~This is a place for hyperthymics to feel at home, understood and appreciated as they would in few other places.

 

 

“The saints differ from us in their exuberance, the excess of our human talents.  Moderation is not their secret.  It is in the wildness of their dreams, the desperate vitality of their ambitions, that they stand apart from ordinary people of good will.”~Phyllis McGinley

 

 

     

 

 


 


able of Contents

Have you ever noticed that some people have an extra warmth and sparkle that most people don’t have?

 

My My Story webpage, giving my own personal experiences with growing up and living my life like this, very earthy and flourishing, and doing my best to share this

My About Us webpage gives more practical information, which one could use to recognize this and give people help recognizing what’s going on.  This includes some particulars on how I used the case of OJ Simpson to recognize what was going on with someone

More from my About Us page, recognizing more chaos, as well as the fact that those attracted to the positive side of these personalities would tend to end up with a lot of people who have the negative side, so may seriously be treated as if they have a codependent attraction to the negative side

Also, knowing what this negative side looks like, and if someone is lacking some depth then chances are that psychologists aren’t going to provide it.

My The Romance of Hassidism webpage, about Hassidism, the ecstatic mystical sect of Judaism, which includes its own wild music!

Then there’s my web page showing how much more likely men are than women to kill themselves just because of the ending of one marriage or romantic relationship, and this is something that I take seriously.

And then there’s my On Doping webpage, very relevant to hyperthymic personalities.  They can often have exactly the distortions in thinking that could lead to lethal drug abuse, and neither the old~fashioned approach of throwing them in prison nor the modern approach of sending them to treatment would make much difference, since neither makes much difference to the sort of impulsive person who, any spouse or lover of such a person would be told, hasn’t been persuaded to stop either through controlling tactics or by warm humanistic approaches, so why would these lovers or spouses be able to change someone that intractable?

 

 

 

            his is a summary of my other web pages on hyperthymic personalities, which are the opposite of dysthymic or chronically depressed personalities.  Hyperthymic personalities are attractive for all the reasons that are the opposite of the reasons why many find dysthymic personalities unattractive, and for plenty other reasons as well.  These webpages are my My Story, and About Us.  Also somewhat related to this is my The Romance of Hassidism webpage, which consists of excerpts from that book, by Jacob S. Minkin, about how wild many of the founders of Hassidism, the ecstatic mystical sect of Judaism, which has its own wild style of music, got!  Also, Men Dying for Love webpage, which is basically an appendix of a book on suicide, consisting of random suicide notes written by both men and women.  Despite the traditional stereotypes, several of the men killed themselves because of the ending of just one romantic relationship or marriage, while the only woman to do this was a lesbian.  The main reason for this summary is to put something on hyperthymic personalities onto search engines, so that those who have them could feel more comfortable with them and so that anyone could learn how to recognize them in others which could give them answers that would help them.  This webpage could also serve as a streamlined summary.  The documentation is on these other web pages.

            ave you ever noticed that some people have an extra warmth and sparkle that most people don’t have?  These people could be described as perpetually enthusiastic and outgoing, so they’re exactly the sort of person you’d want to surround yourself with. This is the sort of spark that either you’ve got it or you don’t; you can’t fake it. You also may have noticed that these people tend to be not only smarter than most, bright brilliant and sharp, but they also tend to have both a warmth and a deep-level awareness that most people are clearly lacking, so these people could seem unusually idealistic and cosmopolitan.  They could also be unusually successful in life, as enthusiastic bright people tend to be.  You may have wished that you could be like that, or maybe, perhaps, you are.  Maybe you’ve always felt that compared to you, most people seem dull, square, obeisant, unimaginative, and basically half dead, and you just couldn’t figure out why.  Well, this may be it.  Our thinking can be so profound that you might not believe that the source of it can be this simple and sometimes problematic, but what makes us different is that we have what could be called chronically manic personalities, just as those who are mildly chronically depressed but within the normal range are called chronically depressed.  (If you’ve seen the selfish short-sighted tendencies of enough of us, the extent to which they’re basically diluted versions of the impairments of judgment that manic episodes are known for, might stun you.)  As Aristotle Onassis said, “The secret of success is to know something nobody else knows,” and you’d be amazed how few people know about hyperthymic personalities, though many of them are easy to recognize, and hyperthymics tend to be successful, impressive, people.

In essence, what hyperthymics tend to look like, is the celebrities who attract hordes of groupies, charismatic smart creative and idealistically caring, but also tending to have plenty of artistic-temperament-style behavior problems, such as boozing, doping, irascibility, flamboyant eccentricities, and irresponsibility.  If you surrounded yourself with all of the celebrities who attract hordes of groupies, you sure would tend to associate with people who have artistic-temperament-style behavior problems, so you could very easily seem to have a subconscious codependent attraction to artistic-temperament-style behavior problems.  Yet the only groupies who are attracted to the boozing and doping, are those who want to share the booze and dope.  It might seem strange that the very same hyperthymic person who’s very attractive most of the time,

 

could also be very problematic some of the time,

but that’s the reality.

In essence, we tend to fit both the positive (very caring) and the negative (very uncaring) stereotypes of artists, though these might look like exact opposites of each other.  Yet it’s amazing how destructive a little bit of momentary impulsivity could be.  Also, the “love” as in “peace and love,” is certainly a lot colder than the committed romantic love that those who insist on their independence, would likely be very hesitant, even phobic, with.  Yet this is the kind of love that “Love conquers all,” refers to.  One sort of situation where hyperthymic impulsivity and shallowness are the most dangerous, is the sort in which all the person has to do is say, “Sure, I made that commitment then, but you’ve got to understand that it’s no longer right for me!” “I no longer feel right with this,” etc., and you’d seem draconian, manipulative, etc., if you expected him to keep it.  In a self-reliant society, any acceptance of those who might be controlling, manipulative, etc., would be a moral hazard that could be very powerful, very forceful and compelling, and one can’t defend himself against it without looking as if he’s re-victimizing victims.  Just think of all that those controllers and manipulators would then be able to get away with!  It seems that we must fear the untermenschen and their victim-power, and mustn’t fear the übermenschen and their freedoms.

 

“God, grant me serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can, and wisdom to know the difference.  Living one day at a time, enjoying one moment at a time; Accepting hardship as a pathway to peace; Taking as Jesus did this sinful world as it is not as I would have it; Trusting that You will make all things right if I surrender to Your will; So that I may be reasonably happy in this life and supremely happy with You forever in the next—Amen.”—REINHOLD NIEBUHR

 

 

 

 

 

     

 

And in case “mood disorders” sounds rare and aberrant to you, on my Making the Political, Personal webpage,

I have plenty of quotes from antidepressant ads, guides on how to treat depression, etc., which tell of America’s outstandingly high rate of depression, as if this is just one of the biological diseases that are parts of the natural order, such as the Learning About Depression webpage on the Zoloft website, If you have depression, this sad mood along with other symptoms can last weeks, months, or even years if not treated.  Depression isn’t a sign of weakness or a character flaw.  It’s a real medical condition, but there are ways to successfully treat depression....  Depressive disorders affect about 34 million American adults.”  (If instead, this were treated as a social problem in the same way that many social movements in the 1960s treated social problems, it would seem very strange to talk about millions of Americans suffering from depression, as millions of Americans who’d better get fixed through antidepressant medication, cognitive therapy, etc.  Just imagine what the 1960s would have looked like if, instead, these social movements had said, “If racism, sexism, etc., bother you, then go to a cognitive therapist and learn how to think more optimistically about the opportunities that people have.”)  Mood disorders aren’t anything unusual.  And you should ask yourself whether this could really consist of quirks that are that self-destructive, inside of that many people.

 

 

Dr. Peter Kramer, in his book Listening to Prozac, wrote, “Psychiatrists have begun to recognize a normal or near-normal condition called ‘hyperthymia,’ which corresponds loosely to what the Greeks called the sanguine temperament.” The Merriam Webster’s New Collegiate Dictionary defines sanguine as: “having blood as the predominating bodily humor; also : having the bodily conformation and temperament held characteristic of such predominance and marked by sturdiness, high color, and cheerfulness.”  Sounds exciting, don’t it? Dr. Kramer goes on, “Hyperthymia is distinct from mania or hypomania, the disorders in which people are grandiose, frenetic, distractible, and flawed in their judgment. Hyperthymics are merely optimistic, decisive, quick of thought, charismatic, energetic, and confident.”  The list of adjectives describing hyperthymics from Dr. Hagop Akiskal, that Kramer gives, is, “‘irritable,’ ‘cheerful,’ ‘overoptimistic,’ ‘exuberant,’ ‘overconfident,’ ‘self-assured,’ ‘boastful,’ ‘bombastic,’ ‘grandiose,’ ‘full of plans,’ ‘improvident,’ ‘impulsive,’ ‘overtalkative,’ ‘warm,’ ‘people-seeking,’ ‘extraverted,’ ‘overinvolved,’ ‘meddlesome,’ ‘uninhibited,’ ‘stimulus-seeking,’ and/or ‘promiscuous.’ They are habitual short sleepers, even on weekends.”  In other words, we’re basically attractive, very alive people, though some of us (certainly not all) have, to varying degrees, impairments of judgment that become very familiar to those who find everyone else half dead.  (Since our human nature is very intensified, and while some of us are unusually selfish, for the most part we tend to be warm and what most would call “idealistic,” this gives me confidence in human nature.)  Because of our increased creativity, what’s known as the “artistic temperament” is actually a part of the negative side of the hyperthymic temperament.  As you could see from this, we could be warm cold or both depending on what we feel like at the moment, deep shallow or both depending on what we feel like at the moment, etc.

 

 

 

Hyperthymic Temperament, from the University of Pittsburgh, says:

These attributes are not episode-bound and constitute part of the habitual long-term functioning of the individual:
 

 

The On Being Bipolar - Home Page describes hyperthymics as “bright, intelligent, intuitive and creative creatures. My psychiatrist jokes that people wish that they could experience hypomania so they could feel the energy that oozes from you,” so we tend to really make a mark in society.  Panache, scientific innovation and similar problem-solving have an intuitive quality to them.

As Arthur Schopenhauer, philosopher of the Romantic era of central European culture, in the beginning of the 19th Century, which included Sturm und Drang literature, wrote in The World as Will and Representation, “Learning does not take the place of genius, because it also furnishes only concepts; the knowledge of genius, however, consists in the apprehension of the (Platonic) Ideas of things, and is therefore essentially intuitive,” so such intuition could play a big part in any great thinking, especially that based on flashes of insight, such as panache.  A hyperthymic friend of mine referred to the sort of basic idea that hyperthymics have a special sense for understanding and working with, as the “crux” of things.  Martin Buber, in Ecstatic Confessions, his collection of quotes from the followers of various mystical religions describing mystical experiences, uses the German word

to describe the ineffability of mystical experiences, a word that also means flash-of-insight thinking.

A CNN special on genius, ended with Dr. Sanjay Gupta saying, “The German philosopher Arthur Schopenhauer once said that talent hits a target that no one else can hit, but genius hits a target that no one else can see.”  Here you could see both creative thinking, and flash-of-insight thinking.  This must be what “flash of genius” means.

R & B singer Teddy Pendergrass, in his autobiography Truly Blessed, wrote of how some artists he worked with found it only natural that they could read each other, “The [Philadelphia International Records] magic was simple: Gamble, Huff, Bell, all the arrangers, musicians, and singers knew one another so well that in the studio they communicated almost telepathically—or, as we called it, vibing....  It wasn’t long before the PIR musicians were able to lay down tracks that anticipated my phrasing and dynamics and those track-closing ad libs.”

