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Old 09-26-2008, 05:22 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Philosophical vs. Medical Solipsism

I am researching the idea of Solipsism and have come upon the Depersonalization aspect of it in mental illness. My question is: how does one tell the difference between believing it philosophically and feeling it mentally?

I have at times felt this way, long before I even acquired an interest in philosophy. I've researched the link between depression and anxiety, and am experiencing both; I've had a hard time determining the cause of my current feelings of detachment.

Hopefully there are some doctors onboard.
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Old 09-26-2008, 10:51 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Though I am no doctor (studying computer engineering, with a biomedical engineering option), I have to say that the brain is very fascinating

the brain is a complicated thing and you are right, it is hard to differentiate between the realm of philosophy and of psychiatry (if there even is a distinction). This is why depression is such a weird thing. Some peoples brains seem naturally inclined to darker thoughts, from a neurological, rather than a philosophical standpoint. it is natural to feel crappy and depressed if you are experiencing stress of some kind, however I also know that some people are naturally more content or discontent than others.

as for "telling the difference" I think that if you truly believed in dark things, it would be something that you would admit to all the time regardless of how you feel. Whereas the latter is the opposite, coming only at times you feel the worst.

I suppose that is my two cents, I am not sure if I answered your question. I think talking with someone close about this or a counselor would help more than random forum discussion, as talking things out always helps me. Best wishes!

Last edited by thankyousir; 09-26-2008 at 10:54 PM..
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Old 09-27-2008, 05:35 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Well, which type of solipsism do you think you're experiencing? How would you describe your "current feelings of detachment."?
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Old 09-27-2008, 07:41 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Thank you...erm, Thankyousir. Your screen name makes things a little difficult
But your opinion is very close to home, so thank you for your words. It makes sense when you say that the difference may lie either in believing it all of the time or only at certain low moments.


Overall, the detachment is along the lines of what is classified, medically, as: Solipsism syndrome - a state of mind in which a person begins to feel that everything is a dream and is not real.

It's like being stuck in a haze similar to going without sleep for a day or two. The best word I've found to describe it would, in fact, be detachment; you feel so far removed from everything and everyone that you question whether they're even there or not. It's a scary feeling, a very "alone" feeling. The interesting thing, however, is that it is not constant, it is not something that invades every single day; only at seemingly random moments do they occur, I've found no solid connection between each moment just as I've found no reason that I am feeling this way.
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Old 09-27-2008, 08:01 PM   #5 (permalink)
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By the way you describe it, if I had to wager a guess, I'd say that you're not facing the philosophical branch of solipsism - proponents of solipsism don't necessarily feel that they are detached, they only derive a sense of life from the metaphysics of it all. From the sounds of it, you're actually experiencing this detachment, which is a clear sign of something happening in your mind. The fact that it's random, though, is interesting. I wish I new enough to answer your question - perhaps you should seek a psychiatrist?
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