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Darwin and a psychological immune system?

Discussion in 'Suicidal Thoughts and Feelings' started by ranman, Sep 1, 2008.

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  1. ranman

    ranman Member

    I've felt for a long time that I am not fit to survive in this world. It's hard for me to end my life based on a feeling. I know feelings come and go.I need facts, measurements or logical reasoning to make what might be the most important decision of my life, if not just the last.
    I do believe we have a psychological immune system. In extreme cases people can completely block out traumatic events. This serves a function. It allows one to retain sanity and lead a normal life. Like other traits some are born with very good ones some are not as lucky. Differences can be caused not only genetically but from environment as well. Questions arise- was I born with a defect, was I damaged in a way that can be fixed and if not what then? I have tried to fix myself with therapy and drugs prescribed and illicit. All my efforts have eventually been disappointing.
    Am I fit to survive in this world? Would a depressed caveman fare as well as others or would he be most likely the first to be eaten by the bear? Is a depressed persons survival rate higher now because of technology? Perhaps long ago my death may have had a benefit for my clan. Now my life seems miserably long without purpose.
  2. Sorcery

    Sorcery Member

    That's a pretty complex thought... I'd wager that you're smarter than the average surviving human :cool:
  3. daniel2

    daniel2 Banned Member

    maybe we are like lemmings. when we as humans overpopulate the earth a psychological switch is thrown causing some of us to fall into depression leading us to suicide.
  4. bluegrey

    bluegrey Antiquities Friend

    I don't think you can use prehistoric humans and their harsh life as a way to determine whether or not the psychiatrically afflicted were meant to live. Anthropologists theorize prehistoric males with very poor vision actually passed their genes on more than their eagle-eyed compatriots because they were allowed to stay behind with the women rather than be a hindrance on hunts.

    A depressed/phobic/unstable prehistoric man would probably be given similar sympathy and be excused from the dangerous hunting tasks and as well afforded similar access to the women left behind for child rearing and food/shelter preparations.

    I also don't believe healthy people block out traumatic events rather they are just not as sensitive as most of us here. Some people can have long careers in law enforcement, male or female, and continuously see unspeakable depravity and cruelty yet remain emotionally balanced. Along with chemical imbalances I am also fatally sensitive, I am not resilient enough to process to closure the traumas I've experienced.
  5. Aleth

    Aleth Well-Known Member

    Human psychology from a Darwinian perspective is probably, for the most part, a reaction to stimuli.
    E.g. If we put our hand in the flame we feel pain, so we don't do it again.
    As a social animal, if we fail to form a bond with some member of the group after repeated attempts, we give up.

    Pain --both physical and emotion-- is a mechanism to teach and protect us. We avoid it for our own well-being.
    Naturally this can go awry. Someone who falls in the fire will suffer incredible pain, the bodies warning system goes to the extreme. The same applies to emotional wounds which, if extreme or prolonged enough, can cause us chronic psychological pain.

    Your point about survival of the fittest is right for a herd or tribal animal -- zebra, chimpanzee, human. A member of the group who is physically or emotionally weak will be more vulnerable to predators. If an ancient tribe of humans were running away from a lion, the sick, the elderly, the depressed would surely lag behind the group and be the first devoured.

    At the same time, some human psychologies which we now perceive as weak or damaged might have been useful for the group as a whole. E.g. a less sociable member in a group of nomads might tend to wander farther from the group and keep more to themselves, but his/her roaming would lead to the discovery of new food sources.

    Its an interesting question. I've never seen that approach : how to fight depression and suicidal feelings from an evolutionary perspective. Although if you look at your emotions as the reactions of instinct, perhaps it would give clarity to your problems. E.g. which of your most basic emotional needs are not currently being met?
  6. Dave_N

    Dave_N Guest

    I think you maybe right on this point. Bad things happen to people everyday. That is just unavoidable because it is a part of life. How you react to a traumatic event, seems to be the deciding factor on the outcome of your emotional state. I'm a 'healthy person' in the sense that I'm not depressed or suicidal. I've had some pretty rough moments in my 27 years of existence. But, I'm not a very sensitive or emotional person. Shit happens and I just roll with the punches, so to speak.
  7. HappyAZaClaM

    HappyAZaClaM Guest

    interesting premise. indeed, I don't like to think we are ALL lemmings,
    but of course we are :)

    indeed the depression/suicide thing is interesting. disturbingly so,
    in fact. I hope it is not the case, in actual application. and so as a theory
    it would be ok to banter about :(

    indeed, more ironically, AND true, not theory, the folk who have every
    indication of reverse evolution..actually, that's really unfair to apes
    and monkeys..

    people who are really stupider than a sack of ball peen hammers seem
    to BREED LIKE FLIES at a much more alarming rate than folk who give
    every indication of possibly having at least the ONE fleeting thought
    for a brief interlude that took in the scope of something beyond the
    end of their own nose.

    voluntary NON proliferation of the species sounds so much more fun
    than offing oneself. hopefully I don't sound preachy. not my intent.

    but, hell, if WE can survive a natural lifetime, at least our NON kids
    won't have to worry about what to do with this world which is getting
    to be more of a laugh a minute than ever! cause their won't BE any kids.

    we can expire of a nice ripe old age and have "piss on it. not my
    fuckin problem" carved on our headstones in good conscience and
    be done with the whole mess. all in good time :)
  8. HappyAZaClaM

    HappyAZaClaM Guest

    >>>As a social animal, if we fail to form a bond with some member of the group after repeated attempts, we give up<<<

    works fer me :)

    not sure how keen I am on that "repeated attempts" thing. just the ONE
    attempt seems pretty valiant to me. but then, what do I know?
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