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confusedboy16

I can't cope

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I am at breaking point. I don't know what to do to calm myself. I am questioning everything now. Nothing seems the same or familiar to me anymore. I'm questioning the integrity of my actions, of others actions. Whether or not we actually do care about each other, or the only reason we do is out of self-interest. I think I have come to believe the latter, but I don't want to. That means everyone I think I care about, I only care about because it satisfies me, and I am only thinking about me. I don't want these thoughts to continue but I want to know the truth. I question everyone's motives. Even the "kindest" of people seems fake to me now. They are kind to others because they gain pleasure from their actions. Is this not selfish?

I want to care about people purely for caring, but the more I think about it the more it makes sense to me that we don't care truly, we only care about what we get out of things. We love because we want to be loved. Be are nice because we want people to be nice to us. Equally, a lot of the time if people disregard us we seem to do the same. We dislike those who don't feed our egos. All this seems true to me. Not overtly, but beneath our pretensions. Everything I thought I loved, just because I love, not seems distant and false. As I said before in my previous thread I am questioning existence and purpose. Different thoughts are coming into my mind centred around philosophy (which I usually enjoy).

I just want to stop living, that way my motives won't be selfish, as I won't exist. I don't want to live if I only care about what I gain from living. You can say that helping other people is selfless, but we do so because it makes us feel good - that is self-interest, however you address it.

I constantly doubt myself, and my beliefs, and whether I am a hypocrite.

I feel like deep down I know the human race is selfish, and I am lying to myself otherwise. To be honest, I just want to die. But then that would also be a selfish act, so it would confirm my thoughts? I don't want to think anymore. I want to be happy.

Aren't we just using people for our pleasure? I only care about others because they bring me joy. This isn't real care? If we were to take away the mutual care then either side would forget about the other. Are all relationships mere symbiotic attachment? Do I only love my mother because I NEED her, not because I want to love her. I'm so confused. Absolutely everything appears foreign to me now. One minute I find release from my worries, the next I read some sort of philosophy online that brings back the anxiety.

I have just been reading about philosophical pessimism, and how nothing matters. The world will end one day so what is the purpose in trying? Everything is just wasted energy. Every time we chose optimism we are only lying to ourselves. I don't want to feel like this, but I feel it is accurate and the truth. All of the energy I use on achievement is useless.

I've also been questioning the morality of incest. Why do we still classify it as wrong? Everything just seems so odd and contrived to me. I don't want to live anymore.

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Hi Nathan. I'm sorry things are so confusing and difficult right now. :(

Your struggle sounds very familiar to me. It was actually a huge healing point for me in therapy when I was able to think differently about the word 'selfish.' I do hear your confusion and upset. I understand these feelings can be very distressful.

Whether or not we actually do care about each other' date=' or the only reason we do is out of self-interest. They are kind to others because they gain pleasure from their actions. Is this not selfish?[/quote']

My therapist told me something that I have remembered and it has really helped me. We are in everything we do. We're emotional beings and we can't help but feel as a result of our actions. I think the answer is not black and white. I think it's both. We do things in part because it feels good to do them, but that doesn't mean we don't care about the people we are helping. I'm reaching out to you and offering my care and support and that does feel good. It's okay that it feels good. I like being a caring person and being kind to others so how could it not feel good? I'm also reaching out because I care about others and want to be there for them. There are many reasons involved.

We love because we want to be loved. Be are nice because we want people to be nice to us.

Part of the the beauty of friendship is in its reciprocity' date=' don't you think? I give to others and they receive. When they receive, I receive. Others give to me and I give back to them by receiving their care. It's a circle of sharing and caring, giving and receiving. I love being a giving person and doing that fills me with my inner light and I want to share that with others.

So perhaps it's true that part of why we love is to receive love, but does the receiving aspect of it somehow negate the giving parts? I don't think so. What do you think?

I only care about others because they bring me joy.

Is it possible that you care about others because you're a caring person? If you feel joy from being caring and that's part of your motivation too, why does this seem negative?

Part of my struggle was in feeling it wasn't okay to feel joy when giving, that doing so meant I was selfish. I don't know if that is what is happening with you, but I do relate. I'm sorry you're hurting. Are you able to be compassionate and kind to yourself?

Take care, Nathan.

I wanted to add that perhaps sometimes feelings also occur as a result of our behaviors and aren't necessarily a preceding motivating factor. So maybe then we don't necessarily love others for the purpose of receiving love back from others, but rather it sometimes simply happens. I think when we are freely ourselves and share ourselves with others, it opens the door for the opportunity to both give and receive love.

I offered a lot of my personal thoughts here, but maybe answers aren't so simple for deep questions such as these. The important thing is finding what fits best for you and brings you feelings of serenity. I hope you feel better.

Edited by IrmaJean
adding thoughts

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Yeah, I agree that at some point you've picked up an equality between the idea of "selfish" and the idea of evil. Are you frequently accused of being selfish?

