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Thread: Depressives

  1. #11
    señor member colmena's Avatar
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    I don't think those who are depressed are anything of an interpersonal lost cause. Talking to people (forums rather than one-to-one, at first) helped me at my lowest. It gave me a chance to be passionate and creative at my leisure and then receive recognition for it. Then singular people became interested in me, and that took things to a new level: I began to feel a sense of giving that I found very rewarding, and there's something deeply beautiful and esteem boosting in the thought of someone having the time just for you. That you're worth someone's time with no ulterior motive (except perhaps the reciprocated joy of connecting with another); I hadn't believed that before, and then I got proof. I suppose I have the internet to thank for that.

    I think if anything can help, it's connecting with good people. The people of Holism, the altruists. And simply the optimists; those who can emphasise the good in others. It's infectious.
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  2. #12
    Senior Member Dwigie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by colmena View Post
    I don't think those who are depressed are anything of an interpersonal lost cause. Talking to people (forums rather than one-to-one, at first) helped me at my lowest. It gave me a chance to be passionate and creative at my leisure and then receive recognition for it. Then singular people became interested in me, and that took things to a new level: I began to feel a sense of giving that I found very rewarding, and there's something deeply beautiful and esteem boosting in the thought of someone having the time just for you. That you're worth someone's time with no ulterior motive (except perhaps the reciprocated joy of connecting with another); I hadn't believed that before, and then I got proof. I suppose I have the internet to thank for that.

    I think if anything can help, it's connecting with good people. The people of Holism, the altruists. And simply the optimists; those who can emphasise the good in others. It's infectious.
    couldn't agree more on that.
    Sometimes I feel like I'm "on Mercury"-

  3. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Victor View Post
    We have succeeded, at least in Australia, of protecting ourselves against AIDS by the use of prophylactics.
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    Unsafe sex drives HIV infection rate to 10-year high

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    October 12, 2006

  4. #14
    No moss growing on me Giggly's Avatar
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    I think it should be stated that I don't think there are any depressives who are happy to be depressed.

    However, there is one type that is depressed because it feels comfortable to them. Comfortable in the sense that depression is familiar to them. And they may fear living in a different way. A more happy way. A way that they may have never experienced before in their life and thus it is unknown to them. Fear of the unknown can be a very powerful force for many people.

    I also don't think they seek to draw others into depression with them either, but rather, to protect and/or defend their own depressed (=comfortable) state. And they do this because depression is viewed by society as an uncool way to be and society says that those who are depressed are to be relieved of their depression right away.

    That said, I don't think anyone is immune to having moments of sadness or depression. Life is full of ups and downs. And we all need someone to connect with in these moments, maybe to help. Sadness simply an emotion. So people who are depressed deserve compassion. But of course, only to the point where giving compassion begins to depress you, the giver, particularly if you are sensitive to that.

    I am uncomfortable when I feel sad/depressed and desperately try to get out of that state, usually with success (knock on wood), but this is a testament to how important a persons comfort zone is to them. So I understand the type of depressed who like to stay there.

  5. #15
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    Default Confusing Sympathy and Empathy

    This is an interesting problem.

    We all like to think we are good. So we all like to think we are sympathetic. And we all like to think we are empathetic.

    But sympathy is natural. Sympathy is intuitive. Mothers sympathise with their babies and their babies sympathise with them.

    On the other hand, empathy is counter-intuitive. Empathy is unnatural. Empathy must be learnt in exactly the same way literacy is learnt.

    Everyone learns to speak their language at home with their mother. We learn to speak intuitively. We learn to speak naturally. We learn to speak sympathetically.

    On the other hand, we learn to read and write - we become literate - by being compelled by the State to leave our sympathetic home and go to an institution, with specially trained staff.

    We are compelled by law to learn to read and write - there is nothing natural about it.

    Literacy is counter-intuitive.

    And empathy is counter-intuitive.

    But I'll bet my boots no one here has learnt to empathise. But instead, foolishly confuse empathy with sympathy.

    This is unfortunate because whereas sympathy is nice, empathy is uniquely helpful.

  6. #16
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    I've always thought of empathy as understanding the position (emotional or otherwise) of another. Putting oneself in another's "boots." Is that the definition you're using?

  7. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jack Flak View Post
    I've always thought of empathy as understanding the position (emotional or otherwise) of another. Putting oneself in another's "boots." Is that the definition you're using?
    G'day Jack, It's good to hear from you.

    But I would say that putting oneself in another's boots is sympathising.

    And this is the natural thing to do - it is the good thing to do - it is the intuitive thing to do. And I think the Good Book enjoins us to do just that.

    And we all want to be good. We all want to be natural. We all want to relate to one another naturally and intuitively.

    Also we have a strong desire to belong - we do have a strong desire to be the same as. We have a strong desire to be the same as our mother, so we learn to speak her language. We have a strong desire to be the same as our peers, so we all wear jeans.

    We have a strong, almost overwhelming, desire for sympathy.

    And remember 'sympathy' comes from the Greek, meaning to feel the same.

    Whereas empathy also comes from the Greek, but means to feel with. So you can empathise without feeling the same as.

    So empathy means the opposite of sympathy - empathy means the opposite of putting oneself in another's boots.

    I would like to say, on a personal note, that I think sympathy and empathy are both essential.

    But I think the difference is important - where sympathy is like learning to speak intuitively at home, empathy is like learning to read and write counter-intuitively at school.

    So it is possible to become empathically literate - but it requires lots and lots of practice - just like learning to read and write. Empathy doesn't come naturally - despite what we might like to think - and we think like this because we quite naturally confuse sympathy and empathy.

    After all, they kinda look the same, don't they?

  8. #18
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    Okay. Those are the definitions I use too, I just didn't phrase it as well as you. Thanks. I have to say, I'm usually quite skilled at empathy, but I almost always remain detached, and therefore lack sympathy.

  9. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hmm View Post
    I think it should be stated that I don't think there are any depressives who are happy to be depressed.
    Sure, and I am sure you are right - there are no depressives who are happy.

    And you are right that sadness is an emotion that passes like any other emotion.

    And you are right - we all like someone to connect with - to share our happiness and joy as well as our inevitable sadnesses.

    In fact you wrote to me the other day asking me to be your friend. I replied but you made it clear you wanted to be a MySpace friend - the kind of friend you have when you are not having a friend.

    I felt sad at this but the feeling is slowly passing - and I think it the talking about it that helps me to watch it pass.

    But what a shame, what a shame that the Noosphere has made talking to one another so easy but has debased friendship.

  10. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mycroft View Post
    Sorry things didn't work out with your boy/girlfriend, but thanks for the superb example of vilifying one's own inferior function.
    Things haven't worked out with a number of girlfriends - yet each one of them changed me forever - and each one of them remains part of me forever.

    I always try to lead by example so I am delighted to be a superb example, even it it is only to confirm my inferiority.

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