What is ‘crazy’ anymore? Or even ‘disturbed?’
I recently came across this comment on a friend’s Facebook page:
“I’m so happy Trump beat Clinton otherwise at this point everyone on planet earth would be nuked. We still may be, but there is a chance and she trafficked children from Haiti. He sucks; she is an absolute Monster!”
This person is a practicing pediatrician.
She is also what some in the neurodivergent community would call a ‘normie,’ i.e. someone at least assumed to be unaffected by mental illness due to their job and their social presence in real life.
I’m using politics as a measuring stick here (advisedly), but there are so many other ways one can demonstrate that despite outward appearances, they believe some pretty outlandish stuff.
When I was much younger, the rage was fluoridation and the fear that America was being poisoned by this monstrous plan. Fluoridation was a major plot point in the movie ‘Dr. Strangelove.’ There was just enough doubt about the science to give the whole movement the patina of legitimacy.
Today you see it with Hollywood stars like Jenny McCarthy and Charlie Sheen who lead the anti-vaccination movement, whose crowning achievement seems to be that whooping cough and mumps are making comebacks in the United States after having been all but eradicated.
There are many other examples out there – so many it would take a book the size of an old Encyclopedia Britannica volume to list them all.
And yet, these people may be publicly chastised but still humored in a way that makes them legit dangerous to the public good.
But if you start talking about the real harm of psychotropic medication and question the legitimacy of therapeutic techniques, you will still be marginalized. After all, you’re attacking one of the most lucrative businesses and one of the most entrenched professions in America. And who listens to ‘crazy’ people anyway?
So my head spins because I want to know things about psychiatry, but I want to guard against looking only for data that supports my own biases. My research has only just begun, but I just have to trust myself. I remember being quite concerned as the parent of an autistic child of the whole ‘vaccinations cause autism’ movement of the 1990s and early 2000s.
I became convinced in the end that the cause was more environmental than through inoculations but one thing I also became adamant about is that the whole ‘curing autism’ movement was way off base. My son was fine the way he was and didn’t any treatment regimens of oils, behavioral modifications, vitamins and the like to be ‘normal.’
For instance, if the belief that leading Democrats were sex trafficking children at a Washington DC pizza parlor is ‘normal,’ than normal is highly overrated.
They say I’m irrational, yet I trust science. They say I’m antisocial, but I believe in intersectionality. They say I suffer from depersonalization and ‘splitting’ yet I desire meaningful friendships. They say I could be dangerous, but I haven’t thrown a punch since the seventh grade.
Sometimes I wonder who the real ‘crazy’ people are.