To be or not to be

Shakespeare seems to have had discovered perhaps the most abstruse of psychological conditions. The state of indecision can be found in every individual in varying ranges- some are definite, and the other extreme lies in a psyche where one cannot reach at a decision at all, and in between lie the rest of us. Definiteness can be viewed as either regarding the confidence and faith of the subject in themselves and the concreteness of the real, physical world, where decisions are made on the basis of some assumed constancy. Or such decisions are simply blunt- the individual is of a stringent frame of mind, possibly governed by a set of rules or instructions, hard-coded into their grey matter. A third possibility may be the case where the subject is suffering from or prone to megalomania, which is an extreme case of overconfidence in self.

On the other hand, as seen from the mind of a dreamer, nothing is concrete as such, just like their whimsical impulses which tend to be the basic cause of the disability of indecision. The real world does not as such matter to such a psyche- it has its own imaginary, ever-changing world with everything uncertain except for the only definiteness of the timeless existence of this world within the individual’s brain. Also, the indecisive individual may be characterised by a lack of self-confidence and self-respect. Believe in the self is a must if one is to make a decision at all- be it of negligible importance or a matter of life and death. Even at serious times, such an individual is as insouciant and indecisive as ever. The condition possibly makes it impossible for the individual to first decide whether to trust their decision or not, which in turn results in an unwillingness to make the decision in question.

Another important factor is the subject’s fear of responsibility for the choice to be made; once made, the decision will be theirs, be it favourable (in consequence) or not. This is another instance of the person’s attempt to run away from reality back to their own, physically non-existent universe. The symptoms are as simple as the excessive advice one takes or letting others decide for you or pondering over a decision after it’s been taken. Others more subtle ones include the avoidance of choosing anything at all, or choosing something of their choice and be bent on it, being latched to it even after failing to achieve it. It should be also noted that such a subject will mostly appear to be absorbed in everything simultaneously; they may be characterised by ‘dispersed attention’.

The aforesaid condition of megalomania is perhaps the most inimical since it may result in the state of disbelief in self and possibly everything else as well. A megalomania patient may, after being brought back to the hard ground of reality, swing into sound depression- the realisation that everything they thought till that time was pure unrealistic rhetoric can make them doubt everything starting from their existence to whatever they perceive in any way.

Such swings are most common in people with an unstable psyche- a psyche where everything’s a dream or a figment of imagination or unachieved intent. Examples are many, to quote one, the classic case of Vincent Van Gogh may be cited.

For those interested, here’s a link to ‘Painted with words’,  a sketch of Van Gogh’s life:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NYnJL_0wpBo&list=PLCXZn1UZ1VdqRUfEPXK8c4syqMy4fTxNE

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