Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Magical Thinking

I'm overwhelmed again.

I cannot concentrate on my work and the hurrieder I go, the behinder I get.

(I spent some time on the Internet looking for the source of this phrase. I can't find one. The Amish use the word "hurrieder" to mean faster, and there are a zillion references in various places, but they always quote "my father" or "an old adage" or whatever. Anybody know the origin?)

I find myself longing to drop all my responsibilities, run to Atlantic City, make my fortune and quit my job.

I know that pshrinks and students of cognition label that sort of idea "magical thinking".

So I looked up magical thinking on Wikipedia and kicked myself in the head with a reminder of the connection between magical thinking and my mental illness. To wit:

Magical thinking in mental illness
Magical thinking is often intensified in mental illnesses such as obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) or clinical depression. In each it can take a different form peculiar to the particular illness....

In depression, examples are generally more of the good luck charm variety, where the magical thinking is used to create confidence. Self-confidence is one of the first casualties in depression, so a surrogate object is invoked to bolster confidence....

I guess I'd better not quit my day job. Magic aside, my trip to Atlantic City a couple of weeks ago --- where I actually came out ahead --- has probably used up what gambling luck I have coming to me for a while.

But the Wikipedia entry has my feelings diagnosed, spot on. I've got precious little self-esteem at the moment, and I sure felt good when my blackjack bets were coming in and my alma mater was winning at basketball.


Moonbeam said...

I hope your behind catches up with your getalong soon....dont worry it well. Hang in there. It's ok to hold tight to AC and BJ (Black Jack),
we all need those things to keep us tickin'. You are Normal. Hope this is a charm for your self-esteem. Take care! Quack, Quack.

Moonbeam said...

Regarding the origin of "the hurrieder I go the behinder I get".
My dogpile research gave me two possibilities. 1st...Pennsylvania Dutch Proverb. 2nd...Co-worker-Einstein, UFO Casebook, which I have no idea what that might be about.
I am one enchilada short of a combo sometimes.

Tara said...

"Self-confidence is one of the first casualties in depression"

So...what they're saying is, if you don't have self confidence, you're not depressed? That makes my head hurt.

Anonymous said...

The Amish are interesting beings. We got a whole mess of them just south of here in Portage county. They do not generally talk to or interact with the "outsiders". I will have to try to ask about this phrase the next time I venture to Amish country for good cheese and a big meal.

David in DC said...

moonbeam: Thanks for the encouragement. I'm definitely trying to keep my ducks in a row, but it feels impossible right now.

Thanks for taking a shot at my etymological puzzle, too.

Tara: I don't think they're saying if you have self-confidence then you're disqualified from a diagnosis of clinical depression.

But I think it's rare to be both clinically depressed and self-confident.

(BTW, I've been meaning to say: your new icon rocks.)

Evil-E: Thanks, I'd love to know it's an actual Amish saying.

Mrs. Hairy Woman said...

I was diagnosed with depression a few years back. I still have bouts from time to time but I feel better about myself more than I use to.And I no longer rely on anti-depressants to mellow me out.. I go for a walk or just have a good old fashion cry..It's a case of taking one day at a time. If that makes any sense.? Well I hope you feel better about yourself..Time heals all...

Churlita said...

Hey, I say take whatever works.I hope you're feeling better soon.

David in DC said...

Dear BabyBull and Churlita:

Thanks for your words of encouragement. If you go all the way back to my "Fuck Tom Cruise" post you'll see that I don't think I'd be alive today without the combination of the right meds and a skilled pshrink.

But at the moment, even the meds aren't working and I won't see the pshrink until next Tuesday.

I probably shouldn't say the meds aren't working. Without them (and I'm dosing myself to the max permitted by my prescriptions) I'd likely be much worse off.

I'm still coming to work every day. I'm not curling up into a fetal ball in bed with the covers pulled over my head after I drop Monkeyboy off at school, which remains a temptation.

And I'm trying to communicate openly with RFB, Monkeyboy and an extremely empathetic work supervisor, to make sure my screwed-upedness isn't impacting anyone else too severely.

Again, thanks for the good wishes. I feel everybody pulling for me.


Rachel said...

Depression is such an insidious disease. It creeps up on you slowly and it isn't until you are really deep down that you even recognize what is happening.
My family has a large history of mental illness.
Sister is bi-polar, mom clinically depressed, Nana was hospitalized for mental breakdowns a couple of times. I have moderate chronic depression but I am able to function OK without meds.
I do go through low bouts about 2x's per year and they last a few weeks. Probably enough that I need meds full time but I just don't like to take medicine and am really bad about remembering to take it.
I hope that you get everything figured out soon. It colors (or bleaches color) from every part of your life.

David in DC said...

"It bleaches color from every part of your life"

Wow, Rachel, that's a damn-near perfect metaphor.

I still feel shitty, but that definitely prompted a wry smile of recognition.