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Please, Don’t Call Me Crazy!

Why is it that being called ‘crazy’ is so bothersome? It’s as if this one word cuts right to the core of our very being and makes us question our intrinsic worth. Yet what do we ADHDers do when someone calls us crazy?

We act crazy!

Crazy can mean all sorts of things; bizarre, fantastic, deranged, insane, or dangerous.  I, personally, am using it in regards to how we term ‘unpredictable’ behavior.  Often the word is thrown around, “You are acting crazy or that idea is crazy or did you take your crazy pills?!”  Something about it just sets me off.  People – call a spade a spade!  If I am acting in a way that scares you or seems out of character and unpredictable, tell me!

I guess I never really understood the extent of this until I grasped the consequences of my ADHD. Even a ‘you are crazy’ glance can set my brain in motion to fix that problem.  It goes from one idea to the next to the next to the next on how I might be able to show them they are wrong, I am not a harm to them and I certainly have not lost my mind.  And you know what happens? I seem even ‘crazier’!

My mind bounds around from one idea to the next to the next, sharing bits and pieces along the way of why I am not crazy, how my actions are justified, why I do what I do, or how my ideas are transforming everything around me.  And it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy to you.  My behaviors seem more and more unpredictable.

Think of a bird in a cage.  If you scare the bird, it tries to escape.  If it has nowhere to go, it gets more and more upset and flies around.  Is the bird ‘crazy’?  No.  It needs you to give it peace, safety and security.

And these days add the internet, text messaging, traveling, and the speed of everything and it gets worse.  Now we can’t just hop on a horse and take a ride into the forest to deal with the thought of possibly being crazy and all the emotions that come along with that thought.  No, now we can jump in a car that goes 150 miles an hour, text random thoughts, spend a bunch of money and get drunk – all within an hour or so.  All because we were hurt and scared that someone we loved called us ‘crazy’!

I’m being flippant but trying to make a point.  If you truly love someone with ADHD, and want their peace and safety, start first with yourself and your own behavior.  Look at what you say to them, your tone of voice, and your nonverbal communication.  Practice your ‘please pass the butter’ voice, and check out your ‘looks’ in the mirror.  Ask yourself what your ego is getting out of it.  Look internally to why it makes you feel good to call someone a name.  Figure that out and become a better person yourself.

You can really avoid a lot of drama that way.  My mind may act in unpredictable ways, but I do have a mind and I am not going to hurt you.  If you make the mistake of calling me crazy (or any such other similar term or insinuation), step away and give me space.  Tell me you are sorry.  Show me unconditional love.  And magically, the ‘crazy’ that you see will disappear.

Please, Don’t Call Me Crazy!

Kathryn Goetzke

I own a company called the Mood-factory (, a company that creates products based on how sensory experiences effect moods. I also run a nonprofit for depressio, iFred (, we are working to change the brand of depression. And yes, I have ADHD, along with PTSD, major depressive disorder, and a host of other challenges, opportunities, and gifts.

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APA Reference
Goetzke, K. (2011). Please, Don’t Call Me Crazy!. Psych Central. Retrieved on September 22, 2020, from


Last updated: 25 Jan 2011
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