tetsuwan on Tue Aug 15, 2006 at 05:04:17 PM EST

I think he isn't comfortable.

Njal's Saga: Just like Romeo & Juliet without the romance
[ Parent ]

Then he'd be doing something about it (none / 0) (#42)
by debacle on Tue Aug 15, 2006 at 05:05:23 PM EST

Self-pity is comfort enough for most people.

It tastes sweet.
[ Parent ]
I don't want self-pity (none / 1) (#54)
by Orion Blastar Again on Tue Aug 15, 2006 at 05:59:52 PM EST

I want something better than that. I am not looking for pity. I just do not want to suffer as I have before. I can fight back against others, but it is just fighting fire with fire.

I hear voices sometimes and they tell me to do things. The Schizoaffective Disorder can be a pain to live with.

Learn how to be a liberal.
I can't believe it's not Liberalism!
"Thanks for the pointers on using the internet. You're links to uncylopedia have turned my life around." -zenador

[ Parent ]

Do they tell you to ingest rat poison? (1.50 / 2) (#58)
by debacle on Tue Aug 15, 2006 at 06:18:19 PM EST

Because I am.

It tastes sweet.
[ Parent ]
No they don't (none / 1) (#71)
by Orion Blastar Again on Tue Aug 15, 2006 at 07:06:13 PM EST

but they are calling you an asshole right now.

Learn how to be a liberal.
I can't believe it's not Liberalism!
"Thanks for the pointers on using the internet. You're links to uncylopedia have turned my life around." -zenador

[ Parent ]
I choose to fix myself (none / 0) (#55)
by Orion Blastar Again on Tue Aug 15, 2006 at 06:00:40 PM EST

John Forbes Nash Jr. style.

Learn how to be a liberal.
I can't believe it's not Liberalism!
"Thanks for the pointers on using the internet. You're links to uncylopedia have turned my life around." -zenador

[ Parent ]
More serious than you think (none / 0) (#62)
by Bad Wolf on Tue Aug 15, 2006 at 06:30:17 PM EST

and yes you will get anonymized again some day.

[ Parent ]
you have explained this very well. i hope things (2.50 / 2) (#35)
by agavero on Tue Aug 15, 2006 at 03:21:32 PM EST

continue to allow you to deal with this mental illness that is very difficult to overcome. thanks for the great writing.
"Our knowledge is a little island in a great ocean of nonknowledge." Isaac Bashevis Singer
Nice Mike (none / 1) (#47)
by thermopeculiar on Tue Aug 15, 2006 at 05:27:03 PM EST

Good article. I had no idea what flat affect was and now I do. It's good that K5 and writing in general help to give you some sort of emotional outlet.

I for one need to be a little less theatrical and a bit more even in 'meatspace'. +1FP from me when this goes up.

you know k5 is fucked when even the trolls start becoming disillusioned - thekubrix

-1, Michael Crawford. (2.00 / 7) (#48)
by akostic on Tue Aug 15, 2006 at 05:33:34 PM EST

Michael Crawford. Feel bad for Michael Crawford. Michael Crawford does Ogg Frog. Bonita, married to Michael Crawford, is a great artist, dispite evdience Michael Crawford wishes to ignore.  Michael Crawford lets Michael Crawford's dogs shit on Michael Crawford's carpet because Michael Crawfords too lazy to get out of Michael Crawfords bed.
--
"After an indeterminate amount of time trading insane laughter with the retards, I grew curious and tapped on the window." - osm
Michael Crawford (none / 0) (#61)
by Bad Wolf on Tue Aug 15, 2006 at 06:29:31 PM EST

needs his own TV show.

[ Parent ]
Yeah like Doctor Who (none / 1) (#81)
by Orion Blastar Again on Tue Aug 15, 2006 at 09:53:01 PM EST

that was one of your clues to your identity, a TV show, which Doctor Who is, and Doctor Who is the Bad Wolf. I figured it out.

Learn how to be a liberal.
I can't believe it's not Liberalism!
"Thanks for the pointers on using the internet. You're links to uncylopedia have turned my life around." -zenador

[ Parent ]
actually his companion was the bad wolf [nt] (none / 0) (#223)
by boxed on Fri Aug 18, 2006 at 09:17:19 AM EST



[ Parent ]
D'oh so close! (none / 0) (#227)
by Orion Blastar Again on Fri Aug 18, 2006 at 02:25:31 PM EST

I missed most of the series anyway. I've been too busy to watch all of it.

Learn how to be a liberal.
I can't believe it's not Liberalism!
"Thanks for the pointers on using the internet. You're links to uncylopedia have turned my life around." -zenador

[ Parent ]
that's a pity, because it truly rocks [nt] (none / 0) (#237)
by boxed on Sat Aug 19, 2006 at 09:29:22 PM EST



[ Parent ]
+1fp if you resection (2.33 / 6) (#83)
by loteck on Tue Aug 15, 2006 at 09:55:30 PM EST

resection it to Michael Crawford.
--
"You're in tune to the musical sound of loteck hi-fi, the musical sound that moves right round. Keep on moving ya'll." -Mylakovich
"WHAT AN ETERNAL MOBIUS STRIP OF FELLATIATIC BANALITY THIS IS." -Harry B Otch

My diaries aren't really on-topic for advogato (none / 0) (#87)
by MichaelCrawford on Tue Aug 15, 2006 at 10:14:57 PM EST

It's a web community for free and open source software. After a while I realized few of my diaries were on such topics, so I moved over to Kuro5hin.

However, I do still post about Creative Commons music and writing there, as the CC-license is at least in the same spirit as free software.


--

Live your fucking life. Sue someone on the Internet. Write a fucking music player. Like the great man Michael David Crawford has shown us all: Hard work, a strong will to stalk, and a few fries short of a happy meal goes a long way. -- bride of spidy


So have you... (2.00 / 2) (#97)
by bighappyface on Wed Aug 16, 2006 at 01:12:45 AM EST

...ever heard voices?

Yes, but only while wigging heavily (none / 0) (#99)
by MichaelCrawford on Wed Aug 16, 2006 at 01:24:57 AM EST

It is apparently unusual that I experience visual hallucinations rather than auditory ones. Most schizophrenics and schizoaffectives hear voices when they're not medicated, and sometimes when they are, but I've only heard voices for a brief period when I was the craziest I've ever been.

On the other hand, if I weren't taking Risperdal, it would be common for me to hallucinate visually, even when I'm not under stress or otherwise symptomatic.

I read once that visual hallucinations from mental illness were so rare that when a patient experiences them the doctor should suspect organic brain damage or the effects of hallucinogenic drugs.

I don't know what to make of that as I don't take hallucinogens, and I've had extensive neurological testing including EEG and CAT scans of my brain, all of which turned up normal.


