4 thoughts on “Mental Health as Self Denial

  • October 1, 2011 at 12:13 am

    Excellent article, we are a team, that is the best way to see who we are, and why we are, would you lock yourself up and poison yourself if you were a bit down, or depressed, or would you go and see a friend,try and lift yourself,refocus on the good and the safe, would you do to your brother what you wouldn’t do to yourself.

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    • October 1, 2011 at 5:53 am

      John–

      Thank you for the comment and the insights.

      –Will

      Reply
  • October 1, 2011 at 10:40 am

    I agree with you. Self-awareness and Other-awareness are really two sides of the same river.

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    • October 1, 2011 at 1:08 pm

      Steven–

      Yes, they are two complementary sides. If a person only helped others and thought only about others, there would be imbalance. Some people with strong codependence become like that in order to avoid looking at the self. In that case, the need to move inward is real. But for most of us with neurotic tendencies, there is too much focus on the self and its desires and frustrations. Because those wishes and aversions are what clients bring up in therapy, they become the focus of mental health work. But obsession with self is the problem, and endless looking at self just makes the situation worse.

      The Buddha advocated the Middle Way. In this context, it means sticking to the center of your river metaphor: not too much focus on self, but only enough for honest self-appraisal and improvement; and not endless worry about others, but enough care and concern to support and love them. Thank you for pointing out that there are, as always, two sides.

      –Will

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