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Curiose

Something I've Been Wondering About.

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I've been thinking on this question for some time:

Is it possible for people to regress?

What I mean, is not reverting to previous state of being, nothing molecularly or biologically deteriorating, but something else. It's been nagging at me, tugging at small little threads. Chords that get hit every now and then.

Anywho. I won't be clear- I won't make sense. Get over it.
Humans are social creatures. Psychologically, the necessary need for human communication and interaction is a necessary thing. I don't know what I'm trying to get at, which is why I ask it here.

It's something more than a 'loneliness,' or a anti-social behavior. It's a regression against the human instinct, and of previous personality of which is something I wonder about.

Please share your thoughts.

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To regress or kinda devolve into a less social being?

Definitely possible, you go slightly crazy after a while though if you're not really cut out for it (That's not a joke)

Find a log cabin or something in say, the woods, don't tell anyone where it is, leave your phone behind, hey presto, no communication. Pick a spot which has plenty of vegetation and wildlife and you have your food and water (they have to drink too, right?)

I've tried similar, though more reclusive, rather than log cabin living, can quite easily go without human contact for short periods, getting food becomes an issue though, it's pretty amusing to be surprised at the sound of your own voice, that is, if you havent been talking to yourself ofc. Edited by Grido

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Of course.

It reminds me of the development of a child. In a discussion about cruel and unusual punishment.. or was it about lengths scientists would take to learn? I can't remember. But it came up that if you have a child in a room, no communication, nothing, they become sociopathic.

But what I am really aiming at is.. how to put it in simple terms..

Imagine a hill. As a child, you grow, emotionally, physically. But more emotionally-- ignore physical characteristics of aging-- and they reach a point in which their personality is formed, i.e. the top of the hill. My thought is simply, do people reach that hill, and plateau, or do they fall back? Not necessarily back into childish development, but fall back into a separate path, or, personality type.

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Interesting question. In terms of abuse or lack of stimuli, one would become stuck in time and thus emotional growth stops. In terms of regression, once someone goes through a life changing event (long or short term), they begin to compartmentalize (a form of protection). This in it self could lead to many psycholocial implications: basic (term used loosely) personality disorders, multiple personalities, sociopathic tendancies, or just a destructive personality. Ultimatly I would think, unless the issues are appropriatly dealt with, that one would (unconsiously) find themselves returning time and again to the point where they stopped growing emotionally.

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I find that fairly interesting.

And it's for that reason, why many people who commit social crimes [i.e. rape, murder, etc. I call them social crimes because they deal with society as a whole. I may be using the term wrong], am I correct?

But if you consider it as a festering wound, if it stays open, does that lead to madness or does that lead the digging to become grow?

Edit: But, for instance, if said life changing event stunts the emotional growth, does that make it probable that the emotional... construction, of a person, per say, would deteriorate? Not only in societal values and such, but in personal views.

And you say that they find themselves returning time and time again to the point where they stopped growing, could you explain that more thoroughly? Edited by Curiose

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There was a study on rapists and murderers a while back, they did MRI scans on them and showed them to have an increased frontal lobe. Goes back to the correlation/causation though, because what they couldn't accurately determine, was if they had an increased frontal lobe, and this caused them to act that way, or because they acted they way the frontal lobe increased. Not sure why i stated that now, but it's interesting regardless.


If the mind is stopped developing in one direction, it will look for another direction to go in, it doesn't ever stop. But if you think about Solitaire (the version windows has as a game, rather than another solitaire, there's quite a few different ones), you can focus on one suit, but eventually you'll have to go back to work on the other suits as well.

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being an older member of this MD group I can speak upon personal references only on this topic. Not only myself growing in age, but watching my friends, and elders growing this question will become more to you. The hill you speak of is the "great hill" of life. You always hear "mid-life crisis" or "over the hill". This is actually the speaking of regress.

