Characters who start to crack

Question: At a certain point I want my character to start cracking a little under all the pressure he's under. He is normally very rational person but he's starting to falter a little. How can I portray this without it looking like he's going genuinely insane?


Answer: You've heard the old adage that if you worry that you're crazy, you're not because a truly insane person never doubts their sanity.

Obviously, someone who is starting to crack under pressure will be prone to emotional outbursts. It's a mechanism we've evolved to let others in our tribe know we need help. A sane person will usually realize he's behaving badly and apologize or feel ashamed afterward.

Of course, there are limits to how big these emotional outbursts can be. If your character grabs a gun and starts shooting people, he's crossed the line into mental illness.

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