Ten years or so ago in London, when I was even less self-aware than I am now, I was in the middle of some rant with my friend Ben Ingham when I referred to myself as “slightly eccentric.” Ben guffawed in a remarkable way, which is saying a lot because he is a consummate hearty guffawer. “‘Slightly eccentric’? Hah! You’re barking mad, mate.”
This was the moment I realized that my fascination with mental illness is somewhat self-reverential; I am on a quest to find my own pathology, mainly because I have never been diagnosed with any disorder, but when close friends like Ben say there must be one, there must be one. I am not a hypochondriac when it comes to physical illness, but I am forever testing myself online for mental ones, and begging passing shrinks for their opinions. To no avail.