No one wants to fall mentally ill. Yet, paradoxically, our insistence on always maintaining perfect mental health may make us more susceptible to becoming unwell.
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“One of the great contributing factors to mental illness is the idea that we should at all costs and and all times be well. We suffer far more than we should because of how long it can take many of us until we allow ourselves to fall properly and usefully ill.
For many years we may be able skilfully to evade our symptoms, pulling off an an accomplished impression of what counts – in our unobservant societies – as a healthy human. We may gain all the accoutrements of so-called success – love, a career, family, prestige – without anyone bothering to note the sickness behind our eyes. We may take care to fill our days with activity so that we can be guaranteed to have no time to address any of the sores that blister inside. We can rely on the extraordinary prestige of being busy to avoid the truly hard work of doing nothing – other than sit with our minds and their complicated sorrows. When pressures build, we may develop a raft of opaque physical ailments that baffle and excite the medical profession or we can acquire a paranoid world-view that identifies all our enemies with political and economic ideologies – rather than with anything psychological closer to home…”
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Eunju Ara Choi
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