My mum sometimes asks me, “Why do you like violent films?” My colleagues ask me, “How can you remember massive film quotes when you can't remember our names?” My drinking friends ask me, “Why aren't you going to talk to those girls at the bar?”
There's a pretty simple answer to each of these. It's “I don't know. I'm not a psychologist. I just see them.”
Psychology affects all of us, even if we don't realise. The bar hooligan trying to prove himself understands the psychology of intimidation- showing you believe you can fight will help you to do so, not that I recommend you do. The salesman hassling you on Market St believes you'll buy from him, and if you don't, someone else will. Without that belief, he might as well resign. Even bringing 'bags for life' to Tesco and checking your pre-written shopping list as you go around, handing your Clubcard over to the cashier at the end of your trip is a schema, a compilation of tasks that you have learned to do as one. Psychology underpins every aspect of our lives.
I've spent a lot of time working with people who have a psychology background. My memory difficulties are ever-present and will be with me 'til I die. I've learned, through psychology sessions with the NHS and with meetings with occasional blog contributor Fluffy Oakes, to get around them. But I've also learned about the field of psychology and how it can help more than just myself.
I was talking to my parents last Sunday night about blogging. They were suggesting that, as I've dealt with the difficulties I've had for so long and have developed so many skills to deal with them, that I'm in an advantageous position to tell people about it. This could be, they suggest, a niche that I should cover on the blog. I think I've resisted this for so long because receiving this treatment is hard work- talking about your biggest weaknesses is exhausting and sometimes humiliating, but must be done to make improvements. I wasn't ready to discuss them publicly until recently, and even now I'll cherry pick the information I want to share. (Obviously, dealing with the NHS is a private matter.)
Hence, I'm starting Psychology Saturdays, a weekly post featuring any psychology-related information I find interesting- links to blogs, news articles, public events or campaigns, advice on how to handle your GP, and quite a lot on memory difficulties and depression, and how to improve your situation if you deal with them. I'm nearly 35. I've had memory difficulties my whole life due to a head injury at birth, and have had depression since secondary school. I've learned a lot, but there's a lot more I want to learn. I'll share what I can, a week at a time, here on the blog.