All of us have seen mental patients, on the TVs or in real life as well. The most common reactions that we “offer” to the sight of these individuals usually consist of fear, disgust or of course, pity. How many of you have actually thought of trying to learn something from them?
“Well,” some of you may retort, “we’ve read about them and heard about their illnesses, and they are completely detached from reality itself! How can I, being a completely sane human being who knows how to deal with reality, learn anything from these delusional individuals?”
To that, my friends, I say the mental patients are in the wrong place. Rather, they should be where we are as we would be better off in their place. We are the ones who are in actuality, detached from reality with our judgments, biased perceptions, and distorted realities. If you even try looking beneath the layers that you have created and take even a glimpse at what constitutes “reality”, it is very much possible that your brain would not be able to comprehend the awesomeness of it, thereby making you touch that point of bliss which you call insanity. Here’s how insanity can actually be a good thing:
They are artists, creativity flowing through their veins
They can transform their reality according to the world which exists inside their heads, drift into a parallel universe which an ordinary person will call delusion. It would be a world where they have the controller switch. An example would be Zelda Fitzgerald, who was not only a socialite but a novelist and a dancer too. She even began painting after being admitted to the hospital and never quit writing. Her creativity flowed till the end of her life. The reservoir of her creativity was her rampant imagination which uncontrollably spilled into the external world, an aspect which others termed as insanity.
They are a living, breathing radio
They can produce music in their heads, humming a tune unknowingly or listening to a tune even though there is no sound around them in reality. Their imagination is so wide that it almost seems like they have a radio inside their heads which they can use to create their own tune and songs. Schizophrenics have been seen to be able to produce the sounds of instruments, even when they have never heard or seen one. They are the musicians who are content with performing only for themselves. Such was Syd Barrett, an English musician, composer, singer, and songwriter. He was a founder of the band “Pink Floyd”. Despite his mental illness, his guitar work and exploration of experimental techniques influenced many.
Their paranoia, if channelized, can help them in understanding human potential
They have a constant paranoia regarding their existence or their doings and their behavior, due to which they are afraid of being judged. Even though this may seem like an existential crisis at first view, in a surprising way, they seek betterment and improvement of themselves from that, by wanting to be appreciated. Maybe, if we could imbibe this quality of self-reflection and improvement, by avoiding the paranoia part, it could really help us discover our inner potential.
They are the masters at writing their own twisted yet beautiful stories of life
What is the best way of writing a fiction novel? To let your imagination flow from your head onto the paper through your pen. They have an artistic touch to the aspect of weaving their imagination as a whole. They can create stories in their head playing with reality, weaving stories which are hard to predict, because their flow is always unknown, many times even to them. Philip Kindred Dick, the famous American novelist, was a schizophrenic who wrote mainly science fiction novels, won ‘Hugo Award for Best Novel’ and many more. After reading Plato, he came to a conclusion that in a certain sense, the world is not entirely real but there is no way to confirm. He was proclaimed as the “Shakespeare of Science Fiction” and also influenced many writers with his work.
They have an urge to dig deeper and better themselves, almost mercilessly
They are mad enough to live, as they fight with themselves every day in order to battle the paranoia within them. More than often, the superficial paranoia is all that other people see in them, as they completely overlook the fact that they feel every aspect much more deeply and also venture much further into themselves than normal people even dare to do. They know what it requires to rage a battle against complete breakdown as sometimes, it is the only way to hold on to life itself. If we even garner a bit of their courage and delve deep into ourselves, we could very well uncover so many intensely beautiful aspects of ourselves and help in facing the darkness within.
“Insanity is an extension of ourselves” – Dan Hoeweler