How do you define mental health? What is a healthy mental state?
What Mental Health means to me:
Being able to stand as my own source of worth, value, acceptance, care, guidance, and having the ability to assist and support myself to respond (self responsibility / respond-ability) to the scenarios of daily life with self reflection, self investigation, learning, and seeking support from others – in order to get to a point of understanding about the factors behind the actions, events, behaviors, and situations that I encounter – so that I can prevent myself from taking things personally and forming unhealthy definitions and judgments about myself, others, and the situation, and use what I learn to make decisions that support me to live my utmost potential — to stay on track with developing skills and interests and relationships that I see will benefit me in creating a stable foundation for myself in life, in order that I can lead a fulfilling life to the best of my ability – where, I know that there’s not some emotional or thought pattern keeping me trapped in a cycle of self compromise, self sabotage, self harm, and self limitation.
We live in a society where things like comparison, judgments, labeling, blame, anger, fighting, conflict, expectations, unclear communication, forced behavior, bullying — is seen as ‘normal human nature’, and plays a role in how we treat each other and how the ‘rules of society’ operate — from parenting, to education, to jobs and money, to social groups and sex and relationships. But there are those who are more sensitive than others – and end up not responding well to such apparently ‘normal’ rules and behavior and expectations of society. For example being rejected, judged, bullied, punished, chastised, scolded, made fun of, held under expectations – all of these words play out even in subtle ways in the context of family life, parent and child relationships, student teacher relationships, social groups, work, money, relationships and sex. Some of us simply accept these things and play along – we find a way to ‘fit in’ to it all. But there are those of us who, from a young age have a hard time accepting all these things and have trouble relating to the ways, rules, and games of society — those who are more sensitive or prone to becoming consumed by their thought and emotional patterns — developing resentment, depression, deep self judgments, anger, rage, spite, self destructiveness — and that can lead to a lifetime of bad decisions.
Can we ever have a society of true Mental Health if we do not have a support structure dedicated to ensuring each individual is able to become the source of their own self care?
In posts to come I will share some specific examples of from my life, where I’ve been able to transform unhealthy mental experiences into practical self care and support.