Filed under: Evolutionary psychology, Human Nature

I began my career working in a maximum-security prison with a state-mandated treatment program. One of the inmates there, whose countenance still haunts me from time to time, was a gaunt middle-aged man who used to stand in the corner of the common room and blankly stare out the window all day, chain-smoking. His posture, …

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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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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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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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