I’ve come to the conclusion over the past few months, that almost all American’s currently living or in the work force are, on some level, mentally ill. This is not a scientific study, it’s simply an opinion. Personally, I am diagnosed with PTSD and high anxiety, due largely to my time in the U.S. Marine Corps. The diagnosis came as a relief, because for years, I have suffered from it, without knowing what it was, how I got it, or how to deal with it. Both therapy and lots of reading have helped tremendously in dealing with the symptoms. For nearly twenty years, I self medicated with alcohol – which sometimes worked and sometimes made things much worse – not a good course.
In telling friends about my situation, many of them confessed to having their own mental illness or dealing with depression, anxiety, nervous disorders, bi-polar disorders or having therapists. Others said they suspected that they had something wrong with them but hadn’t had the chance (or the money) to seek therapy or a diagnosis. Most of these people – who confessed to being on medications, being in therapy, or being diagnosed – were among the most sane people I know! These were not a bunch of nut jobs (I mean, technically, I guess we all are – but you know what I mean).
A few days ago, I watched a bizarre road rage incident where a mother with kids in the car was screaming obscenities out her window at another driver in a Costco parking lot. A few months ago while I was sitting at an outdoor table drinking coffee – a crazy person charged me and demanded that I stop following him or he would kill me. When I told the police they told me the guy was harmless and that if I insisted they would file a report but that it would be wasting everyone’s time and they would release him shortly after picking him up. The police officer said similar things happen hundreds of times each week in my city and he is more concerned dealing with daily road rage and increasing gun violence….
A few weeks ago, I tried to help a veteran college student. I agreed to use my new business (the one I’ve invested my life savings into and worked on tirelessly the past eight months but which is still in the startup stage) as a project. We used my company, my data, my research, my experience, my hard work for most of the past year to draft a product market summary.
It was a mistake. Frankly, I found myself doing most of the drafting on the project. I showed up to the meetings when the student didn’t. When I asked him to attend a meeting to look for technical talent, he didn’t go. I tried to set up meetings and was brushed off by him. I was having some doubts about working together, but I liked the guy and since he was a new father, I wanted to give him an opportunity. I wanted to have him work with me.
I offered him the chance to buy in and purchase equity in the company – he suddenly lost his demeanor of normalcy and accused me of being a secret agent trying to entrap him. Seriously. He told me he was running a background check on me. He called the police to inquire about me. He told me he thought it was suspicious that I was building a company based on an idea he’d had but done nothing with long ago.
He became a lunatic and then we had to stop working together.
I am running into absolutely batty people everywhere I go. It’s like they are simply waiting to meet me so that they can lose their minds. Maybe I’m contagious. The only conclusion that I can draw is that virtually all Americans are now mentally ill. Which, if you think about it – explains a lot.