TED Conversations

Maddy Stutz

This conversation is closed.

Does anyone else with a mental illness find it offensive when other people use "crazy" or "insane" as an adjective?

This never bothered me before I got diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder, but since then I guess I've been a little more sensitive to this. On New Year's, this guy (who doesn't know I have bipolar) said I was acting "crazy". I know he wasn't saying it because he was seriously concerned about my mental state, but he was using it as an adjective to describe my sillyness and spontaneity that often overcomes me when I'm out with friends. I wasn't exhibiting any signs of my mental illness, but if offended me that he called me "crazy". I wanted to be like "as a matter of fact, YES!" Since then I've been noticing that people use "crazy" and "insane" all the time to describe every day stuff that might just be a little out of the ordinary. I've been talking to some people on my blog about this too, and some say they find it offensive, and some don't. We all recognize that calling something "gay" is offensive, should calling something "crazy" or "insane" also be considered objectionable language? What do you guys think?


Showing single comment thread. View the full conversation.

  • thumb
    Feb 5 2014: Hi Maddy, and welcome to TED conversations:>)

    You said it my dear, in your profile...."The hardest part about being diagnosed with a mental illness is removing the stigma from yourself."

    Actually, the most challenging part of changing or removing any thought or feeling (stigma) is removing it from our "self".

    Although I have never been diagnosed with a mental illness, I did sustain a near fatal brain injury years ago, after which my family and I were told I would never function "normally" again. After a craniotomy, being kept alive on life support systems, then finally regaining consciousness, the news was given to me that because of the severity of the injury, I probably would not ever function "normally" again. My first thought and response was....."well good"....."let's see where this adventure takes me"!

    Most of my life, way before the injury, I was often told I was "crazy", or "living in a fantasy world", or "not facing reality", because I believe in the interconnections of people....because I believe in respect, honesty, joy, humor, compassion and unconditional love. Right here on TED a couple people label me "passive aggressive" because I refuse to get into their disrespectful, unproductive arguments. I continue to say "thank you" to whoever tries to put these kinds of labels on me.

    I genuinely feel that I do not want to be considered "normal" in a world where people accept disrespect, dishonesty, lack of compassion, empathy, and lack of unconditional love.

    You hang in there Maddy, and keep reminding yourself of what you insightfully wrote..The hardest part about being labeled, is removing the stigma from yourself.

    Once you remove the stigma from yourself, and do not accept it from others, NOONE can put that stigma on you....whatever they say has no meaning, if we do not accept it. One important element for me is that I love exploring and evaluating the life adventure to learn, grow and evolve with the experiences. Know thyself Maddy:>)
    • Feb 21 2014: Colleen I think your words above are very wise. What we see in others is often a reflection of how we view ourselves and the world we live in.
      I hope never to be normal if being normal is about putting a glass ceiling on what we can become and confining ourselves to other peoples understanding of the world. We are all individuals and all we need to do to be free from any form of torment is connect with our higher selves and realize who we are.
      people can only make us feel offended if we give then the permission to do so. If being crazy means you are at one with yourself, then bring it on. I also believe in respect, honesty, joy, humor, compassion and unconditional love and believe we are all connected through our higher consciences.
      • thumb
        Feb 22 2014: Thank you Mint Thinny, and I appreciate your wise words as well:>)

        I agree with your comment about love.....it has to start in our "self". I do not believe we can give something away that we do not have in our self.

Showing single comment thread. View the full conversation.