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Scott Adams says he's cured his Spasmodic Dysphonia
October 24, 2006 5:31 PM   Subscribe

Is optimism enough? [via]
posted by onalark (27 comments total) 3 users marked this as a favorite

 
No he doesn't. He says that for a day it has been better and he's hoping maybe he did, but even if he didn't it was a pretty nice day.

Nor does he credit optimism alone with curing himself (if he has), just with keeping him trying to find different approaches.
posted by obfusciatrist at 5:39 PM on October 24, 2006


Regardless, it's amazing news. I hope it turns out well.
posted by mrgrimm at 5:52 PM on October 24, 2006


The human brain is so. Weird.

Well done Scott!
posted by Arcaz Ino at 6:01 PM on October 24, 2006


Probably not.
posted by keswick at 6:02 PM on October 24, 2006


This is really weird, and cool at the same time.
posted by sfts2 at 6:18 PM on October 24, 2006


I can't get enough information on weird brain things.
posted by Falconetti at 6:30 PM on October 24, 2006


While I believe in the power of the mind I have this nagging feeling maybe he was just misdiagnosed and it was a psychological disorder that he managed to overcome.
posted by Octoparrot at 6:46 PM on October 24, 2006


What's the difference between a psychological disorder and a "weird brain thing"?
posted by wobh at 6:58 PM on October 24, 2006


Other posts by Adams on his ailment.
posted by obfusciatrist at 7:01 PM on October 24, 2006


I think the human race is a misdiagnosed weird brain thing.
posted by ScotchLynx at 7:07 PM on October 24, 2006


I never would've pinned him as a self-described optimist, given that his comic strip is so dead-on cynical. Perhaps he's just very persistent.
posted by fungible at 7:07 PM on October 24, 2006


Very cool.
posted by JWright at 7:09 PM on October 24, 2006


When reading about Adams, he's always impressed me with his strange mixture of deep, philosophical cynicism and an almost smarmy, self-help-ish approach to life and work. Being a bit more on the fatalist side, I often imagine that the two are mutually exclusive: deep cynicism and a can-do attitude. It's very inspiring to see someone with such an absurd view of humanity break down a problem like this, even if it was just an anxiety thing. Good for him.
posted by es_de_bah at 7:17 PM on October 24, 2006 [1 favorite]


(the grammar in my first sentence is poor; anybody care?)
posted by es_de_bah at 7:18 PM on October 24, 2006


I never would've pinned him as a self-described optimist, given that his comic strip is so dead-on cynical.

Today's post was about this optimism. Yesterday's was about how disconcerted he is whenver he finds a topic where a large number of people manage to be more cynical than him.

Cynicism and optimism aren't exclusive.
posted by obfusciatrist at 7:18 PM on October 24, 2006 [1 favorite]


When I first heard about this I thought my buddy who told me was pulling my leg. I thought "no way..." But. He wouldn't let up about it.

I guess I owe him $10. Crap.

Thanks allot Metafilter.
posted by tkchrist at 8:00 PM on October 24, 2006


He also suffers from focal dystonia whcih affects his drawing.
posted by caddis at 8:20 PM on October 24, 2006 [1 favorite]


Very interesting. I've never heard of this disorder, but I had a friend who suffered from speech aphasia for over a year while he was suffering from an eventually fatal brain tumor.

He was a biologist by profession, so even as he was dying, he found it fascinating how his various brain functions seemed to separate themselves. His speech wasn't slurred or halting in the least, but various words just WOULD NOT go from his brain to his mouth. He'd stop, and often "write" the word on his left palm with his right index finger... letter, letter, letter, and then say, "that," or "him," or "there." I'd say the word he couldn't say, usually, and he'd say, "Yes! That." And then the conversation would continue normally. It was heartbreaking and strange.
posted by BoringPostcards at 8:54 PM on October 24, 2006 [1 favorite]


I continue to find it amazing how many comments his entries get.
posted by Mr. Gunn at 9:03 PM on October 24, 2006


Cynicism is where optimism meets frustration.
posted by Navelgazer at 9:13 PM on October 24, 2006 [4 favorites]


anyone who parlayed a company comic into a worldwide gig of fame & fortune would have to become an optimist, I would think.
posted by Heywood Mogroot at 9:36 PM on October 24, 2006


Cynicism is where optimism meets frustration.

When I get old, I hope I get Alzheimer's that only affects my memory of the Bush years...
posted by Twang at 10:21 PM on October 24, 2006


It's incredibly interesting how he seems to have sort of hacked his brain...found things that worked and then pursued them further. I think it takes a certain kind of person to perceive those things and then take whatever steps necessary. Kudos. Hilarious comic, too....I read it whenever I wonder whether leaving the hellworld of corporate America was worth it.
posted by nevercalm at 11:13 AM on October 25, 2006


I think it's great. I'm all for learning more about the triumphs of the human spirit of the things that disable or hold it down.

Good on ya Scott!
posted by Inglesa Loquita at 1:36 PM on October 25, 2006


Why, yes it is! Great post!
posted by kayalovesme at 9:47 PM on October 25, 2006


I posted this in the now-deleted version of this thread. It feels a bit special-snowflake to post it again, but I'm curious if anyone else finds Adams a bit ... odd:

Scott Adams is a strange, strange dude and a bit of a slippery customer. In an appendix to the Dilbert principle, he wrote about what he called "Affirmations" -- writing down, 20 times a day, something you want to happen makes it happen apparently. He claimed they even had the power to change the result of an exam he took, while the sealed envelope was lying on his desk.

He got a huge amount of shit for it, mostly from Christians. So in a much later follow-up he said "I once advocated the power of focusing on your goals by writing them down, and they got all upset with me!? Wha!?", which struck me as more than a little disingenuous.

Recently, he wrote an article about how he is the greatest person ever, who has led a charmed life, attained everything he ever wanted and so on. I wish I could find the link so I could check again what his conclusion is. There's something about him smells fishy, and I don't like that his persona made me doubt his sincerity over this too, because it sounds like yet more "I'm great me! I'm the only person ever to cure myself of this disease!".
posted by bonaldi at 9:42 AM on October 26, 2006


I agree with you, bonaldi. Something strange is going on with this guy.

To restrict myself for the moment to his medical problems, as the information caddis has provided us shows, he has at least two separate medical problems, but they bear a strong resemblance to each other. If it's truly unheard of that anyone recovers from Spasmodic Dysphonia, I think it's very reasonable to question whether he ever had SD in the first place, and look for something else which could produce both sets of the symptoms he describes.

One candidate would have to be Myasthenia Gravis, which can cause exactly the voice problems(pdf) he describes, and which does tend to improve if you rest your voice. It also causes all kinds of other weaknesses in voluntary muscles because antibodies to the acetylcholine receptors of neuromuscular synapses are produced.

I guess I could go over to his blog and suggest he get evaluated, but he's so obviously happy with his miracle, I'd feel like I was slapping a child.
posted by jamjam at 5:05 PM on October 26, 2006


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