Alright, you've decided that attempting to stay sane is not the best idea anymore. Let's get a few things straight to begin with. Unless you're willing to give yourself a massive head injury or already have been diagnosed with an actual mental disease, this is going to be a long and difficult journey. You're going to have friends and family try to "save" you. Doctors and quite probably the courts are going to attempt to "cure" you. In general people are going to do their level best to avoid your presence and at the completion of this program you will be the living incarnation of the word "pariah".
Then again, this is the whole reason for choosing to lose your mind in the first place, isn't it?
Part the First: Setting up your "eccentric" behavior
In this section, I'm going to present to you three simple steps with which you can use to start that short, steep decline into the blissful madness that we all seek to keep ourselves insulated from the outside world. The first step is an alteration to your appearance. Something both subtle and profound. The second step is an alteration to your behavior. Also something that is subtle at first, but much more pronounced as it becomes easier and easier. The last step that I'm going to present to you is one altering your possessions.
If you're still with me, reader, then the first thing you need to do is go out and buy a hat. Not a baseball hat, nor are we to the point where you need a sports helmet yet. No, I am talking about a dress hat. For the guys, might I suggest you find a nice flat brim fedora, circa 1945. For the ladies, anything from about the same era would also do well, especially if it has some sort of lacy cover for your face. When shopping for this hat of yours, keep in mind your wardrobe and look for one that matches several outfits that you already own. Once you have bought this hat, you need to wear it as often as possible. Dinners, dates, dancing, whatever.
Now, I can hear your questions beginning. Why a hat? Because this guide is one for a gentle descent into madness and your first steps need to be simple, easy ones to achieve. Real dress hats have gone and stayed out of fashion for quite some time now, and anybody wearing one, really stands out in a crowd. Also, keep in mind that this step can easily be disguised as a simple shift in your attire.
In following our path of easy, simple steps into madness, this next one is as painless as the first one.
Laugh. Laugh at the little things which are funny. Laugh at the joke you just told yourself. Laugh at the idiot that just wrapped their car around the tree as they tried pass on the highway. In general: don't hold back anymore. Let it out as loud and as often as you want, no matter where you are. Funeral, library, or even during sex. I humbly suggest that bookstores and operas are a good place to start. And don't worry if you don't feel it welling up from deep inside. This is why I suggested being in a bookstore to start. Grab yourself a book which you know is funny and let it rip. Soon you'll find that it becomes a lot easier to find even the smallest thing funny enough to laugh at out loud assuring that everybody around you is going to stare and think that you have in fact, already lost it.
The last step that we're going to over is the alterations to your possessions. Pick a hobby, any hobby. For the beginner, I suggest that you pick something that you already have an interest in and that seems to be fairly innocuous to those around you. It can be anything; A television character, an author of some series of books, some set of children's toys like Hello Kitty or Marmalade Boy, or even something slightly more unusual like weapons or power tools. Depending on your current income level, devoting several thousand dollars to such a hobby might not be out of the question.
These first steps might not seem like much of anything and many have already taken these steps without even knowing that they were on this path. But without taking these initial movements, everything else becomes that much harder to attempt or even achieve.
Let's get on to bigger and better things then shall we?
Part the Second: Choosing a specific madness
Before moving onward, one must first decide what sort of madness you wish to descend into. There are several to choose from, but such a choice cannot be taken lightly. When choosing, you should keep in mind to pick one which can be achieved with the amount of effort you're wanting to put into this. Some of the choices you have at this point are paranoia, schizophrenia, obsessive-compulsive, or depending upon your chosen field of expertise in this world, Twisted or "Mad" Scientist might not be out of the question. These are but a few of the many different choices you have at your disposal.
It is not enough to simply study your choice of madness and then emulate the behavior. After all, that is what is known as acting. You must delve deeper and believe in what you are doing. This will take some time however, and could be more trying than you might at first think. But not all is lost! Again, if we take things in short, simple steps, madness can truly be yours before you know it!
For the next example, let us consider the choice of paranoia as a madness.
First of all, there is the choice of the depth that you want to take this. There is the "Weird Uncle" level where you have a wide collection of strange and unusual items all somehow related to what you choose to be the central thesis of your paranoia; JFK's assassination, Bigfoot, the Illuminated, UFOs, Big Brother Government spying and controlling you or any combination there of. This choice is usually typified as quiet individual that lives in a trailer with or without electrical hookups out in a far flung wilderness. This same individual doesn't ever really hurt anybody, but tends to frighten the more uptight of the locals (whenever there are locals to be frightened). This one point is one of the more mild versions of paranoia that one could aim for. While there isn't exactly a sliding scale of sanity, there is a broad area to explore between this point and the "Raving Street Loon" including that place Hamlet visited. However let us continue with the initial type as our prime example for the time being.
