Thursday, September 30, 2010

Practice Delayed Gratification

Bipolar Disorder sometimes causes impulse control issues.  You want to say something, and you just can't wait until the right moment to say it. You can't hold your tongue if it would be better left unsaid.  You can't think about it for awhile to decide the correct wording and context.  No, you blurt it right out.

This is something that a person with impulse issues might do.  It's just an example.

Sometimes how I know that my symptoms aren't being contained so well, is that I say something too fast without taking a moment to pause and think it through. My brain is just moving too fast and I'm having trouble controlling myself.

When that happens to me, I try to alter my behavior so it doesn't happen again. 

I know the importance of delayed gratification.  To function as a logical, considerate, mature human being, I work hard on pausing before I act or speak.

So many people don't.  And this is not limited to bipolar disorder. This is about the whole world of people, many of whom probably don't have any psychological diagnosis.

Photo credit:

This is best observed in rush hour traffic.  People looking down at their cell phones while driving.  They can't delay the act of reading a text, or replying to one.  So they drive around almost running into the back of the other cars because they're not looking as they slide forward in bumper to bumper traffic.

And it's not limited to cell phones.  Sometimes it is food that needs to be eaten. Or a baby in the back seat. Or something intensely interesting in the seat next to them.

There is a whole world full of people who can not set aside their impulse to pay attention to something else other than what they should be paying attention to: the road in front of them.

They would rather answer the text message even if it means crashing into the back of another car.

So, try to practice delayed gratification.  You want to do something else.  But try not to. Put it off and do it later.  This is a skill that could save your life.

(Perhaps the drivers texting have another issue: They're grandiose.  They have an inflated view of their ability to successfully multitask.)

You decide:
Are Texting Drivers Grandiose or Suffering from Impulse Control Issues?

No comments:

Post a Comment