The Perfect Life #47 by Dr. Perfect
We’re All Mad Here
Dear Dr. Perfect,
Ever since I saw Bedlam (1946) when I was five, I dreamed of being committed to an asylum. A life free from the stress of how to live seemed like a utopian dream. This impression was later cemented when I was 13 and saw the character Samara in a Psychiatric Facility in the film The Ring (2002).
I’ve tried to self-commit many times, but I haven’t been able to get in. The screening process seems rigged. I feel like my luck is running out. I can’t be happy without this. What am I doing wrong in my application process?
Our current psychiatric facilities, or what’s left of them, are highly exclusive. They used to throw just about anyone into a padded cell and administer electroshock therapy to children, but all of that’s changed. We’re now living in the age of self-medicated safe spaces and hypersensitive silliness.
The classic 1975 film One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest undoubtedly played a part in influencing public opinion against asylums, as did the Ken Kesey novel it was based on. Audiences wept after witnessing Jack Nicholson’s unjust lobotomy at the hands of the evil Nurse Ratched. Public opinion, lack of funding, and the de-stigmatization of mental illness then led to the closure of psychiatric facilities all around the country. Now we have people joyously defecating on sidewalks with impunity.
I think we need more of these hospitals than ever. I’ve always found straightjackets to look oddly comforting.
Your dreams of being committed to an asylum are understandable. You’d get free medication, and plenty of time to update your social media.
I could benefit from a stay myself, locked away from society in a white robe and slippers. It would be a unique opportunity to finish my memoir, The Importance of Being Perfect. I also have various self-help books to ghost write.
The screening process is rigged against you. My advice would be to try harder. Garden variety crazy isn’t going to cut it. Have you read the latest American Psychiatric Association Manual of Mental Disorders? According to them, we’re all basket cases.
Fear not, somewhere there’s a padded cell with your name on it. Try walking backwards wherever you go. Wear the same shirt every day. Shave your head and eyebrows. Make up your own language. Think big.
Don’t bring up politics, though. Give yourself a fighting chance.
Dr. Perfect has slung advice across the globe for the last two decades due to his dedication to the uplift of the human condition.