--

Live your fucking life. Sue someone on the Internet. Write a fucking music player. Like the great man Michael David Crawford has shown us all: Hard work, a strong will to stalk, and a few fries short of a happy meal goes a long way. -- bride of spidy


[ Parent ]

I hear them sometimes (none / 0) (#149)
by Orion Blastar Again on Wed Aug 16, 2006 at 05:24:42 PM EST

in between geodon doses. In times of stress and panic attacks I hear voices or see things that aren't there.

Sometimes it is visions of things to happen or might happen. It happened to me at a school carnival, my son was placing a ticket on a table for a wheel and it had cartoon characters on it. I saw an image of Tweety Bird and I bet a ticket on it, and it won a stuffed animal for my son. I have visions of cars running into my car while at a stoplight, only to see a car run a red light comming from the left or right, and I had stopped for 15 seconds seeing it happen before it happened, and it avoided my car getting hit. I have had head trauma before, no visible signs of brain damage. My schizoaffective disorder has almost become psionic in nature at some times. Yet I cannot control it to the point that it is useful.

The voices are like a ringing bell, loud and painful, is that the way voices are for you when you hear them?

While working in college, the voices gave me words to use on my papers, and the answers to questions that I studied on and learned. I think they are a part of my subconscious or something. It is like dreaming while being awake.

Learn how to be a liberal.
I can't believe it's not Liberalism!
"Thanks for the pointers on using the internet. You're links to uncylopedia have turned my life around." -zenador

[ Parent ]

Yippie, I'm cured (none / 0) (#199)
by Orion Blastar Again on Thu Aug 17, 2006 at 06:57:34 PM EST

it is not really hearing voices, it is subvocalation, in that I am really talking to myself. Which I actually do out loud sometimes too.

Learn how to be a liberal.
I can't believe it's not Liberalism!
"Thanks for the pointers on using the internet. You're links to uncylopedia have turned my life around." -zenador

[ Parent ]
Do the voices come from 'outside your head'? (none / 0) (#208)
by MichaelCrawford on Thu Aug 17, 2006 at 07:50:58 PM EST

If so, they're hallucinations.

It's quite common for the voices one hears to actually be helpful. I have a friend who prays to ask the spirits for answers to her life problems. Within a few days, the spirits will answer her, verbally, outloud.

She writes their answers in a special notebook she keeps just for that purpose. She showed it to me once, and I had to agree that the spirits gave sound advice.

Only once did my voice ever speak so much as a complete sentence. For the most part all she did was call my name. But she scared the crap out of me because I knew she was coming to kill me.


--

Live your fucking life. Sue someone on the Internet. Write a fucking music player. Like the great man Michael David Crawford has shown us all: Hard work, a strong will to stalk, and a few fries short of a happy meal goes a long way. -- bride of spidy


[ Parent ]

No just inside of my head (none / 0) (#218)
by Orion Blastar Again on Thu Aug 17, 2006 at 09:20:11 PM EST

but they don't sound like my voice. Maybe I'm telepathic or tuning into a different dimension or something.

Learn how to be a liberal.
I can't believe it's not Liberalism!
"Thanks for the pointers on using the internet. You're links to uncylopedia have turned my life around." -zenador

[ Parent ]
probably not :) (none / 0) (#220)
by Dogun on Fri Aug 18, 2006 at 02:41:41 AM EST

We extradimensional folks prefer candygrams.

[ Parent ]
how bizarre (1.75 / 4) (#98)
by lilnobody on Wed Aug 16, 2006 at 01:22:37 AM EST

Such a weird feeling, to see a story linking to my emo-ass drunken diary, or, to be more specific, to one of the threads that attach themselves to it, like fungus spores, in which people talk to each other about crazy shit and eventually someone makes a comment about bestiality and everyone goes home, a job well done.

Small world, I guess.

ben

Clarification required (2.50 / 1) (#101)
by livus on Wed Aug 16, 2006 at 03:11:33 AM EST

I wonder if you could say a little about the differences between the type of flat affect you describe here, and the flat affect which is thought to be the result of an actual absence of emotion?

FWIW I think you're dead wrong about Trane.  

---
HIREZ substitute.
be concrete asshole, or shut up. - CTS
I guess I skipped school or something to drink on the internet? - lonelyhobo
I'd like to hope that any impression you got about us from internet forums was incorrect. - debillitatus
I consider myself trolled more or less just by visiting the site. HollyHopDrive

Will do (3.00 / 1) (#102)
by MichaelCrawford on Wed Aug 16, 2006 at 03:17:39 AM EST

I need to fix a snack first, then I'll address it in my next revision.

Tell me more about why you think I'm wrong about trane. I asked him directly in my diary a couple hours ago. I expect him to disagree with me.

I know the reasons he often gives, but I know from my own frustrations with women earlier in life that the reasons one consciously gives to explain an attitude aren't always the whole truth. Sometimes - often - there is an unconscious motivation. We create the conscious explanations to justify behaviours we wouldn't otherwise understand.


--

Live your fucking life. Sue someone on the Internet. Write a fucking music player. Like the great man Michael David Crawford has shown us all: Hard work, a strong will to stalk, and a few fries short of a happy meal goes a long way. -- bride of spidy


[ Parent ]

yeah, I dont believe his reasons either. n (none / 0) (#162)
by livus on Wed Aug 16, 2006 at 07:05:39 PM EST



---
HIREZ substitute.
be concrete asshole, or shut up. - CTS
I guess I skipped school or something to drink on the internet? - lonelyhobo
I'd like to hope that any impression you got about us from internet forums was incorrect. - debillitatus
I consider myself trolled more or less just by visiting the site. HollyHopDrive

[ Parent ]
I thought he was a troll?!?! (none / 0) (#202)
by IceTitan on Thu Aug 17, 2006 at 07:17:41 PM EST

Maybe all those suggestions I gave him weren't so funny after all.
Nuke 'em from orbit. It's the only way to be sure.
[ Parent ]
trane is definitely not a troll. (none / 0) (#222)
by tetsuwan on Fri Aug 18, 2006 at 06:48:30 AM EST


Njal's Saga: Just like Romeo & Juliet without the romance
[ Parent ]

People who are mentally ill (none / 0) (#226)
by Orion Blastar Again on Fri Aug 18, 2006 at 02:24:16 PM EST

are often called trolls. It is like the old witch hunts, people who were mentally ill were called witches and hanged or burned at the stake. I guess we can call it the troll hunt or the troll trials.

