Being my own therapist

March 29, 2010 at 10:55 am (Mental illness)

Yesterday I had an especially fun lesson with a student, just going through the five main schools of psychology – Behaviourist, Psychoanalytic, Biological, Humanist and Cognitive. Today I’ll be thinking about applying each of these to myself, and perhaps finding something useful.

Behaviourist: Our behaviour is a simple response to past or present stimuli eg If a dog once scared us, we react negatively to all dogs. The stimuli can also be observed – eg If we see someone else getting ice cream for being good in class, we are more likely to be good in class.

Felicity: My behaviour responds to almost anything as a negative stimulus. If I can observe other people getting positive results for being involved in the world, I am likely to be less afraid of everything (I can also re-train myself by finding positive stimuli for myself).

2. Psychodynamic: Our rational self (the ego) tries to find a balance between our id (unrestrained desires) and our superego (social and moral rules without joy or life). Too much id power makes a person psychotic, and too much superego power makes a neurotic.

Felicity: I am clearly neurotic. To solve this, I need to let my id out of the box a little, and enjoy life. One obvious way is to spend more money on fun and less on savings. I’m already committed to that process because of the Daily Awesomeness at http://twittertales.wordpress.com. The fact that I “have” to write my blog soothes my superego.

Biological: Our psychological problems stem from chemical imbalances in the brain, as well as genetic and evolutionary predilictions.

Felicity: My own chemical imbalances respond well to chemical medication. After some medical tests on 8 April, I’ll be going back on meds for a bit.

Humanist: A person needs love and a sense of belonging to develop into a self-actualised human being. Before that, basic needs such as food and shelter must be met.

Felicity: My basic needs have only just been reliably met by CJ’s income (and life insurance) but my needs for love and belonging have something blocking my ability to believe any love for me is real. If I hang around friends who love me for who I am, perhaps I can become more actualised over time. It’d probably also help if my self-identity was less negatively skewed. I think self-identity is helped by work (of almost any kind) and I think the Daily Awesomeness will make me feel like I matter.

5. Cognitive: Our interpretation of stimuli dictates our responses. If we change our thought patterns, we change ourselves.

Felicity: I feel way more insane if I start telling myself things I don’t believe (eg Repeating, “I am a worthwhile person” over and over. . . bleaugh!) but I can attempt to minimise the repetition of negative thoughts.

Conclusion: The easiest useful thing for me to do is have more fun (thanks, Sigmund).

I also need more self-esteem and better thought patterns, but that will be more difficult to achieve (I know from experience that taking meds makes negativity suddenly seem as foolish as I know it is). But I’ll try and improve a little bit.

Advertisements

1 Comment

  1. Paige said,

    very interesting

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: