Category Archives: Seeing through mental illness

Finding ways to look outward and see the world, and understand it, through the lens of having mental illness. We can find significant ways to contribute. Most importantly, there is happiness and peace even for those of us with the demons inside. We are stronger than the demons.

Why We Are Setting Trump Up To Fail

All the madness is almost over.

Just a few more days and we can finally put all of this behind us.

Right?

Wrong.

The end of the election is only the beginning.

If we thought things were bad up to now…

elephant-2There’s an elephant in the room that people seem reluctant to recognize.

Perhaps it’s anxiety over further stigmatizing mental illness; perhaps it’s unfamiliarity with the disease; perhaps it’s just fear of being another in a long list of defendants on Donald Trump’s list of law suits.

Being mentally ill myself, I may be in a position to speak from experience and understanding in recognizing it in another.

As near as I can tell, Donald Trump is mentally ill.

Severely so.

Narcissistic Personality Disorder: A mental disorder in which people have an inflated sense of their own importance, a deep need for admiration and a lack of empathy for others. But behind the mask of ultra-confidence lies a fragile self-esteem that’s vulnerable to the slightest criticism.

When a mental illness has the added label of being a “personality disorder” it indicates an increased difficulty in managing that particular illness.

Personality Disorder: A deeply ingrained and maladaptive pattern of behavior of a specified kind, typically manifest by the time one reaches adolescence and causing long-term difficulties in personal relationships or in functioning in society.

I won’t insult your intelligence by trying to point out how this clearly describes Donald Trump. I also won’t take the time to argue if he is responsible or culpable for his actions or not.

There simply isn’t time.

ballotWhat I will strenuously state is that due to this illness, he is simply not physically or biologically capable of most jobs in society where he must lead while also simultaneously working with people.

Virtually the country unanimously agrees that the mentally ill should be kept from weapons that could be used to harm themselves or others.

Being Commander In Chief and having the final word on a nuclear arsenal would most definitely qualify as a weapon; and we haven’t had the full disclosure of a background check.

That alone is enough to recognize the danger of a Trump presidency.

But if that doesn’t do it, let’s take a look at what happens AFTER the inauguration:

He will be attacked and shunned and ridiculed and vilified; that just comes with the job. Having been snubbed by the New York Billionaire society as well as the majority of the political world, he will frantically search for validation abroad. He simply must have the chance to give those billionaire “buffoons” the finger.

But when he enters the international arena with other leaders of democratic and freedom-loving nations, they will see him for who and what he really is.

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They already do.

And they will dismiss him – if not physically then certainly mentally and emotionally.

There will be no respect, which he so desperately needs.

So who does that leave for him to seek out for sycophantic support?

Those ruthless, billionaire dictators and despots who are so eager to get him under their thumbs.

In reality, by electing Donald Trump we will be inflicting a wound that will back this injured animal into a corner.

And that is when someone in pain and humiliation is the most dangerous.

A narcissist does not comprehend or know how to retreat, to compromise, to give in.

anger4That only leaves one option: die trying.

So you see, by electing him we are condemning him to fail.

As well as all of us along with him.

Please remember that the real period of difficulty doesn’t end with November 8; it begins November 9.

Please, I beg you – don’t set us up to fail.

To those who feel helpless watching a loved one slipping into madness

This is part of a series of letters to those who may feel lost. Sometimes when we are down, discovering something in the mailbox is just the thing.

It reminds us that we aren’t as alone as we think.

Today I defer the writing to my incredibly talented and insightful daughter Alex.

A few months ago she read a humorous post online that had a throwaway sentence along the lines of “I literally went crazy. Lost my mind.”

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She thought the post was funny and didn’t think anything of it. However, someone read and responded and was offended, saying things like “How dare you make light of a serious thing” and “You don’t even know what it’s like.”

It made her pause and think about what she would say if she had been the original poster.

The following is a thoughtful response to someone who deserves to hear from someone who truly does know what it is like.

Let’s call her Susan.

Dear Susan,

To be fair, this can be a really triggering topic for some people, and for that I do apologize. I’m sorry that you’re hurting.

However, I see the humor in it.

Continue reading To those who feel helpless watching a loved one slipping into madness

To those feeling themselves slipping into madness

This is part of a series of letters to those who may feel lost. Sometimes when we are down, discovering something in the mailbox is just the thing.

It reminds us that we aren’t as alone as we think.

Today I write to a young man who feels like he is losing his mind, and it’s making him crazy – because it’s inconceivable to him that he could actually be crazy.

Let’s call him Adam.

question mark6Dear Adam,

What is real?

Lately I would imagine that has become a question you’d rather not ask, because you aren’t really sure of the answer.

Scary, I know.

One of the hardest things is trying to find the words to explain it to those around you.

You know inside, even though you don’t want to acknowledge it, that something is very, very wrong. But you have told yourself that if you just give it some time, you’ll work your way through it.

And it will get better.

Kind of like a cold.

Or a broken leg.

I wish it could be that simple, but it’s not. Here’s the hard truth:

This isn’t going to just go away; most people won’t understand that something is really wrong until it’s too late and something bad has happened; and all of your natural instincts to fight it are pretty much going to make it worse.

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Reassuring, right?

So, what’s a guy to do?

It kind of sounds crazy, but accepting that you are a little crazy will, in the end, make you less crazy.

Continue reading To those feeling themselves slipping into madness

I guess this letter is to me  

A couple of months ago I was working on a series of letters to those who were struggling with different issues and perhaps feeling lost.

Looks like I kind of got lost in the middle of it all.

Not sure it’s safe to say that I’ve been found, but I can definitely say that I’m actively looking.

P1270019And I’ll keep my eyes open this time.

You know, constant vigilance.

So, I’ll give it a whirl at taking my own advice:

Dear Greg,

Got a little too big for your britches, didn’t you? Cocky confidence about being able to be “normal” came back and bit you right in the back side of your trousers didn’t it.

That’s okay.

I still love you.

And believe in you.

I know, it’s just so enticing to feel that emotion of clarity, strength, soaring – actually just BEING alive.

In other words, our good old friend Mr. Mania.

Continue reading I guess this letter is to me  

Letters to those who may feel lost

Last May a distant cousin wasn’t able to cross back over that blurred line between what is real and what is not and became lost in suicide.

Since we shared the almost inexplicable symptoms of bipolar depression, I was able to partially insert myself into his shoes and understand just how hard the daily battle is.

Since I am a husband and father and son, I was able to partially insert myself into his family’s shoes and understand a small portion of just how much pain a tragedy such as this brings.

warriorIn response, I tried to speak for this bright and energetic and accomplished man I called Sam. I felt that Sam’s family deserved to understand a bit of what was going through his mind, and that Sam deserved to be seen not as a victim, but as one who had fought valiantly for as long as he could.

So I wrote a letter from Sam to all who may have known him, and were hurting.

That being said, I think it may be a good time to try to help those who feel like they are on opposing sides of some difficult issues. It’s important to understand that the supposed battle lines can in fact be brought into a loop which encircles everyone to be united in helping each other.

Continue reading Letters to those who may feel lost