"When dealing with the insane, the best method is to pretend to be sane." - Hermann Hesse (1877-1962)

A couple of events in my life today led to this idea. First, I woke up with my alarm this morning and couldn’t remember what day it was. I had been having a dream where it was Sunday and I was naked on television and the anchor was interviewing my ass (that, of course is another node). When I woke up I had that feeling, as most people I’m sure have experienced, where I knew the dream had been real and I was now experiencing some disbelief of what my conscious brain was telling me. I got over it and made it to work.

Later in the day I was watching the movie May. To be brief (and do the movie no justice), it’s the story of this lonely girl who eventually goes mad and cuts up some people to make a life-size doll that she hopes will like her. Rent it.

Only now am I realising that I’m basing my theory on a dream and a movie, but that’s how it goes sometimes. Here it is:

I hypothesize that some people appear to go crazy because their brain somehow gets caught in that dream zone, even when they’re awake. It’s more than just not being able to tell right from wrong – that’s a different sort of crazy I think. What I’m talking about is the feeling that what’s happening and what you’re doing makes perfect sense to you and the people around you. Just like in a dream.

My mind can dream and trick me into thinking that the dream is real and no matter how insane the plot seems when I awake, it seemed perfectly normal at the time. Therefore, I know my brain is capable of moving to a state where I could do (or at least consider) very strange (and wrong) things, and believe that there’s no problem. Even though I consider myself quite stable, I must admit that my brain is capable of being insane.

I mentioned the movie May because in the film you see the main character slowly losing her grip on reality and eventually massacring a few people for a project that she appeared to believe was perfectly normal – making a doll of human body parts. It was during the movie that I realised she doesn’t understand that what she’s doing is completing insane. Insane meaning that the average person in society would consider her actions wrong. However, to her, at the time, they seemed completely normal and even necessary.

So that’s it. Maybe some crazy people, like Jeffrey Dahlmer, have just slipped into a state where their brain thinks everything is a dream and forgets to use the “real world filter”, which considers how others would react to his actions. I'm sure it seemed perfectly normal to him to keep body parts in the freezer, just like I thought (last night at least) that is was perfectly normal to have my ass interviewed on prime time. Personally, I wouldn't mind acting out a few of my dreams, and I wonder how much it would take to make me slip them from the 12-6 shift over to the 9-5 time slot.

I’m not a psychiatrist, a psychiatry student or in any way an authority in the field of how the brain works. Could you tell?