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View Diary: Postcards from the fringe (75 comments)

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  •  Or the engine can break or be missing parts. (10+ / 0-)

    There's nothing wrong with the chemicals in my brain. It's just that one small part of the brain is unresponsive to them, with the odd but often inconvenient result that I'm incapable of feeling gratification at personal accomplishments (the technical name is Reward Deficiency Syndrome, RDS). You'd be surprised at how much of the impulse to get things done depends on feeling good that they do get done. And it's very tricky to explain to others that although I may carry out tasks for other reasons (intellectual curiosity, duty, friendship), I have little interest in doing them for myself, and won't be able to respond to thanks or praise with anything more than superficial acknowledgement. The feeling that I've done something praiseworthy simply isn't there. Neither are an odd assortment of other feelings, such as anything that might be described as religious sentiment, which I find simply incomprehensible, or for that matter any sense of awe or wonder at anything. I find the night sky, for instance, both beautiful and fascinating, but my feelings toward it are curiosity and no more. I can't even imagine what people are thinking when they say it's awe-inspiring or something to wonder at. For me, it's just there.

    "They smash your face in, and say you were always ugly." (Solzhenitsyn)

    by sagesource on Thu Nov 22, 2012 at 12:48:04 AM PST

    [ Parent ]

    •  Thank you for sharing (7+ / 0-)

      I think it's key for people to approach one another with as much compassion as possible and try to understand that some people are simply wired in different ways. The ones who do the most damage are the ones who insist we must be just like them or we're faulty. I run into this with my mother (who displays all of the hallmarks of bipolar disorder but refuses to seek treatment of any kind). If I do something damaging in the midst of a manic episode, she insists I am acting out or demon possessed -- anything but ill and in need of care.

      I'd never heard of RDS. Thank you for explaining it and how it affects you. The more we know, the more we learn to accept and appreciate the differences in others, hopefully.

    •  Wow! You have just described me to a "t." (5+ / 0-)

      My family has always wondered aloud why I don't take more pride in my accomplishments. My response is, "What accomplishments." They think I have low self-esteem, but really it's just like a blank there. I know what other people think are my accomplishments because they've told me, but I genuinely don't feel anything about them. I don't feel bad about them either.

      Could this lead to dramatic underachievement? I've actually gone to psychiatrists and psychologists specifically to get to the bottom of why I seem to have all the raw requirements for achievement but am unable to actually perform. No one has ever mentioned this syndrome to me before.

      Currently, I'm diagnosed with anxiety and depression.

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