Monday, March 29, 2010

Maybe I'm Crazy

I've begun to seriously worry about my mental health. There have been several times in my life when I've casually thought that I could possibly be insane, but it was a thought that was never taken seriously or pursued in any way. Recently, however, I've had more reason to take that thought seriously.

I'm currently taking a sociology course, and during the second week of the course we were going through an overview of psychology and some of the more common psychological conditions. As I was reading through the symptoms and diagnostic criteria for some of these conditions, I felt like I was looking into a mirror and seeing myself clearly for the first time in my life. Depression? Yup, there I am. Post-traumatic stress disorder? Hey, there I am again! Bipolar disorder? Certainly looks like me. Compulsive eating disorder? Wow, I'm there, too. What's happening here? Is there a really screwed-up person who looks and acts exactly like me somewhere? Yes, there is, and she's sitting right here in my chair typing these words.

How could I not know that I have so many issues? How could I not know just how screwed up I really am? My guess is that, when you're screwed up from childhood, you think that you're normal simply because you have no other benchmark to compare yourself to. And yes, I probably have had some or all of these issues since my childhood, though that may be hard for some of you who know me to believe. It seems that I learned very early in life to hide myself behind a mask of happiness and normalcy, but over the past year or so that mask has been crumbling little by little, and it's getting harder every day to hide behind it. Which is probably a good thing, as it's forcing me to deal with these issues which I have pushed aside and allowed to fester for most of my life.