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Are Bipolars Crazy? I Am.

June 9, 2010 Natasha Tracy

I am crazy. I say this, but people don’t like the word crazy. Most often, what people say is, you’re not!. Well, actually, I am. I'm bipolar and I’m crazy.

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]
–adjective
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.

–noun
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.

You can find Natasha Tracy on Facebook or GooglePlus or @Natasha_Tracy on Twitter or at the Bipolar Burble, her blog.

APA Reference
Tracy, N. (2010, June 9). Are Bipolars Crazy? I Am., HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2019, August 19 from https://www.healthyplace.com/blogs/breakingbipolar/2010/06/are-bipolars-crazy-i-am



Author: Natasha Tracy

Natasha Tracy is a renowned speaker, award-winning advocate and author of Lost Marbles: Insights into My Life with Depression & Bipolar.

Find Natasha Tracy on her blog, Bipolar BurbleTwitter, Instagram and Facebook.

Jeremey
says:
December, 3 2018 at 10:28 pm
I like your take on it. Sometimes I think that maybe we are more normal than than the “same” ones. I’m an Empath. I’m an incredibley sensitive to the Harmonic Resonance created by others magnetic fields. Those electromagnetic fields are directly related to people’s emotions. There is allot of pain in this world. There is negativity and evil everywhere you turn. Is it really odd to be sensitive to these sorts of things? In my “crazy mind”, it’s quite the opposite. How could you not be affected by it. I voice my feelings. I don’t even have to most times, the whole room can just feel me....vibes/electromagnetic field/the harmonic resonance my spirit produces. My happy term is “gifted”. It’s a blessing and a curse. I really liked your article. New to this site. I will be hanging around. I struggling daily, doing my best to work through the depression side. I’m BiPolar 2, PTSD, major anxiety....they all read the same to me. All seem to be connected in my interpretation. Thank You for sharing. ?
Joe
says:
June, 15 2018 at 7:25 pm
Personally, I prefer "insane," but it isn't complimentary or adverse; just realistic. My bipolar disorder was early-onset, in my early childhood, and has only intensified as I have grown. I have learned that it is important for anyone who is required to be around me for an extended period of time (professionally, mainly) to know that I am, in fact, not sane, or "insane." It is important because, for a long time, I was embarrassed/fearful of people knowing this about me and, consequently, I had lost many jobs. Now, I am transparent on the matters of my faulty brain, explaining my inevitable, uncontrollable behavior in advance so they can decide whether or not it is something they are willing to tolerate. It saves both parties (myself and them) a lot of time.
Mahmod
says:
May, 22 2017 at 8:33 am
I'm diagnosed as Bipolar disorder. could you tell me am i crazy?
don't try to be the good human in a situation needs truth......thanks

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

Natasha Tracy
says:
May, 22 2017 at 3:44 pm
Hi Mahmod,

No one can say that to you with any degree of truth. Only you know how you feel and what words describe you. I can describe myself, not you.

