People change | Forum

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SIN_JONES
SIN_JONES Aug 23
No, really they don't.
Entropic
Entropic Aug 23

Quote from SIN_JONES No, really they don't.

I'm assuming you mean in terms of personality, which I agree with, in general, people don't change. However, under extreme circumstances, they can.  Extreme situations that cause enough mental strain (PTSD), drugs, and brain damage can create profound personality changes.
SIN_JONES
SIN_JONES Aug 24

Quote from Entropic
Quote from SIN_JONES No, really they don't.
  Extreme situations that cause enough mental strain (PTSD), drugs, and brain damage can create profound personality changes.
Do you really think so?  How do you account for only certain people that 'change' because of their experiences?  By that logic, wouldn't every single person experience PTSD and Brain Damage from their trauma?
Entropic
Entropic Aug 24
Not necessarily. Some people are much more resilient to psychological trauma. 

As for brain damage, it depends on the part of the brain damaged. I'm sure you've heard of Phineas Gage, right?
SIN_JONES
SIN_JONES Aug 25
Yes and the affects of prefrontal damage are still hotly debated, even all these years later.  Back then, he appeared to function normally.  Only his friends and family said something was 'off'; which is highly subjective. 

Besides, PTSD appears to be a spectrum.  A friend of mine was in Iraq, his vehicle was hit, his group was seriously injured (a couple of the men died) he suffered a brain injury, and other physical wounds.  He was forced out after that.  The one thing that stood out to me about his condition was that he was restless, he relived the event over and over, no matter what strategies were applied to counsel him through it.  He self-medicated with alcohol and whatever prescription drugs they gave him but he wasn't over it.

He was sketchy but he never gave me a reason to think he'd trip on me.  He could have though.  You hear stories all the time, especially in the middle of the night.  They wake up, their reality is distorted and they end up killing someone.

I don't know that I'd classify that an affect on his 'personality'.  Instead, I'd say it's like pretty much ever person that suffers some kind of trauma and just can't get past it.  How different is that from say, a person that claims they were raped and/or molested as a child; then acts strange in their adult lives?
Entropic
Entropic Aug 25
My recollection of Phineas Gage was not that people could tell something was off but rather that he was prone to uncontrollable moods swings. Of course, other parts of his personality I'm sure were unchanged.

I don't think I've dealt with someone that I knew was suffering from war PTSD. I would agree it appears to be a spectrum. Actually, I think the latest edition of the DSM has a lot of things on a spectrum rather than a checklist, so that makes sense.

Have you ever met someone with amnesia?*

*Edited out irrelevant setup
The Forum post is edited by Entropic Aug 25
XiaoGui17
XiaoGui17 Aug 25
I wondered why this was in Fake News instead of Human Behavior. Then I clicked. Clever. 


I think people change occasionally, but I'd never bank on it.  Them not changing is usually a safe bet.


Edit:  Swype-o

The Forum post is edited by XiaoGui17 Aug 25
SIN_JONES
SIN_JONES Aug 26
Some People with PTSD and/or trauma claim to have memory loss. Some even go as far as saying the memory was repressed but later end up speaking on those events they claim were lost. 


Amnesia is sketch, it really depends on the brain injury.  Alzheimer's is probably a better argument because there's more physical evidence there in terms of brain deterioration. 

Entropic
Entropic Sep 11
I should have been more specific. How about chemically induced amnesia?
SIN_JONES
SIN_JONES Sep 12
What like getting Roofied?   Nah see, even that's temporary.  All the people I've personally dealt with diagnosed with PTSD wished the medication dulled the memory.  I think they purposely make efforts to forget because remembering is so traumatizing to them.  But that's not the same thing as Amnesia.
Entropic
Entropic Sep 13
No, I don't mean like from short-term memory loss. I know someone who lost most of their adult life's memories. I think this person qualifies as changed.
SIN_JONES
SIN_JONES Sep 13
What was the loss from?

I've also known stroke patients that have suffered loss, but that's brain damage. 

http://www.webmd.com/brain/memory-loss#1
Entropic
Entropic Sep 13
Ketamine induced coma.

Wouldn't any memory loss be considered some type of brain damage?
SammieSam
SammieSam Sep 13

Quote from SIN_JONES

He was sketchy but he never gave me a reason to think he'd trip on me.  He could have though.  You hear stories all the time, especially in the middle of the night.  They wake up, their reality is distorted and they end up killing someone.
I dated a guy sorta like that. We started dating after he got back from Iraq and man the story I got was fucked up. Anyway, you had to wake him up really carefully, once I startled him and he freaked out and went full choke on me. Luckily he realized relatively quickly. He later went on to Afghanistan, and he was markedly more subdued personality wise. On that trip he was much more safe and saw less action, but I remember the thing he wrestled with was that often, wives would sneak out of their houses and to his group (beaten to hell and back of course) and beg to be saved from their husbands. They were forced to turn them away. 



Also, the discussion of brain damage reminded me of an article I read a while back about a man that woke up from a coma and suddenly could speak chinese fluently. 

Link

While googling that article, a bunch more came up with brain injuries causing people to suddenly be fluent in a second language. Thoughts?


SIN_JONES
SIN_JONES Sep 14
I think primarily,there's conflating brain injury with generalized 'changes' people claim they can make by sheer will.  If they study enough, modify their behavior enough; somehow they are changed people. I call bullshit on that, vehemently.

As for changes in personality due to a brain injury, that's something else.  There are also plenty of cases where those memories are recovered over time.  Some never are.  But that's not the same thing as what I'm referring to.

Coma is a strange thing, I can tell you that.  Mine was only a mere 90 days but I have absolutely zero memory of it.  No memory of visits, medical personnel, nada. It's like I was just on pause and when I finally snapped out of it, resumed as if only a day had passed.  The hardest part of that recovery was the physicality of it.  In my mind, I was just going to get out of bed. But, because I'd been laying there so long, I fell on the floor like a sack of potatoes.  I couldn't speak.  And that took a few weeks to regain all of my strength and senses. If it hadn't been for that, I probably wouldn't have believed my doctor when he told me how long I was down.  It literally only felt like a fleeting moment.

I imagine (and this is pure speculation on my part) that people comatose for longer periods of time, have similar experiences.  I've examined quite a few cases of it.  Some people claimed they had no recollection of losing any time.  While others experienced a temporary memory loss.  Regained over time.

If the brain is permanently damaged though, that's not a changed person but rather a broken one.
Entropic
Entropic Sep 14
That's a fair distinction.

As above, I tend to agree people generally don't change.  Even with improvements in my own life, including behavioral changes, I'm still basically the same person.
dimitri
dimitri Sep 21
People do not change.
But opinions and stances do. Do they?


Entropic
Entropic Sep 22

Quote from dimitri People do not change.
But opinions and stances do. Do they?



At least in cases in which people tie their identities to their ideas, I imagine they change at the same rate.
SIN_JONES
SIN_JONES Sep 25

Quote from dimitri People do not change.
But opinions and stances do. Do they?



 A change of mind on any given subject is not an indicator of personality alteration.  Even if people put forth efforts to change their person, they typically fall back on their core. 

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