I've been reading Spencer Wells's "Pandora's Seed", and it got me thinking. He mentioned that real hunter-gatherers would not engage in a stressful problem, but rather would avoid it, leave it, move on in order to save crucial resources (and stress is draining).
When I want to follow a similar technique, my therapist would tell me that I avoid the problem, that I have to face it... people with even more serious issues in that field will be told to have "avoidant personality disorder". When we think about what paleo human society looked like, suddenly social anxieties, shyness, troubles with interacting with strangers, remembering new names etc., seem really "normal" and "healthy", not something that should be changed with therapy or pharmaceuticals.
Very often our modern SAD diet is linked to depression, anxiety, autism and many other mental disorders. S.Wells predicts (based on WHO I think)that soon it's the mental illnesses that will take over chronic diseases, which took over infectious and contagious ones...
He also mentions something that really struck me - that schizophrenia might be just one too much "creativity" gene. It might also be that people with manic disorders, bipolar were the ones who caused their people to suddenly jump ahead with genius discovery of a new tool, new way of hunting, new way of communicating. Soon these people were considered shamans, special persons with special connections to the outer world. Which would also mean, the the genetic load that might cause (esp. if the material is doubled from both parents) mental disorder, was also very beneficial to the ancient communities. Similarly to physical disorders which can be potentially dangerous (sickle-cell anemia) but also save from other dangers (malaria)
What I am wondering - and i want to ask you, what other modern disorders, mental diseases, lesser social quirks, anxieties etc. (that are seen as negative treats) are actually completely normal and healthy from evolutionary, paleo perspective?
Which ones possibly developed as a natural response to paleo lifestyle, the needs of paleo individuals or their family and community that today are seen as negative character traits, inconvenient personality traits or disorders? Which ones instead of being seen as natural are portrayed as wrong?
For years (esp. in the beginning of psychiatry and psychology) so many people were considered mentally ill, only b/c they didn't fit the society's norm (uppity women for example). We still don't know much, and the doctors always look from modern perspective.
Should i just think of my personality as struggling with accepting the neolithic social stresses and requirements and move away from a city to be surrounded by no more than 150 people as we were supposed to be? :)