It drives people crazy to be famous


Who or what is crazy?


Whether a person is crazy depends very much on who you ask. Someone who throws themselves off the Eiffel Tower on a paraglider or wants to ride a bike to Beijing will be described as crazy by many. On the other hand, many people will refer to a front yard full of garden gnomes as the work of a madman. I think it's crazy to spend more money on cars than on groceries. Everything is based on the everyday definition of “crazy”, namely behavior that deviates from the (personal) norm. So defining craziness without behavior is not possible. In order not to have to struggle with the everyday meanings of words, science creates technical terms such as psychosis.

A few years ago, a distinction was made between psychosis and neurosis. Both terms are serious mental disorders in which the sick person almost completely loses contact with reality at times. In the case of a neurosis, the patient experiences himself, in the case of a psychosis, his environment has changed. However, this clear classification could not be maintained because, on the one hand, the boundaries between psychosis and neurosis are fluid, on the other hand, the transition from neurotic to normal behavior is not clearly definable and, thirdly, the term neurosis comes from Freudian psychoanalysis and thus its explanatory model for presupposes mental disorders. It is usually difficult to make the sick person understand that they are sick. The symptoms of acute psychosis are often delusions and hallucinations. Insanity is a rock-solid belief that has nothing to do with reality and cannot be shaken by any strong evidence to the contrary. Hallucinations are sensory perceptions without an external cause, such as seeing things that do not exist.

There are psychoses that have a clear organic cause; for example, this can be damage to the central nervous system, for example caused by tumors, undersupply or metabolic disorders, or external influences such as medication or drugs. LSD was launched specifically to give doctors the opportunity to temporarily put themselves in the shoes of their psychotic patients. But even if no direct organic cause can be identified, the balance of certain neurotransmitters must be disturbed. It is unclear whether certain people are more prone to this than others.

An example of disorders whose causes are not known is a schizophrenic psychosis, in which the sick person usually hears hallucinating voices, for example talking to one another, scolding, giving orders or commenting on the sick person's actions. Another symptom is the dissolution of the so-called ego boundary, so that the patient is of the opinion that his thoughts are loud for everyone to hear or he can hear the thoughts of others. In addition, delusional perceptions can occur in which the sick person gives coincidental events a meaning related to himself, so that, for example, a passerby who walks a part of the same path is perceived as the pursuer.

With the help of imaging methods such as magnetic resonance tomography, it has been found that the brain changes at least during the illness. Unfortunately, so far it has only been found that certain areas of the brain change in volume in the course of the disease. But whether this is due to the acute stage of the disease or a consequence of the drug treatment is controversial in science, without clear results already emerging. Since one and the same drug can have very different effects on sick people with similar symptoms, the typical approach nowadays is to use drugs very carefully to make the patient more receptive in order to make him understand his condition and to show him ways to live with the disorder to be able to.