First let me say that I have a pretty eccentric make-up, and that uniqueness gives me something in common with millions, probably billions of fellow human beings. When I moved to Colorado in 1998 with my husband and infant son, I began having migraine headaches, something I had never had down in Oklahoma where I am from and much closer to sea level than Colorado. I attributed the migraines and subsequent vomiting at least in part to the altitude but figured it was a God awful painful & trying nuisance and nothing really serious serious. Well by 2006, I had plenty of stressors in my life AND nothing I would have anticipated losing my mind over. One morning fully into the first (and thankfully only) manic prodromal phase of my life, I experienced flashes of light. Hey, this is just like Paul on the Road to Damascus, I thought -- I'm really onto something here. Later, I would come to view this as perhaps a miny stroke or some other unwelcome neurological event -- at the time, I was being inspired by God. Well, it just so happened that I was scheduled to go on a business trip to Detroit for State Legal Service Developers for the Elderly across the country. Let me just say that the attendees got quite a show, but that was nothing compared to the people in the Detroit Airport where I was saying very loudly to any persons who appeared in conflict, "Praise the Lord, Praise the Lord." Let me just say here that despite coming from Oklahoma, I had a very broad liberal religious upbringing, AND what I was experiencing was far beyond that of my most conservative Southern Baptist friends. Well at this point, it's been relatively harmless. Things are just gearing up. On the plane ride back, tears are streaming down my face -- tears of joy -- because God is sending me messages through the airflight movies. My mind is going a mile a minute. I get home, AND now I'm flipping through the Bible and circling passages at an incredibly rapid rate. I don't think I can accurately describe how fast my mind is racing at this point and how many connections it is making. I'm going from one thing to another almost second by second with an impulsiveness that is hard to describe. Well, of course, I think I'm being inspired by God. One of these lightening quick thoughts involves serious harm to others -- But it's okay because we're all going to heaven. I take some steps to complete this thought AND THANK "GOD" -- there's another lightening fast "inspiration from God" that that is not the thing to do! My husband gets me to Porter South (the psych ward at Porter Hospital). I come back to reality. And now I have this terrible horrible secret.
What I want to say is that those who know me best--- my mother (who has since passed away) and my husband (oh, did I mention he has a Ph.D in Biological Psychology), never saw this coming and I certainly never saw it coming.
To paraphrase Shakespeare,
There is more to the human mind and human behavior, Horatio, than dreamt of in all your versions of the DSM.
Factors for "Mental Illness":
one's gut biome (allegedly more complex than the human genome)
"My own favorite atonement issue for Mental Illness Awareness Week this year is the lack of humility in our field. Mental disorders are among the most complex problems in medicine, with challenges at every level from neurons to neighborhoods.
"Yet, we know so little about mechanisms at each level. Too often, we have been guided more by religion than science. That is, so much of mental health care is based on faith and intuition, not science and evidence.
"On the plus side, we put a premium on listening and compassion. We help people to change through understanding. But not enough of our care has been standardized to a high level of quality, as expected in the rest of medicine."