Mental health and social norms

by George Hatjoullis

Seems relevant to my previous blog. Written some time ago on a different site.

No Man's Land

Mental health is not defined without influence from social norms. There is no unitary, universal definition of mental health or degree of absence from mental health. It is culturally contingent and thus exhibits variation across time and space. This view does not diminish the experience of individuals that are regarded and/or regard themselves as having mental health problems.  Nor does it necessarily change the appropriateness of the accepted interventions.It merely relates the experience to cultural influences. Recognition of cultural influence can improve the experience and change the effectiveness of interventions for the better. However, the purpose of discussion is not to enter this debate. It is to illustrate how incomplete identity can impact mental health. In particular how infant immigrants might experience mental health issues in adulthood.

Physical health is widely regarded as universally defined. Medicine is evidence based and the evidence applies to all humans, irrespective of…

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