I am curious too. I think it's a constructive question, especially since you provided helpful resources for the rest of us in your own answers.
I wonder if it might be related to a perception that any forum contribution should be long and articulate. I know I sometimes feel that is the expectation. Not confident that others share the same concern.
Personally, I really appreciate the brevity of both the question and the comments. A nice change of pace.
I am extremely relieved to hear this.
I imagine your choice to prioritize your own self care here directly benefited not only you and your loved ones, but also your students. Being a positive role model & good teacher for high school students while one's sympathetic nervous system is short-circuiting for a duration sounds pretty impossible to me.
I think taking care of yourself had a counterfactual positive impact, that prioritizing your own well-being was the best thing you could have done here, and that continuing to prioritize your own health will serve everyone.
I envision behavior rippling outward, permeating social circles and beyond like waves. Being self-aware and intentional can amplify our waves of impact, helping us shape them so that they are cogent, cohesive, cumulative....constructive. Constructive interference is the metaphor I'm looking for, I think. If you continue being mindful and caring for your well-being, you can be a positive, high impact force just by being a caring person and a good teacher to your students.
Thank you for having the wisdom and courage to reach out, for being so receptive to advice and following up with your psychologist, and for letting us know that you are okay.
Thank you for sharing this and for normalizing uncertainty. I’m glad that you landed with your feet on the ground and your head and heart intact!
Thanks for your response. Glad to hear you're working on this too.
I updated the original post to mention that for personal reasons, I am currently trying to maintain a modicum of anonymity, so for the moment, I want to remain somewhat vague about my organization and myself. That is hard, because I really appreciate and want to engage on a more personal level with many of the great people on this forum, but until I have a better sense of personal trajectory, it feels important.
Thank you for your encouraging comment.
Thank you so much for your kind, thoughtful and constructive response. It always feels good to be presumed motivated, positive and thoughtful as those are qualities I value.
In brief, applying for a grant may make sense at some point, but I should have been clearer in my original ask: I am hoping to get a sense of whether resource allocation to groups working on EA-adjacent cause areas, that are not "official EA" groups is currently a thing or not. This may be addressed in the links you shared, which I will check out; thank you.
Since not all organizations are EA or would be open to EA but many work on related causes areas, I could imagine it being impactful for a non-EA group to work on an EA-cause area, leveraging a different approach but with the same underlying goals.
For example, I imagine my climate & health impacts group would be very well positioned to advocate for animal welfare, though the major leverage points would not be around moral circle expansion / animal suffering concerns (though those are very legitimate, in my opinion). My group may be well suited to address the consequences the direct and indirect consequences of meat consumption as pertaining to human health. Direct by way of disease burden associated with consumption of meat; Indirect by way of contributions of factory farming and livestock production to air pollution & carbon-equivalent emissions and thereby to global warming, both of which, in turn, are associated with increased incidence and severity of several diseases and consequent decreases in QALY and DALYs. Notwithstanding mutually reinforcing feedback loops and threats to biodiversity, food security, poor pregnancy outcomes, increased risk of natural pandemics, increase risk of extreme climate-change related weather events, and increase risk of extreme climate change. <---Sorry, that last bit is a bit ranty and could be covered in much more detail.
I was mainly thinking along the lines of the slack groups that are made available for EA virtual groups and it may have been premature for me to throw in the word "funding" at this point.
Your "short summary" suggestions 1-3 are all useful and potentially very applicable, as are your closing 4 suggestions.
Your "pragmatic, high resolution expansion" is also great, though I'm trying to maintain a modicum of anonymity on this forum.
Again I could have been clearer in my original message I don't think my group is likely to move over to EA, but might be able to work toward making progress on some shared goals.
REALLY appreciate your support! Thank you, Charles!
Great and articulate post; thanks. Trying to follow 80,000 hours advice and my brain just plays this on repeat:
Great work and thanks for letting us know that you are doing better. I am very happy to hear this.
Please continue to take care of yourself!
I am so glad to hear that you took some very important steps and are treating your own well-being as the priority that it is. I think you are making wise decisions in taking steps to actively avoid feeding the obsessive-compulsive cycle.
I am glad you made note of the link to connect you with someone in the event of suicidal ideation ( https://www.iasp.info/resources/Crisis_Centres/).
Informal non-medical advice that I'd ask you to consider:
If you cannot see a psychiatrist, reach out to a primary care doctor and share what you've shared, with added information about what medication(s) you are on, their dosages, and how long you have been on them. Different medications affect people differently, and it's import to ensure you are on one that is likely to help you. Rare adverse reactions being rare, they still do occur, and unless you've been stable on the same medication for several months, a physician should oversee your care and rule out the possibility that you are experiencing an adverse reaction.
Also, the physician can tell you more about what to expect and whether the drug should be working at this point if you tell them how long you have been consistently taking the drug as prescribed. If you've been on it for a while and things are getting worse, the doctor might consider a different medication and/or treatment plan.
I'm so sorry to hear that your going through this. I am really glad that you have family and a partner to support you, and that you have wisdom to know that you need their support right now. Way to go.