Just in case you think that “Platonic idea” sounds too philosophical and theoretical, a hyperthymic friend of mine called what hyperthymics tend to have a sense for recognizing, the “crux” of things.

George Becker wrote about the Romantic era, “The aura of ‘mania’ endowed the genius with a mystical and inexplicable quality that served to differentiate him from the typical man, the bourgeois, the philistine, and, quite importantly, the ‘mere’ man of talent; it established him as the modern heir of the ancient Greek poet and seer and, like his classical counterpart, enabled him to claim some of the powers and privileges granted to the ‘divinely possessed’ and ‘inspired.’”

Victor Hugo described genius as, “A promontory jutting out into the infinite,” and this is what this intuition feels and works like, not like the stereotypically feminine stereotype of intuition being a sensing of something that you can’t validate but trust anyway, but a sensing of something that you can validate but couldn’t have recognized in the first place without flashes of insight that really do feel like jutting out into the infinite.

As Van Wyck Brooks wrote about his wife, in Days of the Phoenix, copyright 1957, “Or feeling the earth move under her, with a furious secret rush through space, for she shared Whitman’s ‘cosmic’ intuition.”

Yet many of us also have artistic-temperament-style behavior problems.  The web page “What Is Alcoholism?: Basic information about alcoholism - what is it, what causes it, and who is at risk,” had said under the heading Personality Traits, “Studies are finding that alcoholism is strongly related to impulsive, excitable, and novelty-seeking behavior, and such patterns are established early on, if not inherited.”  The webpage Factors Contributing to the Development of Pathological Gambling, now says basically the same thing about addictions in general, in more depth.  This is what a lot of hyperthymics look like, which is why so many, including many groupie-attracting celebrities, are addicted to something or other.

What Dr. Louis Bisch’s Be Glad You’re Neurotic, from 1936,

has to say about neuroses, sounds like it means largely hyperthymic personalities, “So famous a psychologist as Jung has said that all neurotics possess elements of genius.”  The book proceeds to describe these neurotics, as: having a “tremendous dynamic force and purpose,” having very fruitful imaginations, that without neurosis Bisch wouldn’t “possess the ambition or energy to write,” that this has “enriched my life and given a zest to what would otherwise be a routine existence,” “he breathes more quickly, his blood races faster, and the vitality and flow and sparkle of sheer living are in him,” sensitively concerned with what’s really morally right, having “sparkle” and “flair,” “dynamic,” etc.

  

Men Dying for Love webpage has a book’s collection of the suicide notes from 1983-1984, in which several of the men, but none of the straight women, kill themselves because one romantic relationship ended.  The other women killed themselves for broad, all-encompassing reasons.  One of these men’s notes comes across as typically hyperthymic, in that even in his suicide note he was trying to look lively and hip.  “You may also have the musical instruments that I once had.  Do with them as you wish.  Yes, Yes, any books you want you may have.  See Ya Around, Bill.”  All the artsy eccentricities that he bubblingly listed, sound like la vida maníaca, the sort of flamboyantly eccentric (unlike the eccentric old hermit) lifestyle that many hyperthymics live, astoundingly similar to each other, yet each of these people obviously think that they’re so different, free-thinking, etc.

With both good features and bad ones like these, going on in the same person, you could have situations like that of one of those who told his own story in the handbook of Gamblers Anonymous, “In the time of my own deep suffering and despair, my soul had cried out to comprehend the mystery of life, but the only certainty I could understand was that I live for a short time, in the very center of an eternity that had already passed, and an eternity that would never end.  How could a man cast away his chance to share, with those he loved, this miracle of life, in the full expression of love, hope, peace, joy and beauty, living upon the earth?  Yet still—I COULD NOT STOP GAMBLING.”  Add this to the fact that some times, the impulsivity leads to alcohol and/or drug abuse, which could be called a form of unintentional suicide.

Michael Craig, Miller, MD, the Editor in Chief of the Harvard Mental Health Letter, wrote in the February, 2006 issue, “Genes shape temperament: People who are impulsive, take risks, and habitually seek new experiences are more likely to become addicted.”  The same article also says that one of the ways in which genes “influence the brain’s susceptibility to addiction,” is in “the prefrontal cortex, which organizes our responses to the environment,” and that this is the same obliviousness that constitutes an effect of booze: “Addictive substances may also cause the prefrontal cortex to work at low power—one of the reasons addicted persons often deny that they have a problem.”  This is also the reason why booze, which is a depressant, feels like a stimulant.  Other genetic effects, such as that drugs feel unusually good to some people, wouldn’t lead to addiction in those who have a strong enough awareness that no matter how good they feel now, overusing them would have the dangers of addiction.

The webpage of the GP Notebook, Hyperthymic Personality Disorder, says that those who have HPD, “tend to be rash and show poor judgement,” the sort of rashness and poor judgment that you’d expect of someone impaired by disinhibiting uppers, not the sort you’d expect from an unimpaired person.  This radical obliviousness of consequences that also has some aggressive impetus behind it, is also what an addictive personality looks like.  HPD means that the person has basically the same rashness and poor judgment that you’d expect from functional alcoholics.  If someone who doesn’t realize that another is a functional alcoholic sees him acting rash and disinhibited, this could seem to be just slightly excessively normal human imperfection, and the same goes for HPD.  It’s the only personality disorder that, for the most part, could be excused away with, “Oh, well, everyone makes mistakes,” though since HPD is diluted mania, it’s actually more borderline-psychotic than are most personality disorders.  Conceivably, you could even call normal human nature a disorder, since when someone responds to someone else’s destructive behavior with, “Oh, well, that’s human nature,” what happened was probably disordered, and maybe irrational.  As Frank Schirrmacher wrote in the Frankfurter Allgemeine about the Great Crash of 2008, “There must be some madmen walking around who up until Monday had not been spotted because their madness was identical to the logic of the established system.  They destroyed fortunes equivalent to entire national budgets....,” but that could also look like just slightly excessively normal human imperfection.  Paulson said on September 23, 2008, in front of the Senate Banking Committee, “Some said we should just stick capital in the banks, take preferred stock in the banks.  That’s what you do when you have failure.  This is about success,” as if he based his incautious overly-optimistic decisions on being about something “positive.”

Hyperthymic Personality Disorder is to outright mania as Schizotypal Personality Disorder is to outright schizophrenia, though HPD tends to look far more like human imperfection (“Oh, well, some people are reckless,” “Oh, well, that’s business as usual,” “Boys will be boys,” etc.), than like mental illness.  When someone with SPD insists that his paranoia is right, that would seem pathological, but when someone with HPD insists that his impulsivity is at least excusable, that would seem pro-freedom, realistic, etc.  (This is especially concerning “Boys will be boys” behavior; attempts to stop it would really look like women’s unrealistic and manipulative attempts to control or “trap” men, though “business as usual” could seem just as unchallengeable.  As radical feminists would say, economic exploitation sure does tend to look like ages-old exploitation of women.)  And unlike the distortions in thinking that depression could lead to, the distortions in thinking that HPD could lead to could seem to fit the American norm, maybe even seem attractive in a daring sort of way.  As Barbara Ehrenreich wrote in The Power of Negative Thinking, a September 23, 2008 Op-Ed for the New York Times about the 2008 economic crisis, the optimism that our culture encourages could make one believe, “You will be able to pay that adjustable-rate mortgage or, at the other end of the transaction, turn thousands of bad mortgages into giga-profits if only you believe that you can.”  Also, “Everyone knows that you won’t get a job paying more than $15 an hour unless you’re a ‘positive person,’ and no one becomes a chief executive by issuing warnings of possible disaster.”  Even after we’ve seen the dangers of this, it would probably continue to seem attractive.  The same would go for plenty of cowboy-type behaviors, which would also be typical for HPD. At the very least, objections to Wall Street greed that wouldn’t seem unambiguously bad, could seem judgmental and opinionated in a whiny sort of way.

As Vincent Bugliosi wrote in The Prosecution of George W. Bush for Murder, “As the court said in a 1963 Illinois case, People v. Coolidge: ‘Since every sane man is presumed to intend all the natural and probable consequences flowing from his own deliberate act, it follows that if one willfully does an act, the natural tendency of which is to destroy another’s life, the irresistible conclusion... is that the destruction of such other person’s life was intended.’”  While it would take some pretty extreme HPD to recklessly put others’ lives in danger (though who knows how many drag racers, etc., have HPD), it would very easily lead to plenty of other obliviousness regarding the natural and probable consequences flowing from one’s own deliberate acts.  This could have to it a quality that could be called insane, though, especially in situations where selfishness, impulsivity, etc., would seem very natural, it could also seem to be just slightly excessively normal human imperfection.

We keep hearing about how pathological gamblers are passive helpless victims of compulsions, so they’re basically not guilty by reason of insanity.  A CNN webpage about pathological gamblers on the Net, quoted a gambler as saying, “I was ill with a compulsion, even though I was losing $5,000 and $10,000 and $15,000.”  Yet that same webpage began by saying about the same guy, “He dreamed that with the next game, the next jackpot, the next click of his mouse, he would solve all his problems.  But as he got sucked deeper into the anonymous world of online gambling, his problems only got worse.”  On one hand, if someone has optimistic delusions which can’t be stopped by learning from experience, he’d be a passive victim of those, too.  On the other hand, they’re different from compulsions, and don’t sound as fearsome. (If I kept thinking that there was a good possibility that the next time I gambled I’d hit the jackpot, I’d probably feel compelled to keep going for that money, too!)

The first page of the fourth chapter of AA’s Big Book gives as an informal description of addictive personalities’ thinking, “To be doomed to an alcoholic death or to live on a spiritual basis are not always easy alternatives to face,”

                 

                 

even though AA’s spirituality is largely the pain-transcending amoral spirituality of the Serenity Prayer, which says absolutely nothing about the serenity courage and wisdom to take moral responsibility.  One might find it strange that  the habitual long-term functioning of some individuals includes such self-destructive tendencies, but impulsivity can be very self-destructive.  The whole reason why the thinking of codependents seems self-defeating, is that some people are so lacking in self-regulation, that the tenderness that tries oh so dedicatedly and desperately to persuade them into stopping that self-destruction, doesn’t work.  Anyone who does this seems to want to go on codependent “rescue missions.”

 

 

One’s wildest dreams could be that since addiction depends so much on choices made at different time, the addicts whose lives would be in danger don’t really have to die.  To those who look at this through the sociological model as well as the medical model, this wouldn’t look like a wild dream.  As Pathways from the Culture of Addiction to the Culture of Recovery, by William L. White, a Senior Research Consultant at Chestnut Health Systems/Lighthouse Institute says, “The term ‘culture,’ as used in this text, encompasses classic definitions that examine customs, traditions, language, artifacts, institutions, religion, social relationships, and values shared in common by a group of people,” and culture doesn’t encourage any other disease.  Addicts could reframe their lives through a “treatment milieu.”  Cultural pressures, whether pro-drug or anti-drug, do make a difference!