- Natasha Tracy
Kathy
says:
September, 26 2016 at 10:24 am
Thank you for validating how I've been feeling about having bipolar illness. Thinking it is one thing. Saying it out loud takes some getting used to.
J_Jammer
says:
January, 26 2015 at 4:53 am
Yes. I love this. I'm so glad I found it. Thank you, thank you, thank you. :D
Helen
says:
January, 17 2015 at 3:52 am
An interesting read indeed. I hope more people thinks the way you think. Cause, it's so sad and demoralizing when people (in laws esp) treats me like a sick freak (who chose to be depressed for No Apparrent Reason- though they r the main cause), with nothing but a sick brain, sick mind. It also doesn't help when they and goes around spreading to their friends, other relatives,.. etc. I hope I can change my mindset to be like you, so positive.
Lynn
says:
October, 31 2014 at 4:11 am
In my own space - I call myself crazy; but if I used that word in public or to my family, everyone would scatter like dried leaves in the wind. Heck, even my therapist would object to that "word" - and in reality, saying you are mentally ill conjures up images of a serial killer or child molester, etc. in the minds of the uneducated about our illness. Regardless of what it's called, neither provides comfort to others. You may as well say you have the plague, you would get the same reaction, - everyone would run like hell in the other direction. Yes, I am crazy, and that is okay with me - however, being PC is a fact of life, so saying nothing (for me) in public or to family, works for me.
Sergio
says:
June, 2 2014 at 6:25 pm
I guess I'm fine being crazy, but still I don't really know what it means to have hypomania. I use to be and smoke weed and feel free, but now when I do I really trip out, do any of y'all know why?
sandracobban
says:
November, 29 2013 at 12:16 pm
I disagree.
I think many people think people like Charles Manson when they hear crazy or the dude that killed John Lennon.
I was rather disappointed & surprised how many people accepted crazy over mentally ill or simply,just bipolar ...I refer to myself as BIPOLAR.
I think if I were crazy I would be electric chair material not ECT material.
I totally am offended by the C word as I call it.
I know my family would agree with me on this,as would my Drs. & support team.
Honestly,it's made me pretty upset,so I'm going to post this.
Yes I'm outspoken ...in ALL AREAS OF LIFE.
miscorl
says:
November, 23 2013 at 7:15 pm
ty so much for this inlightening blog made my day
Able
says:
November, 23 2013 at 9:17 am
Heck, what we want is people to be in the bell curve. Sadly, that means those who think they are sane, when in reality, they cause more harm to others then any.

Like Megalomaniacs, or Priests or others that people worship without question ---show me the heart of the man or woman, their intentions and dreams. That is what counts in the end
Andrew
says:
November, 23 2013 at 9:16 am
Heck, what we want is people to be in the bell curve. Sadly, that means those who think they are sane, when in reality, they cause more harm to others then any.

Like Megalomaniacs, or Priests or others that people worship without question ---show me the heart of the man or woman, their intentions and dreams. That is what counts in the end

Nuts or creatively Male Adjusted to Crazy Society and Human Race!
lynne
says:
October, 5 2013 at 5:36 pm
Thank you. You are great. I just found you, but needed to about 20 years ago! I'm going to keep reading. I spend so much time hiding the craziness to seem normal, it's good to know others feel the same.
sarah zamora
says:
May, 10 2013 at 9:05 pm
I really don't care what people use to label a bipolar as myself...everyone has opionions. Most are uneducated thoughts or statements. People who are not educated about Bipolar disorder are simply afraid of what they don't know! It's amazing and quite sad actually how little people understand or know about affective disorders,manic depression,bipolar etc. whatever term you might use. I believe its our duty so to speak to educate society on us CRAZYS! I don't consider myself as CRAZY,mental,insane really. I am just me!!! I have always been just me. I know nothing else but ME.
Miranda vd Broek
says:
March, 26 2013 at 5:21 am
Post-cranial drip.... Whoahahaha! Fabulous

Crazy I was only when I was psychotic, only once. I'm a pretty serious person, really. But creative, yes. In hypomania I just talk louder and faster, laugh and cry more and work harder if I wouldn't stop myself.

Your brainly ill (not dripping yet),
Miranda
Boris
says:
December, 23 2012 at 3:51 am
I understand and respect your opinion. I used a very similar line of reasoning for quite a few years until I found out about neuroplasticity. Basically, we have the ability to change how our "broken brains" work and have the real possibility of healing them. One such tool that I used in Recovery is Mindfulness meditation. I now no longer suffer as I once did from out of control mood swings and have been med free since February of this year.
I also use Peer Support, WRAP(Wellness Recovery Action Plan) and take a holistic approach to my health. No longer do I think of myself as "crazy", "broken" or "mentally ill", but rather "Boris".

Recovery is possible.

Thanks:)
Sue
says:
November, 9 2012 at 7:31 pm
THANK YOU! This is great, made me laugh! However, sometimes I do feel like my brain is oozing out my ears!
Natasha Tracy
says:
July, 28 2012 at 8:00 am
Hi Dina,

Well, others will take offence to our words, I have found, but that doesn't mean we have to stop using them. I agree with you in that it's all in the context. And who wouldn't want a "Crazy Lady Cupcake!"

