illness? normal? i just want to feel good.

“isn’t even negative thinking a mental illness? so we all have some form of mental illness.” that was michelle’s comment on the vote for mental health posting.

mental illness. what is that? let’s say illness is a deviation from normal functioning and well-being.

so then the question is – what is normal?

“normal” is entirely a cultural construct, something that a specific sociocultural circle makes up or tacitly agrees upon. some of these circles are very wide – they may span as huge a cultural group as “western society”, and some of them are quite small – jehova’s witness, for example.

what that tells me is that i can agree to the norms of the sociocultural circle that most defines me; or i can find a sociocultural circle whose definition of “normal” i like better – or i can go ahead and construct my own definition of normal.

or, you know what, you can just say, i don’t need “normal”.

i jus’ wanna feel goood. who cares whether it’s normal.

so what’s that like? well, that’s when i come back to michelle’s words.

negative thinking? sometimes it feels good, most of the time not. it always gives me a mental hangover. so – it may or may not be a mental illness but i know for sure it doesn’t feel good, so i make the decision to do my best to stay away from it. (except for those times that it really works for me – i talked about that in this post).

negative thinking – and correct me if i’m wrong here, michelle – includes mental activities such as harbouring resentments, beating myself up over things i have or haven’t done, running around judging everyone and everything that crosses my path, telling myself i’m stupid/slow/selfish/fill-in-the-blanks, imagining that everyone’s out to get me, seeing the world as a dangerous place …

yuk. just writing this list makes me sick to my stomach.

oh, i see!

if this stuff makes me sick to my stomach, maybe these ARE forms of mental illness!

isabella mori
counselling in vancouver

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