You're going crazy!

I was recently watching a documentary on Netflix about bipolar disorder and during the documentary a young women mentioned how a friend told her she was going crazy which then led to her questioning what it means to go crazy. As many of you know I don't agree with labels, especially labels placed on people suffering from mental health issues and by labels I am not referring to a diagnoses such as Borderline Personality Disorder because personally when I was diagnosed, not straight away but with time, I found myself being relieved to have this name, knowing that what was I was feeling and my self-destructive actions were caused by something, I just felt better having something to identify with as it allowed me to focus on treatment options and inevitably work towards recovery. When I speak about labels I speak about those that feed into stigma, those that cause more harm than good and those that cause many people to hide how they are feeling and not seek help when needed, I speak about labels such as crazy, nutter, loony and so many more. Having myself been subjected to bullying as a result of my mental health issues I have an obvious dislike for labels which contributed to the beginning of Label Jars Not People but in all the years I have struggled with mental health issues it is only now after watching this documentary that I have ever thought about what it means to go crazy.

So what does it mean to go crazy? I spoke to some friends, done some googling and self-reflection and to be honest I struggled to come up with a well-formed answer that makes sense. 

My first port of call with trying to develop an answer to this question was to ask to close friends of mine. One friend spoke about it being in relation to people who are out of the social norm or medically when a person is totally out of control of their life while another friend spoke about it being an expression rather than an actual thing and people use it when referring to something someone is doing which can be considered dramatic. Next I turned to Google which presented me with more questions rather than answers, however these questions then contributed to my own self reflection as to what it means to go crazy.

I thought about this for some time, I thought about what it really means to me and I also thought about whether or not the truth in this situation was suitable to share on my blog but after some time I came to the following conclusion:

I sometimes think of myself as crazy, I sometimes fall into a trap where I remember being admitted to hospital and when people found out being called crazy and I believed them, I believed that I had gone crazy. I believed that cutting myself are me crazy, I believed that feeling suicidal made me crazy and I believed feeling the way I was feeling, sad, lonely, hopeless all made me crazy but that I was then, that was when I had people telling me I had gone crazy but now what do I believe going crazy means? I now believe crazy means living on the edge, doing all those things you never thought you would, doing the things that scare you half to death. I don't think of crazy in relation to mental health, yeah I hear it all the time but I choose not to let it define me, and every once in a while when I do see myself as crazy its because I've gone and done something that scares me half to death that I never imagined possible. I remember saying to myself in Florida that I must have been crazy to go on some of the roller-coaster because they made me cry due to fear, I wasn't crazy because of my mental health issues, I was crazy because I did something I never thought I would do, I did something that scared me so much I cried and most importantly I was crazy because I let go of everything and went for it. I dont think of crazy in a negative light anymore and I certainly don't see crazy as being a way to describe someone with a mental health issue.

So if you think going crazy is a way to describe a person with a mental illness I will challenge you, question you and encourage you to change your thinking but if you believe crazy or going crazy is doing things that scare you, put the fear of God into you or living your life to the full not letting things stop you then I agree with you, support you and wholeheartedly hope you find the courage to go a little crazy!
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