Learn how to be a liberal.
I can't believe it's not Liberalism!
"Thanks for the pointers on using the internet. You're links to uncylopedia have turned my life around." -zenador

[ Parent ]
asshole (none / 1) (#196)
by anonymized yet again on Thu Aug 17, 2006 at 06:12:04 PM EST

you didn't even get confirmation, and now you accuse him of misogyny and mental illness on the front page of a website with huge pagerank potential.

well done.

this is why I don't deal with the irresponsibly needy mentally ill.  They are DANGEROUS to themselves and others.


"It sounds like you might be happier on wikipedia." - rusty
[ Parent ]

I'm curious why you think he's not a misogynist (none / 1) (#197)
by MichaelCrawford on Thu Aug 17, 2006 at 06:29:49 PM EST

Have you read any of his posts?

And as I said before, if I'm wrong about him, I'll ask the editors to strike what I said about him. They can still do so you know.


--

Live your fucking life. Sue someone on the Internet. Write a fucking music player. Like the great man Michael David Crawford has shown us all: Hard work, a strong will to stalk, and a few fries short of a happy meal goes a long way. -- bride of spidy


[ Parent ]

YOU are labeling him (none / 0) (#205)
by anonymized yet again on Thu Aug 17, 2006 at 07:24:32 PM EST

if HE chooses that label, that is his business.


"It sounds like you might be happier on wikipedia." - rusty
[ Parent ]
Here's where trane says he's schizoaffective (none / 0) (#198)
by MichaelCrawford on Thu Aug 17, 2006 at 06:36:23 PM EST

So STFU.


--

Live your fucking life. Sue someone on the Internet. Write a fucking music player. Like the great man Michael David Crawford has shown us all: Hard work, a strong will to stalk, and a few fries short of a happy meal goes a long way. -- bride of spidy


[ Parent ]

did you even read what he said (3.00 / 2) (#204)
by anonymized yet again on Thu Aug 17, 2006 at 07:21:00 PM EST

he said he doesn't accept the diagnosis, whereas you do.

you're trying to lump other people, with varying experiences and realities, into your little schizoaffective bucket because it supports your monomania, NOT because it is actually trane's experience.

way to stripmine others' unique experiences, crawford.  sheesh.


"It sounds like you might be happier on wikipedia." - rusty
[ Parent ]

Denial is a common symptom of mental illness (2.00 / 2) (#211)
by MichaelCrawford on Thu Aug 17, 2006 at 08:10:17 PM EST

There's just no reason with people like you, so I'll just bring this unproductive thread to a close by invoking Godwin's law: you're worse than Hitler in your attempt to shed some light on an illness that is otherwise very cruelly dark for many millions of people.

Good Day.


--

Live your fucking life. Sue someone on the Internet. Write a fucking music player. Like the great man Michael David Crawford has shown us all: Hard work, a strong will to stalk, and a few fries short of a happy meal goes a long way. -- bride of spidy


[ Parent ]

his illness is HIS to affirm or deny (none / 0) (#212)
by anonymized yet again on Thu Aug 17, 2006 at 08:12:51 PM EST

and your slapping the label on him stinks of callous disregard, mike.  I suspect that your inability to express emotion is COMPANION TO your inability to feel emotion, asshole.


"It sounds like you might be happier on wikipedia." - rusty
[ Parent ]
Brain research has found the reason for denial (none / 0) (#216)
by MichaelCrawford on Thu Aug 17, 2006 at 09:03:33 PM EST

In the case of schizophrenia and schizoaffective disorder. It's been tracked down to a malfunctioning in a center of the brain which is responsible for insight.

The inability of the mentally ill to recognize their own illness isn't just us being difficult, it's actually biochemical and physiological in origin. It's known clinically as "anosognosia". Try a Google search.

If mental illness was for the mentally ill to affirm or deny the FBI would have let the Unabomber keep mailing bombs to college professors.


--

Live your fucking life. Sue someone on the Internet. Write a fucking music player. Like the great man Michael David Crawford has shown us all: Hard work, a strong will to stalk, and a few fries short of a happy meal goes a long way. -- bride of spidy


[ Parent ]

fixed! (3.00 / 1) (#103)
by MichaelCrawford on Wed Aug 16, 2006 at 03:50:36 AM EST

I added the following:

One cannot tell by watching someone whether they really feel flat or just appear that way. My affect is flat when I feel joy but cannot smile, or feel sad but cannot cry; instead I show only a pokerface. I may try to force a smile to show others my happiness, but my it won't appear genuine. They will have the sense that I'm just faking it. Bonita often expresses frustration at being unable to get any reaction out of me. I tell her "I really am happy to see you. I'm just not able to show it."

Flat emotion isn't the simple absence of emotion: everyone is calm at times. Instead feelings don't appear in response to events that would normally stimulate them. One reacts to news both happy and tragic with dispassion or disinterest. One no longer finds pleasure in activities that one once enjoyed.


--

Live your fucking life. Sue someone on the Internet. Write a fucking music player. Like the great man Michael David Crawford has shown us all: Hard work, a strong will to stalk, and a few fries short of a happy meal goes a long way. -- bride of spidy


[ Parent ]

lol crazyass Americans! (1.40 / 5) (#105)
by IandI on Wed Aug 16, 2006 at 04:12:45 AM EST

All yu lookin for some disease to complain about, that is your disease, man. You aint healthy cause you dont want to think you bein healthy.

That's a common misconception (3.00 / 6) (#106)
by MichaelCrawford on Wed Aug 16, 2006 at 04:21:31 AM EST

When you're hallucinating so hard you can't see where you're going when you walk, I'll be sure to let you know you're really just fine, and that you're just looking for something to complain about.


--

Live your fucking life. Sue someone on the Internet. Write a fucking music player. Like the great man Michael David Crawford has shown us all: Hard work, a strong will to stalk, and a few fries short of a happy meal goes a long way. -- bride of spidy


[ Parent ]

'Flat affect' (2.50 / 2) (#114)
by Marvaud on Wed Aug 16, 2006 at 05:53:18 AM EST

Your story is interesting but mostly it is important that you have pointed out one of the "vagaries" of mental illness.  Those who have not suffered any mental illness would not know what it is like and people need to be enlightened.  I have only a little experience of the "flat affect" when I have been depressed.  I remember a doctor suggested it was a side effect of medication and I thought the doctor very stupid.  I do believe that a human beings defense mechanism cuts in when feeling bad becomes too much and one does not want to show emotions after awhile...
 I have a friend suffering from schizophrenia.
It is a complicated and difficult illness.
I wish you all the best and good on you for
talking about it.

I'm not sure writing counts (2.50 / 1) (#122)
by rpresser on Wed Aug 16, 2006 at 09:29:17 AM EST

Nor music playing. Both are very "artificial" behaviors -- things we do almost entirely in our forebrain. Emotional expression is more primitive -- we share it with other apes.

So while playing music and writing help you connect with others and communicate your emotions and may have saved your life ... they're not a substitute for being able to talk and smile and laugh.

