I have an unfortunate personality trait where I become more and more solipsistic under stress, so that it doesn’t occur to me to solve problems or ask for help. This leads to situations that seem pretty silly in retrospect. For example, I was driving a lot today and my feet went numb from the cold (I also have Reynaud’s whenever I’m not eating enough meat). It only occurred to me around lunchtime, when I’d warmed up a bit, that I could turn on the heat in my car instead of just tolerating the problem. Obvious, but my focus had gotten so narrow that such an obvious idea evaded me. This is a silly example, but in a highly stressful situation—education is the only example, honestly—this silliness becomes a neurotic death spiral of conscientious hyperfocus at the expense of basic good sense.
On the other hand, I’ve observed an opposite phenomenon when a high-pressure situation ends and a stressed-out person becomes psychotic for a while, before evening out to their baseline sanity. I’ve seen this in myself and several others, most recently involving a guy who’d finalized his divorce proceedings and then went a little crazy for a couple of weeks. As many have noted, there appears to be a roughly inverse connection between neurosis and psychosis not unlike the dew point analogy I used to illustrate r/k cycles. Maybe there’s an analogy to be drown from the ideal gas law regarding chaotic white matter (humidity) and orderly gray matter (air), where a drop in pressure can precipitate rain (psychotic episodes).
It’s also worth noting that the recovery period from a stressful period s when the best insights are born. This makes sense if we regard introversion as a way to reflect on recent stressors and plan for ways to avoid or resolve them in the future. Depending on the level of stress, IQ, and so on, the profundity of these solutions could range from a facepalm (“don’t put yourself in that situation again”) up to Solzhenitsyn’s monumental Gulag Archipelago, which I regard as a prerequisite to reading the Bible.
A possible practical use for these ramblings would be for creative types to schedule reflective time after stressful situations, in order to distill top-shelf loosh. Pretty basic bitch, but worth reiterating.