• Psychology derives from the ancient Greek word ‘Psyche’- meaning soul or mind and ‘Logia’ a word for study or account. It is most accurately described as the science of the human mind and behaviour.
  • It studies mental processes which encompass thoughts, feelings, and motives.
    With deep philosophical roots, psychology uses systematic approaches as well as models to observe, interpret and explain the mental processes along with the behaviour that results.

Mental Health vs Mental Illness:

Mental health defines one’s psychological, social and emotional well-being. This state of well-being directly affects how a person thinks, feels, and consequently acts. Mental illness is the presence of a condition that impacts a person’s thoughts, emotions and behaviour. It includes a broad scope of disorders: psychotic, mood, personality, eating, anxiety and trauma-related disorders.
Causes of mental illness vary; biological/chemical imbalances in the brain, early adverse life experiences, genes (family history), or substance abuse.
Like mental health, a person can experience episodes of mental illness or it may be long-lasting. Treatment options are dependent on the illness and can include psychotherapy, counseling, medication, support groups, and self-help plans.

Good vs Poor Mental Health:

It is important to note that mental health fluctuates, one may experience both good and poor mental health at different stages of life. Good mental health is one’s management of emotions, positive and negative. It describes a person’s ability to cope with daily stresses, and maintain a positive approach to life. It is a state of well-being where one feels contentment and can sustain healthy relationships with others. With good mental health there is an acknowledgment of bad days and moods but one can master their response to those days.

One can experience poor mental health without the presence of a mental disorder. Poor mental health can occur when there is a sudden change for example losing a loved one, experiencing trauma, or work-related issues. It may also be a result of upbringing, social isolation and discrimination. Commonly identified as a mismatch between one’s demands and their resources. People who experience poor mental health find it difficult to cope with everyday tasks, they are unable to manage their thinking, feelings, and reactions. Feeling down becomes a persistent emotion and results in a negative approach to everyday life. To manage poor mental health one can focus on activities that bring them joy, exercise regularly, seek help/advice, keep positive company and take time to understand themselves. Acknowledging the difference between poor mental health and mental illness can better equip your approach to managing it.

Book Recommendations:

  • The Power of Habit (Why We Do What We Do)- Charles Duhigg
  • Thinking, Fast, Slow – Daniel Kahnemann
  • Preface To Philosophy Book Of Readings- Hopple, Piper, Tolley
  • Man’s Search For Meaning- Viktor E. Frankl
  • How Proust Can Change Your Life- Alain De Botton
  • The Lucifer Effect: Understanding How Good People Turn Evil -Philip Zimbardo
  • Diagnostic And Statistical Manual Of Mental Disorders (DSM-5®) – American Psychiatric Association

Psychology Quotes:

“We cannot change anything until we accept it. Condemnation does not liberate, it oppresses.”
Carl Jung

“Between stimulus and response, there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom.”
Viktor E. Frankl

“A failure is not always a mistake, it may simply be the best one can do under the circumstances. The real mistake is to stop trying.”
B. F. Skinner

“A man should not strive to eliminate his complexes, but to get into accord with them; they are legitimately what directs his conduct in the world.”
Sigmund Freud

“The more you know yourself, the more patience you have for what you see in others.”
Erik Erikson

“I believe that a different therapy must be constructed for each patient because each has a unique story.”
Irvin D. Yalom