 

 

And the addictive personality looks amazingly like hyperthymic personalities.  In the Shadow of Chance: The Pathological Gambler, by Julian Taber, Ph.D, tells of an addiction where the addictive personality plays an unusually great role, since no psychoactive chemicals are impairing the addicts’ consciences.  As this book says, “Pathological gambling, the invisible mental disorder, is more common than many better-known diseases and mental disorders, and it is far more costly....  Keeping in mind that we are only making estimates, if we multiply the conservative yearly minimum loss figure of $10,000 per gambler by the conservative estimate of 5 million pathological gamblers nationwide, we get a figure of $50 billion lost annually,” much of which wasn’t earned, but was conned or pilfered from others.  Yet this same book also says, “‘He had a way with words,’ said Bill’s uncle.  ‘He could charm the venom out of a snake.’...  He was a good-looking, self-confident young man whom everybody liked right away.  He was an easy talker, a charming listener, and oh, so very sincere....  Life without the gamblers was suddenly dull and depressing....  Like it or not, call them what we will, these gamblers—these charming, intelligent, energetic people—are, in common language, crazy....  He was a rascal: charming, talkative, witty, ruthless, lovable, impulsive, flirtatious, unreliable, manipulative, and risk-loving....  They can be witty, charming, devoted, and generous....  His strengths were killing him!...  Like many gamblers, Alma seemed bigger than life....  Gamblers are unpredictable, loveable, childish, frustrating, charming, risk-loving, and often romantic....  Most problem gamblers—and alcoholics, too—have a streak of compulsive generosity....  This attraction, this bright potential that acted as an irresistible lure to those around Vincent, is not an unusual trait in problem gamblers....  His self-confidence made him easy to trust in his little southern hometown.... Once you get used to gamblers, they’re hard to let go of.”  Even some pretty destructive versions of la vida maníaca could, at times, look very attractive!  Of course, any woman who described men who crazily caused that much grief, as charming, likeable, attractively energetic, witty, lovable, bigger than life, romantic, compulsively generous, irresistibly alluring, easy to trust, and hard to let go of; especially if she used the word “charming” that repetitiously, would seem to have very codependent attractions!

Typical of the destructive tendencies that seem easy to excuse in those who actually have them, but hard to excuse when women seem to “let themselves in for” the destruction, is the following: “So great was my emphasis on helping my patients become normal that the gamblers at the hospital sometimes called my group therapy ‘Nerd Training,’ and called the sane ordinary people I referred to ‘Taber’s nerds.’...  The truth is, it’s just as hard for a pathological gambler to adopt the values and habits of the normal nerd world as it would be for me to adopt the values and habits of the Amish world.”

If your typical psychologist were to talk with a married couple in which the husband decided that he had to get a divorce though his wife did nothing to deserve it, since white-picket-fence domesticity is right for normal nerds but not for him, then telling him that he should become normal would probably seem too judgmental, repressive, controlling, unrealistic, etc.  Rather than being unambiguously bad, that strong incompatibility with the normal “nerd” lifestyle could be called a reluctance to be trapped.  His getting married despite that could be called a “mistake.”  Even Situation Ethics, which Fundament Christians hate because it gauges moral responsibility according to the predictable consequences of any behavior rather than according to what any holy book says about it, would seem too draconian.  Yet if you assessed how she might have “let herself in for trouble” by getting married to someone that destructive, then taking seriously those consequences and how she could try to prevent something like that from happening to her in the future, would benefit her.  She couldn’t get away with, “Don’t blame me for the fact that my life is now out-of-control, since when I chose to marry that man who just left me, all that I did was marry someone who loves freedom and made a mistake.”  Preventing things like that from happening through Situation Ethics ethical responsibility seems counterproductive, while preventing them from happening by holding the victims responsible seems productive.  Sure, this would require some convoluted logic, victim-blaming, etc., but we all know the dangers of being repressive.
 

                   

The classic self-help book on pathological gambling, When Luck Runs Out by Robert Custer, MD and Harry Milt (which also says that, unlike the alcoholic, “The compulsive gambler does not have a foreign substance in his body that acts on the brain to paralyze the conscience.”), describes the lifelong personality of the typical pathological gambler as:

He is a friendly sociable fellow, cheerful and enthusiastic, generous and full of good will.  He is clever, energetic, hardworking and he generally does successfully whatever he undertakes.  In social, organizational and business situations, he is confident, assertive, persuasive; he moves spontaneously and naturally into the role of leadership.  Restless, hyperactive and easily bored, he is in constant need of stimulation, excitement, change.  Bland, predictable situations with an assured outcome don’t interest him.  He thrives on challenge, adventure, risk.  The key to his personality is competitiveness.  He needs to contend, to win, to be better than everybody else, to be Number One.

This, you have to admit, is quite an impressive personality portrait.  If you were to remove this composite picture from its context, present it to a group of people randomly selected and ask them what sort of a person this describes, they would probably say it describes the sort of person you would expect to find on leadership lists, on lists of the most successful.  And they would be absolutely right.  These are indeed the ingredients for success in our society.

If that is the case, why then do these people wind up instead as desperate, broken addicts?

                   

This chapter soon adds, under the heading “THE COMPOSITE PORTRAIT REVISED,” “We can still say that he is, in general, a friendly, sociable fellow, but we need to qualify that by adding that this demeanor is not consistent.  He isn’t always that way.  He can be sullen, irritable and withdrawn.  And he is given to sharp mood swings, from cheerful to sullen and back.”  When I was in elementary school, this labile temperament is what they told me an “artistic temperament” is.  This is what it looks like when someone fits both the positive, and the negative, stereotypes of artists at different times.  When a psychologist looks at someone who does, it might look as if he’s playing headgames, being insincere part of the time, not really that malicious when he actually is, etc.

These people have their hard-to-control addictive cravings for gambling, without either the intoxication or the chemical dependencies behind drug and alcohol addiction.  That’s one huge tendency toward impulsivity.

The same book also says about typical pathological gamblers,

Put them to the task of working out a practical problem or throw them into a brand-new situation, and you’ll see how quickly they come up with an answer, a solution, a way out.  It has less to do with abstract reasoning than it does with “figuring out the angles,” “getting the point,” “seeing the pitfalls and the advantages.”  They seem, also, to have an uncanny ability to know what is going on in another person’s mind, to anticipate what he is going to do and to plan their next move accordingly.

                   

The quick thinking is flash-of-insight thinking, which is very intuitive, as are panache and “reading” other people, sensing what’s going on in their minds.  Panache wouldn’t be panache if it came from “mere” talent, learning, prolonged thinking, abstract reasoning, etc.  And you’d be amazed how similar panache and verve are to scientific innovativeness, including the art of medicine.  “The point” of something, is the practical way of saying “the [Platonic] idea” of it.

Similar to “If that is the case, why then do these people wind up instead as desperate, broken addicts?” is the following, from Addiction, edited by John Hoffman and Susan Froemke, based on the HBO series, regarding chemical addiction: “Jack was an exceptionally bright, handsome, and popular boy.  How often do we hear people who become addicted described like that—bright, handsome, successful, charming—the last people on earth you would ever expect this to happen to?”

And it doesn’t take a lot of malice to do a lot of damage.  Very destructive hyperthymic pathological behavior looks a lot like the behavior of someone who’s under the influence of uppers that have the same disinhibiting effects as booze.  The person acts like he has a tunnel vision that sees only what he feels like doing at the moment, and you’d be amazed how dangerous that could make one’s choices.  Essentials of Abnormal Personality, a textbook by Benjamin Kleinmunst, lists the traits of the Antisocial Personality Disorder as: “Inability to form loyal relationships,” “Inability to feel guilt,” “Inability to learn from experience, special attention, or punishment,” (I’d suspect that sociopaths do learn from experiences that didn’t result from their own behavior.) “Tendency to seek thrills and excitement,” “Impulsiveness,” “Aggressiveness,” “Superficial charm and intelligence,” “Unreliability and irresponsibility,” “Pathological lying,” “Inadequately motivated antisocial behavior,” “Egocentricity,” “Poverty of affect,” “Lack of insight,” “Casual but excessive sexual behavior,” and “The need to fail.”  A chronic drunk could be: unable to form loyal relationships (As the saying goes, “Alcoholics don’t have relationships.  They take hostages.”), unable to feel guilt, unable to learn from experience special attention or punishment, impulsive, unreliable and irresponsible, egocentric, lacking appropriate feelings, lacking insight, promiscuous, and self-destructive.  Those under the influence of uppers that have the same disinhibiting effect, could be all of these with even more motivation behind them, as well as thrill-seeking, aggressive, superficially charismatic, prone to pathological lying, and prone to anti-social behavior.  Though hit-man Richard Kuklinski, who was diagnosed with Antisocial Personality Disorder, was known as “The Iceman” partially because he could talk so coldly about killing people, his usual demeanor was animated enough, and his temper was hot enough, that you really couldn’t say that he was usually cold or cool.

On the CNN Head Line News’s Nancy Grace show of September 19, 2006, criminal profiler Pat Brown said about a woman who kidnapped another woman’s newborn and was hiding out very nearby, “Well, luckily, probably she thought she was going to get away with this, in spite of everything.  You know, the arrogance of a psychopath is amazing.  They only see themselves.  They don’t see other people.  So they’re thinking, ‘OK, well, they’re out there, but I’ll just hunker down here for a while.  I can do that.  And then they’ll just forget about it, and I’ll go on my way.’”  Drunks and those with similar disinhibitions may not seem evil, but they’d be just as oblivious.

Treating Substance Abuse, by Frederick Rotgers, John Morgenstern, and Scott T. Walters, says, “Estimates of lifetime drug use disorders comorbid with alcohol dependence are as high as 80% (Carroll, 1986; Ross, Glaser, & Germanson, 1988).  Comorbid antisocial personality disorder rates among male alcoholics range from 23% (Morgenstern & Langenbucha, 1994) to 53% (Ross, Glaser, & Stiasny, 1988), depending on the recruitment site (e.g., rates tend be higher in Veterans Administration populations) and the diagnostic instrument used.  For mood disorders, Ross, Glaser, and Germanson (1988) cited rates of 23% and 60% for depressive disorders and anxiety disorders, respectively, in men, and 35% and 67%, respectively, for women.”

This doesn’t say exactly how “antisocial personality disorder” was defined, so it could just as easily mean impulsive aggressive tendencies oblivious to consequences, that at least follow the same pattern as Hyperthymic Personality Disorder.

Yet a more thorough explanation, would be that HPD is a diluted version of mania, just as a chronically depressed personality is a diluted version of depression.  In 1809, John Haslam wrote, in On Madness and Melancholy, “The slighter shades of this disease [insanity] include eccentricity, low spirits, and oftentimes a fatal tendency to immoral habits, notwithstanding the inculcation of the most correct precepts, and the force of virtuous example,” and, “Madness has many colours, and colours have many hues;... it very frequently occurs that the descendents from an insane stock, although they do not exhibit the broad features of madness, shall yet discover propensities, equally disqualifying for the purposes of life, and destructive of social happiness.”  Whether this inculcation of principles included warnings about what’s fatal, or only warnings about what’s naughty, neither of these could have done any good.  Though “immoral habits, notwithstanding the inculcation of the most correct precepts, and the force of virtuous example” might sound like exactly the sort of Victorian inhibition that the typical person with HPD, thinking of himself as the “romantic renegade,” prides and justifies himself in rebelling against, in fact what these people could do would be “oftentimes fatal,” or maybe just very problematic for themselves and/or others.  Yet it seems more important that we not conform, be

Anxiety disorders could result from several causes, and some of them would be a high energy level that would make one less aware of the consequences of what they do.  And the average person who’d become addicted to illegal drugs, has got to be more impulsive than the average person who’d become addicted to booze!

