Crazy? So what’s normal these days?

Just the other day, I had a friend ask me for help and this wasn’t the first time in my life that I’d been faced with the same situation. I don’t know exactly why God uses me for the purpose of helping those in mental anguish. It might be because I have no plex in letting everyone and their mom know that yup, I’m certifiable! I joke about it and try to make light of something that is a serious issue and has caused me many problems throughout my life, but its also given me insight to be able to help other people like my friend, for instance.

No one wants to admit that they might not be “right” in their head or they’re having thoughts of hurting themselves or others. Most times, people don’t even realize they’re sick in the midst of an episode. I was diagnosed with bi-polar 1 disorder after my first, what I like to call, “episode”. I’m one of those who unfortunately blocks out the time from when the psychosis begins to when I find myself in a completely white walled room with a camera on me and a door locking me in.

Other people, know something’s wrong and probably have known for quite some time, but it’s the asking for help part that’s so hard. Thank God for giving me the ability to be that helping hand for someone during such a difficult time. I mean, who wants to admit that they think they’re going crazy? The stigma asssociated with mental illnesses is part of why people don’t feel comfortable talking about it or getting help when it’s needed. Who wants to admit they hear voices? Who wants to admit they’re paranoid that someone or something is out to sabotage them? Who wants to admit they inflict physical pain on themselves by cutting their own flesh rather than dealing with the real pain only they know exists?

There’s so many different types of “crazy” out there nowadays, that it makes me question who or what is considered normal? Anti-depressants are the second leading medication prescribed in the United States behind penicillins and anti-biotics. With that many individuals hopped up on psychiatric pills, shouldn’t we be questioning what’s wrong with the world that so many people are dealing with these mental disorders. I’m not saying that all of us who are prescribed psychiatric drugs should stop taking what obviously makes us able to function better in regular society. I’m just wondering what the real problem is and where it begins.

For myself, I was blessed with the genetics which made me prone to the mental issues I experience and continue to deal with. My mom and most the women on her side of my family suffered with the same problems. Unfortunately, it wasn’t talked about in past generations like it is today so I witnessed our “crazy” unmedicated and I’ll be the first to say that I need to TAKE MY PILLS! However, the prescribtions aren’t a “cure-all” by any stretch of the imagination. That’s what led me to self-medicate with other drugs throughout my life as well. As you can probably imagine, most cases like mine, involve addiction problems. Now we’re getting into co-occurring disorders which is a whole other topic I’ll talk about later.

The main idea I want people to walk away with right now is that it’s okay to be “crazy” and the more you own it, the more people will feel comfortable owning their “crazy”. We weren’t meant to be perfect and God loves us for all our flaws and imperfections. Don’t be afraid to be yourself and ask for help when you need it. If you’re supposed to take medication, take it! It might be a process to find the right medication for you, but it’s worth the struggle. And find a good psychiatrist who’ll lead the process and tweak it as needed. It’s a life-long process and everyone’s different so just figure out what works for you.