people are not always who they say they are

Discussion in 'Community' started by jefhatfield, Feb 11, 2005.

  1. jefhatfield Retired

    jefhatfield

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    Jul 9, 2000
    #1
    ...and i am not talking about people who brag about their iq score or what they do for a living

    i saw the latest episode of "house MD" and there was this patient, who for some malnutrition/eating disorder was unable to remember who she was and why she ended up in the hospital...apparently, due to her condition, she had no reality except for the one she could manufacture and she would actually believe it

    well, i have known this woman, who has had a history with eating disorders and a whole array of psychological and pain medication, and she has led herself to believe she was partially, if not mostly, raised in southern california

    i have known her for 16 years pretty well, but back when i first met her and we didn't know each other very well, and she was in much better health, she told me she was from chicago or somewhere nearby

    her accent, knowledge and likes and dislikes of food (and culture in general) pretty much fit her "chicago" description...but strangely, for the last ten years or so, she has been one who was "raised" in southern california

    when she talks about southern california, she knows nothing about it but seems to describe the midwest

    stranger things have happened to others, but after 16 years, i am thinking she has somehow, not by her own doing, created another personality that she just picked up by osmosis
     
  2. Blue Velvet Moderator emeritus

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    Jul 4, 2004
    #2
    This sounds like something Oliver Sacks would write about. I love his books, they offer a non-judgemental human approach to his patients and they're always thought-provoking.

    His official site.
     
  3. jsw Moderator emeritus

    jsw

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    #3
    Interesting what the mind can do. Has she acquired a new personality or merely manufactured a new past for herself?

    Perhaps something traumatic occurred in Chicago.
     
  4. jefhatfield thread starter Retired

    jefhatfield

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    Jul 9, 2000
    #4
    that is fascinating stuff

    awakenings was one of my favorite movies

    when i first met my friend, who i will call jane doe, she told me she had borderline personality disorder with psychotic tendencies

    i wonder exactly what that means??
     
  5. Peterkro macrumors 68020

    Peterkro

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    #5
    jef, if you want to learn more there is a very good book called Lost in the Mirror by Richard Moskovitz which will give you a insight to BPD.A very much misunderstood condition.There are many websites also ,but be aware there are many that do not understand the condition.It affects as many as 1 in 10 people and the mental health industry(in general) can offer no help to these people. Among well know people who are believed to have been sufferers are Marilyn Monroe and Diana Spencer.
     
  6. jsw Moderator emeritus

    jsw

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    #6
    Jef, just to be clear: are you sure that you aren't Jane Doe? Where were you raised? ;)
     
  7. jefhatfield thread starter Retired

    jefhatfield

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    #7
    i was born and raised on macrumors.com

    i hatched from an egg not made of atoms and molecules, but of zeros and ones ;)
     
  8. PlaceofDis macrumors Core

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    Jan 6, 2004
    #8
    sounds like your friend created a new past for herself because she was not content with the one that she had..... people do it all the time, just not to this extent, think about it, when you think back to your past, are you sure of the things that happened, or have you tweaked it a little so that it sounds better, more dramatic or what? its a common thing for people to do, makes their lives more interesting, the only thing is your friend, jane doe, took this to an extreme because of some physiological problems, and possibly other issues that only she knows about
     
  9. pseudobrit macrumors 68040

    pseudobrit

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    #9
    You're definitely observing a woman who's suffering from a neurosis.

    I would give her a gentle nudge toward professional help.
     
  10. Peterkro macrumors 68020

    Peterkro

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    #10
    The reason the term Borderline was used(in the 1930's) is that these people are neither nuerotic or physcotic and as I said above are usually beyond medical help.They are often very high achievers.It is now thought to be very closely related to post traumatic stress disorder.
     
  11. CanadaRAM macrumors G5

    CanadaRAM

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    #11
    For children, and for people with certain mental conditions, something vividly enough imagined is indistinguishable from reality.

    There are those who consciously fabricate a story, and know that it is a fabrication - these are your garden-variety liars, fakers, con-persons and occasionally sociopaths. (also not incidentally, some politicians and reporters, but that's another thread)

    But there are also those for whom their story literally is their reality. See the first half of "A Beautiful Mind".
     
