Do you ever feel that people can just look at you and know that you’re crazy?

Do you ever feel that people can just look at you and know that you’re crazy?

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You have asked a very multifaceted question.  I’m going to address some issues then I’ll answer your question.  And yes that’s my final answer!

First, let’s define the word crazy.

Webster’s Dictionary

crazy (adj) insane;impractical

New Oxford American Dictionary

crazy (adj) mentally deranged; wild

Merriam Webster Dictinary

crazy (adj) unsound; mad; insane

Well, that doesn’t exactly make the word crazy sound very nice now does it?

Second, let’s consider the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, more commonly referred to as the DSM. Mental health professionals use the DSM as their main point of reference to ensure  correct diagnoses.  The DSM is a comprehensive manual used to classify specific psychiatric disorders and the strict criteria that must be met to assure accurate and uniform diagnoses.  It is published by the American Psychiatric Association.

We’ve all heard the word crazy used in Hollywood horror flicks to describe the the stereotypical bad guy.  These types of movies and others like them, continue to perpetuate the unfortunate misconception of the use the word crazy in conjunction with mental illness.

I must say, I’ve never seen the word crazy used anywhere in the DSM.  In fact, the word crazy is highly frowned upon by the medical profession as a whole, as it is derogatory, demeaning and extremely offensive.

I’d like to impart this last bit of information to you and then I promise (I really, really do!) that I will answer your question.

Worldwide, 450 million people are affected by a mental illness or disorder.  In the United States, approximately 30 to 40% of Americans will experience a mental health disorder in a given year.   With these kind of numbers, many people probably know someone with a mental illness and don’t even realize it.  The only way they could know if someone had a mental illness would be because that person chose to share that information about themselves.  The average Joe, a coworker or your neighbor could have a mental illness and you’d never know.

And now…………TADA!!   See?  I told you I promised and I always keep my promises……….

here’s the answer to your question, you still want to here it right??

No, I don’t ever feel that people can just look at me and can tell I have a mental illness.

All kidding and joking aside, I hope you found this information helpful.  I also hope it reassured you and put your mind at ease.

No one can tell, just by looking at you whether or not you have a mental illness.


5 thoughts on “Do you ever feel that people can just look at you and know that you’re crazy?

  1. I agree. I have a friend who I met in therapy. She introduced me to her boyfriend last week. After I left, he commented to my friend that he wouldn’t have had any idea that I had any sort of mental health isssue. She told me this because she wanted to be a good friend and let me see how other people see me. I don’t believe we walk around with a big “M” (for Mental Case) stamped on our foreheads. Personally, I can be around other people, and unless I’m having a REALLY bad day and am extremely hypomanic, no one would know.

    Great answer, Catherine!

  2. I see it all the time in the waiting room of my therapist and pdoc’s office. I’ve never seen anyone that looks anything other than normal. I’m the one that’s been hurried inside if I’m crying/having a bad day.

  3. I agree. I am CERTAIN that people can’t judge by looking at you that you have a mental illness. If that were true psychiatrists would be out of a job. And when I have told people who I have known and interacted with for years that I have Bipolar they initially don’t believe me.
    Excellent answer Catherine.

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