The Meaning of Mental Health and Ill-health

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Mental health as Pilgrim (2005) stated is used positively to indicate a state of psychological wellbeing and negatively to indicate its opposite, or euphemistically to indicate facilities used by, or imposed upon, people with mental problems (pg 3) although Richards (2002) argued the concept of sanity and insanity are relative and may vary according to individual and social perspectives, and illustrated that an acceptable behaviour at an arts festival may not be perceived similar in a private home and that there are times when every one of us could be considered to be in an abnormal state of mind (pg 13-15) and in that regard dispensed the term ‘madness’ which could have emotive meaning, is neither a medical term nor a diagnosis and could imply lack of wholeness, control and hope and implicate a perception of fear (pg 16) while Stevens and Price (2006) summoned the idea that psychiatric symptoms were probably manifestations of ancient adaptive strategies inappropriate in the current epoch but could be understood and treated in an evolutionary and developmental context. Thomas Szasz (2006) however challenged the whole notion of mental-illness and coined the term “myth of mental illness” (Szasz, 1961) while giving the argument that the distinction of physiological and psychological illness was based on ‘misuse’ of the terms illness or disease which were observable anatomical and physiological phenomenon. His focus was on the fact that mental disorders have a clear biological component, and that they should be treated like any other illness. He advised the use of terms like "severe brain disorders" when describing these illnesses and stated psychiatry could indeed be replaced by neurology (2006) and considered physical diseases of ... ... middle of paper ... ... of the World Health Organization WARR, P. and PARRY, G. (1982) Depressed Mood in Working-Class Mothers With and Without Paid Employment. Soc Psychiatry 17 pp. 161-165 WEINSTEIN, J. (eds.) (2010) Mental Health, Service User Involvement and Recovery London: Jessica Kingsley Publishers WORLD HEALTH ORGANIZATION (2002) Gender and Health: Gender and Mental Health: A Report of the World Health Organization, Department of Gender and Women’s health in collaboration with Department of Mental Health and Substance Dependence Geneva: World Health Organization WORLD HEALTH ORGANIZATION (2005) Promoting Mental Health: Concepts, Emerging Evidence, Practice: A Report of the World Health Organization, Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse in collaboration with Victorian Health Promotion Foundation and the University of Melbourne Geneva: World Health Organization
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