'Crazy People' Never Know They're Crazy!
When typing the title of this blog, I immediately picture Jack Nicholson's character in One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest. The 'crazy' one locked inside the 50's-inspired psychiatric hospital. The character considered less crazy than the rest of the patients. But I'm pretty sure his character---based on the glorious book of the same name---probably thought he was sane. Sort of like how I think I'm stable when I can't move from bed.
Side-Note: Yes, that's a brilliant-in-my-humble-opinion image from the film below.
First, an Apology. . .
A. Referred to a movie which some people may not have seen and thus losing some readers and also dating myself--in all of my twenty-eight years of movie watching. But, having said this, it's a pretty great movie, and an even better book, so you can't blame me, right? OK. Great.
B. Told you that if you live with a mental illness you might be, at this very moment, off your rocker. You may be--we may be--walking round' in circles and not knowing it; perhaps our eyes are half closed when we are certain we can reach for the sun!
Jokes aside, this blog is meant to focus on a serious issue: Often, when you live with a mental illness, you may not be acutely aware of when you lose stability.
Recognizing Signs of Mental Health Relapse
And Learning to Accept Feedback
Mental illness is so insidious--almost evil in the way in which it can slowly encompass your mind. One day you may be making breakfast and on your way to work. All seems right in the world. A month later you might not have had breakfast in three weeks. You may be lying in bed on Monday morning instead of walking out the door with a thermos full of coffee. Mental stability can change so slowly you may not recognize it.
Let's use the example of depression: It does not happen overnight. It can happen over the span of years, days, and months. Sometimes, hours. It is because of this that it can be hard to know if we have fallen from grace. Or just fallen into a depressive stupor.
Often, those closest to us notice first. They might hesitate to tell us---nobody likes to be told they need help---but at a certain point they do. And you might get angry, but you will likely reflect on the past month. It is always with great sadness that I realize I am no longer well.
Common signs of relapse: Change in regular sleeping habits, appetite, ability to socialize and be a part of the world, a body and mind that cringe when confronted with a toothbrush and shower. The work that can be!
This is why it is important---vital to our recovery---to listen to those who tell us we need help. Even if we want to throw things or pull the covers over our head.
I have learned that it's important to have open dialouge with those whom we trust. Tell them that if we show signs of relapse to sit us down and be honest. After all, if you noticed a loved one was becoming ill, wouldn't you want to talk to them about it?
Decide who you can trust and make a personal plan of action; put self-care into high gear and make an appointment with your mental health team.
In summary: We're all a little crazy, even the sanest person among us, but when you live with a mental illness you just need to be more conscious.
(PS. Read the book or watch that movie!)
Champagne, N. (2013, August 15). 'Crazy People' Never Know They're Crazy!, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2019, August 17 from https://www.healthyplace.com/blogs/recoveringfrommentalillness/2013/08/crazy-people-never-know-theyre-crazy