Disclaimer: Certain parts ofthis article have been exaggerated for humor purposes.
Once upon a time man’s life was simple, it was either eat or be eaten. When man was not busy chasing animals or being chased by animals, he was busy making tools that would make the chase shorter. Today, man is no longer chased by animals, and in devolved countries, most people do not worry about where their next meal is coming from. This leaves lots of time for thinking, and while thinking has produced antibiotics and the i-pad, it has also produced loneliness, anxiety, and depression. The way modern society deals with these ailments (when medication, hot baths, and vodka has ceased to work) is therapy.
Therapy is for people who have over bearing or emotionally unavailable parents, bad behaving children, flirty husbands, annoying siblings, unappreciative friends, evil bosses, and a fear of car accidents and death. Not only does a person get to complain about all these ailments to a trained professional, the therapist also comes up with a strategy to help a person with their problems. They will tell the person their feelings are valid, and then they will proceed to tell that same person how they need to think, talk, and feel if they want to be a healthy adult. They will explain to the person what type of boundaries they need to set with the people around them, and how they need to converse with these same people. After choosing to follow the instructions that the therapist provides (therapists don’t give advice), a person is considered normal, healthy, and happy. If the person is still unhappy after leading a normal and healthy life, well then the person obviously has a chemical imbalance, and he/she needs to take advantage of all the anti-depression medication available.
If a person chooses to ignore the instructions of therapists, and instead decides to remain happy with their unhealthy boundaries and dysfunctional relationships, their friends, neighbors, and random people they talk to in the grocery line, will tell them they are living their life the wrong way. People have always been judgmental, and this will never change, but now people’s judgment is laced with quotes of professionals who have spent 5-10 years studying human interaction. After all, if someone has a PhD in psychology, they are not giving you an opinion about how to live your life, they are telling you the correct way to live your life (that is the correct way if you don’t want to be a failure as a human being). If you fight every day with your husband (even if you are happy with your marriage), or if your friend calls you twice a day (even if you enjoy talking to them), you need to be “cured”. It doesn’t matter if your life choices make you happy, because there is a right and wrong way to live. Just like female circumcision is always wrong (regardless of circumstance), so are your relationships (if they are not sanctioned by the American Psychiatry Association).
It seems that the goal to be an “emotionally healthy” and “normal” individual is much more important than being a happy individual. After all, if you’re unhappy you can always go to the local pharmacist, and your purchase will also help boost the economy. However, what exactly is an emotionally healthy and normal individual? Different therapists will give you slightly different definitions, and different cultures will give you contradictory definitions. Unlike with medical health where the world (for the most part) agrees on what constitutes a healthy person, each region of the world has its own idea about the definition of mental health. It seems psychology has become a way that judgmental people can give more importance to their criticism. What do you think defines a mentally healthy person, and have you ever met one?