Pictures of Time

Memory is a powerful and essential thing that a person possesses. Without the ability to encode, store, and retrieve information, an individual is doomed to have no memories and stored information throughout his life. A person may even not able to determine his own identity and personality without memories. A person’s opinion on his personal identity is based undeniably on his memories. However, one may say that no single memory is necessary for an individual’s identity. This is because self-identity is perceived through time and a collection of memories shape this personal identity. Memories of family experiences, peer pressures, learned lessons, and even emotional trauma also help in developing a person’s personality.

In my twenty years of existence, I have generated a lot of experiences and the memories that came along with those. These experiences helped me to become the person I am now. I am shaped by the different criticisms and expectations of people around me. Since I was a child, family and friends generally count on my best potentials. There were times I had been successful and also times that I was not. Nonetheless, I continue to have the drive to achieve because past experiences dictate that I am more appreciated when I am successful in my endeavours. Especially in school, I am determined to succeed and finish my studies with flying colours.

But in line with this, I have also developed a certain fear on rejection and failure. It seems that I have grown to be a perfectionist and one who is allergic to mistakes and imperfections. Constant negative feedback by people around me since I was small tend to make feel that I am worthless when I fail or not able to reach their expectations. Sometimes I also have the tendency to become pessimistic and anxious on things because of this heterogeneous mixture of mental praises and censure I have acquired since.

Owing to the abilities of my memory, I am a fast learner. I can easily pick up lessons and absorb them right away given my full attention to the instructor, of course. My friends also consider me as an exhaustive story-teller. Whenever I talk with them about stories of the movies or television programs I have watched, I tend to narrate these with full details. What’s more, people close to me regard me as thoughtful and sentimental. I simply remember their birthdays or anniversaries and certainly not forget to greet them on these significant dates. Being sentimental, I keep special stuffs which I have encrypted memories of treasured persons and experiences.


On the Borderline

If I were to choose a disorder to be allowed as a legal defense for a not-guilty-by-reason-of-insanity-plea, I would pick the Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD). BPD is one of more than a few personality disorders that often interfere with a person’s ability to enjoy life or achieve fulfilment in relationships, school, or work (Salters-Pedneault, 2009).

I suggest that a person with BPD may be pronounced not guilty because of this serious mental condition. I highlighted these four factors because I believe that these signs and manifestations of BPD contribute if not influence the person’s behaviour and cognition:

 

Identity disturbance

Persons with BPD are usually unsure of their self-identity, goals, values, and even sexual identity.  Self-image may shift rapidly from extremely positive to extremely negative. Sudden and dramatic changes in self-image may be due to feelings of emptiness and cause bad performance in work or school (APA, 1994). This inner conflict can lead to paranoid thoughts (Salters-Pedneault, 2009) and periods of dissociation in extreme cases (APA, 2000).

 

Impulsiveness

Impulsive behaviour may include substance abuse such as alcohol or drugs, unsafe sex, gambling and recklessness in general (APA, 2001).


Emotional instability

Individuals with BPD may feel as if they are on an emotional roller coaster. BPD is also associated with feelings of inappropriate or intense anger and emptiness. They usually have difficulty controlling their anger and may be involved in recurrent physical fights. Negative emotional states of BPD have been grouped by Zanarini et al (1998) into four categories such as destructive or self-destructive feelings, extreme feelings in general, feeling of fragmentation or lack of identity, and feelings of victimization.

Certain patterns in relationships of people with BPD typically destabilize quickly from intimate and novelty-seeking to fearfully preoccupied, insecure, ambivalent or avoidant (Levy et al, 2005).

 

Avoidance of real or imagined abandonment

People with BPD are often sensitive to abandonment. Separation, rejection, or the perception of either threat may elicit profound changes in the self-image, thinking, and behaviour of a person with this disorder. These abandonment fears are associated to an intolerance of being alone and the need for company.


There are many theories regarding the causes of BPD. Research studies suggest that no single factor is responsible for BPD (APA, 1994). Nonetheless, it is a serious mental disorder and needs to be urgently addressed.

