At my job, I have this client (nowadays they’re called “participants”) who’s unlike any other I’ve known. He’s got some sort of complicated cocktail of mental health issues going on. Whatever they are, they’ve come together to create the most agitated, anxious, hyper, manic, rapid-thinking individual I’ve ever seen.
He’s the kind of guy whose own thoughts race a million miles an hour in addition to the other voices in his head doing so as well. He craves attention and simply has to be the center of it at all times; the more people around, the more dramatic and performative he becomes. He acts out like a child in any way to get the attention he craves, all while his inside hums and buzzes with a constant anxiety.
He can easily talk non-stop for hours with random things setting off new associations and new lines of thought and one topic flowing into another topic that seems unrelated, save for a color, a location, or even a word in common with the prior one. The first time I met him, his thoughts became so fast and so loud, he started screaming and clawing at his head just to get them to quiet down.
He evokes little sympathy from those around him, including myself. He seems to thrive on the fact that he can so affect people–even if it’s in a negative, irritating way.