After stepping out of the Apple store, I walk to the railing that overlooks the lower floor and dig inside my mitchel to find my cell phone. I scroll through the phone book and find my sister’s listing for her cell phone. She’s heard these stories before, so she doesn’t need any additional background information before I start telling her about the phone call with T.
Before the voicemail picks up on the fourth ring, she answers the phone.
“Hi, A. It’s me. You at home?”
“Where are you?”
"I’m at S and B’s house. We’re just about to start dinner.”
“Ok, I’ll make this quick. Just nod and say the occasional hmmm
For the next minute, I retell the story of the phone call with T.
"I mean, is she ever like this around you?” I ask. Why doesn’t she act normal around me? Why can’t she act crazy around others?
I end up coming across as overdramatic because I want to show others that she’s losing her mind, bit by bit, with the final breakdown coming in a matter of time, but I can't.
“No, she’s normal, I guess.” Her tone of voice is flat, as if nothing is wrong. “You know how she is when she gets these visions. She thinks she’s clairvoyant.”
“How the hell
can you be clairvoyant
if all of your visions are wrong
?!” I practically yell this sentence down to the people below. A few of them look up at me as I quickly turn around and bow my head. “We have to take her to a therapist. Now
. She’s getting worse.” There’s genuine concern in my tone.
“I know, I know. But, can we talk about this later? I have to go. They’re serving dinner.”
"Ok, fine. Go, go. I’ll write you an e-mail later when I get home.”
For the rest of the day, I walk around the city, wondering what’s going on with T. I’m worried. Very worried. I know she enjoys turning the tables when others are in crisis, to make everything about her. It’s a twisted mentality and the sort of thinking process that she relishes in because it brings the attention back to her, making people feel sorry for her.
But, there’s more to it.
She has been like this before, but never to this extreme. The degradation of her mind is compounded by the fact that she’s an internalized person and refrains from what she should release. Her mind races to the point that all of her thoughts start forming their own thoughts that begin to rule her thinking process.
Even though I am not a psychiatrist of any kind, I do have a psychology degree (and had a study published), keep up with the trends of the practice and read statistics like I’m flipping through a copy of Vanity Fair
, so the symptoms - although many - can be spotted by someone with my background.
They’re typically divided into two separate sections: positive and negative.
Positive symptoms include delusions, hallucinations, disorganized speech/thinking, grossly disorganized behaviour, and catatonic behaviour, amongst others.
Negative symptoms include affective flattening (reduction in the range and intensity of emotional expression), alogia (the poverty of speech), and avolition (reduction, difficulty, or inability to initiate and persist in goal-directed behaviour).
It’s unfair to diagnose a psychological ailment, especially since I'm not a specialist. It takes years of schooling and on-the-job experience to make a firm diagnosis. But, these signs can’t be ignored.
The next steps are the most crucial since they deal with having to manipulate T into thinking that there’s nothing wrong with her, while admitting her into some sort of treatment. And, I don’t know what do to since I’m in the middle of it all.
It's like the blind, leading the blind, leading the crazy.