That same book also says, “When compared to normal individuals, greater [tendency to devalue deferred gratification since it’s deferred] has been found among alcohol abusers (Vuchinich & Simpson, 1998), heroin addicts (e.g., Kirby, Petry, & Bickel, 1999), smokers (e.g., Mitchell, 1999), and compulsive gamblers (Petry & Casarella, 1999).”

Dr. Morris Fishbein, in Fads and Quackery in Healing, from 1932, wrote, “Leaders of modern cults are also the possessors of magnetic personalities that mark them early in their careers as not quite usual in their habits of thought.  The healer is likely to have a great deal of that quality that is called ‘it’ in Hollywood,” meaning an indefinable charisma.  If you look at the health cults of the twentieth century, you could see that they tend to be based on a faith in vitalism and monism, that nature as a whole tends toward healing, vis medicatrix naturae, the healing power of nature.  If one assumes that certain herbs are medically active, that would be a faith that another part of nature would take care of us.  This same book also says, “The word ‘nature’ is a term to conjure with in cultism,” though in the jazz age, closeness to nature certainly wasn’t trendy.

Yet in the same book Dr. Fishbein wrote, about a leader known for the “Body Beautiful,” “Strange how the same names recur again and again in these stories of the ghoullike activities of the harpies who live by exploiting the sick!”  Actually, if one is too impulsive, doesn’t reality-test enough, and glorifies the red-blooded übermensch approach to life, it’s all too easy to cause a lot of harm without being a malicious “harpy.”

This mystical faith in nature is rather typical of hyperthymics, as is a tendency not to reality-test assumptions that most people would.  Those who revere nature and believe what they want, would naturally believe that the human body should be allowed to take care of itself rather than having medicine take care of it.  This could feel good to anyone.  Naturally, we’d want an answer to the question of what could let us live longer and be healthier.  Yet some naturopaths respond to facts such as, “Depressive disorders affect about 34 million American adults,” not by asking how extreme their emotional injuries must have been that nature failed to heal that many people, but by recommending that they take St. Johns wort, since that’s part of the same nature.

Yet you could also see the positive side of the artistic temperament and its link to addictive thinking, in Abe Lincoln’s statement to a sobriety group in 1842, “I believe if we take habitual drunkards as a class, their heads and their hearts will bear an advantageous comparison with those of any other class.  There seems ever to have been proneness in the brilliant and warm-blooded to fall into this vice.  The demon of intemperance ever seems to have delighted in sucking the blood of genius and generosity.”

Al-Anon’s original handbook, The Al-Anon Family Groups, actually includes the following:

Alcoholics are likely to be persons of intense, if brief, enthusiasms.  They have a tendency to try to do too much too fast.  They are apt to demand perfection in themselves and in others, too.  When frustrated, they are likely to be over-depressed or over-aggressive.  Hence, they often lack the emotional stability to face life’s problems in a realistic manner.

Alcoholics are generally most attractive and intelligent people.  They may hold very high ideals, which they seem unable to practice in daily living.  Their attractive qualities account for the fact that so many non-alcoholics choose them as life partners.

That’s basically a description of hyperthymic personalities!  We Heard the Angels of Madness, One Family’s Struggle with Manic Depression, by Diane and Lisa Berger says, in its section on cyclothymia, “Someone with this disorder may be moody, irritable, antisocial, unstable, impulsive, and volatile.  The cyclothymic sometimes abuses drugs or alcohol.  He may have marital problems or be promiscuous; start projects or jobs that he never finishes; change jobs or homes constantly; argue loudly, then feel very contrite; swing between feeling inferior and feeling grandiose and superior; or go on spending sprees.”

 

 (Engineers and scientists aren’t a bunch of nerds.  This photo is of Nikola Tesla, born in 1856, inventor of the AC motor and plenty of other things, and was also known for his wild lifestyle.)


Just compare that to the usual Victorian-era portrait,

and you’ll get the idea.

Also, even in the 1950s, not every egghead considerably over the age of 30, was square.

Speaking of Victorian portraits, this is Clara Schumann, wife of composer Robert, who was one of Us:

 

If she were alive today and her portrait appeared on the cover of a heavy metal album, that would have conveyed exactly the right sort of dynamism!:

 

 

 DIG  IT!!!!!!!

 

Especially if this is your sort of person, all you’ve got to do is learn to recognize the signs of hyperthymic temperament, and you could very easily answer some of your friends’ biggest questions, why they tend to do certain things though they realize that they cause big problems, etc.

 

 

            n my My Story webpage, I tell basically of what it’s been like to grow up hyperthymic, always feeling different (Then again, since on my Scholastic Aptitude Test I scored in the top 1% of all graduating seniors, it’s no wonder I’ve always felt different.)  My sense of being different was a sense of having a personality that I later described as “primeval, deep, passionate, sensitive, and soulful.”  This came with an awareness that I’ve known some people who are kindred spirits, and that either you’re one of “Us” or you’re not.  As a teenager I noticed that I had a greater depth of insight than most people, and basically the sort of open-mindedness and “idealism” (which, compared to some of the short-sighted “realism” that I’ve seen, is more realistic in the long run) that would lead to a cosmopolitan attitude, and that while this certainly made my sort of people different, if everyone were like me we’d get along better and have a lot more fun doing it.  Then as I grew older, I wondered more why someone either is like this or isn’t, though you might think that personality characteristics this deep and profound would develop more spontaneously and freely.  I also had people tell me that the reason why I feel different is that everyone feels different.  Yet a boyfriend of mine said that he also noticed that people like us are different, and said that he thinks of our sort of people as “the beautiful people” because of our soulfulness, depth of insight, compassion, earthy folksy warmth, freedom of spirit, and the celebrating of all this by trying to share it with others.  I got more involved with wild earthy stuff like energetic folk-dance music such as Hassidic Klezmer though I’m not Jewish (Klezmer being traditional East-European Jewish music that’s anarchic like Dixieland jazz since it arose among itinerant musicians of the Middle Ages, and Hassidism being the sect of Judaism that’s along the lines of Pentecostal Christianity and Sufi “whirling dervish” Islam so Hassidic Klezmer tends to be the wildest) and hillbillies.


\

 

 

Then, when I went to the university to study mechanical engineering, I spent a lot of my free hours giving moral support to a lot of chronically depressed guys with the spirit of a certain Bible passage, in Song of Solomon, starting out in Chapter 1 Verses 5 & 6, which tells of what the wife’s state of mind is:
 

I am black, but comely,
O ye daughters of Jerusalem,
as the tents of Kedar,
as the curtains of Solomon.
Look not upon me, because I am black,
because the sun hath looked upon me:
my mother’s children were angry with me;
they made me the keeper of the vineyards;
but mine own vineyard have I not kept.

And then here’s Chapter 2 Verses 8-15, my song:

The voice of my beloved!
behold, he cometh leaping upon the mountains,
skipping upon the hills.
My beloved is like a roe,
or a young hart:
behold,
he standeth behind our wall,
he looketh forth at the windows,
shewing himself through the lattice.
My beloved spake,
and said unto me,
Rise up, my love,
my fair one,
and come away.
For lo, the winter is past,
the rain is over and gone;
The flowers appear on the earth;
the time of the singing of birds is come,
and the voice of the turtle is heard in our land:
The fig tree putteth forth her green figs,
and the vines with the tender grape give a good smell.
Arise my love, my fair one,
and come away.
O my dove,
that art in the clefts of the rocks,
in the secret places of the stairs,
let me see thy countenance,
let me hear thy voice,
for sweet is thy voice,
and thy countenance is comely.
Take us the foxes,
the little foxes,
that spoil the vines;
for our vines have tender grapes.
 

That should basically tell you what my state of mind has been, what makes The Beautiful People tick.  My My Story webpage tells all about this, as well as my encounters with the very absolutist victim correction as a panacea of the Reagan/Thatcher era, as described on my Victim Correction as a Panacea Summary webpage, along with all my other web pages on victim correction as a panacea which this summarizes, Victim Correction as a Panacea, Message to Intellectuals in the Islamic World, Candace Newmaker’s Experience, and The Cigarette Industry and Victim Correction.  By victim correction as a panacea, I mean the attitude that we’re all response-able for our own welfare, so the results of destructive behavior are just hurdles to be surmounted by the victims, so if they don’t do this with enough self-efficaciousness it’s they who need to get fixed.  All those chronically depressed guys I knew, along with a realization of how high is the rate of depression, and the self-blame of the depressed, in the US, was what made me very aware of this.  It taught me that it’s the victim correctors who are the unrealistic idealists, since the expectations that victim correction as a panacea makes of people have no limits of severity so have absolutely no room for the limitations of human nature, such as the threshold of human endurance.

The My Story webpage also mentions that I’m not yet married because of the problems that I’ve had consistently enough with hyperthymic guys, consistently enough that I’ve seemed to have a codependent attraction to guys who cause the sorts of problems that the least malicious problematic hyperthymics cause.  The ideas on codependency include the fact that some people, such as many of those who’d get themselves addicted to something or other, are, even when clean and sober, unreachable by sincere emotional appeals which most people find vital to their own lives.  This really made me wonder if anyone has ever found out what could appeal to these people that could turn them around, other than something that would require too much sacrifice from others.  More about all that on my About Us webpages.  That victim-blaming is also what the quotes on my Making the Political, Personal webpage illustrate.  Depressive disorders affect about 34 million American adults.  So this obvious social problem seems to consist of either 34,000,000 rather severe character defects or 34,000,000 rather severe medical conditions, the “character flaws” that concern us about rampant depression are the weaknesses that the sufferers might have rather than the aggressive character flaws of those who trigger many of the depressions, etc.  Everyone knows that what’s at fault, is inside the millions of victims, as if the magnitude of this social problem could just be brushed aside.
 

 

 

 

 

 


 


            n my About Us series of webpages, I talk about things that I’ve learned both through practical experience and from reading plain ol’ over-the-counter books, and can serve as an instruction on how to recognize this stuff and what to expect.  This also tells of times in my life in which this knowledge has proven very useful, and certainly you’d have times in your life in which such knowledge could also prove useful.

  1. First off, in the Introduction webpage, I give a more thorough summary than I do on this webpage.

  2. Then, in the Historical webpage, I quote some vintage, even ancient, writings which expressed familiarity with the hyperthymic personality, one of them, from 1936, even saying about it, “Not only is the hypomanic disposition well known to be....

  3. Next, on the Commonalities webpage, I list all the similarities between full-blown manic episodes, and the quirks of hyperthymic personalities, of the sort to which the average modern Westerner would likely respond, “Oh, well, that’s just the way that some people are.  You can’t expect human nature to be perfect.”

  4. Next, on the More Savvy webpage, I start going into how much you could help both others and yourself, simply by getting more savvy about this.

  5. On the Biggest Question webpage, I go into how, by recognizing such things in people who don’t realize it, you could recognize the biggest questions they have in their lives.

  6. Next, on the Recognizing webpage, I give some examples of people who did things that, at the very least, show characteristics typical of hyperthymic personalities.

  7. On my Unambiguous webpage, I go into one of the times that I answered what was definitely the biggest question in someone’s life, by recognizing what’s certainly the most unambiguous sign of a hyperthymic temperament, which anyone with a good intuitive feel for what behavior does or doesn’t have the “idea” of normal behavior, could also recognize.

