Okay, I admit it: I am not really a schizophrenic. At least not one of the technical, psychological type. However as many of you may or may not choose to admit, I can identify with many of the characteristics of a schizophrenic. If you’re anything like me you have experienced at least one moment in your life where you were confident that you were the target of a massive conspiracy. Everyone was out to get you. Every conversation was about you. When you walked into a room, all conversation ceased and every shifty eye focused on you. Sound familiar?
What about this scenario? Have you ever felt like you were the lone survivor on a planet that was recently visited by aliens on a mission to harvest brains. As you wade through the average day, you become convinced that everyone has completely lost their minds or perhaps, never had a functioning mind to begin with. Have you ever convinced yourself that you’re the only sane one left?
Have you ever felt like you were the right man or woman for the job? Of course you have, who hasn’t right? But have you ever felt like you were the right man or woman for every job? Is everything in your wheelhouse? Are you the expert at everything? Have you become convinced that your ideas are always the best ideas? Is your motto, “My way or the highway”? While you are likely gifted and talented in a whole host of areas, it’s unlikely that you’re the best at everything. If any of this describes you, welcome to the club of average schizophrenics.
Still not convinced? Check out this definition below, but before you skim over it in an effort to dismiss any potential conviction, read it through the lens of your work environment, your family environment or wherever else you sometimes feel like life and everyone around you is coming apart at the seams.
Schizophrenia (/ˌskɪtsɵˈfrɛniə/ or /ˌskɪtsɵˈfriːniə/)is a mental disorder characterized by a breakdown of thinking in correct perceptions of reality. Common symptoms include delusionssuch as paranoia, hearing voices or noises that are not there, disorganized thinking, a lack of emotion, and a lack of motivation. Schizophrenia causes significant social and work problems.
If you read that definition with honesty and healthy dose of transparency then you’ll admit that sometimes your thinking is not always in line with reality. I call it the “intellectual hangover”. Think about it, have you ever had a thought that was completely off the charts, completely crazy. Have you ever worked yourself up into a frenzy with thoughts of irrational ideas only to wake up the next morning embarrassed by your previous night’s line of thinking. You find yourself lying in bed, rubbing your forehead unable to remember exactly what happened the night before. Welcome to the “Intellectual Hangover”. Even on our best days you and I can think things that sound just plain crazy when you say them out loud.
There are millions of us all around the globe. Because of our sheer numbers there are likely many others just like you and I that make up the members of our families, co-workers, class mates and church members. Some, you have even come into contact with through silent glances of, “Are these people crazy?” or “Can you believe he just said that?” Or maybe you’ve spent some time commiserating with other pseudo schizophrenics as you wallow in your own self pity and exchange alleged war stories. Even in light of our numbers, still others remain in the shadows, alone and wondering when the aliens will return to steal the balance of the population’s brains or perhaps just decide to name them ruler of the universe, a position they’ve always known they’ve deserved.