A revision of a facebook post concerning mental health

What is mental health? It is a feeling of self-worth and a sense of freedom from all the aspects of our cultural conditioning which is manipulating us and telling us who we should be, worrying and fearing what others think of us etc etc.

All these things are giving false expectations for ourselves. It is a potential and actual mindset that you need to overcome. It is discovering who we are and what life is about. If this isn't recognised and 'help' geared to this, it is a flailing around process.


Simply put, if you have a relationship with God that is only in your head you are not well if there is no God or no God relating to you.  Christians would agree that having a relationship with a false image of God or a false God is a disorder.  The happiness is immaterial for mental illness demands curing even if it makes you happy and you will end up missing it.  You have a right to be your own person.

Christians by linking faith in God to mental wellness are implying that atheists are not right in some way psychologically for they say that everybody has a God so if you don't believe in the real one then health or something is your replacement God.

Atheism should be de-stigmatised if it does not harm mental health and can improve it.  If it is as effective as religion then it should be respected.

Mark Hay wrote about how losing your faith in God or higher powers has tangible effects on the brain. We are talking here about physical changes, hopefully for the better. Psychological and social aspects will be important too but are not for this discussion.

Neuroscientist Jeff Anderson University of Utah says that believers and atheists, “have the same architecture, and process information in very similar ways.”

But some studies show that if you have faith in a higher power or the supernatural then the part of the brain that analyses is different from that of an unbeliever. It is not as strong while the brain areas about intuition/empathy have higher levels of activity. Damage to the brain often leads to a person getting more mystical inclinations. Helping people to check things out better leads to improvement in the analytical part of the brain so they can end up discarding their faith.

Research strongly indicates a link between higher levels of the neurochemical dopamine and having spiritual experience.  Accordingly there will be an increase in spiritual and also religious beliefs.

Research has found that some atheists have never ever accepted a higher power.  DNA does affect our deepest perceptions and outlooks so atheism could be a matter for identity politics. "I was born that way!"

Studies show that atheists and religionists can be similarly happy.  Other studies allege that athiests can be happier than believers.  The most important thing is that regardless of the different findings, it stands out that religion has no hugely important impact on people's happiness or mental health.

Research can be significantly negative in its findings when done under cover.  Then you get the real stories.  Then you realise that  religion has a statistically significant bad impact on mental and emotional health.

Nancy Scheper-Hughes used that approach.  She found a connection between being religious, specifically Catholic, and developing and maintaining schizophrenia or similar forms of cognitive disorganisation. 

If your mental health is poor or fragile, this is about how you handle your feelings and what you want from life.  Everybody has adjustments to make in that respect.  If you have a mental illness, your brain can be totally physically healthy.  It's your perception of you and of life that needs fixing.

Chemical imbalances in the brain may be found.  But they may be just there.  Or they may be a symptom of how you see things.  Irrational fears for example trigger the chemicals in your brain linked to fear.

Errors about how to help yourself are dangerous.  To see the good in everything is a bad thing if you ignore the bad.  You must see that things can and do go terribly astray no matter how positive you are.  In fact being positive then will make things worse and you will learn the foolishness of that in the harshest way imaginable.  Trust that you can learn from the pain when it comes.  Let the experience teach you.  Positive thinking that goes too far knows it is a joke.  It breaks rapport with people who are suffering and experiencing misfortune.

Never let fear or embarrassment tell you to suppress what is bothering you.  The only way to handle it is to talk about it without hurting or trying to offend anybody else.  It has to be talked about for otherwise it will still be there and ruining your emotional life.  You need to feel in control and asserting that through aggression will hurt you further. Assert it through dialogue because if you don't you will assert it the wrong way.  You could end up say drinking to feel in control.  Using prayer to feel in control is bad as well.  You need to assess how much control you have so that you can deal with life effectively.  That means believing that only you make the input not God.

Anxiety speaks of insecurity and we take undue responsibility for situations or events. We then try to seek a sense of control in misguided ways. Some of this insecurity can be rooted in our basic sense of low self-worth and then we look to others for approval or validation mistakenly.

Medication has a place but often only masks over matters and it does have risks and side-effects.

Self-medicating is based on whatever you feel works for you.  That too often leads to the use of illegal substances, alcohol and junk food.  

People need to be careful not to condemn addicts.  For many addicts it is all about emotional torment. For others it is significantly about emotional torment.  Facing up to issues can be extremely painful.

Forgiveness is refusing to want to see the other punished for having hurt you.  It is about the other.  Moving on is a different matter.  Forgiveness is about the other person.  Moving on is about you.  Too many confuse the two.

Moving on can happen within an arrangement or life situation or away from it. For example, you may move on from the harm done by your errant parent because they are in your life to stay or even if they are gone from your life for good.

Of course some things can't be resolved and we try to live with that as best we can.  Mourning the loss the person who hurt you inflicted on you is key. Mourning what the person could have been but did not be is helpful.

Mourning is better than moving on in the sense that it does work through the bad bits.  There is no chance of anything being ignored or pushed to the back of your mind.  Forgiveness is not a good suggestion.

Everyone suffers depression anxiety at some point as the consequence of certain life events, but some of us may be inclined to it as part of a personality trait. Managing mental health involves respecting our shared humanity.

People who are impatient with other's mental health symptoms are in fact secretly indulging their own self- pity which they would accuse others of.  They think they are not getting attention for their own problems and that the other person is getting it.

Venting in a safe space to someone trustworthy who listens without judgement gets things off our chest and seems to help.  Some suggest physically venting in a safe space.  It is more common for people to feel that venting is what makes things feel worse and it is better to talk it out.

We need to bring our authentic selves to the world.  In some cases people who would tell us to "be positive" - would not like it if we were.  Nobody likes anybody who sees only the good in a bad situation for realism is vital and there is no rapport possible when you are suffering and the other person only thinks of the good things.  They are selfish.

At the socio-political level we are being gaslighted.  Take the government - it is being emotionally and psychologically abusive.  This reflects in the health system it creates for us.

People are set up for failure (the myth of meritocracy) but then feel themselves failures - hence skyrocketing depression anxiety rates.  So we are then deemed faulty and it is profitable for the pharmaceutical industry to get GPs to fob people off with meds.  Even if you suspect GPs are too ready to diagnose sadness as depression accounting for the increase in statistics to dish out medication this itself betrays something cynical and lazy about the system.

The patient is being as good as told he or she is a nuisance not worth proper help and not worth self-empowering so medication is given as the easy way out to fix this nuisance.  It is like the person is seen as a machine who needs a medicine crutch,

Religion, particularly Christianity, sets people up to fail.  They are given graces and sacraments that have no spiritual transforming power.  They are told that God provides power to help them if they ask.






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