Randolph Nesse Interview (4/5) – Richard Dawkins

Yesterday I posted “I’m a self diagnosed schizophrenic.” Steve commented and said he appreciated the below interview with Dr. Randolph Nesse. I didn’t get a chance to watch the video until today, and he’s spot on. Give it a watch. The explanation for why humans all have a little bit of something is put into perspective.

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The great thing about the current state we live in, especially in America, is that people don’t have to self-diagnose these things. It’s not to say that everyone should worry that they have cancer, rare diseases or a mental illness. But the tools and the resources available are fairly ubiquitous and available to keep our bodies in check. I wish we all did a better job encouraging each other to better health.

It makes me sad when I think of someone who might not have access, financially or otherwise, to obtain health care and/or mental health help. When I step back a little, it makes me sad that I come from a mindset that you only go to the doctor when something is wrong. I struggle with this, and try to keep myself in check. I’m not very good at it. My background discouraged mental health help. While it might not be a solid science, it’s definitely more effective to me than thinking I can self-diagnose my ills through a bottle or an illegal drug.

Sometimes I tell myself: Perhaps if I surrounded myself better with people who live healthier, I’ll live healthier. That really doesn’t work, does it. If you’re in a group where one person practices healthiness more than you do, it becomes a competition and the next thing you suffer from is going to the doctor too much. That’s what would happen to me anyway.

Isn’t it that when you surround yourself with someone who is too far advanced than you or too far behind you, you want to write them off?

Tina and I are getting our eyes checked today. I haven’t had my eyes checked by a professional eye exam ever. Never ever. I’m 35 years old, and I think it’s damn time.

In the past, I have seen a mental health practitioner. But I don’t go enough. I should.

I also don’t see doctors enough. I should. But these things cost money, and I’d rather save up for a goddamn iPad than invest in my body.

How sad is that? I would rather buy something that I know is going to be obsolete in a couple years rather than invest in my body that could be obsolete in a couple years if I don’t pay attention to it. That’s the problem with capitalism and a consumer economy, short-lived pleasures eclipse long-time investments.

In my head, I tell myself that there is an economy of health, just like there’s an economy of money. Investment is a daily practice. If you want to live longer, you don’t insouciantly smoke, drink and do drugs. Well, I don’t smoke or do illegal drugs, so I have that working for me.

You might know that I struggled with high blood pressure and I have successfully lowered it through diet and exercise. Why just last night it was 108 over 69, well below the recommended 120 over 80. Not to mention I had a remarkably stressful day working out the kinks in our Thanksgiving plans that changed.

I have bragging rights about my blood pressure, but that doesn’t mean I’m perfect.

My demon is drinking. It’s a vice. I admit it. Some days I don’t stick to the recommended two drink a day Heart Association limit. But I try really hard to limit myself. I have to force myself not to take a third, fourth or 90th beer. It’s likely genetic, but there I go self diagnosing again. I don’t know for sure. But it wouldn’t surprise me.

Regardless, I have a couple tricks I do. I make myself a cup of tea rather than crack another beer. After a cup of tea, I will grab a La Croix. It satiates the “need” for bubble and a cold beverage. By the time I finish with that, I’m so tired and ready for bed, that’s what I do. It’s the game I play with myself.

A lot of times I will justify another beer because I’ll sleep better. But I usually don’t sleep better. That’s just something my mind tells my fingers as they’re reaching for the bottle opener. The fact is, I sleep much better after a day when I exercised and drink little to nothing.

Economically, it’s not wise for the body or the bank account. And if I want to live long enough for my little Talulah to reach adulthood, I want to make sure I put limits on alcohol intake.

Honk.

Sometimes even I wonder if I can tie up one of my posts in a neat package. I’ll leave this one at where I am. Maybe it will spark conversation. Maybe it won’t.

In any event, cheers!

 

 

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