Exposure Pathologies

June 7, 2010

Some of the character traits I was talking about in the previous post are summed up in a way that makes a lot more sense to me by this PDF. And it’s a bit like this too, which even takes in the lack of a sense of pride I was trying to get across in that post.

I’m not at all diagnosing myself with anything – it’d be like saying “well you’re a bit fat, you might be morbidly obese,” when all that can really be said is that you have something in common with someone with a serious condition. Though of course, once we start looking, we all have something in common with someone with a serious condition. We can learn how to help ourselves, and why we are how we are, by finding out about these conditions. The moderately overweight person is inspired and educated by the research that’s been triggered by the existence and urgency of morbid obesity. And it’s fine. It won’t make the genuinely obese people fatter, and it might help you out.

The colours of sickness spectrums are vigorously studied and unpicked while personalities below a certain threshold are held fragile and untouchable – unknowable, even. For those below the threshold are treated as individuals, one-offs, to be learned from scratch each time. And as humane as that seems to be, with no pattern to work from it’s very difficult to find out what can be unpicked without the rest unraveling. It can be tricky to know what’s related to what – how much can we change, what we should blame ourselves for. Finding pathologies that correspond to the puzzling or challenging aspects of our personalities can be useful. If we can resist the urge to diagnose ourselves with everything, of course.

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