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Overview Of My Theory To Be Tested (With New Points/Explanations)First off, I am going to explain my idea that needs to be tested to give an overview. It actually explains some new things I haven't said before. I struggle with a chronic 24/7 absence of all my pleasant feelings/emotions (anhedonia) as well as depression. Now I have payed very close attention to having this personal experience with it and I realize something strange here. I notice that sometimes there are moments where things have a very subtle amount of meaning in my life.But then there are moments in which things, out of the blue, spontaneously seem like nothing more than empty and meaningless shapes, sounds, and images. During these given moments, I feel an increase in my anhedonia. That is, I feel a further shutdown of my good moods which were, apparently, already so close to nothing that they were hardly detectable. During those given moments where my anhedonia becomes worse, I feel a jamming sensation in my brain as though something is stuck there that is causing everything to turn off. I think it would be a dysregulated fear stress response that is overpowering everything and causing everything to turn off. My brain cannot get that fear stress response back under regulation (control), so everything has to be turned off for now.But anyway, continuing on here. Depression and anhedonia are what turn off the reward system of our brains. So when my reward system turns off even further during those given moments where my anhedonia becomes worse, I perceive less good meaning, love, joy, happiness, and inspiration in my life. This has nothing to do with my way of thinking. In other words, my way of thinking is not causing me to perceive less of those things in my life. It is instead the further turning off of my reward system that makes me perceive none of those things in my life.During those give moments, I can still tell myself that I still have good meaning, love, joy, happiness, and inspiration in my life. But they all seem like nothing more than labels (words and phrases) I am telling myself. I am not in the mental state of actually perceiving those said things in my life. Therefore, I would have none of those things in my life during my worst moments of anhedonia. That even goes for depression which I think is even worse and turns off the reward system even further.Therefore, my idea here is that the moral (personally created) version of good, bad, love, joy, happiness, pain, sadness, rage, suffering, despair, etc. is nothing more than labels. It does not actually give us those said things. Our reward system is what gives us the former terms and our unpleasant feelings/emotions are what give us the latter terms of pain, sadness, rage, suffering, despair, etc. Therefore, those terms are actual mental states like sight, hearing, smell, touch, taste, etc. They are not our thinking alone. They do not come through personally defining those terms through our thoughts alone. So if you were blind and deaf and you still thought to yourself that you have sight and hearing, then that would obviously not give you sight and hearing. They would be nothing more than just the labels sight and hearing.Now if I were to completely and utterly turn off all reward system function in your brain, then I am more than curious as to what you would report back to me. Would you really say to me that something seems very strange to you and that any good meaning, love, joy, happiness, and inspiration you think you still have in your life is now nothing more than just labels to you? Or would you actually think you still have those things?If you still think you have those things, then do you really have those things? Or are you just fooling yourself here and that you are just not paying enough attention to your mental experiences here like I have? If you are actually fooling yourself, then my idea would be correct here. So the less and less reward system function we have, the more good meaning, love, joy, happiness, and inspiration we lose and the more they seem like nothing more than labels. But on the other side of the spectrum, having full healthy function of our reward system gives us the mental state of heightened good meaning, love, joy, happiness, and inspiration. Our biological sense of reward (good moods) are the heightened state of good meaning, love, joy, happiness, and inspiration. It is a non-moral feeling/emotional (mood) version of good. This is the only version of good that can give our lives good meaning, love, joy, happiness, and inspiration according to my idea here.But whether that is really true or not relies on scientific experiments to see if there can be any new supporting evidence for my idea. I am now going to explain the experiment below: ExperimentI have actually come up with an experiment to be tested. You can tell me if it is flawed or not:We need to find out if all good thoughts (thoughts of having good meaning in our lives) are always optimistic experiences for us. We would also need to find out if all optimistic experiences are rewarding experiences (our pleasant emotions).So we need to find out if all good thoughts send the pleasure signal to our brains to give us the experience of pleasant emotions. If they do, then we would know that