One question might be, will you love your mother after you no longer "need" her? You'll be an independent adult some day (you may already be); will that alter your feelings toward your mother?

Another idea is that maybe thinking about this isn't making it better? A human has other resources, you know. In fact, feeling good serves as a beacon to encourage us to do good. Feeling bad tells us that there's something we need to change. It's a different, a complementary, source of information.

The "morality of incest" is of course quite a complicated topic. It would be easier if you narrowed it down a little for us. The situation between, say, an adult brother and sister is different from that between a child and an adult relative.

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Thank you both Irma Jean and Malign. Both of you have actually provided me with a lot of reasoning since I joined this forum around four years ago (though you probably do not remember me, as I have been absent from this forum for quite some time now). The truth is, I understand my thought process is erratic and irrational but this understanding does not allow me to "change".

I enjoy science, philosophy and ethics, but I can become obsessive about certain theories. I try to tell myself that they are "just theories" and one shouldn't live by another's following, only allow other people to act as a form of guidance. I keep questioning all of my beliefs and it's becoming very tiring. As I have said, I used to consider myself a socialist, but I fear scientific understanding and enlightenment will disprove any such ideology; or rather it will prove the bleakness and hostility of human existence, which is maybe what I want to avoid admitting to myself, because I want the best for myself, and in wanting the best for others it also reflects my own longing for happiness. I have never been able to interpret philosophy rationally. I am very insecure in what I believe, and I can be easily thrown when my beliefs are brought into disrepute. I pick out what I like in philosophy and tend to avoid the "truth", but I honestly do not believe there is an absolute inherent answer to the human existence. We cannot be so scientific as to say "we MUST live this way because it is in our DNA. For instance, I have been reading some of Darwin's "The Descent of Man" and in this work he considers how, by caring for the weak in our society we are actually risking the continuation and survival of our species. Although I understand this does not mean he is justifying the abolition of "the weak", I can be easily led to believe this is what he meant - which is very much a product of the society I, and yourselves live in. Many people twist and change theories - such as that of Natural Selection and the Survival Of The Fittest theory. People pick out certain parts which they believe provide justification for their hostile actions.

Anyway, I am rambling now. I hope this gives you some sort of understanding as to how my brain is functioning. It never stops. I am still skeptical as to why I am writing all of this, asking for you help, as my mind is still telling my I am "being selfish", and your reciprocation and reply will be in your self-interest (though I am in no supporting or condemning this theory). I guess I need to understand there is no way to escape the fact that we think and are self-conscious. So any rational judgement should be a mixture of human instance and empirical observation. To be neither optimistic or pessimistic, but both, concurrently.

I need to understand that just because the purpose of love may only be for one's self-interest that doesn't detract from it's beauty and significance in both survival and happiness. I think as a species we think too greatly about things we could just let be; whether we should or not is down to personal interpretation.

Malign,

You make a good point in regards to the "need" for my mother once I grow to be fully independent. One could easily argue I am still dependent upon the love I receive from my mother; that I am in need of her attention still, and thus"using" her for my own self-interest.

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Hey, CB! Of course I remember, though I didn't make the connection, with the name change.

I guess the first question would be, did you get any treatment, in the intervening time? You're right about your thought processes being ... more thorough? ... than average. I would hope that medical science might have some relief for you ...

The way I see it, Life is in my self-interest. So, I'm not about to knock self-interest. You didn't say much about how "self-interest" got equated with evil ...

I see a difference between "self-aware" and "self-conscious". Self-consciousness, to me, describes the involuntary focus on oneself. Self is not the only thing you can focus on ... Certainly, one trait of humanity is its ability to be self-aware, but another is its ability to be aware of others.

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Hey, CB! Of course I remember, though I didn't make the connection, with the name change.

I guess the first question would be, did you get any treatment, in the intervening time? You're right about your thought processes being ... more thorough? ... than average. I would hope that medical science might have some relief for you ...

The way I see it, Life is in my self-interest. So, I'm not about to knock self-interest. You didn't say much about how "self-interest" got equated with evil ...

I see a difference between "self-aware" and "self-conscious". Self-consciousness, to me, describes the involuntary focus on oneself. Self is not the only thing you can focus on ... Certainly, one trait of humanity is its ability to be self-aware, but another is its ability to be aware of others.

Hi Malign,

It seems like a very long time ago now. I've been though so many different "themes" of OCD since we last spoke. I was put on sertraline and am currently still taking 150mg daily. I also went for a couple of psychotherapy sessions, which didn't help at all. I am going to the doctor's tomorrow to ask about CBT.

I really don't know how that equation came about. I guess searching online. The thought/realisation that we are only friends with others for our own benefit popped in to my head, then I started to obsess and come to many different convulsions, looking for various answers online. Then I began to question whether empathy was created by those in power to control us, etc.

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You feel controlled by empathy? I feel liberated by it ...

The trouble with OCD when it's not optimally treated is that it does tend to keep switching targets. Does it help at all, to be able to look back and see it switch? That might help; it might give you a place to apply some CBT.