Reaching for the "Weird Uncle" goal can be easily extended through the "Alteration to possessions" step in the basic changes I mentioned above. Simply begin choosing to collect those things that help to shape and promote your paranoia and new obsession. Documentaries on your chosen thesis are a good start as with the eccentric behavior helps to disguise your intention of leaving the collective reality of society. The next for this goal is to find others that also share in your newfound belief that the world is hiding something insidious or is out to get you. There are plenty of clubs, groups, and gatherings of people all around the world who share any number of attributes that could help increase the chances of your successful descent into madness. And should you choose a somewhat more original or rare thesis for your paranoia, don't despair! The Internet should help you in all sorts of ways by allowing you to vent your newfound belief to anybody and everybody who will listen! It will also help form a support as you can subscribe or even start mass emails with those who share in your particular thesis.
Part the Third: Certifying yourself
Now comes the hard part. You've spent months, possibly years building up this belief in others that things aren't quite normal with you anymore. You've taken to wearing odd clothing, possibly even an aluminum hat everyday. You don't bathe anymore than is necessary to keep massive infection at bay. Those that work with you are quite certain that if they found themselves locked in the store with you at night, that they wouldn't ever be seen or heard from again. Your family has even begun to worry that they may have to call the men with the "hug-me" jackets if they see one more Bigfoot turd mounted on your wall.
Congratulations! You're almost there.
You would think that you have finally made it. This is, unfortunately, the hardest part. Now you have to plan carefully and make sure that all of your ducks are lined up in a row before we go any further. You see, it is at this juncture that most loving families are going to attempt some sort of intervention on your part. Why this is, is fairly simple: They don't want to be left behind. You see, nothing makes a normal human more jealous than to see somebody else get away with rejecting the reality that they still have to deal with. Your case, and this guide, are no exception to this. So there are a last few things that you need to setup before you take the final step into madness.
First of all, you will want to make sure that you have some sort of legal document that outlines what you wish to have happen should you lose your mind, become a vegetable, or what have you. Besides just being good idea for those who haven't rejected reality yet, it gives you a great deal of leeway with determining your fate. Decide what, if any, sort of asylum you wish to reside in the rest of your days. The most common of choices are between a state one or a private one (if you have the funds at your disposal that is). In making this decision keep in mind what goes on in one: Most likely you will be drugged insensate for most of the rest of your life. So you won't be finding yourself with the time to write that great novel you've always been wanting to. On the upside is that you won't ever have to worry about taking care of yourself ever again as you will have an entire staff dedicated to your cleaning and care. Should you choose private care, you will be dealing with professional mental health caregivers. These people are going to know a great deal about the particular madness that you are afflicted with, so you are going to be putting in a lot of time and effort into keeping up the careful charade that you have constructed.
Another thing that you are going to have to be careful of is modern medicine. There are a great deal of treatments out there for many of the most common mental diseases, and your family and friends are going to want to make sure that you have access to them. Again, who knows why they would want to do this to you after all of the effort you've put into going mad, but there are easy ways to avoid this situation. You could plan on moving to another city a fair distance from your family, and over a certain period of time, simply loose touch with them. While this may be a more humane method for them, it also conveys a bit more freedom to you in terms of the amount of time you have to go mad. Because after losing touch with them, you can start to use any number of aliases that you have had the chance to build up with the different groups and so forth that you have become part of over all this time. Thus increasing the chances that you are successful in your attempt to lose your mind.
The last domino you need to setup is one involving the government. This is the most delicate one that you have and so, the more preparation and time you can devote to this step, the better. First, become intimately acquainted with the different mental health and mental sanitation laws for your area. You will need to know this to make your plans as foolproof as possible. Find out for instance, under what circumstances can the state compel you to live in an asylum, or even compel you to be medicated and thusly throw off your plans of madness. Find out, how or even if, your family could do the same through legal means and the courts. Use this knowledge to your advantage.
Well, that's it. I've given you a very basic and simple guide to planning out and accomplishing a descent into madness. Sure, there are even quicker ways, but then who wants to go through the pain of ingesting simply unhealthy amounts of illicit drugs so you could be considered crazy? Likewise, taking a crowbar to one's own skull is not just questionable, but also downright painful! The means I have outlined here are ones to keep the physical pain down to a bare minimum and to help make things easier for your loved ones as you take a path away from their reality.