in a sky full of people only some want to fly

isn’t that crazy?

-seal, crazy

i have a background in psychology (suprise surprise! :)) and definitions of sanity and insanity have always been very interesting to me.

today, i remembered a paper i read long time ago and reread it. it’s written by david l. rosenhan, an academic and psychiatrist, and tells his fascinating experiment discovering the edges of sanity and insanity and how their definitions can relatively change according to the context, place, and people we are surrounded by.

here is a brief introduction if you are interested:

“How do we know precisely what constitutes “normality” or mental illness? Conventional wisdom suggests that specially trained professionals have the ability to make reasonably accurate diagnoses. In this research, however, David Rosenhan provides evidence to challenge this assumption. What is — or is not — “normal” may have much to do with the labels that are applied to people in particular settings.”

rosenhan experiment is an investigation of how institutions define “sanity” and “insanity” and shows that once a person is diagnosed with some mental illness there is almost no way out for this person to prove that the diagnosis is wrong.

it is very interesting that after “Eight sane people gained secret admission to 12 different hospitals.” they were quickly diagnosed with different mental illnesses and could hardly get out of these hospitals.

the title of the paper is “on being sane in insane places”.

based on the context we’re all insane sometimes. that’s why i always try to understand instead of labelling, cause “we’re never gonna survive, unless we got a little crazy”!



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