Thursday, February 12, 2009
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?