No, you’re not crazy
By Katelynn Jones, LPC
I have lost count of how many people are terrified that I am going to think or determine that they are “crazy”. It became so frequent that I started to blame my job title. Many people think that only “crazy” people go see a therapist, or at the very least, only “people with something wrong with them” seek out counseling. But as time has gone on, I have found that there are other reasons people fear this idea of “crazy”. I want to do my best to eliminate, remove, and destroy this idea that people can be “crazy”.
You cannot be diagnosed as ‘crazy’.
First of all, there is no such thing as a diagnosis of ‘crazy’. Mental health professionals use a diagnostic book called the Diagnosis and Statistical Manual. Currently, the DSM is in version five which should tell us something about the ever-changing world of mental health! However, the DSM is used to provide individuals with an identifiable diagnosis that best fits their symptoms so the best treatment can be provided. ‘Crazy’, is not one of the diagnoses in the DSM. It is literally impossible for an individual to go to a doctor or therapist and walk away with the title ‘crazy’.
Being called “crazy” is derogatory.
Second of all, where does the idea of someone being crazy originate? When we use that word in relation to someone else, what are we saying? Usually, it is derogatory, “you’re crazy” or “there must be something wrong with you since you’re acting crazy”. These statements are often used to tear someone down and make them believe that they are to blame, that something is wrong with them.
I want to know what kind of person is making these statements. Anyone who is willing to tear people down during someone else’s moment of crisis should not be trusted to deliver a healthy, mature, rational opinion. A person who seeks to tear down others should not be the deciding factor of a person’s value, worth, or reason for mental health struggles.
Your brain and body are trying to tell you to pay attention.
Lastly, if your mind and body are giving you uncontrollable symptoms and emotions, there is probably something going on in your life that you need to pay attention to. The brain seeks to protect and defend us; so, if you are having nervousness, fear, apprehension, loss of control, sadness, negative thoughts, low motivation, etc., please know your brain is trying to tell you something. These symptoms that make people believe there is something wrong with them are actually the body’s way of making us pay attention and take action to protect ourselves. These symptoms are not something to paralyze us, they are something to shake us up and make us think. More than likely there is something in your life that your mind and body do not like being involved in. It is appropriate that you may want to consider sharing these symptoms with a provider who specializes in mental health. A therapist’s job is to help individuals understand symptoms, not judge people for having them.
Please know that no one at their core is or ever will be crazy. The diagnosis does not exist, the people saying it are not caring, and the brain does what it needs to do in order to get our attention. None of these things mean you are crazy, and if anyone ever tells you that you are, they are probably the “crazy” ones!