Mother! Father! Don’t touch it! It’s EMO!

The EEG lady said that my pattern of injury is often associated with the following:

  • inability to form intimate relationships despite other social successes;
  • self-hatred far out of proportion to the evidence;
  • hypercritical judgment of self and others;
  • discomfort in crowds;
  • inability to clean up or organize personal space due to emotional overload when attempting to do so;
  • overcompensation with intellectual success to combat social failure;
  • a sleep schedule that is about four hours “late”;
  • complete overwhelming collapse on being confronted with multiple tasks at once;
  • depression and anxiety that feel surprising or out of place even as they are occurring;

I mean, damn. I’m surprised my eye color wasn’t in there. I’m skeptical and wary of diagnostic lists that seem to dovetail to my life, having had a few of them over the years that falsely promised some discovery, but this is just plain eery.

I keep having experiences lately where I’m talking to someone who wanders away in mid conversation. Or other forms of communication: I IM someone and they don’t respond and then sign off, or I send email that goes into the Void.

I’m not at all sure if it’s significant, or if it happens to me more or less than it happens to others. In any case I find it harder to write it off when this happens lately. I’m far less socially confident than I was a couple years ago, and it’s easy now for me to slip into a near-paranoid assumption that the other person dislikes me and is hoping I’ll go away.

This despite the fact that it’s more likely that the other person is having a multitasking failure or distracted in some way. As with most of my brain lightning problems, it’s egotistical.

In any case I cannot tell whether I’m getting a “keep the hell away” signal from some people I know or not. I’m glad that I at least know that I don’t know, and that I have Occam’s Razor in my medicine cabinet.

23 thoughts on “Mother! Father! Don’t touch it! It’s EMO!

  1. pattern of injury
    Did you have an actual, physical injury? I see a lot of me in the list you provided.
    And is there any hope to help you with those symptoms?

    1. Re: pattern of injury
      Did you have an actual, physical injury?
      The working theory is that one or more possible bonks on the head and/or a near drowning may have caused an injury which has caused my brain electricity to become more and more deranged over time. I have no idea how accepted this theory is.
      And is there any hope to help you with those symptoms?
      Yeah, I’m going to try neurofeedback.

      1. Re: pattern of injury
        Wow. Very interesting. I had a near drowning as a child, before I was diagnosed with ADD and put on ritalin.
        I hope the neurofeedback works out. As always, I’ll be watching your progress to see what I should do! 🙂

  2. A skeptical take
    I cannot tell whether I’m getting a “keep the hell away” signal from some people I know or not.
    I have the same problem.
    Occam’s razor: do not attribute to brain injury that which is explainable as a combination of (a) garden-variety social illiteracy, and (b) being way too fucking hard on yourself. I myself have both.
    They could just be telling you what you want to hear to sell you more “treatment”. But then, I dismiss everything as quackery. As my friend Mo once said, “Alternative treatment?? Just give me what works.”
    Just my two cents.

    1. Re: A skeptical take
      My attitude is that “garden-variety social illiteracy” or “being hard on oneself” are descriptive but dismissive rather than explanatory. I’m interested in finding out what the problems are and how to solve them.
      Neurofeedback is new, but it’s based on legitimate science (double-blind studies, replication, measurable results). Therefore I think it’s worth a try. I am a skeptic, but one does not make progress without taking risks.
      Quacks are easy enough to detect. They promise the impossible and have the Solution to Everything. The people I’m dealing with may be wrong about how the brain works, or their technique may need refinement, but they aren’t quacks.
      My own problems are very large, life-swallowing, and intensely painful, so writing them off or saying “I’ll do better somehow” isn’t sufficient. A noninvasive and affordable technique that might do me some good is going to get a try.
      But if I turn into a werewolf, shoot me, ‘k?

      1. Re: A skeptical take
        I’m interested in finding out what the problems are and how to solve them… A noninvasive and affordable technique that might do me some good is going to get a try.
        That’s the right attitude…
        My own problems are very large, life-swallowing, and intensely painful…
        Damn. I feel for you. What, in a few sentences, are the problems as you see them? I know an engineer who is fond of saying that “a solution is just a problem re-defined in a useful way.”
        If you have any problems that can be solved by competent and graceful desk-clerking, don’t hesitate to contact me.
        My only prima facie problem with neurofeedback is that EEG measures global arousal patterns in the brain, and may not address the underlying cognitive problem, the flawed thinking. But I may just be talking out my ass.
        I have gotten some good results with cognitive therapy…

      2. Re: A skeptical take
        Yeah, I’ve essentially been doing a mix of cognitive therapy and EMDR. This is the next step along the same axis; working on the brain function that makes useful cognition more difficult.
        Glad you’re getting good results.

    2. Re: A skeptical take
      I have a Neurological Disorder, among other things it causes brain tumors. Doctors and others love to blame this for everything.
      Bad Balance – NF2
      Athlete’s Foot – NF2
      Homical Rage – NF2
      etc etc
      If you went by them I never have any normal diseases.

  3. Do you have panic attacks?
    By pattern of injury, do you mean this in a larger sense, or was there physical damage, as in a head wound. I’m being serious here. I suffered several head injuries and thought maybe there was some syndrome associated with that kind of damage.
    I relate to that list all too well. It’s freaking me a little. It’s not just a sympathetic response.

      1. Yeah, it’s exactly that; a head injury pattern. Apparently it’s often a delayed response over a period of years, and can result from problems in birth and infancy. But adult head injury victims show up for neurofeedback evaluation a lot too, obviously.

      2. This is all too strange. Sorry to jump all over this, but if this theory (?) has any validity, it may explain some things. I mean, I never considered that these events might explain some of my emotional/psychological difficulties.
        personal history:
        –forceps baby
        –8 stitches in head and concussion, age 9
        –fight in which I suffered some eye injury and tooth damage, age 14
        –another fight that involved several kicks to the head, age 16
        –near drowning and insulin shock, age 17
        –head injury and loss of consciousness after fall: stupid trick jumping to a tree from the roof of house, age 19
        –6 months ago, fell off my bike and lost consciousness after drinking. 3 weeks of tooth and facial pain that seems to have cleared up by itself. Probably a hairline fracture, but I refused to go to a clinic– pure idiocy.
        Sorry to catalog. Somehow it helps. I did a comic called The Amnesia Kid’s Greatest Hits where I parodied all the head injury. Also, there’s a well-written science fiction book about a character that suffers head wounds called Humpty Dumpty: an oval by Damon Knight.
        Lately, the insomnia is really getting to me. And my mood has gotten very dark. Maybe I can find some affordable neurofeedback option. Breathing exercises used to get me through, but I’m having difficulty concentrating on anything.

        I think it’s no accident that Aspiring, Moral, Perfecting and Reflective are the spheres that are suffocated by wearing the ironic trucker hat.

      4. As for people seeming to disappear in mid-converation, I believe that attention spans are getting so short that it’s difficult to even call it rudeness, or inconsideration. It’s some kind of zombification.

    1. I wish I’d counted exactly. Something like five each time? One run on the left side in back, one on the right side in back, and one in the front right ish.

  4. Wow, really sounds like “they” are onto something. Kudos to you for persevering so hard through all of this. Sometimes we all beat ourselves up much worse than anyone else ever could, or would, but it takes an incredibly strong person to claw their way out of the abyss; congrats for having that strength and, well, I hope it helps. I also hope this makes some sense. Oftentimes, I’m not so good at that.

  5. wow, they really pegged it, didn’t they? i wanna get one now. mine will say “inability to accessorize despite goth tendencies.”
    seriously, tho, good luck. i hope this treatment helps.

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