Madness, illness or attitude?

Madness, illness or attitude?

11 de octubre del 2016

The Mental health world day celebration. Sport events, outdoor activities, colloquiums or conferences. They may be able to catch the attention in the world for one minute; enough to cogently ask madness, illness or attitude?

When starting to write (whichever theme it is about), the first thing I try is to be able to summarize the “essence” of the text in a sentence.maica-rivera

In an exceptional way and with the certainty that sometimes, in this “crazy” life, we do not have more than a minute, next, I will cite a few words, which are the inspiration and soul of the text.

Although we may genetically be predestined, all of us, absolutely all have the ability to change.

Reading the paragraph above you will have had the essence, reading what continues below, you may be able to read about something familiar.

What causes the «discomfort» that sometimes surrounds us without warning? Up to what degree human beings are genetically predisposed to some of the most feared diseases of this century, such as depression or anxiety?.

Daily news of suicide, bullying, gender violence … leads to a question: Is the world crazy or sick?
And most importantly, what percentage is our attitude and lifestyle responsible for our mental health?
It’s Attitude and not aptitude, because honestly, thinking that genetic predisposition may unmovably determine our life is «crazy.»

The question that I think we should really pay attention to for that minute is to decide on the «uneasiness» that surrounds life, shall we promote a change or live with it?

According to the WHO (World Health Organization set up in 1948) mental health is defined as:
A state of «welfare» and «balance» to cope with the daily stresses, in which the individual is aware of his/her own abilities. Being aware that life quality is affected by a lack of balance in mental health, is essential to break old taboos, boundaries and conventions. What brings us to the need for living in constant approval from others?

Are we living as we want?maica-rivera

«Superman» or Superwoman in constant tension, the best professionals, parents, children … not to mention being the most stylish, classy, physically enviable and charismatically irresistible. Our «malaise» stems from the main disease of trying not to be different from the rest, continuous competence to be the best, isn’t that crazy?

As the tireless traveler across cultures, customs and religions I am, I have come to the knowledge that each country has a different concept of happiness, there is no mathematical formula for welfare, but there is one for discomfort; not to make decisions to change.

Listen to that inner voice that whispers you are not living the life you want, we heard it but set it aside, lest we become aware and we have to decide to change our lives.

Sometimes, when I am back from a trip, I recognize that the clash of cultures upsets me so that I feel strange with everything around me, the apartment, my job, the pace of the city. I rejoin daily life like a dream, unable to distinguish reality for a few days, aware of how we can change with a decision around our world. It gives vertigo.

Sometimes, to document items or chronicles involving information about human behaviour, I have consulted who is already adoctora-victoria-rodriguez great friend of mine today, Dr Victoria Rodriguez. I ask her to give me reasons for the importance of knowing that although there are different degrees of genetic predisposition to psychological illnesses, a greater or lesser development of these diseases and of course a treatment for them can be foreseen with our attitude.

Without going into technicalities, but rather as a conversation between friends, she explains the importance of mental health care:

«Identifying the discomfort that disturbs us as an illness, is the first step to take consciousness about the fact that we can fight it. The discomfort may come to invade our inside, conditioning career development, personal life, or even start somatising resulting in physical pathologies, which are nothing but body expressing its emotions.

There should be a moment in life of forced reflection, in which we wonder whether we are living as we want, or we are letting ourselves be carried away by what is expected from us. After that moment of honesty with oneself we must seek balance, it is the only thing that can lead us to welfare and through it, to get mental health.

All of this is not easy, this involves decisions that our environment may not be able to understand, and of course, we are not guaranteed to get it. But I think being aware that there are options, is already in itself, a giant step towards the goal. Remember that there is not a greater genetic disposition for ones or others, just different lifestyles, and that’s something you can change».

The intensity of the information from Dr Victoria, reminded me of another conversation with a lady in Egypt, in a Nubian village on the banks of the River Nile, not even two months ago. And what surprises me when I remember her, are her words, the wisdom she shared with me is the same as that of a PhD in psychology.

A hug,

Maica Rivera


Article published in Aquí Actualidad





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