Senate Mental Health Support Thread

Discussion in 'Community' started by poor yorick, Oct 6, 2018.

  1. poor yorick

    poor yorick Ex-Mod star 6 VIP - Former Mod/RSA VIP - Game Host

    Jun 25, 2002
    This thread is tagged "Senate" because I'm only looking for thoughtful, serious replies. It's not my intention to have an intellectual debate about mental health, however. This is a place where people who struggle with mental health issues can support one another.

    Some ground rules:

    1) Please don't give unsolicited advice. If you want to suggest a way for someone to feel better, couch it in terms of your own experience, i.e., "When I felt like that, I did X." Recounting how a loved one surmounted a problem counts as personal experience. Information gotten third hand through the media or the grapevine doesn't.

    2) Ask for the type of feedback you want. If you want to hear possible solutions to a problem you have, make that clear. If you just want to vent and be heard, be clear about that too.

    3) This is not the place to debate social issues, such as whether pharmaceutical medications do more harm or good, or why so many people experience mental health difficulties these days. While those are valid topics, they merit their own threads.

    Thanks in advance for being considerate of JC members who are suffering.


    I actually created this thread more because there was some interest from other people rather than because I need it myself, but boy, have I needed mental health support in the past. I've been on disability for major depression since 2011, and am only just starting to go back to work. There are few things more disturbing than having your own mind turn against you. When you feel bad, you're convinced that life has always been bad, and always will be. It's that kind of thing that drives people to suicide. I'd like to believe that all of that's behind me now, but I know that my depression is cyclical. I'm sure I haven't seen the last of it. I try to treat times when I feel good as resting periods, when I can regroup and gain strength for the next fight. Hopefully you all are currently doing well too.

    LAJ edit - adding new US Mental Health Hotline number at user request. Use instead of 911 in the US for Mental Health emergencies.

    List of International Suicide Hotlines
    Note that it hasn't been updated for the new US Lifeline as of this edit.
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 16, 2022
  2. anakinfansince1983

    anakinfansince1983 Skywalker Saga/LFL/YJCC Manager star 10 Staff Member Manager

    Mar 4, 2011
    Reiterating that this is a Senate-tagged thread meant for serious discussion and support for those with mental health issues. Trolling, mockery, or any unsupportive comments will not be tolerated.
    PCCViking, Rew, Outsourced and 10 others like this.
  3. Ava G.

    Ava G. Force Ghost star 5

    Jul 7, 2016
    A few months ago, I was diagnosed with schizophrenia. I spent my teenage years moving through different schools, chronically depressed, until I had to drop out because it was too much.

    People always ask why I don't have a job, or a boyfriend, or why I'm not in college. They ask what I plan to do with my life.

    I don't know! I've had jobs, boyfriends, and... I want to go to college. But I am so screwed up. I can't be normal. Scared, anxious, manic, sad, happy...... all over the place for no reason. And if I didn't have medication, I'd start seeing and hearing crap. WEIRD crap. There are so many stories I could share about my hallucinations.

    I'm envious of most of you, actually. You have lives, you have family and friends. You have each other on here. And Ava G. is a freak. When she posts on here, and when she goes outside in the real world.

    It's not always so bad. My therapist says I have a "calm and calming" presence. Does that shine through on here? doubt it

    ETA: By the way, I'm drunk right now. Not supposed to do alcohol. It's a bad idea. Sorry if the above was gibberish.
    Last edited: Oct 6, 2018
  4. poor yorick

    poor yorick Ex-Mod star 6 VIP - Former Mod/RSA VIP - Game Host

    Jun 25, 2002
    I'm missing most of the status symbols that society requires for "success" too--never married, no kids, re-starting my working life with a part-time, minimum-wage job. I try not to look at it that way, though. I had to deal with a major mental illness, which most people don't have. Not everybody survives what I have. I feel like I've done all right, considering. You have too.
  5. solojones

    solojones Chosen One star 10

    Sep 27, 2000
    To me, it's no different than how chronic physicial illness can slow down your life. I have both physicial and mental illness, and the mental part is worse. I have anxiety and some depression, and it just makes things like dating hard to even care about or put the effort in for. So I definitely sympathize, Ava.
  6. Blobofat

    Blobofat Chosen One star 8

    Dec 15, 2000
    It does. You post on the Would you rather thread so that makes you a TFN A-lister imo. I post in the community threads to take a break from real life and all its stresses and I think it helps. I know its all ephemeral stuff compared to the serious condition you have but I hope it helps you too.

    I went through a period where I had to stop working for months in my 20s because of an anxiety disorder. Physical disability can be awful but it's tough to top your mind caking in. Going from a moderately athletic person to a frightened agrophobe in a matter of weeks was not pleasant. Google wasn't about back then so I had no idea what was happening.

