Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Crazy vs. Scary

I’ll be the first to admit that I am a crazy woman.  It’s been a tough journey, but I think I’ve finally reached an acceptable stance on life.  I’ve risen above the dark depression that was my life and I am now functioning quite ably.  However, I’m not here today to talk about my life.   I want to write about mental illness and the paranormal.  I know a few people who have suffered from bipolar disorder, suffered way more than I have.  I have never reached the point of hallucination, but I am well aware of others who have gone down that path.  When one is hallucinating, things definitely seem a lot more paranormal than when one is not hallucinating.  Yes, that was an odd and obvious statement, but I think it is crucial to my point.  How many people who regularly experience the paranormal have something wrong with their brain?  I bet a lot of ghost problems could be cleared up with simple medications.
Of course I’m not saying that every paranormal experience is the result of a tortured mind.  I wouldn’t have this blog if that were the case.  A ghost here, a monster there; these sightings are bound to occur.  They occur because there is very likely something strange going on; something on the fringe of human understanding.  The people I will generally be talking about from now on are those who see the paranormal everywhere, yet cannot find a way to gather proof.  If you bring me a picture that just remotely looks like it has something strange in it, I probably won’t discount your sanity.  I mean, in this case, it at least looks like you’re making an effort to document what you saw.  Evidence is a good thing to have when you want people to believe you, including yourself.  If you don’t happen to have a camera or any kind of recording device on hand when a sighting occurs, it’s good to have some friends with you; a group sighting is a sure way to confirm a paranormal experience.  So yes, there are many instances when a sighting is not a mere figment of the imagination; and it can happen at any time, alone, in a group, asleep, awake, in Pittsburg.  You never know when a sighting is going to creep up on you.  Now that we have discussed the lighter side of ghosts and other freaky encounters, let’s dig a little deeper, deeper into the human mind.
Even when a person has type two bipolar disorder, strange things happen to the mind.  When I was at my lowest point, I would think that a demon was trying to possess me, or some witch doctor had put a curse on me.  Now that I am out of that depressing haze, I can see now that my paranoia was completely unfounded.  Sure, there were some scary and dark times, but everything was occurring in my head; I know for a fact that no external forces were at work.  How do I know this?  Because once I was on the right doses of the right medications, I got better.  I’ve never heard of a demon being scared off by medication.  Those with type one bipolar disorder are much worse off than me.  They see things, hear things, and believe things that simple aren’t there and aren’t true.  As in my case, I’ve seen medication stop all of these bipolar symptoms as well.  This leads me to believe, and I think I have a good reason to believe, that sometimes the paranormal is contained inside of one’s own head. 
The people who come to mind as I write this are those who can see something strange while at the same time and the same place, others see nothing.  I will admit that some people are more sensitive than others; and apparently, ghosts have the ability to show themselves to certain people.  Yet if you hang around a person and they see spirits everywhere they go, aren’t you going to question their sanity?  I would.  It sounds like paranoia and delusions to me; and for some people, it doesn’t take alcohol or illegal substances to get there.
Mental instability is a very serious thing.  Undiagnosed and untreated, it can lead to extremely severe consequences down the road.  I don’t understand why so many people are opposed to medication.  I’ve seen it work for people time and time again.  Sure, excess use is bad for a person, but that is a no-brainer.  People are worried about long term damage to their bodies; yes, this is a possibility, but regular blood tests and visits to the doctor with monitor and probably eliminate any problems.  Why are people so scared of medication?  If they try it, and the bad things go away, wouldn’t it be a relief that it was all in their head and the condition is manageable?
What really concerns me are the parents of children who see spirits.  I’m totally on board with the idea that children can be very sensitive to ghosts and emotions.  It is here that I believe each child need to be looked at on a case by case basis.  We’ve come very far in our ability to diagnose and treat mental illness.  For some of these kids, their parents refuse to even try medication.  Instead, they encourage their kids to see more and more ghosts and scary things that probably aren’t even there.  This leads to a depressed and withdrawn child; a child who has their life pretty much ruined because their parents can’t even take the time to get them to the doctor.  Think about how much grief and hurt this child could avoid if the parent allowed their kid to at least try medication.  Sure, it won’t work all the time, because some kids are actually sensitive.  But for those who have a legitimate mental illness, a few little pills could probably make the scary things go away.
So when you read a supposedly true ghost story, or talk to a paranormal witness, it’s not a good idea to take things at face value, or even as an outright lie.  If these stories about ghosts or other scary night dwellers seem to be full of holes, disjointed, or just plain unbelievable; this person might be sick.  Mental illness is not as uncommon as one would hope.  I just think a little doctor and medication intervention could ease at least some of the terror that occurs when the lights go off.

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