Anecdotal evidence suggests that there is a dividing line between high trait psychoticism and full-blown psychosis, as in people who wander the streets holding plastic grocery bags full of their own feces. Intuition tells me that this line is something like a cliff overlooking a slippery slope, where a single step over the fine line can set off a chain of disastrous consequences. Further anecdotal evidence, quite recent, suggests that I’ve been cavorting rather closer to the edge than I ought (in fact I ought to be moving in the other direction). Even further, I weakly suspect that the failure cycle after a temporary boost in conscientiousness may result in temporarily heightened psychoticism (of which I already have plenty, thank you). Last, I believe outside help in the form of social services would be ignorant at best, probably misguided, and possibly sadistic as in the case of CFIDS patients.
Physician, heal thyself, as they say. It therefore behooves me- even before endeavoring to maximize conscientiousness- to set up some safeguards against a possible psychotic episode of a qualitatively different flavor than merely mishearing the white noise of a box fan as prolonged conversation in the hallway (which is relatively harmless). First, I need to formalize the symptoms of increasing psychosis so that it’s easier to recognize its onset.
As I alluded above, the most immediately obvious symptom is an increase in visual and auditory hallucinations (paradolia, apophenia) and such during the day, when by rights I should be fully awake. I will also look out for what I’ve taken to calling “projecting agitation”, which is psychological projection of my own internal turmoil onto society at large, as explained in Cooijmans’ reading of The Unabomber Manifesto. Last, I’ll have to keep on the lookout for disordered thoughts or, even worse, the discontinuation of my inner monologue.
Disordered thoughts indicate a breakdown of a mental trait that I haven’t described yet, but I’ve been calling it “alignment” in my head. It describes the trait by which each individual idea in my RAM dumps becomes better ordered, more focused, longer, and better developed without any conscious attention or extra effort. Disalignment is not psychoticism, but it produces psychoticism in the same way that white noise produces paradolia.
Because humans are retarded, we rely heavily on family and social safety nets in times of trouble. Maybe this indicates poor design, but I persist in thinking we’re just a retarded version of better forms. Despite introversion, I’m no different- except that my social instincts are so misguided that I would be better off without them. That means I should set up a formal safety net, obligating someone in particular, with a written “will” or something that instructs them as to how to treat me in the event of wharrgarble. The last thing I want is to be legally entrusted, in a moment of vulnerability, to a disinterested, chronically sleep-deprived, federally approved box ticker and his legion of affirmative action hires. You know, like a nursing home.
Okay, I’ll finish with a roundup of some miscellaneous related thoughts.
-Being highly psychotic, I require a heroic level of conscientiousness to function properly. So aside from the fact that I needn’t worry overmuch about overdoing it, I should recognize that my way of life will appear to be neurotic overkill in comparison with ordinary people.
-The biggest factor is going to be quantity and quality of sleep (as it always has been for me). So this factor needs to be formalized at all levels of function, and I’ll have to devote some of my willpower to tracking it at all times.
-Philosophy has a way of increasing “alignment” in the long term, after the ideas have been properly grokked, but in the short term they create greater disorder due to general weirdness and mental contortions.
-Caffeine is a double-edged sword requiring a delicate balance. I’ve done pretty well with this, but I should formalize and analyze the effects.