CHAPTER 1

Understanding Crazy

AFTER DECADES as a psychiatrist, I know crazy—and that includes some serious crazy.

How serious? One of my patients stalked Britney Spears, and another jumped off a fifth-story balcony because he thought he could fly. Still another called me from a jail in the Dominican Republic, saying he was there to start a revolution.

In addition, I’ve worked with 80-pound anorexics, strung-out heroin addicts, and hallucinating schizophrenics. I’ve taught hostage negotiators how to get homicidal criminals to surrender. And these days, I show CEOs and managers how to deal with out-of-control people who threaten their companies’ bottom lines.

In short, crazy and I are pretty much on a first-name basis.

However, a while ago, something ...

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