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Why are "crazed" people so frequently drawn to the same things?

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posted on Apr, 21 2012 @ 11:54 PM
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My cousin is a very bright guy, and in his better moments he is both fun to be around and possessed of a big heart. But he's been dealt a rough hand in life, suffering from schizoid episodes as well as manic depression and other various mental "issues" that seem to plague him on and off. Sometimes he'll go for months being more or less "normal," only to be blindsided by his mental health problems. He's been in and out of mental hospitals his whole life, which makes holding down a decent job and lifestyle difficult. Still, despite his problems he struggles to support himself and live as normal a life as possible rather than relying on handouts from the government or his family, for which I admire him.

One thing I don't admire him for, however is his involvement in extremist politics. He is part of a racist, far right organization, rather deeply involved as it turns out. I don't want to go into details about which group so that I can protect his privacy and that of his famIly (which is also my family). But you know the type of group or at least can imagine it. Guys who like to dress up in dark pseudo-militaristic garb with lots of patches and insignia and snap salutes to each other. They drive around in a sound truck and make speeches full of invection against this or that ethnic group.

Which brings me to the basic question of this thread: why are so many mentally unstable people seinhly attracted to this kind of thing? You would think that being "crazed" would mean people wandering off in their own mental directions, which also happens...but so many of them seem to be drawn to the same ideas again and again. Look at the Nazis - another crazed bunch, and yet they all managed to find each other and believe in the same things. It's not just politics, of course - there seem to be a handful of concepts that attract the mentally unstable: extreme religion, aliens, conspiracy, paranoia about survalience for example. I hope I am not stepping on anyone's toes with this observation...but it is a fact. And ATS is home to some decidedly "crazed" people, in addition to some legitimately brilliant ones (as well as people who seem to be both crazed and brilliant
)

But why are all these loons drawn to the same small set of seemingly very specific ideas? I would expect more variety from broken minds. If you break a vase the pieces end up in different places, scattered chaotically. But broken minds seem to end up in similar places, time and time again. Why is this? Is it something about the nature of the mind, the ideas, both, or neither? And why so specific. Help me to understand, ATS.




posted on Apr, 22 2012 @ 12:00 AM
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reply to post by FailedProphet
 


It's because they are welcomed, listened to, and everything is defined, stipulated, and ordered by rules or laws or penalties.

It gives them control in their otherwise uncontrollable lives.

I am sorry to hear of your cousin's misfortune. Unfortunately, though, if he is going unmedicated and is participating in an organized hate group, his extremist views will likely only get worse. I am sorry to say that you may soon see him involved in some major violence.

edit on 4/22/2012 by ottobot because: (no reason given)



posted on Apr, 22 2012 @ 12:02 AM
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Have you met any of these other 'crazed' people in the group he is in??
The way it reads, is that because your cousin has mental issues, they all do.

I imagine there are all-sorts from all walks of life in these groups from all demographics.

They all just happen to believe in something that 'floats their boat', while the same sinks others.

But don't worry, the government is working to ban all forms of 'crazy' apart from their own.



posted on Apr, 22 2012 @ 12:05 AM
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Hanging with a racist cult is no different than painting your face and going to a football game. Masses of people cheering for the red team versus the blue team, white skin versus brown skin. It's the primal nature of our animal side to gather in groups and to hunt. Smart people make a living by realizing this and starting their own cult.



posted on Apr, 22 2012 @ 12:06 AM
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It is NO measure of health, to be well adjusted, in a profoundly --sick-- society.

(~~~Jiddu Krishnamurti )
edit on 22-4-2012 by Saucerwench because: cuz



posted on Apr, 22 2012 @ 12:12 AM
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I would think, on a fundamental level, that those groups appeal to people that feel persecuted, and mental illness itself makes one feel that way often. The groups come together and have a target for their angst - a scapegoat.



posted on Apr, 22 2012 @ 12:17 AM
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Originally posted by hadriana
I would think, on a fundamental level, that those groups appeal to people that feel persecuted, and mental illness itself makes one feel that way often. The groups come together and have a target for their angst - a scapegoat.


A bit like some peoples Ex-Wives?




posted on Apr, 22 2012 @ 12:20 AM
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Like minds attract, Christians usually only associate with other Christians, alcoholics usually hang with other alcoholics...cops with cops and so on and so forth...



posted on Apr, 22 2012 @ 12:25 AM
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I forgot to actually address the paranoia aspect:

Schizophrenia rarely surfaces before adulthood. Generally, family members will start to notice paranoia and increased sensitivity, then very extreme behaviors. From what I have found working with schizophrenic patients, in particular, is that their paranoia is an amplified version of a specific fear.

That normal, instinctual, paranoia that we feel when a car takes all the same turns as us on the road goes away when we see the car turn a different path. For a schizophrenic, the people in that car knew that he had seen them, so turned. The schizophrenic fully expects another car to follow, and will go to extremes to avoid being followed.

Likewise, it just seems like they are attracted to the same "crazy" stuff because we actually hear/read/see mentally ill people speaking about or addressing "crazy" topics. To them, it is not crazy. To them, it is reality. Every person with sunglasses is hiding iris-less eyes. Every dark skinned person is evil, and the darker the skin, the more evil they are. Every sound in the night is an alien. And on it will go...

They are drawn to groups who share their beliefs because it brings validation to their paranoia - "I'm not crazy, because they all see the same thing."



posted on Apr, 22 2012 @ 12:25 AM
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Thanks everyone for the replies.

