Diagnosis of Writer's Brain

"People with mental illness are very much like people without mental illness only more so." -- Mark Vonnegut

Mark Vonnegut (yes, Kurt Vonnegut's
son) has an interesting article in The Journal of Mental Health about being diagnosed with schizophrenia.

Have you ever wondered if there is some connection between madness and art? The connection has been alleged for millennia, and I personally believe there is a link between whatever genetic quirk causes writer's brain and other forms of mania, delusion and depression.

I hide my emotional state from most people I know. This includes those closest to me. I don't lie, I just don't talk about it. It wouldn't really serve any point. I know I'm abnormal and I'm okay with that. Actually, I have nothing to complain about, although when I was younger it bothered me a great deal. Many of the things I have done--you'll find some of them discussed in the author's notes in Conmergence I always felt a little guilty, because I engaged in a lot of things that some people would call "selfless," like working in a homeless shelter or in a war zone, but for selfish reasons, from this need to bring more balance to my life.

This also struck a chord:

During my recovery from my last episode a very wise friend told me that other people’s business was not my business. I felt insulted that he bothered to tell me such an obvious thing. He then said that what other people thought about me was not my business. Harder but still not earth shattering. He then went on to say that what I thought was not really my business either, which has kept me puzzled ever since. I have come to believe that I am at my best and that it is a beautiful world when my feelings are like the weather and that what I think is not my business.

This is the same approach I try to take, to observe my inner strangeness as if from the outside. And this is how writing helps, because I write it down, which sharpens my focus and enables me to view it more clearly.


Jai Joshi said…
Sometimes it does help to be distant from ourselves, to look from the outside in and just observe.

Rachael Harrie said…
Hugs to you, but I wouldn't feel guilty about doing selfless things because they will benefit you. That's kind of the best of both worlds I think - doing selfless and looking after self all at the same time :) The last piece of advice is intriguing, am going to mull over it a while I think...

N. R. Williams said…
Nice to meet you Tara. This is an interesting post. Thanks for dropping by my blog and leaving a comment about e-publishing.
N. R. Williams, fantasy author
Davin Malasarn said…
This so clearly states something I've been trying to express to people for so long! Thank you! Yes, I accept my quirks, and sometimes they are completely illogical. I accept that too. I try to tell people that they don't need to jump in and try to help me when I'm acting screwing because I know it's just me being me. It's a relief to me, but I'm not sure it helps other people!
Oh my goodness, wow, I never thought about what other people thinking of me not being my business, but it's very, very true! And even further, my own feelings on the matter aren't my business either. I've got to go think about this. Or maybe I should just let it pass. :)
dolorah said…
Gotta accept ourselves first before others can accept us.

Quirks are what make us unique.

Take care Tara.