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Video: Flight Of The Cuckoo. Where Is The Line Between Normal And Abnormal In The Psyche? - Self-development
Sometimes, when faced with something new in yourself, no, no, and you ask yourself: "Is everything all right with me?" Where is the border between normal and abnormal in mental life? The question of determining the norm is extremely complex, it affects various areas - from medicine and psychology to philosophy and sociology, says psychologist Roman Kuznetsov.
Diagnosis - "normality"
Did you know that a person's persistent, obsessive desire for an absolute norm refers to psychological deviations? It turns out that strict adherence to rules and regulations, persistent adherence to fashion trends, the desire not to stand out and remain normal already speaks of a deviation. And this is due to the feeling that our behavior is constantly being evaluated by others. It is this disturbing feeling that makes a person give up their individuality.
French psychoanalyst, MD Joyce McDougall describes "normopathy" - an obsession with normality, behind which a person hides his inner chaos, as follows: “Such a person works, he has a family, a socially approved hobby, but deep down he is completely disorganized, alone and scared: super serious, completely devoid of humor, spontaneity, he suppresses his emotions and impulses for fear that he will be captured by an impulse that he cannot resist."
The normal human condition is to be an eccentric
Of course, "normopathy", like some other forms of eccentric behavior, is not a mental disorder exactly as long as the current state of affairs suits the person himself and does not pose a danger to others.
Sigmund Freud argued that everyone is only partially normal: “Normality does not exist. Someone who often does not feel in agreement with himself, but is able to contact other people and take care of himself, who can keep his impulses and desires within the generally accepted framework: anxiety, boredom, irritation, envy, self-doubt, is somewhat different from others, that is, from an abstract “statistical norm”. Our habits, fad things, oddities - all these are traces of our experience, special signs of our soul. Absolute, one hundred percent normality is unattainable in principle - this is an illusion."
A celebration of spontaneity
The most rewarding thing to do is to consciously and responsibly allow yourself to do what you want to do. Pick a time when you can fool around and let your imagination run wild. It can be a meeting with friends, an improvisational dance alone - any spontaneous expression of feelings will do. Just warn others in advance so that they are not too surprised.
One of my teachers told a story about his colleague - a famous, successful psychiatrist, doctor of science and a wonderful family man. This internationally recognized specialist in mental illness worked very hard: he gave lectures, participated in symposia and conferences, treated difficult patients. And quite naturally, I was very tired.
When he felt that the nervous tension was getting high enough, he went to a small park near the university. Looked out for a bunch of freshmen. He turned his jacket inside out, ruffled his hair, and sneaked up on aspiring psychiatrists. Getting closer, he tried to be noticed and immediately hid behind a tree, from where he poked out his distorted face, made faces and hooted, diligently posing as a madman. For persuasiveness, he could bark several times and run on all fours to a nearby tree.
Removing the tension in this way and laughing heartily at the students who ran away or tried to catch him, the luminary of psychiatry changed clothes, combed his hair and returned to work.
Self-Checklist - Symptoms for Which You Should See a Therapist
Of course, most people use less eccentric ways to deal with nervous tension. For example, they drink alcohol and indulge in behavior that they would not have dared to do if they were sober. Or they practice extreme sports, sometimes more like unconscious attempts at suicide. And if you look closely at a man with knitting in his hands, you will notice extremely curious symptoms: cyclically repetitive monotonous movements, a frozen expression on the face and a motionless body, an empty, detached look, silently moving lips …
But is it worth looking for a threat to normalcy where it most likely does not exist? Only a professional psychiatrist can diagnose and determine whether a person has crossed the fine line of normality.
The famous Russian psychiatrist, the creator of the concept of "small psychiatry" P. V. Gannushkin noted that a large number of people "are on the border between mental illness and mental health" participate in social life. Due to the blurring of boundaries, it is necessary to evaluate various actions from the standpoint of an integrated biopsychosocial approach.
The only criterion for mental health is a person's individual balance between his own ideas about how his own life should be arranged, what is acceptable, and what may threaten the destruction of his personality and social ties.
The individual boundary between the behavior that gives a person pleasure from the free expression of emotions and experiences, and the state of affairs in the soul, which causes suffering.
Paradoxically, it is often the desire to appear normal, the fear of appearing strange or eccentric that can be the cause of a serious mental disorder. Some people may be intimidated by their own thoughts, fantasies, desires, habits. The fear of appearing unusual, strange interferes with the free expression of emotions.
False beliefs about the abnormality of some behavior hinder creativity and interfere with a healthy mental life. Due to restraint, constant control over oneself and fear of not being accepted in society, mental and somatic (bodily) stress arises, which can lead to serious illnesses.
Take the test "Am I a maniac?"
Thus, if we exclude organic damage to the brain (the consequences of infections or injuries), one of the decisive factors for determining the abnormality will be a person's own discomfort, inconvenience, and suffering. Or a threat to the life or health of others. For the rest, an adult, responsible, conscious person needs to take care of his mental health as well as of his body. We regularly go to the gym or pool, attend yoga classes or a martial arts club, undergo check-ups with a dentist, gynecologist, urologist, therapist. But sometimes we forget that the brain, in which mental processes take place, is the same organ of our body, and it requires care.
Remind yourself sometimes that psychotherapy is just as natural and normal as exercise and personal hygiene
And how to prioritize, the state of your body will tell you.