Origin of Insanity
Many a psychiatrist, knowing the depths of suffering their patients go through or choosing to desensitize themselves and do what they must, can see a glimpse into what makes a person lose their mind. Why does connection mean so much to those possessing a human spirit? Why does it feel like without it, we will immediately die? Because babies left in orphanages essentially die for the same reason. Love, connection, and belonging are intrinsic needs crucial to survival and, therefore, tightly bound in the hearts of human beings.
Insanity occurs out of a call of desperation when a need is not met and where it seems impossible to meet that need. We give up hope, become disheartened, doomed, and full of despair, then, our mind unravels in an attempt to mend what’s broken.
Going insane is a trip. I’ve been on this particular trip. It’s immensely entertaining. You lose inhibitions, become a ridiculous comedian, seeing life as a simple joke, and then feel set free, intellectually powerful, and spiritually intense. As your brain reorganizes, you have vivid dreams like nothing you’ve seen before, dreams that bleed into waking life, and experience delusions or convincing beliefs not bound to everyday reality.
Treating the insane should be full of compassion. Still, given the nature of the experience, those not immersed in it themselves will have no idea what it feels like and why it’s happening and instinctually will want to suffocate and restrict the patient. Unfortunately, this is how it tends to work and why those who exhibit signs of unhinged behavior are promptly shipped away to a mental ward beyond the views of everyday passersby. Society has created an efficient “solution” to this unfortunate and inconvenient element of human experience.
These days, with the advent of the internet, and boundless technological advancement, many people identify as “different” in some way and want those differences to be noticed. They might have had trouble getting along the usual way; society might have restricted them too much to discourage them from striking out. We ridicule others to minimize the inconvenient association with the other. When grouped with those we consider “less than,” we feel rage and want to make those people change to fit in and make us look less bizarre by association. The need to belong runs deep.
Sometimes the sanest response to insane circumstances is to go insane. I don’t consider myself unreasonable or unwise to have gone through the transformation I have. I’ve been to the other side of insanity, returned, and emerged unscathed. There is nothing to be afraid of. Simply be.
Aimee Sparrow is an author, applied philosopher, and mathematician who has lived with a mood disorder for over a decade and advocates for happiness and inner peace. She is the author of Lunacy. Follow her website for more details.