    Thing is, so many people I know have been through something similar in their lives. I've got mates and their partners with bipolar, hypochondria, cyclothymia (which is what I was also diagnosed with), depression, anxiety...and the thing is in most cases none of us had a clue about the others. Most of the time we'd appear normal, jovial even and didn't think too hard if some episode was happening and one of us would disappear from the scene for a couple of months.

    Mental health is a massive issue, particularly in this uncertain, super high fructose fuelled age and governments are failing to deal with it. Empathy is something in short supply these days.
    Last edited: Oct 6, 2018
  7. solojones

    solojones Chosen One star 10

    Sep 27, 2000
    My hero right now is Jason Kander, who was the frontrunner for mayor of Kansas City. Until earlier in this week, when he dropped out of the race citing untreated PTSD from his days in the military. He had been afraid people would find out and use it against him politically, or judge him. He called the VA crisis line this week and started his journey to getting help.

    He may not be our next mayor, but he's leading all the same. I can't think of braver leadership. Hope he is eventually back in politics in our city because we could use someone who really understands.
    Last edited: Oct 6, 2018
  8. Jordan1Kenobi

    Jordan1Kenobi Force Ghost star 6

    Sep 30, 2012
    Yeah. I’ve got it bad. Like... extremely, extremely bad. If I told people about it, they’d think I belong in Arkham Asylum. But the thing is, I’m still completely normal. My head just likes to ruin my day. I don’t know how I’ve managed this long. But don’t worry, I’ve never felt the need to end it or anything like that. It’s just so damn annoying. I’ve been working really hard to try and fix it myself over the past 6 months. Hopefully I can fix it soon.

    Honestly, when I saw the Venom film yesterday, that’s the character I’ve been able to relate to the most out of all the films I’ve ever seen.

    P.S. You’re pretty much the first people to even hear about this. I just find it way easier to talk about my problems to people I don’t know personally.
    Last edited: Oct 6, 2018
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  9. poor yorick

    poor yorick Ex-Mod star 6 VIP - Former Mod/RSA VIP - Game Host

    Jun 25, 2002
    I'm really sorry to hear that things are so hard right now, @Jordan1Kenobi . I can remember times when I was struggling to barely function because of mental illness. Looking back, I see that I did better when I spent more time around understanding people, and less well when I isolated myself. When I say "understanding" I don't mean that they knew everything I was struggling with--not at all. Sometimes you have to be protective about things like that. I just mean that they believed what I said when I said psychological symptoms were kicking my ass, and they treated me in a respectful and compassionate way.
    Lordban and Jordan1Kenobi like this.
  10. Jedi Merkurian

    Jedi Merkurian New Films Thread Reaper and Rumor Nay-Sayer star 7 Staff Member Manager

    May 25, 2000

    Sexual violence survivor here. Between Cosby and Kavanaugh, suffice to say the last few weeks have been triggering. I’ve been seeing therapists off and on for quite some time, but I opened up to my parents and brother about it when they were last week years old.
    afrojedi, Zapdos, Jedi Ben and 5 others like this.
  11. poor yorick

    poor yorick Ex-Mod star 6 VIP - Former Mod/RSA VIP - Game Host

    Jun 25, 2002
    Me too, Merk, and I'm really sorry to hear that that happened to you. I hope your family was supportive. It's *****y to have distant people in power act with impunity, but it makes it a little more bearable when those closest to you treat you like you're credible and important.
    afrojedi, Jedi Ben, Abadacus and 4 others like this.
  12. Jedi Merkurian

    Jedi Merkurian New Films Thread Reaper and Rumor Nay-Sayer star 7 Staff Member Manager

    May 25, 2000
    They were upset (understandably) about the situation, but very supportive. It also helps somewhat that my abuser has been six feet under for a couple of years.
    afrojedi, Vialco, Jedi Ben and 6 others like this.
  13. Lordban

    Lordban Isildur's Bane star 7

    Nov 9, 2000
    This is going to be just a few different responses and items. A number of them do point out at the scale on which I'm what people call "screwed up" - which I can live with at this point. There's a reason I so often call other people "humans".


    For what interactions we've had, you do project calm, and when getting into serious conversations, I've seen you going for calming, so as far as I could see, yes, your therapist is spot-on.


    Since it's been brought up by a few people here, it's funny (and in a not-amusing-at-all-way) how the pressure is on to get a good education, have a good job, have a family, have children, have friends, have a rich social life. I do mean "pressure", because all kinds of well-meaning and less-well-meaning people keep reminding you (and by "you" I mean "me" and anybody here who identifies) that you don't have that and you should have that, and sometimes even that you deserve that and you'd be a great this or that.

