YOU’RE CRAZY MAN! by Art Smukler, author & psychiatrist

What does crazy really mean? Dying your hair green? Spending thousands when you don’t have it? Dropping out of school to become a rock star?

Nope. Any of the above may be construed to be poor judgment, an adventuresome spirit or just silly, but not specifically crazy. In psychiatry, we define crazy in 2 ways — the existence of delusions and/or hallucinations.

A delusion is a fixed, false belief that is unshakeable by logic and not shared by most of society. “An alien is my best friend,” might fit into this category. BUT, in ET, Elliott, the meek little boy-hero, was contacted by a cute friendly, extraterrestrial who did become his best friend. Setting that example aside, if you believe you’re being contacted and possibly controlled by aliens, YOU are delusional, have lost touch with reality, and should seek treatment.

A hallucination, most commonly auditory, but also visual or tactile, is perceiving something that doesn’t really exist, except in your own mind. In the old testament, god commanded Abraham to sacrifice his son Isaac. All 3 religions, Jewish, Christian and Muslim agree that this really happened, but disagree whether the son was Isaac or Ishmael. So when Abraham heard god speak to him, was this an auditory hallucination? Not in this world. Too many religious scholars and believers are in agreement that it actually happened. But, if YOU believe that god’s voice is directing you to kill your son, you are hallucinating and should get immediate help.

Any thought or ideas about being crazy?

Be wild and adventuresome and Subscribe to Inside the Mind of a Psychiatrist. Thanks.

10 thoughts on “YOU’RE CRAZY MAN! by Art Smukler, author & psychiatrist

  1. ” . . . if you believe you’re being contacted and possibly controlled by aliens, YOU are delusional, have lost touch with reality, and should seek treatment.”
    And if you don’t have the money for treatment, write a paranormal novel about your experience. If you’re lucky, you get it published, it becomes a bestseller, and then perhaps you can afford treatment. Just kidding, couldn’t help myself. But seriously, good post!


  2. I never heard that Muslims believe it was Ishmael that was on Abraham’s altar….I think that Ishmael had already been banished by that time, but someone should check that out. Also despite your psychiatric definition, to my untrained eye, crazy is like pornography, “you know it when you see it” with apologies to Freud.

    PS: E.T. was real, and don’t tell me different!!!


  3. Excellent point! I think that many loving people in the USA are delusional because they believe that Islam is a peaceful religion and this qualifies as a fixed,false belief contradicted by empirical evidence (reality). This does not mean that millions of Muslims are not peaceful! But, is there such a thing as a “Mass Delusion?” on the part of the democratic West? Bernie


    1. I agree that mass delusions do exist. Some people even think that believing in god could be a mass delusion. After all, non-believers, many who are very scientific-minded, are in a minority and have to battle the majority who “know” they’re right.


  4. A difficult one, my eldest son is crazy because he suffers from paranoia BUT it’s a medical condition caused by a malfomed temporal lobe so therefore he’s not crazy (thankfully it’s controlled by his epilepsy meds… of course in times thankfully long gone he would have been seen as crazy because of his epilepsy, possed by the devil or somesuch.
    I have to take tramadol for pain… if I take it after about 4 in the afternoon it stops me sleeping properly and I get auditory hallucinations… crazy. Luckily they just shout a lot but never actually tell me to do anything, plus I know they aren’t real. I’m also a writer, so crazy anyway!
    My youngest is now getting auditory hallucinations… he has an inner ear problem caused by a virus (they think) and yesterday a voice was whispering to him… crazy? No just not well.
    My husband and daughter have to live with us… I think it could be them who are slowly going crazy 🙂
    Really it’s all much the same as any medical condition, if your body goes wrong it doesn’t make you a crazy person just ill. When my nerve endings go nuts I can feel ants crawling on my shins… I know they aren’t there but it doesn’t stop me from scratching at them…. you get the gist, I’ll shut up now 😀


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