Thursday, February 12, 2009

Gone, wacko?

Why does it seem harder to recognize insanity at this age? Is it because to one degree or another we are all insane?

If before we get confuse with people who can be deliriously happy one moment then get morose the next, now we know that they just aren't moody, but they are suffering from manic-depressive disorder, now more accurately (and politically correct) called bipolar disorder. And people who seem lost in another world may not be spaced out, they could be schizophrenic. While those who are particularly neat and picky are not just being difficult but could well be obsessive-compulsive.

Life seemed less complicated now as all these chemical imbalance induced behavior can be treated with therapy and pills. This is very good news for us living in the modern age – especially those in the pharmaceutical industry.

But I have always wondered though…all this little ways the mind can go whack, have these always been around? Well sometime it’s hard to tell if it’s the world or us regular folk who have gone a bit crazier through the decades. But then thinking about it, the world is as batty as it’s always been. It’s us who I think have lost our ability to cope.

You see more and more people I talk to have this general air of dissatisfaction with their lives. Something is always missing - too little money, too little time, too little joy, too little rest. The thing is, what life are we after, actually?

Oh, yes I have long given up on big life-changing question because I figure that’s what drives people nuts in the first place…all these trying to make sense of the world. But then the world doesn’t make sense and its best we just leave it at that. But somehow I think this is easier said than done as we like pondering the life changing question with some hope of going out into the world and doing life-changing things.

Somewhere along the way we have forgotten that the definition of the word exceptional does include the connotation “uncommon”, you know, something that doesn’t happen everyday. I say we’ve forgotten because we seem to be living life in anticipation of going from one heart-stopping action-packed moment to the next. But after four decades of being here, I’ve realized that it generally doesn’t work that way.

Then again if there is chemical imbalance in the brain, then trying to pound on perspective might just be as effective as trying to wish away food poisoning. I am pretty sure that happy thoughts can only go so far before they need the help of happy pills. Nowadays, a trip to the shrink can be as an everyday trip to the spa – both having to do with general well being. And it’s a welcome change to the general attitude of people. Now people understand that when someone feels inexplicably blue, it’s just some chemical going bonk.

At least there are now simple explanations for what makes a person go nuts. Soon enough, all stigma associated with psychiatric treatment will be gone. And that’s a good thing too. There’s no place for discriminating against the insane.

After all…in a world like this, aren’t we all?


Tracey said...

This is a subject, that sadly I am expert in. My husband is bipolar. He has suffered for years and years, its not something I broadcast because of the stigma. Close friends and some family members understand now, but not all.....Some people still think you should "pull yourself together" Any one who has any association with a mental illness knows this is complete CRAP. Everyone gets the blues from time to time, this is normal, but to suffer this terrible illness is a tragedy, thanks for highlighting it Odette.
Lots of love xxx

Sid Brechin said...

When I first came down with Panic Disorder I was in the Mental Health ward for 3 months. In the 3 months prior to that I had dropped 80 pounds. Not hard to do when your body is constantly in Panic mode. What people think of fight or flight mode.

To be honest I think acting a bit insane is all that can keep us sane. Being able to laugh at yourself is a great survival skill. As far as doing things that seem insane. I have been there done that and got the T-shirt. Heck I've got the whole darn wardrobe.

blue_butterfly said...

tracey, sid,
thanks for being open about it.i do have moments of laziness or is it blues where i just wanna stay in bed for the rest of my life. this didn't happen because nothing was urgent enough - quite the opposite. i think too many things were too urgent so that my system just upped and decide to go AWOL. hahaha

Angry American said...

Yeah...I've heard those words of wisdom too from lots of brainless wonders. "Pull yourself together", "Try harder", "You need to apply yourself more". In fact, my old man once said, when I was in highschool, "'ll never make it in this world kid".

He doesn't remember, most likely cause that was over 20 yrs ago. But, I remembeer like it was yesterday. I still feel that sting too. Only 3 times harder now because it really hits home these days.

I've got bi polar, OCD and PTSD. Have no clue where that last one came from but, I'm pretty sure I was born with the first two. Either way, if you have any type of mental illness, it's not just a stigma. It's more of a "why can't I be normal?" thing.

Sid is exactally right. You have to have a sense of humor and goof around once in a while. If I didn't, I'd be in a padded room right now. Or, so drugged up, I'd be staring at the walls, drooling on myself. lol

Part of the trick to a basically healthy life is, don't sweat the small stuff and have some fun when you can. Life is too short. For people like me, the reality is, the small stuff IS the big stuff.

It's 24/7. There's no vacations and no holidays from it. Just a new day or new situation with usually the same results, even if it doesn't show. My ex used to ask me, "how come you're not like this over big problems? Good question but, I still don't have an answer.

As for family and friends of people like me? I think those are the ones who suffer the most from the whispers behind your back and weird looks from others. But, that's just my opinion.

I guess I say that because being messed up is all I know. I've never been "normal". I've always been like the kid on the playground, watching all the others, wishing he could play too. Hmmm...why does that sound so familiar? lol

Anyway, before people judge us, or make lame ass comments about us "not taking our meds today", they should find out what they're talking about first. Maybe google this stuff or something. Or, better yet, spend a couple days in our shoes. :D


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