these are the types of thoughts that send the pleasure signal. From there, we need to find out if all optimistic thoughts send the pleasure signal as well. If they do, then that would say that all good thoughts are optimistic thoughts.From there, we need to find out if all optimistic experiences for us as human beings are always rewarding experiences (our pleasant emotions). We need to find out what optimism is since us having good meaning in our lives is always something optimistic for us. We need to find out if optimism is joy, happiness, love, inspiration, and motivation. From there, we need to find out if joy, happiness, love, inspiration, and motivation are always rewarding experiences for us. How we would do that would be to see if joy, happiness, love, inspiration, and motivation are the only urges a human being has to live life. So we would have to see if our pleasant feelings/emotions are the only urges we have and if our thoughts alone do not give us urges, but do nothing more than make decisions and choices.From there, we would also find out that our unpleasant feelings/emotions are also urges as well. So we would have to see if joy, happiness, love, inspiration, and motivation are our pleasant feelings/emotions or are our unpleasant feelings/emotions. We know how people act when they are optimistic. They show acts, tones, and expressions that are gleeful and such. We know how people act when they are pessimistic. They show acts, tones, and expressions that are somber and such. So I think it would be quite obvious here that our optimism can only be our pleasant feelings/emotions while it can only be our pessimism that would be our unpleasant feelings/emotions.In conclusion, I want others to share their ideas as well. I want others to tell me what type of experiment I would need to perform to demonstrate/falsify my idea.
The mind is of a complex nature and I found your post interesting, I had never heard of Anhedonia, defined as ''the inability to experience pleasure from activities usually found enjoyable, e.g. exercise, hobbies, music, sexual activities or social interactions. ''This reminds me of a movie called equilibrium. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Equilibrium_(film)An emotionless state of being. Have you ever considered this may not be an illness but instead a completeness?I think I may have Anhedonia although there is a strong association to bi-polar. My life model of now is of this, I personally have embraced it, my head is clear of all hate , love etc, I know I love my partner but unless my love is tested my mind is complacent. Are you sure your emotions have just not being tested?The problem with your experiment is that all good things in life are only good things if that is what the individual actually wants in life. Example - The partner says, ''we are going to the pub tonight'' The other partner replies '' ok then'' although the other partner had not planned on going the pub, did not want to go in the first place, then sits there all night with a sad face.In life there is leaders and followers, followers are never truly happy, often doing things they do not really want to do.Some things make people happy, something's do not, and some people with a sense of realisation, people like I and you, start to realise what life actually is, I do not even consider it an illness any more, laughing and crying is weakness, I prefer my state of being, emotion is something learnt from when we are young, attachment the greater emotion of all. It is a strange world we live in, if we were learnt from birth that at the age of 18 we all jump of a cliff to our deaths, not knowing we actually die, thinking we went through some port hole to another dimension, then we would all jump of the cliff.Emotion is a state of selfishness , laughing at peoples trips, crying because someone dies, all selfish acts.
It is always rewarding to us to have good meaning in our lives.
A reward of a trophy for enduring pain , a close comparison to dominatrix, is not really a reward. It is logically stupid to endure pain for a trophy of no value , vanity is the reward, the sense of achievement and the chance to say , ''I am better than you''.. a sort of arrogance that is disciplined into people from an early age. I watched a program last night, it was about cheerleaders and getting into the Dallas cowboys cheerleader team, I watched women cry at the failure, what moronic behaviour, ''it was my dream'' ,.. a dream to stand on some turf and wave around a few pom poms, where is the ambitious in that? all said and done it is just a job, a shopkeeper in a busy store probably see's as many people as the cheer leaders see a crowd. Vanity, look at me, look at me, all insane acts of anti-logic disciplined into these people by society, ''its so cool to be the prom queen'', what the eck, just vanity, people wanting to be worshipped in some way. The meaning of life is survival, and the logic in surviving, emotion is illogical for sure. Would having wealth give me a meaning in life? no, it would give me something to do in life, Would going out the pub and drinking several pints have a meaning to me? yes it would mean I would feel ill tomorrow.Does the thought of feeling ill make me happy? obviously not.
This is not just some biological sense of reward and nothing more.
