Long-lasting mental health isn’t normal

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Long-lasting mental health isn’t normal

#1  Postby the_5th_ape » Feb 16, 2017 7:05 pm

Abnormal is the new normal in mental health.

A small, poorly understood segment of the population stays mentally healthy from age 11 to 38, a new study of New Zealanders finds. Everyone else encounters either temporary or long-lasting mental disorders.

Only 171 of 988 participants, or 17 percent, experienced no anxiety disorders, depression or other mental ailments from late childhood to middle age, researchers report in the February Journal of Abnormal Psychology. Of the rest, half experienced a transient mental disorder, typically just a single bout of depression, anxiety or substance abuse by middle age.

https://www.sciencenews.org/article/lon ... snt-normal
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Re: Long-lasting mental health isn’t normal

#2  Postby don't get me started » Feb 17, 2017 7:10 am

I'm not sure what to make of this.
I'm of the opinion that in many ways mental health is analogous to physical health, specifically in the sense that nobody really has perfect health, either mental or physical.

At the moment my physical health is not perfect in the following ways: A fungal infection on the soul of my left foot, a cut on the middle finger of my right hand, remnants of a sinus infection, mild pain in my ankles from running 10 km yesterday, myopia requiring contact lenses to correct.

These conditions are caused by a variety of different factors, are of different levels of seriousness and duration and require different treatments. The cut on my finger will heal on its own, as will the sinus infection. The ankle pain will gradually diminish until I go running next time. The fungal infection needs a short period of treatment with a cream, the shortsightedness is not going anywhere and can only really be fixed by surgery, but I'm gonna stick with contact lenses and glasses.

But all in all nothing too serious. No broken bones, no debilitating conditions that stop me from working or eating or walking etc, no diagnoses of life-threatening illnesses.

My mental health is pretty much the same. Nothing too serious, nothing that interferes with my ability to function in my job or in my social life, nothing to cause me to seek help, diagnosis or treatment from a doctor. Not all plain sailing, I might add, but mostly on the same level as the physical ailments described above.

Perhaps the stigma that has traditionally surrounded mental illness and the difficulty of diagnosis compared to physical illness, (especially self-diagnosis) has led to difficulty in distinguishing between the normative ups and downs of one's mental state and the occurrence of conditions requiring treatment.

The old school approach of 'just pull yourself together' for mental problems may be the equivalent of 'just run it under a cold tap' for physical injuries. Sometimes you do just need to run it under a cold tap. Sometimes you need to go to hospital and get stitches and antibiotics.

The findings of the survey quoted in the OP notwithstanding, I think the notion that anyone enjoys long periods of perfect physical or mental health is not realistic.
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Re: Long-lasting mental health isn’t normal

#3  Postby mrjonno » Feb 17, 2017 7:37 am

People seem to blurring a health issue and a happiness one,

If you mental health means you are a threat to yourself or others, if it means you can't work you are likely to be considered to have a health problem. Anything else you may have a life issue or a strange/interesting mental state but its not really a medical problem.

If the microwave is telling you to kill yourself then you have a mental health problem, if the microwave is saying hello how are you today and you reply I feel well then its definitely strange but a psychiatrist won't care (very close real life example of my wife).

The reality is there are an awful lot of stressed/miserable people in the world (probably most of them if you commute into a major city). I'm not convinced that is something a doctor can fix
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Re: Long-lasting mental health isn’t normal

#4  Postby zulumoose » Feb 17, 2017 9:25 am

Anxiety and depression are normal reactions to situations that everyone can expect to encounter between childhood and middle age, if they class these as being outside the boundaries of mental health, then their own mental health is perhaps suspect, unless they managed to limit their definitions to clinical depression and more severe versions of anxiety.

It could be said that someone who does not respond to some common circumstances with at least a degree of depression or anxiety (eg death of close family member, retrenchment) is likely outside the norm of mental health in some way.
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Re: Long-lasting mental health isn’t normal

#5  Postby zulumoose » Feb 17, 2017 9:28 am

Image

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Re: Long-lasting mental health isn’t normal

#6  Postby mrjonno » Feb 17, 2017 9:34 am

If you can keep your head when everyone around is losing theirs then you haven't got a clue what is going on
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Re: Long-lasting mental health isn’t normal

#7  Postby Fallible » Feb 17, 2017 9:40 am

:coffee:
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If I hear that fucking phrase again, this baby's gonna blow
Into a million itsy bitsy tiny pieces, don't you know,
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Re: Long-lasting mental health isn’t normal

#8  Postby DavidMcC » Feb 18, 2017 1:51 pm

mrjonno wrote:...
If the microwave is telling you to kill yourself then you have a mental health problem, if the microwave is saying hello how are you today and you reply I feel well then its definitely strange but a psychiatrist won't care (very close real life example of my wife).

...

If your wife has meaningful discussions with her microwave oven, maybe she is missing out on other conversations. I recommend either talking to her more yourself, or getting a pet cat, or something.

EDIT: Actually, I suspect that most people talk to themselves rather than to inanimate objects or pets - it's called "thinking out loud". If you don't move your lips, it's called "thinking".
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Re: Long-lasting mental health isn’t normal

#9  Postby Corneel » Feb 18, 2017 2:07 pm

Image
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Re: Long-lasting mental health isn’t normal

#10  Postby DavidMcC » Feb 18, 2017 2:19 pm

Corneel wrote:Image

I get the "Cheshire cat" grin image, but I can't quite make out the words, I'm afraid. (It looks like "We're accmad....", which is gibberish.
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Re: Long-lasting mental health isn’t normal

#11  Postby The_Piper » Feb 18, 2017 2:30 pm

It says "we're all mad here", without the apostrophe. I'm surprised I got it, I often have a hard time with captcha images.
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Re: Long-lasting mental health isn’t normal

#12  Postby Corneel » Feb 18, 2017 2:59 pm

"But I don’t want to go among mad people," Alice remarked.
"Oh, you can’t help that," said the Cat: "we’re all mad here. I’m mad. You’re mad."
"How do you know I’m mad?" said Alice.
"You must be," said the Cat, "or you wouldn’t have come here.”
― Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland
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Re: Long-lasting mental health isn’t normal

#13  Postby DavidMcC » Feb 18, 2017 3:51 pm

Corneel wrote:"But I don’t want to go among mad people," Alice remarked.
"Oh, you can’t help that," said the Cat: "we’re all mad here. I’m mad. You’re mad."
"How do you know I’m mad?" said Alice.
"You must be," said the Cat, "or you wouldn’t have come here.”
― Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland

Thanks, Corneel. I thought it might be from "Alice...", because of the Cheshire cat and its grin!
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Re: Long-lasting mental health isn’t normal

#14  Postby laklak » Feb 18, 2017 4:25 pm

Y b normal?
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