    Yea, no, keep your social pressure, people. I'm enough of a what-people-call-freak-and-is-really-just-different-enough-they-can't-react-rationally-and-revert-to-being-uncomfortable-on-the-animal-level-of-neurological-process (good luck finding an actual word for that in any language...) to know I'm not going to fit into any of the standard social-success-measure boxes without one hell of a fight.

    I can't always escape that pressure, it's omnipresent in modern western societies. But fitting inside the boxes doesn't make me smile, so to hell with the boxes. To measure I'm happy, I'll look for when I feel warm inside.


    I've realized a couple of months back that I'm actually jealous of transgender people. The explanation: there are medical options to transition into a different gender; there aren't medical options to transition out of animal life into an undead form, a purely spiritual form or an artificial form.

    I did consider the monastic seclusion option to at least get close enough to the former, but there's just one issue: my values are Christian, but my belief with regards to the historical sequence of events as can be determined with what facts we have is very much heretical, as are my beliefs with respect to the afterlife.

    I did consider becoming a hermit as well. Unfortunately, I'm nowhere near capacity to achieve the required degree of autarky.


    Taking myself out is something I tried (and failed at) on two separate occasions. I'm no longer interested. It's just going to end things. And I've been miserable for enough decades to realize that in the middle of the misery, there's always going to be ways to get to one or another satisfaction. At this point, little things are what I live for. Might as well stick around as long as I can enjoy them.

  14. poor yorick

    poor yorick Ex-Mod star 6 VIP - Former Mod/RSA VIP - Game Host

    Jun 25, 2002
    I'm sorry things suck so much right now, and have for a long time, it sounds like. I think I understand what you're saying regarding transgender people . . . I actually am transgender, and have been living as my authentic self for about 18 months. That has alleviated a lot of self-hate and misery for me, but sometimes I too feel like I'm not really part of the human race. I think a certain amount of that is just the human condition.

    I'm so glad you've decided to live! If you or anybody else here feels they're losing the will to keep going, consider contacting one of the hotlines listed here (most countries, and several organizations in the US and UK): . I also sometimes hang out at You can find compassion and support there without people judging or trying to blow sunshine up your ass. They also have a 24-hour chat room set up, and there's somebody in it almost all the time. Finally, if things go to hell, you can message me. It might take me a few hours to check my messages, but I will get back to you as soon as I can.
  15. H-BOMB

    H-BOMB Jedi Master star 3

    Feb 21, 2009
    Thank you for making this thread, yorick. Vent incoming:

    This year's been a tough one. A lot of changes in my life and family. Not even bad changes! I graduated and my sister got married but regardless, it changed a lot of my environment and routines, and made me realize how important those things were to me for just daily wellbeing. At the end of last year the few friends I had dissipated, I left a relationship and person I really enjoyed, didn't try very hard to get back to work. For the majority of this year there was a period where I wasn't working or going to school or really doing anything. I stopped eating regularly (which always made things worse), stopped sleeping regularly (which I'm trying to fix now), stopped showering as often, stopped flossing and brushing my teeth as much as I used to, and having just obsessive thoughts that I tried to ignore by watching endless Youtube video game Let's Plays. I occasionally ventured out with friends when I could get a hold of them. But often my thoughts were elsewhere, thinking about some stuff my first girlfriend did in our relationship years ago that really hurt me and I'm kind of seeing in a new light - and I start reevaluating every relationship I've ever been in and just analyzing analyzing analyzing. I moved back in with my parents earlier than expected as I just needed someone around more consistently.

    I feel guilty saying that there are a few small things that are making the future a little brighter - I'm going back to school but honestly, the degree is less important than the fact that I'm going to have a ******* schedule again! Only two weeks in and the improvements to my habits seem small, but I'm hoping that they pay off more in the future. And it's fall which is my favorite season and I won't need to wear shorts anymore thank god. Also, probably waited too long to do so, but earlier this week I set up a meeting with my school's counselors as well. That's how I started going to therapy after a suicide test/attempt last year and some longer issues of self-harm. They were pretty forward about helping me find local therapists that fit. I've changed areas though, and hopefully this time it's similar, and getting that help works out. I just have to go through the "fun" task of revisiting all this stuff with new people over and over again! YAY! But damn it's better than not vocalizing it and building inaccurate, paranoid-obsessive ideas of how I perceive myself and how others perceive me.

