Anti-Psychotics


“intrusive” describes the way a thought may pop into the mind, interrupting the normal flow. A person will be thinking along, one idea leading to another, when all of a sudden—What’s this!—a new thought butts in unexpectedly, involuntarily.
Intrusive thoughts are normal. Indeed, thoughts that show up suddenly and unannounced are often intensely creative. The French mathematician Henri Poincare, perhaps the greatest scientist of his day, once described how he solved a particularly difficult problem just as he boarded a bus: “At the moment when I put my foot on the step, the idea came to me, without anything in my former thoughts seeming to have paved the way for it.”
This quality of intrusiveness is acutely prominent in obsessions. Raymond, for instance, talked of crushing visions “jumping” into his mind and of his mind “handing” him terrible heart burdens. Since his obsessional thoughts bore no relationship to previous thoughts, there was no warning of their coming. Since they did not follow the normal flow of consciousness, there was the feeling that they somehow intruded on him from outside.
Similarly, a psychology graduate student described her obsessions in this way: “I can’t stand to ride the bus any more, because awful sexual thoughts keep jumping into my mind—violent fantasies about men who sit next to me. I don’t want to have the thoughts, but they keep popping into my imagination, coming from out of nowhere. I can’t control them.”
When I suffered from troublesome obsessions in medical school, I also had a disturbing sense of loss of control. Had my thoughts been leading logically from one to another, I could have intervened and halted the progression. But my obsessions—because they intruded suddenly and without warning into consciousness—seemed unstoppable.
An obsession is not a sensation. The buzz of a refrigerator late at night can feel like an obsession: intrusive, persistent, and bothersome. But a sensory experience comes from outside your mind, whereas an obsession is a thought within it.
*7/338/2*

DIAGNOSING OCD: AN OBSESSION IS AN INTRUSIVE THOUGHT”intrusive” describes the way a thought may pop into the mind, interrupting the normal flow. A person will be thinking along, one idea leading to another, when all of a sudden—What’s this!—a new thought butts in unexpectedly, involuntarily.Intrusive thoughts are normal. Indeed, thoughts that show up suddenly and unannounced are often intensely creative. The French mathematician Henri Poincare, perhaps the greatest scientist of his day, once described how he solved a particularly difficult problem just as he boarded a bus: “At the moment when I put my foot on the step, the idea came to me, without anything in my former thoughts seeming to have paved the way for it.”This quality of intrusiveness is acutely prominent in obsessions. Raymond, for instance, talked of crushing visions “jumping” into his mind and of his mind “handing” him terrible heart burdens. Since his obsessional thoughts bore no relationship to previous thoughts, there was no warning of their coming. Since they did not follow the normal flow of consciousness, there was the feeling that they somehow intruded on him from outside.Similarly, a psychology graduate student described her obsessions in this way: “I can’t stand to ride the bus any more, because awful sexual thoughts keep jumping into my mind—violent fantasies about men who sit next to me. I don’t want to have the thoughts, but they keep popping into my imagination, coming from out of nowhere. I can’t control them.”When I suffered from troublesome obsessions in medical school, I also had a disturbing sense of loss of control. Had my thoughts been leading logically from one to another, I could have intervened and halted the progression. But my obsessions—because they intruded suddenly and without warning into consciousness—seemed unstoppable.An obsession is not a sensation. The buzz of a refrigerator late at night can feel like an obsession: intrusive, persistent, and bothersome. But a sensory experience comes from outside your mind, whereas an obsession is a thought within it.*7/338/2*

The second season, the season of maturity, is characterized by less neural flux and by greater stability of brain structures. This is the age of productive activity, when the emphasis gradually shifts from learning about the world to contributing to and molding the world around us through our individual professional and vocational activities. This is the most extensively studied season of the mind and of the brain. In fact, until a few decades ago our knowledge was limited to this stage. The standard texts of neuroanatomy, neurology, or neuropsychology, as well as dozens of books written for the general public, are mostly about this stage, so there is no point in restating much of this normative knowledge here. Suffice it to say, in our zeal for generalizations we have been treating the mature brain in rather generic terms. This is undoubtedly a useful enterprise, and a reasonable point of departure for any scientific inquiry, but only to a point. While perusing any standard text, you are not likely to encounter any reference to the gender differences in brain organization, let alone to the individual differences. But such differences do exist and we are only now beginning to understand them. From the aerial view of all humanity represented by a composite, we are gradually moving to the understanding of the neural foundations of individuality.
*7\302\2*

SEASONS OF THE BRAIN: MATURE BRAINThe second season, the season of maturity, is characterized by less neural flux and by greater stability of brain structures. This is the age of productive activity, when the emphasis gradually shifts from learning about the world to contributing to and molding the world around us through our individual professional and vocational activities. This is the most extensively studied season of the mind and of the brain. In fact, until a few decades ago our knowledge was limited to this stage. The standard texts of neuroanatomy, neurology, or neuropsychology, as well as dozens of books written for the general public, are mostly about this stage, so there is no point in restating much of this normative knowledge here. Suffice it to say, in our zeal for generalizations we have been treating the mature brain in rather generic terms. This is undoubtedly a useful enterprise, and a reasonable point of departure for any scientific inquiry, but only to a point. While perusing any standard text, you are not likely to encounter any reference to the gender differences in brain organization, let alone to the individual differences. But such differences do exist and we are only now beginning to understand them. From the aerial view of all humanity represented by a composite, we are gradually moving to the understanding of the neural foundations of individuality.*7\302\2*