I read this book the other day, The Psychopath Test, by Jon Ronson. It's about madness or what is, or is not madness, and it raises as many questions as it answers.
Going insane might be one of our worst fears along with serious illness, or something terrible happening to our children, but after reading this I am now feeling highly reassured. I am never going to worry about going mad at all again because after reading this, I figure we're all a little bit crazy anyway, and some of us may even be a whole lot crazy, but if we're not really harming anyone and managing to function in our lives, well, where's the problem??
Because what is normal anyway?? Does anybody even know??
Well you could say that it’s normal to get up and go to work every day. Ok then, think about this - is it really normal to get up and go to work every day, the way we do?
To slog your way through crowds and traffic, to sit in a building doing stuff for a company or corporation, to make money for them so they can pay you money to buy stuff, most of which you don’t really need, for a house, you didn’t really want, to begin with.
Then you take on a mortgage, to pay for the said house which will ensure you have to keep your nose to the grindstone for the next thirty years when you can finally look forward to retirement, (which by this time you will be too worn out and too tired to do anything) to find that the company CEO has raided the pension fund and disappeared into the ether, and you are destined to spend your old age in fear and poverty after spending most of your life working your bollocks off for someone else!!!
AND, along the way you missed out on most of your children’s growing up, your partner is now a complete stranger with a life of their own that doesn’t include you, and all because you had to be at work, in order to pay your taxes to a government that basically doesn’t give a crap about you anyway!!! Yes, THAT'S normal!!
If that's normal, then I embrace my insanity with glee!! Hee, hee!!
Because inside all of us, there is a little streak of insanity. It may not manifest itself as a medically recognised psychosis (although if the American Psychiatric Association has it's way, it may very well soon be) but it might just be a little obsession about collecting stuff, or how we dress, or cleaning; something along those lines, because let's be honest, we all have our little obsessions, don't we?
And what harm are we doing? Ok if your shoe buying habit is the reason you haven't paid your rent in six months well, maybe there’s a little bit of a problem there, that you need to think about, but still you're not crazy, are you?? And what about the girl up the street who goes out to work every day dressed up like Mary Poppins, or the old lady who walks around like the queen on LSD, are they really harming anyone? Because the truth is, isn't it our little insanities that mark us as individuals? Aren't these the hallmarks of our uniqueness in the world??
Because what I now realize, is that, THERE IS NO NORMAL. We’re all crazy in some way and some of the so-called most normal things are the craziest of them all!!!
What I see happening within the world of psychiatry is similar to what happened back in the 19th century, when the Victorian's did a study on sexual habits and labeled everything that wasn’t the Missionary position as sexually deviant.
Basically the same thing is happening now with all human behaviour. Anything that deviates from the norm (because we all know what normal is??!!) is now being diagnosed and labeled as mental illness and comes with it's own line in pharmaceuticals.
Roll up! Roll up! Get you behaviour modifiers here, an emotionally-deadening pill for every little ill!!
‘WHAT YOU HAVE AN OVER-ACTIVE CHILD???’ (Fake shock and horror)
Here, don’t you know that a little Ritalin a day, will keep the pharmaceuticals in pay!!!’
If you think that’s a bit exaggerated, then I urge you to read this book, (if you haven’t already) because the really scary part of all this, is what is happening with children in America , and here too, so let’s not get complacent. Children are being diagnosed with all sorts of mental health problems. We’ve all heard of ADD and ADHD, ( I always had huge reservations about those two, even more so now!) but what about childhood bipolar disorder??? Now, there’s a happy little threesome, to label a child with? Add to that the huge rise in autism diagnoses, and soon you will find that children everywhere are being medicated out of childhood.
So, if you have an active child, don't take them to a doctor and definitely don't take them to a psychiatrist, take them to the park and let them run around.....stop feeding them crap and let them dig that hole in the back garden and get mucky!! Who cares what the neighbours think!! Let them swing from trees….even better, join in and swing from the trees with them, and basically, go have some fun!!!!
Because that’s what’s wrong here….we take ourselves far too seriously and we have forgotten what it is to HAVE SOME FUN!!!!…. So let rip…..and let a child be a child……and remember that you were once one too!!! Life’s too short to let it drift by on prozac and Ritalin……ENJOY IT!!!!…….LIVE IT TO ITS FULLEST!!!!……because in the words of Noddy Holder -
‘MA MA, WE’RE ALL CRAZY NOW!’
So stop worrying and embrace the insanity because we are all in this one together!!!!!