  12. OutThere macrumors 603

    OutThere

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    #12
    He visited my town and I went to a lecture from him - great stuff. :)
     
  13. Blue Velvet Moderator emeritus

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    #13
    What was the lecture about?
    Was it a university kind-of-thing or a public lecture?
     
  14. mymemory macrumors 68020

    mymemory

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    #14
    I know a city full of people like that.... New York!

    A sa foreing I have been living in the US 3 times now, when I was 18 in Arkansas for a year, when I was 22 for 2 years in Orlando FL and then NY, and when I was 29 in New York for 8 months and now in Miami. I used to work with exchange students from Europe and Latin America and many of my friends are constant travelers and we talk a lot about cultural diferences...

    The isolation created but the culture and right wing individualism (because the US is a cultural center right wing) has a big impact in the subject. The average north american is consider "friendly" but far for being a "freind" in many cases and that is a wall many people from Europe and Latin American have to deal with and is the caused of mayor rejection of the US as a culture overseas. As I am here in the US I can see that many people has a lot of spare time in their heads because of the isolation and making up dreams is a way to distract the mind.

    I left New York because it was so big in to that and many other things. the sense of comunity is so tiny.

    To give you some examples, there is thsi other threat of this guy coming from war and taling about being exited because he is getting a new Macintosh here... for some one who actually valorates life how could you comapre the joy of coming back from war with getting a piece of plastic to surf the internet?

    And there are tons of things that are so plastic that the native person here in the US can not tell unless you spend a few months actually living on another country.

    People come here to the US for security and to make money but the social culture itself is what everybody reject. That is the explanation why in the US you have comunities of different cultures, not because we have the freedom of doing it but because we can not melt in other areas that are not work wise.

    For example in Latin America you will find only chinesse and some jewish comunities but that is it. No german, italian or anything like that, the same thing in europe. But here in the US the values are so different and I see lots of problems related with isolation, the over use of drugs is one.

    For example Venezuela is beside Colombia and is easier to find pot here in the US than in Caracas. We just do not need from that because we have tons of way to fullfil our lives but here because everybody gets so bored turn in to pot, the overal life is boring, there is nothing exiting going on, to travel is incredible expensive so... people end up incapsulated in your small condominium. Of course... and this is the importnat part... if you haven't live outside of the US for more than 6 month you will not be able to have a real point of view of what I am talking about.

    I see myself in this mirrow as well. Back in December I went to Venezuela and spent time with my friends, I even had a gf down ther and I just logged in to MR once. I came here to Miami and I log no less than 3 times a day average.

    I ma here because of "american dream" I can support myself doing one or two things but the social aspect, the human aspect is such sacrify. I am actually going to Caracas just for the weekend for my birthday and to see Raquel.

    In other words, it is hard to live in such isolation and many mental dieases come from that, to have a balanced diet is key and to have some social contact. My roommate in New York was a social worker and he was telling me about his cases and I was thinkng why people get medication for such stupid deal? in isolation an small problem becomes huge. Here in Miami the topic of isolation is so common between the latin americans.

    Just to let them know that many mental ilness are caused by lack of human contact.
     
  15. saabmp3 macrumors 6502a

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    #15

    I think we understand that you didn't like NYC. The big east coast cities are full of people with very thick shells. I grew up there, and am used to it. Now that's I'm living in a much friendlier environment (west coast), I'm having to make adjustments. Some people just are not cut out to live in NYC, Boston, Washington, etc. Don't blame it on the people who can and do enjoy living there because it's not like your quaint hometown.

    BEN
     
  16. V.A.Toss macrumors regular

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    Feb 4, 2003
    #16
    jef you poor sod

    If you have ever been to europe and taken note of anything other than your own voice, then you will know that it is a diverse and multi-cultural place.

    As multicultural infact as anywhere in the world. Particularly italy, germany, portugal and UK where over the past 200 years we have had an influx of migrants from numerous cultural and religious backgrounds.
    You are actually so utterly incorrect that infact here in the UK there is no 'native', we are just a wild mix of hundreds of years of migrants. Every migrant from the irish, romany, scandanavians, indian subcontinent, oriental asia, east and west africa, the west indies, continental europe, the middle east, and even some canadian refugees (though with what ive recently read from one of their neighbours, frankly i dont blame them).
    Oh, and to rub your incorrect nose in it, yes we all get on just great.

    Next time you decide to talk about a place and their people make sure youve been there first. Or atleast tried to read a book about it.

