Here is my question about health in general.
Because my teeth are not quite shining white, does that mean that my teeth are not healthy?
Here’s another one.
Because I can barely run 50 yards without getting totally winded, does that mean that I’m not healthy?
And, just one more for good measure.
If I only have one friend, does that mean that I am not healthy?
I’m going to put this link on here, not because I am trying to promote this product, but because this product is part of a marketing campaign that has to do with a certain ideal of mental health that I question deeply.
Always mind. Is a catchy little phrase to promote mental health, I imagine, come up with against the colloquialism “never mind”.
And, keep in mind that I am also not necessarily saying that I don’t agree with the ideal behind this marketing campaign, nor am I saying that you should not buy their products or should not agree with the general push of their message.
For sure, there is an idealism which places me along a continuum from unhealthy to healthy, and where I am placed upon that line is less important than I do place myself there in the reckoning of my quality of life and mental health￼.￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼
My problem with that way of knowing is that I question idealistic promotions, whether they be about my health, whether they be about my talent, my personality, my happiness, my place of living, etc.
When it comes to mental health, because I’m a counselor, I am often thinking less about some idealistic state of mental health, and more about people who are actually suffering from mental health issues.
If you can follow my line of reasoning here: my teeth may be yellow and I may have a couple fillings, but they are far from unhealthy. And this, even though I can talk about how my teeth are not as healthy as, say, my dentist would want them to be or that they should be if I would’ve been a good little boy and brushed my teeth and floss after every meal or at least twice a day throughout my life.
There are two things going on here. One is that yes there is an ideal of health that I surely fall into with reference to what is unhealthy.
Yet, when it comes to my mental health I am not sure that putting me into such a scheme is healthy for my mental health.
Yes, there are people for whom it is very healthy to place themselves in the scheme of mental health and to strive towards some idealistic presentation of being mentally healthy, whatever that is. But, I would say that those people for the most part who enjoy or otherwise are able to fit themselves into such a scheme such that it works for them, I would say that they are already mentally healthy and they don’t really need to worry about their mental health.
At least, for those people if I am helping them with their mental health, I would hardly say that they have any sort of mental health issue except that they have some notion that they want to be “better mentally healthy”.
When I think of mental health I think of it in the context of what could be wrong. Sure, there is the fad of a sort of “positive psychology” which would beg to differ with my estimation, but then I would beg to differ that the very idea of a positive psychology is based on an inflated idea that something could go very wrong with my mental health. So, there’s that useless argument.
What I mean then is that if someone is asking for help, for mental health therapy, it is because something is off, something is wrong.
If I’m going to the dentist to get my teeth cleaned, yes I’m going for my dental health, but I don’t have any dental health issues under the premise that I’m going to get my teeth cleaned￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼. I go to the dentist and I get a cavity filled because something is wrong with my dental health. However, once I have achieved a certain state of dental health, say that five of my teeth have been extracted, two others have fillings in them, one is a crown, my mouth is no longer Dentally unhealthy, despite that I am missing and I have damaged many of them, or in comparison to people that have shiny full set of teeth. My teeth in my mouth are dentally healthy. And so I’m not really sure why I would say a reference my mouth to a dental health except in as much as I was worried about some thing that is going wrong, but more pointedly: in so much as I might have to go to the dentist, it is because something has gone wrong￼.￼￼
At least, this is my point of view as a counselor.
Physical health is not the same as mental Health, because it doesn’t matter what I think about my finger being broken￼ for my finger to be physically unhealthy.
And yet for me to think that my mind might be broken and that it needs to be fixed, may just well aggravate and perpetuate the problem to a mental disorder.
So it is that I have issues with an idealistic Notion of mental health. ￼￼￼￼
In a kind of structuralist manner, I am healthy only to the extent and with reference to the potential for me to be unhealthy. Therefore. There is no necessity for me to worry about being mentally healthy if I am effective in living my life. So it is that to be concerned with my mental health, what past incarnations called “mental hygiene”, is itself a kind of mental issue, what we could say is a sort of institutional neurosis.xx
Leave a Reply