 

References:

American Psychiatric Association. 1994. Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders, fourth edition. Washington, DC: American Psychiatric Association. From: http://psychcentral.com/lib/2007/symptoms-of-borderline-personality-disorder/
American Psychiatric Association. 2000.Borderline personality disorder - Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth edition Text Revision (DSM-IV-TR)
American Psychiatric Association. 2001. “Consumer & family information: borderline personality disorder”. Psychiatric Serv 52 (12): 1569–70
Levy KN, Meehan KB, Weber M, Reynoso J, Clarkin JF (2005). “Attachment and borderline personality disorder: implications for psychotherapy”. Psychopathology 38 (2): 64–74.
Salters-Pedneault, K. 2009. An Introduction To Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) http://bpd.about.com/od/understandingbpd/a/whatisbpd.htm
Zanarini MC, Frankenburg FR, DeLuca CJ, Hennen J, Khera GS, Gunderson JG (1998). “The pain of being borderline: dysphoric states specific to borderline personality disorder”.Harvard Review of Psychiatry 6 (4): 201–7

I am who I am.

I am unique.

I am petite.

I am a Filipino.

I am a proud Ilonggo.

I am typically shy, quiet, and timid.

I am in love with dark chocolates.

I am a believer and follower of Christ.

I am afraid of public speeches, failure and rejection.

I am fond of the color purple and its similar shades.

I am an avid fan of American TV shows like 90210, Community, Hellcats, Glee, Gossip Girl and The Vampire Diaries, and also the British TV series Skins.

I am a graduate of Philippine Science High School Western Visayas Campus.

I am currently a senior student taking up B.S. Biology at UPV.

I am going to be a doctor few years from now.

I am left-handed and can sometimes be ambidextrous.

I am the eldest among my two siblings.

I am a loving daughter and sister.

I am a DOST-SEI scholar.

I am a good friend.

I am intelligent.

I am a woman.

 


Cinco

The reasoning of persons under the formal operational stage, usually adolescents and older, may be wide-ranged but these thoughts may not be synthesized and expressed in an organized way.

The fifth stage of Piaget’s cognitive stages I might suggest is what I would call organized operational stage where logic or reasoning is organized into more practical and systematic forms. This is theoretically manifested in adults aged 23 and above.

Different, sometimes opposing, thoughts typically cloud an adult’s mind whenever he encounters problems or issues but then this proposed fifth stage explains why most people tend to reason in variable numbers and according to categories. Through experiences gained along the course of life, we can say that adults tend to develop a mechanism of organizing his knowledge into certain categories. These categories are various perspectives critically used during cognitive processes. These include biological, social, moral, psychological, cultural, and spiritual categories of logical thinking and reasoning. The ideals, cultural beliefs and practices, and how the person was brought up may shape the person’s concept of each of these categories.

In addition to this, adults at this proposed fifth stage is more likely to consider feasible and realistic options rather than too hypothetical and imaginary choices. This is because people are now able to sort things in a systematic fashion and choose among the numerous perspectives the most practical and reasonable.

Theoretically, this proposed stage has a number of drawbacks regardless of its improvements from formal
operational stage. Adults at this stage may have reduced memory retention and loss of imaginative skills, although they have the highest degree of reasoning as suggested. Perhaps because of the integrated and systematic form of reasoning, memory skills are lowered. They usually have the tendency to forget things. Also, their minds become dull and preoccupied with figures and matters of consequences that they lose their imagination and settle for realistic thoughts.


Your Personal Brain Designer

If I were to design the brain differently, I would just generally enhance some of the advanced and valuable but intricate structures of the brain to render humans more adaptive of their physical and social environment.

First, I would upgrade the visual system of the human brain. Vision is important because it helps us to see objects and events around us and to perceive these things in multiple ways such as color, size, shape, and its other details (Faye, 2008).  I will specifically upgrade the primary visual cortex that is responsible for the conscious processing of visual input and will also enhance the function of the superior colliculus in the midbrain as processors of reflexive visual input. Not only that but also I would expand the associative cortical regions in the parietal and frontal lobe. These specific parts can integrate multiple inputs thus providing people with an adaptive mechanism of vision (Toga, 2008).

Second, I will enhance the ascending reticular activating system of the brain. I will probably lengthen and widen this net-like formation of nuclei that runs up the brain stem. It is because of the vital functions of this structure that it deserves an enhancement, a greater size for greater efficiency. This specialized part of the brain stem controls metabolic processes like respiration, cardiovascular function and digestion. Upgrade of this structure is also essential for man’s further adaptation through increased regulation of a person’s level of alertness and patterns of sleep (Toga, 2008).

Last, but certainly not the least, I will enrich the parts responsible for the memory skills of the brain. Memory is significant to humans because it serves as the stored information of essentially all of our daily activities. It gives us access to past experiences, as well as, grants us language comprehension, facial recognition and skills mastery (Roediger, 2008). The short-term memory is thought to be located in the deep temporal lobe while long-term memory is probably between the medial temporal lobe, cortical regions, and the midbrain (Toga, 2008).

