Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Busy or Inefficient?

So, now that I have a job that I actually like, I am less inclined to while away the hours at work updating my blog. I can't really say that I am all that busy, although I certainly feel busy. But, I think it's more likely that I am not all that efficient with my time these days. My hope is to be back visiting all of your blogs soon. Since I haven't visited you all in so long, I feel so alone.

For the last couple of weeks I have been in a hypomanic state and such a mental status makes me mighty lofty. I don't sit down long enough to read anything longer than a sentence or two. But, this week feels quite a bit different. I am on my way back down. I miss my friends in the computer and am no longer enjoying the same work-related high.

Last week, I did some research for an attorney concerning the theory of learned helplessness. I was astonished at what I found, even though, the research falls in line with my intuition. Many of the relevant studies indicate that once a person or animal experiences repeated environmental stressors that are beyond their control, that person or animal will inevitably give up on everything. The subject learns through past experience that nothing they do can prevent bad things from happening. Then, that subject simply stops trying to change their circumstances. So a rat that is subjected to repeated shocks that they cannot avoid (compared to a rat who can stop the shocks by pressing a bar), eventually lies down in its cage refusing to eat, drink, or move.

I really don't want to be that rat, but sometimes I think it happens anyway.

32 comments:

Dino aka Katy said...

well I am glad you like work and for the record you are not that rat. You will get up when your ready and then we are all here waiting for you

Caro said...

Nice to see you.

And I agree with dino you're not a rat.

Sara said...

The rat study makes sense to me, too. Seems redundant for me to say this now, but you are not a rat! I hope the way back down is not too steep.

Sarah said...

not a rat and not alone by far :)

Carrie said...

Once upon time I could never have appreciated where that rat was coming from, now I get it.

Glad you're back with us. I've missed your posts.

Julia said...

good to see you back, and to see that you are still enjoying your job.

The rats? They don't have friends inside the computer. Just sayin'....

My Reality said...

Welcome back!

I like my friends in the computer, too.

ultimatejourney said...

Nice to hear from you! I'm glad your job is going well.

Emilija said...

Yes, some of the cognitive-behavioral psychologists have basically taken the position that depression is learned helplessnes. It doesn't explain everything (like swinging between depression and mania), but when depressed, I do feel very much like that rat!

I got depressed and trashed my blog. Bipolar in the City is no more. But then I regretted it, now I have a new blog, Bipolar And the City.

BerryBird said...

Glad to see you, Nicole. I'd popped in a few times wondering if my sub was kerplunk. I think we all feel a little ratty on occasion, but as long as sometimes isn't always, that's OK. Everything in moderation, right?

Ol' Lady said...

:) thank you for updating and letting us know that you are still alive and kickin :)
my bestest friends are in my computer :)

Sarah said...

Good to hear from you. The rat study makes sense to me too... hmmm... it's making me think... nothing to formed yet.

I don't think you are the rat, but I can (and have/sometimes do) imagine the draw to be the rat... And maybe we all are the rat for little bits of time, and that's probably ok.

so did I babble too much for you... sorry... :)

Aurelia said...

I'm glad you are alive and well! And no you are not a rat, but I DO understand the study. Although, I don't know if I'd call it learned helplessness so much as learned they were alone.

And you are not alone. You have me and your hubby and all these friends!

Jackie said...

Hey Nicole, it's great to see/read/hear your voice!
The description of learned hopelessness sounds all too familiar. I hope that the hypomania doesn't make a wicked slide down for you--I'm pulling for you...

Caroline said...

It is good to hear from you again. I have always believed in the idea of learned helplessness. I think for a lot of people, it is hard not to fall into such a pattern and state of mind. I am always amazed to hear stories of young children who face hardship after hardship and still end up with a postive outlook on life. As a teacher, it is easy to see where such cases end up going either way (good or bad). When I was in college and learning about this concept, I was very much aware of how I could find myself almost falling into this pattern. I think it just has to do with our wiring or chemical make up. Oh, and I second everyone else's opinion that you are not a rat. You are much to aware to be one. I'm glad thins have been going well. Keep in touch.

Patience said...

Oh yep, it happens all right...

Glad you checked in. x

serenity said...

Glad to see this update from you.

Interesting study... learned helplessnes is a good explanation of my inability to make choices lately, since I feel like "what's the point?"

Though I'm not sure we're quite like rats in that we'll give up. Humand tend to be a lot more stubborn.

Dianne/Flutter said...

Glad to see you. Err...that research is a little scary. Hoping no one gets to to that rat's place.

Jenny F. Scientist said...

The guy who did the original learned-helplessness study left his first wife, got remarried and had a couple little kids, and wrote another book called something like 'Learned Optimism.' My mom the psych major always found this very entertaining.

Casey said...

I believe it was Jesus who said, "Despite all my rage, I am still just a rat in a cage."

And so it was. Amen.

niobe said...

I didn't have to learn helplessnes. I came by it naturally.

Jason and Samantha said...

I'm glad to hear you are doing ok!! :) Keep us updated.

Cibele said...

Hi Nicole, good to see you here again. I MISSED YOU!

Aurelia said...

I just read Jenny's comment and was struck by how much I like your commenters, post so I can read so more.

Ol' Lady said...

Hey!!! Hope all is well. Have a Happy July 4th :)

thrice said...

Nicole, I hope that you are okay. Everything is cyclical. I hope that you are in an upmode shortly. I soooo care about you.

megan said...

good to hear from you and fantastic to hear that you have a job you're liking. your friends in the computer will be here waiting for you.
i don't think of you as that rat. not one bit. i think of you as the rat that would jump right out of the cage and get the eff away from whatever was shocking it.

marlena rivers said...

hi there,
i can relate to losing touch with blogs but more from being overwhelmed and stressedthan hypomanic. sometimes i think a little hypomania can give one that boost of energy that helps to kind of jump out of the hole. the learned helplessness is really so interesting and true. glad to see you're enjoying your work. it's good to catch up with you. i've been thinking of you though i've also not been visitng blogs often and am trying to start up again.

Cibele said...

where are you girl? I miss you. I hope that you are doing ok!

LIW (Lady In Waiting) said...

It's comforting to know that my behavior mimics rats who continually get shocked. :-)

Seriously, you know that I can relate to how depression makes you feel immobile. And I have certainly witnessed hypomania from the perspective of a loved one. So I have a good sense of where you have been and where you are now.

Glad to hear that you finally have a job that you like, though. That is REALLY good news. Just wondering where you are in your meds these days....

Glad to get an update!

Dream Writer said...

Glad that you like your work! Studying isn't so bad, I start in August!!!

Not so little sister said...

Tag!