  8. Next, on the My Normalized Experience webpage, I tell of how strange was an experience of mine, which others responded to as if the probably hyperthymic behavior that led to it, was just slightly excessively normal human imperfection.

  9. Next, I have a webpage in which I go into how OJ Simpson showed several signs of a hyperthymic personality, major depression with a lot of psychiatric help just before the slow-speed chase, and, in his mugshot, the distinctive look of someone in the sort of depression that comes with bipolar disorder.

  10. Next is the webpage in which I go into how I answered someone else’s biggest question, using OJ’s life as an example.

  11. Next is a webpage on the criteria used to diagnose codependency, a subject very relevant to those who like the vivaciousness intelligence and creativity of hyperthymics, since if you’re attracted to them, you could easily seem to have a subconscious codependent attraction to the Hyperthymic Personality Disorder.

  12. Next is a webpage on how celebrities tend to fit this pattern, in that the whole reason why they’re celebrities is that many find them attractive, yet celebrities are very likely to act out artistic-temperament-style behavior problems despite the fact that they have far more to lose than most people.  (The latest person whose biggest question I answered, really appreciates this last fact.)

  13. The next webpage goes into the fact that our culture is very likely to side with those who want to get away with such behavior, as you could see in the Romantic Renegade, either because it seems romantically renegade, or, at the very least, because it seems that mature well-adjusted people wouldn’t get bitter and resentful at such things.  It seems that everyone knows that if you object to The Serenity Prayer then you must be pretty immature and maladjusted, and since the entire unredacted Serenity Prayer as originally written by Reinhold Niebuhr says, “God, grant me serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can, and wisdom to know the difference.  Living one day at a time, enjoying one moment at a time; Accepting hardship as a pathway to peace; Taking as Jesus did this sinful world as it is not as I would have it; Trusting that You will make all things right if I surrender to Your will; So that I may be reasonably happy in this life and supremely happy with You forever in the next—Amen,” there really are no limits on what realities neo-Buddhism would expect you to accept.

  14. The next webpage goes into a suicide note with a very hip tone to it, as if being a romantic renegade was that important to the guy who wrote it.

  15. The next webpage goes into the morally bankrupt specifics of my normalized experience on the above-listed webpage, that those who talked as if the recklessness of hyperthymic temperaments could seem to be slightly excessively normal human imperfection, had to be practicing a moral bankruptcy in the same league as, “Accepting hardship as a pathway to peace; Taking as Jesus did this sinful world as it is not as I would have it,” or the less explicit, “Do whatever it takes to courageously change whatever you can, and then serenely accept whatever you can’t.”

  16. The next webpage is about this context in which some of those around us could seem to be “winners,” “losers,” “codependents,” etc.  Considering that what determines if someone (probably a woman) would seem to be codependent, is whether she seems to have had more bad experiences than she would have by chance, this really does require an accurate estimate of how many bad experiences she would have had by chance.  When you consider that, as that Zoloft webpage says, “Depressive disorders affect about 34 million American adults,” and that this certainly isn’t just one of those diseases that are parts of the natural order, what really is an average amount of helplessness is obviously a lot higher than what the conformists around us think is average.

  17. Next, is a webpage on how normal the pathological behavior of hyperthymic personalities could seem, in that the effect of that tendency to normalize what causes that much devastation, would be combined with the fact that pathological hyperthymic behavior is close enough to the norm that it could simply be labeled as, “just the way that some people are,” “just the way that life goes sometimes,” etc

  18. Next, a webpage Similarities and Differences with Sociopathy, which gives a section of an authoritative medical book from 1953, which attempts to demonstrate the differences between the more aggressive manifestations of Hyperthymic Personality Disorder, and sociopathy, though this ends up making clear just how similar the consequences of both could be!  That entire chapter is here.

  19. The next webpage is about Addictive Personalities.  Certainly many women diagnosed as codependent have been told regarding men with addictive personalities, “You’ve just got to accept that that’s just the way that some people are.”  Yet though the impulsivity of addictive personalities might not look too different from ordinary impulsivity, it’s all too easy for too much impulsivity to cause big harm, which is why most people feel healthy inhibitions that keep them from causing too much damage.

  20. This next webpage sums up how one could see all of this intuitively, by looking at such behavior and its consequences.

  21. Then, this webpage goes into the recklessness, how easy it is to dismiss its consequences as just “accidents,” “mistakes,” or the like, which very much suits the logic of “You’re bitter, resentful, immature, and maladjusted if you don’t do whatever it takes to courageously change whatever you can and then serenely accept whatever you can’t,” but wouldn’t suit an intuitive look at how much of a mess our society would be in, if people didn’t take responsibility for resisting the temptations to act recklessly.

  22. Lastly, my webpage on how to optimize a hyperthymic personality, despite the big ego that says that as long as one feels like doing something, others had better not try to control him.

   

            n fact, on my About Us webpages I talk about some instances of my recognizing chaotic lifestyles, a chaotic business, etc., and while recognizing this isn’t as unambiguous as is recognizing other signs, it still has a quality to it where you can’t imagine why someone would want to live like that, with all the harm this would do to people including himself, unless something was making him want something pretty unusual.  One can recognize this best intuitively, of the sort of intuition that Victor Hugo described.  Not only does it feel like the chaotic people must have something unusual going on to make them want that, but also after you sense it you could state the reasons objectively.  This is pretty much the character of a lot of the behavior problems that hyperthymics have, in that they could seem only relatively unusual, even slightly excessively normal.  And yes, this tends to include druggies, which means...

The only thing in connection with this that could seem unquestionably condemnable is that those who like the positive side of hyperthymic personalities, and who’d therefore keep getting involved with people who have both the constructive and the destructive qualities of hyperthymics, could seem unquestionably to have a codependent attraction to the destructive side.  This I know all about, since it happened to me.  My experiences with victim correction as a panacea, have taught me that as long as you follow victim blaming with, “and the victims should be optimistic and goal-oriented enough to realize that if they managed their lives better they’d fare a lot better,” this would seem to give a pragmatic, honorably self-reliant, and forgiving method of solving potentially all problems, so it seems that the more forcefully and more often you assert this, the better.  It’s pretty easy to make blaming the victims of hyperthymics who are usually pleasant, seem plausible, so those who like hyperthymics have probably OD’ed on the panacea.  This is to let you know that you’re not at fault.

            uch victim correction as a panacea could also mean an absence of anything that comes close to depth, exactly the sort of absence that hyperthymics tend to have, another fact mentioned on one of my About Us webpages.

The homepage of the Mental Illness—What a Difference a Friend Makes website, by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, says, “An estimated 26.2 percent of Americans ages 18 and older—about one in four adults—suffer from a diagnosable mental disorder in a given year.”  As the title suggests, this website is about getting the friends of the 26.2% of the American adult population, to support these people rather than stigmatizing them.  The ways in which one friend treats another, is one of the few sociological factors of this huge social problem, that we could honorably take seriously.  Few mention that these rates can’t be only natural, that they must be what economists call “unintended consequences” of our rules concerning what one person really has a right to expect from others.

If we take the other sociological factors seriously, we could seem to be trying to manipulate like untermenschen, and/or to restrict the übermenschen. A central concept to Nazism is that even the most sincere fights for what’s morally right, reflect the aggressive but insidious SELF-WILLS of those who fight for this, but to see even such sincerity as self-serving is usually tenable, and much more likely to get productive results than would be holding the morally responsible people, morally accountable.

 

 

 he Tragedy of Victim Correction as a Panacea~

 

 

As the above says, this is Al-Anon approved literature,  for Alateen.  You couldn’t make this stuff up!  Persuading people to think like this works best with Groupthink, but if you, on your own, must deal with a devastating reality in order to fit in and function, then you’ve gotta do what you’ve gotta do, and our self-responsible cultural norms (“Everybody knows that The Serenity Prayer is good.”) would provide the Groupthink.  As Addiction: Why Can’t They Just Stop?, by John Hoffman and Susan Froemke, says, in a survey of addicts’ family members, “...the words that everyone used were powerfully negative: ‘devastating,’ ‘abusive,’ ‘horrible’.”  Yet no concerns that would interfere with the victims’ self-responsibility could matter, since in the long run, caring about them would only mollycoddle and weaken the people who’d have to take care of themselves optimally.  Victim-blaming is incentives-based.  George Vincent wrote, “To survive growing up in an alcoholic family is second only to surviving the Holocaust,” but the big difference is that despite the fears that addicts’ kids feel, they aren’t really in mortal danger, so Buddhists, etc., could say that these fears are only illusions.  Victim correction as a panacea could be called chicken soup for the soul, unconditional serenity and courage.  If that’s stooping to the lowest of the low, then sometimes we’ve got to stoop to the lowest of the low in order to make sure that problems get solved by those who have the most reliable motivation to solve them.  Moral relativism becomes amoral absolutism; “Your righteous objections are only your opinion!” becomes, “Your righteous objections are only your self-righteous, resentful, manipulative, controlling, unpragmatic, whiny, judgmental... opinion, and you simply can’t afford those disgraceful victim attitudes!”

Yet though it might seem only natural to want to feel better by practicing Buddhistic self-discipline and self-re-education, and this doesn’t involve any medication, this is hardly natural.  In the words of Ayn Rand, “We the Living” could very much object to this sort of de rigueur coping with helplessness, Stoically!  Yet though a Marxist mentality of, “Love your brother,” is supposed to degrade the natural human spirit, a requisite mentality of, “As long as it’s your problem, ‘self-responsibility’ means courageously changing whatever you can and serenely accepting whatever you can’t,” mustn’t, or you might have problems coping with reality.  (Everybody loves The Serenity Prayer, right?)  In general, we do revere self-responsibility for one’s own welfare, and don’t revere self-responsibility for how one’s own choices affect others.  Victim-power seems to be the tyranny of helplessness, though, “But look at how helpless I am about what I did!” is the ultimate tyranny of helplessness.

In general, this sort of self-help is cognitive therapy, the modern version of behaviorist psychology, so this can be given the title of behaviorist B. F. Skinner’s classic book, Beyond Freedom & Dignity, pragmatic in such a way that’s far more important than such abstract niceties.  This represents what is good, what most motivates people to do what must get done, which is what those who have the problems should want.  If, instead, the advisee insisted on drawing his own honest well-founded conclusions about what was happening to him, he’d be told that he’d better realize how important it is that he think in whatever ways would maximize his chances of self-reliant success in solving such big problems.  What else could Alateen members, etc., be told, “Go right ahead and fail to deal with your problems adequately.”?

This self-help logic could be used interchangeably for all sorts of problems, including exploitative lovers of every variety, unemployment, and literally even cancer and getting up the mettle to fight it.  Responsibility for one’s own choices means blame, naiveté, and controlling (As Niebuhr wrote in Moral Man and Immoral Society, “The power necessary to control the wicked is the danger, not the wicked,” and chances are that most of what contributes to our very unnaturally high rate of depression, isn’t even truly malicious.), while response-ability for one’s own problems means self-reliance, realism, and freedom.  Claiming, “You caused your own problem,” makes Victim Correction as a Panacea sound the most justifiable, while, “You’ve simply got to take response-ability for your own welfare, your own problem,” is the fallback position, since all problems must get taken care of.  The self-help formula for conflict resolution is for general public consumption, and it works.  If such sophistry weren’t so predictable and absolutist, just think of how often people could: lose faith, play the victim role, not do what needs to get done (by those most motivated to do it), etc.  Like Sarah Palin, this has both the appeal of going rogue, and the appeal of conformity.  America’s latest, most trendy, patriotic song begins, “If tomorrow all the things were gone, I’d worked for all my life.  And I had to start again, with just my children and my wife.”

