What Does It Mean To Be Mentally Healthy?
In the mental health trade, we spend a lot of time talking about what mental health is not. Someone is not mentally healthy when they are depressed. One is not mentally healthy when they are anxious for a prolonged time. The best definition we have for what mental health actually means is that one is able to function well at work and in relationships. That is awfully broad, isn’t it?
The more we learn about the biological and neurological sides of mental health, the more we are able to narrow down our definition, but it is still largely based off recording what mental illness is. We are able to research how mentally ill brains compare to healthy brains through functional imaging, but we still don’t have a good baseline of how we define those mentally healthy people to start with.
Dr. Gregory Popcak, director of the Pastoral Solutions Institute and author of over a dozen books approaching psychology with an informed Catholic viewpoint, tried to create a more narrow, distinctive definition of mental health to work with. By breaking down nine factors of how the brain is working when it is at its best, Popcak establishes a definition many might find helpful to approach psychology from a new perspective that isn’t just chasing symptoms.