Dr. Alexander Lowen, possibly the most compassionate psychiatrist I’ve heard of, said this about crazy people: When we see someone who is experiencing grief due to a visible loss or trauma, and they’re doing things that look crazy such as touching dead bodies, screaming, sobbing, throwing things, or just simply being catatonic, we don’t think of them as crazy people because we are aware of the cause of their behavior.
However, when we see mental patients behaving in the exact same manner, we don’t think of them as experiencing anguish; they’re just acting like that because they’re crazy. When really we have no idea what things they’re feeling or imagining, what trauma they might be reliving in excruciating detail inside their heads, or simply some faulty wiring inside that is making them feel that way. Just because we cannot see the cause, or they cannot express it, does not make the pain any less real for them.
(Just thinking on how its lucky that I wasn’t bundled off into a straitjacket last night)