Insanity is a Gift
A lot of people believe that, “The definition of insanity is repeating the same mistakes all over and over again.” This quote was often mis-attributed to Albert Einstein, and sometimes Benjamin Franklin or Mark Twain. But none of this great people created that incorrect definition. For all we know it might be just a product of someone’s “insanity.” So let me tell whoever wants to listen right here, right now.
According to law.com the definition of insanity is a mental illness of such a severe nature that a person cannot distinguish fantasy from reality, cannot conduct her/his affairs due to psychosis or is subject to uncontrollable impulsive behaviour. And if that’s the case, aren’t we all insane?Of course, I’m not saying that everyone is suffering from a mental disorder. What I’m trying to say is that we’re all a little crazy for a good reason. In the article “Why We are All Insane” Robin Nixon wrote that “Natural selection wants us to be crazyat least a little bit.”
On the Origin of Species, a book by Charles Darwin said that “It is nature, embodied in the forces that act on the process of natural selection that determines which species survive and which become extinct.” As David C. Geary author of “The Origin of Mind” (APA, 2004), and a researcher at the university explains that cooperative relationships were critical to ensuring access to food, whether through farming or more strategic hunting, and those with blunt social skills were unlikely to survive. It appears that in this generation, we are happy and advantageous than the past ones ‘but nature cares about genes, not joy,’ Geary said.
Today, one out of five Filipinos is suffering from mental illnesses according to Sen. Risa Hontiveros. And this does not include us with moderate mood swings. So, let’s take up the common types of mental disorders one-by-one. For example, Nixon states that having a bipolar disorder can increase creativity and productivity. People who are suffering from these have more sex than average people and ‘sometimes unpleasant mental states lead to greater reproductive success,’ Geary said.
So as far as our nature is concerned, sex and survival of mankind is the whole point, Nixon wrote. There are also certain types of depression that may be advantageous according to Geary. This mental state can help us in moving on from unreachable dreams; as Nixon said, “evolution likely favored individuals who pause and reassess ambitions, instead of wasting energy being blindly optimistic.” Natural selection also likely held the door open for disorders such as attention deficit or ADHD (Nixon, 2008). People who have this disorder are hyperactive that helps them become a good leader and also athletic.
Lastly, anxiety this mental disorder helps us to ponder the future while other animals focus on the present, “Only humans,” said Geary, “sit and worry about what will happen three years from now if I do that or this.” Our ability to not to take things for granted will cause us think things through before taking an action. Ergo, is insanity really a gift from God? For me, it is but not entirely. Just like Sherianna Boyle, a professor of psychology at Cape Cod Community College said, “The symptoms itself may not be a gift but the experience of the symptoms are.” These illnesses are darkness in our lives but without this we wouldn’t have been brought to light. Thus, it is not a curse but a gift.