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You feel controlled by empathy? I feel liberated by it ...

The trouble with OCD when it's not optimally treated is that it does tend to keep switching targets. Does it help at all, to be able to look back and see it switch? That might help; it might give you a place to apply some CBT.

No, not at all. I love empathy. I love, love. But I am questioning whether it is "natural" for man to love. If we look back in history it is filled with violence and intolerance. But then I say "why should be define our actions by evolution". We have developed intellect, and maybe empathy is a part of that?

I love the human race, but I've read things online that suggest love is condition. You only need to read into a little Freud and you to see he thought modern civilisation is a hindrance on the individual, because it restricts our natural tendencies and instincts. I want to love, I want to care; but what if I am going against my natural instincts?

Look and see it switch, what do you men?

Nathan.

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I remember you too, Nathan. Always very polite and well-mannered.

I find with most psychology and in my studies of human behavior, that there is some truth to all theories, but there is also a lot of personal interpretation and areas of gray. Maybe there are no clear-cut right or wrong answers. I think what matters most is what fits best for each individual. How can you connect with yourself and be the person that you are?

Are you able to see what happens to bring about a change in what you're thinking so much about? Does it happen at times of stress, for instance?

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I remember you too, Nathan. Always very polite and well-mannered.

I find with most psychology and in my studies of human behavior, that there is some truth to all theories, but there is also a lot of personal interpretation and areas of gray. Maybe there are no clear-cut right or wrong answers. I think what matters most is what fits best for each individual. How can you connect with yourself and be the person that you are?

Are you able to see what happens to bring about a change in what you're thinking so much about? Does it happen at times of stress, for instance?

Thank you for the reply IrmaJean,

All you say is very true. My mind cannot work out what is true and what is not at the moment. I have been on the subject of animal rights today. I've been arguing with myself, for and against animal rights, etc. I am a vegetarian, but not for any ethical reasons but because I don't feel it necessary to consume meet in today's society, as we have plenty of alternatives. But the argument I've been having is "why is it okay to kill certain animals and not others?" And why is it okay to kill an animal but not a human? I've argued for and against in my head, but I don't know.

I watched a video of cow's being slaughtered and felt rather uncomfortable, but the reality is many animals kill other animals. They have no regard for the wellbeing of their prey, it is natural to them. This leaves me worries, because it might justify killing humans. I think of all the humans that have been killed in war and think what a waste of life that was, but how is it any different for animals? We don't look at the high number of animal slaughtering and say "what a waste of life", "gone just like that". How can we place value in human life but not in animal life?

How can a truly "good" person promote healthy living for human beings but actively consume meat, or kill animals. What is the difference? I am not judging meat eaters, most people I know eat meat, but these are the thoughts in my head.

I tell myself "I can't change all of the world's problems", but then I think "how can I live in this world and allow this to carry on?" And then I think "it's natural to kill", and then I get worried because i have to acknowledge that life is cruel and that in turn leads to pessimistic thoughts about life and the human race. I don't know where to go with this now.

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See, I would turn this observation around:

"If we look back in history it is filled with violence and intolerance."

That just means that violence and intolerance are more remarkable, so we record when they happen. Everyday family love happens, well, every day. We don't write it into the history books. It's often missing, but our society wouldn't exist at all without love. We recognize when love is missing precisely because it's usually there.

What I mean by "look and see it switch" is to observe the things you obsess about, and see how they change over time. If one day you're worried about. say, whether living for pleasure is selfish, and some other day you're worried about animal rights, and so on, eventually you may be able to say that you worry generally. That might allow you to detach a little from today's worry, first, and it might also allow you to start working on the source of the worry, which is something inside you instead of inside each of the worry-topics.

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See, I would turn this observation around:

"If we look back in history it is filled with violence and intolerance."

That just means that violence and intolerance are more remarkable, so we record when they happen. Everyday family love happens, well, every day. We don't write it into the history books. It's often missing, but our society wouldn't exist at all without love. We recognize when love is missing precisely because it's usually there.

What I mean by "look and see it switch" is to observe the things you obsess about, and see how they change over time. If one day you're worried about. say, whether living for pleasure is selfish, and some other day you're worried about animal rights, and so on, eventually you may be able to say that you worry generally. That might allow you to detach a little from today's worry, first, and it might also allow you to start working on the source of the worry, which is something inside you instead of inside each of the worry-topics.

Very true. I feel like I have all of the world's "problems" in my head. I keep trying to reason with myself, and tell myself that there's absolutely nothing I can do about them. But then does that make me a "bad" person if I don't try and reduce suffering, but who is to say suffering is a bad thing?

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Or who's to say you can't just limit your trying to local? That's what most people do. We don't expect ourselves to solve "all".

We're back to something I said to 'dvnj22', recently: OCD is the inability to let anything go. Some things, that's all you can do, is let go.

You don't let go of all of them; you don't stop caring about suffering. You forgive yourself for being finite.

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