|I used to have panic disorder, which I've essentially squashed through meditation practice. Panic cost me a job and a relationship, but I seem to have trained my mind well-enough of late to have PD in permanent remission.|
I also tend to be mildly bipolar. I'm not diagnosed, but I've known myself to be cyclothymic since 13. I treat this as a spiritual and personal challenge. It only affects me 10-15 days out of the average year, and it allows me to have experiences that most people never will, so I regard it as a blessing, though a mixed one.
I'm extremely sensitive to light, sound, and drugs. I don't use recreational drugs, and "social drinking" is out of the question because a 5-year-old could drink me under the table. (I love beer, but I probably drink 1-2 per month.) The high school cafeteria was torture, because lunch was the main social context of that era, and I wanted to be a "normal kid" but the intensely loud noise rendered me a social cripple.
My most beautiful but also damaging mental quirk, however, is probably hypergraphia. I don't think I have OCD, but I have an intense compulsion to write. I'm good at it. I can pound out 2000 words of coherent English prose in half an hour. Unfortunately, it can be a bit dicey. When I had a blog, I'd inevitably find myself posting inappropriate personal confessions on it... hence the reason I do not have a blog. I've ruined relationships with brutally honest emails. I also used to have a "flame habit"; I was addicted to the flow state I could attain by launching offensive/provocative discussions on Internet message boards (that was before I came here) and watching hundreds of people react. Some of these online misbehaviors have been tied to my real name but, worse yet, the "troll" era has cost me an immense amount of time that could have been better employed.
If I could divert the hypergraphic tendency into a more precise (and, frankly, often more useful) form of writing-- code-- I would be able to go from a 5-6 hacker to a 8-9 in a matter of weeks. Unfortunately, I haven't refined this mental quirk to such a degree yet. Does anyone have any suggestions?
What mental challenges have you faced, and how have you dealt with them?