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A Journey Into Madness March 22, 2011

Posted by Crazy Mermaid in mental illness.

A journey into madness begins with the first step. It isn’t a case where you wake up one morning and say to yourself  “Oh no! I’ve lost my mind!”  Rather, it’s more like someone who gains say 25 pounds over the course of one year.  It’s a very gradual thing.  One pound. Then a leveling off for a few weeks. Then another pound.  Then a pound two weeks after that. And so on.

The same with mental illness. One small step towards madness the first day. Maybe you think you can communicate with one person via ESP.  And then a leveling off for a little while, as that small step (communicating with one person via ESP) becomes the new “normal”.  Then a few days later, another person is added to the ESP repertoire. Day after day, another person or two is added to the number of people you communicate with via ESP. Then you start seeing green people. Then zombies. Day after day these small steps play out little by little.  Step upon step, all becoming the next “normal”.  It’s not like a heart attack where you wake up and your world changed overnight.  It’s more like Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s or some other relatively slow-moving disease where your world changes slowly but surely.

But I won’t kid you here.  The progression of my illness wasn’t in years. It was in months.   I went from being a relatively sane 49 year old professional woman (with no history of mental illness or drug or alcohol use) the first week in February 2008 to involuntary committment to a mental hospital with a full-blown case of Bipolar I with psychotic tendencies at the very end of May 2008. Almost four months from start to finish.

That would seem relatively quickly to some, but again think of weight gain.  You don’t feel every single pound of weight gain on a day to day basis. You don’t feel every single daily aspect of the loss of memory that’s the hallmark of Alzheimer’s. One little change at a time, piled upon the other little changes. And so it goes for insanity.



1. ManicMuses - March 22, 2011

In retrospect, isn’t it amazing how adept we are at convincing ourselves each, extra pound is really a ‘new normal?’ This goes on, as you sad, in such a gradual and almost casual manner that once you’ve gained the 25 lbs of madness there’s no remembering what you looked like before.

2. Badar Abbas - March 27, 2011

I agree with you. I myself went through a normal person to involuntary commitment in 6 months or so and subsequently diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia, the worst disease according to you.

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