Are You Developing a Mental Illness?

It’s the feeling that you’ve lost control. 

When your mind goes, you lose the ability to think clearly, process information and to keep things organized in your world. People who lose their mind can’t do this. What they feel is a terrifying loss of control.  

If you spend time with friends or relatives going through dementia or Alzheimer’s you’ve probably heard them mention it in their moments of clarity. Like all of us they’ve gone through their life doing things, making decisions, planning their day and being in control of their decisions. 

An unhealthy mind causes you to lose control

As the mind slips away and those synapses or connections in the brain begin to dissolve, they lose control. They become helpless. They’re like a person dropped into a foreign country in a different century who also has amnesia. They don’t know the language, they don’t know the customs. They can’t recognize the people. They can’t even remember who they are. 

This loss of control is terrifying thing.

When you lose the ability to process information and make decisions you actually lose your life. Now you have to totally put your life in the hands of those who know things because you are lost.  

So what’s the lesson for us? 

Anything can turn into a nightmare if you let it. It’s very simple. If you’re starting to get the feeling you’re losing control of your life that is a big danger sign. That feeling tells you that you need to make some changes quick. That feeling tells you you’re not Super Man of Super Women. You’ve gone bast your limit. You’ve put too much stress on your system. Your mind is trying to keep up but it can’t. If you continue in that direction, you’re running straight into menal illness. You may never get all the way there but that’s not even a direction that you want to be headed. 

So what kind of adjustments should I make?

How can I avoid letting this happen to me. Don’t get overwhelmed. Don’t get over committed. Don’t let yourself take on so many obligations that you’re running from morning until night. Retain the right to say “no” occasionally, “I don’t have time for that.”

Don’t let yourself become a victim of others demands on you. It’s so easy to fall in the process of being the agreeable one and accommodating others that before you know it you have absolutely no free time.  

You become like a gerbil on a treadmill in a cage. You can keep it up for a while but it won’t take long before you get bitter and resentful.  

Give yourself some room to breathe.

Have some space in your life. Take time to rest. Take time for some recreation. Take time for some friends. You’ll have lots of demands and lots of urgent things that need to be done but they don’t all need to be done at the same time.  

It will make you more efficient.

The more you go at a breakneck speed, the less efficient and competent you are. It’s when you’re blitzing through life that you make mistakes. You’re moving so fast that you don’t have time to notice things. When your child runs at breakneck speed through the living room, something is likely to be broken. That’s what happens to you when you operate at a frantic pace. 

As John Wooden says, “Be quick, but don’t hurry.”

There’s only so many plates anyone can be expected to balance at one time. So whether you’re a mom, dad, coach, business owner, teacher, principal, minister, or something else, remember that while you’re doing things to help others, make sure you’re being good to yourself. Don’t let the demands of your job and your desire to help drive you to lose control. Because when you lose control you’re not going to be good for yourself or anybody else.

Be productive but stay in control. It keeps you sane.

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