## Thought Detox

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• 2.9k
They just answered "You have crippling depression" and they prescribed me some pills that I am currently taking every morning

This might be worth reading, not for just you but anyone who can fully recognise themselves in this:

Causes
The exact cause of bipolar disorder is unknown, but several factors may be involved, such as:
Biological differences. People with bipolar disorder appear to have physical changes in their brains. The significance of these changes is still uncertain but may eventually help pinpoint causes.
Neurotransmitters. An imbalance in naturally occurring brain chemicals called neurotransmitters seems to play a significant role in bipolar disorder and other mood disorders.
Inherited traits. Bipolar disorder is more common in people who have a first-degree relative, such as a sibling or parent, with the condition. Researchers are trying to find genes that may be involved in causing bipolar disorder.

Symptoms
Symptoms can last over a few weeks, months, or even years. The symptoms vary during the manic and depressive phase. And without any symptoms, in between episodes of mania and depression.
The manic phase is characterised by:
Extreme happiness, hopefulness, and excitement
Irritability, anger, fits of rage and hostile behaviour
Restlessness
Agitation
Rapid speech
Poor concentration and judgment
Increased energy
Less need for sleep
Unusually high sex drive
Setting unrealistic goals
Paranoia

The depressive phase may include:
Feelings of hopelessness, worthlessness, and guilt
Loss of energy
Loss of interest or pleasure in everyday activities
Trouble concentrating and making decisions
Irritability
Need for more sleep or sleeplessness
Change in appetite
Weight loss/gain
Suicidal thoughts and attempts at suicide

Treatments
Bipolar disorder lasts for a lifetime, with treatments aiming at managing the symptoms by psychotherapy and medication.
Medication
Mood stabilizers: Helps control extreme mood variations.
Carbamazepine · Lamotrigine · Valproate
Antipsychotic drugs: Help reduce symptoms of psychosis such as illusion, hallucination, etc.
Olanzapine · Quetiapine · Lurasidone · Cariprazine
Antidepressants: Helps stabilise the mood swings.
Sertraline · Fluoxetine · Citalopram · Desvenlafaxine · Duloxetine · Levomilnacipran · Venlafaxine
Antianxiety drugs: Reduces anxiousness.
Alprazolam · Clonazepam · Diazepam · Lorazepam · Oxazepam
Therapies: Psychotherapy · Electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) · Transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS)
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Good for you. :up:
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Thanks for sharing and yes, I recognise myself in the symptoms.

Treatments
Bipolar disorder lasts for a lifetime, with treatments aiming at managing the symptoms by psychotherapy and medication.

I am doing it good with the exception of going to therapy.
• 2.9k
I am doing it good with the exception of going to therapy.

Personally, I probably would go to my doctor and say something like.
"I am worried I might be bipolar or something, what do I do about it?"
I think I would do so because my curiosity would overwhelm me if I strongly recognised myself in a particular list of symptoms for an ailment but then I could be a bit of a hypochondriac as well.
As long as you feel that what you are doing now, allows you to live a life that is significantly far away from one of horror, terror and a compulsion to become an unhappy, awkward, socially isolated hermit.
A socially isolated hermit is fine, but only if you can exist as a 'happy' one.
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A socially isolated hermit is fine, but only if you can exist as a 'happy' one.

Agreed. Nonetheless, I see isolation as a cause of happiness but it is true that I never really tried myself.
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Therefore, is what is needed for better philosophy actually a fasting and detoxification of thought?

This topic has been split up into this and the other thread about excessive thinking. So I'll just quote what I wrote there since it covers both topics:

In a manner of speaking nature just forgot to add the mechanism to dumb it down again once we were safe
— Seeker

Nature didn't forget this because that's not how evolution works. And we're not even close to an evolutionary transition into a "dumber" human because we are now "safe". People have, for only around 30 years, been somewhat safe in the manner of speaking you position it. Before this, the threat of nuclear war, the threat and reality of the second world war, and then just go back in history for more and more threat level ups and downs, means people have never been "safe" and intellectually we have never been it either.