    I read your argument, as long as it was. Heres a way of saying the same with minimal effort: "Edward Hopper".


    Anyway, egos aside, its jefs thread. So back on topic.
    Jef, your friend needs help. I dont envy your situation one little bit, and i wont pretend to know anything about this. The only advice i could try to give, is to be gentle, things in life tend to **** up even more if you push them too hard.
    Gd luck.
     
  17. OutThere macrumors 603

    OutThere

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    #17
    It was at a school, but open to the public. He talked a lot about his book Uncle Tungsten Memories of a Chemical Boyhood (not sure if that's exactly the title) and about how he grew up. His adventures in botany and his laboratory on the porch of his house. (He made some really funny little mistakes). It was really interesting to hear him talk about a time when things were so different, yet he was doing things that so many boys love to do today. In any case, it was very interesting to watch, and then I watched the movie about him afterwards (about his work with L-Dopa), which was really kind of creepy. :) If you ever hear that he is giving a lecture near you, try to go — he's very funny and engaging, and uses just the right number of little anecdotes to keep it extremely entertaining while highly informative and interesting. :)
     
  18. scem0 macrumors 604

    scem0

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    back in NYC!
    #18
    I just thought i'd comment on how fitting your signature is to this topic :).

    But it really is true, my speech teacher would say "fake it and the feelings will follow" - A mantra that is very unhealthy IMO.

    scem0
     
  19. skunk macrumors G4

    skunk

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    #19
    Apart from the eating disorders, why would she "need help"? Is her belief, false memory or delusion actually hindering her? I think most of us live in a "tweaked" version of reality. Memory is such a creative area, as is history.
     
  20. dotdotdot macrumors 68020

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    Jan 23, 2005
    #20
    Ever hear of the band R.E.M.? (They are really good, btw)

    They have a song called Life and How to live it...

    ...this is apparently based on a person who put a wall in his house, and on one side of the wall was 1 house, with a paint job, 1 bedroom, 1 kitchen, a complete house and pets. And on the other side, there was another complete house with different, almost opposite paint schemes and different pets. He would live on one side for a while, then "move" to the other side... he would do this often. After he died, hundreds of copies of his book were found stashed away in a closet...

    ...just thought I'd say this, as it has to do with "mental" stuff...

    ...also, a friend of mine recently snapped and threw a ball at my head and a chair at someone else... and a minute later had absolutely no reccolection of it, and hes not lying because there are certain ways to tell if someone is lying... (i.e., he always laughs when he lies)...

    and another friend thought she was taking a test that occoured a month ago...
     
  21. jimsowden macrumors 68000

    jimsowden

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  22. Wyvernspirit macrumors 6502a

    Wyvernspirit

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    Massachusetts
    #22
    You should not generalize like that. I live (near) Boston. Work in Boston. I would consider my life "isolated" in the way you state. But that is my mentality. I don't like people (for the most part). I have my small group of friends, which is enough for me. I do not use drugs, other then perscribed (I have Asthma), and don't know anyone who is using.

    If I take your statement as fact, the United States is filled with a ton of lonely, drug addicted schizophrenics. Not true. I think it is difficult for any person to judge an entire society, even when they are born into. I'd say the US is even harder then your average as it is a very deverse mix of cultures, and even regeon to regeon. The east Coast and West Coast cultures can be vastly different, as can North/South. and that doen't take into account, midwest, alaska and Hawaii, all different in their own right.

    On Topic: Mental illness can be very tough for those who have to live with it. Particularly if you have to wath the person deteriorate before your eyes. This person needs help, not because they may be in harms way right now, but because it may get to that point later on. It is easier to fix something when it isn't completely broken yet.

    One word of caution, never generalize.
     
  23. absolut_mac macrumors 6502a

    absolut_mac

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    #23
    Too true.

    Most of us either tend to forget the bad times, or at least minimize their impact, while, ummm, for want of a better word, enhance the good times.

    Hence the saying "I remember the good old days". Actually, if most of us really did remember the *good old days*, we'd remember them as being not so great ;)
     
  24. Wyvernspirit macrumors 6502a

    Wyvernspirit

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    Massachusetts
    #24
    This sounds more then just a tweak. Mental illness of this kind, if it is properly documented in this forum, can grow to such a extent as to cause problems later on for that person or others. It can lead to dangerous situations if not treated properly.
     

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