What Does Crazy Mean?
WHAT DOES “CRAZY” MEAN? Usually when people tell me of a spiritual experience, they’ll start by saying, “I don’t have the words to describe this to you,” or “You’re going to think I’m crazy when I tell you this, but…” And then they tell me what happened to them.
One definition of the word crazy is being of unsound mind or being mentally imbalanced, deranged or insane. When I was married to my alcoholic husband, the more emotions I showed outwardly, the more he called me crazy. The more he called me this, the more I felt crazy because I was the only one in the relationship admitting to feeling anything. Many times people who come to me who are considered to be the crazy one in the family are just having a lot of feelings and are showing them outwardly. They might also feel crazy because of something that has happened to them like the spiritual experience above.
Basically the differences between someone who is having a spiritual experience and someone who is mentally ill are as follows:· A mystic, someone who has experienced God, is humbled by the experience.· This person can tell you about their experience over and over again. The story won’t change much as they tell you. This is called having a good ego and inner strength to explain the experience.· The person has/had a “life” before the experience, which in psychological terms is called “good pre-episode functioning”.· Mostly in telling you about spiritual experiences, the person describes something visual. (They can hear also but the preponderance of what my clients have described have been visual experiences.)· The spiritual experience usually gives an answer to the person having it.
The differences in mental illness, the main forms which are schizophrenia, paranoia and mania are:· Usually someone who is mentally ill is hallucinating.· The person is grandiose or inflated in bragging about what they are hearing or seeing. (Statistically mentally ill people usually hear voices or what they are describing. They can see things but don’t usually.) They are not humbled by what they are describing.· The person cannot repeat the same story coherently.· They have not had good pre-episode functioning.· They cannot move out of the hallucinatory state they are in unless they are medicated.Also, it’s important to note that someone who is mentally ill could also be having a spiritual experience.
It would take a team of professionals who understand both dynamics of psychotic and spiritual experiences to determine a treatment plan for this person. Only 35% of the Mental Health Professionals who were researched during my survey stated they were able to recognize the difference between spiritual and psychotic experiences. The low percentage shows that more training is needed in the area of recognizing the above differences.I have had clients often tell me that before they came to see me neither doctors, ministers or priests have not been able to help them understand these spiritual experiences. I believe that understanding and becoming educated regarding these vast ranges of experiences will be a movement for many professionals in the near future.