My Body-Mind Reader is up on the Apple App Store. iPhone only. Read your own mind.
After an uninterrupted, prolonged period of unhappiness, a person may contemplate if not execute suicide. They hope to end their suffering. But does relief imagined to follow death occur? It seems only if one is alive and conscious can relief from sorrow be felt. In the meantime, the suicide has hurt countless others who care for them. One’s life has meaning if it benefits members of the species and, of course, the individual is a member of the species. Even if one has failed so far in achieving their prosocial goals, living is the only way to do it. And, there is likely no perceptible relief from pain via suicide.
Many males have an inability to enjoy sex with one they love or difficulty loving another they have sex with. This Freud called ‘Psychical Impotence’. Usually, a person who the man can perform with sexually is debased, thought of a whore. Hence the syndrome gets its other name: The Madonna-Whore Complex. Freud felt that this occurs when a man has unresolved Oedipus conflicts. That is, tender feelings of love reminds him of his original love, the mother. Having sex with one’s mother, a Madonna figure, is of course, incest. Such a grave sin is imagined to be certainly followed by great punishment. Psychoanalysts call this fear “castration anxiety”. Such intense fear makes it impossible to get an erection, hence the label Psychical Impotence. It’s not impotence proper because the person can perform sex as long as it is not with a loved one.
Much pornography is geared to men with the Madonna-Whore Complex. Woman are debased to make them attractive to the psychically impotent male who fears love. The severity of the complex runs from mild to severe. Patients with a less severe form of the disorder report becoming turned off, even disgusted by sex without love. This is improves their prognosis. The alternative, love without sex may turn into a more complete relationship in which one can have satisfactory sex with a loved one. That is, they can become Psychically and Physically Potent.
This website is nominally about body and mind interactions. The body includes the brain. And the mind depends on the brain to function. Everything is connected. In the not too distant past, the mind was seen as totally ineffable. The words ‘spirit’ and ‘mind’ were often used interchangeably. That is, they were both considered beyond understanding. Today, with MRI devices, we are able to correlate the physical actions of a person’s brain with their subjective experiences of thoughts and feelings. In other words, we can relate body phenomena to psychological events.
Freud was a neurologist who built a psychological theory of the mind. He knew, of course, that the psychology depended on the biology. He thought that 100 years after he built the theory of psychoanalysis, we would be able to see connections between mental and physical events. It turns out he was exactly right! The field of Neuropsychoanalysis came into being in 1999, 100 years after Freud’s publication of ‘The Interpretation of Dreams” of 1900.
The biology of dreaming began to be be studied in the early 1950’s. Rapid Eye Movement Sleep (REM) was discovered then. Kleitman, Jouvet, and others found that the person had the most vivid dreams while their eyes darted back and forth during REM–a clear connection between biological and subjective experience. Animals from sharks to humans have REM sleep. So, certainly, REM sleep has been conserved over evolution as a key feature of maintaining brain functions, and it seems reasonable that lions, dogs, cats and apes have subjective experiences when in REM states.
Besides being able to measure brain and mind connections via MRI and EEG methods, a great deal is now know about how chemicals, especially psychiatric drugs, operate to affect feelings, thoughts and overt behavior. Antidepressants like prozac, stimulants such as ritalin, mood stabilizers like Lithium, and antipsychotics like Seroquel affect subjective experiences in more or less reliable ways. These drugs work at the level of neurons, the single cells which make up the brain and its connections to the rest of he the body.
So body-brain-mind connections are being increasingly illuminated. Today, there are more neuroscientists than any other kinds of scientists. Formerly genetics research drew the most biologists. Now it’s neuroscience. Computer technology is very related to brain-mind studies. Computers made it clear that concrete, physical things could do something like thinking. Such insights have transformed the world. This is very exciting and sometimes disagreeable. While these discoveries can enhance our lives, they also can be used by nefarious forces within governments, the military, and corporations. The world is now in a very unstable condition driven in large part by advances in computing which affect energy, agriculture, communication, manufacturing, education, medicine, government, the military, and frankly everything else.
I am not too optimistic about the short term effect of humankind’s scientific advances. Some lunatics deny the validity of science altogether. They want to think what they think regardless of scientific knowledge. This has been on stark display during the politicization of the Covid pandemic. But whenever one of these science deniers needs heart surgery, life saving medications, or even a root canal procedure, they run to the best scientific medical professional they can find. Go figure.
When one has lost a cherished relationship they tend to seek a new one. But the new must have elements of the old. All Intimate relations involve satisfaction of needs for the warmth and comfort experienced in childhood. That is, satisfaction of basic, old needs are are a key aspect of all close relations. While the person who can satisfy those needs may be a new person, they still have to met the old, unchanging needs. All of our intimate relations serve the same function regardless of who the other person is.
A barrier to forming new bonds after old ones are severed is feeling of regret and perhaps guilt about the ending of the old connection. This means we may find it hard to be open to a new relationship. So, our basic unchanging needs will go unsatisfied for a long time. Depression, loneliness and despair will occur. How can one overcome this? Somehow we have to honor our needs. Realise that they are universal requirements for life. Denial of our needs is a denial of life. Knowing this can put one in touch with life outside the 3-D. One needs to connect to the ‘spiritual’ side of things. This is a basic need too.