The mind/brain separation has been one of my more interesting lessons from my mental illness.

You can read more about it here, but keep in mind that this is my own personal blog and not in any way affiliated with HealthyPlace:
http://natashatracy.com/mental-illness-issues/brain-vs-mind/mind-brain-split-enlightenment-mental-illness/

- Natasha
dina marie
says:
July, 27 2012 at 8:41 pm
Well, I can't keep up with some of the other comments- too smart for me, but I do have an opinion. I call myself crazy. Others can call me crazy if it is coming from someone I love and they are using it in a lighthearted way. If someone calls me crazy and I know they are being mean spirited and derogatory, that does not go over too well. I may be one of those sensitive ones you talked about. I will blame that on the Bipolar. :) I loved this line, "Me, I’m fine. Just a bit crazy, that’s all." My brother in law hates that I call my cupcake business, Crazy Lady Cupcakes. He says he takes offense at that. Hmmm...not sure why he would be taking offense. I told him sometimes I need to laugh about it or I would cry. I am intrigued with your thoughts on mind/brain separation. I would love to hear more about that in a future post.
Patricia Bosley
says:
June, 11 2012 at 10:50 am
I look back on the days before I was diagnosed and I was definately crazy. I was positively deranged. I can't believe that doctors didn't pick it up when I was a child. Today I am medicated but still crazy but not impulsive and I'm okay with that.
SomewhatBent aka Robbie
says:
May, 18 2012 at 11:40 am
I cop to both 'Crazy' and 'Brain Broken' - sometimes cooperatively and sometimes in conflict. I have more alphabet soup diagnosis attached to my head than there are in a can of Campbells(tm). I particularly like definitions 8 and 9.

8. having an unusual, unexpected, or random quality, behavior, result, pattern, etc.: a crazy reel that spins in either direction.

–noun
9. Slang. an unpredictable, nonconforming person; oddball

My seemingly random, unexpected, senseless behavior may look like that from the outside, but for me, at that time, it fits into my Big Picture.
Carey
says:
May, 14 2012 at 9:10 am
I personally use the phrase "bag of crazy" because it remains tied up most of the time but sometimes, a little spills out
Darrel Geffers
says:
May, 3 2012 at 7:25 am
I was very pleased to find this web-site.I wanted to thanks on your time for this wonderful learn!! I definitely having fun with every little bit of it and I have you bookmarked to take a look at new stuff you weblog post.
Kyra Marie
says:
February, 12 2012 at 11:06 am
I really like this post distinguishing between the mind and the brain. I think this is the key to destigmatizing what our culture now calls "mental illness." Mental refers to mind and our mind is often associated to our soul and identity. To be labeled as "mentally ill" essentially strips us of our identity, our soul, our very human consciousness. The brain, however, is a tangible piece of anatomy like any other body part that can become diseased, often from no fault of our own. Calling them brain diseases is much more accurate and would go so much further in protecting the dignity of our souls and identity; separate from the behavior manifested from an organ that is disordered or diseased. Saying I have depression (aka mental illness) immediately makes people judge my person, my identity, my will. They automatically think of me as mentally defective; thought by many to be a matter of attitude and willpower. No one blames a cancer patient for being sick and tired. Mentally ill people are often perceived as lazy and mentally incapable. But if we can use terminology that highlights the organ (brain) and physiological chemicals and hormones that aren't healthy (not the person's mind so often associated with will and soul), "mental illness" could be more properly perceived as a disease instead of the identity stealing ("mental") euphemism ("illness").
Logan M
says:
December, 27 2011 at 10:13 pm
Very nicely written. I believe you saw the same ABC article I saw right before finding this one. Your metaphors are accurate and insightful. I have been thought of as crazy due to having bipolar disorder, also I have resented the term crazy. I like the actual definition of crazy. However it is worth noting that when most people say something they do not always know the proper definition. Most people have a very negative connotative definition of crazy from their own personal experiences. The average uninformed person would define crazy in a menner that I would not want to be branded under, and from reading your writing here, I doubt you want that branding as well. Beware of the public's crazy.
Olivia
says:
October, 25 2011 at 4:02 pm
Good point you got there girl :)
RonPrice
says:
August, 25 2011 at 3:24 am
Here are some more sufferers from bipolar disorder:

