Are left-handed people crazier than right-handed people?
If you want to listen to my Causes Or Cures Podcast version of this, click here.
There is a general sense that left-handed people are crazier. Crazier in the colloquial sense of that word, not in the stigmatizing sense. After all, I’m a Lefty. 😉
In an official sense, a study shows left-handed people are prone to mental illness more so than right-handed people. Researchers at Yale University studied 107 patients that went to an urban, outpatient psychiatric clinic for either mood, depression, schizophrenia or schizoaffective disorder. They found that the percentage of schizophrenics or schizoaffectives who are left-handed is much higher than the percentage that is right-handed. Specifically, the prevalence of left-handedness in those with mood disorders was 11% , which compares to the general population, but the percentage of left-handedness in schizophrenics/schizoaffectives was 40%. The odds ratio was 7.9 and p was less than .001. So if you are left-handed you are 7.9 times as likely to get schizophrenia or be schizoaffective than a right-handed person.
I should add that left-handedness is often associated with more health ailments than right-handedness. If you skim medical databases for “left-handedness and health” you’ll discover that it has been linked to spinal deformities, immunological disorders, migraines, neurosis, insomnia, diabetes, hypertension, sleep apnea, GI disorders, psychiatric ailments in general, and “enuresis noctura,” or wetting the bed at night. At least you now have an idea of what was inside the medical charts of famous Lefties like Obama, Bill Clinton, Einstein, Darwin, Newton, Osama Bin Laden and “the worst Britain in history,” Jack the Ripper…
Why are left-handed people crazier?
The doctors and researchers are busy coming up with theories as to why left-handed people might go mad more often than right-handed people. They speculate that it has something to do with brain development or neuronal circuitry. I think it is another reason altogether. I think Lefties go mad more often than Righties, because the world drives Lefties mad. It is the world’s fault. I am left-handed so I consider me an expert opinion. In this world, Lefties are left out. There is a prejudice against us that can be seen and felt everywhere. The world craps on Lefties, and as a result, Lefties have to deal with more stress, more anger, more unfairness, more bullshit… and all of those things combine to set the stage for not only craziness, but a plethora of other health problems too. Studies over and over again link stress with an unsound mind. The world drives Lefties to insanity. But how specifically? I’ll get there.
So are left-handed people crazier? Yes. Here is my list why.
1) Handheld Mechanical Can-Openers
If a Lefty has to open a can somewhere with a handheld can opener, it will be designed for a right-handed person, not a Lefty. Then a Lefty has to pretend he/she is a Righty in order to open a can. And it will take a lot longer and probably involve cutting oneself. The world does not care if left-handed people can eat out of a can.
2) The PEN Smudge
Every single time you write as a Lefty, you will experience the pen smudge. And sometimes it stains for days and you can’t get it out and then you just go around looking like a dirty person who doesn’t wash your hands.
3) Spiral Notebooks
These are the absolute worst for Lefties and can drive a Lefty to madness in no time.
4) Stick-shift Cars
Where’s the stick? Not on the left hand side of a car! Why? Because the world doesn’t want Lefties to drive stick. ( Not that I want to drive stick, but the option should exist.)
5) Computers and those Computerized Pens you use to sign something after making a purchase
Computers always have the good stuff ( numbers pad, computerized pen, etc) on the right side of the keypad. The computerized pens are always on too short a leash for a Lefty to conveniently sign his/her bill. There’s always maneuvering involved. Why does the world do this? Why do stores do this? To drive Lefties mad.
6) Gym Class and Sports Woes
There is never a Lefty baseball catcher’s mitt, golf club or field hockey stick in gym class. Or if there is, there is only 1, and it is grungy as Hell and the one that the one Lefty in each class 100 years before you used. The world doesn’t care if Lefties participate in gym class. Exercise is proven to prevent madness, but they want Lefties to go crazy.
7) The 1 pocket in pants and shorts
This pocket is never on the left. Always on the right. Why? Because shorts and pants makers don’t want Lefties to put anything in their pockets.