Quote from: Detective L Ryuzaki on 18/09/2015 19:54:29 This is not just some biological sense of reward and nothing more. Happiness is a biological process, a result of Dopamine I believe. ''Our reward system is the only function of our brains that can give us a rewarding experience. ''A function of cohesion, if you were learnt from birth that when a loved one died, everyone was smiling and happy and threw a big party, you would be happy that someone died, it is programming that makes a stereotypical program of emotion of the brain. We are learnt what is sad and what is happy, our learning creates this weakness, attachment makes love, all apart of society and its teaching.
Well, let's talk about experimentation now. My idea here is that our good moods are the only things that can give us love, joy, happiness, inspiration, and good meaning in our lives. So how would I go about testing this idea out in a lab? I myself am not a scientist, do not have the equipment and materials, do not have the money for such an experiment, but just wish to get an idea anyway.
I am sorry to tell you this, but in reality you are looking to test something science already knows about, good moods are not something we control , ''our good moods'' are chemical reactions in the brain, science already knows about all this and that is why it is able to determine depression etc , may I suggest you are looking for a conversation rather than discovery? wanting to why you feel this way?I can tell you that taking and thinking a lot about science is quite a good cure for the mind, whilst in science ''limbo'' there is nothing else on the mind.
Actually, many people say that we can still have love, joy, happiness, and inspiration in our lives with our reward system turned off due to depression and anhedonia. That we can create our own meanings in life and that they hold true for us. So if we personally define our own love, joy, happiness, and inspiration in our lives even with our reward system turned off, then that is somehow supposed to give us love, joy, happiness, and inspiration.You hear this being said all the time with philosophers as well as Buddhists. Look up the Buddhist definition of pleasure, joy, and happiness and you will see what I am talking about. I have every reason to be convinced that this is false. So my idea to test out would be that our reward system being turned on is the only thing that can give us joy, happiness, love, and inspiration. As long as you struggle with depression and anhedonia, then you cannot have those things in your life. Only during brief moments in which your reward system turns back on due to your depression and/or anhedonia letting up during those moments would you then have moments of love, joy, happiness, and inspiration. My idea to also test would be that our reward system is the only thing that can give our lives good meaning. That our good moods (pleasant feelings/emotions) from our reward system being turned on are the only things that can give good meaning to our lives. This also applies to having bad meaning in our lives. Our unpleasant feelings/emotions are the only things that can give bad meaning to our lives.So with that being said, how would I go about testing this theory of mine?
Our reward system is chemical based , a balance of chemicals in the body . However, often feeling or not feeling I should rather say , I do understand a point from you, with being sort of in the same place as you. I understand what you are saying when you say ''That we can create our own meanings in life and that they hold true for us''. This is something we do from memory and all that is around us, we know what love suppose to be and we know what happiness suppose to be by observations of around us, we see people happy and enjoying themselves, we tell ourselves this is how it should be, although we do not ''feel'' like any of it will improve ourselves. We logically know what love is and that is how we define it although love still does not make us happy or to feel any more emotional. As to how to test your ideas, Physically impossible, however if you found several 100 sufferers and did a survey of your thoughts with questions and put all the data together you may be able to do a statistical analysis. Although I am still unsure of what you actually want to test.
It's this whole idea that you stated that even though we don't feel, that we can still have our own love, joy, happiness, and inspiration through defining our own version of it in our lives. I think that idea is false which is why I wish to test it. But you are saying that my idea cannot be tested since it is impossible. But surely there must be some way to test this idea and to test whether our moods are the only things that can give good or bad meaning to us and our lives or not.
Ar right, you can test it by opinion of a survey of so many sufferers and ask them if they ''feel'' like they define logically there selves what love is and what happiness is, personally because I do not smile it does not mean I am unhappy. I am just complacent and do not ''feel'' that smiling has any point.