As humanity has grown into a much more complex state, where we incorporate the entire world and universe into our assessments of possible problems, we've never been in a more complex state of thinking. At this time in history, only the ignorant would position themselves as "safe", even if it's true for their own personal lives.

But what this topic is actually focusing on is more of the necessity to "breathe" and not be overwhelmed by all that thinking. The world changes faster and faster and demands a much faster pace of intellectual and rational thinking about it, so the pressure on the individual to understand and think about world complexity is increasing as the timeframe to formulate a thought around topics decreases.

So we're left with being pressured to think faster and more complex in order to be able to grasp the complexity of modern times.

Within this concept, we can definitely see a need to pause, otherwise, we become consumed with a complexity that risk breaking down our overall ability to organize internal thoughts. This is why I think we actually have positive scientific results from meditation. It is, in its essence, a way to "pause" our minds and let our critical thinking "defragment".

The complexity of today, especially the interconnected domino effect of increasing complexity as a result of clashes between cultures, classes, technology, ideology etc. that happens at an increasingly faster and faster pace, requires a mind that is much more intellectually evolved than what we have today. The only way to be able to grasp the entirety of it without going insane would be to find a way to "pause" all of that thinking. Be it with meditation or "intellectual vacation" (like shutting everything like social interactions, work, and information technology off for a while).

There are scientific results that shows very clearly the importance of "shutting off" our minds at a regular basis.

On a side note, this is why I think Nietsche became clinically insane in the end, apart from just the cancer doing it. He was clearly a man who couldn't pause thinking, it occupied his mind all the time and the incident with the horse was probably the incident that led them to discover the tumor, misdiagnosed as syphilis. So more or less, his breakdown was probably a result of a realization that the world didn't listen to what he had to say, that the world around him ignored his attempts to humanize a godless world and it shook him into a severe depression that was increasingly deepened by the realization of dying.

If anything would put someone in an insane state, it would be the realization of the futility of their thinking and the realization they would die before that thinking led to anything good in the world. The irony then, that his sister helped produce the nazi regime by corrupting all those thoughts he wished would help the world. As a fan of rational reasoning and intellectuals, she's in my opinion even worse than Hitler since Hitler just became a pawn of a self-indulgent ideology based on her corruption of an intellectual who wanted nothing but to bring sense to a senseless world.
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A hyperactive DMN (default mode network) is not conducive to well-being, I think, and the simple solution is to engage in activities that deactivate the DMN, such as meditation, long walks on the beach, dropping acid, or whatever. It helps to relax.

True. Our default mode is to be thinking in the sense of reverie and other types of non-philosophical thought. What I’m specifying here is philosophical thought, however.

Has what we call “philosophy” simply become another addiction? It often seems that way. And not the good kind either. Still, I think your suggestions apply equally to philosophical thought as to any thought.

Thinking is not just a kind of doing, any more than feeling is a kind of doing.

Thinking is an activity that can (sometimes) be controlled. We’re “doing” something when we’re thinking. I mean it in this general sense. It’s not an action on par with running, but perhaps similar to speaking.
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In order to achieve better thinking, there should be less internal monologue and more internal dialogue.
:100: :fire:

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Hmm interesting... :eyes: :sparkle:
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There are worse things to be addicted to, by far. If someone can manage to live the much touted "balanced life", well, good for them. I haven't figured that one out.

However little we know about thoughts, we can't help having them. Maybe you can meditate and see your thoughts as things, or whatever else this entails. Nevertheless, thinking, for human beings, is much like breathing, if we stop doing it, we die. Cue in Descartes joke.

I think proof of all this comes from this very strange occurrence that has likely happened to all of us a few times at least. You are doing nothing in particular, maybe washing dishes or swimming, and BAM all of a sudden you gain an insight, seemingly out of nowhere. All the while you had the impression you were only doing an activity unrelated to thinking.

I rather someone addicted to thought harming no-one, than someone addicted to action without measuring consequences. Though there are all these options between these two extremes.
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I wouldn't put it that way. I don't see beliefs as something like speaking or thinking, which I see as activities and, thus, can be analyzed in terms of habits and addiction.

