Friday, April 7, 2017

Positive Psychology

During my childhood, psychiatry or the need for a psychiatrist meant that a person's thinking pattern was often considered to be mostly, not in touch with reality, maybe a danger to themselves or another. Their ability to cope was weighted on what seem to be a “normal” or “acceptable” reaction to situations or thinking based on the community or populace they reside. To acknowledge that someone in the family or one's self was in need of psychiatric care, the family, person or persons were often shunned by other family members, friends. It was challenging to be accepted by others as having any aspect of their cognitive behavior as having any normalcy.

The talk here is of those who were not diagnosed as needing medication, but often found later to have various levels of depression. Depression has always been a forerunner for what seemed the normal route: psychiatric, sometimes, assistance from a psychologist. Today, cognitive behavior therapy, along with positive psychology is front and center with treating conditions, once thought to be based in brain disorders, now, forms of depression. Mental illness in America, according to a chart on the homepage of- The National Alliance on Mental Illness, the impact of mental illness is as follows:

Prevalence of Mental Illness
  • Approximately 1 in 5 adults in the U.S.—43.8 million, or 18.5%—experiences mental illness in a given year.1 
  • Approximately 1 in 25 adults in the U.S.—9.8 million, or 4.0%—experiences a serious mental illness in a given year that substantially interferes with or limits one or more major life activities.2
  • Approximately 1 in 5 youth aged 13–18 (21.4%) experiences a severe mental disorder at some point during their life. For children aged 8–15, the estimate is 13%.3
  • 1.1% of adults in the U.S. live with schizophrenia.4
  • 2.6% of adults in the U.S. live with bipolar disorder.5
  • 6.9% of adults in the U.S.—16 million—had at least one major depressive episode in the past year.6
  • 18.1% of adults in the U.S. experienced an anxiety disorder such as post-traumatic stress disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder and specific phobias.7
  • Among the 20.2 million adults in the U.S. who experienced a substance use disorder, 50.5%—10.2 million adults—had a co-occurring mental illness.
The millions of people listed above whose mental state is being characterized as having mental illness, may or may not sound like a lot to readers when comparing to the U.S. Population World-o-meter stats that as of April 3, 2017, there are 325,9893,303 people living in America. Yet, it certainly is not a short list of individuals considered with mental illness. What has become interesting is how mental illness is being treated without the use of drugs.
Positive psychology is one of the scientific based forms of mental assistance, I love, because it an applied approach to optimal functioning with autonomy being front and fore-centered. It works on the premise of not harping on what is going wrong in one's life and or trying to fix it, but enhancing what is going right. The idea of positive psychology rests in each one having a form of normalcy that is there own, regardless of what appears to be thinking outside of the box. The past decade scientist, educators and the population in general have been focused on what makes life worth living in so many areas of existence. It is a wonderful to understand that what is good in life, does not mean that it cannot be problematic. Think of a 3 or 4 bedroom house you always wanted. You fully furnished it, it's in a safe neighborhood, you are not finding any issues with keeping up payments or you paid for it in full. You and your family are content living in the space. Suddenly, there is an unexpected rainstorm, unforeseen to cause flooding the area has never seen before and your house gets effected.

Ok. The incident may not make for the need for making use of the need of a psychologist, but, it does lend to an example how wonders can come with bummers. To harp on the bummer of a wonderful event, is what positive psychology is not. In fact, a use of positive psychology may even be to extend on discussion within one's head or among a group effected of say the above example as, “Wow, we just had a flood because of the storm we never expected could happen. Now we know we must protect ourselves of any upcoming storms. Also, we could have lost a lot more than the simple cleaning it up!” Obviously, positive psychology is based in theories and studies.
The short end of the impact of positive psychology is that it implies being taught how to be happy can be based in thinking in positive psychological ways, scientifically. It is an unconditional love or caring that can be theorized to help one find comfort in things that fall outside of what may be determined as normalcy, by society, a person or even place, as not an end all to ultimate happiness. Finally, those who have steered away from traditional psychology, now have positive psychology they may find better suited to their needs for assistance in wellness.