Steve Jobs, founder/CEO of Apple
Tiger Woods, Winningest Golfer in History
Bono, Nobel Peace Prize Nominee & Singer for U2
Oprah Winfrey, Billionaire & Media Mogul
Al Gore, Vice President & Nobel Prize Winner
Howard Stern, Shock Jock & "King of all Media"
Paul McCartney, Singer, Songwriter, Beatle
Phil Jackson, NBA coach
Russell Simmons, a hip-hop entrepreneur and meditation evangelist
----------------------
Here's a list of more well-known people, according to Garret LoPorto an authority in the field:
Jim Carey, Robert Downey Jr., Patty Duke, Ben Stiller, Robin Williams, Ludwig Von Beethoven, Francis Ford Coppola, Ted Turner, Buzz Aldrin, Peter Gabriel, Jimi Hendrix, Axl Rose, Sting, Sylvia Plath, Winston Churchill, Theodore Roosevelt, Jane Pauley, Mark Twain, Virginia Woolf.-Thanks to Garret LoPorto, CEO, Media for Your Mind, Inc. Author of The DaVinci Method. The National Alliance on Mental Illness(NAMI) can also add many people to these lists.
Magaret Callahan
says:
July, 23 2011 at 6:25 pm
It has been said that Merriweather Lewis of Lewis and Clark fame was bipolar. He was the "pluckier" of the two, as I recall. Here is one example of greatness in BPD history!
"The official leader of the epic Lewis and Clark Expedition, Meriwether Lewis has been called 'undoubtedly the greatest pathfinder this country has ever known.'" PBS website
RonPrice
says:
July, 14 2011 at 6:18 pm
Here is an example of the problem of the complexity of language at the other end of the scale, the medical scale. It is difficult to win in the field of mental health: either you go to the too simplistic and labelling end of things or you go to the too complex stuff as below.-Ron
-------------------------
This is an abstract of an article with its complex language: “Dissecting trait neurobiological abnormalities in BPD from those characterizing episodes of mood disturbance will help elucidate the aetiopathogenesis of the illness. This selective review highlights the immunological, neuroendocrinological, molecular biological and neuroimaging abnormalities characteristic of BPD, with a focus on those likely to reflect trait abnormalities by virtue of their presence in euthymic/normal patients or in unaffected relatives of patients at high genetic liability for illness. Trait neurobiological abnormalities of BPD include heightened pro-inflammatory function and hypothalamic–pituitary–adrenal axis dysfunction.”
------------------------------------
Natasha Tracy
says:
June, 19 2011 at 5:55 pm
Norm,

Thanks for the comment. I enjoy anyone who uses the word "pluck."

"The attitude not mentally ill but “Crazy” has been just the right opportunity to get busy and do the next right thing."

Hey, that sounds like a big bonus to me. If "crazy" spurs action, it gets an extra vote from me.

- Natasha
Natasha Tracy
says:
June, 19 2011 at 5:52 pm
Hi Michael-Pearson,

I'm sorry, I'm not quite sure what you're saying, but if you're in crisis, please call a help line. They can listen to you and refer you to more local supports:

http://www.healthyplace.com/other-info/resources/mental-health-hotline-numbers-and-referral-resources/menu-id-200/