I'm having trouble saying exactly what I mean here. I'm not trying to say you fail it because you redirect your emotion into artificial channels. I'm trying to say that while they're good, they're substitutes, not signs of healing.

------------
"In terms of both hyperbolic overreaching and eventual wrongness, the Permanent [Republican] Majority has set a new, and truly difficult to beat, standard." --rusty

While a wooden leg isn't as good as a real one (none / 0) (#124)
by MichaelCrawford on Wed Aug 16, 2006 at 09:45:25 AM EST

... having a prosthesis beats having no leg at all.

Yeah, I get what you're saying, and you're completely on the mark. I do make an effort to get out into the real world to release with real, live Meatspace people, especially my wife.

But everyone who has a disability of any sort, not just a mental disability, must find some way to compensate for it, even though their compensation isn't completely satisfying. For me it's writing. For a woman I once saw in a film, it was training her toes to be prehensile, as she had no arms.


--

Live your fucking life. Sue someone on the Internet. Write a fucking music player. Like the great man Michael David Crawford has shown us all: Hard work, a strong will to stalk, and a few fries short of a happy meal goes a long way. -- bride of spidy


[ Parent ]

Great Story. +1FP from me. (1.00 / 2) (#141)
by agavero on Wed Aug 16, 2006 at 12:39:48 PM EST

its nice to read "reality" in here. this is well done. thanks!
"Our knowledge is a little island in a great ocean of nonknowledge." Isaac Bashevis Singer
Hey Thanks! (none / 0) (#142)
by MichaelCrawford on Wed Aug 16, 2006 at 12:49:14 PM EST

I worked hard to do a good job. I know my first draft sucked hard, but I sensed its potential and worked since midnight last night to get it to what you see now.


--

Live your fucking life. Sue someone on the Internet. Write a fucking music player. Like the great man Michael David Crawford has shown us all: Hard work, a strong will to stalk, and a few fries short of a happy meal goes a long way. -- bride of spidy


[ Parent ]

well, you have done a great job and (none / 0) (#178)
by agavero on Thu Aug 17, 2006 at 10:38:58 AM EST

hopefully brought some of the mental illness problems to the fore. thats what is needed in this world is more education of mental disease. once again, thanks.
"Our knowledge is a little island in a great ocean of nonknowledge." Isaac Bashevis Singer
[ Parent ]
Interesting subject... (2.50 / 1) (#145)
by Niha on Wed Aug 16, 2006 at 03:11:11 PM EST

  Someone might say this is a bit egocentric. But I think is a interesting article.
  Emotions are such a natural thing, that for many is hard to figure out how it is for people with problems like flat affect.

"Social isolation is very dangerous" (1.50 / 4) (#146)
by rpresser on Wed Aug 16, 2006 at 03:35:11 PM EST

I'd like to add that it's also very seductive. As a mild long-term depressive, NOS, it is when I am feeling my worst "black moods" that I want most to be alone, and that I absolutely should not be alone.

------------
"In terms of both hyperbolic overreaching and eventual wrongness, the Permanent [Republican] Majority has set a new, and truly difficult to beat, standard." --rusty
I quote someone just like you in LwSD (2.00 / 2) (#147)
by MichaelCrawford on Wed Aug 16, 2006 at 04:52:50 PM EST

I was dismayed that strangers went out of their way to avoid me when I was the most deeply depressed, and wrote in the section on depression in Living with Schizoaffective Disorder:

If you come across a depressed person as you go about your day, one of the kindest things you can do for them is to walk right up, look them straight in the eye, and just say hello. One of the worst parts of being depressed is the unwillingness that others have to even acknowledge that I'm a member of the human race.

But I asked a manic depressive friend to read my rough draft, and they asked me to add their take on it:

When I am depressed I don't want the company of strangers, and often not even the company of many friends. I wouldn't go as far as to say I "like" being alone, but the obligation to relate to another person in some way is loathesome. I also become more irritable sometimes and find the usual ritual pleasantries unbearable. I only want interaction with people with whom I can really connect, and for the most part I don't feel like anyone can connect with me at that point. I begin to feel like some subspecies of humankind and as such I feel repulsive and repulsed. I feel like people around me can literally see my depression as if it were some grotesque wart on my face. I just want to hide and drop into the shadows. For some reason, I find it a problem that people seem to want to talk to me wherever I go. I must give out some kind of vibe that I am approachable. When depressed my low profile and head-hanging demeanor is really meant to discourage people from approaching me.

I've been recently trying to make friends with a severely depressed woman who acts just like that. Her behaviour is definitely enforcing her isolation, as she appears quite pissed off all the time. She will speak only when asked a direct question, and only then to give a one word answer.

I know it my attempts at conversation must cause her dismay, so I never try for more than a minute or two now and then. But I also understand how she must be sufferring; to get better, she's going to have to face the trauma of making some new friends.


--

Live your fucking life. Sue someone on the Internet. Write a fucking music player. Like the great man Michael David Crawford has shown us all: Hard work, a strong will to stalk, and a few fries short of a happy meal goes a long way. -- bride of spidy


[ Parent ]

Sadly (2.00 / 2) (#148)
by Orion Blastar Again on Wed Aug 16, 2006 at 05:17:21 PM EST

that is also the reason why this story might get voted down. Misunderstanding of the mental illnesses. Those who misunderstand are ignorant of the mental-illness and mistake it for antisocial behavior, which it is not.

I noticed it only had a score of 25, it was 30 before about an hour ago. Either yuo is using an army of dupes, or people are confusing your schizoaffective disorder with yourself because they are ignorant. If they are not ignorant and they know it is a mental illness and not antisocial behavior, then they are assholes.

Learn how to be a liberal.
I can't believe it's not Liberalism!
"Thanks for the pointers on using the internet. You're links to uncylopedia have turned my life around." -zenador

[ Parent ]

I knew my battle against stigma was an uphill one (none / 0) (#150)
by MichaelCrawford on Wed Aug 16, 2006 at 05:34:40 PM EST

... well before I posted my first page about my illness on the web a little over nine years ago.

If my work to help people understand the mentally ill were easy, I wouldn't need to do it, as the job would have been completed by others decades ago.

So yeah, the article might only make section, or even get dumped so I have to publish it at my own site. My essay will still be far better than if I never submitted to the queue because of my efforts to make front page, as well as all the improvements I made in response to the many comments I received, both encouraging and insulting.

While I am no longer a Christian, my work to fight stigma has given me a great deal of sympathy for SaintPort in his efforts to spread The Word Of The Lord online. One cannot save souls by preaching to the converted, one must take one's mission to those who would be damned without your help.

