But people really don’t like the word “mad”. In fact, most often, what people say to me is, “no, you’re not!”. Well, actually, I am. I’m bipolar and I’m mad.
So What Do I Mean By Mad?
Well, it’s in the dictionary isn’t it? Let’s pull out ALL the definitons of what mad means:
1. mentally disturbed; deranged; insane; demented.
2.enraged; greatly provoked or irritated; angry.
3. a. abnormally furious; ferocious: a mad bull.
b.affected with rabies; rabid: a mad dog.
4.extremely foolish or unwise; imprudent; irrational: a mad schemeto invade France.
5.wildly excited or confused; frantic: mad haste.
6.overcome by desire, eagerness, enthusiasm, etc.; excessively or uncontrollably fond; infatuated: He’s mad about the opera.
7.wildly gay or merry; enjoyably hilarious: to have a mad time at theMardi Gras.
8.(of wind, storms, etc.) furious in violence: A mad gale swept across the channel.
Arresting My Case So Far?
If those definitions dont scream bipolar to you, then you need to pry your eyes open and start paying close attention.
I find these definitions entirely complementary. Abnormally furious? Infatuated? My favourite one, Mentally Disturbed?
I will take all of those things, thank you.
I’m kind of loving how Gary Jule’s Mad World is playing in the background of my mind, like he was waiting for me to introduce him into this blog. He’s gone now. See? Mad.
Preference of “Mad” over “Mentally Ill”
My personal short cut to all the above is simple; mad: a person who perceives reality in an unexpected way.
That’s pretty much it. I am a person who lives in the same world as everyone else, but I perceive it differently. My brain gets the same stimuli, but somehow it fires in an unusual way. It’s different. It’s mad. Even on a good day.
I don’t find this disparaging; it’s fairly accurate. I really am most of those things listed under crazy, and I’m OK with that. Why am I okay with that? Because I’m learning to live and cope with it. Even now when I’m writing. Find out here what my day consisted of as a mad mixed episodic bipolar.
Now the term mentally ill, I’m not a fan of. If you read my first ever blog , it was about terminology, and I dont like this term mentally ill. I don’t care for it. It sounds like I have some condition where my brain leaks out my ears. Post-cranial drip.
What’s more, it implies there is something wrong with my mind. I assure you, there is not. My mind is up and running and could beat yours effortlessly. No, what’s wrong is my brain. My brain is disordered. My mind is exquisite in it’s own imperfect ways. I have brain-al illness, not a mental one.
A person with a brain tumor isn’t mentally ill. An epileptic person isn’t mentally ill either. These people just have something wrong with their brain. (They don’t necessarily get to be crazy though.) But you should get the jist.
The mind-brain separation is a complex bit of business, so I’ve left it for another day for another blog which I’ve already written called “Inside the Bipolar Brain“ and is also on this website, but I will say that to me, it’s important to remember that the brain is sick, and not the mind. There’s nothing wrong with me, Elinah, there is something wrong with my brain. It’s not my fault, you just need to correct the fault. Just like if I break my leg, there is nothing wrong with me, but there is something wrong with my leg.
So yes, to conclude this debate, I’m mad. I perceive the world differently than you do. My brain doesn’t fire the right chemicals at the right times. But that’s the fault of a bad brain. Me, I’m fine. Just a bit mad, that’s all. A bit of madness is good for the brain sometimes, a nice challenge to start your day.