    So essentially, thank you for making this thread!
  16. poor yorick

    poor yorick Ex-Mod star 6 VIP - Former Mod/RSA VIP - Game Host

    Jun 25, 2002
    You're welcome! Someone let me know there was a perceived need, so I figured I'd be as good as anyone as starting a thread. I can totally relate to the struggle you've been having with the loss of structure in your life. I've been off work a long time, and I fall into self-destructive patterns sometimes too. That's really the main reason I'm going back to work. I need a reason to stay sane.

    I also have a great bf who helps me out in the structure department . . . I message him 4 times a day when I take my meds. If I forget, he'll get back to me and ask if something is wrong. This has been so helpful--before, I could not remember the two mid-day doses to save my life, and my mental health suffered for it. I don't know if you have someone close to you who doesn't mind if you blow up their phone telling them mundane aspects of your life, but if you do, you might consider it.
    H-BOMB likes this.
  17. H-BOMB

    H-BOMB Jedi Master star 3

    Feb 21, 2009
    A structure is just becoming more apparently important, since this year my goals and daily life kind of slowed down. One of the most helpful pieces of advice I've been given when in a rut was to always, always make my bed for the first thing in the morning. It sounds goofy. I thought it was a joke when I heard it, and it never did anything for me right away but when kept up with it as a daily habit it really helped me. It's the first task of the day, the first item on the checklist, and if I can get that right maybe I can build on that and do more. As I said, sounds goofy and I'm not perfect with it. Sometimes I forget. A lot of modifying my habits has had to come from myself.

    I really have a hard time asking for help, as is probably typical . . . don't want to burden other people and all that. But I did have a friend this past year who I think noticed I was having a bit of a hard time and was very proactive in inviting me to go outside and go hiking or go for a bike ride. It wasn't daily structure per say, but I felt I could rely on receiving an invitation regularly - or being checked up on in some way. She's moved to another part of the country though, but we keep in touch.

    It's funny how you don't realize you need work until you need it. Usually, its something you think you need to get away from. I'm glad to hear your bf is so helpful, having those people in your life that can be around and just be very physical, present reminders that other people are thinking of you is taken for granted. They can be really hard to find. Impossibly hard sometimes. And there usually aren't many of them. I've definitely taken it for granted, I'm sure. And the thing is I can be that person too, there's others in my life that I should make an effort to check up on more regularly.
    Last edited: Oct 7, 2018
  18. Lordban

    Lordban Isildur's Bane star 7

    Nov 9, 2000
    Well, interesting times ahead. Two months off my only long-term relationship falling apart, and in the middle of trying to deal with that and keep the business afloat, my back is finally giving out (L5-S1, and no, this isn't code for someone sinking a battleship).

    Perfect time for it.
  19. Darth Smurf

    Darth Smurf Force Goat star 6

    Dec 22, 2015
    That is a nice one. My one is not 100% since birth (On outside only at 60%).
    It really gets painful if I overstress it. Do you have already problems with not feeling your toes (or worse)?
  20. Lordban

    Lordban Isildur's Bane star 7

    Nov 9, 2000
    I've been living with some degree of pain in the lower back and right leg from it for the last five years, but the current degree of pain is new x)

    Lifted a fallen garden wall to get there. I was a bit more preoccupied by the kid stuck under it at the time x)
    Darth Smurf likes this.
  21. SateleNovelist11

    SateleNovelist11 Force Ghost star 6

    Jan 10, 2015
    We feel you, Merkurian.

    I've been diagnosed with C-PTSD, trichotillomania, and synesthesia. Obviously, only the last one is fun. I overcome the second one. The first one usually only manifests itself once or twice a year. It was bad in 2016. I survived a lot then, and I think the times I was banned on here in 2016 could be attributed to how I had not yet learned to manage my C-PTSD. Of course, going to the women's shelter for counseling this spring and my Eponym helping me were two factors.
    Jedi Merkurian likes this.
  22. Master_Rebado

    Master_Rebado Chosen One star 6

    May 31, 2004
    I'd post about my own experiences but really not feeling it that it'd not be mocked.
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  23. poor yorick

    poor yorick Ex-Mod star 6 VIP - Former Mod/RSA VIP - Game Host

    Jun 25, 2002
    @Lordban -- Yikes. That really sucks. I've screwed up my back too . . . not sure exactly what I did, but it's been hurting for months. Physical pain is so exhausting . . . it makes the emotional stuff harder to deal with. Sympathies.

