Craziness

In this increasingly digital world, surprising information can sometimes come from unexpected sources. About a year ago, I mentioned a friend who had disappeared in Alaska. Since I’d lost touch with her before she moved out of Kentucky several years ago, my knowledge of her disappearance was limited to what I could find on Alaska newspaper websites at the time. Now, a year later, a recent newspaper article from the surprising location of Albany, NY sheds a little more light on what happened, but it leads to an entirely new bunch of questions.

I’m not really well-versed in psychiatric disorders, but I think most mental health professionals try to avoid using the word “crazy”. It’s certainly not a word anyone would have used to describe Kris before November 2002. But I think it’s probably one of the first words that would come to the mind of any layman reading the note found in her truck. And it’s probably one of the kindest of a long list of words I might use for the charlatans who charged her $16,000 to destroy her mind and drive her to suicide.

The human mind (or the mind of any sentient creature) has always amazed me. It’s hard to believe that one’s personality, one’s entire being, is essentially the result of complex chemical reactions occurring in the brain. How does the same input get processed differently by different brains? When you try to figure out what makes it all work, it almost seems surprising that insanity isn’t more common.

But, given the fact that somehow it all works most of the time, how can a good mind be destroyed by a bunch of quacks? What kind of breakdown in defenses allows intelligence to be polluted by garbage? And how can other concerned sane individuals be persuaded to step back and let it happen? I don’t know if professionals have any better answers, but it sounds like craziness to me.

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