I have schizophrenia but in no way am I crazy, unless you want to say, that I am crazy for my husband or crazy for sweet potatoes. That is a fairly common, but not derogatory use of the word. There are so many uses of the word crazy that it is difficult to think of the word as a slur against those of us with a mental illness. In fact, in most cases, the way most people use the word, it isn’t a slur, it is simply a common word that gets used a lot.
Today I mean it as a slur though. Once again, I will say, I have schizophrenia, but I’m not crazy. Crazy is what the man in Las Vegas did today. That is out of this world, crazy. Apparently, they can’t find a history of a mental health issue with him. But what I’m saying is that doesn’t matter. People with a mental illness are not necessarily crazy, and people with no mental illness can be crazy. He is the latter. His actions are the epitome of the word crazy. That man was not sane: Sitting in a hotel room armed for combat and taking aim at innocent people enjoying a concert is crazy (along with horrific).
I’ve been thinking about the use of words since Trump started running for president. For over a year, people have been throwing around diagnosis after diagnosis of Trump. As a mental health advocate, diagnosing public figures bothers me. It took over ten years for doctors to give me the proper diagnosis. It isn’t a hard science, or should I say it is a hard science – it is extremely difficult to diagnose some people and some illnesses.
People have claimed that Trump is a Psychopath. I have read that he is a Narcissist. I have read that he is a Malignant Narcissist. There are probably a few other mental illnesses that he has been diagnosed with by op-ed writers, psychiatrists, psychologists, and lay people. I don’t know why so many people are so eager to give a diagnosis to Trump.
What will a diagnosis do to change anything? Will it make him tweet less about North Korea, putting us all at risk of a nuclear war? Will it change the way you see him? Will it change the way I see him? More importantly, will it change the way Congress sees him? Obviously, many people think Trump is crazy. But crazy does not equal mental illness. That was proved in Las Vegas today. Someone can be crazy and not diagnosably mentally ill. I don’t know if Trump has a mental illness. I am not qualified to say, and neither are most of the people diagnosing him. If you want, you can say he is crazy, though. That is something separate and different from mentally ill.
I don’t identify with the word crazy. I am mentally ill, but the word crazy doesn’t apply to me.