    @Master_Rebado -- I get it, especially given the way the old "Are You A Depressed JC'er?" thread went. FWIW, I never mocked anyone in that thread and won't mock you here. Anakinfansince1983 also made it clear that she'd be kicking asses if people got *****y in this thread. Feel free to share if you want to.
  24. Jedi Ben

    Jedi Ben Chosen One star 9

    Jul 19, 1999
    I'd like to go with the idea that this thread exists at all as an indicator of the better side of the boards, something positive - the posts shared so far really do show a high level of trust in a sense of support that'll be given unquestioningly. This bit really jumped out at me:

    It sounds a bit counter-intuitive that telling people they should have X, Y, Z can then result in them being more likely to be harmed by not having them, that it becomes a negative cycle yet that is what can happen. To a degree not having kids was a choice made for us, but did I really feel up to that level of responsibility? Would I want to bring a kid into this world? A lot of me says no, that I wouldn't be.

    Yet, at the same time, me and a colleague at work are doing a job at a level we never thought we would. It's been a gradual thing over the last three years where we've been encouraged to take on new things, to slowly develop confidence. We still know, between us, just about every mental bad habit to cultivate a lousy self-perception, some of our team do too, while being excellent at their jobs. So, it's something we both continue to work on for ourselves and the team members we manage, to encourage a more positive and even, dare I say, kinder view of self and others. It still feels very, very strange but it's also very good.
  25. MrZAP

    MrZAP Jedi Grand Master star 5

    Jun 2, 2007
    So this is huge.

    Carried over from the politics thread.
    Frankly I don't care if you or anyone is pro-life. Or more accurately I do care because I want people on my side because it helps, but I don't care if they like it so long as I get my way. It's more pragmatic for me to care about what you think but if I didn't have to I wouldn't. I've always been an ends guy more than a means guy in terms of my agenda, you know that, and I would lie if I said I didn't have a naturally controlling personality and authoritarian tendencies. We just happen to agree on most policy initiatives but you and everyone an ally of convenience because we don't have quite the same goals.

    So if you were pro-life, it would be annoying and inconvenient and an obstacle to overcome but that's about all I would care about in that regard.

    That's also what I was alluding to with my earlier brainwashing comment. I was totally serious. I would never kill anyone obviously, but anything else, including, er, altering them, or hell just non-fatally injuring them, is completely morally fine by me, if deemed necessary to achieve results. I have one line only: no deaths, period, and it's the only completely indispensable uncompromising thing. I'm not a fan of maiming or I guess permanent damage either but I can see this becoming less of an issue for me if and when people are able to recover from such things more easily or get better replacement parts, and in any case between maiming and death it's a no-brainer whether it's me or someone else. I wouldn't be happy about having to use force. I find it messy and counterproductive long-term. It has no finesse. I like finesse. I like persuasion and mutual understanding, and I strongly prefer diplomatic methods because I think they work better overall. But it's not a moral thing, at all, and so while I wouldn't be happy about it if the decision was made that it was necessary, either in long planning or in the moment, it would be done without hesitation or regret. Your life is always, always, always safe with me, but literally nothing else is, not your short-term happiness or your comfort or your freedom or your health. This essentially never comes up in real life, though, or hasn't had to. The two times I found it necessary to defend someone else in my adult life when these thoughts existed I was able to successfully do so without further harm to anyone else (assuming I even could hurt someone which is highly questionable honestly since I'm pretty short and scrawny). Well, and there was the time my parents had the childhood cat euthanized (they say put to sleep, I say had killed because death is death and don't you dare sanitize it) without telling me because they knew I would try to stop it which I'm still incredibly pissed about over a year later when I actually think about it, which thankfully isn't too often.

    Also I wouldn't argue that your beliefs are inherently emotional or based on motherhood or whatever, and good that they aren't, but I would suggest that they are adopted from old cultural and religious traditions that might be outmoded... like, well, a huge amount of society is. It's a bit of a tangent that I won't really get into, but I basically want society to be much more future-y than it is now in a lot of ways. So many things have always seemed so obviously ridiculous and illogical and counterproductive to me, in a lot of ways that you and I would agree on but much moreso because I really want a fundamental paradigm shift in the entire fabric of civilization.

    I am happy your children are doing well.

    I'm not necessarily going to argue that it's not tone-deaf, because I can see how that argument and I can empathize it and honestly it's at least partly right, it does come off as tone-deaf, but my main argument is that the person who died should be the only focus of death because they're the one who actually lost everything and most things after- memorials, funerals, wakes, whatever- feel kind of grotesque because we're making it about us, and it feels hypocritical and unfair to the deceased. I don't necessarily argue that people are wrong for mourning in general because I can understand how people impact each other and how having a death of someone else can affect you, but I wish the pageantry was taken out of it because it feels wrong. And like I said my primary response to death is anger, fury even, because I see all deaths as injustices as the living's inherent entitlement to continued life is forcibly stripped from them; I consider death to be without exception and regardless of circumstance the worst thing that can happen to someone, and I wish we'd put more energy into combating it, really combating it, instead of working around the edges.

