Many mental health illnesses and disorders may sometimes be viewed as social rather than medical disorders.
Unhappiness is often present with a mental disorder and the gravity of the disorder may be assessed in terms of the degree of unhappiness. It may be a necessary and acceptable response to a life situation, for example, grief and sympathy for others. It can be regarded as evidence of disorder if it is disproportionately increased to the point of causing incapacity and enduring feelings of misery.
The mentally healthy person efficiently applies his drives to fulfilling his needs satisfactorily, whether the needs are physical, psychological, or social. In mental disorder, much mental energy is directed inwards to create internal friction and tensions at the expense of efficiency. It can be noticeably missing in common disorders of depression and anxiety.
LACK OF ANXIETY
Anxiety is a major part of a wide range of mental disorders, particularly neuroses. It can produce symptoms such as sweating, tensions with tremors, visual disturbances, headache, palpitations, gastric disturbances, and impairment of sleep and appetite. Anxiety can be considered as “fear spread thin” and maybe justified, i.e. exams, visits to dentists. Anxiety becomes abnormal when it permeates the inner life of the individual in an incapacitating manner, it may be generated by a previously unthreatening object or situation (phobic anxiety), or the sufferer is unaware of the reason for anxiety (free-floating anxiety).
LACK OF GUILT
This may result in a need for self-punishment that can eventually become socially incapacitating if uncontrolled. Guild is a natural response to many situations but may become a problem by causing loss of efficiency. Equally abnormal is the individual who is incapable of guilt responses, such as a psychopath who lacks internal controls and is incapable of feeling guilt or remorse for his antisocial actions.
Maturity suggests the movement toward the development of conscience as we become aware of the fact that our behavior affects other people. The frustrated or stressed adult may revert to immature behavioral problems.
The adjustment refers to the individual’s capacity to adjust to the demands of society in a flexible and resilient way.
AUTONOMY AND SELF-ESTEEM
Autonomy implies independence: self-control, self-sufficiency, and self-esteem imply a healthy awareness of one’s positive attributes and a realistic feeling of confidence in these attributes. These contribute to a positive self-image. Lack of self-sufficiency and self-esteem may be very noticeable in depression and many other mental disorders.
THE ABILITY TO ESTABLISH ADEQUATE EMOTIONAL BONDS WITH OTHERS
This ability holds together the fabric of society and maybe noticeably missing in the emotional impoverishment and social isolation of schizophrenia. The capacity for love and friendship is perhaps central to effective social functioning. The psychopath Is often shallow and insincere in relationships and may use others in a manipulative way.
CONTACT WITH REALITY
To be able to cope adequately with the realities of society and to perceive these in an undistorted way is what we expect. The psychotic withdraw into an inner reality in which he loses touch with the world of the observer, boundaries may become blurred and indistinct. He may be unable to distinguish aspects of inner reality from the true reality. This major symptom of mental disorder may be revealed in the disordered thought processes of the sufferer, he may be paranoid, he may believe he is suffering from an incurable illness, these illnesses being imagined as punishment for imagined past misdeeds.
THE CENTRAL MESSAGE
People need the education to take responsibility for their state of health including healthy behavior. The fitness concept is equally applicable to mental health and physical health. We need to be able to solve problems with maturity, learn how to cope and handle crises and utilize family and social networks.