Are we a psychotic society?

people-314481_1280 Is it psychotic if my friend uses gloves for a completely different reason than what they have been designed for? We all know what they are meant for, to keep us warm in wintery minus temperatures. Here in Cornwall we don’t need gloves, because it never really gets cold enough. My friend Katie needs them, because her cat can turn into a right monster with dangerous claws. She needs them to be able to play and stay safe at the same time.
Obviously this is not psychotic behavior at all. Maybe Katie is slightly eccentric, from a german point of view that is.
Sometimes I feel we are too eagerly ready using psychological diagnosis tools when it comes to other people’s behaviors. Most of the time we even aren’t sure what it exactly means. Psychotic, neurotic etc.
In the dictionary someone psychotic is described as someone having a psychosis, which generally means:
„A mental disorder characterized by symptoms, such as delusions or hallucinations, that indicate impaired contact with reality or any sever form of mental disorder, as schizophrenia or paranoia.“

To be honest I am only defending my character I have created lately and which promptly has been diagnosed by my friend with being psychotic. The thing is, if I define my character as psychotic that’s fine, but if you do it is utterly wrong! How dare you! You’re telling me my beloved character is a freak, someone mentally deranged, which makes the character the moment the diagnosis has fallen upon him more inhuman. But get this. I write to entertain myself and at a later date my audience hopefully too, so I really don’t care what you diagnose my character with. Apart from the fact, when you do this there is nothing to discover anymore. End of the road, psychotic that’s it. Next one!

I remember years and years ago I made the huge mistake to read one of my stories aloud to my dad, who was visiting me in Hildeseheim, where I studied at the time. He didn’t dissect my characters, no he took the whole thing a step further and started to dissect me. He made it understood that there clearly was something wrong with me, having written such a story. If you want to kill imagination and phantasy right at it’s core, that’s the way to do it. Bang!
By the way, my fairytale like story was about a female giant being buried underneath a pile of stones, called the devil’s wall. What’s wrong with that! And my poor character Jennifer, which has been branded psychotic, what’s wrong with her for goodness sake! She is empathic and humerous towards the patients in the dentist’s practice she works for as a receptionist and she wants to kill her husband, she doesn’t have yet to help her obese daughter stop eating candy. Nothing wrong with that …

There is one thing I learned very early on in my training as an actress. You can’t judge your characters and play them at the same time. If you want to create an honest performance you can enjoy at the same time, you never ever judge your character! The moment you start critizising your character or yourself for playing the character, the game is over. That’s it!
So I don’t judge my character for the way she is, because I just love the fact, that she thinks she can save her daughter by killing a husband she doesn’t have yet. If she goes through with her plan is another thing and you’d need to read the actual story.

As I’ve said before, generally I think we are too quick with labelling. Especially when we feel challenged or uncomfortable, it seems to be an easy cop out. „Oh, she is neurotic, psychotic, manic-depressive or maybe just gaga!“
The funny thing is that most of the labels we use dehumanize the person we are referring to. We turn them into some form of monster being unable to feel empathy. But who are the monsters? The ones being labelled or the ones who label or maybe even both? The question is, don’t we turn ourselves into a monster by taking this singular view, not wanting to be confronted with our own darkness?

Labels usually tell, that the other person or people are not normal. The label psychotic is certainly doing that. It’s not the norm and not how you should be! But who is defining the norm nowadays? Who is telling us, what we should consider as being normal and what not? It seems to me that at the moment it is the economics. Huge giants like the pharmaceutical and beauty industry tell us what’s normal. It’s normal to take drugs with huge side effects, which by far outweigh the healing properties, making the patient a drug addict. It’s normal to have a seize 0 for women and having them make believe, that they never can be happy in their own bodies, because they’ll never be able to reach the insane beauty standard, which is’nt real in the first place. These are only two examples out of countless others.
Now, bondage which has been viewed as an unnormal sexual practice all of a sudden is the new hipp thing to do, if you want to join the club. Why? Because of a book „50 shades of grey“, which has made shitloads of money and a film which is making even more. The 50 shades of grey mania has begun and everyone has to become a devotee. Bondage is the new normal. What we call normal can change in a blink of an eye and more importantly most of the things we consider being normal are seriously fucked up! Our normal is corrupt. Most of the things we classify as normal and therefore acceptable are highly destructive and self-destructive on a large scale and we only view them as normal because we all have been brainwashed! If we don’t call our behaviors, the way we act, normal than we are forced to look at our own ignorance, our own messed up state. As long as everything is normal we don’t have to change. So, of course it is easier to single out a few people and lay it all on them, make them the monsters of society. A society which has become monstreous itself. The so called psychotic monsters are merely symptoms of an illness we are all responsible for. Every single one of us.
I am not condoning other people’s atrocities and of course there need to be consequences! Obviously my character, if she really was killing her future husband would need to go to jail, was she a real person.
All I am saying is, that we need to wake up to the truth. Our society has become neurotic, psychotic and manic-depressiv amongst other things. It is about time to collectively take responsibility, to own up to our own shit, instead of pretending that there are only a few individuals, which are seriously messed up.
Face it, we are all fucked up, every single one of us! When do we start changing and make things right again? Hopefully before it is too late!

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4 thoughts on “Are we a psychotic society?

  1. Well that’s a great blog, but the funny thing is today a colleague at work was telling me about another person at work she found not normal. I said, “normal,” using my hands to make quote marks in the air and asked and said I don’t believe in “normal,” which may surprise you as I do favor the left side of my brain 🙂 Anyway, I stated that “normal” is defined by what society deems as “normal.” And we all know that society can be wrong…quite a bit wrong.

    So, I’ve had to take several physiological test for various employers in order to see if I’m “normal” for the job. Recently my own company has labeled me a Introvert, Intuitive, Thinking, Judging person…maybe…In the past I’m pretty sure that I didn’t get a job I had interviewed for because I didn’t fit the company’s physiological profile, but I have to admit after I had the site tour it was like the “Stepford Wives” Revisited (to include the guys), so it may have been for the best for both of us:-)

    I also want to comment on your story of the woman who wants to kill her husband before she even has one to save her daughter. That’s great SciFi! If you don’t write it I will 🙂 I say that because I’m sure your read or saw the movie Minority Report by Phillip Dick? How about Steven King’s novel The Dead Zone. I guess their both “psychotic” all the way to the bank. So write that story!

    Finally, I conclude with some of the great philosophy by Soren Kierkegaard, “Once you label me you negate me.”

    1. Thanks for the great comment Kevin! I really enjoyed writing this one and to be honest I would love to get it published somewhere in a magazine or newspaper or something. Wow, the physiological tests sound interesting … It’s an odd one categorizing people can help sometimes to a certain extent I suppose, but only if you’re also ready to drop the label and look a little further. I probably would be unemployable by now … too, what not …
      My story is already written. It’s called “A plan worth while living for!” I send it to you, if you like. 🙂 This blog only came into being because Katie, commented on my poor character being psychotic, after having read out the story to her.
      I think I have seen Minority Report but it’s a while ago now. Dead Zone I haven’t. Two more films on my watch list.
      I love the quote from Kierkegaard! Nice one!

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