Psychoanalytic Reflections 03

My ther­a­pist is on vaca­tion now. When he gets back, I’ll start to see him on a bi-month­ly instead of week­ly basis. At first he sug­gest­ed that we slow down only once I get a han­dle on my anx­i­ety, but when I explained that the ses­sions were putting me in a neg­a­tive cash-flow sce­nario, he under­stood and agreed1.

  • My depres­sion is gone. Most like­ly, it was a side effect of my anx­i­ety, or gen­er­al­ized anx­i­ety dis­or­der, which is most­ly gone now.
    • The root of this is from my habit of pre­dict­ing neg­a­tive out­comes and ask­ing too many “what ifs”, which I’m still learn­ing to con­trol.
  • There’s this idea of learned help­less­ness that I strug­gle with. The big­ger issue is that when I feel help­less, I get depressed as a result, about things out of my con­trol such as the weath­er.
    • I love how the prac­ti­cal side of psy­chol­o­gy falls in line with Taoism. In this case, I think of verse 29 of the Tao Te Ching:

      Allow your life to unfold nat­u­ral­ly
      Know that it too is a ves­sel of per­fec­tion
      Just as you breathe in and out
      Sometimes you’re ahead and oth­er times behind
      Sometimes you’re strong and oth­er times weak
      Sometimes you’re with peo­ple and oth­er times alone
      To the Sage all of life is a move­ment toward per­fec­tion

  • One issue I had a hard time under­stand­ing was my belief that attempt­ing some­thing is a waste of time if I don’t suc­ceed. I sup­pose that it seems rather sil­ly now that I think about it (such as avoid­ing get­ting in a rela­tion­ship just for the fact that one may get hurt), but I spent an entire ses­sion on this sub­ject alone. It’s a prob­lem because I give up on cer­tain things before I try, and lose impor­tant oppor­tu­ni­ties as a result.
  • I’m start­ing to become more aware of my auto­mat­ic thought pat­terns. I’d auto­mat­i­cal­ly avoid cer­tain sit­u­a­tions because they would give me anx­i­ety, or pre­dict how oth­er peo­ple would react based on past expe­ri­ences, with­out even real­iz­ing it. This is wrong.
  • I was a lit­tle skep­ti­cal about the use­ful­ness of thought records at first, but now that I’ve fin­ished about a half-dozen, I notice a change in my thought process. Every time I get flus­tered, I think in my head of what I’ll write down lat­er (sim­ply because I don’t have time to write it in the moment) and just doing this helps a great deal.
  • My ther­a­pist is a fan of Chappelle’s Show (which is gen­er­al­ly con­sid­ered to be a low-class and crude form of humour), because it breaks social bar­ri­ers by mak­ing fun of stereo­types, there­by rob­bing them of their sig­nif­i­cance. This makes him the coolest mid­dle-aged white guy ever, and makes me want to smoke a spliff with him.
    • He also calls weed, “grass”, which is cute.
  1. We’re both baf­fled by the fact that the ses­sions aren’t cov­ered by OHIP, where­as phys­i­cal health prob­lems are. []


  1. bi-month­ly as in once every 2 months? or did you mean bi-week­ly :)

  2. Yeah, thanks for kick­ing me when I’m down. :)

  3. Check with your com­pa­ny’s pri­vate med­ical insur­ance. I remem­ber being able to claim that.

    I actu­al­ly like this one:
    “One issue I had a hard time under­stand­ing was my belief that attempt­ing some­thing is a waste of time if I don’t suc­ceed. ”

    I start­ed from the oppo­site of this phi­los­o­phy and is slow­ly work­ing towards this. Problem with attempt­ing every­thing is that you don’t get time to prac­tice what’s impor­tant. Eventually a choice needs to be made.

  4. Thought mon­i­tor­ing rather than thought-swat­ting-away can help, yes. Any sup­pres­sion push­es back with as much force as it pushed away.

    I agree. it’s nuts what’s cov­ered by OHIP. Counseling? Preventative den­tistry? mas­sage ther­a­py? nope. Wait until phys­i­cal cri­sis.

  5. @Causalien — My com­pa­ny pol­i­cy only cov­ers two ses­sions, which is basi­cal­ly noth­ing. Apparently, a lot of high tech com­pa­nies offer full cov­er­age, which would have been nice.

    Time def­i­nite­ly becomes sig­nif­i­cant when you reach the point of hav­ing to pri­or­i­tize. Even then it should­n’t mat­ter though, because the attempt, the lessons learned, should still be worth fail­ure. As Alfred Pennyworth said, “Why do we fall, sir? So that we might bet­ter learn to pick our­selves up.”

    @Pearl — I’m not sure if I sup­press any thoughts, although it’s prob­a­bly called “sub-con­scious” for a rea­son.

    And the entire Western approach to med­i­cine seems like it’s just putting out fires (as opposed to tra­di­tion­al Chinese med­i­cine, which is pre­ven­ta­tive). It prob­a­bly costs the health­care sys­tem more in the long run.

  6. re: sub­con­scious.– good point. It’s like lucid dream­ing. Why med­dle and take away the brain’s uncon­scious find­ing its own solu­tions by con­scious mind think­ing it knows bet­ter. The ver­bal mind is such a colonist.

    and re: med­ical mod­els – exact­ly.

  7. You sound a lot more pos­i­tive this time round. The idea is try­ing not to label an expe­ri­ence as good or bad, suc­cess or fail­ure. But then, that may numb your cre­ativ­i­ty. I guess mod­er­a­tion is the key.

    With the amount of tax you guys have to pay, these ther­a­pies are not cov­ered by OHIP ? I would have thought OHIP would have cov­ered at least a % of the cost.

  8. Why do we fall, sir? So that we might bet­ter learn to pick our­selves up.”

    I view it more as: ” Try it, even if it’s just to expe­ri­ence fail­ure in what you do.” After a while, it mor­phed into: “Failure = just anoth­er bug to be solved.” I think in my cur­rent state, fail­ure no longer exists. I don’t go into any­thing with the def­i­n­i­tion of “what needs to hap­pen” for it to be a fail­ure. After a few min­utes of thought, it seems like just anoth­er black and white that we human tried to define.

  9. @Pearl — I have a dif­fi­cult time restrain­ing my con­scious mind. Maybe this is why my lucid dreams are so unfor­tu­nate­ly ephemer­al.

    @Uncle Joe — I do feel a lot bet­ter than before. In my head I under­stand that all expe­ri­ence is “move­ment towards per­fec­tion”, but in my heart, it’s a lot more dif­fi­cult to believe. As you say, it can def­i­nite­ly lim­it my cre­ativ­i­ty though. Perhaps it’s not mod­er­a­tion (or else I would­n’t be see­ing a ther­a­pist) but being able to con­trol it that’s the key.

    There’s a lot of impor­tant health­care that’s cov­ered by OHIP, but much of it is major stuff like surgery, as well check-ups. It’s most­ly the bare essen­tials that we pay for, so the gov­ern­ment thinks that if you there’s noth­ing ter­ri­bly wrong with you, then you don’t need it.

    @Causalien — I’m start­ing to view fail­ure as being part of life and as nec­es­sary as suc­cess. In this way it could be para­dox­i­cal­ly said that fail­ure no longer exists, because it becomes a form of suc­cess. Either way, we’ve reached the same con­clu­sion.

  10. It’s report­ed that Ang Lee cries on the set all the time. Otherwise he seems per­fect­ly cheer­ful and calm dur­ing inter­views. He seems to be one artist who can con­trol it by the push of a but­ton.

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