In theory this means self-responsibility, self-reliance, gutsiness, anti-controlling, good coping skills, realism, conventionality, respectability, etc., but in practice this means that nothing except, “Can I change this?” including the most basic morality and concern for the weak, can really seem to matter.  Sure, you could recognize that destructive sinfulness is destructive sinfulness, but in the end you’d have to forgive it, or you’d be maladjusted and suffer the consequences of this weakness.  (“YOU VILL ENJOY!”)  Frank Buchman, leader of the Oxford Groups, the club on which AA and then Al-Anon was based and until recently was called “Moral Re-Armament,” (Sinclair Lewis’ novel It Can’t Happen Here, from 1935, includes Buchman in its list of currently trendy “Messiahs.”) said, “D’you know Heinrich Himmler?...  Say, you ought to know Heinrich.  He’s a great lad....  [Hitler] lets us have house-parties whenever we like.”  Anti-Nazi British travel-writer and journalist Robert Byron, who got a chance to observe Nazism up close, wrote in his diary, “Himmler apparently dotes on the Oxford Group [How cute.] and writes to its English members discussing their troubles with them,” so he was their Dear Abby.  This was the same Himmler who said, in his speech on October 4, 1943 to the SS Group Leaders in Poznan, “Most of you know what it means to see a hundred corpses lying together, five hundred, or a thousand.  To have stuck it out and at the same time—apart from exceptions caused by human weakness—to have remained decent fellows, that is what has made us hard,” but that personal strength concerned one of the Nazi practices that Buchman didn’t like.  It’s pretty obvious what the “Dear Abby” version of that would advise those in trouble, who are members of an honored group of people who are working on their own resolute and impassively accepting attitudes.  Anything less than, “Happiness is an inside job,” (in general), or, “Things happen.  It’s what we do when they happen that’s key,” (in general), would have been too weak-spirited and blaming for Himmler, so he was their perfect “Dear Abby.”  The only suggestions that Himmler would have made in a Dear Abby letter, including one to an addict’s family member, would have been, (1) courageously change what you can, and, (2) serenely accept what you can’t, since anything else would have mollycoddled WEAKNESS.

Himmler Logic, after all, would focus on whether the person with the problem seems to have a weak (as in literally WEAK) character, and would be quick to interpret inadequacies in problem-solving as weaknesses of character, so the weak seem contemptible, blameworthy, and, possibly, insidiously dangerous.  This self-responsible self-help approach is also like the “exemplary dualism” of the Militia Movement, like classifying people as redbloods or mollycoddles, or as übermenschen or untermenschen; this preaches that those who seem to have (literally) strong characters are the allies of decent people so are at least forgiven, and those who seem to have (literally) weak characters are the enemies of decent people.  This leads to some predictable distortions in our conceptions of right, wrong, shame, etc.  Take the Nazi might-makes-right ethos, remove the racism and war crimes, and you’d have what Western culture considers to be the only conception of personal responsibility that works, which is what Hitler’s, Wagner’s and Nietzsche’s main inspiration, Schopenhauer, actually wrote about.

This was the original middle-class going rogue with conformity.  As It Can’t Happen Here says, “Why, there’s no country in the world that can get more hysterical—yes, or more obsequious—than America,” and devotion to anything that would imply, “Accepting hardship as a pathway to peace; Taking as Jesus did this sinful world as it is not as I would have it,” would require obsequiousness of Biblical proportions.  The question of whether “it” can happen here, all depends on whether or not “it” includes the aspects of Nazism and Himmler that Buchman’s formula for living didn’t include; if not, “it” happens every day.  The “it” in It Can’t Happen Here included merely an ambiguous, covert, attitude-of-gratitude racism (“It was understood... that all Jews of all conditions were frequently to sound their ecstasy at having found in America a sanctuary, after their deplorable experiences among the prejudices of Europe....  The allegiance of all such Negroes as had the sense to be content with safety and good pay instead of ridiculous yearnings for personal integrity Sarason got by being photographed shaking hands with the celebrated Negro Fundamentalist clergyman, the Reverend Dr. Alexander Nibbs, and through the highly publicized Sarason Prizes for the Negroes with the largest families, the fastest time in floor-scrubbing, and the longest periods of work without taking a vacation.”), so the “it” in modern America could include merely an ambiguous, covert, attitude-of-gratitude form of the strong horrifying the weak.  A classic cliché expression is, “There is no alternative,” to the power dynamics of our economy, and another way to say this is that there is no alternative besides dictatorship and/or Zimbabwe-style economic failures, so every time that these power dynamics horrify us, we should be grateful that we’re not instead dealing with dictators’ outrages, and/or economic failures including massive unemployment, irrespective of any indefinable abstractions such as integrity.  If you’re in a Wagnerian conflict, and you simply must deal with your realities, then you simply must deal with them as Schopenhauer prescribed.  The psychology of, “You don’t want to think/act like a weak person, do you?” could be called a form of neo-Nazism.

 

 

Yet, in a society with rampant depression, one could just as easily call that “pragmatic logic”: the weak courageously change what they can (themselves) and serenely accept what they can’t (everyone else), and what one deserves is completely irrelevant.  You can’t change your enemies, except for one.  Yet the limits of the threshold of human endurance are a fact, and if we don’t deal with it, it will deal with us.

“Accepting hardship as a pathway to peace; Taking as Jesus did this sinful world as it is not as I would have it,” is all about what the weak should do, believe, and take responsibility for.  Even sophisticated psychology tends to classify people, aspects of human nature, desires, etc., into categories that are very German, Freudian: übermensch means ineradicable so at least forgivable, while untermensch means true shamefulness, suspiciousness.  (And, of course, treating this moral bankruptcy as necessary for realism seems a lot better than does treating this as admirably open-minded and gutsy.)  These Oxford members no doubt tended to take his ideas about coping skills, to heart, since they wanted self-improvement that would build fiber.  After all, we must accept that if you win, you win, and if you lose, you lose.  That self-responsible self-motivation is also how, and why, market discipline works; we must discipline even perfectly innocent failures.  The more that the weakness of the weak is blamed (What exactly is to blame when someone doesn’t protect himself well enough to succeed?): the more that they’d be motivated to take responsibility for taking care of themselves, the more hope that they’d have that they could change what causes their problems (themselves), and the more that we could all have faith in this red-blooded worldview.   Prejudice against the weak means an optimistic and patriotic faith in The System, and focusing on how the weak could hopefully solve their own problems if only they made themselves worthy, changed what they can.   Übermensch imperfection such as sinfulness would have to seem at least forgivable, while untermensch supposed imperfection would have to seem to be an insidious (as in “the hidden lie,” and, “We are all victims of victims.”) expression of weak people’s SELF-WILLS. Dictator or no dictator, just about all of those in any society must define “personal responsibility” in basically the same predictable way and truly believe it, or different people would play by different rules, and plenty of people wouldn’t take the rules to heart when fortitude would be most necessary.  No doubt plenty of Oxford members who weren’t Himmler’s advisees, could have been just as easily, since they were just as free of whiny resentment; all “good” members followed the same school of psychology.

 

 

As far as self-help is concerned, the bottom line is that you’re simply going to have to deal with your own problem whatever it may be, and expectations that one simply deal with normal problems are interchangeable with expectations that one simply deal with an addict in the family.  “Personal strength,” “strength of character,” etc., tend to mean literally strength, transcending “weak” but natural and warranted feelings.  As Langdon Gilkey’s On Niebuhr says, “Thus transcendence is perhaps the key word in Niebuhr...”  For anyone in trouble, this would be: self-help, self-responsibility, self-care, self-protection, self-actualization, self-empowerment, etc.  As any conservative social analysis would say, you, that teen who looks like Archie, etc. could think productively, or think counterproductively (though if you’re the problem person, then probably we’ll just have to accept your counterproductive thinking, since people aren’t perfect and we mustn’t try to re-engineer human nature).  The effects of “Archie’s” dad’s actions are short-term (since others are motivated to resolve them), but the effects of Archie’s reactions are long-term (since others aren’t).  Twisting reality in “positive” ways is realistic, since it increases people’s chances of success.  Archie’s non-addicted parent (who’d really have to have a Gelassenheit “productive” attitude, what with all that she must do to make her family as normal as possible), has just as much autonomy as does the typical adult, since addicts’ power over others is physical, not authoritarian.

In general, motivation is everything; irrespective of moral responsibility, addiction or lack of it, etc., the only personal responsibility that we could count on is one in which those held responsible for problems are those motivated to take responsibility.  Charles P. Pierce’s Idiot America, How Stupidity Became a Virtue in the Land of the Free, says, “The [conservative] movement swallowed whole the quack doctrine of supply-side economics, adopting it with almost comically ferocious zeal,” and self-help, also, must follow this pattern, since in a gutsy and as-uncompromising-as-reality fashion, it holds that no matter how much others are responsible for your problems: if you win you win and if you lose you lose, that’s what’s realistic (what most reliably works), and that stupidity is a virtue in the name of freedom.  (We all know where intellectualism leads.)  Idiot America also says about a Cuban-American refugee who worked with AIDS patients in the early 1980s, “The situation reminded her a little of the way things had worked in Cuba, where the government would tell you something that you knew from your own experience could not possibly be true, yet people seemed willing to believe that it was, and to act upon that belief, until the manufactured reality displaced the actual one [which is also the classic definition of brainwashing, washing the brain of “bad attitudes”].  She felt she was working in parallel worlds.  There was the world of the disease, and of the people who had it; and then there was another world, in which everything was a symbol and in which her patients stood for something,” and one could say the same thing about this sort of self-help, where there’s the world of what people like Archie must actually deal with, and then there’s the world of what they symbolize: our duties regarding the never-ending virtues and necessity of response-ability for one’s own welfare, which shape what we should believe irrespective of what we’ve learned from experience, e.g. that Archie looks at himself.  (Marxism applies how cultural conditioning works, to shaping “the ideal society,” right?)

 

 

It’s amazing which moral norms could (i.e. must) seem less important than whether or not the person with the problem is doing what’s necessary for him to overcome it successfully.  That seems good; “whining” seems bad.  What’s most important in practical terms, might go very much against what we’d like to believe is important.  Banalities get things done.  Realism is the ultimate mandate.  This is the sort of Populism that H. G. Wells called “magnificent stupid honesty,” adamantly anti-manipulative-morality, so this sort of supposed populism would adamantly accept what causes 15% of the adult population to suffer serious depressive disorders in any given year.  (This “honesty” often has big unintended consequences, but could seem all-important.)  “Stop doing that, since it’s judgmental and controlling!” would probably make you at least hesitant, but, “Stop doing that, since that sort of thing has been proven to contribute to our very unnaturally high rates of depression and anxiety disorders!” would probably seem judgmental and controlling to you.  If this weakness-anathematizing conception of personal responsibility weren’t that absolutist, plenty of problems wouldn’t get resolved well enough, yet the fact that this is that absolutist, is pretty scary.  (Yet, the fact that so many stupid and reckless people got such important jobs on Wall Street, shows that even this very costly way of motivating winning could fail in very important ways, though they could always be excused as “inevitable human imperfection.”)  Sure, on Larry King Live on August 11, 2009, economist Ben Stein said, “Big government is a terrifying subject” (i.e. the kind that you could openly and proudly get terrified about), but you don’t dare say, “Big depression is a terrifying subject,” even if you’ve been there, or, “Big Wall Street greed is a terrifying subject.”  Also, on an interview on a Christian radio network, Stein said, “...science leads you to killing people.”  Magical thinking like this could seem more acceptable to economists, since they could always figure that consequences don’t really matter, since those who have the problems are always motivated to solve them; that “works.”  Self-help’s conception of which freedoms, self-determination, personal rights and responsibilities, etc., do, and which don’t, seem to matter, sounds like something right out of The Communist Manifesto (and certainly plenty of others in the 19th Century noticed this, too), “...in place of the numberless indefeasible chartered freedoms, has set up that single, unconscionable freedom—Free Trade,” and since someone must take responsibility for the consequences of adversarialism, “self-responsibility” must mean that in place of the numberless indefeasible chartered forms of personal responsibility, we have set up that single, unconscionable personal responsibility—response-ability for one’s own problems.  (A better word than freedom might be right, i.e., “I have a right to expect something better!”  “No, the only right that you have is to become a winner by protecting yourself better, with proud self-reliance!”)