References:

Faye, Eleanor E. “Vision.” Microsoft® Encarta® 2009 [DVD]. Redmond, WA: Microsoft Corporation, 2008.

Roediger, Henry L. “Memory (psychology).” Microsoft® Encarta® 2009 [DVD]. Redmond, WA: Microsoft Corporation, 2008.

Toga, Arthur W. “Brain.” Microsoft® Encarta® 2009 [DVD]. Redmond, WA: Microsoft Corporation, 2008.

Desperate much?

Ang Baboy

By John Iremil Teodoro

Sugot takun nga mangin baboy
Kon ang tangkal ko ang mga butkon mo.
Basta damogan mo lang ako
Kang imo nga yuhum kag haruk
Aga, hapon.
Dali man lang ako patambukun.
Ang pangako mo man lang
Ang indi ako pagpabay-an
Amo ang bitamina nga akun
Ginatomar.
Kag kon gabii gani
Ang mga hapuhap mo man lang
Sa akun likod kag dughan
Ang makapahuraguk kanakun.

The poem tells about the need for tender loving care, protection, and romance. However, I think the underlying emotion that shaped the context of this poem is desperation for love. A pig is usually associated with concepts of dirt and stench; hence, it is subordinating, offensive, or derogatory symbol. Allowing oneself to be a pig, in this context, for someone who could give you the kind of affection one needs is low. I think that is a desperate act.

I can say that people of almost all ages have been desperate at least once in their lives. So, does it mean that desperate acts are acceptable and not terrible? For example during our immature years, it can be the slightest act of crying loudly across the room to desperately catch someone else’s attention. Likewise, it may be spotted as blatant desperate moves such as being needy to a lover or doing anything just to feel loved in return.

Desperate behaviour puzzles me because I cannot immediately grasp its essence, mechanism, and the mere nature of it. Also, I get confused when I think of the possible factors that help contribute to desperation, and the implications it gives.

Desperate people in love are usually the ones who keep on giving unrequited love. But, how are these desperate individuals motivated to act blindly and even go low to their standards or principles without a hundred percent assurance of the desired consequence like love or romance? In doing all they can and also allowing other people do anything to them in light of desperate measures, does one get satisfaction or just a waste of time, effort and ideals? Nevertheless, why do people become desperate for a guarantee of love?

What is desperation? Why be so desperate?

Is it all about finding happiness?

Is it about trying to fulfill or accomplish something?

Is it a manifestation of fear or sadness

or is it an expression of neediness or insecurities?

Is it an act of selfishness, selflessness, or both?

Is it a form of struggle or is it just an act of smuggle?



Warning: Maldita Panda on the Loose

Have you ever encountered such creature (referring to subject of title)?

I normally sleep around 10 to 11 P.M. because those are the times I usually get sleepy. My waking up time is around 6 to 7 A.M. When it comes to my biological clock, I am a neutral type of person. I am neither a morning person who has a shorter duration of biological clock, gets so perky in the morning and sleeps early nor an evening person who tends to be active at night because of his or her longer duration of biological clock.

School works, such as assignments, term papers, reports or presentations, and examinations, typically bombard my daily schedule. These tasks also disrupt my normal sleeping patterns. Especially when I cram on school works, which by the way has been my habit, I tend to sleep late. On worse circumstances, I sometimes even pull an all-nighter just to finish them all even though it would cost my sleeping hours.

I am quite used to this problem of deficiency in my sleeping hours for the sake of my studies and my passion for it. Likewise, I tend to sleep late if I have the time to do unnecessary habits like online surfing and movie or TV series marathons, and also if I went out the whole night for parties or other friendly gatherings. Nevertheless, I cannot deny the occurrence of several side effects whenever my sleeping pattern has been violated.

To highlight these consequences, the button to my maldita mood is switched on when I don’t get enough sleep. This adverse disposition is characterized by a short supply of patience and kindness, high degree of irritability, and anger or outbursts even on petty things.

Other than being mean or cruel to others (maldita), I physically look different when I am sleep-deprived. Dark circles surround my tired eyes, worse is when my face resembles that of a panda. Also, some zits show up on my face.

Just like other persons who lack sleep, I experience lack of alertness, focus, and concentration, impaired motor coordination, and poor decision making. I also frequently have headaches when I lack sleep, that type of headache where you feel something “major major” painfully pounds your head.

The next time you see a maldita panda on the loose do not fear. It is just me who craves sleep like water to my thirst and food for my hunger. Your understanding will be highly appreciated.

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