This is speaking in general not specifics:

As children we find awe and wonder in all things. People themselves fascinate us and create a sense of wonder that urges us to interact with them. As teenagers we feel that we know all there is to know, and must put forth our thoughts on others. As young adults, we realize our own flaws and seek out others in order to try and gain knowledge on how to correct this. As middle-age adults we find out nitch in life and enjoy the company of others purely for the satisfaction of interaction. As the aging process begins to peak and we go "over the hill" we realize that people in general, not just us, are flawed in general and we seek a way to try and correct the problem of society as a whole. As older people we realize that there is no correction of society and therefore the "Theory of the Degradation of Society" comes into play. We begin to resent the fact that in our aging process we couldn't fix the problems of society and begin to push ourselves away from it. We become distant and lost in our own thoughts of the past when we thought there was hope for society and those you cared about, and didn't care about. Resentment begins to turn twards anger and hatred of society and the youth as a whole. We begin to bicker constantly about "back in my day" and the fact that "kids these days don't care". When in fact its not that the kids don't care, but we old people no longer do. We begin to space the distance from others, and as close ones die of, the space only expands. Before long we are left on the verge of death with only close family and few that are left alive to converse with.

Now this is the kicker. Many times right at the end of death, when we have our "moment of clarity" its actually progression of our regression. We realize how great the world and the fact that it still moves. We appreciate the fact that "god" or whomever you accompany with the existence of everything, and the little things that some overlooked the whole time.

Of course this isn't always the case, just a general statement. I have spent many years in watching others and trying to think philosophically and psychiatric about all of this and its my general assumption of course. Since there is no general in fact only individual and each case of every human is specific.

So yes i think that ALL people regress in some form or another. Its called AGE.

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I believe you completely misunderstand what I mean. My question is purely one of psyciatrics, not of generalities of the human body and an old age psyche. I ignore the human body because it is something different from the mind.

Physical maturity takes only years; mental maturity... could take forever.

I agree that there are different kinds of regression, but if you keep it strictly psychological, then the regression, as stated, would possibly take one elsewhere. We grow older, experience things, but where does one go from there?

Perhaps I am merely chasing a ghost.

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With all due respect, Curry, I think you are making some arbitrary and perhaps erroneous assumptions.

You say:

[quote]My question is purely one of psyciatrics, not of generalities of the human body and an old age psyche. I ignore the human body because it is something different from the mind.[/quote]
The mind is a function of the brain, which is an organ of the body. That's such an inane thing to say, but sometimes it does not seem to be as self-evident as it should be. The ancient Romans had a saying, [i]mens sana in corpore sana:[/i] "A sound mind in a sound body."

Any medical doctor can tell you about the impact of psychosomatic (literally, "mind-body") effects on human health - those who expect to get sick are more likely to get sick, and those who expect to recover are more likely to recover. The reverse also seems to be true, and I can attest it from my personal, if anecdotal, experience. Having lesions in your brain is terrible for your mood. It can ruin your whole outlook about everything. That's why my neurologist has me on antidepressants and dopamine agonists.

So I am moved to say that understanding somatic [bodily] conditions is not merely relevant to the condition of the mind but essential to understanding mental states. You will also note that a psychiatrist, as distinct from a psychologist, is a Medical Doctor in the United States and other countries.

In that light, I found phantasm's post both informative and in exact agreement with my personal experience. Regression of the mental state is a fact of human life. As with all generalizations, that statement meets exceptions, but it is in my experience generally true.

As to modes of mental or emotional regression and levels of maturity, I think it can be demonstrated that certain mental states can profoundly affect mental and emotional development. The questions then become, what environmental factors contribute to a given mental state, and how great a role does the subject's bodily condition play in that environment? The answers are debatable, but some would argue, as I do, that the body's condition plays an enormously significant role in mental and emotional states.

You don't have to agree, but you do need to lay out your paradigm for the process of "maturation" - how do you gauge maturity, where do you find its roots, and what contributes to its development? To my mind, those questions need to be answered before one can properly address your thematic question for this thread, which is: is it possible for people to regress? phantasm and I would clearly argue that it is not only possible but inevitable on the basis of our limited medical knowledge and personal, anecdotal experiences.

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I understand.

