clinical insanity

there are many temptations to organize our life around the experience of earlier trauma. insanity is a concept discussed in court to help distinguish guilt from innocence. it’s informed by mental health professionals, but the term today is primarily legal, not psychological. i’m not in the habit of slamming cute sayings (with one exception), but i think there’s a dark underbelly to this one. some examples: the definition of insanity doesn’t have anything to do with jogging. as a therapist, when i hear these statements i can collude with the protective bubble of the socially accepted catchphrase or challenge it. we want to finish unfinished business, so sometimes we recreate old, unresolved problems for the potential of a better outcome.

or a woman who feels it’s always her duty to invite her selection of apathetic friends to socialize. a persistent quest against a fear or toward a goal is often the best course of action. repeating the same constructive behavior over and over, hoping (one day) for a positive result is difficult but virtuous. the qualities of perseverance—consistency, loyalty—are beneficial to health and definitely not insane. and they’re doing the same thing every day, hoping for some measure of progress. perseverance feels like striving toward a noble goal, and whether or not it’s reached, there is virtue in the effort. there are many temptations to organize our life around the experience of earlier trauma.

generally speaking, criminal insanity is understood as a mental defect or disease that makes it impossible for a defendant to understand their actions, or to understand that their actions are wrong. when asserting an insanity defense, the defendant essentially admits to having committed the wrongful act, but claims that they are not culpable because of their mental defect.

additionally, jurisdictions may follow the model penal code, or the more common “m’naghten rule.” recently, the supreme court upheld kansas’s understanding of the criminal insanity defense, finding that due process does not require a state to adopt a criminal insanity test that considers whether the defendant recognized that their crime was morally wrong. in other words, due process not require that a court acquit a defendant who understood their actions, even if that defendant believed their actions were moral.

insanity, madness, lunacy, and craziness are terms that describe a spectrum of individual and group behaviors that are characterized by certain abnormal insanity. n. mental illness of such a severe nature that a person cannot distinguish fantasy from reality, cannot conduct her/his affairs due to what does it mean to be clinically insane?, clinical insanity symptoms, clinical insanity symptoms, clinical insanity test, insanity defense, examples of insanity.

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