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TripSit Nexus • Habit Formation, Cognitive Conditioning on Stims
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Habit Formation, Cognitive Conditioning on Stims

Posted: Sun Aug 09, 2015 12:33 pm
by AJAr
Driven by long-compiled anecdotal evidence—crystal clear intuitions of both my own outward behavior and quirks of cognitive nature/development observed under a broad variety of internal/external conditions—I want to start a dialogue about what destructive potential may exist of amphetamines, specifically about long-term detriments to mental health while taken regularly for long periods. The mental health concerns in mind are the more fragile and subtle factors of cognitive well-being, and particularly the potential implications of accelerated conceptualization given a baseline tendency to overthink.

I have always had an issue with compulsive revisions affecting applied work (e.g. premature optimization in the context of computer programming), traditionally called either perfectionism or procrastination depending on who you ask. I have taken on a handful of both theoretical and applied works over the past year or so, and lifelong struggles with productivity in applied work—formally diagnosed/formerly medicated as ADHD—now manifest very similarly with respect to more theoretical projects (pretentious/esoteric areas, normal on meth).

As a real-world example of my detriments and frustration, consider my experience designing and developing what I have respected as my "main" project for over a year now. My project falls within the realms of network engineering, information security, and anonymous communication, and the fact that I don't have the time of day to describe it more specifically can be taken as evidence that I do not even know for myself. I have thought up and drafted an appalling number of abstract models, most of which conflict in a subtle but crippling way, and usually I don't notice any issues until I've spent days writing about how things should work—walking around with a smile of relief for having falsely wrapped my head around that one project I've been working on forever—before that classic revelation hits me with the full weight of all time wasted to date: for all intents and purposes which motivate my efforts, I have practically no idea what I'm doing.

Usually it turns out that I'd been going on some subtle—but significant—axiom(s) that held true for many/most of my earlier design attempts, but were erroneously taken for granted as legacy cruft from some fork of abstract thought occurring several tweaks prior. I basically start over every time I get confused, then keep getting confused faster and faster still because there are tiny discrepancies and slips of the mind stemming from legacy assumptions made during all previous failures. My goals to specify and implement a concrete prototype—incorporating a final model—may never be realized if things continue as they have for the past 100+ cycles. I'm not in the business of self-fulfilling prophecy, so will keep trying to succeed until something really good or bad happens to stop me.

The fundamental detriments to my productivity in applied work are now showing up in more subtle—less readily observable—instances of cognitive activity. Today I witness semi-regular—and still worsening—compulsive developments affecting everyday trains of thought, some consequences of which are evident in my persona: my manners of interaction, articulation, and major preference toward lone contemplation. Indeed, this thread may be an appropriate time to call "case in point": I have actually forgotten the fundamental point I was compelled to share, and I'm sorry for breaking the fourth wall with the bashful apology that you're reading now, or that you've read in the past if you're presently recalling this sentence in the future. Meth makes me tense, and I have edited this post at least twenty times already.

TL;DR: Meth-infused word salad/plight of the tweaked. Grief about personal incompetence affecting organization, structure of ideas in abstract thought. Tentative suspicion that psychostimulants pose long-term difficulties pertaining to abstract thought and ideas conceived under the influence—and/or revisited under the influence, enabling revision/expansion of ideas with adverse possibilities of tangling and shuffling, and some ideas eventually complicated beyond plausible closure (e.g. satisfaction that an idea is whole and complete, difficult with immense fragmentation)—where tendencies or compulsions to revise/restart are already evident and detrimental to the user's sober cognition.