This page wishes to explain what Neil means by the phrase “I’m tired.”
We’ve all been tired. Had that long day, the meeting which went long or the shift which never seemed to end. You just want to have a quiet evening, maybe through something trashy on the television that doesn’t make you think. Maybe go to bed early.
This is not what Neil means by the phrase “I’m tired.” He wishes he was tired like this. That would mean it is probably one of his best days.
Neil is on antipsychotic drugs (fun term, but that’s the medical name for them). They allow him to function as a person and think clearly. They don’t always work completely, and in many cases it is up to him to manage himself and keep focused and healthy.
He always says the only thing worse than being on the drugs is not being on them.
And the drugs make him tired. Not I should go home instead of going out with the guys tired. More like I have gone to a wedding every night this week, stayed until close and then gone to work at 7 AM the next day.
He wishes he was kidding.
When he was first diagnosed, the drugs were so tiring he would sleep for fourteen hours and be a sleep deprived zombie for the remaining ten. He’s a bit better now, but sometimes just the exhaustion from the day wears him out.
When he says he’s tired, he’s not looking to go home early and/or take a nap. He literally is so tired, his brain can’t even think. Thoughts are actually painful for him and if he’s used the phrase “I’m tired” in your presence you’ll find he likely will seem withdrawn and disoriented.
He may have pointed you in the direction of this site, or you just might be curious what being tired can mean to those of us on these types of drugs.
What you need to know: Unless you are just expecting Neil to sit there for a few more minutes, he will be incapable of much social interaction or for that matter anything resembling active thought.
What you should do: If you want to help him, give him an easy out to leave when convenient and so he can go to a quiet place and rest. If he really seems disoriented try and speak with him privately and urge him that it would be absolutely fine if he left to find a quiet spot.
What you should not do: Don’t try and engage him. Certainly don’t try and make him think. It will frustrate him, especially because he wants to try but he physically CANNOT. Trying to make him think and/or interact is like asking a person with a broken hip to run a marathon.
Neil says “I’m tired” usually in the extraordinary situation that he is over-exhausted and cannot function. He is not telling you that he had a long night and should have gone home from the party early; he is telling you that he is so exhausted that he cannot function.
This doesn’t happen to him often, but it does from time to time. If Neil has pointed you in the direction of this page, he probably wants you to better understand the difference between what many people mean by “I’m tired” and what his illness has redefined the term to mean for him.
Thank you for listening.