First Step

Before I go into my ideas and theories as to why I suffer from anxiety in the first place, I will explain how my brain works. In large part the way I view the world and think about problems is fueled by my education. I have been educated as a multimedia designer and web developer. As a designer I've been schooled in the ways of Design Thinking. As a web developer I've spent a lot of time learning and working with programming languages. This has shaped the way I look at certain things.

For example, the way I look at the human psyche. For me the human mind is piece of software with a collection of functions. These functions have an input, a set of rules, and an output. The rules are fixed, we can't change these, as we can't reprogram the human brain. The output is determined by how the rules deal with the input, which in some cases we do have control over. The input is pretty much everything, it's the weather, the time of day, the people around us, pretty much everything thing that affects us. This means that if we want to change the output, we have to adjust the input.

To me changing the input started with no longer trying to work at home. Working at home is simply too distracting. Like I said before, I did everything to avoid working, even cleaning the house, which I despise doing. Even though working on my graduation caused anxiety, not being at home meant I had next no means to escape. To change the output, we have to change the input.


Thinking of the brain as a piece of software has made me understand people who take extreme actions, like commiting suicide. The rules are set, if the input is extreme enough, so will the outcome be.

Until next time.
- Stef Nijenhuis