Losing your mind - The greatest fear known to mankind.


May 2008
i think Crisis team is Slightly different, we have crisis team too, and they provide a similar service to the one you describe.

EIP is focused more on engagement and intervention of people with first episode psychosis before they are diagnosed. i was thinking they would be a good source for you to gain data and information for your research.

Teams in the NHS will be easy to locate through the NHS websites and there will be people in the organisation that you could contact, i am sure. i could help point you in the right direction if you would like?

About EIP from source: http://pb.rcpsych.org/cgi/content/full/25/4/146
Early intervention in psychosis is a strategy for which there is increasing theoretical and
pragmatic justification. Many studies have been published describing the benefits of early intervention as carried out by specialised and innovative projects. The present paper describes how a generic community mental health team (CMHT), covering a population of 50 000, introduced strategies for early intervention with no extra funding. The team worked together to change old attitudes and practices. A style of intervention was developed to engage with and keep in contact with people with recent onset psychosis. This appears to be achievable — and this model may be an alternative to the setting up of specialised teams.

The early intervention movement

International interest in this area has grown rapidly in the past 10 years, with progress being presented in a supplement to the British Journal of Psychiatry (1998, 172, Suppl. 33). Much of the rationale for early intervention comes from changing views of schizophrenia. The old Kraepelinian idea of gradual and inevitable decline has been challenged. It has been observed that on many measures the illness reaches its peak of severity after 2-5 years, after which the level of disability remains the same or may decrease — the ‘plateau effect’ (McGlashen, 1988). Long-term outcome studies (Mason et al, 1996; Warner, 1994) have confirmed the heterogeneity of outcome in schizophrenia.

Many people who develop psychotic illness go untreated for long periods — 1-2 years on average. This untreated period may set in train processes — biological, psychological and social — that add greatly to the subsequent chronicity of the illness. Psychosis may be ‘toxic’ to the brain. Also, social and psychological damage done may be irreversible. The ‘critical period’ hypothesis (Birchwood et al, 1998) suggests that given these new insights into the illness there may be a window of opportunity for intervening early.

Early intervention is used to describe two different things. In this paper it refers to a strategy for treating early psychotic illness as quickly and effectively as possible. It involves shortening the duration of untreated psychosis and tackling the problems of non-engagement with services. It is thus a secondary prevention strategy. A second, more ambitious, early intervention strategy involves trying to intervene with people before the psychosis develops. This is an exciting prospect but is not beyond the research stage — and is not discussed here.
Jan 2009
Melbourne Australia
Early intervention is an extremely vexatious area I would imagine, even though it is certainly one worth seriously considering if certain signs are present in a persons behaviour and social function.
IMO what makes early intervention so difficult is that it requires a predetermination of what "normal" social function and beliefs are. This leads to a potential for over control over a persons freedom to have those moments of "craziness" as they move from one state to another growing as they do.

If enshrined in legislation with a code or criteria installed we would have a situation that was well and truly open to abuse and that will never be accepted for any length of time by any culture. Even now in most Western countries the standard admission practices and first diagnosis is a hugely controversial area for patient, family and friends. [ The suffering being so intense as it were this is not suprising]
However I agree there needs to be some sort of early intervention that is improved over what we currently have and I guess this is more a question of educating the public and parents as to what to look for and what to do if there are concerns. This is of course already the case but possibly improving this will make a difference.
As I mentioned in another thread topic "normality" is not the "average mean" as it consists of all the "standard deviations" from the "mean" to create the "mean". In other words Normality in to days world includes normal behaviour such as you would expect from humanity, war , violence, envy, jealousy, racism, bigotry, chauvinism, love, beauty, passion, joy, and all the rest of the things that makes us such a "colorful" yet painful race at times.

It is quite normal to to be threatened by a "drunk" on a suburban train at least once a week but by the same token it is quite normal to have a trouble free ride for 4 days of the week if you can see what I am getting at.
Normality does not equate to "acceptable" or "nice" or any other qualifier...as it encompasses a whole range of experiences.

So setting a pre-requirement for early intervention is bound to be hugely confrontational and full of conflict.
Personally I think we in the West are expecting way too much of our children and in doing so create a situation where the "norm" is a university degree, a flash house and a nest full of children...etc etc.. Thus many grow up with a massive inferiority complex and try to over achieve leading to ultimate poor results and disatisfaction. Confusing the "ideal" with the "norm"

A significant issue and one deserving of much discussion on it's own I tend to feel.
May 2011
Marble, N.C.
I feel that fear alone of fearing to lose ones mind is a catalyst in itself. We are what we think and believe. Thoughts please. pljames


Dec 2012
@ozziemate: I completely agree with you, at least that's my personal situation. I would like to add something: I think the fear of becoming something, e.g. losing the mind, originates from a "kinetic" need to "grasp" things (see 1.), coupled to the primitive brain structure (see 2.) we all have and some wrong ideas/beliefs/"feelings"/depressive misperceptions/delusions (see 3.):

1. In order to believe things you need to get hold/a grip of things, i.e. you need to "touch/feel" them, to have control.

