Listen up people…
Crazy: is not a scientific term, but a label of sorts often currently used to describe the severely mentally ill. It is extremely subjective and actually has no definitive set of characteristics. Crazy is (usually) in the eye of the beholder. Which means that one person’s “crazy” is another person’s “OMG…that’s so adorably romantic” or “Hahahaha…that is hysterically funny”.
For example: a guy (or girl…whatever) sends you a dozen roses every day for a week. If you’re into this guy, that’s so sweet and charming. If you’re not interested in him/her, you might consider it crazy. Unless this person is absolutely and unquestionably aware that you have zero interest and never will be interested, then it’s not crazy. And really, it’s not “crazy” even then, right? I mean, this could be a man’s attempt at wooing you, in which case, kudos to him and sorry for his bad luck if you’re just not interested. We should feel sorry for that poor, desperate schmuck trying so hard… Meanwhile you’re probably the same person who wonders incessantly why there’s not “more romance in the world” (i.e: sweet gestures from the people in whom you are interested).
Psycho is a shortened version of psychotic, which indicates a person who suffers from clinical psychosis. Psychosis is a serious mental illness defined as:
Psychosis: In the general sense, a mental illness that markedly interferes with a person’s capacity to meet life’s everyday demands. In a specific sense, it refers to a thought disorder in which reality testing is grossly impaired. Symptoms can include seeing, hearing, smelling, or tasting things that are not there; paranoia; and delusional thoughts. Depending on the condition underlying the psychotic symptoms, symptoms may be constant or they may come and go. Psychosis can occur as a result of brain injury or disease, and is seen particularly in schizophrenia and bipolar disorders. Psychotic symptoms can occur as a result of drug use, but this is not true psychosis. Diagnosis is by observation and interview. (http://www.medterms.com/script/main/art.asp?articlekey=5110)
So using my above example, a person who sends you roses every day for a week with notes saying such things as “had a great time last night baby” even though you didn’t see them or perhaps don’t even know them; then they quite possibly are truly “psycho”.
Stalker indicates a person who stalks, yes, actually STALKS another.
Stalking: Stalking is conservatively defined as “a course of conduct directed at a specific person that involves repeated (two or more occasions) visual or physical proximity, nonconsensual communication, or verbal, written, or implied threats, or a combination thereof, that would cause a reasonable person fear” (Tjaden and Thoennes,1998). (http://www.ojp.usdoj.gov/nij/topics/crime/stalking/welcome.htm)
It is a legal term, not a general adjective to describe a person who inadvertently butt-dialed you twice in one day…or hell, even twice in 5 minutes for that matter! Stalking is a serious crime. General or randomly repeated unwanted attention from a person you’re not interested in dating is not stalking. To fit the true sense of stalking, it must provoke a genuine and rational fear for one’s safety or to a lesser degree, perhaps make a person feel somewhat inhibited in conducting their normal day-to-day activities. For example: I can’t go into that grocery store because a guy a went on one date with four years ago will believe I’m going in there to see him…and then send me a dozen roses every day for the following week, with attached notes saying things such as, had a great time with you in the grocery store yesterday…so glad you came by to see me… even though you ignored the guy completely.
Having worked in social work for so long, I’ve dealt with many cases of genuinely “crazy” people, people mentally ill and diagnosed with “psychosis” and a few, but rare, cases of actual “stalking”.
These are NOT adjectives to throw around in an attempt to describe your ex who called you crying because he/she was devastated that you ended the relationship. They do not imply directly or otherwise to another person (at least not a rational, sane person) how “terrific” and “wanted” you are because someone went crazy-psycho-stalker on you. Guys: EVERY ex you broke up with or whatever is NOT “stalking” you…I promise!! When you say that, you sound like a self-absorbed, drama king! These are not terms to throw around in attempt to make others think you have an exciting life; to create drama where there really is none, because you’re bored with yourself or your life in general and the last major “happening” in your life was a solo drive through an Iowa corn field. These phrases simply do not serve to make you appear irresistably attractive to the opposite sex. They actually make you seem melodramatic and of below-average intelligence. Using these phrases and descriptions in no way, implies that you’re such a sexual stud or much wanted Romeo that no girl can ever (or has ever) get over you or accept that you choose not to be in their life. No. When I hear this (as I so often do..sigh)It actually causes me to wonder what the hell you did to that poor girl to make her get so “crazy”? Hell, you must have been stalking her or something to get that kind of reaction!
Maybe I find the fact that these terms have become so common and so overly used obnoxious because I’ve dealt with the real thing, not some amplified, fabricated version to add some spice and excitement to a story or phrases used to try to impress on people how special and undeniably attractive and wanted you are to the opposite sex.
I’m so tired of hearing about people’s crazy-psycho ex’s or their stalkers. Seriously, if this is true in even half of the accounts when I hear someone use these terms, then this is a far scarier world than any of us can even imagine.
No. Get out your dusty old dictionary if you must, but please find some appropriate adjectives and verbs to describe your ex…..your last bad date…your annoying neighbor….whoever! Overzealous, vehement, intense, volatile, moody, temperamental are a few fun examples. Or just look up “unrequited” if it was merely a case of them being way more into you than you were them.
So really, unless you’re under the age of, say, twelve, let’s start using our big people words…or invest in a pocket dictionary to more adequately describe your ex’s or that horrible date you just didn’t really get “in to”…
Overly dramatic disclaimer: Unless of course, your life was threatened, you were physically kidnapped and held hostage, or Fluffy -your beloved pet rabbit- was boiled…then by all means, use crazy-psycho-stalker to your heart’s content!
..but seriously, if it was done with a stuffed animal, as a joke…now that’s just funny as hell!