The vicious circle of suffering


I am NOT a psychologist. Just a person that had time to think, a lot of time to think about his problems. This is more what I felt and saw, but I turned it into an essay, kinda.

Fore Word

In some previously seen observations, and my own experiences, I began exploring the world of psychology. I have no knowledge of it, but I am going to write my theory that fits perfectly in my constatations. Knowing a little bit about something, and thinking you're an expert in it, makes you an idiot, but I am aware that I don't know anything about psychology. In crisis times, the human mind can, I think, become pretty special. Suddenly you see new things, new behaviours, new theories. I will keep my theory short and back it up with my recent observations.

The theory

Let me write it down specifically. The theory I imagined recently is the theory about suffering. When you suffer, your mind can't think rationally, realistically and logically. You start thinking the most extreme possibilities. As the rational human you are, you might (or might not) notice that these ideas aren't possible, or clearly unrealistic. This fight against yourself can anger you. The human has good and bad in him. You get angered by your bad side who is fighting the good. The bad side of you, the irrational, the chaos, want's you to think bad, want's you to think the radical options. It unconsciously takes control of you sometimes, and want's to do bad. After some time you notice the bad and regret what it did, but you know it will come back and then you get scared.

The radical options, it can be a lot. Conspiracies, complots, paranoic thinking, but most importantly, uncertainty. I said earlier you get angered by the bad side of you. It's because you are smart, and know it's not possible. But those radical ideas feel so comfortable, they feel so good if they were true, at least for you, but you can't be sure and you get uncertain. If you don't fight your bad side and get completely overwhelmed by it, then you will be blinded by the radicality of those ideas. You won't see the consequences of your actions, because you feel comfortable with those ideas, you think you are the victim and that everyone is against you. You think the world is bad, everyone is bad. Those ideas are a dangerous drugs that cause mass destruction, not only to yourself, but to your loved ones and your entourage. You can get addicted to radical ideas.

After causing so much misery, the radical-addict can't look over it and must face it. He sees the bad around him and will probably be shocked and suffer because of it (except if he's antipathic). His bad side who got control of his organism will invent excuses and even more radical ideas to justify everything, to fill his need of radicality. These people are deaf and won't hear the truth. Sadly enough, this becomes a vicious circle. You suffer, you get radical ideas, you suffer from them on the long-term, but you can't live without them so you double over on your daily radical ideas portion. An alcoholic's problem works the same as a radical-addict's one. Addictions all have the same mechanics.

There is a period between the radical activity and the confrontation with the misery. It can variate and it's different for everyone. Let's say one day you feel great thanks to your comfortable radical ideas. You don't see the misery of the rest and nothing is your fault. The day after you get the confrontation and feel bad, just like an alcoholic who needs his whisky after drinking a whole bottle of it yesterday evening.

OR! You, in perfect circumstances, with all your power left, break out if the vicious circle you were trapped in and develop a feeling of guiltiness after understanding the misery around you (the one you caused or coincidentally present misery). You want to help the suffering of an other. Seeing someone you love suffering makes you want to help him or her. Suddenly, you don't suffer anymore, you don't have time to suffer because you must take care of your loved one. I can't explain what will happen when the suffering of the loved one is over, I'm not this far in my research and observation. My theory on that is that after successfully helping your loved one, you feel good about it and everything will continue as if you didn't suffer. But if your help didn't help (or it wasn't welcome) then you could fall back in the vicious circle of suffering.


The radical ideas can get stimulated by uncertainty. If you don't know how the situation is, because it got too complex or other persons won't tell you all, then you get uncertain. Uncertainty rips you from the inside. You become sad and angry because of it. Questions flow through your head. You answered one and two more questions appear. It's a horrible feeling. It's a form of suffering. Saying to yourself you must trust yourself or the realistic options won't help. In fact, you can't be sure at 100%. That's what your bad side tells you, and he is right for once. But sometimes you must just blindly trust someone or something. That too will be argued down by your bad side. This process continues until you are emotionally drained by suffering and surrender to the radical ideas. I dare to say that uncertainty is one of the worst things that exist.

Briefly re-explained: Suffering brings radicalisation, and radicalisation brings suffering. Uncertainty stimulates the suffering and radicalisation. With enough will and power, you can triumph.

An example

You just read the theoretical part. If you didn't understand it that well, I'll try and lighten my theory up with an example. The example I'm going to give is very detailed so I will write down every step apart for a clearer perspective.