I just spent literally 2.5 hours getting a new health insurance policy. I spent 2 hours attempting to purchase an account with a computer company. Through both these calls, I was subjected to various sales pitches, suggestions to use online service sites, long wait time, crappy music, and mostly friendly real human beings. However, in the insurance case, the services reps had to recite over 50 features of the policy, 25 legal disclaimers, and a whole other lot of crap. In the case of the computer company, no one on the service line was able to find the right office for me to get help with my problem.
These sorts of annoyances are part of everyday life. This is in part because companies prefer customers to use the internet so as to not hire living service reps. The combination of corporate efficiency motives and excessive legal regulations makes these interactions horrible. I actually have to brace myself before making these calls. There are today few forms of sensible interactions over the phone with companies. Machines and legal minutiae have combined to cause anxiety about trying to buy complex health insurance and other regulated products on a phone. I was told at least 10 times something to the effect that further charges may apply. The sales rep was ‘required by law’ to make me agree to many conditions and exclusions of the policy. These issues are in no small part why people, especially those over 60, are exasperated by living in this ‘modern culture’. The ‘old days’ were much more preferable.
Causing oneself pain by imagining or actually doing things likely to cause it is what psychiatrists label a ‘counterphobic response to anxiety’. Instead of fleeing the source of fear in the manner of a phobia, the counterphobic person actively seeks out the very situation that is feared. This involves striving to master excess anxiety through repeatedly coping with danger.
Dare-devil activities (e.g. race car driving) are often undertaken in a counterphobic spirit, as a denial of the fears attached to them, which may be only partially successful. Sex is a key area for counterphobic activity, sometimes powering hypersexuality in people who are actually afraid of the objects they believe they love. Traffic accidents have been linked to a counterphobic, manic attitude in the driver. The attraction of horror movies has been seen to lie in a counterphobic impulse.
A Counterphobic person inoculates him or herself from fear by imagining feared pain before it occurred— bracing one’s self. “Praemonitus, Praemunitus” or “Forewarned is Forearmed”. This can be a very effective way to combat fear . A downside is one may feel invulnerable, able to control anything. This can be very dangerous, increasing the odds of real pain and injury. For example, a child might stick an elbow into a hot toaster to see if it actually hurts. This is, in part, a response to being told that doing something is dangerous or ‘not allowed’.
If one fears fear more than real danger, the danger can be underestimated or not considered fully. Actual dangers seem less real than are the needs of the defensive operation. Freud said that most people value thoughts more than external reality. One controls what is controllable. If real risk can’t be controlled, the reaction to the reality of it all might be controllable. This is achieved, in counterphobia, by attempts to master fear by moving towards it.https://williambernstein.com/
I know both the patient and provider sides of healthcare delivery in America. To bill insurance companies for patient visits I had to hire a biller to navigate the absurd complicated rules for getting reimbursed. I had to pay the biller 7% of my fees just to collect the money. Insurers in America are horrible institutions. Every claim they pay is a business “loss”. Of course, they don’t want to pay for what customers pay them to pay. They exclude this or that type of treatment and charge ridiculous premiums. For myself, I had to pay $550 per month for my health policy, and it didn’t include dental care. Aren’t teeth a critical part of the body? Most plans don’t pay properly for mental health disorders. Isn’t the mind important? Most CEO’s of insurance and drug companies may make as much as $30,000,000 a year!
In American health, A few people get wildly rich and most others get shafted. We have to pay too much for less than adequate coverage. Copays, coinsurance, exclusions, and deductibles all obscure the costs policy holders have to pay. Have you tried to read the contracts for the health care insurance? As Woody Guthrie said, “Some will rob you with a six gun and some with a fountain pen.” Corporations don’t exist to serve your needs but to get more and more of your money in exchange for fewer and fewer services and products.
The insurers’ key advantage is if you don’t treat a heart attack, stroke, brain aneurysm, cancer, mental illness, lung disease, etc, you will die. This motivates every shmo to buy the crappy insurance. Everyone knows the system stinks, unless you are an insurer or biller or drug company. But somehow many if not most hospitals in the US are very close to bankruptcy. I don’t quite understand this but I think it is because insurers benefit from cost cutting measures enforced on hospitals. After all, hospital stays cost an immense amounts of money. Insurers want to discourage hospital spending so they underpay for hospital costs. This had led to, for example, breast cancer surgery being an outpatient procedure. Keep ’em out of the hospital or ’em get ’em out as fast as possible. Lot’s of healthcare and comfort in that, right?
I have seriously considered dying before getting medical services that might push me into bankruptcy, as it has very many patients. “Your money or your life?”. I would like say, “Go to hell, shoot me!”. Of course, that is a rather radical decision. But if everyone did it the medical industrial complex would collapse. Its like with Trump. The only way to defeat him is to not pay attention to him. Call his bluff. Ignore the bastard who is working to ruin your life. “Yeah, come and get me!” Would you sacrifice your life to take down the oppressors? It a war. And, in war people often sacrifice their lives for something they believe in.
#cheatsheet.com #fiercehealthcare.com #wiliambernstein.com