How sane are we?
“Was insanity just a matter of dropping the act?”
― Susanna Kaysen, Girl, Interrupted
A poignant book written by a woman describing her teenage years being holed up in a loony bin suffering from something called as borderline personality disorder. It’s a book that makes you question your own sanity. How sane am I? Am I a little crazy or moderately crazy or completely bonkers? Would I be the right judge for my personality or do I need a professional to give me a ticket for my sanity. ‘Borderline personality disorder’ — after reading the diagnosis that Susanna Kaysen mentions in the book, it actually made me wonder about my mind/personality. After all, which teenager hasn’t had self-doubt about what to do with their life? What do they want out of life? What do they want to be? Or dabbled with suicidal tendencies when everything was going wrong in their lives. Feeling completely frustrated and helpless because no one understood them, not their parents, not their teachers and sometimes even their friends were unable to understand them. I know that I have gone through all of the above feelings. Does this make all of us crazy, me included? They say there is a fine line differentiating the sane and the insane. This acute sense of helplessness can probably have two outlets — we try to change our perspective and try to find a better person inside us or we spiral in our depression, become disillusioned and end up in a mental asylum. This is the fine line in our conscience/perspective that differentiates between the crazy and the normal, but perspective changes from people to people. So therefore, if I decided that I am going to make up my mind and say decide to become a biologist, I could anoint myself as sane. But if I chose to wallow in my despair and decided to slash my wrists, I would be anointed as bordering on crazy or completely insane. You see insanity is relative. Insanity — is it just your state of mind, just a matter of dropping the act? Is it up to us to hold on to it or let it go??
All this talk about sanity brings me to another question — Who are we and how much of what we are is contributed by our (a) brain (b) mind/psyche © hormones which equal to genes? It is a big question to which we still haven’t found an answer. Probably one day when we do, we could better define or differentiate sanity and insanity and also find out why and how someone finds the biologist in them and why and how someone spirals into depression and desolation and lingers on the edge…