Hobble into a room with a cast on your leg, and everyone will eagerly await your tales of drunken rock-climbing. Hobble into a room because your mind is just too disoriented to process your senses, and no one will feel comfortable talking to you about your misfiring brain.

Not even you.

I’m not sure why this is, but while most people deem it acceptable to talk about and seek help for physical issues bothering them, there’s a huge stigma against bringing up problems of the mind. Perhaps, it’s because unlike obvious physical abnormalities, much of our craziness can be hidden from life’s casual observers; and people don’t see the need to talk about things that can be swept under the rug.

But screw social norms, you know I’m going to.

Can you imagine how scary it is to have your mind and eyes wake up, but not the rest of your body? When you feel awake, but paralysed as you lie there in the harsh realisation that the rest of you often functions independent of your mind. What if you’re prone to sleeping on your tummy, and you occasionally find your mind waking up, only to realise it can’t turn your head to prevent you from choking on your pillow because your body is still asleep?

Do you then shut your eyes real tight and hope that it’s just a nightmare? Can you even tell the difference? What if your memory is just a blur and you can’t always clearly tell if something you’re recalling is an event you really experienced, a dream you had, or just something you were thinking about? When desperately devoid of feeling, you concoct something and convince yourself it’s real.

And if you can’t tell the difference, is there any?

It’s ironic that the authenticity of your experiences is really a moot concern, as failing memory is one of the first signs of a faulty brain, aside from spotty hallucinations and spooky convulsions, of course. If you can’t even remember clearly over a few weeks into the past, why would you care if what you’re recollecting is real?

Alas, another thing that’s easily affected is speech patterns. Slurred, incoherent ramblings soon replace any expressive flair you might have possessed—further evidencing your dulling senses and intellect to the world. And worse, reducing the likelihood you’re going to coherently talk about what you’re going through with anyone.

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