- Natasha
michael-pearson
says:
June, 19 2011 at 10:40 am
my doctor went me to going to hospital i sade no way she sade there can make there no let me there can not please
Norm Miner
says:
June, 18 2011 at 8:18 am
Hi Natasha,
This morning I engaged myself in learning the language of "crazy" by reading your blog and associated comments. Wow! I am truly inspired by the pure pluck and honest courage of those who have shared. I have been a mental health worker and a consumer of mental health products over the past 35 years. Whether teaching life skills to my patients or coping with my own mental health challenges, I too have been turned off by the appellation "Mental Illness". Anti-seizure medications (among other things that my psychiatrist and I have agreed upon like that I have had undiagnosed bipolal disorder for 30 of the last 35 yrs) leave little doubt that I get to have life saving medications to help bring my diseased brain into order. The attitude not mentally ill but "Crazy" has been just the right opportunity to get busy and do the next right thing. The term "Mental Illness", on the other hand, seems more like a sentence and may become an excuse for inaction. "Well, you said I was ill." Trust me Mental Health workers and their clients have more compassionate ways to develop self esteem.
Natasha Tracy
says:
June, 17 2011 at 3:15 pm
Hi Norma,

I agree, "mental illness" is stigmatizing, but it shouldn't be. I hate the term personally, but as far as its meaning goes, it's about as reasonable as anything else.

If people want to use it as an insult, try replacing it with "cancer" and throwing it back at them. It's just an illness, like any other.

- Natasha
Natasha Tracy
says:
June, 17 2011 at 3:12 pm
Hi Alistair, another great comment:

"People don’t like the word “crazy” because we live in the age of Politically Correct speech and the term crazy is beautiful in its clarity, honesty, and raw accuracy."

I would tend to agree. I despise political correctness. I have no desire to hurt others but I'm tired of wrapping everything in wool just so that some overly-sensitive person doesn't get offended. I'd say intent, in language, means a lot more than people give it credit for. But then, that would be grey, and not black and white like everyone seems to like.


"by going far into the jungle of insanity so many times I have learned more about real life - and real mental health - than most of the square shooters and so - though still technically bipolar - I am a hell of a lot more grounded and sane than most of the people I encounter every day."

I think that too. Odd. Could just be a greater part of insanity ;)

- Natasha
RonPrice
says:
June, 17 2011 at 2:49 pm
You make a good point, Natasha. I like 'crazy' to some extent but the word, like 'mentally ill' or even 'mental health problems/issues', has its downside. In some ways, the problem you have raised is one of language. There is a world of language associated with attempts to describe one's experience with BPD over the short term or over a lifetime.

For me the words short term apply to: today, this week and this month; medium term applies to a period of two months to a year and the two words long term applies to all the time after one year in my personal medical history, retrospectively or prospectively. I try, as far as it is logically possible to use the term mental health or mental distress and not mental illness. This has been a recent emphasis in mental health discussions and in the literature.

There is also the problem of the use of complex language. The field of mental health is replete with complex terminology. It is helpful for those with different types of mental health problems to become as familiar as they can with this language. I try for the most part to use simple language—but I do not always achieve this aim.

A good example of the language difficulties at the complex end of the spectrum is the following paragraph which discusses the neurobiological bases of behavioural differences. The language used by specialists is often way over one’s head, both the head of the sufferer from BPD and the heads of others wanting to understand the disability. (See Erik Kandel, “A Biology of Mental Disorder,” Newsweek, June 27, 2009; and C. Langan & C McDonald, “Neurobiological Trait Abnormalities in BPD,” Molecular Psychiatry, Vol. 14, pp. 833–846, published online on 19 May 2009)

These two sources provide many excellent examples of this language complexity. The abstract of this article with this complex language is as follows: “Dissecting trait neurobiological abnormalities in BPD from those characterizing episodes of mood disturbance will help elucidate the aetiopathogenesis of the illness. This selective review highlights the immunological, neuroendocrinological, molecular biological and neuroimaging abnormalities characteristic of BD, with a focus on those likely to reflect trait abnormalities by virtue of their presence in euthymic/normal patients or in unaffected relatives of patients at high genetic liability for illness. Trait neurobiological abnormalities of BPD include heightened pro-inflammatory function and hypothalamic–pituitary–adrenal axis dysfunction.”

