Am I crazy about getting frustrated?

I'm afraid of going crazy - what can I do?

Many people have had experiences with mental illness. Either you are or have been affected by a mental illness yourself or you know someone in your circle of friends or acquaintances who is struggling with mental problems. However, despite their frequency, mental illnesses such as depression, anxiety disorders or compulsions are not something to talk about. Even less often, however, conversations are about vague fears that seem downright absurd to you, but are very stressful. Like the fear of going crazy.

You're not alone

Many people suffer from the fear of going crazy. On the one hand it is about the thought of going crazy, on the other hand the uncomfortable feeling of being able to lose control. While there are now names and diagnostic criteria for all possible psychological peculiarities, the fear of going crazy is less easy to classify. That makes it even harder for those affected to talk about it. When we tell others that we are depressed, many people understand us. If, on the other hand, we express the serious thought of going crazy, it sometimes affects others in the same way as we don't want to: a bit crazy. Therefore, instead of speaking to others, we often consult the Internet and look for help in forums. Often we find people there with a similar problem, but nobody seems to know about it. There are several reasons for this thought.

What does it actually mean "to be crazy"?

By “being crazy”, many people mean that someone says or does something that is not the norm. Crazy is to be taken literally: moving away from a convention or the usual behavior. We think people are crazy who, in our opinion, step out of line in an uncomfortable way, e.g. B. shouting loudly on the bus or people who talk incoherently and confusedly or who take great risks. Fortunately, while people with mental illness used to be considered crazy, today we no longer talk about crazy in this context. This also has the background that mental suffering has moved more into the limelight and we now perceive it as normal.

One of the last mental illnesses that is still stigmatized and whose sufferers are often still perceived as "crazy" are illnesses from the schizophrenic group. For the most part, many are unfamiliar with the symptoms of this condition, such as hallucinations and paranoia. Of course, it is important that people with schizophrenia are not “crazy” but are affected by a mental illness that sometimes causes noticeable symptoms.

Why are we afraid of going crazy?

A very strange question: what would be so bad about going crazy? Why is this thought so stressful and can it be downright tormenting? If we're afraid of going crazy, it means we don't want to act weird in any way in front of others. It doesn't have to be about criminal offenses or risky behavior. Just imagine you walked into the office without shoes and stockings. Your co-workers would most likely be very surprised and, in the worst case, consider you a little crazy. But we don't want that. We want to belong, be liked and respected. It is therefore a big nightmare for most people to be marginalized, that people point their fingers at us or talk badly about us behind our backs.

We want to have good relationships with our fellow human beings and not be ashamed, viewed in a negative sense as strange and avoided. There are very simple reasons for this: As humans, we have always been dependent on living in groups. From an evolutionary point of view, a person without his group was doomed to die. Division of labor, care in the event of illness, protection - these are all fundamental needs of us. By fear of going crazy, we are basically afraid of rejection. And even if we don't hunt together these days, it's perfectly understandable that we don't want to be seen as strange loners. The question is, why should we go crazy in the first place? Is this fear justified?

Fear of being overwhelmed

Let's go back to the shoe example: With everything we do and have to keep under control every day, it would actually be the most natural thing in the world if we forgot our shoes. Children often forget their shoes and are not bothered by them at all, they have other things on their minds. It doesn't force them to be afraid to think of everything. As adults, we would probably immediately notice our lack of shoes due to the unfamiliar feeling.

The point, however, is that if we suffer a lot from the fear of going crazy, we may wonder if we are possibly overwhelmed. To be more precise, too overwhelmed to meet all demands. This excessive demand could lead to the fact that we no longer manage everything and others notice that. That we may speak confusedly, our home looks chaotic, we dress sloppily, etc. All of this would also affect our self-esteem, which we want to protect. In other words, the thought of going crazy could tell us that we have too much on our minds to possibly get it all right.

Fear of losing control

The thought of going crazy can also be associated with an anxiety disorder. During a panic attack, many people experience a feeling of loss of control: the body suddenly does what it wants, sweating, racing heart, trembling, violent emotions arise, thoughts roll over. Affected people find no support in these situations and do not manage to calm down. This loss of control is often accompanied by the thought of going crazy. However, control and orientation are among the basic psychological needs of a person. Even with no acute panic, the fear of losing control and the thought of going crazy can remain.

What we can become aware of sounds radical, but it can be very helpful: We cannot completely control our body, our thoughts and emotions anyway. Of course we can influence psychological and physical processes to a certain extent, but which thoughts and emotions arise is not in our power. Let's try z. B. not thinking of chocolate ice cream, we will fail miserably. And even if we z. For example, eating healthily and exercising, we cannot decide whether we will get sick or not. In addition to the fear of losing control and being overwhelmed, there is another possibility why the thought of going crazy does not let us go.

The fear of going crazy as an obsessive thought

If the thought of going crazy keeps recurring and scares you very much, it may be an obsessional thought. Obsessive-compulsive thoughts are thoughts that shoot us in the head very often and suddenly and make us very worried. Often they are about aggression, absurd actions, ideas against your own value system or about the fact that something could happen to yourself or someone close to you. Fear of going crazy can also be an obsessive thought.

It is important that you make yourself aware that thoughts are not dangerous and cannot harm you in any way. As threatening, scary and strange as they may feel, they are just thoughts. Perhaps it also helps you that thoughts arise from a series of neural impulses that form and then dissolve again. So thoughts are not fixed. The reason certain thoughts keep coming back is because your brain likes to repeat what has been there many times before. Do you think B. deliberately at a red watering can every morning for a while, the image of the red watering can returns to your head as if by itself every day.

If you feel that the thought is driving you insane or suffering from other obsessive thoughts, you can seek therapeutic help. However, you must always keep in mind: The thought of going crazy is not dangerous or crazy - it is frequent and quite normal.

Categories General, Anxiety & Panic