Do you know anybody who doesn’t claim to be “a little crazy”? Hold on to these people. They’re getting scarcer and scarcer. Crazy is the new normal. If you don’t want to be boring, call yourself “a little crazy”. Being crazy is considered exciting, wild, rebellious. And it’s sexy and cool.
On Instagram there are 352,000 posts on #crazy, on #crazy even over 45 million, and they are not from psychiatric institutions or doctors. There are picture cards, coffee cups and T-shirts everywhere, celebrating their owners as likeable crazies. Most use the word in a meaning like “special, freaked out”. This reflects a zeitgeist in which everyone wants to be individual and special.
We prefer doing crazy things rather than interesting and exciting or even (OMG !) uninteresting. We jump naked from the 10 at night in the outdoor pool and then dance into the sunrise, sing along to “Sweet but Psycho”, a current Trallala radio song, which is about a cute, psychologically at least attacked protagonist. With all the normal craziness I’m slowly overcome by very ambivalent feelings.
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It’s normal that everyone wants to be a little crazy.
Of course it is important that we make visible and appreciate other mental states than stoic equanimity and smiling permanent happiness in the middle of life. The spectrum of our mental states goes further than from boring to nice. It is also understandable that people in an anonymous mass metropolis or even in the boring village feel the desire for individuality, that they often want to poop uncontrollably and therefore want to call themselves “crazy”.
The question is how individual it is when everyone is crazy. Winklesmiley.
When you say “crazy,” sometimes you mean it nicely, sometimes you don’t
So all this craziness can be annoying too. There is even talk that people who tirelessly call themselves “totally crazy” are usually the least likely to do so. So the term is misused in many ways. Above all, the term “crazy” can quickly tilt in its meaning for someone else. The sentence “She is totally crazy” can be enthusiastically acknowledged, but also whispered conspiratorially behind closed doors. It can be a compliment, but also slander.
Crazy infatuation can quickly turn into love and madness
How ambivalent the term can be can also be well illustrated by love relationships. In a positive sense it means something similar: When men rave about a woman that she is “crazy” (conversely, this rarely happens), they usually think that she is good to party with and that she likes experiments in bed. However, when men say about an ex-partner that she is completely crazy, this is by no means friendly.
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Most of the time the man, who is usually not a psychologist, tries to patch up a diagnosis with a woman because she has not behaved according to the Lord’s wishes and withholds his own share of the “crazy relationship”. Devaluating his ex-partner massively in front of you and accusing her of psychological problems could also be a sign that the man himself is a narcissist. Such behavior should immediately set off your alarm bells:
When in my case with a man immediately ALLE Alarm bells go off and I usually piss off immediately: “My ex was crazy/would have been in therapy/always totally freaked out/always caused stress/certainly a borderliner”.
– mc pirate batman ಠ╭╮ಠ (@LaVieVagabonde) 5 May 2019
He often conceals the fact that it was his escapades that – again such a phrase – “drove the woman mad”. Men also like to say about their ex “she’s a psycho”, which brings us back to the Lala song by Ava Max, which among other things says: “ Grab a cop gun kinda crazy / She’s poison but tasty / Yeah, people say, Run, don’t walk away / ‘Cause she’s sweet but a psycho …” She’s crazy with that gun. Pretty sweet, huh? No.
The actual meaning of the terms is softened
What do you think people who actually have a psychiatric diagnosis think about the fact that everyone is now acting crazy? How does it feel for people with a bipolar disorder or depression when psychological problems are played down in such a way, even elevated to the status of a lifestyle? I would say, cautiously, not so good.
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For it is not a matter of more acceptance of mental illness, it is a matter of trivialising it and softening terms. Sure, nobody says crazy in a medical sense anymore. But the intention is clear, and “psycho” or “depri” are cute terms for what are basically very serious problems. At the latest, when cute cat videos are shared as “antidepressants” in social networks, technical terms are watered down inadmissibly.
In the end less crazy is more
So what to do? Give up everything crazy? No. Of course all people should continue to show and cultivate their spleens and craziness. Nobody dies from a “Better Crazy than Normal” post on Instagram. But perhaps it does the term good if we stop using it in such an inflationary way. If need be, a “crazy” will do it, even if it’s already close to the limit.
At the end of the day, you might as well look at it that way: If crazy is the new normal, then normal is the new crazy. Let’s just call it that. Then we can all go on freaking out together and be happy: “Finally, normal people here!”