What is mental health

How many times have you dreamed about going back to your "pre-depressive" emotional state? Return not at the cost of daily intake of a handful of pills, constant drowsiness, the feeling of a metal helmet, worn on the head, killed at the root of sexual desire, but really, so that without the help of medicines you can laugh when watching comedies, do not poison the life of others with your downcast, perform elementary work for an hour, not for a week. But if you think that's mental health, you're wrong.

Of course, against the background of your current state and what was before the depression, it seems a pipe dream and something completely unattainable, but remember, before the illness, you did not have to experience unmotivated anxiety, emotionally react to some little things and then regret your behavior, be afraid of public speaking and avoid noisy parties? Depression is a very unpleasant disease, but it gives you a chance to reconsider your life, beliefs and values, to uproot the emotional anchors that have settled somewhere very deep in the subconscious, to remove the blocks and restrictions imposed by someone, to get rid of bodily and mental clamps, to regain the ability to feel as you felt in childhood, when the colors were brighter, and the food tastier, and each new day brought a lot of new positive impressions.

Don’t stop at what doctors call “remission,” don’t agree to spend the rest of your life on a “maintenance dose” of antidepressants, it’s not real life, you have the right to demand more.

So what is mental health?

I would like to remind you once again that I do not pretend to be scientific and admit that my vision of some aspects of the problem may differ from the currently accepted medical paradigm. But I have a moral right to my point of view, after all, all these volumes of medical research, mountains of pills, and dozens of hours spent in the therapist's chair didn't give me the result I was able to come to on my own.

Antidepressants and psychotherapy were able to bring me to a relatively stable state, that is, I could go to work, with some very small degree of efficiency to perform their duties, to maintain some minimum necessary social relations with friends and colleagues. At the maximum for me therapeutic dosage of drugs I had panic attacks, which was already a great relief, increased mood, passed insomnia. But at what cost!

I wanted to sleep all day, about any productive work and the speech couldn’t be, I added 10 kilograms in weight, ceased to go in for sports, didn’t test any sexual attraction. For a long time I was sure that I was doomed to such existence until the end of my days, and internally already reconciled with it.

After I started meditative practices, which I will write about in detail below, my optimism increased, I was able to reduce the dose of antidepressants twice the maximum level, at some point I even completely refused to take them. But, unfortunately, this state lasted only a couple of months, the first stress at work drove me back into a deep depression.

But even at the peak of my emotional recovery, I realized that it was difficult to call it recovery. My mood was extremely volatile, I overreacted to the slightest stressful situation, slept badly.

And only now I understand what real emotional health is. This does not mean a constant good mood and the absence of any anxiety and excitement. This condition also refers to the pathological in psychiatry called “germanically”. You may have met such people in your life, I knew two of them, and both of them were scientists for some reason. They could talk and work for hours, almost days, never tired and never listened to anyone, always stayed in some elated euphoric state. At the same time, the lives of others they turned into hell, to communicate, and even more so to live with such people is absolutely unbearable, and they themselves are rarely happy and successful. I don’t think that’s something to aspire to.

By mental health, I mean something completely different. A person is healthy, if in the absence of any external influence his emotional state is stable, he feels balanced, with a slight deviation towards the positive, he is calm, but energetic and collected, able to concentrate on the task and at the same time get satisfaction from his work.

A person should get satisfaction from the process itself, whatever he was doing, to regain the taste of life, the ability to feel, to feel the world as it was possible in childhood. We all understand that the children’s brightness and freshness of sensations lost, and put up with it. But it shouldn’t be like this. To correct this state of Affairs, we first need to understand why this is happening, to discover the causes of this phenomenon of loss of a part of ourselves. About them we will talk in the next Chapter.