Where wild minds come to rest
Happy New Years everyone.
I've not visited this site for the last couple of months as (out of necessity) I've pulled out of daydream mode. (That I can do this possibly indicates that I have a moderate version of this condition. That my addictive dreaming was late onset .. I was in my 30's when it started .. is another.)
Anyway, I've just finished reading a book on brain plasticity that might interest to many of you. It's called: "The Brain That Changes Itself. Stories of Personal Triumph from the Frontiers of Brain Science," by Norman Doidge, MD. (ISBN 978-0-14-311310-2). Dr. Doidge is writing about 'brain plasticity' and how the brain can and does "re-wire" itself.
The significance to this "new" model of brain functioning speaks to how many psychiatrists, doctors & psychologists have been misdirecting their efforts towards various psychiatric treatments during the last century. The hope of this more accurate model of brain functioning is that we actually CAN redirect how our minds work: and in my opinion at least, how our condition is NOT set in stone.
By all accounts, it's a facinating read.
In my case it confirmed much that I intuited about how I could (and so far have) been able to re-direct my thinking process. I noted that my mind works in two modes in regards to fantasy and reality-based thought processes. My image of these two processes is of two river channels: one ( my DD mode channel) is very deep as I've been directing my thought processes into it, the other (reality-based) channel is far less so as I've been giving it less attention. My task for this Fall was to re-direct the flow from one to the other. What I read in Dr. Doidge's book confirmed that what I've been doing has some solid scientific evidence behind it. 20 years ago, many neuro scientists would have discounted much of my effort, and it's nice to know there is some objective evidence to support my efforts.
Regarding my efforts, while it sounds easy, it of course wasn't. I have always known that my fantasy has its own cycle. There are times when the fantasy world is very inspiring, and other times when it's anything but inspiring. This Fall I had to literally let my fantasy 'run it's course,' and when I ran out of steam with it, THEN I began to re-direct my attention as fully as I could.
To aid this, I began reading fiction for the first hour of my day to prevent going into my own story. (I started with "The Hobbit," not that it matters) I also began cutting back on my smoking as I know that habit synergizes with my imaginative abilities (I've since quit) .. and most importantly began (again) to tackle my own anxious responses to some fairly depressing life circumstances. (I'm not employed at present .. this is depressing!)
In my case, I think my daydreaming is likely more of a symptom than a cause, as again I'm a late onset dude with this condition .. though there is plenty to indicate that I have a genetic predisposition for this type of thing in my family. So who knows??
But in case this material on brain plasticity may be helpful, or at least informative, I thought I would share!
Wishing you all well in 2011!