But as far as our beliefs remain fairly consistent and (usually) immovable, I see what you mean.

However little we know about thoughts, we can't help having them.

Sure. I'm talking more about a specific kind of thinking, which I differentiate from the "default mode" type of thinking that occurs all the time.

I rather someone addicted to thought harming no-one, than someone addicted to action without measuring consequences.

Certainly.
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Thinking is not just a kind of doing, any more than feeling is a kind of doing.
— Possibility

Thinking is an activity that can (sometimes) be controlled. We’re “doing” something when we’re thinking. I mean it in this general sense. It’s not an action on par with running, but perhaps similar to speaking.

Sure - sometimes - which is why I said it’s not just a kind of doing. When we talk about ‘thinking’ we are commonly referring to the attention and effort we commit to particular thoughts. My view is that there is more to thinking than activity, and that it’s not so similar to speaking as it is similar to the potentiality or conditions in which speaking does or does not occur.

Speaking is always an activity: it occurs in time, or it doesn’t occur, and the difference is observable in time. But this is not necessarily the case for thinking. Thinking seems more like the notion of ‘energy’ as more than just work: in many instances, we determine that thinking must have occurred prior to an observable action, or we presume that thinking is occurring when action (such as speaking) is not.

What is common to both forms of ‘thinking’ is the perceived potentiality or conditions in which thinking is deemed to occur. Without this potential, there can be no thinking. Yet we often imagine/assume thinking where there appears to be evidence, but no potential.
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My view is that there is more to thinking than activity

Speaking is always an activity: it occurs in time, or it doesn’t occur, and the difference is observable in time.

Thinking occurs in time as well. Where do you think it takes place? Outside time?

Thinking takes place in the brain. It's a product of the human nervous system. It's not well defined, but it's certainly a human activity.

Unless of course it's magic. But I don't think it's worth discussing that possibility.
• 4.7k
I read somewhere by a great thinker, whose name I did not memorize, who said,

"Philosophy does not need answers. It needs a cure."

Maybe it said "Philosophers", not "Philosophy".

I agree with the proposition of the OP. We are addicted to thought. Everyone gets addicted to what gives them pleasure.

Heard someone say, ever, of another person, "He (or she) is only happy when s/he is miserable."

Philosophers, on the whole, are not miserable; only when they fail to convince someone else of their own argument. Which is, by and large, 100 percent of the time.
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Thinking occurs in time as well. Where do you think it takes place? Outside time?

Thinking takes place in the brain. It's a product of the human nervous system. It's not well defined, but it's certainly a human activity.

Unless of course it's magic. But I don't think it's worth discussing that possibility.

What I’m saying is that, like energy, what we name ‘thinking’ is evidence of thinking, based on perceived potentiality. I agree that it’s not well-defined and not magic, but I cannot agree that thinking is either physically confined within the brain or directly observable in time as an activity. These are probabilistic conclusions at best - a reductionist account.

Thinking involves the brain and nervous system, and is a collaborative result of their ongoing interaction and change, but is a product of neither. Just as energy can be exchanged between events regardless of whether or not any change appears to take place, so thinking can occur between brain and nervous system without any observable change in activity to locate this occurrence in time. When we do observe change, we deduce that thinking must have occurred prior. When we expect intentional activity but are yet to observe any, we presume that thinking is occurring, as a potential cause for the delay.

But the idea that thinking occurs in time is an assumption, based on observable evidence - and/or lack thereof. I would argue that how we experience thinking as humans can be simultaneous, reversed, non-linear, jumbled, fast, slow, circular or even amorphous as far as temporal order is concerned - if we’re honest. Thinking, like energy, is not well-defined as an activity, but I believe it may be more accurately determinable as a potentiality.
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The good news: If you have to get addicted to something, inshallah let it be to thinking.

Noli turbare circulos meos! — Archimedes

$\uparrow$Last words of Archimedes.
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I cannot agree that thinking is either physically confined within the brain or directly observable in time as an activity. These are probabilistic conclusions at best - a reductionist account.

There’s nothing probabilistic or reductionist about it: thinking either occurs in time or it doesn’t.

