What is crazy? More importantly, what does crazy look like to you?
We see the world based on previous experiences, beliefs, opinions and thoughts. Every human being sees the world differently. We choose to see and believe what is in front us hence fabricating or sifting out a truth that is either pleasing or acceptable to our own mind. At times, discarding valuable key notes on the matter in hand.
Last week, I found myself overhearing a conversation. Well, I’m not sure. In retrospective, I think I may have been a participant in the conversation – although a silent one.
We were all attending a two days course on mental health and suicide prevention. How to assist someone in getting them the help they need and preventing that person from committing suicide.
On day two during our lunch break. We are talking about how informative the course has been so far. I’m thrown of guard when a fellow social worker claimed that people suffering from depression or/and suicidal thoughts were perhaps more crazy than anything else and should probably be institutionalize. I sat there listening, amazed at such claim. I hoped they would stop or even better, realize as she went on the absurdity of the words coming out of her mouth.
I zoomed out when the issue of mental health and religion intersected. The word God and Jesus came up, presenting a simple answer and solution for it all. It was then I realized all hope was lost in this conversation, so I got up and left.
The issue was not the fact that this person was religious and that her God was the solution. Good for her, I say. It works for her. However, it was the fact that she transferred and presented her ideas, opinions and beliefs as the truth for others.
Alas, it made me realize that even today the stigma on mental health is sadly alive in today’s society.
I will admit that I was perhaps emotionally invested in the topic and her claims. And perhaps got carried away by my own issues and thoughts on the matter. However, her claims were far ahead and…if I dare say it, cold and simple-minded.
What you see, is not always the truth. Your opinions are not always facts. If you saw me walking down the street, I would look like any other person. Nevertheless, behind closed doors, I suffer and battle a much worse enemy than the devil itself – namely me.
We’ve all battled life at some point in our lives. And you’ve probably noticed my constant repetition – no one is immune the downswings of life, which I’m sure many can agree. The journey of life is no straight line with no obstacles and hardships.
I believe we’ve all struggle mentally at some point in our life – some more than others.
I wasn’t aware that depression was all so common until my Monday blues and my normal ups and downs turned into an emotional mess where I felt like I was constantly living in a black hole. Sadly, with depression/mental issues comes certain risks and challenges. Like suicide.
As I sat there listening to her every word, I felt the shame. I felt the stigma of battling depression. I`m not crazy. Life has kicked me so hard that waking up and doing it all again, it is a struggle.
If I had shared my every thought I`m afraid of the label I would have been given. A stamp on my forehead – CRAZY. Therefore, I keep my moth shut and try to heal.
Then I silently ask – what is crazy? Furthermore, I realize I don’t need to explain myself.
I would think in today’s modern society that the knowledge on mental health amongst people had widespread by now. Unfortunately, many have not received the memo. Some choose to deny the fact that when it comes to the human mind and emotions there is no right or wrong. If we are to understand each other, we cannot distinguish between the crazy and the normal.
If so, I would need to ask again – what is crazy? Moreover, what is normal? Would you be able to give me a straight and objective answer – free of bias and bigotry?
I cannot claim that we will all go crazy some day, for crazy is highly subjective. However, life has a tendency of putting us through hardship, pain, sorrow, despair etc. And when it does, we will all handle what is thrown our way differently depending on who we are, the culture and society we come from.
Each person has their own opinion about certain matters, issues and topics without any significant knowledge in the particular field. And with so many opinions abound it is fair to say crazy is in the eye of the beholder.
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