Institutionalized

Album: Suicidal Tendencies (1983)
  • Sometimes I try to do things and it just doesn't work out the way I wanted too
    I get real frustrated, and its like
    And I try hard to it and take my time
    And it just doesn't work out the way I want it too
    It's like I concentrate on it real hard but it just doesn't works out
    And everything I do and everything I try, it never turns out
    It's like I need time to figure these things out
    But there's always someone there going

    Hey Mike: You know we've been noticing you've been having a lot of problems lately
    You know like, maybe you should get away, and like maybe you should talk about it,
    You'll feel a lot better

    And I go: No it's okay, you know I'll figure it out
    Just leave me alone I'll figure it out
    You know I'll just work it on myself,

    And they go: Well you know if you want to talk about it I'll be here you know
    And you'll probably feel a lot better if you talk about it

    And I go: No I don't want to, I'm okay, I'll figure it out myself
    And they just keep bugging me and they just keep bugging me
    And it builds up inside

    So you're gonna be institutionalized
    You'll come out brainwashed with bloodshot eyes
    You won't have any say
    They'll brainwash you until you see their way

    I'm not crazy - institution
    You're the one who's crazy - institution
    You're driving me crazy - institution
    They stuck me in an institution
    Said it was the only solution
    To give me the needed professional help
    To protect me from the enemy - myself

    I was in my room and I was just like staring at the wall thinking about everything
    But then again I was thinking about nothing
    And then my mom came in and I didn't even know she was there she called my name
    And I didn't even hear it, and then she started screaming: MIKE! MIKE!
    And I go: What, what's the matter?
    And she goes: What's the matter with you?
    I go: There's nothing wrong mom
    And she goes: Don't tell me that, you're on drugs!
    And I go: No mom I'm not on drugs I'm okay, I was just thinking you know,
    Why don't you get me a Pepsi
    And she goes: No you're on drugs!
    I go: Mom I'm okay, I'm just thinking
    She goes: No you're not thinking, you're on drugs! Normal people don't act that way!
    I go: Mom just give me a Pepsi, please
    All I want is a Pepsi, and she wouldn't give it to me
    All I wanted was a Pepsi, just one Pepsi, and she wouldn't give it to me
    Just a Pepsi

    They give you a white shirt with long sleeves
    Tied around you're back, you're treated like thieves
    Drug you up because they're lazy
    It's too much work to help a crazy

    I'm not crazy - institution
    You're the one who's crazy - institution
    You're driving me crazy - institution
    They stuck me in an institution
    Said it was the only solution
    To give me the needed professional help
    To protect me from the enemy - myself

    I was sitting in my room and my mom and my dad came in
    And they pulled up a chair and they sat down, they go:
    Mike, we need to talk to you
    And I go: Okay what's the matter
    They go:
    Me and your mom have been noticing lately that you've been having a lot of problems,
    You've been going off for no reason and we're afraid you're gonna hurt somebody,
    We're afraid you're gonna hurt yourself
    So we decided that it would be in your interest if we put you somewhere
    Where you could get the help that you need
    And I go: Wait, what are you talking about, we decided!?
    My best interest?! How can you know what's my best interest is?
    How can you say what my best interest is? What are you trying to say, I'm crazy?
    When I went to your schools, I went to your churches,
    I went to your institutional learning facilities?! So how can you say I'm crazy?

    They say they're gonna fix my brain
    Alleviate my suffering and my pain
    But by the time they fix my head
    Mentally I'll be dead

    I'm not crazy - institution
    You're the one who's crazy - institution
    You're driving me crazy - institution
    They stuck me in an institution
    Said it was the only solution
    To give me the needed professional help
    To protect me from the enemy - myself

    It doesn't matter, I'll probably get hit by a car anyway Writer/s: Louis Mayorga, Mike Muir
    Publisher: BMG Rights Management, INGROOVES MUSIC PUBLISHING C/O SOVEREIGN MUSIC
    Lyrics licensed and provided by LyricFind

Comments: 7

  • Vegan Solarman from VeniceI have a friend who has a severe problem with bipolar it’s, he is a great rapper who could use some help! would you be interested in helping me to help him? may God bless you...
  • Zeny from Bucks, PaCOMMENT CORRECTIONS:

    *Jim from NZ - the actress who plays the mom in the "Institutionalize" video was NOT in Bananarama!

    Mary Woronov really became a cult actress after working with Andy Warhol. She was a fan of Punk. She also did "Possessed To Skate" video. Twas after the Ramones full length music video movie "Rock 'n' Roll High School". Then part 2. Also was great in "Night of the Comet", "Chopping Mall", "Dick Tracy" and much more.

    *Tyler From MD, you are totally wrong! It is more like the parents listen to others more than their own kid. Mike, as named in the song is a normal kid just trying to work things out. Because he likes to sit in his room and listen to music the parents feel that it is not normal behavior.

    Drugs were becoming more of a prevalent force. Many rehab facilities were opening up and pushing many to believe that "if your kid sits alone and listen to music, they must be on drugs" and or crazy so to speak. So when the parents push Mike with all the dumb questions that are not relevant to him he gets upset. Which makes the parents think more that he MUST be on drugs and crazy.

    It upsets Mike because he is not. He does want help. Just not that kind of help. That kind of parenting can make one crazy. He wants them to listen to him and not the dumb TV and people. Even though Mike is the main character of the song, it is not autobiographical for him at least. He wrote it based off of what so many others were going through at the time.

    Mike was very lucky to have a father that truly cared and there for him. I think that made him more open to the atrocities that others were going through. He had a lot of things going on his head as most kids with growing brains do. His dad was able to explain things the best he could. That kind of communication it's precious to a relationship and development.

    No surprise Mike can really talk, and write when you get him going. There are so many amazing interviews full of great stories. Over 40 years and I still feel that Mike is one of the best lyricists ever. Definitely one of the greatest guys I've ever known. Truly helped me get through some of the hardest times of my life. Really with music we are never "Alone". (Look that one up)


    People really need to do a bit of research before they take anything to hear on the internet to be fact. False information continues to be spread so it appear in multiple places. So try to go to credible sources and always keep in mind not to jump the gun.
  • Jim from Christchurch, New ZealandThe mother on the video is from Bananarama
  • David from Portland, OrThis song is genius. Talk about encapsulating all the angst and anxiety kids go through.
  • Xavier from Schenectady, NyWow i think so many teenagers can relate to this song
  • Cardio Toxin from El Paso, Txthis song is impossible to mis-intrepret. and this is an awesomem song, good luck trying to keep up with these guys live singing this song; it is nearly impossible.
  • Tyler from Aberdeen , MdIts Actually About a kid whos Parents Think Hes crazy and they harass him and try to help him but he doesn't want help at all
see more comments

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