#2. You Constantly Stop to Engage in Ferris Bueller-Style Soliloquies
The soliloquy is a device characters have used to secretly convey their thoughts to the audience since back before Shakespeare wrote his first terrible pun. And while it might be nice to pause the action and privately monologue your thoughts while oblivious supporting characters freeze in place, it would be significantly less awesome if they could all hear what a dick you secretly are (and every detail of your brilliant but malevolent plans). That's (sort of) what happened to a man we'll call Gary. Gary had recently switched jobs and noticed something strange: His co-workers were assholes. That in itself isn't exactly notable; every workplace is populated almost exclusively by assholes, because assholes are the world's most plentiful natural resource. What's strange was how Gary dealt with the associated stress of drowning in a sea of assholes: He started uncontrollably talking to himself. Out loud. Anything from what he watched on TV last night to complaining about his co-workers (who, again, were assholes) was fair game for Gary's little Ferris Bueller time-outs.
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"And for fuck's sake, stop calling yourself 'the sausage king of Chicago'!"
Plenty of mentally ill folks speak out loud uncontrollably -- what's so weird about that? Bear with us for a moment:
Imagine you have Gary's soliloquizing disorder. And since we're handing out unfortunate behaviors, let's say you also have an intense sexual fetish for farts. You like 'em, you love 'em, you want some more of 'em. You have the good sense to be ashamed of your little fetish, and you're still in the early phases of a relationship where butt-air has not yet been exchanged. You're on your way to dinner when, during a lull in conversation, you suddenly blurt out, "Man, I want her to fart in my face so hard right now." You immediately slap your hand to your mouth and leap out of the vehicle ... but as the driverless car goes careening off the side of a cliff, your date is completely baffled, because she hadn't heard a thing.
Congratulations! You've just joined Gary as a victim of hallucination of soliloquy, a bizarre experience caused by a specific cocktail of malfunctions in the brain. The first layer is a classic schizophrenic case of your brain confusing your internal thoughts for a "voice" coming from the outside. And then the twist: Your speech pathways also get muddled, giving you the false sensation that your lips were moving.
Talk to your doctor, who won't respond, because you're not actually talking.
In effect, you just felt your mouth move and heard your voice talking, but in reality you never said anything at all -- the entire experience was only in your head. You feel as though you're constantly and involuntarily telling everybody your every filthy, depraved, and terrible thought, but you're actually entirely silent.
P-probably. Maybe this is the one time you're actually speaking out loud. How could you possibly tell? Ah well, looks like it's an Alaskan hermitage again for you.
#1. Your Life Is Accompanied by Background Music
Can you imagine what real life would be like if a soundtrack followed you at all times, no earbuds required? Drifting off to sleep might be accompanied by a soft classical orchestra, punching your boss right in his asshole face would be accented by the jazzy horn section from Batman, and sex would obviously be scored by the opening guitar riff from "Eye of the Tiger" on endless repeat. Well, some people don't have to imagine it.
It basically makes every song on their iPod a mashup.
We didn't make up that example of a classical music soundtrack playing you off to sleep -- it's from the actual case of a 60-year-old woman who suddenly started hearing music "as if a radio were playing at the back of her head." Within months, it expanded from lullabies at bedtime to hearing music all the damn time. Perhaps the strangest part is that she wasn't even that familiar with the songs -- she had to hum them to her husband to identify them.
Her case is a particularly odd example of someone suffering from musical hallucinations, which is basically like the gypsy curse version of getting a song stuck in your head. The disembodied background music is often based on songs with close personal connections to the afflicted, and it sounds so clear that listeners swear somebody is playing it for them nearby. And yes, the playlist even changes to fit the situation, just like a movie soundtrack.
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"Really? 'Everybody Hurts'? God, brain, you're so cliche."
Musical hallucinations can be triggered by anything from sleep deprivation to fever to mild hearing loss. The condition can sometimes be treated by medicating the underlying cause (that was the case with Lullaby Lady), although we're not sure we'd want to: We've always wanted our own theme music. This seems far cheaper than paying that mariachi band to break out into intense guitar strumming every time we make a pun.
Related Reading: Mental illnesses tend to be wildly misunderstood. Treatment can be next to impossible to get and the capgras delusion will convince you your friends have been replaced by aliens. And did you know some illnesses only happen one place on earth? It's a wonder Hollywood needs to make up all these myths about mental illness in the first place.