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  • Category Archives Mental Illness
  • 48

    Creator of TempleOS, Terry Davis, Has Passed Away

    Terrence Andrew Davis, sole creator and developer of TempleOS (née LoseThos), has passed away at age 48. Davis suffered from mental illness — schizophrenia — which had a severe impact on his life. He claimed he created his operating system after having spoken with and receiving instructions from god, and he was a controversial figure, also here on OSNews, for his incomprehensible rants and abrasive style towards OSNews readers and staff. We eventually had to ban him, but our then-editor Kroc Kamen worked with him in 2010 to publish an article about his operating system despite his ban…. I hope he found peace — wherever he may be.

    At 48, likely jumped in front of a train.



  • compound words

    I have been in contact with someone further along in being destroyed by their mental illness.  Sadly we are no longer friends.  But a couple of things I noticed from her.

    She would write out each word in compound words.  So the site Remedyfind became Remedy Find.  I find in the last couple years I have done that too.

    She would listen to more upbeat music like 80’s new wave.  I have noticed in the last three years doing that too, listening to that kind of music and hopeful music like Luke Brindley and The Innocence Mission.  I used to listen mostly to sad bastard indie.

    One thing I have noticed about myself is I no longer get that clean feeling people promise after taking a shower.  This is evidenced by me often wearing dirty shirts after I shower.



  • God, one or three

    If you want to know me you should read this article on a programmer that believes God is instructing him on how to build and operating system.

    The article rings true because I fit the profile pretty well.  Someone who is a programmer, is mentally ill, and has had a psychotic break where I have transcribed what I believed was direct communication from God to a web page.

    The experience of receiving a direct communication from God is entropic.  You have a few options:

    1. You can choose to believe it and keep believing successive communications from God (while staying psychotic) like this man in the article
    2. You can attempt to write off the communications and try to re establish communication with God while sane.  The problem with this is once the revelations you had from God while psychotic are found to be frauds you have to actually have a kind of apostasy where your that world of revelations is blown to bits.  There is also the problem that compared to the way people say God’s revelations come (a “still small voice”) your direct revelations from God while psychotic seem so much more real.  There is also the problem that mental illness messes with your intuition, your mind is so loud the “still small voice” no longer is even audible.
    3. You can believe all communications with God are just going on in people’s heads.  The more I see inside myself and the world the more I realize the whole concept of a god that communicates with people is a lie.  There may be a god but he doesn’t communicate directly with people the way religious people claim he does.  Communication with God is heavily mediated by the brain so naturally if one is mentally ill the communications with God are going to be destructive.  It’s a no no in religious circles to say things like, “your mind is what the brain does” but my and many other’s lived experience bares this out.

    Which brings me full circle, after a psychotic break you can only choose option 1 or option 3.  Technically you can try to choose option two like I did but as your brain gets worse at doing the leg work of simulating interaction with a personal god you will drift off into option one or three.



  • Mental Advent

    A parody of advent, for people who the church wished didn’t exist.

    Week 1: The Empowerment Candle –  Hope is great but without power it usually just melts away.  For example if you are in an abusive or exploitative situation, having power is what counters these people and buys one hope.  Even being able to believe in religion is a form of power because you need to play cognitive tricks to pretend there is a god there that loves you and get the placebo response from these practices which sustain you.

    Week 2: The Ativan Candle – The times I felt the most peace were when I was on the anti anxiety drug Ativan.  People bemoan the fact that so many people are hooked on drugs and alcohol but there’s a reason for this.  They work!  Religion can work for some people but requires a lot of brain power, an acrobatic act of holding on and letting go, that is out of reach for a lot of people, especially those with mental illnesses.

    Week 3: The Mania Candle –  Joy is great too but is just a weasel word that, when pressed, Christians admit doesn’t mean anything even close to happiness or pleasure.  The only time I experienced the Holy Spirit moving was when I was manic so I think mania should get a better hearing.

    Week 4: The Significant Other Candle – Because the culture is so hyper individualistic often a significant other is your only true friend (this is particularly true if you are male).  Obviously love is harder to come by the less healthy you are but even bad relationships should be celebrated because people are reaching out and trying.  Of course this day you should celebrate looking good and making a lot of money because these are so important in finding love.

     



  • On Grunge

    Piece on grunge and the death of Chris Cornell:

    You might think grunge is about anger, but that’s not completely true. Yes, it can sound that way, but it’s really about depression and cynicism. Those two go hand-in-hand, along with their nasty little sister, anxiety. When the three of them get going, they just eat hope as quickly as it can be summoned. That leaves despair and despair is exhausting, not just for those who experience it, but for the people around it as well. So we keep it to ourselves because we don’t want to be a burden. And then it gets to be too much. Doesn’t matter if you’re a student, a mom, an accountant or a rock star. It doesn’t matter if you’ve written about it your entire life as a means of keeping it at bay. It doesn’t matter if the music you made about it brought in fame, respect and millions of dollars. It doesn’t matter if your entire generation has suffered from it. Depression makes you feel totally alone. You hit the breaking point, and then, like Chris Cornell, you die alone in the bathroom.



  • Brain as Computer Revisited

    I think modern psychology has latched on to the brain as computer model of the brain and do their detriment.  It’s an easy thing to fall into.  A computer has an operating system, files, and programs.  As long as everyone has the same operating system, programs will work seamlessly on any computer you try to run them on.  Therapies seem to presuppose this brain uniformity and when one doesn’t have a brain like this they’re left not knowing what to do.  For example some therapies try to strengthen one’s positive voice in their inner monologue.  But what if they don’t have a positive voice to begin with?  Therapies claim to work seamlessly on all brains (at least ones acculturated to western values).  But the brain is messy, there is no operating system/programs/files trifecta.  I know my experience has been just tearing apart the things therapists tell me, clearly seeing them as false.  But for some people believing what makes them feel good is preferable to believing what is factual.  But my brain doesn’t play that way, especially because eventually wishful thinking will bite you in the butt.  There is some understanding in the psychology profession that therapies aren’t supercultural and that’s a good start.  But even within western culture there is such variation from brain to brain.

    I actually think the brain is more organized like a regime.  Depending on where in the world you go there can be many types of regimes.  Democracies, dictatorships, failed states, tribal power sharing arrangements, etc..  sometimes it’s better to work with the patterns of thinking that are already there than try to go full on and try to throw them all out.  Just like it’s not a good idea to forcibly change regimes in the Middle East.

    See original post



  • Cognitive Dissonance

    Cognitive dissonance is experienced as anguish by most Christians.  That’s why they hate engaging people with disabilities.  It’s like we need and orange sign in front of us that says, “prayer doesn’t work zone”.  They have to compartmentalize and divide prayers between the ones that will work and the ones that won’t. Mental illness brings an additional wrinkle into it as now often the voice of God is often telling people crazy shit.