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Re: How to reconcile agency with mental illness

Posted: 28 Mar 2017, 12:46
by Heber13
SamBee wrote:
28 Mar 2017, 01:51
Sex drive is an urge like any other that can be controlled to some extent. You might feel like it but you don't have to do it.
The interesting thing about the topic of mental illness is how it impacts this very notion, in sex drive or any other emotion or impulse. How much can the person "control" their response, and how much is their brain wired differently that they can't see the choices and connect the consequence or outcome to the choice? If they CAN'T see the connection...are they really choosing? Are they responsible for the choice? What can they control? What should we do with a person who doesn't seem to hold themselves to the natural consequence?

And to LH's point...when you can see a real impact of these chemicals in a person...the more confusing it is about how much we think and understand and control those thoughts, or how much is driven by chemicals to the brain.

I think that has some strange impact on the plan of salvation that I don't understand.

Re: How to reconcile agency with mental illness

Posted: 28 Mar 2017, 13:46
by ydeve
LookingHard wrote:
28 Mar 2017, 12:02
Yep, but he said he didn't feel depression at all. No sadness at all. Just lack of motivation to do almost anything and loss of most any emotion. I find that really interesting.
That's exactly what clinical depression is like. Not sadness, but loss of emotion and motivation.

Re: How to reconcile agency with mental illness

Posted: 28 Mar 2017, 14:06
by SamBee
ydeve wrote:
28 Mar 2017, 13:46
LookingHard wrote:
28 Mar 2017, 12:02
Yep, but he said he didn't feel depression at all. No sadness at all. Just lack of motivation to do almost anything and loss of most any emotion. I find that really interesting.
That's exactly what clinical depression is like. Not sadness, but loss of emotion and motivation.
That's true. We often think of depression as misery but it also causes inertia and numbness.

Re: How to reconcile agency with mental illness

Posted: 28 Mar 2017, 14:17
by SamBee
LookingHard wrote:
28 Mar 2017, 12:02
SamBee wrote:
28 Mar 2017, 01:51
I really think these days libido can be exaggerated.... there's this idea that if you have high sex drive you must practically rape or pounce on anyone you see. Not so. Sex drive is an urge like any other that can be controlled to some extent. You might feel like it but you don't have to do it. But it's not presented that way in popular culture, and I've talked to people who think that. Self-control in these situations is important - if we don't have any we end up losing civilization (there are signs we already largely have in the west).
I agree. My point wasn't that we could use high testosterone as a defense for rape. There were times I honestly wanted to beat my kids, but I never did. My point was just how powerful of control some (even natural) chemicals have on how our brain works. I think the point was we shouldn't assume everyone feels just like us.
I think these hormones can give us a stronger propensity towards something. Brain damage can destroy control though.

Interesting what you say about wanting to beat your kids. Stephen King said he experienced it and that was the basis for The Shining... ratcheting it up from that into something more serious for the novel

Re: How to reconcile agency with mental illness

Posted: 28 Mar 2017, 19:33
by squarepeg
LookingHard, that's facinating about the testosterone reactions of those people described in the podcast.

I agree that the absence of emotion sounds like clinical depression; that's exactly how it manifests in my son. Maybe he has low T (although he is only 11)!

I think we can safely say that our thoughts and behaviors are influenced by neurotransmitter/hormone levels, but I think the extent to which those chemicals control our thoughts and behaviors is still a gray area.

In my quest to understand why I experienced an extended period of inability to feel God's presence, I've been reading a little bit lately about the research on spiritual experience and how it interacts with levels of various hormones and neurotransmitters. I think there are some environmental situations that may make a person unable or less able to feel the Spirit, and that may be a permanent state for some people. I know of a few people who claim they have never felt the Spirit...ever. And they're good people. Two of these people don't go to church anymore, and I can't say that I blame them. If I literally never felt the Spirit, I am not sure I would find enough of value in it to keep going. I wonder if something in their genetics or environment changed their hormone/neurotransmitter levels such that feeling the Spirit wasn't possible for them, and that in turn affected their behavior (church attendance). (I am not implying that lack of church attendance is bad. I think everyone's path is his own. I just mean to reinforce the point we've been making, which is that biology definitely profoundly affects thought and behavior in some circumstances.)

Re: How to reconcile agency with mental illness

Posted: 29 Mar 2017, 01:20
by Reuben
Have you been reading about a feeling called "elevation"?

Re: How to reconcile agency with mental illness

Posted: 29 Mar 2017, 02:58
by SamBee
Reuben wrote:
29 Mar 2017, 01:20
Have you been reading about a feeling called "elevation"?
Oh yes... that... gets blamed for every religious experience going which is not quite true but anyway. (Excluding temporal lobe epilepsy which is the catch-all for visions, alien abductions etc but which isn't a perfect fit either.)

Re: How to reconcile agency with mental illness

Posted: 31 Mar 2017, 19:57
by squarepeg
Reuben wrote:
29 Mar 2017, 01:20
Have you been reading about a feeling called "elevation"?
Haha, no! I've been reading about norepinephrine levels, thalamic activation, etc., in practices like meditation. Is "elevation" the same as what we call "feeling the Spirit"?

Re: How to reconcile agency with mental illness

Posted: 01 Apr 2017, 02:13
by SamBee
squarepeg wrote:
31 Mar 2017, 19:57
Reuben wrote:
29 Mar 2017, 01:20
Have you been reading about a feeling called "elevation"?
Haha, no! I've been reading about norepinephrine levels, thalamic activation, etc., in practices like meditation. Is "elevation" the same as what we call "feeling the Spirit"?
It accounts for some instances but to say it accounts for all of them is nonsense.

As I have stated elsewhere, Mormons rope so many things into bolstering their testimony that they confuse general positive emotions that everyone gets with spiritual experiences... especially if they have been born into the church.

Re: How to reconcile agency with mental illness

Posted: 01 Apr 2017, 17:11
by Reuben
SamBee wrote:
01 Apr 2017, 02:13
squarepeg wrote:
31 Mar 2017, 19:57
Reuben wrote:
29 Mar 2017, 01:20
Have you been reading about a feeling called "elevation"?
Haha, no! I've been reading about norepinephrine levels, thalamic activation, etc., in practices like meditation. Is "elevation" the same as what we call "feeling the Spirit"?
It accounts for some instances but to say it accounts for all of them is nonsense.

As I have stated elsewhere, Mormons rope so many things into bolstering their testimony that they confuse general positive emotions that everyone gets with spiritual experiences... especially if they have been born into the church.
I agree. This is what finally caused my sister to lose faith: she realized that she had felt those same positive emotions while watching Disney movies.

"Elevation" is the best match for "burning in the bosom."