Behavioural Investigation

In a prior post I made the commitment that I would investigate my behaviours when I experienced the onset of a depressive event. The goal of the behavioural investigation is to identify those events which trigger depression. My thesis is that by gaining an awareness of these triggers I may avoid them or, at very least, acknowledge them and thereby moderate their impact.

This thesis is dependent on a causal chain that runs from behaviour (or associated thought) to the creation of a biochemical cascade (the biochemical attributes associated with specific neuronal sequences), to a depressive response arising from those biochemical attributes. The basic thesis is that depression is: 1) a learned behaviour; or 2) an embedded neuronal sequence which is deepened through regular repetition. My goal is to “unlearn” the triggers and to avoid repetition of the event.

I believe there were a number of triggers for the current “tailspin.” These events are as follows:

  • Poor score on an online memory test
  • Delayed response to 100th blog post
  • Failure to maintain string of consecutive posts
  • Response to one full year of blogging

Each of these is addressed in the subsequent series of posts.


This is going to be a lot of work. Why do it?

My experience of a similar undertaking (see the following string of posts   –  Laughing with Dr. DThe Shock of UnknowingDendritic ForestClouseau and the Maggots ) was that it served to diffuse an event of considerable concern. By examining my own behaviour in depth, I went from extreme concern over an apparent new memory deficit to the recognition of this as an existing memory deficit expressed in a new form, a form that lacked a physical referent. I have come to accept I forget things; I had not come to accept that my forgetting includes verbal communications, or personal interactions. Forgetting a physical event has a verifiable outcome (something is clearly missing) while forgetting a non-physical event has no verifiable outcome (I was unaware of such forgetting until a unique case arose which alerted me to this fact).

In the prior case, an incipient crisis became a manageable event. This transformation gave me the confidence to address the deficit. Now that I am aware of the deficit, I can take steps to mitigate any potential impacts arising from the deficit. In the particular example cited simply having the ability to “work through” the issue and develop increased confidence in my ability to perform this “working through” has had a positive effect.

I believe the entire blog has fulfilled a similar role. I believe this is the reason that persons who suffer a brain injury exhibit an increased degree of journalling behaviour. This blog is simply an instance of journalling behaviour expressed in digital form over the Internet rather than through a line trace expressed on a paper substrate.

The blog has helped deliver a greater degree of insight and self awareness. What I need to do is find a way to transmute that into a means of earning an income.