Sometimes you just want to wake up, go online, and not get bombarded with stupidity. All the time you should realize this as an improbable feat.
You try to read a serious article about someone in a car accident and all you see is the ad for “Precious lost weight, now she’s a hottie!” or some fatsist, sexist bull.
Then you make the mistake of clicking on the “I hear voices mumbling, am I going crazy?” question on Yahoo Answers and find an extended, wanna-be-intellectual answer of “that sounds like schizophrenia and here are my dumb reasons to why I think I have the right to make that comment”.
Now some fifteen year old female is running around thinking she has schizophrenia because some loon on the internet told her so.
A reminder for us all: We’ve got to be careful what words we release into the ether of the internet. I shall repeat something I feel I repeat much too often to people: hearing voices is not indicative of schizophrenia. There are many different types of auditory and visual hallucinations, and only a very small fraction of them can be categorized and attributed to a diagnosis of schizophrenia.
Did you know you can hallucinate merely from being stressed out?
There is this overwhelming belief in our society that something “abnormal” must be disordered or a sign of a “broken brain”. I don’t know where it’s coming from. Seriously, someone find the answer for me and link it to my blog in the comments below.
But for God’s sake, don’t get the answer off Yahoo. If you link me to yahoo, I will personally hack your Facebook and post graphic Hentai gifs to all your family members.
It really all comes down to this idea that we’ve got it all figured out, that how the majority of the population perceives things in the world is the only way to perceive the world, and if your perceptions are different, if your brain integrates information with a twist to it, than you and your wacko brain are in the wrong and we will make sure you’re aware of how wrong you are. And we’ll drill it into your head until you know you’re wrong and we’ll make sure you know how not acceptable you are. So along with your weird perceptions of what we label as reality, you also have to deal with being disrespected.
And we’ll make sure none of us get on your level to try and relate because, well, fuck you, you’re below us.
That attitude isn’t everywhere, but it is in many places, and I’m sure those of us who struggle with our mental health could pinpoint it somewhere at least once in in our lives, whether it be from family, doctors, psychologists, neurologists, whoever.
I gave up on the internet today. I closed all the tabs, put my computer to sleep, and sat wondering how people with such strong beliefs of “mental disorders make you insane” aren’t also labeled as delusional. 1) it’s an irrational thought 2) you can’t talk them out of it and 3) when asked, they have no real evidence to support their claim other than the media and their unintelligible link of mental illness to violent crime and since when is the media a credible source?
Then I got bored of trying to catch all the thoughts whizzing past my eyes, so I turned the computer back on. The internet Gods have been merciful on me and presented me with two wonderful articles from Scientific American and a website called “Medium.com” that kind of rips off flipboard but I’ll ignore that.
Both are in relation to the idea of consciousness and theoretical physics and I promise I will quickly link all of these ideas back to the reason why I say there is no one true reality or one true/right way of perceiving said reality. One article believes the concept and action of our consciousness may never be solved, but perhaps it could be merged with computers and bionics–as soon as neuroscientists can crack the “neural code”.
Now, I’m no neuroscientist, nor am I a particle/theoretical physicist, but the idea that a neural code (meaning a comprehensive pattern the brain/mind follows that results in an algorithm describing the function of consciousness and every single neural network in the brain) would be reduced to something as simple as a couple action potential spikes with specific milivolts as they’re suggesting sounds kind of . . . well, dumb.
That’s like saying “specific sounds have specific frequencies, and those frequencies are are the reason for the pitch of the sound” . . . without taking into account the particles that allow all of that to happen.
If you’re studying sound and how it syncs to the entirety of the universe, wouldn’t you need to dig a little deeper than that? Kind of how, you know, consciousness is everything to us?
But a good point they made is the amount of neural synaptic connections in the brain: A quadrillion. If it averages ten action potentials per second, that’s ten quadrillion operations a second. Can you fathom that without making your brain hurt?
Oh, the irony.
At ten quadrillion action potentials per second, don’t you think there’s going to be some several million of us who perceive things different than the other several million? If each brain is like a finger print, don’t you think we’re all going to see things through our own eyes and we have no right to think that our vision is the only kind of vision?
Does it seem a little silly yet to think that ONE “imbalance” of serotonin is what has ruined your life without other factors playing into it all? Does it make sense why they find some people with the same differences in serotonin as you that are not depressed or not anxious? Does it make sense that everything you’ve read about imbalances are basically just loosely educated guesses?
Does it make sense that hearing voices isn’t indicative of schizophrenia yet?
There’s no such thing as a perfect brain. There’s no such thing as a broken brain. There are just brains. Love your brain. It does so much for you.
Next time you and your brain quarrel, just remember there’s a little mass of squishy tissue with billions of neurons scrunched together just above your brain stem that gives you the freedom to never have to remind yourself to breathe. It lets you enjoy the portions of your life that you’ve enjoyed. Don’t piss it off.