T Nation

Why Do Humans Like to Alter Their Reality?


Is the life we live not good enough?

I'll clarify, when doing drugs: marijuana, cocaine, and mainly alcohol.

Alcohol takes away your reservations, inadequecies, meekness, and fills you with courage, bravado, and even makes you and everyone else around you look better. All the things we want to be with none of the restraints dancing in the back of our minds.

Is there a way to act and feel the way you want, without mind altering drugs?

I myself drink my fair share, I just started pondering this as I was sitting at my desk.


One really bad head wound and your "reality" could change instantly considering who you are and the way you think could largely be described as mostly complex chemical pathways that, if drastically changed, could create a new personality. I think you would need to define "reality" before you question why people would want to experience something other than what they see in front of them.

Beyond that, it seems you completely disregard issues like depression. If a person is unhappy with their "reality" why be surprised that they want to "change" it?


We're all slaves of the matrix. We gotta stick it to those machines somehow.


I speak of your average Joe humming along through life, checking off the normal boxes.

  1. Graduate from highschool
    1B. Graduate from college
  2. Get a job
  3. Build up friendships
  4. Get married
  5. Have children

It doesn't matter what stage you are in, most peoples lives point down the same path.

I am not talking of the person whose life is so off kilter they need other means to cope.

And we can debate the definition of reality forever, so I'll forgo that argument for this discussion.


Why is variety good in training? CAUSE IT JUST IS!

Okay, it doesn't really work like that, but I just wanted to say it.


Do you realize how many people fuck up at one or more of those?

One of the greatest reasons for depression in old age is REGRET. Considering how many depressed people there apparently are, I am guessing quite a few never measure up to several of their goals in life.

Your little outline may be what most people think are required in life, but SUCCESS in those efforts has much more to do with it. Getting that job won't mean much if you don't make enough money...so your wife leaves you and takes the kids...so you drink yourself to sleep at night.


So yes, there are those that drink because their lives suck.

I'm speaking more on the normal person, without the baggage and just starting off. I suppose the mere stimulus of 'fun' is good enough. I was hoping for a philosophical reasoning but the truth is reduced to just being an animalistic one.



The only reason most kids drink is because it is off limits. If alcohol weren't seen as taboo until over the age of 21, less people would "rebel" by drinking before then.

In France, drinking with a meal is very common long before the age of 21. The mystique is gone as a result.

Our own conservative moral brow beating has more to do with why teenagers start using drugs than there being some need to change reality.

It simply works out that many people would rather be high or drunk than sober once they are aware of the effects. You would have to ask them why specifically.


People with reasonably well working lives want to escape reality as well. Why? because it's boring as hell.

Very few of us will walk on the moon, pilot a starship, discover an ancient treasure and fight off Nazis.

But I can get a videogame that does all that without all of the sacrifice involved in actually doing those things.


This often starts well before high school graduation.

Why? Boredom.

Why are they bored? My guess is the really are not paying attention to what is going on around them so there is little entertainment value to be found.

Maybe changing one's reality through chemicals is just easier than changing it otherwise.

Then, of course, there is communing with the gods....


It never has been good enough.

For whatever the reasons, all throughout human history we've had an intact love affair with psychoactive substances. Blame it on our anatomy (opiod, cannabinoid receptors) maybe?


Sure there is..
Haven't you ever heard of "Fake it till you make it."
It really can work for some people. If you earnestly want to change who you are, just pick up a new set of friends and start acting the way you want yourself to be perceived by them.
Simple as that.
Just remember that first impressions DO matter. So make them good.
Maybe even try practicing the "new you" in front of the mirror. Practice until you can nail it.


This thread would probably be less boring if I were....


A hermaphrodite wearing leather chaps while riding a donkey?


It's legal to drink at the age of 16 in Denmark. Denmark's youngsters are the ones who drinks the highest volumes of alchohol in Europe. Kids overhere normaly start drinking at 13-14 though...


grow a pair of balls, take life and do what you will.

I do not advocate wanton debauchery or law breaking, I advocate living above the drudgery of life. Yeah, its boring at times, but its your choice to either let the boredom destroy you or you rule it.


because its fun,Why am I the first person to hit on this.


This post was flagged by the community and is temporarily hidden.


I think it's dumb that someone can go to war and die at the age of 18 here but they can't drink a beer legally until 21.


This thread makes me wanna roll.