You may have found yourself living in a mansion, depressed, confused or alienated.
You may not know how you came to be living in a mansion, and you may fear that you will be trapped forever in a gigantic house or estate, surrounded by other gigantic houses. You need to stop and take hold of yourself, pull yourself together and start living on a human scale, in a normal size house.
How do you know if you are living in a mansion? Often, the person living in a mansion is the last person to know. Here are some warning signs. You may be living in a mansion…
- …if it is more than four hundred feet from your front door to the street.
- …if you occasionally wake up in rooms you didn’t know you had.
- …if there is an intercom near your toilet.
- …if you are paying Social Security tax on the person who brings you your coffee in the morning.
- …If there are golf carts parked in your family room.
That’s all well and good, but I don’t live in a mansion. Denial is a common symptom in the early advanced stages of living in a mansion. Sadly, the healing cannot begin until you admit that you have a problem with living in a mansion, and prepare to confront it.
A lot of people live in mansions. What’s the big deal? If you live in a mansion, chances are you are surrounded by other mansions in your neighborhood, and it may, indeed, seem to you that “a lot of people” live in mansions. However, statistics do not bear this out. In fact, less than two percent of all Americans live in mansions. Worldwide, the proportion is even smaller.
So what if I do live in a mansion? People who live in mansions may develop a tolerance, and find that they are spending too much time in search of ever larger rooms, longer hallways, more grandiose staircases, and so on. Living in a mansion affects the central nervous system, resulting in a decrease of activity, anxiety, tension, and inhibitions. Even a medium size house can result in a decrease in the ability to think clearly. Concentration and judgment become impaired.
OK, but I can move out any time. Once you have grown dependent on living in a mansion, you may experience painful withdrawal symptoms. When the great big ol’ house is taken away, symptoms of withdrawal may include elevated temperature, increased blood pressure, rapid heart rate, restlessness, anxiety, psychosis, seizures, and rarely even death.
Maybe I do have a problem, but how can I tell? Ask yourself these questions:
- Have you ever felt that your house is unmanageable?
- Is someone in your family concerned about the size of your house?
- Have you ever been absent from work or lost a job because of the size of your house?
- Do you find that you “need” a bigger home than before to achieve the desired effect?
- When everyone else has left, is it “OK” with you to just stay in your mansion, alone?
- Do you try to hide your mansion from others?
Many people who live in mansions don’t recognize when their houses have gotten out of hand. In the past, treatment providers believed that mansion-dwellers should be confronted about denial of their problems, but now research has shown that compassionate and empathetic counseling is more effective.
If you’ve been living in a mansion, don’t despair. You’re not alone. There is help. Living in a mansion doesn’t make you a bad person. You might want to join a support group, seek therapy from a psychiatric professional, or even enter a rehabilitation clinic.
But please, do something.
(This public service announcement brought to you by revision99, the Ad Council and Americans Who Can’t Afford to Live in Mansions.)