Yesterday I was going through my site stats and stumbled across something I find both funny and sad: “has people been admitted to psych wards who weren’t crazy.” I’m flattered such a question brought the user to my blog, but I’m also saddened that psych wards are synonymous with
I’m not sure what crazy is. I mean, I think crazy is doing stupid stuff when you have your wits about you, like getting smashed drunk when you know you have no one to take you home, not getting smashed drunk when you’re so manic you don’t care. But had you seen me in the emergency room the first time I went to a psychiatric unit, you would have never thought there was anything crazy about me.
I was suicidal, but incredibly aware that I was, and I was voluntary.
My second psych stay, I was manic, and so you would have thought I was high on something, but I was still incredibly aware, still able to articulate my feelings to you, and was able to take control of the insane amounts of energy pouring from me. So it’s not like I was bouncing off the walls, harassing the doctors, and letting my lack of inhibitions take control.
You feel like you’re crazy when your mental breakdown culminates in a psychiatric stay, but you’re not. Most of the people you meet are people you’d find on the streets, sitting in coffee shops reading books, taking their kids out shopping, going on vacations–your average, everyday person. The “crazy” people aren’t in psychiatric units. They’re generally in state-run institutions where being drugged up is the only way to keep them docile. But even then some aren’t crazy–just very, very sick.
I didn’t meet a single crazy person in my stay. Just sick people who might have done crazy things to land them in the hospital. But they themselves were not crazy. They’re the most self-aware people I’ve ever met, most compassionate, kind-hearted people who really understand the human condition, so every person who goes to a psych unit generally isn’t crazy.
The majority of people who land in psychiatric units are often depressed. They either attempt suicide or are afraid they’re going to attempt suicide. Sometimes they’re admitted voluntarily, and sometimes involuntarily. Maybe the involuntary ones will put up a fight, but you generally don’t meet dangerous people in psychiatric wards. Dangerous people are generally put elsewhere.
So, to answer the above question, just about every person admitted to a psych ward is not crazy. Just sick.