Monday, June 19, 2017

On "The Upside of Addiction"

Few months ago, one of my (lost!) friend made an interesting comment that: "For manic depressive people, sometime mania is mentally so pleasurable that they are willing to take bouts of depression, instead of taking medicines which keep them always numb"!

In same regards, few weeks back I had an interesting argument with a colleague on Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's character Sherlock Holmes who was addicted to intravenous cocaine, and probably performed well due to it.

Though definition of addiction is relative, but it can be anything - golf, online games, alcohol, gambling, pornography, diet coke, shopping etc. etc. etc. - and right or wrong - some people thrive on it and their brilliance only shine due to it - as it energizes their mental activity. They feel dead without it.

Now I am way less judgemental for people who have any such weird habit.

As Shakeel Badayuni said

nashe main hun lakin mujeh ye khabar hai, 
ke is zindagi main sabhi pii rahe hain
Kisi ko mile hain chalakte piyale, 
kisi ko nazar se pilayi gai hai

Kisi ko nasha hai jahan main khushi ka, 
kisi ko nasha hai gam e zindagi ka
 koi pi raha hai lahu aadmi ka
har aik dil main masti rachaii gai hai


bsc said...

Very thought-provoking at least for me and yes I am with you in that attitude for I have also felt likewise for some time. You had recently blogged about poets and artists and their alcohol intake and this blog has the same ring, I would say. I have many examples (in real life as well as in 'medical practice')of Manic-depressives whose performances during Manic phase was not destructive but constructive. Before going for neurology I had some experience as a psychiatric registrar in England and met quite a few patients who taught me more of this disorder, believe it or not, than the book

Anonymous said...

Late Mathematician Paul Erdos was addicted to drugs, and it actually boosted his productivity in problem-solving. He did not have any permanent residence and used to stay with his friends while collaborating with them ("Another roof, another proof! -- as he'd say").

I read somewhere that once he had a bet with his friend about staying clear of drugs for about one month -- probably just to show that he is not addicted. He did manage it but in his own admission, his productivity suffered greatly during that time. :-)

mystic-soul said...

Uncle and Anony bhai::For long time I had a mixed feeling about this issue, as if you accept your addiction, it becomes a slippery slope. And, if you continue to fight with it, your life stays tormented forever.