The Stigma of Crazy: The relationship between Talent and Torment


You are not your illness.

So many times especially in arguments with loved ones in the middle of our debate I would be called crazy. Calling someone crazy is an easy cop out to invalidating anything they say while in the midst of an argument. Now, I will admit that there have been times where my ideas have actually been based strictly in my own anxiety riddled mind with no actual facts to back up my irrational fears.Instead of calling me crazy, it would have been better to try to ground my thoughts in reality with compassion. But, there have also been other times where I was inherently right about things and I was being called crazy just because the other party did not want to see what I saw.

Calling someone crazy because their mind thinks differently is a harsh stigma that needs to stop. Many of the worlds greatest minds (writers, artists, musicians, politicians, philosophers, scientists) actually suffered from mental illness. Genius and insanity actually are linked. Illnesses like schizophrenia and bipolar disorder are often found in highly creative and intelligent people. Creativity appears to be significantly linked to mood disorders, especially bipolar disorder.

For years countless psychiatrists had tried to diagnose me with bipolar disorder and I would always deny it to them and just tell them that i had depression. Partially because I was denying it to myself, because of the social stigma that would follow. I was never manic as a child, I actually never experienced acute mania until around the time of my 24th birthday. I believe the mania was brought about because I was foolishly eating shrooms on almost a weekly basis for two or three weeks. I knew I was manic because I fit the stereotype of someone who was manic: sleeping very little, over abundance of energy, racing thoughts, a surge of creative ideas (i remember filling an entire journal in a matter of month because of all the creative ideas I wanted to pursue) i was spending money recklessly, and that lead to the repo of my beloved Mazda. After that, it became a wake up call to go back on my antidepressants to stabilize my mood. It had an immediate effect and I was back to being calmer.

It sucks though because countless ex boyfriends have called me insane and I really took it to heart. Once I started learning about the art of self acceptance, that once you accept and love your flaws no one can use them against you.

I started reading up on the link between genius and insanity.

“people with psychosis don’t filter stimuli as well as other people. Instead, they’re able to entertain contradictory ideas simultaneously, and become aware of loose associations that most people’s unconscious brains wouldn’t consider worthy of sending to the surface of our consciousness. While the invasion of nonsense into conscious thought can be overwhelming and disruptive, “it can be quite creative, too,” As for how this leads to strokes of genius, it could be that the sheer bounty of unsuppressed ideas means a greater probability of producing something profound.”

There is also a correlating study that you do not need an IQ of 140 or higher to be considered a “genius” that most creative geniuses had an IQ of around 120 (still high enough to be considered superior intelligence)

In conclusion, even if I am dubbed ‘insane’ then I will own it. I will own it because i’d rather be me than be anyone mediocre. It is complete agony and ecstasy to feel as deeply as I do. Call me crazy, because your words can’t hurt me anymore.


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