Am I Crazy?

Am I Crazy?

Lauren PesinMonday,6 April 2015

First, Let me start out by saying that this in no way is meant to diminish the seriousness of mental illness. In addition, my intention is not to offend anyone by the term “crazy.” This is less about serious mental illness and more about what meets the threshold of thoughts or behaviors that indicate you should seek professional advice or counseling.

There are the obvious red flags of wanting to harm oneself, others, or commit random crimes. Then there are more questionable challenges people face that I am a little less sure about.

Google directed me to dozens of quizzes associated with the subject, including these: Am I Insane, Do I Need Therapy, and Am I Crazy.

Some questions were disturbing (at least for me) that asked about drinking the blood of others, eating glass, and watching living things suffer. Some questions related to the less disturbing, but still abnormal, hearing voices and seeing things that aren’t there and the possible reality of reading people’s minds. Along with the more extreme questions were a plethora of questions that related to feelings, thoughts, and behaviors that pertained to extreme levels of sleep disturbances, worry, nervousness, panic, fear, and obsession.

From personal and friend’s experiences worrying is normal, talking to yourself (while working at a computer or playing a video game) or yelling at inanimate objects (such as a printer that won’t print) and worrying about how big your butt is (or how big you think people think your butt is) are pretty normal thoughts and behaviors. It seems that the concern shouldn’t be about the normal and sometimes difficult emotions that we feel throughout our lives, but concern should be taken when our typical emotions and worry turn extreme or harmful.

I have not been to a therapist or psychiatrist. I have never thought about hurting myself or others (well maybe a select few who deserved it). As far as I know, I haven’t seen things, heard voices, or been obsessed over anything found in science fiction and fantasy novels. Yet sometimes I still ask, “Am I Crazy?”

I guess my options (and yours) to answer this question are the following:

1. You can live the rest of your life not knowing if you are crazy (which may drive you crazy if you aren’t already).
2. You can rely on the Internet and your circle of friends and strangers to tell you if you are crazy.
3. You can seek the counsel of a professional, be it counselor, therapist, psychiatrist, or psychologist (which will likely be the only way anyone will really know how crazy they are).

For me this exercise has resulted in a multitude of responses, ranging from worry to laughter.

Am I Crazy?

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