8) The Store Scoopers
Stores supply bins full of stuff people eat, and they also supply scoopers to scoop the stuff out. These scoopers are designed for a Righty. I eat a lot of granola and nuts. ( Wellness, duh.) I’m like a squirrel that way. I always go to the granola and nut bins. When I try to scoop, however, it’s painful. I’m practically contorting my body around the scooper to make it work, but meanwhile granola and nuts are falling to the ground, and other shoppers are staring at me like I’m “slow” and “challenged.”
9) “Oh, great, you’re a Lefty”
Lefties create frustration for instructors who only know how to teach Righties. I experienced this a lot at West Point. Especially when instructors would try to teach me how to shoot, tie knots, defend myself against an attacker, etc…. it was always, “Oh, great, you’re a Lefty. Wait over there so I can teach the Righties first, and then ( maybe if I have time) I’ll teach you.” Why? Because the world wants Lefties to get shot at and have knots that fail when they are repelling down a mountain to escape the enemy.
10) Dinner Parties
Dinner parties are designed to leave out Lefties since most people eat with their right hand. If you are a Lefty and go to a dinner party, you will most likely always be placed next to a Righty. And you will bump elbows all night long, thereby creating tension and stress. Why? Because the world wants Lefties to eat alone. And being alone can drive one mad.
11) Surgical Equipment is all Right.
I think the most frustrating portion of my surgery rotation during medical school was that all of the surgical tools were designed for Righties. I remember scrubbing into an operation with a particularly cantankerous surgeon. He kept saying “cut” to me, but whenever I tried to “cut,” I couldn’t. I would start sweating while the surgeon kept yelling, “Cut, cut, CUTTTTT you IDIOT!” It was first grade arts and crafts all over again. Why? Because most surgical tools are made for Righties. Of course you can special-order surgical tools for Lefties, but what med student is going to do that for a 3 month rotation on a student budget? Not me! The world does not want left-handed people to become surgeons, that’s obvious.
12) The school Room with no Left-Handed Chairs.
This will drive a Lefty crazy faster than almost anything. It’s all the trend for secondary schools and universities to have the half-desk. The problem is that most (if not ALL) of the half-desks have their “half” on the right hand side. This means that a Lefty will be forced to sit in one of those half-desks and take notes and exams while their elbows wave around in the air. Why? Because the world doesn’t want Lefties in school. They’d rather you go stupid and mad.
13) It All Starts in 1st grade Arts and Crafts
Like any madness, it all goes back to childhood issues.
Every Lefty out there can relate to not being able to cut anything in Arts and Crafts, because the teacher gives you a pair of right-handed scissors. So you are the student who frustratingly tries to cut out your shapes, hearts and snowflakes, but can’t, because you can’t cut. And the school doesn’t care. The teacher doesn’t care. The world doesn’t care. And your artwork looks like vomit on the bulletin board for parents’ night.
14) Left is Evil
The left side has always been considered the evil side. In all of those drawings of a face, an angel and a devil, what shoulder is the devil sitting on? The left. To ward off evil, one throws salt over his or her left shoulder. Witches cast spells with their left hands. All of the blessings in Church are made with the right hand. For example, “In the name of the father, son, and holy spirit,” is never done with the left. Priests baptize babies with their right hands. If someone is considered a deviant or poorly behaved, he or she might be described as being “baptized by a left-handed priest.” The devil is always portrayed as being left-handed and there are countless bible verses that bash the left, such as, ““Then he will say unto those on the left hand, ‘Depart from me, you cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels.” This could be what drove Satan mad.
In places like the Middle East, being left-handed is considered REALLY evil. In some places it is a rule that you wipe your butt with your left hand and some water. Never the right hand, only the left. And then they don’t let you eat with your left hand, because if you do, you follow Satan. So much for just being hungry and born with a different-sided brain dominance! It’s obvious that you worship the Devil. It’s like what this guy says:
On a positive note, if I ever want to lose weight, I know where to go….
So, I hope my blog shed some light on why left-handed people are crazier than right-handed people.
It’s not our fault. It’s the world’s.
Thanks for reading! Since I’m left-handed, if you want to read my book about going crazy, check out Manic Kingdom. 😉