Of course I’m worth it. But is she?

Workshy Joe responds to my last post.

A lot of what he said can be summed up as “you’re not special.” Yep, agreed. Or rather, I am special, but I fall within a bell curve. Everyone is a creature of routine to a greater or lesser extent. Not everyone is diagnosed with OCD. Everyone feels bad at times. Not everyone has major depression that destroys years of their life. When I say I’m weird, I don’t mean that I’m a genius, or that I think substantially differently from everyone else, or that the normal rules don’t apply to me. I think I’m a reasonably ordinary guy with some strengths and some problems. But those problems and differences are real, and not just my own inventions to make myself seem like a precious snowflake, and the fact of the matter is that I strike most other people as weird.

The most interesting part of the post is when he compares Game to a foreign culture. Now, the key to game is procedural knowledge (“know-how”) rather than propositional knowledge (“know-what”), because it’s no good understanding Game theoretically if you can’t put it into practice. So, is it painful to take part in this foreign culture? I find it so strange that he thinks the answer is obviously no. To me, the answer depends on the foreign culture. If you don’t like spicy food, then you’re probably not going to enjoy Indian culture (or at least their cooking). Now, if you get a really good job in India, then that’s going to be worth the occasional curry. But any way you look at it, there’s a trade-off here.

Game is very much a foreign culture to me, and from my perspective it involves eating a lot of vindaloo for very little pay. I’ve been trying it for several months now and it really has been a painful experience. Now, I am not happy stuck in my rut, but it does not follow that I will be any happier outside it. Maybe there are other ways I can improve myself, and perhaps some of them involve more gain and less pain. Or maybe this is just depressive thinking, and making excuses, I don’t know. What I do know is that feeling sorry for myself is not much of a strategy.

**Joe is right that exercise, regular sleep and CBT can all help. However, if they’re suffering from depression, telling someone to take exercise is rather pointless. Anti-depressants can be a kick start, as can anti-anxiety medication and diet changes. However, you should bear in mind that what you tell your doctor is not necessarily as confidential as you would like it to be – particularly if you are contemplating suicide. The downside of seeking help honestly is that you may end up involuntarily committed to a psychiatric ward. Sad, but true.

One response to this post.

  1. […] are wasteful, hiding your true feelings has social utility, and will keep you from coming across as weird. « Credit Where It’s Due LikeBe the first to like this […]


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