    As for infanticide, for a short while years ago I flirted a bit more seriously with the concept being okay but I was always uncomfortable with the idea and I roundly rejected it when I decided that newborn development was too murky, which is why I also settled on birth and not before either. Development has a general pattern but it's too case-by-case basis and I know that it's not a biological argument but my aim was a one-size-fits-all answer that could be easily adopted, and birth seems to be an obvious demarcation- whenever in development that birth ends up being.

    Yes, I agree that that is a great practical problem. I don't really have anything else to say about that.

    I'm going to break down @Darth Nerdling's post because he actually said some things that did give me pause and I'd like to respond to them adequately.
    Okay so far I'm nodding my head yes that this is essentially an accurate interpretation of my line of thought, as mentioned above. The goal is to have a general answer. I like, not necessarily simplicity, but categorical imperatives. When it comes to morality categorical imperatives are my thing. I don't believe in objective or universal morality independent of humans so I kind of worked out my own to work with. It makes things easier because I always know exactly what I would or should do in any given real or hypothetical situation from an ethical standpoint, at least in a general sense.

    As for "not getting it" okay my word choice wasn't perfect. I don't mean I don't understand where people are coming from; I do. I just think it's silly and unworkable.

    Here I just want to point out what I think are agreed upon issues with Roe v Wade; that as technology advances abortions will become less of an option under the law. If we base legality on viability then eventually women are going to be forced to raise children they're unprepared for and don't want because we'll have artificial wombs and so on. I'm happy that viability is being pushed back when people care about it but for the purposes of abortion's legality we need to modify the reasoning behind the decision.

    All the other stuff about progression just makes things harder to work with, as I mentioned above. I agree with your reasoning but my priority, as mentioned above, is different. However these last couple paragraphs are the most interesting:

    I have a hard time countering this, because I absolutely agree regarding the statements about death. I think brain-death is death, and the rest of the body doesn't matter. If cognitive function exists then you're still alive and if it doesn't then you're not. Maybe the rest of your body is functional but what makes you is gone (yes yes I know that all the rest of the bodily needs and functions obviously affect mental state and so on and I don't believe in a brain-mind separation but the thing that really matters to our concept of existence or consciousness is higher brain function).

    So the argument about brain-function before birth is actually rather compelling, and is something I have more or less chosen to avoid before because of how dicey and hard to pinpoint it all is compared to when you die. And that's uncomfortable because I like precision, I really do, so if we can't be precise I would rather just avoid it altogether. My ideal situation is we can detect precisely when "consciousness"- however we choose to define it- begins, independent of birth or anything else for each individual fetus and work with that as the demarcation, and have it be entirely on a case-by-case basis. I actually really want that, because I agree it is a better categorical imperative to have than "just when they're born". The trouble I have is we don't have that yet and I don't know if or when we will or if it's even a high priority. So it concerns me. But if there were any argument to make me change my stance on this issue, it would be this one, because all I really care about is the brain, at least where animals are concerned (and, on a tangent, yes, this absolutely does apply to nonhumans and to non-animals and to any non-organic intelligences we encounter or create and certainly to extraterrestrials; I agree that it is more practical to focus on humans for the time being but I'm really not comfortable with death in general, as a concept we have to live with, with the exception of cancer cells or cells only part of a larger whole in general).

    The final thing I want to touch on is "killing newborn infants is like the most awful act imaginable for many people." Because once again I don't get this, or more accurately once again I find it silly, or, okay, I'll be honest, I mean stupid. Because babies are innocent or they have a whole life to live or they're defenseless or whatever?

    All deaths are unacceptable. All deaths are intolerable. There is no "relatively" unacceptable. There is no more or less unacceptable. It's either acceptable or it's not. It's a binary state. It doesn't matter if it's a 2 day old or a 4 year old or a 12 year old or a 35 year old or a 105 year old, whether it's someone who's perfectly healthy or quadriplegic or with cerebral palsy, whether it's a humanitarian or a serial killer, whether they are able to be independent or not, whether they died of natural causes or a car accident or an execution or AIDS, whether they have a good or bad prognosis, whether it's quick or slow or in their sleep, whatever their values are, whatever they believe, wherever or however they live, however they treat others, however or how much they influence the world, whether they're social or isolated, loved or hated or not thought of by anyone else at all, entirely mentally fit or suicidal, it does not matter.

    If you call one death worse than another you are trivializing those other lives' importance, or perhaps all lives' importance, and you are trivializing death, and I know it was a marginal comment and I know you did not intend it that way and so on one level I'm sorry that I'm going after you like this, but I earnestly feel that that is what it amounts to.