QuoteAr right, you can test it by opinion of a survey of so many sufferers and ask them if they ''feel'' like they define logically there selves what love is and what happiness is, personally because I do not smile it does not mean I am unhappy. I am just complacent and do not ''feel'' that smiling has any point.I see. But I am thinking there might also be a way to actually test my idea as well. When depressed/anhedonic people are living their lives as though they have good meaning, love, joy, happiness, etc. and you were to go up to these people and somehow convince them that they really don't have those things in their lives, then they would become upset.Now why is it that they would become upset? I mean, isn't living your life and personally defining your own meanings in life the very definition of having good meaning, love, joy, happiness, etc.? Clearly there is something separating the world of having good meaning, love, joy, and happiness from the world of living our lives, helping others, pursuing our goals and dreams, and creating our own meanings in life.Therefore, good meaning, love, joy, happiness, and inspiration must exist as something else besides the world of our own personal created meanings and living our lives. It must be our pleasant feelings/emotions (good moods) themselves from our reward system. So that is my idea to actually test.
I have to go now, I will leave you with this thought, If yourself does not feel, why do you feel strongly about your ideas of the ''illness'?Suppression is a state that we can all endure when we have lived life , tried hard, and have just give up. Maybe brain training as learnt us to suppress feeling rather than it being an illness.
Good luck in convincing someone with anhedonic that they dont have those things in their lives and upsetting them, upsetting them is an emotion, a feeling, a feeling they should not have. They do have love and happiness in their lives, they just do not feel it because their emotion is suppressed.
Being happy etc is not a reward, it is an unbalance of an otherwise perfect species, you will only be able to test in statistics by asking people who suffer for this a questionerand comparing the answers.
You say that happiness is an unbalance and that we would be the perfect species if we were fine and content living without it. But that would be a mental disorder as I said before. It is only natural for us as human beings to want to be "alive," vibrant, vigorous, transcended, and inspired through our good moods. We are not meant to be fine and accepting living with severe crippling depression and anhedonia. That is just not normal.
Interesting thoughts, what if you consider the ''natural'' of human beings, to actually being the un-natural and unbalanced. (it is natural to be unbalanced in emotions).
But that is not the same thing as actually perceiving no good meaning in your life. In other words, it is not the mental state of having no good meaning in your life. That mental state comes from your reward system malfunctioning more and more and being turned off due to depression and/or anhedonia which results in a bland, hopeless, and "dead" mental state which is the actual mental state of perceiving no good meaning in your life.
I understand what you are saying, that a person with your condition does not perceive they have any good meaning in life, but there must be people with the condition that do perceive they still have something meaningful in their life.Maybe these people who do still consider they have meaningfulness in their life, suffer from a milder form of the illness.Maybe a sufferers ''reward'' process still functions but the suppression and the individuals logic is greater than the reward. If feelings of sadness exist, then feelings still exist inside, it is only a state of being and logic that puts a person in this mind set.Logic and brain training is greater than any emotion. Disciplining the mind is what society has created from the birth of any individual. We are told what is right and wrong, we are told it is not normal to not to be happy at times, why is it not normal? is it normal when someone laughs when another person falls over?This is insanity behaviour, there is nothing funny about a person falling over. Is it logical that we are happy to get drunk and suffer all sorts of problems why we are out and the next day feel rough?Again logically insane. Logic is what is the key to your answer's you seek, telling yourself you have no purposely meaning is telling yourself logically this, just because you do not feel happy that does not mean you are not loved, this does not mean you have no purpose in life, living a robotic state, is not an illness, it is the realisation of the meaning of life that makes us this way. There is nothing I or you can do about realisation.
Famous artists/composers who struggled with depression which made them more creative/intelligent and made them inspire others with their works of art, then this would be the utmost insulting advice to me.
Yet you continue to use logic to try to find an answer, being creative in your thinking, looking to answer questions that probably the best psychologists in the world could not answer. Is your own testament of being here, not showing you what other people are telling you is correct? you have a purpose of now and being here is your own testament, you are purposely looking to find answers to an illness that effects many lives, that is a purpose in itself. One does not have to walk around 24 hrs a day, 7 days a week smiling and laughing , one does not even have to laugh at things other people would laugh at. I do not smile or laugh, am I unhappy? logically no although I do not ''feel'' happy.
before I decide to just give up on life and my composing dream entirely.
Quote from: Detective L Ryuzaki on 22/09/2015 00:37:56 before I decide to just give up on life and my composing dream entirely.Read your own words wisely, I decide is who decides.