It’s really nothing new that I have a few neurotic psychological issues. I mean, who doesn’t? Freud may be outdated on a lot of things, but he did recognize that every human is driven by neuroses. And that has withstood every test we have thrown at it in over a hundred years.
I was once again reminded of my narcissistic feedback neurosis, which leads me to crave the acknowledgement of my feats and admiration of my qualities, and at the same time questions the ulterior motives of anyone who expresses their appreciation for my company. In simpler words: I go fishing for compliments, but I overscrutinize the fish I catch. I am so used to people pointing out my failings and faults, and have been the victim of malicious manipulations involving compliments more than once too often, that I have become distrustful of anything good being said about me, all the while craving what I distrust.
This probably reads harsh, cruel, and all sorts of messed up, but it’s a run-off-the-mill neurosis that plagues some 30% of the world population. A little lack of self-confidence. Another 30% are the exact opposite, they are slightly overconfident. Get this: more than half of the world population suffer some kind of narcissistic feedback neurosis, which makes it the norm. And it’s not the only common neurosis to plague human kind. As a matter of fact, a human can remain functional with quite a few neurotic abnormalities, and very few ever seek treatment. It really is a shame that there are more attourneys at law than psychotherapists in our society. That’s untapped market potential. I digress.
But really, many people either don’t feel a need for improvement, and if they do, they often ascribe a very low priority to the matter. Unless it gets really, really, REALLY bad, like full-grown psychosis, most therapists won’t take you serious anyway. Sometimes they won’t even take you serious when it is that bad. That’s what happened to the friend of mine, for whom I wrote the Forgotten Eulogy. He was at the end of his rope, and the therapist he went to just weeks prior to his demise didn’t recognize a man in intense emotional agony. I digress, again.
Many people don’t perceive the need to get better for different reasons. One reason is plain and simple obliviousness. If you are oblivious of your neuroses, they can’t be that bad, right? Another reason is laziness. Why change when you’re functional? It’s just so much effort. The third reason is my favorite reason: these people are aware of their neurosis, and they believe it not only doesn’t infringe on their functionality, but actually makes them better at what they do. It’s my favorite reason because it’s a tricky one. Maybe it does make them better at what they do, but it also infringes on their functionality in different parts of their lives. Also, there is great potential for the neurosis to intensify, spawn other neuroses, and develop into a full-blown psychosis. They do say that genius and madness are difficult to tell apart for a good reason…
So, what can be done to alleviate a neurosis you are suffering from? Regrettably, there is no patent recipe for this. While there are great similarities in how neuroses work, every person has their own mental constitution. My personal approach begins with observation and reflection. Fighting the problem at the roots doesn’t really work, because you never really know how far these roots reach. It’s more like a mining operation, where you find a new neurotic vein every time you dig deeper. At the same time, you need to take care that your mining shafts are always secure, and you constantly need to keep them from filling up with other neurotic tendencies, like mineshaft water. I digress.
It is hard work, and you’re never ever going to finish it. Doesn’t sound rewarding? Hell – I don’t even know if it is. But I do want to find out. How ’bout you?