I apologize if my answers seem assumptuous, or otherwise egoistic. As interesting as your answers may be, they are not quite what I am looking for, hence my saying: Perhaps I am merely looking for ghosts. I feel that perhaps I am being emotionally subjective in my responses, which is why I appear to assume.

If this thread becomes something of use, then I am happy for that reason alone.

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[quote name='Tarquinus' timestamp='1292131584' post='75190']
So I am moved to say that understanding somatic [bodily] conditions is not merely relevant to the condition of the mind but essential to understanding mental states. You will also note that a psychiatrist, as distinct from a psychologist, is a Medical Doctor in the United States and other countries.
[/quote]
Relevant yes, essential no.
Many studies have shown that the placebo effect, one of the most famous psychosomatic effects, diminishes after a week. People given a placebo will at first report feeling better because they think they ought to feel better with the new medication, but after about a week they will notice the medicine is not that great.
As Grido demonstrated, the physical properties of the brain for various situations have been observed, but no causal relation can be established. Psychiatry and neurology are very scary medical sciences if you look at what they did in the quite recent past. How electroshock therapy fits into the Hippocratic Oath is beyond me. (Research into electric neurotherapy continues even today, albeit in a more advanced form.) So yes, an understanding of the physical properties of the brain is helpful and wanted, but we are far from having enough to demand everything is based on such understanding.

@Curiosa: Alzheimer is definitely an example of people sliding back from the hill, so it is possible to 'regress', although I don't think that term is really appropriate. Whether it is inevitable... I refuse to believe such a pessimistic reality.
As for the 'return to the time when they stopped growing', I guess Roland meant that the brain naturally tries to break free from its obstacles. The natural way to overcome a trauma is to face it and accept it, for which it would be required that the person is often reminded of what happened until they manage to make peace with it. The alternative would be to completely erase the event and forget it ever happened, but while suppression is tried and wanted, I doubt anyone is able to fully forget a trauma; even if they were to forget it years later, traces of there being something that stimulated them to take later decisions which are otherwise unsound, remain. ie, the longer you lived with a memory you wish to forget, the less easy it will become to forget it.

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[quote name='Kafuuka' timestamp='1292155832' post='75206']Psychiatry and neurology are very scary medical sciences if you look at what they did in the quite recent past...So yes, an understanding of the physical properties of the brain is helpful and wanted, but we are far from having enough to demand everything is based on such understanding.[/quote]
And what they are still doing. My neurologist feels many drugs routinely prescribed for multiple sclerosis and touted by the MSAA (Multiple Sclerosis Association of America) are essentially cancer by prescription. It dismays me - just as it dismays many of my friends with MS that I am not taking such drugs - that this opinion is not more commonly circulated.

That the brain is a poorly understood organ is not in dispute, nor is the assertion that psychology itself is a developing science. My point is simply that medical science provides the best available avenue of insight into the development of mental states. If there is another, superior means, please enlighten me.

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[quote name='Kafuuka' timestamp='1292155832' post='75206']
Alzheimer is definitely an example of people sliding back from the hill, so it is possible to 'regress'
[/quote]
Alzheimer's is a physical condition...it has nothing to do with the "mind" and everything to do with the physical brain. I think (I haven't read the entire thread) that Curiose is talking more about our consciousness or our cognitive sense of 'self' than any real psychological/neurological/physical phenomenon. Though, some of course would argue that we are only chemical reactions and nothing more.

Grido's thread about being broken to be renewed was almost the same topic. People are in a constant state of regress and progress because one necessarily facilitates the other. You can't grow emotionally or socially until some previous behavior or stereotype is unlearned. I don't know that it's possible to experience total or constant regression, if that's your question. Not without some outside stimuli. No one can simply will their consciousness into some primal state. However, look into Phineas Gage and lobotomies...

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That was exactly what I was getting to, Malaikat. Thank you. I was having a hard time putting it into words.

As for the research on the lobotomies, I have actually heard about that before. I spoke with someone who was going to college to become a psychologist while doing my anthropologist studies, and the topic came up.

I find it interesting, especially during the time period that it had become popular.

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