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Quotes About Mental Illness

Quotes tagged as "mental-illness" (showing 1-30 of 375)
Elizabeth Wurtzel
“I'm the girl who is lost in space, the girl who is disappearing always, forever fading away and receding farther and farther into the background. Just like the Cheshire cat, someday I will suddenly leave, but the artificial warmth of my smile, that phony, clownish curve, the kind you see on miserably sad people and villains in Disney movies, will remain behind as an ironic remnant. I am the girl you see in the photograph from some party someplace or some picnic in the park, the one who is in fact soon to be gone. When you look at the picture again, I want to assure you, I will no longer be there. I will be erased from history, like a traitor in the Soviet Union. Because with every day that goes by, I feel myself becoming more and more invisible...”
Elizabeth Wurtzel, Prozac Nation

Kay Redfield Jamison
“There is a particular kind of pain, elation, loneliness, and terror involved in this kind of madness. When you're high it's tremendous. The ideas and feelings are fast and frequent like shooting stars, and you follow them until you find better and brighter ones. Shyness goes, the right words and gestures are suddenly there, the power to captivate others a felt certainty. There are interests found in uninteresting people. Sensuality is pervasive and the desire to seduce and be seduced irresistible. Feelings of ease, intensity, power, well-being, financial omnipotence, and euphoria pervade one's marrow. But, somewhere, this changes. The fast ideas are far too fast, and there are far too many; overwhelming confusion replaces clarity. Memory goes. Humor and absorption on friends' faces are replaced by fear and concern. Everything previously moving with the grain is now against-- you are irritable, angry, frightened, uncontrollable, and enmeshed totally in the blackest caves of the mind. You never knew those caves were there. It will never end, for madness carves its own reality.”
Kay Redfield Jamison, An Unquiet Mind: A Memoir of Moods and Madness

Friedrich Nietzsche
“One must still have chaos in oneself to be able to give birth to a dancing star.”
Friedrich Nietzsche

Guy de Maupassant
“A sick thought can devour the body's flesh more than fever or consumption.”
Guy de Maupassant, Le Horla et autres contes fantastiques

Marya Hornbacher
“When you are mad, mad like this, you don't know it. Reality is what you see. When what you see shifts, departing from anyone else's reality, it's still reality to you.”
Marya Hornbacher, Madness: A Bipolar Life

Charles Bukowski
“I had noticed that both in the very poor and very rich extremes of society the mad were often allowed to mingle freely.”
Charles Bukowski, Ham on Rye

Kay Redfield Jamison
“I compare myself with my former self, not with others. Not only that, I tend to compare my current self with the best I have been, which is when I have been midly manic. When I am my present "normal" self, I am far removed from when I have been my liveliest, most productive, most intense, most outgoing and effervescent. In sort, for myself, I am a hard act to follow.”
Kay Redfield Jamison, An Unquiet Mind: A Memoir of Moods and Madness

Jeanette Winterson
“To be ill adjusted to a deranged world is not a breakdown.”
Jeanette Winterson

David Foster Wallace
“The thing about people who are truly and malignantly crazy: their real genius is for making the people around them think they themselves are crazy. In military science this is called Psy-Ops, for your info.”
David Foster Wallace, Infinite Jest

Shannon L. Alder
“I am tired of people saying that poor character is the only reason people do wrong things. Actually, circumstances cause people to act a certain way. It's from those circumstances that a person's attitude is affected followed by weakening of character. Not the reverse. If we had no faults of our own, we should not take so much pleasure in noticing those in others and judging their lives as either black or white, good or bad. We all live our lives in shades of gray.”
Shannon L. Alder

Erich Fromm
“That millions of people share the same forms of mental pathology does not make these people sane.”
Erich Fromm, The Sane Society

Susanna Kaysen
“Suicide is a form of murder— premeditated murder. It isn’t something you do the first time you think of doing it. It takes some getting used to. And you need the means, the opportunity, the motive. A successful suicide demands good organization and a cool head, both of which are usually incompatible with the suicidal state of mind.

It’s important to cultivate detachment. One way to do this is to practice imagining yourself dead, or in the process of dying. If there’s a window, you must imagine your body falling out the window. If there’s a knife, you must imagine the knife piercing your skin. If there’s a train coming, you must imagine your torso flattened under its wheels. These exercises are necessary to achieving the proper distance.

The debate was wearing me out. Once you've posed that question, it won't go away. I think many people kill themselves simply to stop the debate about whether they will or they won't. Anything I thought or did was immediately drawn into the debate. Made a stupid remark—why not kill myself? Missed the bus—better put an end to it all. Even the good got in there. I liked that movie—maybe I shouldn’t kill myself.