    Death is bad, death is tragic, death is unjust, it is a wrong inflicted upon living beings, a robbery of the life possess that they are inherently and forever entitled to as their literal birthright (and, in the long run at least, entitled to some to-be-decided-or-perhaps-agreed-upon definition of a good life) that's it, that's my stance, the circumstances are entirely irrelevant, it is THE categorical imperative. And as for the numbers game the trolley problem is a dumb fantastical farce that I reject the premise of because it doesn't pass my willing suspension of disbelief because there's always always always a way out or an infinite number really and we've gotta try to find them when it comes up and maybe we fail but hope remains and the universe is immense and full of choice! And as for terminal illness we might fail but we've gotta spare no expense and burn the midnight oil and leave no (reasonable, scientific) stone unturned and hope and try for pulling through because hospice is a disgrace and deathism at its worst and if you're alive you can always theoretically get better and have a good life but if you die then you're done and yes quantity matters. And if someone wants to commit suicide I can empathize because I have long been chronically depressed but it is a mistake because once again it can always get better and if we have to we are obligated, duty bound to save people from themselves. And if someone is in peril and needs help or might need help and you can divine some way that you might be able to help it's your duty to do absolutely everything you can up to but not including sacrificing your own life, though calculated risks are understandable, and it doesn't matter whether you have all the facts yet or not because the risk is too great, and it doesn't even matter if they ask for or want or even willingly accept it or not because their lives are too important to lose. And it doesn't matter if you end up making things harder down the line because people need to be helped right now and you'll deal with complications if and when they arise. We've got to fight, fight with everything, we need to wage total war on a species-wide scale, to wipe out the great destroyer of all that matters, the thing that makes lives pointless, the thing that invalidates all that we are because we might as well not have existed at all. And then when we are protected at least from aging and many diseases and can enhance ourselves and make ourselves stronger and more durable and able to do even more, when we are able to engineer great yields of food and energy and distribute it entirely, and stop killing each other or maybe even fighting altogether, while still remaining vigilant and working on larger problems as they arrive as we must adapt to changing climates and eventually expand beyond our planet and take refuge from the dangers of space and time, then all of us who have endured to that point will be better off and we'll all get to enjoy and reap the wonders of being alive in this amazing universe, and won't that be just fantastic. Won't that just be a wonderful party.

    And finally and importantly also yes! yes it's what I personally want. I want people to stay alive, others as much as myself, for my own personal satisfaction, and I won't deny it and after long deliberation, and I mean years of weighing societal values and my own innermost desires, I decided that I don't care if it's selfish and controlling because to hell with it. To hell with it.

    This is the part where you all say I'm crazy and that you're glad I'm just a dumb guy on a computer with no actual power. Or you choose to not engage, I guess, that happens too on the rare times when this comes up.

    I don't know how I've never even been warned before the times this has come up. Maybe this will be it or more. I don't know why I keep on this every once in awhile, except I can't not. **** it, it needs to be said and I need to say it. I have to. I want to too, but I have to. Why can't people just listen? Why can't they just understand, and help? I know intellectually why that's a hard ask, but still I need it. I need it. Here, but not just here. I need this to come to pass, and I need people to want it, and the idea of my continued mortality and of others continuing to die and of people not working to stop it and the thought of us not getting there and of my own death is just something I can't bear and can't ever accept as a finality, because if I'm going to die someday what is even the point, and accepting it as true- and I honestly believe it does not have to be certain- is the same thing as a slow suicide, and nothing else matters in life.

    This is the new part.
    I don't know what to do about this. Honestly in my everyday life I'm just a ****-up. Due to mental health issues including depression and computer addiction alongside older issues like OCD and mild Asperger's and including some general personality flaws and bad habits I've flunked out of college for the forseeable future- actually I can say I've flunked out a couple times but have never been able to beat the problems, and have never even had a real job- I've been on SSI my entire adult life- and obviously I'm incredibly and probably unreasonably ambitious not just in the regards stated above but also generally because I want to be a change-maker or whatever, a politician or a scientist or an activist and instead I'm home all day almost every day in the little room I have in my shared apartment in one of the most expensive cities in the country with a constant feeling of dissatisfaction about my circumstances and with the worst sleep habits imaginable, no purpose, and endless escapism through movies and TV and games and, less and less, books. And I'm closing in on thirty and anxiety and a feeling of hopelessness (even though it goes against my own philosophies; believing in hope and feeling hope are different things, and I feel bad about that) and dread is always in the back of my mind when I let myself dwell on it which I do at some point most days. And I know most or all of that is well beyond the scope of this thread, or this forum or community or whatever and I wouldn't ask for help or advice. I'm not asking for that. Partly I'm just venting. But not completely. That up there isn't just venting; I have a genuine strong feeling of need to actually convince people of those things, and to get them to do them, and I believe in triggers because death is mine, and I guess I triggered myself some. I just don't know what to do. I can't live like this. I don't know how to get out. Ten years ago I imagined things being so different, but I was also less worldly then and I do think I am actually wiser and more grounded, not that it actually helps. I have a dumb belief in myself that I can't shake that I know is a mental block that I'm good at thinking but bad at doing, and I know I have to just get over it but it's hard when it feels like all evidence points to that being true.

