Insight or lack there of is how the mind can fail us. Having previously suffered from psychosis I had no idea until someone told me and even then the tendency is to believe your own mind. You would think that a sudden ability to communicate telepathically might have been a tip off but I believed that I was being recruited for something better. A world where people could help and heal others using only their mind. I thought I was being trained to be a Shaman and that all the books on shamanism were wrong because only I was privy to this information and to disclose was to lose the privilege.

Once you’ve been through psychosis you can start to recognize the tells. You tend to be at the center of the universe and any verification is dismissed or comes from a biased internal source. The mind thus believes it’s own creation more than anything external.

Another type of insight involves the function of the mind itself. The mind believes that everything is fine and it’s functioning at it’s highest level until it becomes obvious it’s not. It’s so hard to judge mental function from the inside that you can ignore problems until they become huge. The funny thing is that it’s hard for others to admit that you’re having problems as well. I went from having 600 books in my kindle to not reading at all. Kind of a dramatic shift. Even my neuropsych before testing thought that I was just burned out on reading. My psychiatrist thought my struggle was either due to stress or depression.

The reality however is I now have a deficit. My reading comprehension IQ is about 80 compared to my normal IQ which is around 120. That’s about two standard deviations drop which is huge. I suppose technically I noticed something about seven years ago after my psychosis but it just wasn’t that bad. I played a couple years worth of lumosity and brain age and thought everything was back to normal. Maybe it was but I still couldn’t read complex fantasy novels, I took it as a one time loss.

My Meyers Briggs personality traits changed. They aren’t supposed to do that. The reality is I like who I am now a lot more so I ignored it. It’s not like I had anymore psychosis I couldn’t possibly still be changing it had to be a one time thing.

It wasn’t until I started losing jobs and they were straight forward about my underperformance that I realized something was seriously wrong. Immediately following my psychosis I wrote an NIH grant along with my boss that got funded. There’s no way I could do that at anything less than peak function. Now I can barely read science…despite whatever I and others thought my mind continued to deteriorate. I had little insight into this, I just thought I was changing interests etc and needed to go with the flow.


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