Are Bipolars Crazy? I Am.
I am crazy. I tell this to people in my personal life. It’s not a secret. I figure there’s no point in trying to cover it up; it’ll come out eventually. The approximately 20 scars on my forearms rather give away that something is wrong.
But people really don’t like the word “crazy”. In fact, most often, what people say to me is, “no, you’re not!”. Well, actually, I am. I'm bipolar and I’m crazy.
Definition of Crazy: See 'Bipolar'
Some selected definitions based on the Random House Dictionary:
cra•zy /ˈkreɪzi/ [krey-zee]
1. mentally deranged; demented; insane.
2. senseless; impractical; totally unsound: a crazy scheme.
3. Informal. intensely enthusiastic; passionately excited: crazy about baseball.
4. Informal. very enamored or infatuated (usually fol. by about): He was crazy about her.
5. Informal. intensely anxious or eager; impatient: I'm crazy to try those new skis.
6. Informal. unusual; bizarre; singular: She always wears a crazy hat.
7. Slang. wonderful; excellent; perfect: That's crazy, man, crazy.
8. having an unusual, unexpected, or random quality, behavior, result, pattern, etc.: a crazy reel that spins in either direction.
9. Slang. an unpredictable, nonconforming person; oddball
If those definitions don’t scream bipolar to you, then you just haven’t been paying attention.
I find these definitions entirely complementary. Intensely enthusiastic? Passionately excited? Eager? Bizarre? Excellent, perfect? Unexpected or random? Nonconforming person?
I will take all of those things, thank-you.
I Prefer "Crazy" Over "Mentally Ill"
My personal shortcut to all the above is simple; crazy: a person who perceives reality in an unexpected way.
That’s pretty much it. I am a person who lives in the same world as everyone else, but I perceive it differently. My brain gets the same stimuli, but somehow it fires in an unusual way. It’s different. It’s crazy.
I don’t find this pejorative; it’s accurate. I really am most of those things listed under crazy, and I’m OK with that.
Now the term mentally ill, I’m not a fan of. I use it, generally for political correctness reasons, but I don’t care for it. It sounds like I have some condition where my brain leaks out my ears. Post-cranial drip.
What’s more, it implies there is something wrong with my mind. I assure you, there is not. My mind is up and running and could beat yours in a footrace. No, what’s wrong is my brain. My brain is sick. My mind is fine. I have a brain-al illness, not a mental one.
A person with a brain tumor isn’t mentally ill. An epileptic isn’t mentally ill either. These people just have something wrong with their brain. (They don't necessarily get to be crazy though.)
The mind-brain separation is a complex bit of business, so I’ll leave it for another day, but I will say that to me, it’s important to remember that my brain is sick, and not my mind. There’s nothing wrong with me, Natasha, there is something wrong with my brain. Just like if I break my arm, there is nothing wrong with me, but there is something wrong with my arm.
So yes, I’m crazy. I perceive the world differently than you do. My brain doesn’t fire the right chemicals at the right times. But that’s the fault of a bad brain. Me, I’m fine. Just a bit crazy, that's all.
Tracy, N. (2010, June 9). Are Bipolars Crazy? I Am., HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2019, October 21 from https://www.healthyplace.com/blogs/breakingbipolar/2010/06/are-bipolars-crazy-i-am
Author: Natasha Tracy
Glad you laughed. Always a positive result from writing.
I see no reason not to explain everything through crazy. In fact, I think it's going to become all the rage.
Person: Why are you crying on the bus?
Other person: I'm crazy.
Person: Oohhh, okay then.
Person: Why did you not speak in class for almost the whole semester, then after class the other day we talked for almost twenty minutes, and now that we're in class again, you're not speaking to me?
Other Person (whispering): I'm crazy.
Person: Oh, okay then.
Person: Why do you avoid writing stories that the teacher will read, but when you were forced to write a story in half an hour you won the school's writing competition, even though everyone else had a month to write their stories?
Other Person: I'm crazy.
Person: Ohh, okay.
Actually, it reminds me a bit of my group of friends in high school... Almost all of us were crazy, so saying "I'm crazy" was considered a reasonable explaination, lol.
I've listed some of the definitions and I have no problem owning many of them.
Crazy is a definition for insanity, as is "mentally disordered". Well, I _am_ mentally disordered. That's the whole problem.
I get that we all want to be seen as normal, because we are, but I don't think it's necessary to run away from words just because _other_ people use them in a derogatory manner. Anything can be derogatory, "oh, you're an _office_assistant_?" People don't suddenly run away from the words office assistant just because one nasty person decided to make it seem negative.
The word crazy is real, as is insane. I can deal with reality. If someone chooses to use those words as insults, then that's their prerogative, but that only speaks ill of them, and not of me, or of the words.
I, myself may or may not get offended by this word depending on who says it and how they say it.
Congratulations on moving a mountain. Freedom is much better.
Learning to accept myself was like removing Mt. Everest from my shoulders!! The disdain with which I viewed myself before was like the heaviest weight conceivable. I feel a lot more free now :)
I think many people find the diagnosis almost a relief for exactly the reasons you said.
And yes, you are a normal human being with a brain disease. Congratulations on your learning to accept yourself. That's amazing.
Well, "crazy" is in your name, so you can't dislike it too much!
Of course, you're right, it gets tossed around all the time. It's just a word. Like nutbar or fruitcake or unhinged or wackadoo. I'm a user of words so I tend to see them as playthings and don't get too bent out of shape over it.
BFI isn't bad, the only thing is I'm allergic to TLAs (three-letter acronyms). I'm a techie which means I'm pretty much drowning in them already.
Congratulations, you just earned yourself an entry in my feed reader, great blog....
Borderline: No, people aren't a cancer because that's a discrete illness and not a disorder. People are diabetic or epileptic though, and that's more equivalent.
No one is suggesting a mental illness is you in your entirety. I talk about that at the above link.
Yes, that's why I say that I find it important to think of it as a "brain disease". I agree, it denotes its physical, rather than mental, nature. Which I feel is important and helpful, at least for me.
Glad that I've found your blog, you have a refreshing way of saying things.
this is a tough one for most people - myself included. Clearly bipolar is a part of Who I Am - it's too overwhelming a disease not for it to have an affect, but it's also clear that it's a brain disease and not created "by me". I suppose it has affected who I am but it is not me. If that's not too complicated.
Oh and anything that helps that you want to put on your wall is ok with me.
P.S. I love the bit "There’s nothing wrong with me, Natasha, there is something wrong with my brain". I think I'll put that up on my wall.
So what is crazy? It's a compliment. It's an abstraction. It's just a word.
However, I use mentally ill and mental health issues frequently in my blog posts because there are people who are offended by the word crazy and I do not want to offend them.
Normally, I am not big into political correctness, but seeing as I want to touch people in a positive way, I made the decision that in certain places and certain circumstances I would use caution when I speak.