 

 

 

 

In fact, though we’re supposed to take addictive behavior as a given since addiction is a disease, the law certainly doesn’t treat addicts as not guilty by reason of insanity, one can’t be brought out of real legal insanity through “hitting bottom” or an intervention.  Addicts’ family members, who can’t change them, must minimize their responsibility and magnify the responsibility of their own reactions, but the law, which can change most addicts with whom it comes into conflict, doesn’t have to minimize and magnify.  As the publishers’ notes of Gene M. Heyman’s Addiction: A Disorder of Choice says, “He shows that the causes of addiction, its control, and its potential reduction are the same as the causes, control, and reduction of all voluntary behavior.”  (Certainly you could imagine what would result if someone said at an Al-Anon meeting, “But when he relapsed, it was because he got angry and chose to, not because he saw something that triggered a compulsion to drink!  That means that my objections are legitimate!” or even, “But the person who caused this problem, whom I can’t change, isn’t addicted!”)  Yet whether or not addiction is involved, you could always find some sophistry to make courageously changing what you can and serenely accepting what you can’t seem legitimate, and ignore any facts that would disrupt this pragmatism; form follows function.  This, also, could be called “pragmatic logic,” applicable to any realities that contribute to our rampant depression.  Both an acceptance of an addiction, and an acceptance of aggressive human nature, are fatalism about unrestrained desires, what the pleasure centers of our brains make us do, etc.  What works for AA is what works for addicts, i.e. for addictive personalities, which would single-mindedly insist on: excuses to do what one pleases, stopping righteous indignation and “controlling,” etc.  The more that we serenely accept übermensch, active, imperfections, the more that we can’t afford to accept the untermensch, passive, imperfections of those hurt by them, and who, therefore, must deal with them in order not to be maladjusted maladaptive and dysfunctional.  If this wasn’t as simplistic and resolute as Reagan, their awareness that they’re victims would leave them both too weak by feeling helplessness and making unrealistic expectations, and too strong in that they could insidiously get the benefits of victimhood.

 

 

Your realities are whatever they are, and either you deal with them or you suffer the consequences.  NOTHING CAN LIMIT HOW MUCH ALL THIS COULD AFFECT YOU.  To paraphrase a Catholic riddle: “What’s the difference between a victim corrector and a terrorist?  You can negotiate with a terrorist.”  As pioneering behaviorist John B. Watson wrote, “The raw fact that you, as a psychologist, if you are to remain scientific, must describe the behavior of man in no other terms than those you use in describing the behavior of the ox you slaughter, drove and still drives many timid souls away from behaviorism,” and the only real difference between behaviorism and cognitive therapy is that it credits humanity with self-control abilities that animals don’t have, such as the ability to choose to serenely accept hardship and sinfulness; training people who are motivated to be trained is a lot easier.  (This self-control would benefit the person who serenely accepts the hardship, sinfulness, etc. that he’s helpless to change, whether or not the person who caused the problem is addicted. )  As Paul Krugman wrote, “The truth is that good old-fashioned demand-side macroeconomics has a lot to offer in our current predicament—but its defenders lack all conviction, while its critics are filled with a passionate intensity,” and one could say the same for debates between those who stress personal responsibility for the consequences of one’s own choices, which could usually be called “blaming,” “guilt-based,” “controlling,” etc., and the gutsy people who stress red-blooded personal response-ability for one’s own welfare, which could always be called “self-help,” “self-empowerment,” “realism,” etc.  As the Great Crash of 2008 shows, some things will never change.

 

THE GREATEST RISK IS NOT TAKING ONE, AIG ad from 2001, so if you tried to restrain this you’d seem profoundly: weak, whiny, defeatist, controlling, unrealistic, counterproductive, opinionated, manipulative, negative, moralistic, etc.  Sure, post-scandal AIG CEO Edward M. Liddy said, “I have seen the good side of capitalism.  But over the past six months, since agreeing to take the reins of AIG and reviewing how it was run in prior years, I have also seen instances of the bad side of capitalism,” but one could also call the gutsiness of AIG in its PIG era, “character-building,” giving plenty of backbone and fortitude.

♦♦♦♦♦

 

Sure, Rush Limbaugh is more unpopular than Bill Ayers or Jeremiah Wright, and conservatives could be afraid that such aggressiveness looks “ugly” to the public.  Yet, especially if you’re in big trouble, if you thought like Limbaugh and the other attack politicians then you’d face up to your problems more serenely and courageously, and we dare not care how profoundly ugly is coaching Archie, etc., into having attitudes of, “I’ve stopped blaming others and I’m looking at myself!”  If Himmler had sent you some “Dear Abby” letters that didn’t mention the Nazi practices that Buchman didn’t like, the advice that the letters would have given would have helped you become more resilient, courageous, self-responsible, realistic, and abiding by Gelassenheit (a fatalism that teaches that willfulness leads to self-defeating frustration if you’re helpless to get what you want or need), so you would have ended up with a stronger character.  Victim Correction as a Panacea, is Gelassenheit and similar all-encompassing attitudes about physical response-ability for one’s own problems, exactly what a society with rampant depression, anxiety disorders, etc., would most need.

Sure, Niebuhr wrote that he was shocked about Buchman’s admiration of Hitler, though The Serenity Prayer summarizes the book that most shaped Hitler’s thinking, Schopenhauer’s The World as Will and Representation:   As with a panacea, we must see the entire world in terms of the ineradicable SELF-WILLS of the sinful, the ignominious and surreptitious SELF-WILLS of victims who don’t represent their own bad experiences to themselves as being as innocuous as possible (“Those manipulative whiners want to believe that someone owes them something!”), and, therefore, our responsibility to do this.  Niebuhr wrote that Buchman’s faith that dictators, business tycoons, etc., should use their power to push Christianity, vapidly ignored how realpolitik would affect the outcome, “The slightest acquaintance with the history of Christian thought on the problem of the relation of the absolute demands of the gospel to the relativities of politics and economics would prove its childishness,” but the same could also be said about applying a simplistic sloganeering spirituality to the situations that contribute to our rampant depression.  It isn’t possible to get any more vapid than,“Serenely accept everything that happens to you in a society with rampant depression, that you’re helpless to change.”

The wave of the future, the “new economy” of self-responsibility, requires that we want to be responsible members of society, take response-ability for our own welfare.  With that approach you’d be more likely to succeed, and that’s good, maybe irreplaceable.  Your natural objections to this would be counterproductive (though you’re free not to hold others personally responsible by these standards, as long as you hold yourself responsible by them).  The same would go for minimizing any “whiny” lessons we might learn from the Great Crash of 2008.  If we can’t change wretched excesses on Wall Street but can change victims’ not fixing the consequences adequately, then either we correct the victims or we’ll have a dysfunctional society.  Since we simply must solve our problems, our perceptions must be distorted in order to fit in with this; there is no alternative.

 

 

 

(Cartoon generated by “Build Your Own Meat”)

 

Nothing can drive anyone away from this sort of cognitive therapy, just as nothing can drive Archie away from his unconditional and immoderate, contrived serenity and courage, though Gelassenheit is very unnatural social engineering.  In self-help books about codependency, stories in which the problem spouses are addicted are absolutely interchangeable with stories in which the problem spouses simply choose to act like buttheads, since in both cases the victims are equally unable to change the victimizers’ behavior.  Whatever you must do to take care of yourself, is whatever you must do to take care of yourself, so you must look at yourself when you’re looking for things that you could correct in order to solve your own problems.  Sure, the Financial Times on March 10, 2009 quoted Bernie Sucher, the head of Merrill Lynch operations in Moscow, as saying, “Our world is broken—and I honestly don’t know what is going to replace it.  The compass by which we steered as Americans has gone.  The last time I ever saw anything like this, in terms of the sense of disorientation and loss, was among my friends [in Russia] when the Soviet Union broke up,” but Americans have been culturally conditioned to serenely accept economic difficulties, and not to accept supposedly manipulative whining about them.  Those with plenty of “personal strength” would tolerate Wall Street Darwinism and its effects.  Archie could “get on with life” since folk wisdom, common sense, says that that’s what everyone must do; everyone could “stick it out.”  (On June 19, 2009 [just before the threatened bloodshed began, “On 9/11 we were all Americans, and tonight we’re all Iranians.”], when Iran’s supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said that they were going to crack down on the protests of the election fraud, he said, “If the political elite want to ignore the law or break the law then they are taking wrong measures...,” so dogmatists of all stripes excite their followers by condemning the supposed intellectual elite.)  Archie, and others who are powerless, couldn’t afford the dysfunctionality of feeling disoriented or lost.  Realism requires that this self-responsibility be the lynchpin, so any concern that would conflict with this must be shrugged off.  (Of course, this self-response-ability must include the same self-justifying, fatalistic, conformist, simplistic, “upbeat,” absolutist, unconditional, predictable, illusions that got our economy into such trouble; after all, people will do only what they feel motivated to do.)  We all must adjust to and deal with reality, and others determine what is reality for you, which tends to mean that the strong (whether or not they’re addicted) determine what is reality for the weak.  Resiliency is everything.

 

 

 

Wall Street, August 23, 1929,  “As I wrote last March, those of us who have looked to the self-interest of lending institutions to protect shareholders’ equity, myself especially, are in a state of shocked disbelief….  That’s precisely the reason I was shocked, because I had been going for 40 years or more with very considerable evidence that it was working exceptionally well.”—Alan Greenspan, testimony before Congress, October 23, 2008

 

 

That’s why self-help in general tends to admire Al-Anon, The Serenity Prayer, etc., and this self-reliant ethos.  The only thing that really matters is what you do and don’t have the power to change.  This is how the ideal American faces his own problems.  Since Bill Wilson, co-founder of AA who wrote much of their Big Book, was a stockbroker around the time of the Great Depression, one could call this The Great Depression Stockbroker’s Approach to Self-Responsibility; we’d have to be firm with those victims and whiners who object to productivity that involves strong character, such as “creative destruction,” and, “Your problem is your problem.”  The economist who, just after the Great Depression, came up with the concept of creative destruction, Joseph Schumpeter, also wrote during the Depression that recovery from it, “is sound only if it [comes] of itself.  For any revival which is merely due to artificial stimulus leaves part of the work of depressions undone and adds, to an undigested remnant of maladjustment, new maladjustment of its own which has to be liquidated in turn, thus threatening business with another [worse] crisis ahead.”  Daniel Gross’ Dumb Money says that Maestro Alan Greenspan, in an interview, “had an abstract fervor for the glories and potentials of creative destruction,” and, in the abstract, saying that alkies’ teens, etc., should have an attitude of, “I’ve stopped blaming others and I’m looking at myself!” sounds just as proudly productive.

