I’m on a mission to better folks’ mental well-being. As days turn into years, I’m continually awed by the depth of the human psyche. Wisdom builds from countless genuine talks, paving the way for more. These 15 nuggets of knowledge are just a few of the many gems time has shown me.
1. Truth can be a slippery fish. It morphs based on who you’re asking, what’s happening, and as time ticks by. It’s hardly steady or dependable. The same tale can seem starkly different depending on the glasses you’re looking through.
2. A mental health diagnosis, or psychopathology, is just one lens to view actions, behavior, and feelings. What might seem like an illness to a trained psychiatrist can be seen from another angle—sometimes critically, often empathetically, and with a deep comprehension of the human journey’s twists and turns.
3. Yet, at times, understanding someone’s behaviors and feelings as a mental illness might be the kindest, most ethical, and effective way to ease their hardship.
4. Most things, including people, aren’t just black or white—they’re a complex blend of both. Certain psychological theories, especially from psychodynamic and object relations perspectives, can shed light on why people often try to separate good from evil.
5. Nobody escapes suffering. Even the most resilient, upbeat, and admirable folks have their battles to fight.
6. Understanding human actions isn’t always clear-cut. There’re competing and conflicting theories, labels, and interpretations out there. Even the pros can’t always agree on the best way to comprehend and treat mental distress. Yet, facts and evidence stand as the most trustworthy.
7. Feeling connected, loved, having belonging and attachment is vital for feeling alive and well. Equally important, though, are the paths of independence, letting go, and saying goodbye when the time is right.
8. You can become too invested, too involved, and emotionally smother someone, causing them great discomfort. Letting others, even your own kids, find their own path and walk their own journey might be just the ticket for them to flourish.
9. Living a life filled with joy and fulfillment is like discovering your personal north star – it’s about finding that special meaning and purpose. This can be a tough nut to crack when dealing with mental illness, anxiety, depression, or grappling with addiction.
10. What happens in your childhood experiences can leave a big footprint on your adult life. Early traumas or nurturing environments can leave lasting marks on your mental and emotional health.
11. Adverse early experiences don’t have to chain you down or steal your future’s shine. Some folks who’ve had a rocky start in life go on to lead fruitful, healthy, and positive lives.
12. You’re born into a cultural context of history, location, politics, community, family ties, expectations, values, and so much more. Using an anthropological view can shed light on someone’s mental state and their behavior.
13. No matter which corner of life you’re navigating, being able to communicate effectively is an absolute game-changer.
14. A truly enriching human experience requires a delicate balance between vulnerability, modesty, and humility on one hand, and empowerment, self-esteem, and a firm belief in one’s self-worth on the other. This harmony is essential in shaping us as individuals.
15. Power of resilience can be astonishing. But it’s not always within arm’s reach, and some folks might feel they’re running on empty.
When the going gets tough, it’s up to those of us feeling stronger to step in and lend a hand. It might just remind the person in despair that there’s still some good in this world and that life is worth another shot.