Mad vocabulary

There are words in our vocabulary that most do not understand. The words “crazy” and “mad” are particularly difficult to interpret.

They are dangerous words because no one really knows what they mean and people use them according to their own understanding. The words are emotionally loaded and can cause no end of insult or hurt. They also reinforce our personal prejudices towards other people.

The meaning for “crazy” seems to be used as the same as “mad”

Dictionary definition: “mad: especially as manifested in wild or aggressive behaviour.”

“Stupid or unreasonable”


This view is troubling to people who suffer mind illness. Outsiders regard Psychiatric hospital as “the mad house.” People who talk in this way, have views of what the terms mean and imbibe attitudes from the media and films.

Psychiatric hospital is a place of refuge. People sit quietly trying to cope with their suffering and find a way of dealing with the turmoil that is happening inside. There are no cowards in Psychiatric hospital. For many it takes time and for some it is a lifetime of inner conflict and pain. It is a shame that people who are there, are so defamed. It is easy to take up the misnomers and use them without really thinking about what they are.

What is “insane?”

Can someone lose their mind?

What does losing your mind mean?

These questions are kept unanswered for most people, and because of the lack of clarity, that wrong ideas proliferate. It is like an everlasting conundrum that goes on and on. Perhaps because our minds are so unique and so complex, that it may be impossible to make a general statement of meaning. Perhaps it is meant to be hidden and only interpreted for the individual.

This still does not address the massive stigma and the unfair prejudice and insulting speaking that sufferers have to tolerate. The media has accusations to answer.

When there has been a murder reported on the news, some have qualifications attached, such as “the perpetrator was suffering from mental health issues.”

This influences attitudes massively. The qualification sets up the idea that mental health patients murder people. They do so, for sure, but 99% if murders are carried out by the “sane” people. So the reporting is massively scewed. The general population gets the idea that all “crazy” people are murderers.!

If a person suffering from a physical illness does something wrong, the illness would not be reported. For instance, Cancer sufferers would not be portrayed in this kind of negative light. Sufferers of physical illnesses and disabilities, are regarded as heroes and get positive coverage in every situation. This is not enjoyed by the sufferer of mind distress or illness. Therefore, this biased reporting is prejudicial and creates a culture of fear around sufferers. The discrimination suffered by those suffering from mind illness seems endless.

In our present society we have become more used to the idea of “Depression” and what this illness is about. However, this usually is doubled as a description of being “a bit down” unfortunately the facts about the actual illness are less well known. Depression is a painful debilitating illness that can hold people in such a terrible place for extended periods of time. Somehow we are frightened of that, and if we were to find out about it, it might reveal something about ourselves that we don’t want to know. It’s easier to side-line sufferers and keep quiet. Depression is an illness and should be treated as such. As with other illnesses, the sufferer get better.

In recent times the term “manic” has been taken up in popular speaking. When we are busy and doing a lot of things, we say we are “manic.” Manic is used as an alternative for “busy.” This is not helpful. Being busy does not make your mind ill. Some talk about “manic” weather. Weather cannot be manic- it cannot be ill- it is not a person with a mind.

We use the terms for mind illness as if it is nothing at all and assign the terms to trivial things. This is hurtful and excludes sufferers, exacerbating exclusion and loneliness. Some think they are helping and trying to break down barriers that the words hold, but not understanding what it is like for the insider. Sufferers are not consulted and they have enough insight to remain quiet. Who wants their inner life paraded in public, especially with the lack of understanding and crushing stigma that is still felt.

It will take more than royal interest to break this problem open. It should be down to the sufferers themselves to decide how this is played out. There are still too many who think they know but have no direct experience. For the sufferer, the fear of exclusion, keeps the person quiet. Suffering is silent. For many sufferers of mind illness, it becomes impossible to fit into “normal” social settings, because they see things so differently.

Some reach the conclusion that the world outside is “mad” and the place of peace is not there. Some are so sensitive in thoughts and ideas, that a creative outlet becomes very important. To be able to exercise powers and use the mind to solve problems and express ideas, is a powerful use of our highest powers. Many poets, Artists, writers, or any creative people, are sufferers of this kind of illness. People who are mind-sufferers have the ability to operate on that level. This is not always understood either.

Anyone can suffer from a mind that tips over into psychosis. This is a very scary word…

It is portrayed in films as violent, out of control and dangerous. This can be true, but not for everyone. Psychosis is a problem if the sufferer does not recognise their own state. This is when behaviour can become a problem. If outside agencies are involved, it makes things difficult for the sufferer who doesn’t understand what is happening. It takes time to sort through the mind and come to an understanding, and to assign events, feelings and thoughts to their right place. It is difficult to relay that to other people, and so the sufferer is left alone and outside the group.

Our society still has work to do in recognising the worth of having mind sufferers around. Indeed, our society has become increasingly unable to understand and accept people who are different. Christian circles are no different. Mind sufferers need to know the Lord Jesus, because He understands everything. He will teach and bless and give amazing strength to people who are sidelined and rejected. He has been there too…..