I am a great deal more encouraged than you are; I am just beginning to entertain the idea that this might actually make front page. Scores often fluctuate wildly before a posting decision is made. I expect many more Kurons to cast their votes before the night is done. I am satisfied to watch, and to wait.


--

Live your fucking life. Sue someone on the Internet. Write a fucking music player. Like the great man Michael David Crawford has shown us all: Hard work, a strong will to stalk, and a few fries short of a happy meal goes a long way. -- bride of spidy


[ Parent ]

Mental Illness in history (none / 0) (#179)
by Orion Blastar Again on Thu Aug 17, 2006 at 11:12:39 AM EST

The many Witch Trials might actually have tried mentally ill people with schizophrenia or schizoaffective disorder and accused them of being witches. Joan of Arc was accused of being a witch because she claimed to have heard voices. A sign of a mental disorder. There is a history of it.

Learn how to be a liberal.
I can't believe it's not Liberalism!
"Thanks for the pointers on using the internet. You're links to uncylopedia have turned my life around." -zenador

[ Parent ]
Recommend Reading: The Noonday Demon (none / 0) (#180)
by MichaelCrawford on Thu Aug 17, 2006 at 11:30:23 AM EST

The term Noonday Demon comes from one of the Psalms, being a demon that comes to haunt us even during the day. The Psalm describes the experience of depression.

During the Medieval period, depression was considered the Mortal Sin of Sloth because sufferrers were considered "too lazy" to work. They were often punished for it, for example by being imprisoned.

I haven't read the whole thing yet, but I've read bits of it. It's well-researched and well-written.


--

Live your fucking life. Sue someone on the Internet. Write a fucking music player. Like the great man Michael David Crawford has shown us all: Hard work, a strong will to stalk, and a few fries short of a happy meal goes a long way. -- bride of spidy


[ Parent ]

why does it have to be "black" mood? (2.66 / 6) (#156)
by nombre on Wed Aug 16, 2006 at 06:07:07 PM EST

fucking racist

[ Parent ]
If you'd felt them, you'd know. \\ (1.50 / 1) (#167)
by rpresser on Wed Aug 16, 2006 at 09:50:41 PM EST


------------
"In terms of both hyperbolic overreaching and eventual wrongness, the Permanent [Republican] Majority has set a new, and truly difficult to beat, standard." --rusty
[ Parent ]
nice, mike, you're going to publicly accuse (1.66 / 3) (#164)
by anonymized yet again on Wed Aug 16, 2006 at 08:31:05 PM EST

of both mental illness and misogyny at the same time, and you haven't even bothered to VERIFY IT YET.

-1 with prejudice, and the people +1ing this are idiots.


"It sounds like you might be happier on wikipedia." - rusty

Actually trane and I have discussed his illness (3.00 / 2) (#166)
by MichaelCrawford on Wed Aug 16, 2006 at 08:52:42 PM EST

several times. I'm just asking for his confirmation because someone claimed I'm wrong about him, and not because I have any concern that I really might be.


--

Live your fucking life. Sue someone on the Internet. Write a fucking music player. Like the great man Michael David Crawford has shown us all: Hard work, a strong will to stalk, and a few fries short of a happy meal goes a long way. -- bride of spidy


[ Parent ]

And he's quite proud to proclaim his misogyny (3.00 / 3) (#171)
by MichaelCrawford on Wed Aug 16, 2006 at 11:23:17 PM EST

If you've missed trane's misogyny, then you just haven't been paying attention. He'd probably slap you for being so ignorant.


--

Live your fucking life. Sue someone on the Internet. Write a fucking music player. Like the great man Michael David Crawford has shown us all: Hard work, a strong will to stalk, and a few fries short of a happy meal goes a long way. -- bride of spidy


[ Parent ]

No you have it all wrong... (3.00 / 3) (#173)
by yellow shark on Thu Aug 17, 2006 at 01:34:58 AM EST

people voting this down have a very strong fear of themselves.

I have noticed that they swim around in their self pity far too long and with a lot of unecessary suffering.

[ Parent ]

I'm sorry, could someone translate (3.00 / 3) (#188)
by anonymized yet again on Thu Aug 17, 2006 at 01:16:18 PM EST

I don't speak crackhead


"It sounds like you might be happier on wikipedia." - rusty
[ Parent ]
thank you for writing this (2.50 / 1) (#174)
by insomnyuk on Thu Aug 17, 2006 at 01:53:18 AM EST

I'm manic-depressive and I connected to a lot of what you are saying. Mania is an interesting state to be in, but it's scary and at the end of the day not any fun. Most people can't understand what it's like and simply recoil in fear.

---
"There is only one honest impulse at the bottom of Puritanism, and that is the impulse to punish the man with a superior capacity for happiness." - H.L. Mencken
To those who don't think music can express emotion (2.50 / 1) (#175)
by HackerCracker on Thu Aug 17, 2006 at 02:43:58 AM EST

Chopin, Opus 28, No. 20 suckas

+1FP, popularity contest. (2.50 / 2) (#189)
by Mylakovich on Thu Aug 17, 2006 at 02:06:32 PM EST

Although I am tempted to immediatly mock any indication of self-centeredness on the internet, I'm gonna take you at face value on this one for the hell of it.

Hey thanks! I appreciate your plus-one love. $ (none / 0) (#190)
by MichaelCrawford on Thu Aug 17, 2006 at 02:15:28 PM EST


--

Live your fucking life. Sue someone on the Internet. Write a fucking music player. Like the great man Michael David Crawford has shown us all: Hard work, a strong will to stalk, and a few fries short of a happy meal goes a long way. -- bride of spidy


[ Parent ]

Maybe you should reconsider. (2.80 / 5) (#191)
by waxmop on Thu Aug 17, 2006 at 03:29:29 PM EST

I suggest that you reconsider whether participating on this site really contributes positively to your mental state.

The way I see it, at best, K5 offers us a weak, methadone-like, level of human contact. This is my best guess for why the site is most popular when we're all at work, where we feel bored and isolated in our cubes.

I view surfing K5 as a less-harmful alternative to taking a smoke break. It's a way to break up the day. But you seem to view K5 as a part of your mental health regimen. It sounds like you feel that writing here is a better method of social interaction than bing with people in real life.

One question: is it possible that all the time invested in this site, writing replies to people that insult you and your wife, could have been better spent somewhere else?
--
Saying Java is good because it works on all platforms is like saying anal sex is good because it works on all genders.

I have basically the same effect here (none / 1) (#207)
by Orion Blastar Again on Thu Aug 17, 2006 at 07:32:16 PM EST

people write and insult me for being mentally ill, just like Michael Crawford gets written.

It is an excuse to vent my amygdalda right back at them, although I am trying to be more cognative about it now.