Language is a problem not only with respect to mental illness but also with respect to many other complex problems in society. KISS, keep it simple stupid, does not solve all problems. Whom the gods would destroy they first make simple and then simpler and then simplest. I will leave this problem here.
Norma
says:
June, 17 2011 at 1:04 pm
Thank You. I think I prefer crazy as well. Mentally ill is so stigmatizing and I agree I simply perceive things differently. However, I think there are so many sick and mentally ill folks out there that are ashamed and don't get help. These are the people that like to micro-manage and control others and then they say things like "Norma...I have known you for a long time". Passive aggressive insults when they are mentally ill or crazy but workaholics in denial................ call me what you want but don't say you know me because I am the only expert on me!
ron
says:
June, 17 2011 at 10:56 am
Anyone can be mentally ill. Being mentally ill and not getting help for it, That's crazy!
Marlene Azoulai
says:
June, 17 2011 at 10:55 am
Crazy is an utterly relative term. It's used in so many ways. All of my writing and art is about dis-spelling the stigma attached to mental illness. I believe in re-claiming words that have been used to keep us trapped . Crazy is one of them. So is Multiple Personality, which they changed to "dissociative identity disorder". That's what I live with. And not in the closet either. So I guess that makes me a crazy multiple...Language is too often used to keep people down. Words like slut, whore, []...all are used to put women in lesser-than positions. I say re-claim language from the mental health system ANd from the patrirachy. Take language and MAKE IT YOUR OWN. That's creativity.
Natasha Tracy
says:
June, 17 2011 at 7:57 am
Hi Lesley,

It sounds to me like you're being an amazing support. And that "all you can do" is a huge thing. We crazy love and appreciate such support. Many of us aren't lucky enough to have it. And many people aren't strong enough to provide it. So, Go You!

Shame, stigma and fear surround mental illness, I know. It's extremely sad. And while there will always be closed-minded little people who refuse to see the beautiful person who just happens to have an illness, there are many others that will. All it takes is a few people around us to realize that we're accepted. People with a mental illness feel extremely alone. They feel like they are the only "crazy." But of course, they're not. Whatever crazy they are experiencing many, many others are experiencing too, it's just that no one is talking about it.

If possible, I recommend your loved one reach out to other supports. This could be a support group or telling a close friend that can be supportive. She could even go online to find supports. We're out here.

And if you're so inclined, you could try to help educate other family members. People have gotten together packets of information and given them to their family to try and explain what they can't. You can use articles here, from other blogs, from many of the informational articles on HealthyPlace or wherever you feel expresses what you need the best.

Knowledge dispels fear. And dispelling fear destroys stigma.

Good luck.

- Natasha
Natasha Tracy
says:
June, 17 2011 at 7:06 am
Hi Faith,

You're welcome.

I do get strong backlash here and elsewhere. It happens. I've learned to deal with it. "We take the backlash so you don't have to."

I'm glad my writing has helped your personal journey. That's hugely gratifying for me.

"I have never thought that I was mentally ill because I am quite intelligent and insightful."

Oh hon. That's stigma biting you. Being intelligent and insightful doesn't save you from mental illness, unfortunately. It's a disease and anyone can have it.

Being sick doesn't make you any less intelligent or insightful. But now you can use that intelligence and insight to attack the illness, and believe me, with that realization you're a step ahead of the game.

- Natasha
Alistair McHarg
says:
June, 17 2011 at 6:05 am
People don't like the word "crazy" because we live in the age of Politically Correct speech and the term crazy is beautiful in its clarity, honesty, and raw accuracy. For years I've said, "In my family 'crazy' is a technical term."

Of course, the great irony here is that by going far into the jungle of insanity so many times I have learned more about real life - and real mental health - than most of the square shooters and so - though still technically bipolar - I am a hell of a lot more grounded and sane than most of the people I encounter every day.

