Saturday, February 19, 2005

Why Does a Mind Go Mad

Why does a mind go mad?

First, I suppose we need to say what mind is. In an earlier blog we defined soul as being our very core. Our inner selves. The part of us which can communicate with the reality beyond even the world we know. Our mind then is the meeting place of our brain and our soul.

Mind is more than mere brain. Today we are told by some that our minds are simply a product of brain function. They try to explain everything with chemical and electrical activity in the brain. That is not my view. I cannot prove it, but I think we all know we are more than just our physical brain that rests in our skull.

So then, why does a mind go mad. Mad can mean that a person has a mental illness. Today it is not politically correct to use the term mad when speaking of folks with mental illness, but since I have a mental illness (bipolar) I am taking the liberty. Let me be clear. Most people with mental illness does not have a mind filled with madness. So what am I speaking of when I refer to a mind going mad?

A mild form that most people have experienced is deep grief. When one is so sad that one loses touch with the reality around them. A severe form is psychosis which does occur at times with mental illness and some physical diseases. Madness to me is best defined as a major break with the reality around you. Being in a world all of your own making. Of your own making is key. There may be many realities other than our daily one that we know and hold in common with others here on earth. I am not speaking of those. I am speaking of being in a world created by you and not aware of any other world but it.

How do I know about such madness? Because I have been there. Not because I have a mental illness. My bipolar disorder (manic- depressive) has never caused me to be really mad. During manic episodes I have done some very stupid things, but I was not mad. Then what has caused me at times to experience madness? Violent childhood sexual abuse which fragmented my very soul into a million pieces.

The people I have met over the years who have been sexually abused as children have the most trouble dealing with reality. I am speaking of those of us who were abused both physically and sexually over years by a family member, close friend of the family, or a trusted leader in the community. Add to that a severe mental illness or substance abuse and you are in for some real fun.

I am not trying to put degrees on abuse so don't get angry. Sexual abuse is terrible any time by anyone to anyone. I am just saying what I have observed.

Our madness needs more than medication. It needs the embrace of a loving people in a loving place.

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