DO YOU REALLY THINK THIS IS ABOUT THAT?

Mental health has always been and continues to be considered the least concern for most countries, for most societies in general and their governments, even from health and numerous mental health professionals. Sometimes yes, goodwill may pave the way of intents when it comes to admit that mental health is linked to some disliked truths, like poverty, conflicts, wars, increase of physical illnesses, but only when good intents are there. Otherwise, denial is flowing through the veins of silence no matter the inevitable obvious.

What is barely conceivable is, that most of us know, that everything we do, how we behave, and the attitudes we have, the emotions we feel, the dreams we wish to achieve, the decisions we take, the choices we make, the performance we demonstrate at work, how we interrelate with each other and face challenges together, how we live our life, is defined by, our state of mind. Because in fact, this is where everything starts. In our mind. To be able to interrelate positively, we have to hold within our minds the conditions to do so.  And this can be possible only if we meet the so fundamental psychological needs, as to love, to be loved, to be respected with dignity, and to be recognized as an individual free to live our own differences.

But it is also about living with some humility. Taking the time to see in the smallest things so many wonders and taking the time to appreciate what’s there at this present time because all this, contributes to make us who we are.  I know, it may sounds a bit old-fashioned statement, but there are lasting truths worth saying over again.   If we lose sight of our infinitely small contribution to these wonders, we lose sight of our need for humility and this is another fundamental element to find balance.

So, let’s move on dissociating mental health with psychiatry right now and forever.  The World Health Organization states clearly that mental health is a state of well-being, a state of mind and this state of mind defines everything we do but more specifically, how we do things. So, when we decide who should deserve respect, who is valuable and who’s not, when we choose to make of our own self the referring point of correctness and truth, we may in fact, become a vector of mental health problems in others’ life. Because when we are judgmental, we reject, we label, we condemn, we are stating that other people’s differences become a threat to our perception of truth.  Simultaneously we are saying that we have such low self-esteem, that we need to put down everything who seems to be threatening our vision of truth, because very deep, inside of us, we know, we don’t hold the truth even for ourself. When we hold love in our heart we don’t perpetuate judgments because there are no needs to do so.

Every time we deny such facts, we work against ourselves as individuals and as a society. When we rush in providing food to empty stomachs, we may respond to urgent needs.  We can count and show progress in statistics, this is useful in feeding the good intents, but if we deny that balanced mental health is a fundamental to peace and development, we work against ourselves again. If we feed stomachs without feeding the mind with empathy, respect, love, recognition of suffering, we choose to lose the battle over hate, violence and poverty. And this type of victory can never be won by guns or military actions. NEVER.  Let’s sow the seeds of hope.

Alice Miller, a well-known German psychanalyst said in one her most famous book “For your sake” “When our basic needs are not met specifically at young age, we develop destructive behaviours.  Or we become destructive toward ourselves, or we become destructive toward others, or worse, we are destructive toward ourselves and others.

Marie Prisca Lahssen, President