The crazy aspect isn't wanting to belong to a group. It's the ideas themselves. There are plenty of lone nuts who have no desire to belong to a group but who are drawn to the same ideas, right? And it's not just politics- also stuff like aliens and religion, over and over.

My question is why are there certain specific ideas that seem to draw the mentally ill like moths to a flame? Why these ideas and not others? Group or no group.



posted on Apr, 22 2012 @ 12:29 AM
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But what about all the fairly "normal" people who are drawn to Truther topics. Or are you setting up a straw man here?



posted on Apr, 22 2012 @ 12:33 AM
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Originally posted by Saucerwench
But what about all the fairly "normal" people who are drawn to Truther topics. Or are you setting up a straw man here?


I think that the OP is referring to extreme versions of these topics.

For example, most people have some interest in alien life.

Let's say 45% of people who are interested in aliens visit a conspiracy website to read more about purported alien sightings.

Then, let's say 10% of them decide that they've been abducted by aliens.

Those 10% start talking to one another, a support group, and 3% of them find that they've been abducted by tall aliens with dark green skin and yellow eyes.

Of those 3%, 1 has been diagnosed with schizophrenia.

The 1 schizophrenic may not be in the group specifically because s/he has a mental illness, but the mental illness drew them to the topic and, thus, to the group.



posted on Apr, 22 2012 @ 12:48 AM
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reply to post by FailedProphet
 


I take great exception to the idea that anyone open to the possibility of aliens or matters of faith are "crazed".
Who do you think you are to stand in judgment of other people's views? It could be argued that this kind of narcissism is in itself a mental disorder. I'm personally not religious at all or involved in hate groups, but am not arrogant enough to think we are alone in the universe. Maybe instead of calling out people who don't share your views as crazy, you might look into what compels them to to think differently than yourself. But no, that would require you to get over yourself first.



posted on Apr, 22 2012 @ 12:49 AM
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Because crazy people have a thing for extremism. Whether it's religion, politics, or bologna, they're just attracted to extremity. I think it's all that extra energy and gives them something to channel their paranoia into.



posted on Apr, 22 2012 @ 01:05 AM
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Its because we feel good when we are with others with a like mind, sorry ATS your xtreme!!! -ly awesome



posted on Apr, 22 2012 @ 01:08 AM
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reply to post by CitizenNum287119327
 


I just laughed so hard a piece of doughnut flew out my nose!!

Thank You!

On topic, There is an old saying that goes, Lock 12 people in a room and while they may not pick a leader, they will definitely pick someone to hate.

also Birds of a feather flock together.
edit on 22-4-2012 by redbarron626 because: misspelled due to doughnut on keyboard.



posted on Apr, 22 2012 @ 01:09 AM
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Someone once told me that Rule Number One of the Universe is Like Attracts Like. I think it's true because even in my own life I've been drawn to others who have similar beliefs/backgrounds, etc. The older I get, the more I see it and believe it.



posted on Apr, 22 2012 @ 01:12 AM
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Originally posted by ColonelLingus
reply to post by FailedProphet
 


I take great exception to the idea that anyone open to the possibility of aliens or matters of faith are "crazed".
Who do you think you are to stand in judgment of other people's views? It could be argued that this kind of narcissism is in itself a mental disorder. I'm personally not religious at all or involved in hate groups, but am not arrogant enough to think we are alone in the universe. Maybe instead of calling out people who don't share your views as crazy, you might look into what compels them to to think differently than yourself. But no, that would require you to get over yourself first.


I didn't get that at all from what he wrote. Don't be so defensive.

If a huge proportion of crazy people drank orange juice with every meal, say, it would be reasonable to wonder why this was the case. It wouldn't imply everyone who drinks orange juice is crazy.



posted on Apr, 22 2012 @ 01:21 AM
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I would have to disagree that Crazed People are drawn to the same groups. There are alot of Crazed people out there who are called Leaders. There are Crazed people who call themselves Defenders of the Faith...and there are Crazed Cops, Dancers, Retail Managers, Entertainers...just look at Gary Busey or Randy Quaid...Media Moguls, Billionares, Political Debaters....etc...

NUTS...is a term that can be applied to EVERY GROUP....and some are very sucessful Crazed NUTS! As far as Militias...as I assume you speak of...all it takes is one person to develop a Cult of Personality.

I play in a touring band and talk about Crazy! We have fans that will do things to get noticed you would not believe. I think that it is your perspective of what a person should be like and do with their life that allows you to label him Crazed. I am not saying he may need help but as long as he is not hurting anyone...it is his life.

Split Infinity



posted on Apr, 22 2012 @ 01:53 AM
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Pleased to note that I had my own mental issues in the past (under control at present) and because of them met many, many mentally unhealthy people - Couple that with my mother's occupation of psychiatric nurse in a full time residential facility (where I would go and help out and/or attend holiday functions, and was well acquainted with several of her patients) and then add a heaping helping of experience in the Special Olympics with the mentally retarded/impaired (and I don't mean that in a derogatory manner, my uncle literally was diagnosed "mentally retarded", along with many of his friends, many of which are higher functioning than wal*mart employees)....


Not one of them were in any sort of group that you speak of.....

In fact, I can honestly say that I was completely "ignorant" of about 90% of the topics discussed on ATS, until I read about them on ATS.


Perhaps it is just in your experience. Kind of like a battered woman asking why she always picks abusive men.... find the common denominator and there's your answer. (I'll give you a hint, its a 3 letter word, it starts with "Y")




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