What is the normal way to drink coffee? Black with no cream or sugar? Some cream, no sugar? Some sugar, no cream? Which way is normal?
Imagine the havoc should some authority declare that coffee with one teaspoon of cream and one teaspoon of sugar is the normal and only way to drink coffee. Anyone who does not drink coffee this way is not normal and needs treatment.
“You don’t drink coffee the way I do. There must be something wrong with you!”
Authorities have declared certain behaviors mental illnesses. These behaviors are not normal. Human behavior flows. It cannot fit neatly into a box. What is normal for one person is not normal for another. One size does not fit all. Highly sensitive and creative people are often declared mentally ill. Their emotional issues become worse when authorities force them to behave in ways that are not normal for them.
Some people cannot live without certainty. These people would love to regulate the size, moisture level and shape of clouds so that all clouds are the same; all clouds are normal. People in authority are often people who cannot live without certainty even though certainty is an illusion.
There is no standard for normal human behavior. We are fooling ourselves thinking otherwise. Each of us is unique. Period. But we are irrational social animals and love belonging in groups. You can have a group of nonconformists set their standard for normal as nonconforming behavior and all members will conform to this standard.
I quoted my good friend Mark Twain in a blog the other day:
The true source of humor is not joy, but sorrow.
Depression is normal for most comedians. Nothing is wrong with them for being depressed. What is wrong is telling them that they are not normal to feel what they feel, and then forcing them to change the way they are. Often they resort drugs, on top of the drugs psychiatrists give them, to suppress feelings they believe are wrong.
Would Robin Williams be alive today if he was not told that his feelings needed to be fixed?
Books by Thomas Szasz.
Allione, Tsultrim Feeding Your Demons: Ancient Wisdom for Resolving Inner Conflict
Mackler, Daniel Open Dialogue: A Documentary On A Finnish Alternative To Healing Psychosis.
(Available in YouTube)