    I want to stress that despite everything I'm not suicidal, obviously, though sometimes I have felt like I'm suicidal adjacent, like the only thing keeping me going has been the very philosophy up there, and the utter conviction that death is worse than anything and always to be avoided, and because I see the theoretical possibilities of life which I try to point out to others. But while I know life can be enjoyed in theory I do not actually enjoy my life as it is. And yet I am the least likely person I've ever met- so far as I know I've never met anyone who thought exactly as I do- to commit or attempt or even seriously consider suicide for ever a moment, and I never, ever have and am completely confident that I never will. So my beliefs are a fantastic survival mechanism even if they haven't helped in any other way.

    But that doesn't get me out or make anything better. Only I can do that by changing myself, and I don't know how, and I always feel bad about that because I feel like intellectually it's just straightforward and I definitely believe I am capable of doing better (though stuff like the college thing make me more anxious about exactly how much better and if I've messed myself up too much and how much is repairable and I feel mortality like a ticking clock every year older I get, especially the past few years, because while I can still classify myself as a "young person" that's going to go away fast and aside from a few things like getting better at cooking and being a bit more self-sufficient with budgeting- which I am proud about- my life is essentially unchanged from several years ago. At least I moved out from being with the worst roommate ever this past spring and am living with a guy I get along with really well now, and I really do appreciate that because the twenty months before that were awful and anxiety-inducing. Aside from this though I also get nervous because of the political climate and my financial situation, and I'm afraid for my SSI even though I think California and L.A. will try to do right by me, and I'm afraid of not being able to afford rents here in five years because I was super lucky to find the last couple places and my health care is stupidly tied to the L.A. area as well. And I'm afraid for a lot of my friends as well because a lot of them are minorities or just poor; at least I'm a straight white male I guess and I'm cognizant that that is an advantage. At the same time though I also feel like the one among my peers who has accomplished the least and it's all my own fault and I'm super self-conscious about discussing my life with all but my closest friends because I have no accomplishments to show and if they look closely they'll see that my bad situation is exactly the same as it was before and I don't seem to be doing anything to get out of it, and this also means I'm more scared to meet new people the older I get because I feel that gap more, but I also want to meet new people because a lot of my friends have moved away or are just really busy, which has also made me feel more socially isolated the past couple years (and it doesn't help that I have very little disposable income to do anything either, though I also suck at saving for anything substantial and always have unlike my super money-practical younger sister). Still, I'm afraid of being homeless eventually. All of that gives me a lot of anxiety.

    And no I'm not in therapy right now though I have been in therapy for long stretches of life and talk-therapy has never felt beneficial to me because talking out my feelings has never felt helpful. I think I'm pretty reflective and self-aware anyway and am good at noticing my own issues and when I'm being illogical or need to change things or whatever and am okay at thinking of solutions. I have a great intellectual understanding of healthy behaviors and habits, and I'm good at giving advice to people most of the time. Like I said, good at thinking, suck at follow-through. Maybe I suck at goal-setting too. I would love to do some sort of behavior altering kind of therapy to just undo bad habits but I've never been able to really find that, and forget computer/internet addiction focused programs because those have seemed impossible to find.

    Ugh this add-on thing went on even longer than I planned too. This post is huge. I hate that. I don't even know how to end it now.

    Also, hey @appleseed I know it's small comfort, but count your blessings and I really mean this, hold out hope. You might have problems but they can be fixed. You might need help, but you can do it. And so can I. And so can society. We can. And it's definitely not a competition, but I envy your life. Do your best to hang in there and keep fighting.

    Edit: sometimes I can't believe that it lets me post stuff that big, but it always does

    Edit 2: Added in complicating factors that I have Asperger's. I've mentioned it on the boards before but not in a long time. It's a touchy subject for me because I very much do not want to be viewed as "the person with Asperger's" or have it be extrapolated into my life or as a reason for my actions in any way by others. I do have a relatively mild case compared to a lot of other people I've met and I've always been a sociable person since my teens. But I figured I might as well mention it because what the hell.
    Last edited: Oct 16, 2018