Tuesday, March 18, 2008

When Did Crazy Get So Many Names?

When I was a kid back in the 50's everything was just simpler. Anyone in our town, which was on the in-the-country kind of small side, who was off the beaten path, as they say, was, just plain considered crazy. Now, I know there were some distinctions on the level of crazy, like really crazy, looney crazy, like really nuts crazy, or just plain, alittle crazy. Everyone, regardless of your background on any level you'd like to choose, was all lumped together. And if a person required taking a break from the "real world" and "going away" for awhile, of course, they went to the Nut House or the Looney Bin. How nuts ever became equated with crazy, I don't know, but it seemed fitting to me. "Man, he was really nuts, they had to put him away in the nut house...probably in a padded room somewhere..." maybe the relationship was how squirrels look when they're running around the yard so erratically with no seeming direction, and since we all know their main preferred food is nuts, well... Or crackers, that's another one. I think crackers was on a milder level than nuts. Maybe that neighbor we used to see on her hands and knees every day with her little pointed tool digging dandelions out of her lawn, she was considered alittle crackers. Not quite certifiable, but not quite right either...at least in our book.

Today it's very complicated. Can't just say somebody's nuts, need to know the correct psychological diagnosis...bipolar (which used to be manic-depressive, I think I liked that one better), borderline depressive, multiple personalities, anorexic, psychotic...the list goes on, and on. Almost seems like there are more crazy people now than ever before, like putting everyone in all these slots has made room for more in the "nuts" category of humanity. Now, I know it might be considered insensitive, but I kind of prefer to use the word "whacked" these days. Seems to fit a large group and it kind of has a nice ring to it. Kind of like they're whacked in the head and not just quite right...

Okay, you might be thinking what an idiot I am, how insensitive to the pain and suffering of thousands of people and their families struggling with their fine-tuned disorders. But no, it's just a simpler way. In this day of such extreme PC attitude, I refuse to join the crowd. I reject using the correct terminology, sure I respect the mental illness diversity out there, but it just seems alittle kinder to just lump everyone together under one umbrella. And, in case you're thinking, ah, she just doesn't know what it's like...well, yeah, I do. I've had immediate first hand experience with crazy people in my life. Grew up dealing with mental illness in my family of origin and know closely people affected today. And, as much pain as all this causes everyone, I like to add a little levity in terminology...kind of takes the edge off the reality of the day-to-day.

Here's to all the crazy, nuts, crackers, looney, whacked people of the world. Hope you can find some peace in this lifetime...and maybe, just maybe, it will come sooner if you're not looking for the correct label...

1 comment:

Ben said...

Great post...now you've got me thinking!

I was hoping to jump on as a follower of your journal. Any chance you'd open up the follower-thingy?