In reality, it was only part of myself I wanted to kill: the part that wanted to kill herself, that dragged me into the suicide debate and made every window, kitchen implement, and subway station a rehearsal for tragedy.”
Susanna Kaysen

Theodore Kaczynski
“Our society tends to regard as a sickness any mode of thought or behavior that is inconvenient for the system and this is plausible because when an individual doesn't fit into the system it causes pain to the individual as well as problems for the system. Thus the manipulation of an individual to adjust him to the system is seen as a cure for a sickness and therefore as good.”
Theodore Kaczynski

Craig Ferguson
“Alcohol ruined me financially and morally, broke my heart and the hearts of too many others. Even though it did this to me and it almost killed me and I haven't touched a drop of it in seventeen years, sometimes I wonder if I could get away with drinking some now. I totally subscribe to the notion that alcoholism is a mental illness because thinking like that is clearly insane.”
Craig Ferguson, American on Purpose: The Improbable Adventures of an Unlikely Patriot

“I appear at times merry and in good heart, talk, too, before others quite reasonably, and it looks as if I felt, too, God knows how well within my skin. Yet the soul maintains its deathly sleep and the heart bleeds from a thousand wounds.”
Hugo Wolf

Brené Brown
“If you trade your authenticity for safety, you may experience the following: anxiety, depression, eating disorders, addiction, rage, blame, resentment, and inexplicable grief.”
Brené Brown

Jonathan Franzen
“He was lovable the way a child is lovable, and he was capable of returning love with a childlike purity. If love is nevertheless excluded from his work, it's because he never quite felt that he deserved to receive it. He was a lifelong prisoner on the island of himself. What looked like gentle contours from a distance were in fact sheer cliffs. Sometimes only a little of him was crazy, sometimes nearly all of him, but, as an adult, he was never entirely not crazy. What he'd seen of his id while trying to escape his island prison by way of drugs and alcohol, only to find himself even more imprisoned by addiction, seems never to have ceased to be corrosive of his belief in his lovability. Even after he got clean, even decades after his late-adolescent suicide attempt, even after his slow and heroic construction of a life for himself, he felt undeserving. And this feeling was intertwined, ultimately to the point of indistinguishability, with the thought of suicide, which was the one sure way out of his imprisonment; surer than addiction, surer than fiction, and surer, finally, than love.”
Jonathan Franzen

Sam Harris
“It is merely an accident of history that it is considered normal in our society to believe that the Creator of the universe can hear your thoughts while it is demonstrative of mental illness to believe that he is communicating with you by having the rain tap in Morse code on your bedroom window.”
Sam Harris, The End of Faith: Religion, Terror, and the Future of Reason

Susanna Kaysen
“Don’t ask me those questions! Don’t ask me what life means or how we know reality or why we have to suffer so much. Don’t talk about how nothing feels real, how everything is coated with gelatin and shining like oil in the sun. I don’t want to hear about the tiger in the corner or the Angel of Death or the phone calls from John the Baptist.”
Susanna Kaysen

Tiffany Madison
“The problem with having problems is that ‘someone’ always has it worse.”
Tiffany Madison, Black and White

Kay Redfield Jamison
“But money spent while manic doesn't fit into the Internal Revenue Service concept of medical expense or business loss. So after mania, when most depressed, you're given excellent reason to be even more so.”
Kay Redfield Jamison, An Unquiet Mind: A Memoir of Moods and Madness

Nelson DeMille
“Basically, all women are nurturers and healers, and all men are mental patients to varying degrees.”
Nelson DeMille, The General's Daughter

“Am I a mindless fool? My life is a fragment, a disconnected dream that has no continuity. I am so tired of senselessness. I am tired of the music that my feelings sing, the dream music.”
Ross David Burke, When the Music's Over: My Journey into Schizophrenia

Shannon L. Alder
“You will never find the real truth among people that are insecure or have egos to protect. Truth over time becomes either guarded or twisted as their perspective changes; it changes with the seasons of their shame, love, hope or pride.”
Shannon L. Alder

Nathan Filer
“Mental illness turns people inwards. That's what I reckon. It keeps up forever trapped by the pain of our own minds, in the same way that the pain of a broken leg or a cut thumb will grab your attention, holding it so tightly that your good leg or your good thumb seem to cease to exist.”
Nathan Filer, The Shock of the Fall

“Isolated, she managed somehow to feel free—albeit with a freedom that made her want to smash a hole in the very center of the universe.”
Flora Rheta Schreiber, Sybil: The Classic True Story of a Woman Possessed by Sixteen Personalities

Marya Hornbacher
“Because I'm not, in fact, depressed, Prozac makes me manic and numb - one of the reasons I slice my arm in the first place is that I'm coked to the gills on something utterly wrong for what I have.”
Marya Hornbacher, Madness: A Bipolar Life

Kay Redfield Jamison
“the intensity, glory, and absolute assuredness if my mind's flight made it very difficult for me to believe once i was better, that the illness was one i should willingly give up....moods are such an essential part of the substance of life, of one's notion of oneself, that even psychotic extremes in mood and behavior somehow can be seen as temporary, even understandable reactions to what life has dealt....even though the depressions that inevitably followed nearly cost me my life.”
Kay Redfield Jamison

Diane Wood Middlebrook
“If suffering like hers had any use, she reasoned, it was not to the sufferer. The only way that an individual's pain gained meaning was through its communication to others.”
Diane Wood Middlebrook, Anne Sexton: A Biography

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