People have a really weird idea of crazy, because most of them haven’t had any exposure to it other than what they’ve seen in movies, television and books. And though we all know that the media never lies, exaggerates or otherwise gives us the wrong information, mental illness tends to get twisted around a little.
This is what people think crazy looks like.
Or possibly this.
Really, being crazy is more like this.
The trick is to take your medication. That kind of keeps you from being crazy, at least most of the time. Usually it’s a lot of pills and most of them have shitty side effects. This is the reason a lot of people stop taking them, because they don’t want to deal with the side effects. I personally weaned off my previous antipsychotics because they were too sedating, and the ones I’m on now seem to have less serious effects. But if you take your meds like a good little girl/boy/non-binary, chances are you won’t be quite as symptomatic. Sometimes it takes a while to figure out which ones you need, but that’s part of it.
If you decide not to take your meds, own up to your shit. Hell, even if you are taking your meds and you do something impulsive or criminal – stealing, spending too much money, busting up someone’s car with an umbrella – don’t immediately play the “I’m bipolar, you can’t blame me because I’m off my meds” card. It was your choice not to take your meds, so that is not a valid defense to me.
Another big part of it is not taking shit so seriously. Crazy is not a pejorative term, and every person that calls someone “crazy” isn’t sanity-shaming them (yes, that’s a word someone used in a blog post). Nor is calling someone crazy akin to calling someone a fag or a tranny (another blog). That is an incredibly huge insult to the gay community and I find it offensive, not to mention that it makes light of people who really are being discriminated against and makes light of body shaming. Yes, people with mental illness get discriminated against. Yes, we do deal with a lot of stigma. But as a person who is currently locking all the windows and doors and looking behind herself every four steps, I don’t take being called crazy as some sort of personal attack.
So in conclusion, the best way to deal with being crazy is to take your medication, take responsibility for your actions, and don’t take shit so personally. None of these things are going to cure your mental illness – kind of like being an alcoholic, you’re never fixed, you just learn to cope – but they will make it a lot easier to get through life and make you feel less embarrassed about it. For some people this makes it easier to talk about and thus helps to break down stigma.
That’s totally me up there.