<span class='p-name'>How to Know You’re Not Insane</span>

How to Know You’re Not Insane

At times you might find yourself asking your smart home device if you’re crazy.

When you’ve been emotionally abused or gaslit for a period of time, you develop mistrust in your own perceptions, emotions, thoughts, and actions. You don’t trust what you see, hear, or think.

You’re told that you didn’t see what you think you saw, or are being stupid, acting crazy, or are way too sensitive.

Eventually, over time you believe these narratives, and absorb them into the ways in which you picture yourself. This then leads to further negative behaviors as you are entirely self-critical, or beat yourself up for being too sensitive.

What is Insanity?

Insanity is a spectrum of individual and group behaviors that are characterized by certain abnormal or behavioral patterns. Insanity can be manifest as violations of societal norms, including a person or persons becoming a danger to themselves or to other people.

Insanity can include acting in a way that is totally irrational and does not contribute to your well-being or survival. This might include going out in public naked or laying down on the ground in busy public spaces. Unless of course, this is your thing. 🙂

Insanity can include going to work every day in a cubicle to earn “money” and purchase things. These things might include using this money to purchase add-ons for video game characters or support our habits & hobbies that we use to distract ourselves from our work. Some of the regular things that we do may not be the most logical, but who is judging here?!?! 🙂

Insanity can include holding very different opinions from your family, friends, and others. It may bother you a bit on a daily basis and may strain everyday interactions with those close to you. The good news is that when the mothership comes down, you’ll be one of the chosen ones. 🛸

Insanity might include spending a half-hour writing, revising, writing, revising…and then ultimately deleting…the perfect retort to a comment someone left on your social media feed. This includes then obsessing about the unsent retort for the remainder of the day while you fume. I may or may not have done this about six times in the last 24 hours. 😜

Warning signs may include:

  • Losing interest in things you usually enjoy;
  • Eating or drinking (🍸🍸🍸) too much or not enough;
  • Isolating yourself (perhaps a challenge while social distancing);
  • Seeing and hearing voices;
  • Feeling anxious, jumpy, and panicked.

A glimpse into madness

Nicolas Carter, one of the writers for Cards Against Humanity shared some guidance on the topic of madness when he was fired by the company for being insane.

Carter indicates that:

The idea of madness has been debated for millennia. Socrates believed that madness was essentially inspiration from the eternal. In the Phaedrus Dialogue, he describes how Rhetoric, the study of how to communicate, is best not taught at all in traditional methods. The best, most poetic rhetoric comes from the person who believes what they say. The words aren’t coming from them, they come from their soul.

Perhaps when framed this way, madness and insanity doesn’t seem that bad. Perhaps it is a sign that you’re truly connecting with yourself and others. The challenge is when our worldview is distorted by the expectations of society.

Carter continues:

We spend our lives turning our silence into power with yoga and mindfulness when maybe the problems we have with the world are because it’s unfair. Maybe it makes us sad or anxious to see the homeless people on the streets every day as we go to work for millionaire capitalists who don’t know our names and wouldn’t remember them if they did. Maybe knowing that I could be killed at any moment by state forces, or feeling like even when I said my opinion- even as a writer whose job it was to do that- it was inevitably stifled and suppressed, had made me mad.

How do we deal with this?

In most cases, you may want to consider that your perceptions of the world are not wrong. Your intuition is correct. You are not too sensitive, crazy, or stupid. It may just be the signals and gaslighting from others that are making you feel this way. It is part of the reason they engage in these practices…to confuse and silence you.

You might want to also consider that it is normal to feel crazy when you do some of the things that society has deemed to be “normal”.

If you do feel like this may be something more serious, there are things you can do.

  • Talk to someone. Talk to someone that you trust will actually listen and not judge you. Explain what is going on in your head.
  • Talk to a mental health professional. Sadly, we have a stigma around mental health. Talking to a person that will listen, and give you unbiased insight can be calming, and identify a plan to address these challenges.
  • Sleep. Sleep is a wonderful piece of human physiology. Our brain throws out the garbage in our body and processes some unresolved issues.
  • Exercise. Go for a walk…or run. Getting exercise will release endorphins and make you feel better.
  • Eat healthily and drink water. You are what you eat and drink. Your mood will plunge if you’re dehydrated.
  • Step away from social media. Social media is designed to capture your attention and keep you engaged/enraged. Go do something more productive. Perhaps write a blog post considering whether or not you’re insane…and what to do about it. 😊

Photo by Tengyart on Unsplash 

This post is Day 41 of my #100DaysToOffload challenge. Want to get involved? Find out more at 100daystooffload.com.

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