What’s the line between ‘mad’ and ‘mentally ill’? I don’t know if I’ve posed this before but it was something that I started thinking about today during rehearsals. A lot of people started using the term ‘mad’, as in ‘let’s act mad!’ And I wasn’t sure if I should be saying something… perhaps getting offended? I’m still not.
Where do we as a society draw the line between things such as ‘eccentric’ ‘mad’ and ‘mentally ill’?
The difficult part, as I think I’ve discussed before, is that these are all subjective concepts. There can be no true, scientific, quantifiable way of determining who is mentally ill. Screw all of your depression questionnaires and crap like that, it just can’t be measured in that way.
We’re brought up in a society that tells us how we should be behaving, and how we should feel and what we should look like and how we should behave… and when we begin to differ from these norms we’re seen as weird, different and wrong.
I think that our world is a little bit fucked- I mean, what is fashion? Why is it unacceptable for me to do certain things? Why does society expect me to wear make-up and take pride in my appearance? Why do I have to spend my time in pubs and clubs and drink alcohol? And why the hell am I seen as weird when I don’t do those things?
I can understand that some people have problems, to my mind something becomes an issue (or an ‘illness’) when it starts to place barriers on someone’s life and when it becomes a source of distress. Though I suppose with that you could argue that modern living is an illness, we could become so distressed about standing out and being seen as odd that is has a severe negative impact on our lives.
I do a lot of things that are ‘eccentric’, they’re things that I wouldn’t let other people see for fear of being seen as odd, but they’re not things that have a negative impact on my life. They’re just little habits and preferences that I have cultivated over the years.
I hate ‘normal’, it’s just wrong; it causes problems and issues and it’s just not bloody worth it. Why isn’t it normal to eat or do other activities alone? Why should single people be confined to their houses to sit and brood? Why is it weird to be a woman who doesn’t want children? Why should I love the sunshine and hate the rain? Why should death frighten me?
Screw being normal. I’m happy being me.
’til next time,