What is the definition of madness?

What is the definition of madness? If one can define it then can anyone attest to not being mad, even to a certain degree?

I ask because of a conversation I am currently having with a friend and the certain thoughts come to mind.

I grew up defining mad as the man on the street who has been wearing the same clothes for the past century and seems to look like they have not had a bath in that time as mad. The guy who runs around the neighbourhood completely naked mumbling things which you cannot make sense out of. The woman who always screams at the top of her lungs for no apparent reason. These and others defined madness to me.

Over the years I grew up to understand madness differently. Now it was no longer the other person but me. I was mad because I didn’t follow rules, in fact I went against them at every chance I got. Not out of rebelion but I needed normalcy, another thing I later found out does not exist.

The world we live in is so congested with subliminal messages on how we should live our lives, from the time we must wake up in the morning, what we must drink, who we must envy and who we must talk to  and so much more. What then happens when you dream for more? When you awaken to your innerness?

What are the limitations of madness and who gets to decide when you have crossed borders or boundaries? I have since discovered that mad is not the smelly man on the street but each and every one of us. It’s just that I think we fear alot which may be natural I am not sure. We fear starting things, dreaming big, being extraordinary and going against the norm.

Years back I asked a friend what would happen if each of us had their own beliefs and chose to stick to them? What if we all belived differently? What if today was the day you decided to do what you have always wanted to do? Live life the way you have always wanted and not the way you have been raised or conditioned to? I think the answer was ‘chaos’ and my lecturer later renamed it to ‘anarchy’. The justification was there would be total disregard of rights and one would infringe on the other and it goes on and on.

But what is the true definition of mad? Am I mad for wanting to live my life the way I want to? Being the person I want to? I think not. Is madness expression? Is it voicing your opinion?

I believe we all have the capacity to use our brains and whether we choose to do so or not is a completely different issue and deserves a blog all on its own.

Perhaps we need to look deeper within ourselves to find the answers? Maybe I must do the same…maybe I must learn. If you do know, please share.


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