Thursday, 17 November 2016

A Thin Line Between Sane and Insane

Every once in a while, I come across people who hope and dream that their offspring would one day become doctors or engineers or even lawyers. While these professions are good, one ought to also consider other professions which are becoming more and more in demand or need. For example, as people become more and more stressed or emotionally challenged, and life becomes more and more hectic, we may need more and more psychiatrists and psychologists to help people in their mental health.

A case worth noting happened not too long ago where a lady, looking possibly in her mid-thirties, came to my office.She looked quite distraught and the moment she sat down, she began to sob profusely. I had a box of tissues at the front of my desk, and to my alarm, she began to soak so many tissues as if they were going out of style. Before you knew it, she had used up an entire box of tissues, 150 ply, and was still crying. I could not get a word from her, as she remained seated, sobbing and looking miserable.

I stood up, and walked behind her to see whether there was some sort of pipe or water system hidden near her ears (of course, I was being cheeky, but I could not fathom how a lady could cry so much.... it was like looking at a waterfall or flowing river, so to speak). By the time she slowed down her tears, she had used up and thoroughly soaked 3 boxes of tissues, 150 ply per box! Goodness gracious me!

The lady then stood up and walked silently from my office. I had no opportunity to chat with her, as she remained mute, and left without even a word or a glancing look. Could a psychologist or even a psychiatrist have helped her better, given their qualifications and training? I do not know, but I suspect that such situations may occur even more, given the living situation we are generally in.

I never came across that lady again, she could have been a parishioner attending one of the Masses, but until today, I have not had any chance or success in locating her to see if she needed help. I pray that she would be alright, and I hope that as time goes by, we would take more notice of our mental health, and take necessary steps to care for our mental health. After all, there is a fine line between sanity and insanity. This brings me to an e-mail which I received a while back concerning sanity:

A motorist was driving past a mental hospital when he gets a flat tyre. He goes out to change the tyre and sees that one of the patients is watching him through the fence. Nervous, and trying to work quickly, he jacks up the car, takes off the wheel, puts the lug nuts into the hubcap and accidentally steps on the hubcap, sending the lug nuts clattering into a storm drain. The mental patient is still watching him through the fence. The motorist desperately looks into the storm drain,but the lug nuts are gone. The patient is still watching. The motorist paces back and forth, frantically trying to think of what to do. Then, all of a sudden, the patient says, "Take one lug nut off each of the other tyres, and you'll have three lug nuts on each. Then drive to the nearest tyre shop to replace the missing lug nuts to secure the tyres." "That's brilliant!!!" says the motorist, "What's someone like you doing in an asylum?" "Hey pal," says the patient, " I may be crazy, but I'm not stupid."

May we stay sane and take care of our mental health, and not end up with a PhD (permanent head damage) or OKU (otak kurang upaya - Malay for brain not entirely there); and may we always let God be our loving guide.

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