Imagine a boy who's in love with a girl. The 2 were great friends and knew each other for a bit of time now. The boy finally confesses but gets rejected. He feels bad and suffers a lot because of it. The girl was shocked too but wanted to stay friends with the boy. The boy cuts contact for some weeks to recover.

After a couple of weeks, the boy who suffered a lot is doing better. He still feels a bad feeling from the rejection. He loved his friend so he finally decides to resurrect the contact. The 2 talked it out and a lot of things were cleared up. The 2 look happy. The girl is, but the boy still is uncertain. He still feels that bad feeling (I suspect it to be uncertainty because it is paired with questions flowing through his mind). To be sure the boy talks it out a second time. It could be a form of denial that something wrong stayed and that it can be talked out. Again other things were cleared up but the boy's uncertainty persists.

I compare it to a spot on someone's T-shirt that persists even after washing it three times. Or a scar on your finger that stayed 20 years after you cut yourself. It just won't disappear. But unlike the spot or the scar, I found a weird solution to it.

I will disappoint you, but the solution is personal too. I don't think there are universal solutions that you can applicate on everyone (except the theoretical one that I explained earlier, but that's when everything is perfect). Every radical idea situation is different too, and each of them have a different solution to it. Back to our story.

So the boy found out that he will continue suffer. Talking it out ten times won't help. This is were the bad side appears and starts the radicalisation process. The boy is smart and rational. He fights with all his might against the bad. He wins one time on two. One day he is angry because he doesn't want and can't believe the radical ideas proposed by the bad. The day after he starts thinking. The bad proposes that he is getting exploited. That she only want's him back for a secret purpose. A smart move from him is to talk about it with a mutual friend.

I didn't explain it earlier, but talking about your complex situation to someone is a good way to appease the suffering and isolate the bad. You get the feeling you aren't alone. Writing the situation down to read it is good too if you are ready to find a solution. Back to the story.

So the boy starts explaining (or complaining). One day he is ready to continue the contact, his friend is happy to hear it. The day after, the boy thinks the girl and his other friend are secretly working together to bring the boy back into their friend group. The boy suspects them of something, but doesn't know what. He get's angry. He then complains to his friend that he must cut all contact to continue. Remove the bullet now before it starts hurting more. Cutting out the tumour in its early Phase.

This sinusoid of emotions is emotionally draining for the boy. He weakens and looses ground to the bad. If it continued, he would surrender and accept the radical ideas. But a miraculous for him opportunity came to him.

He saw the girl again, she didn't look good. With an extreme amount of courage, he asked her what was wrong. To say it briefly, she had problems with their mutual friend. Chances were big that she will loose him too. The boy then feels guilty. He doesn't want to hurt the girl he used to call friend. His radical ideas, about the conspiracies and cutting off all contact vanished. He proposed his help and guaranteed his loyalty forever.

I could formulate the solution in a very hurting way for the girl, but I won't. I still feel guilty about the fact that I in a certain way used the situation to my advantage, if she never had suffered now, then I wouldn't have seen her again. I don't wish that she suffers, it's just how it went. I couldn't imagine this situation at all.

Analysing the example

The boy went through a lot of phases. I will briefly write every one of them down.

Phase 1: entering the vicious circle

The boy entered the vicious circle of suffering just after the rejection. He had to recover and felt extremely bad. His ego was reduced to zero. During the time he recovered, uncertainty wasn't really present to accelerate the suffering. He did suffer, but it flattened out after some time and that's when he resurrected the contact. But just after that, the uncertainty returned and the vicious circle was working at full power.

Phase 2: resisting the bad

The bad proposed irrational and radical ideas to the boy. But he was rationally enough to question them and say to himself that they are completely unrealistic. This angered him and he started a fight against the bad. He refused the comfortable ideas because he knew they weren't real. One day he fought, the other he thought. This drained him emotionally.

Phase 3: Losing the battles

He weakened because of the emotion draining and the more and more upcoming uncertainty. The bad started dominating slowly but surely. The boy fought to the end with everything he had left in him. He would almost surrender.

Phase 4: The miracle (personal solution)

In this example, a personal solution appeared out of heaven. The boy on the brink of defeat could lock up the uncertainty and the bad because the girl, that used to be his friend, was suffering. His eyes opened and saw reality. He couldn't imagine creating more suffering in this world, so he completely normalized his relation with her. He will act like the friend he was before, helping her and supporting her.


I can't say if my theory is right, what I explained just appears to fit in what I observed. I probably missed a lot of details or anything. I might have even made contradictions or already proven things and that I'm just wrong. Anyways, I felt better writing this down.