Monday, October 26, 2015

Steve, I believe!

Mental Health Treatment

I'm re-reading his biography and I can't put it down. It feels like Steve Jobs is my new and annoying boyfriend. I am by turns enthralled and irritated, repulsed and charmed, inspired and disappointed. It's a rocky romance.

He was clearly a brilliant visionary (duh) but it makes me wonder what could be if brilliant people with mental illness, like him, received treatment.  Mental illness goes way, way back but even in 2015 treatment carries stigma.  People with mental illness, and the people who work with and love them, suffer needlessly when treatment is refused.

Personally, I'm a fan of traditional and Western medicine - in combo - for everything. When Steve got cancer - he didn't feel ashamed to get treatment. Part of our problem is that we artificially separate the mind and body. They are inextricably linked. Why is the body privileged for treatment but the mind is not? Especially considering that trauma is stored in the body! No artificial separation. It's all the same. Heart disease is a predictor of depression and depression is a predictor of heart disease. It's all connected.

"I was very lucky, because when I was a kid both my dad and the Heathkits [assemble-it-yourself kits for making ham radios] made me believe I could build anything (p. 16)."
Establish self-efficacy while they're young. Self-efficacy is defined as one's belief in one's ability to succeed in specific situations or accomplish a task.
"'It's kind of fun to do the impossible,' Walt Disney once said (p. 284)."
If we're not having fun, then what's the point?
"Jobs said he would provide the money. 'I believed in what John [Lasseter of Pixar] was doing,' he later said. 'It was art. He cared, and I cared. I always said yes'...By this point Jobs had poured close to $50 million of his own money into Pixar - more than half of what he had pocketed when he cashed out of Apple - and he was still losing at NeXT (p. 248)."
Jobs put his money into the people and projects that he valued. Who and what do you value?
"The quote he chose was from Lewis Carroll's Through the Looking Glass.  After Alice laments that no matter how hard she tries she can't believe impossible things, the White Queen retorts, 'Why, sometimes I've believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast.' Especially from the front rows [NeXT employees and former members of the Macintosh team], there was a roar of knowing laughter (p. 235)."
That's a good morning indeed.

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