** Disclaimer – This is a brain dump of thoughts, its not founded on fact, it is purely opinion **
I’ve been mulling over a thought/concept for a few weeks now and so it seemed like here was as good a place as any to try formulate it and work out the kinks.
“Has our requirement for mental health awareness increased or has it remained the same but our ability to comprehend the thoughts has changed?” – K (2018)
The above question will no doubt conclude with a to some extent however i’d like to use this post to see two sides of a coin (there may be more hypothetically but lets stick to two for now)
Our requirement for mental health awareness has increased and this is due to other needs having been met, if we look at Maslows hierarchy of needs – https://www.simplypsychology.org/maslow.html – we find that our basic needs have been met a long time ago. One could argue that the bottom three tiers have been accomplished within western society and so we are now focused on our esteem and self actualisation. This side of the coin would believe that we as a society have not become more needy as it were, but simply more aware of our needs. We no longer have the concern of shelter or food and so it opens our minds to focus on ourselves, to be the best versions of ourselves and to fully understand why we behave in the manner we do and why some people struggle to abide by social norms and values, it could almost be argued that there is not deviant behaviour but in actual fact members of society that are not performing to the same level are simply on a lower tier of the hierarchy of needs and working through this. Much in the same was as in earlier years the stronger members of the tribe would hunt and the less able would stay behind and build shelters, both are needed in order to survive but its working to different strengths and abilities.
An opposing argument to the above would be that we have become more “needy” for lack of a better term because we as a society have lost faith, we have turned our back on organised religion for the most part and so as a result have lost the feeling of belonging and the confidant aspect of the Priest/Father/Imam/Cohen (insert the leader of any other religion that people may subscribe to) There was a time within society that people would fear the church, they would attend services every Sunday without fail, the members of the congregation would look after one another and would notice if someone started to behave differently. Within this institution it allows it members to talk about whats on their mind, to have a reason for good or bad things happening and to feel a part of something and not alone. So it could be argued that because this is less common in today’s society, and we are more aware of not only religion but science and spiritualism, we have possibly separated too far and so as a result have diluted our support network that would ordinarily have existed within society.
Like i said at the start of the post this is 100% a to some extent kind of answer to the question, as i believe we have lost our faith along the way, myself included as i would say i’m more spiritual than religious however i also believe that we have evolved within society and that if we were to study our western society to another in a more developing area of the world I would expect to find they were not concerned with the labels that come with mental health and their concerns were more focused on survival.
Let me know your thoughts below