Back towards the beginning of the blog I had a viewpoint that when it comes to a spouse being Batshit Crazy, all you could do is “medicate it, or run”. I pretty much saw it all as a combination of psych and behavioral issues. These days, I see Batshit Crazy as having five different potential causes.
(1) Something funky with their endocrine system.
I talked about this in particular back in February, but the link between endocrine levels being out of whack and crappy moods is well established. Just think of a woman with bad PMS. She’s a cranky shit weasel because her hormone levels are actively turning her into a moody version of her normal self. Now imagine that her hormonal levels are out of whack on a permanent basis and she’s permanently in a PMS-like hormonal state. At some point you just run out of chocolate and Midol to distract her while you barricade yourself in the mancave.
The solution for this one is to head to the doctor and get the full set of labwork, being clear that there’s some degree of negative moods and behavior that goes along with it. Same deal for men and women, low testosterone guys are fairly intolerable to live with.
(2) They figured out being Batshit Crazy gets them what they want.
This is the behavioral one. Just like a three-year-old who figures out throwing a tantrum gets them candy from a weak parent, your Batshit Crazy partner has figured out on some level that being “out of control” gets you to do what they want you to do. They don’t want to clean the house, so they throw a tantrum so bad you don’t dare cross them and you clean the house for them instead. Despite the fact that you work the full time job and as far as you can tell, they are primarily occupied with playing Candy Crush all day. Or the last time you asked to spend time together on the weekend, he ripped the curtains off the wall and called you a stupid whore, so now when he disappears all weekend hunting, you just watch him go and don’t say a word.
Or put more simply, they figured out abusing you works great, because you just tolerate it. The solution for this one is standing up for yourself, maintaining personal boundaries, improving yourself to the point where you don’t need them so much you have to tolerate things so easily, and potentially getting outside help depending on the level of intervention required. If it’s really just a ton of Fitness Testing, you can run the MAP and push back on it more and more over time. If it’s genuine abuse, that’s more likely to need greater support.
(3) Unresolved abuse/childhood issues.
This is the one where there’s some kind of pre-existing trauma in their life, that’s never been properly addressed, and you’re getting to bear the brunt of them being triggered by whatever it is still lurking in their memories. Essentially *anything* from their personal history that makes you go, “Oh wow, that’s so horrible” counts as a potential trigger there.
The solution is therapy of some kind, plus stepping around the triggers that are easily identifiable.
(4) You’ve driven them crazy by your behavior.
It’s a minority of cases, but it does happen where I hear impressive descriptions of an out of control spouse… and on finally meeting them, I discover they are fairly normal and driven to their wits end with the original spouse who talked to me. The DARVO method – Deny Attack Reverse Victim and Offender – a stock in trade of both men and women playing out the strategy outlined in point (2) above. The trouble is, if it’s actually caused in no small part by you, you probably think it’s all justified because in your mind they are the crazy ones.
Or alternatively, they are the crazy ones, but saying you’re the crazy one, driving them crazy. If that was confusing, that’s because that particular strategy is designed to be confusing, and make you start doubting whether or not you’re crazy yourself.
Generally speaking the solution is to try and figure out who else has problems interacting with the alleged crazy person. If basically everyone – friends, family, co-workers, bosses, the neighbors – are having trouble relating to one half of the couple, that’s the Batshit Crazy one. Or maybe you’re both crazy and your life is like a reality TV show pilot.
If it’s you, the solution is to stop being such an asshole, and smooth it all out. Seek some help for it if you need it.
(5) Genuine psych disorder.
Something like genuine bipolar, schizophrenia, depression even ADHD, are all real enough and can be treated with a combination of therapy, medication, diet, exercise and so on. But I’m honestly starting to reach for this as the last potential explanation of why someone is Batshit Crazy
Importantly, there can be more than just one cause and the more causes there are overlapping, the harder it is to unpick the situation.
But you do have to figure out what the causes are before you can align it with the proper treatment.