Episode 35: Uncertainty, by host, Laura Milkins. Our guest, Tina tells the story of her depression, and her suicidal attempt lead to successful therapy for a childhood trauma and eventual health and wellbeing. Sunday, September 11, 2016
You can find out more about her book Amanda, a fairytale that deals with childhood depression: https://www.amazon.com/Amanda-Tina-Huerta/dp/1517578329
The Atlantic (excerpts used on the show)
How Uncertainty Fuels Anxiety
One of the downsides of the mostly awesome phenomenon of human consciousness is the ability to worry about the future. We know the future exists, but we don’t know what’s going to happen in it. “In other animals, unpredictability or uncertainty can lead to heightened vigilance, but I think what’s unique about humans is the ability to reflect on the fact that these future events are unknown or unpredictable,” says Dan Grupe, a postdoctoral research associate at the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s Center for Investigating Healthy Minds. “Uncertainty itself can lead to a lot of distress for humans in particular.”
As a rule, humans prefer certainty to uncertainty. Studies have shown that people would rather definitely get an electric shock now than maybe be shocked later, and show greater nervous-system activation when waiting for an unpredictable shock (or other unpleasant stimulus) than an expected one. Where people differ is in the degree to which uncertainty bothers them.
“When nothing is sure, everything is possible.”