Sunday, 3 May 2009

What Is Mental Health?

Should be obvious, eh? But what is it. Come on, define it for me.

See, it's vague.

Let's start at the sharp end. Obviously if you're wanting to kill people or yourself, then you must be mentally unhealthy? Correct? No, not always. Sometimes there could be very good and logical reasons for murder or suicide. So if those extremely antisocial types of behaviour can't define it, then what can?

Ok... so hearing voices, seeing people. Just ask writers and artists how inspiration can work. Often we rely on hearing voices and seeing people to get the work out. And not all of them are deemed mentally unhealthy.

Take the capitalist angle: are you productive, a good wage-slave? Does your brain prevent you functioning as a useful member of society? Since when did use or function become the benchmark for mental health? This paragraph leads into a cesspool slimepit of arguments you'll all be familiar with, so I'll stop.

I'm starting to get stuck. What is mental health? What is it? Is it the dull placid life? Where happiness of a tepid sort is the be and end all? Is it simply coping with whatever trials you make, the world makes, life makes, and surviving?

I'm deeply confused, dear readers. Sometimes the noise in my head makes function difficult. Sometimes I swarm and swim over it like a dolphin.

Please help. The longer I dwell, the more I ponder, the more I ponder, the more I wonder, the more I wonder, the more I toss everything to the stars and shout a big fuck off to the whole paradigm.


differentlysane said...

Well it's the World Health Organisation's attempt to define it.

Take care,

Abysmal Musings said...

p.s. D x :-) ;-) ;-)

Abysmal Musings said...

Thanks Differently. Good link, but it's still all bullshit based on socio-economic philosophy. I'm after the answer that isn't the easy answer - I'm after the answer that addresses Homo Sapiens (what a joke) in all his and her ridiculous aspect - WHO seem to address my tentative answer above: "Is it the dull placid life? Where happiness of a tepid sort is the be and end all?"

But a big thank you for posting it. I'd love this post to start a huge fucking argument because there are too many easy platitudes and attitudes concerning so-called mental-health.

It's - can you survive?

Personally at the moment, no. But if the state stopped funding me, I'd very very quickly be emptying dustbins (and murdering co-workers).

bipolarlife said...

Beyond Meds has a post about how the Mental Health Foundation defines it. I kept thinking that I'd recently read something about this topic. I like their definition. See what you think.

bipolarlife said...

Forgot the link:

Abysmal Musings said...

Thanks - well according to the MHF criteria, I'm mentally healthy! Great! Sorted! :-)

Abysmal Musings said...


"The Mental Health Foundation has defined a mentally healthy individual as one who can:
• Develop emotionally, creatively, intellectually and spiritually;
• Initiate, develop and sustain mutually satisfying personal relationships;
• Face problems, resolve them and learn from them;
• Be confident and assertive;
• Be aware of others and empathize with them;
• Use and enjoy solitude;
• Play and have fun;
• Laugh, both at themselves and at the world."

From Gianna's

Hannah said...

Mental Health - is eventful