The diagnosis question

“… can it really be that we are ‘ill’ if we don’t necessarily feel we are in a state of well-being at all times?”

In this article for Prospect Magazine, Eleanor Morgan writes:

“Increasingly, mental health problems are labelled as an illness like any other. But can a focus on diagnoses, rather than experiences, harm as well as help?

What is mental health?

Despite the term’s omnipresence, there is very little consensus in terms of definition. In 2014, the WHO defined mental health as: ‘A state of well-being in which every individual realises his or her own potential, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively and fruitfully, and is able to make a contribution to her or his community.’

The definition has been criticised by prominent clinicians for painting a prescriptive utopia. In reality, most people will not know what such a state of things looks like. Feeling pain, sadness and fear is a part of life. When any kind of pain is extreme, we need intervention to help us regain hope, self-worth and a sense of self. But can it really be that we are ‘ill’ if we don’t necessarily feel we are in a state of well-being at all times?

With this in mind, various studies have found that people are dissatisfied with current definitions that often focusing on a disease model; positioning distress as something ‘other’ that infiltrates our minds and changes how we function …”

You can read more from here.

The diagnosis question
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