Other Mental Health
"WHAT MENTAL HEALTH ISN'T"
By Emanuel McLittle
Contrary to modern dictum health is not a thing of chance. Instead of being subject to invisible viruses or to the bacteria that rots our teeth and narrows our veins, or even to the occasional mental breakdown we are "wonderfully made," as one ancient said. I am a trained psychologist, not a physician. Nevertheless, this much is clear. We are far more powerful than any germ or negativity. What few dare say about health, in its truest sense, is that our bodies are but the reflection of our unseen constitution, our mental health.
In the future health will not be measured by how many miles the healthy can run, nor even how elastic our heart, lungs, liver or kidneys. Rather, the test will be how free of anxiety we are; how deep our level of peace. But why wait? You can ask yourself these questions now. Is all well with you? "No," is the resounding answer for most of us. Life has become a burgeoning complex maze, no matter how well youíve planned or the breadth of your portfolio. The juggling of too many balls, with too little genuine rest, has taken a heavy toll. Stress is a mild word for what some of us have endured. In fact by the time physical symptoms appear, originating in the unconscious of course, the causative factors are long hidden and forgotten, diverting our focus toward our outward symptoms. This not-so-accidental re-focus is the first in a long train of deepening denials.
According to the National Institute of Health 32% of Americans, 28 years or older, have been slightly to severely mentally ill, at some time during their lives. The cost to the economy, from 1980 to 1998, has been $3 trillion in lost wages and productivity, plus an immeasurable amount in emotional pain, lost children, broken marriages, failed businesses, violence and fizzled hope. But while statisticians do a good job compiling such numbers few understand the real cause of the rising number of those who, temporarily or permanently, lose their ability to cope. This lack of understanding, denial really, need be no longer.
Brace yourself. There is no such thing as mental illness. If you think you have read this wrong Iíll say it another way. You, nor a single person you are concerned for, can possibly be mentally ill. Instead, you or they are confused. Mental illness, despite what most of my colleagues teach, is nothing more than varying degrees of confusion. To think otherwise is like blaming your computer for its software conflicts. Consider this. You did not create your mind nor one dot of the billions of bits of information contained therein. Before you were born all the knowledge you now house in your mind pre-existed you. All this knowledge, from your name to your 9 digit social security number, to the most complex function of your job, life and relationships, pre-date your birth. You did not create what you know, none of it. Instead you discovered, learned it. This means that all knowledge, including that which causes your depression, anxiety or even psychotic episodes, exist independent of your thinking capacity, your brain. Even in extreme cases where violent trauma (from a car accident or blow to the head) people have been known to function, with amazing mental clarity. Clearly, the brain and all its neuro-capacitors have little to do with the "confusion" (what the ancients called darkness) that produce what we commonly believe to be mental illness.
"Emanuel, this canít be true," you may say. "It was no mere information that caused my friendís mental illness. It was a series of terrible circumstances in his life, as well as his predisposition to the "crazy gene" that runs in his family." The fact is that it was his "reaction" to circumstances, what he believed about this or that, which caused his break down. Not the circumstances themselves. There is no circumstance capable of producing mental illness, not even oneís genes. Health or illness are both encased inside what we believe (truth or non-truths), how we interpret (react to) whatever happens to us.
Emanuelís psychology 101 teaches that if all you know exist outside and independent of your mental framework than the only possibility of becoming mentally ill is to become confused concerning various aspects of that knowledge, the accumulation of which make up your personality. If, within this rare form of common sense psychology, one can become confused enough to render themselves "upset" in the least, or non-functional at worst, than it is possible to reverse the process and become clear again. Would this not erase what appeared to outsiders and perhaps even to ourselves as mental illness? Certainly it would. Were it not true there would be no hope for any of us or even the idea of healing. Mental health therefore, is not the exclusive domain of forces we have no control over. Mental health is synonymous with clarity, "right thinking," available to every living person.
Take heart if you are among the many who wrongly believed that common sense psychology was non-existent. You can now join the clear minded, some of whom were helped during my 23 years of practice. I have shown that it is not the hunt for more complex answers which bring wellness but an honest acceptance of simple answers, the ones we tend to avoid. Simplicity (morality) is the antidote to confusion and is to mental well-being what water is to life. Sound too simple? That belief is the mortar for all those relentless problems you can now began to let go. Letís talk about it. Call our toll free number at (800) 877-3227 for information about our counseling fees and scheduling.
© 2001 Emanuel McLittle - All Rights
Emanuel McLittle has a Masters Degree and two decades of experience in Counseling Psychology. His keen insight, developed over 24 years, makes him qualified to deliver honest, unambiguous guidance.
"Brace yourself. There is no such thing as mental illness.
If you think you have read this wrong Iíll say it another way. You, nor a single person you are concerned for, can possibly be mentally ill. Instead, you or they are confused."