The Dividing Line Between Crazy and Not Crazy | Daniel Mackler


From Wild Truth: “‘Crazy’ is not being in touch with reality. Being in touch with reality means seeing things clearly, without the veils or filters known as defenses. We employ defenses (e.g., denial, projection, dissociation) when reality is too painful to see. Reality is too painful to see because we have unresolved historical traumas due to the actual horror of the realities we have experienced. Our defenses make life more palatable to us, yet they’re all manifestations of our craziness. To that end, we’re all crazy to some degree, to the degree that we have defenses.

However, part of the craziness of society is to only label as ‘crazy’ a certain tip of the iceberg of the defenses. The easiest people to label ‘crazy’ are not necessarily any crazier than the rest of us, but only have defenses different from the norm, especially defenses that are difficult for the norm to understand or relate to . . .

Also, many people labeled ‘crazy’ can’t function as well in society. This doesn’t mean they’re necessarily any crazier than anyone else, and sometimes they may even be objectively less crazy, that is, better able to see reality.

. . . Essentially, if a person stocked full of psychological defenses is just able to fit in and function, others like him or her will not consider him or her crazy. This allows all sorts of objectively crazy behavior and attitudes and ways of thinking to fly under the radar of conventional consciousness.

Also, part of healing psychological wounds and the defenses holding them in place means slowly facing reality more. This can be extremely painful, and for a time, sometimes a long time, this can make it more difficult for a person to function in society. So even though a person is healing their wounds, that is, becoming healthier, they can be considered more crazy.

Also, many supposedly sane people are actually just one step away from being labeled crazy. A few shifts in defenses, a slightly lessened ability to hide their defensive patterns, or a shift to an environment where different defenses are considered acceptable can lead others to look at them as crazy.”



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  1. “But I don’t want to go among mad people,” Alice remarked.
    “Oh, you can’t help that,” said the Cat: “we’re all mad here. I’m mad. You’re mad.”
    “How do you know I’m mad?” said Alice.
    “You must be,” said the Cat, “or you wouldn’t have come here.”
    ― Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland

    Do big brained animals know they are going to die one day? How do they handle that information?

    Everything we do will turn into dirt/burn/dissolve shortly after we are dead.

    The only thing we can leave behind ( in the stream of time) are our children, and I have no children.

    What is crazy?
    “It’s not crazy if it works!”

    So take that, if someone/something is working, it is not crazy.
    What is stupid?
    “It’s not stupid if it works!”

    So take that, if someone/something is working, it is not stupid.

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  2. The problem with madness or crazy labels is that it does not mean people are incompetent or stupid, it means people are not following the societal rules of interaction without committing a crime and many times over is because we live in diverse society in so many levels!

    An example to drive the point: if one asks too many personal questions that may make another “uncomfortable”, the one asking the questions may be considered “crazy” but not the one who could not regulate with unexpected environment. We cannot predict how others act all the time.

    If you really look around what is considered ‘crazy’ and may get you a life time labels are differences in how people act with each other in diverse manners – we do live collectively whether we acknowledge that or not. We think we have so much freedom but in fact we have zero freedom intrinsically without a big brother setting the course of human interaction. What is the point of having higher economic status and education if we are unable to deal with spontaneity of others without freaking out and labeling a mental illness.

    The internalization of the person feeling “uncomfortable” in the above scenario may go something like this: “I expect not to be inconvenienced, not be intruded, not be talked to any other way other than what I expect, and have the right to inner safety, and any other diverging manner will be personality disorder, mental illness or some other psychotic manner based on the bible DSM or my god given culture.” Our internalization process is overtaken!

    Nothing wrong with wanting to feel unlimited “safety” but there is a limit if one wants to interact with others.

    The majority of our lives we are moving along fine but now and then we do interact with others who are close to us who may act unexpected way and it is my humble opinion, we can act with curiosity rather than with the bible labels. Also reacting to these types of situations is human and what makes us get out of our complacency and display empathy and often learn a lot. I am preaching here…but most people labeled crazy often live around those who may have entitled and unearned safety mindset who are unaware of their own demands on others. That annoying bidirectional intersubjectivity!

    We need those acting so different to experience different lines in life. How does one ever learn anything if one stays safe forever in interpersonal relationships?

    We have safety in such the bus shows up on time. The speed on the highway is agreed upon. Our pay drops at midnight but we cannot ever have safety of how others may react to us short of crime of bodily harm. I am not by any stretch of imagination talking about abusive environment which again by giving a label does not solve the problem. I am talking about how the society operates subtly to charge people with different abilities into category and lock them in.

    In fact, I will argue our internalization of the cultural safety in the use of language is the problem not the person asking questions that I have absolutely no idea why they are asking these questions.

    We are practically living in a world where we absolutely commodified our inner world to be dictated by outer pressures of books. So we have become so fragile and any change in the environment throws us into a loop.

    Ps. I get annoyed and irritated as anyone else when my safety bubble is burst on but often I slow down to see what is in front of me rather than throwing ridiculous words to make myself feel better. The older I got the more I see the grip of the societal rather than my own volition and ultimately this is what the psychiatry culture really wants to control.

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