HOW TO MEASURE a mental collapse? All I can think of is different platforms folding in on themselves, like those British sailing ships of old that got crushed by the ice of the Arctic. All of the pressure forcing the beams and planks to buckle, splinter, and break, until the whole craft is swallowed up and never seen again, really. Only some old nails or pieces of rope are recovered, maybe some navigator’s tools, a compass that still works. The rest of it is gone. So goes it with the mind. As people, as individuals, we have this concept that our minds are like standard issue Apple computers, and that each more or less comes with the same power. Just plug it in and go. Our minds are the same, it’s just some are more adept at self-programming. Is it really that way though? Maybe his mind is better at numbers, or entrepreneurship, but he couldn’t string a line of sentences for his life. Can’t even write an email. Or maybe she is more capable of seeing the bigger picture, better than he ever could. For her the world is a brilliant pattern of interwoven ideas and themes and people, like a great Oriental rug, he just being one of them. He is just a pattern in her rug, nothing more, nothing less. He has his talents but is, as they say, still small. That is not where his strength lies, in seeing things. There is also the case of psychic attack. These often hasten the collapse of the mind. This is, after all, the pressure that builds up. It’s not just the real world things, the bills, the deadlines, it’s those waves of disruptive energy that are sent out, that leave one cringing in a fetal position, waiting for the terror to stop. Eventually it does. The sun comes out. Some kind of balance returns to an overturned universe. But hell. Recovery is never easy.

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