Meditating = Panic

August 26, 2006

My compassionate psychiatrist was very practical, as I mentioned before. He was the first guy to take certain things at face value. One of these things was my reaction to “relaxation exercises.” That reaction was panic attacks.

It’d be fun to psychoanalyze that, wouldn’t it? But it’s a lot simpler. There’s not enough going on in a “relaxation exercise” to quiet my thoughts. ADD involves underactivity in the brain systems that allow us to choose what to focus on; the filter is off and the brakes don’t work. Thinking runs amok. In order to quiet the mind, we need to wake it up enough to slow things down- and choose what to focus on internally. “Quieting your mind” does the opposite, by providing less to wake up the mind and body, and more to think about without direction: “I’m thinking again! why am I thinking when I’m supposed to be relaxing? I can’t relax! What’s wrong with me? Just try to relax! Breathe, concentrate on bre…. what am I doing again?”

Predominantly Hamlet-like

August 8, 2006

The kindest doctor I’ve ever had didn’t know why I struggled so. He said my thinking was like Hamlet, but that wasn’t a name for it. Now not to wax Shakespearian here but a rose by any other name… is attention deficit disorder. Back then that label wasn’t known to apply to adults. But diagnostic labels leverage information, and this information helped me understand what it was that was so hard.

Medically, it’s called attention deficit disorder- predominantly inattentive; or “spacey add.” It may be inattention, but for me it means I think a lot. I call it cognitive hyperactivity. I’m not missing the “hyper” in adhd; I’m hyper in the mind.

The beginning.

August 4, 2006

In the beginning, I thought too much. I thought about thinking. I thought about how people can think about thinking. I took philosophy classes to think about what people think about how people think. Cogito ergo sum? I disagree. My perspective: I think therefore, I’m thinking. I’m metathinking, therefore, I wish my brain would quiet down.

My thinking doesn’t always mean so much. It’s just a lot of thinking.