Two days will not pass without me noticing or interacting with someone who is mentally ill as I commute on the metro. To recount only a few situations, I've been serenaded by a woman who was sure she was Barbara Streisand, and I've been asked if I "want to hear a loud noise?!" while a guy brings the lighter in his right hand to the firecracker in his left (I got off the metro!!!).
This has made me wonder, "Why are so many people mentally ill?" What are these people's stories? Well, Dale Carnegie asked the same question and found some interesting information:
"One-half of all mental diseases can be attributed to such physical causes as brain lesions, alcohol, toxins and injuries. But the other half--and this is the appalling part of the story--the other half of the people who go insane apparently have nothing organically wrong with their brain cells."So, do people go insane by choice!?
"Some authorities declare that people may actually go insane in order to find, in the dreamland of insanity, the feeling of importance that has been denied them in the harsh world of reality..."What Dale Carnegie is trying to say, and what others like Freud and Dewey have also said, is that one of the chief human desires is to feel important. We all want to know that our existence is meaningful and will do things to validate it. Charles Dickens wrote novels, John D. Rockefeller gave millions to erect a hospital in China, Al Capone became America's best-known gangster...and my singing friend on the metro? She decided she was the Grammy Award-winning Barbara Streisand.
So, I have a few questions for us:
- Do you feel like you're going crazy? Don't yet! You were made to do something important...don't shy away from finding it.
- What are you doing/can you do to feel important?
- What does what you do to feel important say about who you are?
- Who can you appreciate more so they realize their importance?
(Quotes from How To Win Friends and Influence People)