All of Jeremy Hadfield's Comments + Replies

Book review: "Feeling Great" by David Burns

Apologies for the late response! Well, you could say that. But I wouldn't consider a constant "hell yeah this thought is amazing!!" evaluative. After all, there isn't really an evaluation of the content of the thought - just a generic affirmation. The main point is that the kind of critical assessment involved in evaluative thinking is under-activated in mania, and over-activated in depression. These are distinct cognitive and neural systems that are somewhat competitive with each other. 

2Steven Byrnes4moHmm, OK, I guess your model is that every thought coming from the thought-emitting system is treated as a "good idea" by default, and then the point of the thought-assessing systems is to find problems with them. (You can correct me if I'm wrong.) Whereas my model is that there's no such thing as a default because the thought-assessing systems assess every thought no matter what, and judge it as good or bad or neutral. That said, within what I'm calling the thought-assessing systems, especially within the brainstem, there are presumably little pockets that do specialized processing involved in negative-valence things like panicking and other little pockets that do specialized processing involved in positive-valence things like relaxing. For example, the lateral habenula is involved in the detailed mechanics of setting up dopamine pauses (= judgments that a thought is bad), or something like that, so obviously the lateral habenula is over-active in depression when all your thoughts are bad. But I would think of "lateral habenula under-activity" as probably not usually a root cause of depression but more like a symptom. I currently think that things the amygdala and ventral striatum and medial prefrontal cortex and hypothalamus and brainstem are all involved in finding both good and bad aspects of thoughts. (Well, I'm not 100% sure about the amygdala.) If you have an idea of "distinct neural systems" for finding good and bad aspects of thoughts, I'd be curious what specific neural systems you would assign to each, or if you have a reference that might have that breakdown. I would be really interested to see that. (Sorry if I'm misunderstanding.)
Book review: "Feeling Great" by David Burns

I've been applying this method of mindfulness + positive reframing (somewhat unaware that I was using it) for my bipolar disorder for the last year. It's unbelievably effective. Paired with a six-week ketamine therapy, my depressive symptoms have almost completely disappeared, and my mania is far more manageable and stable. I'm not on medication, and a combination of imaginative, behavioral, and cognitive techniques like this have worked remarkably well for the past 6 months. This has been more successful and longer-lasting than any other therapy I've... (read more)

2Steven Byrnes5moThanks! Sorry if this is dumb, but you put mania on the thought-emitting side … why can't mania look like the thought-assessing system just saying "Hell yeah that thought is friggin awesome!!!!" all the time?
How effective are tulpas?

No, probably not, but it's hard/impossible to say without scientific data on tulpas - which does not exist as of now.

How effective are tulpas?

I am mentally ill (bipolar I), and I also have some friends who are mentally ill (schizophrenia, bipolar, etc), and we decided to try tulpa-creation together. Personally, I wasn't very good at it or committed to the process. I didn't see any change, and I don't think I ever created a tulpa. However, my friend's tulpa became a massive liability. Turned into psychosis very rapidly

1Raven2yDo you think that would have happened without the pre-existing condition?
The case for lifelogging as life extension

Yes. Agree. Let's try to overcome conformity biases