UNDERSTANDING THE EMOTION CAUSING SUICIDE

Filed under: Dominance and Submission, Evolution of Emotion, Mental illness

With two high-profile suicides in the news, it is timely to discuss the inner experience of the most lethal form of depression. Seeking escape from an intense feeling of entrapment is intrinsic to melancholic depression, among the most dreaded of all mental illnesses. Aptly named by Hippocrates, melancholia means “black bile,” a potent metaphor for …

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Mental illness stigma

Hidden Evolutionary Benefits to Mental Illness?

Filed under: Evolutionary psychology, Human Nature, Mental illness

I recently got a note from someone about Old Mind, New Mind who has suffered from mental illness. As soon as he found out that the book was about the relationship between mental illness and human evolution, he assumed that I thought that mental illnesses are adaptive in some way and expressed his reservations about …

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Religion and Mental Illness

Filed under: Emotional Fossils, Evolutionary psychology, God

Religion is present in two of the illnesses I treated and studied. I am fairly certain that, in both of these mental conditions, it had to do with the patients’ belief system prior to the illness—with whether the individual was primarily motivated by money and status or by religion and morality. In a small number …

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Philosophical Journey – Discovering the Mystery of Creation in the Mind – a memoir;#5 Major Depressions & Panic Disorder Point to Ancient Dynamics of Group Formation

Filed under: Summary of Philosophy

The first mental illness that revealed a major component of human nature was the most common variety of severe depression, which, due to a quirk of history, is called “atypical depression.” It is officially recognized that a major ingredient of this kind of depression is separation anxiety, blown up into an illness by the pathological …

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God and Mental Illness

Filed under: Evolution of Emotion, Evolutionary psychology

Religion presented itself primarily in two of the illnesses I treated and studied. I am pretty sure that in both cases it had to do with the patient’s belief system prior to the illness—whether the individual was primarily motivated by money and status or by religion and morality. In a minority of cases, melancholia would …

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Emotional Fossils – V – Summing It Up and Questions Raised

Filed under: Belief, Emotional Fossils, Evolution of Emotion, Evolutionary psychology, Self domestication | 3 Comments

  Mental illnesses lift out into bas-relief segments of our normal emotional function that have been evolved in the successive eras of our six million year hominid legacy, as if placing them under a microscope and magnifying their fundamental elements.  The anxiety disorders reveal that the source of their emanation is our social ecology.  Separation …

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Mental Illnesses as Emotional Fossils – “Feedback Reverberation,” I – Overview

Filed under: Emotional Fossils, Evolution of Emotion, Evolutionary psychology, Group Selection | 3 Comments

After observing severe mental illness for 20 years, I concluded that they all represented different types of emotional hyperactivity that had escaped from regulation.  Illnesses that included symptoms of lethargy or lack of initiative, such as some forms of depression and Schizophrenia, were manifestations of a “shutdown response” to underlying emotional hyperactivity.  Crucial to this …

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