If you’ve never heard of “anosognosia”, this would be a good time become familiar with the term. I believe this disorder is becoming very common for a variety of reasons. It’s never discussed.
Anosognosia is a condition in which a person with a disability is cognitively unaware of having it due to an underlying physical or psychological problem. The word is derived from ancient Greek. It translates to roughly to “lack of knowledge of disease”. You see this with people living with schizophrenia, who think they are fine. It’s also common in dementia patients.
A stroke can leave a person with this condition and it’s pretty clear to me, trauma can cause it is well. I want to get into this because for several reasons. First, many people have never heard of it, but beyond that, the internet may tell you what it is but there’s little instructions around how to deal with it.
I believe there is an uptick with this for a number of reasons. The aging population, for sure. But also drug use; including pharmaceuticals, as well as medical conditions that are developing, tied to pandemic related stress of all kinds on all levels (physical, emotional, psychological).
The idea is, the person is impaired but they can’t perceive it.
If you’re the one dealing with them, you can see it. You can see something so you say, “Hey! Are you okay?”
The person tells you they’re fine, because they have anasognosia.
They sound like themselves so you set aside your concern. It’s a bit like gaslighting… yourself. You can see something is wrong with your loved one but they deny it and you accept this because why wouldn’t you?
But weeks or months pass, and this person in your life, continues to struggle. This is not a problem that will fix itself in most cases, so you continue to see the cognitive and/or emotional changes. Chances are, you continue to ask the person how they’re doing. They’re doing fine, and there you are stuck, because you know they’re not fine!
From here, it gets worse as the person’s condition continues to degrade. You think they must notice; you try to get them to “own it”, but they just get mad or sad or something because they just can’t see it.
Doctors aren’t generally a great help. This irks me because I think they’ve been far more helpful in the past. But at this time, this condition is either missed or broadly denied. It’s too much trouble.
Frankly, I don’t think people care all that much about others at this point in time. So the impaired person can easily carry on for quite some time, with the people around them working to pick up the slack created by their deficits, while wondering why their loved one has changed. They also wonder how to change them back, not knowing the condition may be permanent and in fact, worsening.
If you’re dealing with something like this, I hope this post helps you identify it. It helps a lot when you come to understand, that piece of brain is just not there.
If you are in this situation, here’s helpful way to see this…
Imagine the person with anasognoisa lives on one side of the street. It’s the crazy side. That’s not a slur. I’m just explaining this.
If you do not have the condition, you are on the other side of the street; you have all your faculties.
This is the important part: you can cross the street and hang out with this person, just fine. But the traffic cannot flow in both directions. The person just can’t know that which has become unknowable for them, though chances are you’ll probably pine for such a happening.
It takes some practice but eventually the fog clears and you can see this situation, plainly.
I feel this is related to this post to some degree:
We, as a collective, have really screwed people up. This post is intended to tip people to this condition in the hope it spares someone pain.
It’s also related to this post:
The fact is, most everyone is on one drug or the other, prescribed, recreational, cannabinoids and an endless array of supplements as well.
Now when all these things collide with your brain chemicals, there will be a result. And the affected person won’t necessarily be aware of their own impairment.
Now that may not be textbook “anasognosia” but it’s similar and with Saturn and Neptune in Pisces, I just think this is good info to have.
9/4/2023 – Pulling this up to state plainly: if you have an elderly parent (or spouse or whoever), acting an ass, they may very well be impaired. If so, it will be very hard on you, but if you understand it, it will help you stay sane! This is a also a topic I know a lot about.
Are you dealing with this in your life? Have you ever?