posted on Jul, 16 2010 @ 05:17 PM
Jonas, I'm very sorry you lost such a close friend. Kindred spirits are hard to come by, and I know from experience that losing them in any way, let
alone tragically like this, can be incredibly painful and traumatic.
I think, as your story - which you have my respect and appreciation for sharing with us - illustrates, it is vital to carefully discern the difference
between having a strong interest in a particular subject matter, and becoming obsessed with that subject matter in order to compensate for some other
kind of psychological deficiency. You alluded to the possibility that he was using his obsession with this subject to compensate for a lack of
emotional communication and connection, and you may very well be right.
As someone who suffers from social anxiety disorder and clinical depression, I know from experience how easy it can be to lose yourself in these sorts
of subjects. They seem fantastic, liberating, enlightening - and they are, or can be, to a great extent; they can in fact enrich one's life if
handled in a healthy and constructive manner - but it is precisely because of their fantastic and amorphous nature that they so easily and handily
take the shapes we need them to in order to make up for what we may be lacking psychologically.
My advice to anyone in a scenario similar to that of your friend would be this:
Take a step back and look carefully at your behavior, thoughts, feelings, and choices. Open your mind to the possibility that you are using the
investigation into the unknown, ephemeral, and amorphous mysteries of our universe and their easily shaped and broadly interpretable natures to fill
holes that may otherwise exist in your life. Don't get me wrong. That isn't necessarily the case. It's entirely possible to study
these things, and even to develop a robust spirituality based on them, without doing that. But it can happen without you realizing it, if you
don't periodically step back, and use cognitive awareness and reason to analyze what you're doing and why, particularly as it relates to how you
If you discover through such introspection and self-analysis that you frequently feel depressed, anxious, paranoid, afraid, helpless, and powerless,
and in particular if you discover that these feelings and patterns of thought and behavior seem to be inhibiting your ability to live a happy,
healthy, productive life (by your standards,) or if you find yourself justifying behavior that leads to these feelings by insisting on beliefs which
you cannot rationally prove, then I strongly urge anyone reading this who finds that to be the case to seek psychological assistance.
Psychologists and psychiatrists are not all the societal-convention-imposing, rigid, controlling, agenda-pushing, pharma-pushing money-pigs many seem
to feel they are. Nor are psychiatric medications necessarily a means of muting or numbing your natural emotions, creativity, or personality. I would
never say that such people and effects don't exist or never occur, but the belief that it is inevitable or universal is in my opinion and in my
direct personal experience a symptom of the sort of paranoia one needs treatment for in the first place. I ask that people at least consider
getting help, and posit that the refusal to be open-minded enough to at least consider it should be seen as a personal red flag. I have been
There is no weakness or shame in needing help, and not everyone who says they are trying to help you is disingenuous. I would like to become a
psychologist someday when I've dealt with my own issues sufficiently, and that tells me that there have to be some out there with good intentions. My
own psychiatrist is one of them.
At the same time, therapy and medication aren't effective for some people. You have to find what works for you. But if you are having issues,
delaying addressing them can only lead to their insidious growth. They are insidious because they can grow and intensify before you're even aware
that it's happening. When you rely on the mind to tell you when something is wrong, but something is wrong in the mind, then your own perceptions and
convictions may not be sufficient to assure your mental health. And there is no danger in at least considering that, or in entertaining the
possibility of needing help. Some will find that they don't. Some may surprise themselves by deciding that they do. Either way, it's
preferable to flying blind and insisting that nothing is wrong or that you are fine.