What is it that song says: But we're never gonna survive unless we get a little crazy?
Well I think that Seal is probably right on that one. There are times when the craziness can keep you going, then again there are times when it can stop you in your tracks and other times when you really shouldn’t be thinking crazy at all.
Crazy, just what does that mean? There is so much craziness in the world today.
I remember when OCD was called being tidy, depression was being fed up, alcoholism was liking a drink, and being clinically obese was just enjoying your food rather than an eating disorder that would kill you in any number of horrific ways. Of course this was a world where medical professionals treated the illness rather than focussing on the cause and nobody talked about the child abuse going on next door or Mrs Jones’ black eye, the one she got when she walked into that door.
It was a different world back then, although ‘then’ was only a few decades ago. We used to laugh at the imported sitcoms where our American cousins were all in therapy, giggle at the bus conductor as he pinched the bum of that teenage girl on his route, badly behaved children were just naughty, sex addicts were simply randy, a good daily clout from you father wasn’t abuse, and it was expected that there should be a place for everything and everything should be in its place - in its place, in its place, in its place.
Meanwhile unmarried mothers were locked away for life in asylums, homosexuality was treated as an illegal disease that could be ‘cured’, and you just didn’t talk about ‘it, no matter what ‘it’ was. Not a great situation and I’m sure that many more problems were caused as a result, but where did all this mental illness that surrounds us these days come from?
It seems that everyone just has to have something – ADHD, OCD, BPD, depression, bi-polar, various eating disorders and addictions. It appears that most of us are suffering from one neurosis or another and undergoing counselling, taking medication, or just quietly going mad. Of course life today is very stressful, or so we are continually told, but we’re not living through a World War expecting a bomb to fall on our house or waiting to get a telegram from the War Office at any moment. We can laugh about ‘Dunkirk spirit’ and ‘stiff upper lip’ but ‘getting on with it’ was just something people did because they had no choice and I’m sure that things generally, health and social care included, were much worse back then.
I know. They must have been crazy.
It would be easy to say that we have become self-obsessed, soft, molly-coddled, and even easier to say that we are all under terrific pressure, and all of that is true. There’s no doubt that we are more aware of our individual mental health these days and rightly concerned for our well being and there are many members of our society who are really suffering; suicides are up and metal health issues are at the top of our government’s health agenda if we are to believe what we are told. But why this mental health plague? Could it be that all the media focus, government interest, and the medical profession’s obsession with prevention rather than cure is making our mental health worse? Is that what is driving us crazy?
Look I’ve had my fair share of being down, panic attacks, anxiety, historical incidents that have taken me years to work through and others that I’m still dealing with, my alcohol addiction, my angry outbursts, but sometimes we all have to accept it’s our responsibility , recognise ourselves, stiffen our upper lips and just get on with it. Pondering these things can often make things worse. Our minds and mental state can be a problem, but we shouldn’t just pass it on to somebody else to deal with, because they won’t. It may drive us crazy but only we can do that.
And with that my therapy for today is over.