You can also observe your own thoughts. You can observe your feelings, too. These are actual phenomena,

Again — what is the alternative besides magic?

what we name ‘thinking’ is evidence of thinking, based on perceived potentiality.

“Perceived potentiality” doesn’t mean much to me. What we label “speech” is evidence of speaking, too. That we do that in our heads sometimes without making noise doesn’t strike me as requiring becoming spooky.

I guess I really don’t see your point.
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You are in danger of reinventing quietism.
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You can also observe your own thoughts. You can observe your feelings, too. These are actual phenomena,

We can perceive thoughts and feelings - what we observe are the internal changes some can effect on our brain and nervous system. But not all thinking leads to actual change.

‘Magic’ is what we name something we cannot understand, which is different from what we cannot explain. I’m simply making a distinction between actual and potential, observation and perception. The human mind makes sense to me as a five-dimensional structure in which thinking, feeling and acting exist as aspects of perceivable potentiality, undefined in time. You can call it ‘spooky’ if it makes you feel any better, but it’s as real to me as energy, and no more actual a phenomenon.

Phenomena are objects of our perception, pieced together in potentiality from the interaction of internal and external observations. That’s not to say phenomena aren’t real, but it is what we observe that is actual, not the phenomena themselves.

But my point, I guess, is that much of our thinking amounts to nothing actually occurring. There’s nothing wrong with that, but the assumption that ‘thinking is doing’ is false, and can lead us to this addiction to thinking, a distortion that prioritises thinking over feeling and acting.
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But my point, I guess, is that much of our thinking amounts to nothing actually occurring. There’s nothing wrong with that, but the assumption that ‘thinking is doing’ is false, and can lead us to this addiction to thinking, a distortion that prioritises thinking over feeling and acting.

Any thinking is an occurrence. It’s a happening. We can observe it, we can be aware of it. When I’m imagining something or talking to myself, something is happening. When I’m sitting and planning out something, I’m doing something. It’s a non-physical activity.

It’s just a way to talk about thought. I wouldn’t get hung up on that.

As for the rest of your response— there’s too many problems I have with it to go on about, as it’ll derail this thread. But I agree with almost none of it.
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Therefore, is what is needed for better philosophy actually a fasting and detoxification of thought?

You may find this from William James to be relevant.

“Direct acquaintance and conceptual knowledge are thus complemen­tary of each other; each remedies the other’s defects. If what we care most about be the synoptic treatment of phenomena, the vision of the far and the gathering of the scattered like, we must follow the concep­tual method. But if, as metaphysicians, we are more curious about the inner nature of reality or about what really makes it go, we must turn our backs on our winged concepts altogether, and bury ourselves in the thickness of those passing moments over the surface of which they fly, and on particular points of which they occasionally rest and perch. ([1909]

James tells us that the “clamor of our own practical interests” makes us “blind and dead” to all but our narrow suc­cess and makes it impossible, as he puts it, “to have any perception of life’s meaning on a large objective scale” ([1899] 1983, 141). “Only your mystic, your dreamer, or your insolvent tramp or loafer, can afford so sympathetic an occupation, an occupation which will change the usual standards of human value in the twinkling of an eye, giving to foolishness a place ahead of power, and laying low in a minute the distinctions which it takes a hard working conventional man a lifetime to build up” ([1899] 1983, 141). In the twinkling of an eye we become aware of the “intense interest that life can assume when brought down to the non-thinking level, the level of pure sensorial perception” (James [1899])

James mentions a certain Hudson, who writes
of daily spending the noon hour in a quiet grove, listening, as he says,
“to the silence” and feeling “strangely grateful” (James [1899] 1983, 148). Hudson writes: “My state was one of suspense and watchfulness; yet I had no expectation of meeting an adventure, and felt as free from apprehension as I feel now while sitting in a room in London. The state seemed familiar rather than strange, and accompanied by a strong feeling of elation; and
I did not know that something had come between me and my intellect until I returned to my former self,—to thinking, and the old insipid exis­tence” (in James [1899])
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I like that -- thanks.
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