2. So if you want to believe that you are NOT something, since we cannot think in "NOT something", but only in a negation of something, the error in WANTING to feel what you are not, so you can have control and then negate it, leads to the fear of then actually "being it"... You WANT to be it so that you can NOT be it, but then if you were it, you ARE it...

3. And then your brain notices an error in logic, which fuels even more uncertainty, which fuels the fear, which wants then even stronger to feel what you are not, so you can negate it... but wait, then you are it... oh shit, am I it? No, I know I am not... but then why do I WANT to be it?? I WANT TO BE IT!!! Shit!!! and so it goes on and on... in the end, yes, you think you are losing your mind, because you cannot understand what you feel and what you think, because even if the procedure is logical, it is autodestructive, you actually want to suffer even if you don't want to (you want to be something you are not to not be it, so you want to suffer... does this make sense? by the structure of your brain yes, otherwise not - am I crazy?). I norder to understand it all better and know that you are NOT crazy, you look for signs of BEING crazy, so then a really autodestructive feeling/misinterpretation of liking to be crazy comes, so then you think you really want to be crazy, you really want to harm yourself, which means you actually want in a negative way to BE it... but all these errors are just depressive misperceptions/delusions.

in a "nuts"hell =)


Dec 2012
one last thought: you may ask yourself what's the gain from all this then, why does the brain do it?

In order to protect yourself from "BECOMING crazy" it MAKES you crazy, but in a "controlled" way, you have the (subconscious) control (Harakiri - I kill myself so I "don't die")
Jul 2021
When researching fear and paranoia it becomes obvious that the greatest fear we all struggle with, whether we are living neat organised lives or are on the fringe of society and metaphorical madness is the fear of losing our mind. In a nut shell, it is the fear of going crazy. The fear of chaos, and most importantly the fear of losing control of our own lives especially our own bodies.

It seems that every minute of the day is spent ensuring order in our lives is mainatained. It appears that a great percentage of our energy is devoted to this constant task. For some it is relatively easy being blessed with great circumstances and life style with adequate support and nurturing. For others it can be extremely difficult when living in precarious surrounds, little certainty about what the future holds and self destructive relationships.
The fear of losing your mind is the driving force behind serious states such as Schizophrenia, manic depression and various other significant mind/body issues. IMO

When interviewing an elderly gentleman [68] the other day I asked him what was his greatest fear [regarding aging and body] and his response surprisingly wasn't cancer or heart attack or even dementia it was quite simply the lose of bowel and urinary control in a public place. He would always go into a shopping centre for example terrified that he will "drop his bundle" right in the middle of the mall. So he avoided public places and areas where this could possibly happen. Yet both bowel and baldder are extremely receptive to fear and fear itself can cause a loss of control of both vital aspects of human bodilly function. So I ask is it the fear of losing control that is causing the loss of control?
It is something we have as part of our human desire to build our lives and maintain them, but most of all it is the ability to "see" and comprehend what we have actually acheived and will acheive that is the greatest desire. The loss of self and cognitive powers is something that defeats the very purpose of our existance.

It seems though strangely enough that the loss of control has more to do with the fear than the actual loss of control. In other words it is teh fear of losing it that forces the mind into excessive worry, thus fatigue and then on to actual loss of control not due to anything else other than the fear of losing it.

So I ask the question:

"Is it the irrational fear, the paranoia, the fear driven thinking and imagining that is our greatest concern or is the fear real, founded in reality and actual?"

One thing I have found though out all my research and interviews of chronically ill patients and aquaintenances is the following motto:
"Insanity does not exist as it is only people struggling with what they sense and the deisre to rationalise what they sense that gives the appearance of insanity"

Thus I have yet to meet a single person that I could infer to be "insane" as I believe that sanity is inevitably an irreducable concept and something we all have as a birth right.

care to discuss?
Well generally you have emotions that prevent you from losing your mind such as anger, sadness etc., however, yes, you begin wondering with all the nutty psychopaths out there, you must at least look crazy when you suddenly get really angry at one and yes (I have no remorse when I feel angry, and likewise I have no remorse when I feel angry at a personality disordered individual as they are always invalidating too), noone knows psychopaths are criminals, only you do, but yes, there was a case in which one guy couldn't put up with the personality disordered parent, however, I don't understand why he began harming others instead of harming culprits. It's because he picked the corruption route in the end too, so in the end, they all talk nice, how tough they are, but then those same people choose to do the smoking sessions and give in to a life of psychopathy, and then they come and talk nice publicly, and yet still try to stalk the victims.
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