People still tell me to go kill myself, but now I can joke around with them, having faked killing myself in November 2004 ala alt.suicide.holiday style. I got anonymized for it, but even the great editor Pwhysall cannot stop me from creating a new account.

Learn how to be a liberal.
I can't believe it's not Liberalism!
"Thanks for the pointers on using the internet. You're links to uncylopedia have turned my life around." -zenador

[ Parent ]

kuro5hin.org: michaelcrawford and bonita (2.66 / 6) (#194)
by anonymized yet again on Thu Aug 17, 2006 at 05:27:11 PM EST

from the trenches


"It sounds like you might be happier on wikipedia." - rusty
+1 Michael Crawford (2.75 / 4) (#195)
by givemegmail111 on Thu Aug 17, 2006 at 05:39:01 PM EST

You may be a nutcase, but this site wouldn't be the same without you.

BTW, This site has never been the same since Baldrson left. Someone go find him.

--
McDonalds: i'm lovin' it
Start your day tastefully with a Sausage, Egg & Cheese McGriddle, only at McDonalds.
Rusty fix my sig, dammit!

Congrats Micheal! (none / 1) (#203)
by terryfunk on Thu Aug 17, 2006 at 07:18:22 PM EST

does this mean you can sleep now? You know that I enjoyed reading this.

I like you, I'll kill you last. - Killer Clown
The ScuttledMonkey: A Story Collection

Thanks! (none / 0) (#209)
by MichaelCrawford on Thu Aug 17, 2006 at 07:53:02 PM EST

Please don't take the fact that I post at all hours of the day and night as evidence that I never sleep. The fact is, I sleep a great deal more than most people do. It's just that I do so very irregularly. I always have.


--

Live your fucking life. Sue someone on the Internet. Write a fucking music player. Like the great man Michael David Crawford has shown us all: Hard work, a strong will to stalk, and a few fries short of a happy meal goes a long way. -- bride of spidy


[ Parent ]

very well done! am glad to see your (none / 0) (#213)
by agavero on Thu Aug 17, 2006 at 08:20:02 PM EST

story made front page. thanks for a great read.
"Our knowledge is a little island in a great ocean of nonknowledge." Isaac Bashevis Singer
[ Parent ]
I felt it was important to make front page (none / 0) (#215)
by MichaelCrawford on Thu Aug 17, 2006 at 08:59:35 PM EST

That's one reason I asked the editors to take it out of voting so I could edit it some more. Rusty told me once that front-page stories get ten times as many readers as section stories do, I think largely because front page stories are syndicated to hundreds of other sites. Only a few sites syndicate the section stories too.

I had the sense this could make a difference in the lives of the mentally ill. The reaction I'm getting from mentally ill friends I've asked to read it, as well as from mental health workers tells me I'm likely to be right.


--

Live your fucking life. Sue someone on the Internet. Write a fucking music player. Like the great man Michael David Crawford has shown us all: Hard work, a strong will to stalk, and a few fries short of a happy meal goes a long way. -- bride of spidy


[ Parent ]

Link to Printer-Friendly Version of this Article (none / 1) (#210)
by MichaelCrawford on Thu Aug 17, 2006 at 08:00:39 PM EST

I want to encourage anyone who wants to to make hardcopies of this essay to pass around. Perhaps you know a mentally ill person and want them to read it. Or perhaps you are a mentally ill person and want your friends, loved ones or doctors to read it.

If you replace the word "story" in the URL of any Kuro5hin story with "print", you get a printer-friendly page without all the ads or navigation. So to make a nice clean hardcopy of this essay, click the following link and then print from your browser:

I've been taking hardcopies of this down to the Truro chapter of the Canadian Mental Health Association for the staff (mostly psychiatric social workers) and members to read. They have all been very excited about it.

A friend who hardly ever has a word to say, and spends most of his time just sitting quietly, for the first time in the three years I've known him got excited and spoke to me quite animatedly, because I think for the first time he found someone who understood his own experience.

It's a good feeling that I've been able to do that for people like him. That's why I'm encouraging you to distribute hardcopies as well.


--

Live your fucking life. Sue someone on the Internet. Write a fucking music player. Like the great man Michael David Crawford has shown us all: Hard work, a strong will to stalk, and a few fries short of a happy meal goes a long way. -- bride of spidy


Good idea (none / 0) (#234)
by Orion Blastar Again on Sat Aug 19, 2006 at 02:14:44 PM EST

print it out to a PDF and share it on file sharing networks. Use one of those OSS PDF printer programs.

Learn how to be a liberal.
I can't believe it's not Liberalism!
"Thanks for the pointers on using the internet. You're links to uncylopedia have turned my life around." -zenador

[ Parent ]
OpenOffice makes good PDFs (none / 0) (#235)
by MichaelCrawford on Sat Aug 19, 2006 at 05:49:16 PM EST

I expect I'll give it a try.


--

Live your fucking life. Sue someone on the Internet. Write a fucking music player. Like the great man Michael David Crawford has shown us all: Hard work, a strong will to stalk, and a few fries short of a happy meal goes a long way. -- bride of spidy


[ Parent ]

Hearing past sounds? (none / 0) (#221)
by Dogun on Fri Aug 18, 2006 at 02:55:53 AM EST

Since it's a little unusual for me to ask a wierd question and not be totally out of place...

Sometimes I have the damnedest sensation.  It's exactly like I'm hearing something, except after a moment or two I'll know its not a real sound, since it doesn't feel right.  Like, no change in pitch when I turn my head, no sensation of sound on the ears.

Usually it's an alarm clock or a ringtone or something that I've been anticipating and actually heard like an hour or so beforehand.  Sometimes just a single not from a piece of classical music.

Two questions:

  1. is it unusual for people to have the sensation of hearing stuff like that when they are either thinking about it or have been anticipating it?

  2. how the hell does a remembered sound translate into the sensation of sound?  Seems very strange to me.

Whoever designed the human brain sucks.

I've had something similar... (none / 0) (#224)
by boxed on Fri Aug 18, 2006 at 09:49:57 AM EST

...when I during a period semi-heard my alarm clock at random times of the day. I switched to a less horribly annoying sound and the problem went away. Unfortunately I began oversleeping, but I eventually solved that with the excellent software Awaken for my mac :P

[ Parent ]
i totally get that (none / 0) (#231)
by flaw on Sat Aug 19, 2006 at 05:17:33 AM EST

it's a little bit disconcerting

--
ピニス, ピニス, everyone loves ピニス!
[ Parent ]
Dude, (1.20 / 5) (#225)
by Comrade Wonderful on Fri Aug 18, 2006 at 11:03:27 AM EST

you totally remind me of that Lucien guy who was on Stargate Atlantis a couple weeks ago.

