Dear Jonny, Why Do Normal People Go Crazy?
A friend of mine who is the most straight-laced dude I’ve ever known was recently turned down for a promotion at work. Basically he went insane, drank up a storm, smacked his wife around, busted up his car with a baseball bat, and other shit that I don’t care to mention here. He had to be committed to some inpatient mental healthcare facility. This is a guy that has probably only ever had four beers in his whole life, 4.0 student, in bed by 9:00, etc. Not a fucking parking ticket, man. What I want to know is what causes the most normal of normal people to do that??
That’s a good, complex question. In this instance the gentleman’s volatile reaction was probably a result of unexpected failure in the mind of an individual whose very existence has been molded around standards that are, on a long enough time line, impossible to keep. Achieving and maintaining a state of perfection creates untold amounts of pressure, so while on a superficial level a person can appear confident, content, in charge, and successful, the unseen stress churning within them becomes the proverbial ticking time bomb. “The most normal of normal people” are often dealing with complicated internal struggles that contrast starkly with their behavior and appearances, which, unfortunately, makes it extremely difficult to identify who is and isn’t on the verge of boiling over. Societal, occupational, familial, and personal expectations can, if we let them, become an overwhelming force; No one knows which straw will break the camel’s back. Your friend, over time, became overwhelmed. I hope he can recover.