Archive for September 9th, 2011

September 9, 2011

Experiential Avoidance

ostrich effect

Experiential avoidance (EA) has been broadly defined as attempts to avoid thoughts, feelings, memories, physical sensations, and other internal experiences—even when doing so creates harm in the long-run. The process of EA is thought to be maintained through negative reinforcement—that is, short-term relief of discomfort is achieved through avoidance, thereby increasing the likelihood that the behavior will persist.

Importantly, the current conceptualization of EA suggests that it is not negative thoughts, emotions, and sensations that are problematic, but how one responds to them that can cause difficulties. In particular, a habitual and persistent unwillingness to experience uncomfortable thoughts and feelings (and the associated avoidance and inhibition of these experiences) is thought to be linked to a wide range of problems.

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September 9, 2011


klinger by mr pants

Malingering [muh-ling-ger-ing] is a medical term that refers to fabricating or exaggerating the symptoms of mental or physical disorders for a variety of ‘secondary gain’ motives, which may include financial compensation (often tied to fraud); avoiding school, work or military service; obtaining drugs; getting lighter criminal sentences; or simply to attract attention or sympathy. A common form of malingering in legal procedure prosecution is sometimes referred to as fabricated mental illness or feigned madness.

Malingering remains separate from somatization disorders and factitious disorders in which primary and secondary gain, such as the relief of anxiety or the assumption of the ‘patient role,’ is the goal. The symptoms most commonly feigned include those associated with mild head injury, fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome, and chronic pain. Failure to detect actual cases of malingering imposes a substantial economic burden on the health care system, and false attribution of malingering imposes a substantial burden of suffering on a significant proportion of the patient population.

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September 9, 2011


japanese hipster by dana davis


Freeter is a Japanese expression for people between the ages of 15 and 34 who lack full time employment or are unemployed, excluding housewives and students. The term originally included young people who deliberately chose not to become salary-men, even though jobs were available at the time. Freeters may also be described as underemployed or freelance workers.

These people do not start a career after high school or university, but instead earn money from low skilled and low paid jobs. The low income makes it difficult for freeters to start a family, and the lack of qualifications makes it difficult to start a career at a later point in life. Freeters have sometimes been glamorized as people pursuing their dreams and trying to live life to the fullest.

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September 9, 2011

Pleasure Principle


In Freudian psychology, the pleasure principle is the psychoanalytic concept describing people seeking pleasure and avoiding suffering (pain) in order to satisfy their biological and psychological needs. Furthermore, the counterpart concept, the ‘reality principle,’ describes people choosing to defer gratification of a desire when circumstantial reality disallows its immediate gratification. In infancy and early childhood, the Id (one of the three components of Freud’s model of the psyche) rules behavior by obeying only the pleasure principle. Maturity is learning to endure the pain of deferred gratification, when reality requires it; thus, the psychoanalitic Sigmund Freud proposes that ‘an ego thus educated has become ‘reasonable’; it no longer lets itself be governed by the pleasure principle, but obeys the reality principle, which also, at bottom, seeks to obtain pleasure, but pleasure which is assured through taking account of reality, even though it is pleasure postponed and diminished.’

Sigmund Freud discusses this idea, pleasure principle, and its limits in more details in his book, ‘Beyond the Pleasure Principle,’ published in 1921. In his discussion of the opposition between Eros, the life instinct, and the Thanatos, the death instinct, he examines the role of the repetition compulsion caused by the pleasure principle and of the sexual instincts.

September 9, 2011


lazy smurf

Laziness (also called indolence) is a disinclination to activity or exertion despite having the ability to do so. It is often used as a pejorative; related terms for a person seen to be lazy include couch potato, slacker, and in Australian slang, bludger.

Despite Sigmund Freud’s discussion of the pleasure principle, American psychologist Leonard Carmichael notes that ‘laziness is not a word that appears in the table of contents of most technical books on psychology… It is a guilty secret of modern psychology that more is understood about the motivation of thirsty rats and hungry pecking pigeons as they press levers or hit targets than is known about the way in which poets make themselves write poems or scientists force themselves into the laboratory when the good golfing days of spring arrive.’

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September 9, 2011


noonday demon by christopher brand

Acedia [uh-see-dee-uh] (Greek: ‘negligence’) describes a state of listlessness or torpor, of not caring or not being concerned with one’s position or condition in the world. It can lead to a state of being unable to perform one’s duties in life. Its spiritual overtones make it related to but distinct from depression. Acedia was originally noted as a problem among monks and other ascetics who maintained a solitary life. In the medieval Latin tradition of the seven deadly sins, acedia has generally been folded into the sin of sloth.

Moral theologians, intellectual historians and cultural critics have variously construed acedia as the ancient depiction of a variety of psychological states, behaviors or existential conditions: primarily laziness, ennui or boredom. The demon of acedia manifests itself in a range of psychological and somatic symptoms that is far broader and more complex than the familiar tradition in the West.

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