Is Stargate Atlantis (none / 0) (#232)
by Joe Sixpack on Sat Aug 19, 2006 at 08:57:52 AM EST

as good as the old stargate tv show?

---
[ MONKEY STEALS THE PEACH ]
[ Parent ]

The Loki Theory (none / 0) (#228)
by Orion Blastar Again on Fri Aug 18, 2006 at 02:42:56 PM EST

From what I read of Loki and how the other Norse gods treated him. Loki might have been suffering from schizoaffective disorder or schizophrenia while he did the things he is accused of doing. The shape shifting powers means that his body changed to suit the way his mind saw himself. Many mentally ill people are accused of creating mischief, chaos, discord, and all of those things are related to Loki, aren't they?

Loki was shunned by his family (adopted or whatever) and friends in the same way that mentally ill people are shunned by their families and friends. I got the same reactions from people who were my friends or I thought were my friends, but lucky for me my family is more understanding.

Some even have written Loki not as a god, but as a giant or some other being, trying to make him seem like less than the other Norse gods. Many people treat the mentally ill as sub-human or like an animal or other lower life form trying to make them seem like less than other human beings.

Loki is not really evil, but the way he was treated he eventually allied up with the frost giants against his friends and family in the end. If they treated him better, he might have fought with them in the end and made a difference.

Yet almost everything he did, he tried to make up for it, like giving Siff new hair, getting the hammer for Thor to be made, etc. Showing that he really was good at heart, but suffered from a mental illness that caused behaviors and actions that got him shunned.

Learn how to be a liberal.
I can't believe it's not Liberalism!
"Thanks for the pointers on using the internet. You're links to uncylopedia have turned my life around." -zenador

Interesting (and timely) read (none / 0) (#230)
by quino on Fri Aug 18, 2006 at 07:01:20 PM EST

I wanted to thank you for sharing what must be a very personal tale.

This article came up gratuitously (in a way): yesterday I received news that a cousin of mine has been diagnosed with some form or type of schyznophrenia.  She's an artist, and has been traveling throughout Europe showcasing her work when she had an "episode" (from what I understand, hallucinations: she was hospitalized after she was found running unclothed throught the streets).

She's in her mid to late 20s, and apparently had some sort of "psychotic" episode some years ago that was forgotten and written off by the family (she was probably doing pot or LSD or something, is what I assumed, no biggie).

We don't know any details, and the fact that she's far away means that our only information has been through the consulate.  All I know right now is that she's in the hospital, under medication, but still talking to people who aren't there (she sees them, no one else does).

I really only knew her when she was a little kid -- I just remember her as a very quiet, sort of strange, but otherwise happy, smily, little girl.

I was taking a break from trying to find information ("useful" information to me) when I came to Kuro5hin and found this article. Thanks for sharing.

I hope that my cousin can continue to live a productive, independent life as you appear to.

Schizophrenia, Autism amd Aspergers (none / 0) (#236)
by jd on Sat Aug 19, 2006 at 06:15:42 PM EST

These three conditions are fascinating. Aspergers is often assumed to be a form of Autism, but fMRI scans indicate a slightly different story. They would suggest that Aspergers affects one distinct section of the brain, Schizophrenia another, and Autism both.

The "flatness" of Schizophrenia, then, may well be related to the "flatness" often exhibited by people with Autism. It is not present in people with Aspergers - they cannot read the feelings of others, but often have no problems having their own.

This is not based on anything beyond one trivial association being present and another being notable for being absent. It is not an "approved" medical conclusion/theory, merely speculation. However, as speculations go, I suspect it is no worse than most.

Just a question (none / 1) (#238)
by a boy and his bike on Sun Aug 20, 2006 at 03:45:59 PM EST

I've read a lot of the replies here and one thing always strikes me as odd. No matter what your symptoms are, and how bad they seem, somewhere in the post I see the words "my wife" and I ask myself how much of disease or handicap you guys really have. I can't even talk to a woman or get one even to respond to me, and you're talking about how your WIFE perceives you, and I'm supposed to feel bad for you guys?

No matter what I do, in about two minutes the woman decides I'm weird, I'm "just a friend" or I'm such-a-nice-guy-but-I-like-getting-beaten.

Guys, I'd GLADLY trade whatever the hell it is I have with anything you guys have, anytime.

It was that way for me for many years (none / 0) (#239)
by MichaelCrawford on Sun Aug 20, 2006 at 05:16:03 PM EST

I discuss in the section on therapy how my first complaint to my therapist was that I couldn't get a date.

Also, not all women are intolerant to mentally ill men. It helped me get over my awkwardness with Bonita that she knew I was mentally ill well before we ever met.

I also get a lot of email from the mentally ill and their loved ones as a result of my other writings on the topic. I have found that a lot of mentally ill folk are either married or in committed relationships. Quite common I get questions from their loved ones seeking more information so they can help their mentally ill partners deal with their illness better.


--

Live your fucking life. Sue someone on the Internet. Write a fucking music player. Like the great man Michael David Crawford has shown us all: Hard work, a strong will to stalk, and a few fries short of a happy meal goes a long way. -- bride of spidy


[ Parent ]

Why feel bad? (none / 0) (#251)
by QuickFox on Tue Aug 29, 2006 at 12:18:30 PM EST

and I'm supposed to feel bad for you guys?

What makes you think you're supposed to feel bad for people who write stuff like this?

Personally I really don't like it when people feel bad for me. It forces me to take care of their grief on top of whatever problem I may have at the moment. It's far, far better if people will just have a sort of detached, factual interest, and some patience.

If problems and pains can be likened to heavy baggage, then I don't want people to carry my baggage for me, I just want them to accept, with some patience, that since I'm carrying heavy baggage I can't walk quite as fast as they can.

Don't try to carry other people's baggage. Pity is usually quite useless. Try detached curiosity instead. You'll feel much better that way. And, by the way, then you're also far more likely to help, perhaps with some interesting thought or whatever.

As for the problem you describe, try asking the women what it is that makes them feel that way. You may get some very helpful and enlightening answers, because many women like helping with such answers. If asking such a question would feel very awkward, or would be very difficult for you, then you may have some kind of anxiety problem that can be solved quite efficiently with the help of a therapist.

See? I don't feel bad for you, not in the least, and thanks to this I can give you some thoughts that just might turn out to be useful for you.

Give a man a fish and he eats for one day. Teach him how to fish, and though he'll eat for a lifetime, he'll call you a miser for not giving him your fish.<
[ Parent ]

Meditation, Dissociation? (none / 0) (#240)
by brain in a jar on Mon Aug 21, 2006 at 05:25:09 AM EST

Hi Mike,

You mention that you live the life of the mind and have a tendency to space out or zone out i.e. dissociate.

I'm the same this way, and have decided for myself that this is something I should probably cut down on.