 

 

 

For More On Correcting Archie,
Click Here

 

       

 

“For the first time in American history, men in authority are talking about an ‘emergency’ without a foreseeable end.  Such men as these are crackpot realists: in the name of realism they have constructed a paranoid reality all their own.”—C. Wright Mills, The Power Elite, regarding the Cold War (Yet we now think that the “War on Terror” is our first permanent emergency.)

 

“The truth [the truth?  You mean, the American public weren’t told the truth?] is that for reasons that have a lot to do with the U.S. government bureaucracy, we settled on [settled on?] the one issue that everyone could agree on, which was weapons of mass destruction, as the core reason [for the invasion].”—Paul Wolfowitz, in an article published in the May, 2003 edition of Vanity Fair, with comments from Vincent Bugliosi, The Prosecution of George W. Bush for Murder  (If you want to con the American government, just call it the bureaucracy,” and conning that would seem excusable.)

“When people have emotions or feelings they want to express, they need a space or channel.  It is like a water flow—if you block one direction, it flows to other directions, or overflows.  There’s got to be an outlet.”—Wang Xiaofeng, a journalist and blogger in Beijing, about Chinese censorship

 

 

 

 

 

 

(This is the heading of the section of Al-Anon’s workbook Blueprint for Progress, Al-Anon’s Fourth Step Inventory, for those who seem to be codependent to take a fearless moral inventory of behaviors, including helpful ones, that are labeled as “controlling.”  Frankly, just about any helpful behavior in a relationship that’s considered codependent, would be considered “controlling,” as in, “Sure, you think that what you’re doing is trying to help, but supposedly trying to help someone is a great way to control him.”  This morality-based “control” is in the same sense of what the Mississippi preacher mentioned by Bobby Kennedy’s administrative aide James Symington, meant by tyranny, “One preacher let me into his church, and told me, ‘You represent a tyranny.’   I said, ‘How do you think black people feel living in Mississippi with no rights?’   He said, ‘Well, it’s better to have a lot of little tyrannies than one big one.’”  Control based on one person having power over another, is only a little tyranny.  Of course, if those driven into depression, anxiety disorders, etc., by such behavior, instead fixed themselves by taking antidepressants, choosing to think positively, eating more omega-3 fatty acids, etc., that wouldn’t seem controlling, anti-freedom, manipulative, resentful, etc.  If you object to sinfulness, that’s really your will-to-power.  One could only ask: if control, resentment, etc., really were character defects so the person who had them got bad karma, what would be the learning experience that he’d get to teach him what’s wrong with them, that he be reincarnated as an SOB so he could see what it feels like to be on the receiving end of victim-posturing control tactics?)

 

Not only are we supposed to hold to:

 

 

but also we’re likely to figure that helplessness is the price that we have to pay for the redbloods, the übermenschen, to have their sacred freedoms, even in a society with rampant depression.

According to the Al-Anon Formula for Self-Help, the fact that the person who has the problem, would simply be held response-able for dealing with it by courageously changing what he could and serenely accepting what he couldn’t, would be a fait accompli.  If you really do care how scary our rate of depression is, it would be you who’d seem scary, because of all the untermensch victim-power you’d have.  If what seems most important is that people learn to think like winners, and not to think like untermenschen, then it would seem that “productive thinking” means thinking as if being overpowered doesn’t really matter.

With all cognitive therapy, the more impressionable that one is, the more that he could learn to think pragmatically.  Since cognitive therapy arose in the 1960s based on the then-popular Eastern transcendence, this could be called “Calcutta survival skills.”  Yet this is the sort of coping skills that modern self-help tells us that we need, to deal with our own problems.  This is all very systematic.  As the Philadelphia Grand Jury report on their Archdiocese’s enabling of pedo-priests put it,

Al-Anon’s approach was based on AA’s approach, in which the more impressionable a recovering alkie is, the more that he could get rid of his pathological thoughts.  The stronger you are, the more likely you are to have what’s exciting, pro-freedom, übermensch, red-blooded, self-reliant, etc., on your side.

A modified version of Christian agápè-style unconditional forgiveness that one chooses to have, where the only condition is that one is helpless to change how the sinfulness affects him, actually was what shaped the kind of coping skills, and formulas for being well-adjusted and hopeful, that self-help books espouse.  The entry on Niebuhr in The Columbia Encyclopedia, Sixth Edition, 2001, says that he “defended Christianity as the world view that best explains the heights and barbarisms of human behavior,” so we’re simply supposed to accept the existence of barbarity, and change our vulnerability to barbarisms.  Only in some situations, to varying degrees, does the Serenity Prayer become the Barbarity Prayer, and does serene acceptance mean in the words of Shakespeare, “like patience on a monument smiling at grief,” but in those situations, unvaryingly, the response-ability goes absolutely to the person whose welfare is at stake.  We must be realistic enough to remember what the threshold of human endurance is.  More on this is on my webpage on Niebuhr’s book set The Nature and Destiny of Man.

It can’t be just a coincidence that groups of addicts made this popular, and that this is very much along the lines of addictive personalities.  The only real difference between the gist of victim correction as a panacea, and the gist of the responses you’d get if you tried to guilt-trip an alcoholic, is that victim correctors have their wits about them so would be diplomatic.  Someone who’d think in impulsive excitable and novelty-seeking ways, would tell you about a problem that he caused you, “If you don’t just take in stride what I did, and pragmatically get on with life, you’re letting this bother you though you don’t have to, you’re just trying to manipulate people by getting them to feel sorry for you, you must love to play the victim role, you’re acting passive-aggressive...” and the thinking behind the Serenity Prayer says, “If you don’t just take in stride what he did, and pragmatically get on with life, you’re letting this bother you though you don’t have to, you’re just trying to manipulate people by getting them to feel sorry for you, you must love to play the victim role, you’re acting passive-aggressive...”  Just imagine telling a markedly impulsive and excitable person, “Sorry, but the harm that you just caused someone else is your responsibility, not the responsibility of the person whose welfare is at stake.”

It seems that the helplessness that causes our rampant depression, is just some of the inevitable imperfections of life and/or human nature.

I might as well end this main part of this webpage, with the quote that

ends with.  This is from the keynote address made by Dr. Joseph V. Collins, one of the founders of the Neurological Institute, on the occasion of its twenty-fifth anniversary:

Submit to being called a neurotic [he declared] for then you belong to that splendid and pitiable family which is the salt of the earth. All the greatest things we know have come to us from neurotics. It is they, and they only, who have founded religions and created works of art....

It is the psychoneurotics that have painted the pictures that have lasted from the time of El Greco. Just as sure as the Mississippi River flows from Lake Itasca, all modern art flows from El Greco. Just as sure as Leonardo da Vinci existed, all modern applications of physics stem from him.

You can’t name a poet, whether it be Whitman or Poe in this country, or Stephen Collins Foster or Swinburne, but that you find a psychoneurotic....

Never will the world be conscious of how much it owes to the neurotics, nor above all what they have suffered in order to bestow its gifts on it. We enjoy fine music, beautiful pictures, a thousand exquisite things, but we do not know what it cost those who wrought them in sleeplessness, tears, spasmodic laughter, asthma, epilepsy, terror of death and worse than these.
 



            hen is my Men Dying for Love webpage, which also includes some links for suicide help websites, as does my Hotlinks page.  Most of this is basically randomly compiled suicide notes by both men and women in Los Angeles, from 1983-1984, and while several of the men killed themselves because of the ending of only one romantic relationship or marriage, the only woman to do this was a lesbian.  One of these notes is from that guy who tried to look much too cool even in his suicide note.  Another is by a woman who had to deal with one of those Reaganomics-style psychologists who really got aggressive at that time, treating her clinical depression by, “All she could do is nitpick about how I need to feel small and helpless.  She doesn’t know how it is—though I’ve tried my best to show her.”  This is typical victim correction as a panacea, where all that the victim correctors could do is nitpick, to find opportunities for the victims to become more correct.  If they try their best to show the correctors how it is, that wouldn’t make any difference, since the only things that seem to matter are the solutions (which the victims would provide as effectively as possible), not the problems.  It probably rang hollow to say that she needed to feel small and helpless, but it feels good to believe that everything would be fine if only the victims took care of themselves better.  Since matching calamity with serenity seems to be victims’ divinely-ordained role, they’d be held accountable for supposed sins of omission.  I could only imagine what this psychologist would have thought about those guys who were about to kill themselves over the ending of one relationship or marriage, how small and helpless they’d seem to need to feel.

 

            hen, lastly, is my On Doping webpage, on which I run by an issue that’s both very current, and very relevant to hyperthymic personalities, why so many of them lead the people to abusing dope even after they see it killing people they know.  This is very current, since right now many are wondering which would be the most effective remedy for druggies, throwing them in the slam or sending them to treatment.  This reminds me of what I’ve read in books about codependency, that one definition of codependents is those who get romantically involved with people who have impossible personalities along the lines of addictive personalities, and then think that they could change these people in one way or another.  Some of these ways could be called too naïvely humanistic, too nice, while others could be called too controlling, yet both seem to be silly.  Of course neither could change someone who nothing else had been able to change so far.  I’d think that both the forceful steps that a family member could take to try to stop drug abuse, and the warm humanistic steps that a family member could take to win a druggie over, would be closer to the heart, hit closer to home, than would controlling or humanistic measures done through mass-production by the government.  Yet family members who try to persuade druggies seem silly, and governments that try to persuade druggies don’t.  What we’ve really got to do is find out how to reach those who have addictive personalities, so that they wouldn’t intractably kill themselves thinking that those who try to win them over into a normal lifestyle are a bunch of squares and knotheads who are trying to put the cramps on their freedoms.  Also at the end is the address to which you could send a letter to Prince Harry to add to those discouraging him from Doping.

 

 

 

 

But wait.  There’s more...

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Home Page

About Us, Introduction

Top of About Us, the Summary

About Us

My Story

To The [Abuse] Survivors ♥♥

Men Dying for Love

On Doping

“Oh, Yeah?” Upbeat Echoes from the First Great Stock Market Crash

Victim Correction as a Panacea, the Summary

(Page 1), (Page 2), (Page 3)

  Cancer Victims Corrected Too

Victim Correction as a Panacea

 Documentation On the Social Problem of Unnaturally Rampant Depression

  Standard Rationales for Victim Correction as a Panacea

 Schopenhauer on Predators

 Emphasis on Victim-Self-Blaming

  Darwinist Lehman Brothers’ INSIDE Sales Tips

  Darwinist Lehman Brothers’ INSIDE Introduction to Management Book

Out of the Same Mold as the Great Crash of 2008

Message for Intellectuals in the Islamic World

Candace Newmaker’s Experience

Breaking Important Confidences for Your Own Good

A Glimpse Into the Soul of Victim Correction

Cigarette Industry and Victim Correction

Niebuhr’s Ideas on Our Nature and Destiny

Herbal Experiences for Women

Some Ideas for Rapport

Hotlinks