Wishing you the best.
I'm relieved to hear that you have the self-insight and wisdom required to seek help and I am still concerned about you.
What I think I have heard you say is that you're in treatment for OCD and generalized anxiety disorder, have been prescribed an antidepressant to decrease obsessive thoughts, and have been feeling tormented and experiencing psychological distress for 3-4 weeks due to preoccupation with certain worries related to major concepts like right vs. wrong, your own potential role in influencing whether people to Hell, and fanaticism. I think you've discussed these issues with family members but not felt that responses were satisfactory. I also heard you express a sentiment that when you think about a need to focus on your well-being you feel selfish, that you are struggling with trusting your own reasoning, that on a daily basis, you consider not taking your medication due to fear that you will stop thinking about these important issues, and that you have a voice in your head taunting you or telling you that you are being irrational. Is that right?
That sounds incredibly painful and I am so incredible sorry you are experiencing this. From my past experiences working with individuals struggling with OCD, anxiety, and other ailments and from hearing you describe your current situation, I imagine contending with the concepts you feel preoccupied by may be exacerbating your struggles.
I wish I could be more helpful than just giving you informal advice over the internet, but unfortunately, this is the situation. And the best informal advice I can give is as follows:
First and foremost, if you are having thoughts of harming yourself or others, please look at this resource and contact a helpline here: https://www.iasp.info/resources/Crisis_Centres/
Next, please reach out to your psychiatrist today. If you have not shared the information you posted here in both your original and your subsequent post with your psychiatrist recently or in such plain terms, please do. If you are uncomfortable with directly sharing the posts or verbalizing the information, feel free to share my attempt at surmising what you've shared at the top of this message, assuming it accurately reflects your experience. I am concerned about you and am reasonably confident that a psychiatrist would:
a) Re-evaluate their recommendations and potentially revise your treatment plan
b) Review the medication you are on, specifically: i) whether it is necessary to take it consistently every day (as is the case with many antidepressants, e.g. many SSRI , SNRIs can lead to adverse symptoms if taken inconsistently or if abruptly stopped); ii) the amount of time typically required before the medication begins to work iii) evaluate whether you might be experiencing an adverse response, as occasionally happens and in which case there is likely a better alternative more suitable to you ( in which case it still may be dangerous to abruptly stop the medication you are currently taking, but your psychiatrist should advise you on anything related to taking or stopping medication).
To reiterate, if you decide to take this informal advice, I would ask you to first reaching out to a call center if you are having thoughts about hurting yourself or others https://www.iasp.info/resources/Crisis_Centres/ and next call your psychiatrist's office to set up an appointment, conveying the level of urgency you express in your posts. If the offices are closed today, I would encourage you to leave a voicemail if you can and send a secure message, expressing that you are struggling and need to be seen. In either case, I think printing out your posts and bringing them to a visit (if in-person), or attaching them via secure messaging will likely result in a higher level of care and lead to the best outcome.
At this moment, the best outcome, both for you and for everyone you might be able to help eventually, is for you to get back to a place where you are sleeping and functioning normally. Without that, your brain can't really contend with these important issues you mention without short circuiting, which sounds to me like what you are describing. Taking care of you is not selfish, and it sounds like it is pretty necessary right now.
Thanks again for reaching out.
Grateful for your post. It sounds like you are in significant amount of distress, and the fact that you reached out to discuss it is commendable.
You mentioned that your concerns are preventing you from sleeping and functioning normally. I am concerned about you and ask that you reach out to a counselor or psychiatrist if that is available to you. If not, I think reaching out to someone you trust and sharing your feelings is important.
When someone is not sleeping normally, emotions, fear, and reactivity can compete with one's ability to think things through and function normally. The nervous system can becomes stuck in a short-circuited sympathetic overdrive, or "fight-or-flight" mode. This is the mode you would likely be in if you were being chased by a bear and running as fast as you could to get away. The chemicals released by your brain are likely preventing you from being able to sleep and contributing to more anxiety and fear.
I would also encourage you to reach out to others in your community. Are you involved in an EA group? If so, please reach out to group members for support. Share with them that you are not sleeping or functioning normally because of these thoughts. If you are not involved with an EA group, are there other community members that you can engage with?
Some other considerations might be meditation, guided imagery, exercise or yoga. I have found these very helpful in my own life, and there are plenty of free online resources available.
I think making a conscious effort to put aside concerns that are not directly related to your self-care might be the best thing you can do right now. There is only so much that any one of us can control. Not sleeping or functioning normally is an indicator that you need to focus your energy on your own well-being.
If you are worried that you will lose track of your concerns if you don't address them all, you could keep your concerns written down somewhere. However, I would encourage you to try and avoid re-reading your concerns or spending a lot of time trying to think of concerns right now. Your own well-being is the most important thing that you have control over right now; focusing on this is the most important thing that you can do right now.
Again, I am very grateful that you reached out to share your feelings and concerns. That was brave. If you can see a psychologist or psychiatrist, I think they will be able to give you better, more tailored advice.
Wishing you the best.