Sunday, February 22, 2015

EdwardX talks

Who knew TED talks could last 30 minutes? They should be renamed Edward talks so people can differentiate between them. I, for one, don't think they should. But still I listened to it. And there was but one paragraph of the transcript which I would like to share. I have read scientific papers that being depressed helps make good decisions. And this part is something that is very eloquently put:

But the truth lies. I became obsessed with that sentence: "But the truth lies." And I discovered, as I talked to depressive people, that they have many delusional perceptions. People will say, "No one loves me."And you say, "I love you, your wife loves you, your mother loves you." You can answer that one pretty readily, at least for most people. But people who are depressed will also say, "No matter what we do,we're all just going to die in the end." Or they'll say, "There can be no true communion between two human beings. Each of us is trapped in his own body." To which you have to say, "That's true, but I think we should focus right now on what to have for breakfast." A lot of the time, what they are expressing is not illness, but insight, and one comes to think what's really extraordinary is that most of us know about those existential questions and they don't distract us very much. There was a study I particularly liked in which a group of depressed and a group of non-depressed people were asked to play a video game for an hour, and at the end of the hour, they were asked how many little monsters they thought they had killed. The depressive group was usually accurate to within about 10 percent, and the non-depressed people guessed between 15 and 20 times as many little monsters as they had actually killed.

Emphasis is mine. I have recently been distracted by a myriad of existential crises. I wonder how more people aren't. I spoke to an old wise man who told me that he went through something similar at a similar age and it all just resolves itself in time. I need to ask how long it takes because it's only getting worse.

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