Alistair
Lesley
says:
June, 17 2011 at 6:03 am
I have a family member who has been diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder. She has a real struggle accepting her illness because of the stigma. She has a brilliant mind, she is funny and loving sometimes and other times the opposite. I think she would prefer "crazy" to mentally ill too, that's just the way she is. I think it would be so liberating to her if she could talk openly about her diagnosis, she tries to behave as if there is nothing wrong and it is hurting her. There is still a great deal of stigmatism around Bipolar Disorder, even close family members are ashamed, feel she has control and should behave differently. I know she tries in her own way to be "normal", but to tell you the truth I think to her being "normal" bores her to tears. I wish I could do something to help, all I can do is be supportive and be there for her.
Heather
says:
June, 17 2011 at 5:09 am
Thanks for your insightful post. It really resonates with me. I agree wholeheartedly with everything you wrote.
Faith Neff
says:
June, 17 2011 at 4:42 am
Natasha, thank you for writing this and putting it out there. I think you are quite brave because there was the strong possibility of receiving strong backlash. I live with Bi-Polar disorder along with Borderline Personality Disorder and PTSD and General Anxiety disorder. Your post helped me to realize that it is very likely that the PTSD and GAD led to my other disorders by changing the chemistry of my brain thereby making my brain go bonkers (i.e. crazy). I have never thought that I was mentally ill because I am quite intelligent and insightful. Thanks!
Natasha Tracy
says:
June, 15 2011 at 7:26 pm
Hi Cnoon,

"Natasha, I’ve just found and have been reading through your blogs most of the day and I dare say, I do love your style and candidness, thank you. I haven’t read this much in months!"

One of the greatest compliments ever. Thank-you.

- Natasha
cnoon
says:
June, 15 2011 at 7:22 pm
I've been called crazy for years, by many and long before my bipolar diagnosis...usually the speaker was smiling. It's pretty much the same as when I'm told...Christina, you rock! Seriously, I could not become upset at that. If anything, I've always been proud of being 'different' in this way. Yes, typically more outrageous than others at times even though we are 'all' different. Note however, when I am at the lower of my two poles, I would not feel the same but hell, no one sees me then so it's all good. Crazy pride IS good!

@ Art Deco..as far as Catherine Zeta Jones 'becoming' bipolar..I'm not so sure. From my personal experience the mania just wasn't diagnosed until after some pretty hefty triggers. Until then I just got depressed alot and had some pretty wicked cases of 'spring fever'...regardless of the time of year. Looking back, with the knowledge I have now, I'm pretty sure that hypomania was an integral part of my very early years as well. I'm sure my grade school teachers would all concede..afterall...I rocked! Crazy huh? :)

Natasha, I've just found and and have been reading through your blogs most of the day and I dare say, I do love your style and candidness, thank you. I haven't read this much in months!
Art Deco
says:
April, 14 2011 at 2:00 pm
I had a girlfriend many years ago who had bipolar disorder, or manic depression as we called it in those days. I'm reading that Catherine Zeta-Jones has developed the condition after being subject to profound stress to do with the cancer of Michael Douglas, her husband. That this is possible, developing the condition, is certainly news to me as in my day we were only told (so far as I'm aware) that it was a genetic condition, you had it or you didn't have it. It sounds like more is understood about bipolar disorder these days, so that at least is encouraging news.
Natasha Tracy
says:
October, 3 2010 at 10:30 am
Hi Maria,

Well, I refuse to be dismissed by crazy. Sure, you can call me that, but I don't find it dismissive.

You're not inferior nor are your perspectives. If you have a mental illness what you are experiencing is a brain disease. _You_ are not the disease, but the disease may be affecting you greatly.

This is the difference between your brain and your mind. You are you. Whomever you are. That is your mind. It's the part of you that no other person can be. Your brain on the other hand is a physical thing. It's the thing that can be hurt by being smacked by a 2" x 4". Your brain is sick. Your mind is yours. Always will be.

From what you are saying it sounds like you would really benefit from some cognitive behavioral therapy as they focus on the difference between what your brain tells you and what you then do with that input. There are therapists that specialize in this area. It can really help you find yourself in the storm of the crazy.

It's great that you're thinking about it, but others can help you find perspective.

Just a thought.

- Natasha

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