I've also practiced a certain amount of meditation and one thing I still wonder about sometimes is whether meditation is helpful for this kind of thing or whether it might hinder.

What is your experience with this?

Have you asked your shrink about meditation and whether it is reccomended for people who tend to dissociate?


Life is too important, to be taken entirely seriously.

I haven't done enough meditation to make a dif... (none / 0) (#241)
by MichaelCrawford on Mon Aug 21, 2006 at 08:37:21 AM EST

...ference, but I have been able to cut down on dissociating through other kinds of conscious effort.

The Buddhists all say that disciplined meditation makes one mindful, so I expect it would help.

I've always meant to be a Buddhist, but I'm afraid I'm such a slacker that I don't meditate regularly.


--

Live your fucking life. Sue someone on the Internet. Write a fucking music player. Like the great man Michael David Crawford has shown us all: Hard work, a strong will to stalk, and a few fries short of a happy meal goes a long way. -- bride of spidy


[ Parent ]

lol Carnegie Hall (none / 0) (#242)
by Chewbacca Uncircumsized on Mon Aug 21, 2006 at 08:37:20 PM EST

You Americans and your silly dreams.

Be like the UKians, know your place!

In a word... (none / 0) (#243)
by CAIMLAS on Mon Aug 21, 2006 at 09:13:53 PM EST

What kind of sanity can Kuro5hin possibly give me that my doctors, with all their years of training cannot? Simple: the expression of human emotion. My schizoaffective disorder renders me largely incapable of it.

This is why it's common to find so many mentally and emotionally disturbed people in "artistic" fields such as film, performing arts, music, and what have you.
--

Socialism and communism better explained by a psychologist than a political theorist.

There's more to it than just this (none / 0) (#244)
by MichaelCrawford on Wed Aug 23, 2006 at 01:21:08 PM EST

There have been some peer-reviewed studies that show that manic depressives are creative out of proportion to their fraction of the population.

That is, creative sorts like writers have a higher incidence of manic depression than the general population.

Kay Redfield Jamison wrote about this in her book Touched With Fire.

Manic depressives are in general very emotionally expressive people.

What I write about here, that writing and music may help schizophrenics and schizoaffectives express emotion in a way they otherwise couldn't, is to my knowledge something new. If it's been written about before, I don't know of it.


--

Live your fucking life. Sue someone on the Internet. Write a fucking music player. Like the great man Michael David Crawford has shown us all: Hard work, a strong will to stalk, and a few fries short of a happy meal goes a long way. -- bride of spidy


[ Parent ]

I haven't read all of the article yet (none / 0) (#246)
by bhearsum on Sat Aug 26, 2006 at 11:27:59 AM EST

But your posts like this are one of the (few) reasons I still read K5.

My mom has been bipolar since I was young. I recall reading your 'Living with...' series when it first came out although my mom is not schizo it actually helped me understand what she was going through a little more.

Keep up the good work Michael, and enjoy the lovely weather over there :p

I dunno (none / 1) (#250)
by jcarnelian on Mon Aug 28, 2006 at 03:32:07 AM EST

I don't want to minimize your medical issues, but I think there is a risk of seeing everything through a medical lens once you've been diagnosed with something.

The problem is compounded by a media-created image of human perfection.  It's not just the  sculpted bodies and beautiful faces, it's great lives in expensive homes, with excellent verbal and emotional skills, and a wide range of friends and partners.  Even the villains and troubled people on television are perfect in their imperfections.

But normal human experience is different.   Everybody has limitations communicating emotions, nobody (at least nobody without mental illness) is happy most of the time.  Those are part of the normal human experience.  If you're aiming for achieving a media-created stereotype of normality, you're setting yourself up for failure, or worse.

MichaelCrawford (none / 1) (#252)
by tyx on Sun Sep 03, 2006 at 01:29:25 PM EST

A great article I must say. As a sufferer of schizophrenia myself, I would have to agree with lots of your points. Excellent stuff; a nice read.

How do you know that any of this really exists? (none / 0) (#253)
by mrcsparker on Wed Sep 06, 2006 at 03:10:56 PM EST

Bonita is in your head.  So am I.  So are all of us.

All of your thoughts are just a revolving pattern, the same thing over and over again.  How do you know that you haven't written that article a thousand times, or that you even wrote that article at all?  How do you make things relate to each other in your mind without losing focus?

If you are reading this, it is because you have created it.

That's one of my symptoms actually (none / 0) (#254)
by MichaelCrawford on Mon Sep 18, 2006 at 12:59:42 PM EST

It doesn't bother me lately, but was one of my worst symptoms of all back in the day.

What you speak of is known as Solipsism, the philosophical theory that one is alone in the Universe, just imagining other people.  A sincere belief in Solipsism is an extreme form of what's known to psychologists as Dissociation.

A much milder form of dissociation is spacing out or daydreaming, something I do quite a bit.  Sometimes I space out so thoroughly I can't hear other people when they speak directly to me.


--

Live your fucking life. Sue someone on the Internet. Write a fucking music player. Like the great man Michael David Crawford has shown us all: Hard work, a strong will to stalk, and a few fries short of a happy meal goes a long way. -- bride of spidy


[ Parent ]

Hi (none / 0) (#255)
by eyezsightless on Thu Oct 26, 2006 at 07:52:19 AM EST

I work as a specialist for people with mental illnesses. I have been there with schizophrenia and now back you can say. I'd like to talk to you more about it if your interested. Let's jsut say there are only very few that are able to return and will not go back. Schizophrenia is what I had along with  other diagnosis's. To prove it to ya, I'll explain how a little about it, that no one else can relate to. From some of my words and emotions. Hopefully you're still interested in getting better. I don't mind helping others with Schizophrenia.

     "It's as the signs were trying to tell me something. I start to wonder if they see what I see at times. Afraid to explain or point it out. My eyes aren't decieving me. I know what I saw. Coincidence is one thing, but this must be a sign"

     that was a phrase I can rememeber thinking.. you understand enough i think to believe me on that part I hope.. contact me at eyez8480@yahoo.com

   

The Schizophrenic Symptom of Flat Affect | 243 comments (167 topical, 76 editorial, 2 hidden)
Display: Sort:

kuro5hin.org

[XML]
All trademarks and copyrights on this page are owned by their respective companies. The Rest 2000 - Present Kuro5hin.org Inc.
See our legalese page for copyright policies. Please also read our Privacy Policy.
Kuro5hin.org is powered by Free Software, including Apache, Perl, and Linux, The Scoop Engine that runs this site is freely available, under the terms of the GPL.
Need some help? Email help@kuro5hin.org.
My heart's the long stairs.

Powered by Scoop create account | help/FAQ | mission | links | search | IRC | YOU choose the stories!