To accept what we cannot change

Signs of a complete and harmonious personality, formulated a classic of modern psychoanalysis by Nancy McWilliams.

16 signs of mental health

1. Ability to loveAbility to engage in relationships, to open up to Another person. Love it the way it is, with all faults and virtues. Without idealization and devaluation. It is the ability to give, not to take. This applies to parental love for children, and a partnership of love between a man and a woman.


2. Ability to work

This applies not only to the profession. It is primarily about the ability to create and create what is valuable for a person, family, society. It's important for people to realize that what they do has meaning and value for Others. It is the ability to give the world something new, creative potential. Teenagers often experience difficulty with this.


3. The ability to play

Here it is as literally "games" in children, and about the ability of adults to "play" with words, characters. This ability to use metaphor, allegory, humor, and symbolize your expertise and get pleasure from it.

Young animals often play using bodily contact, and it's important for their development. Moreover, if the animal is not allow to play one day, then the next day they will play with double diligence.

Scientists draw an analogy with people and conclude that it is possible that hyperactivity in children is a consequence of the lack of games.

In addition, in modern society there is a General tendency that we cease to play. Our games of "active" becomes "detached observation". We are becoming less ourselves dancing, singing, doing sports, more watching others do it. I wonder what it carries implications for mental health?..


4. Secure relationships unfortunately, often, people seeking psychotherapy are violent, threatening, dependent — in short, unhealthy relationships.

John Bowlby described three types of attachment:

  • normal
  • disturbing (can't take the loneliness, so a person "sticks" to a meaningful object),
  • shunning (a person can easily let go of the Other, but it is the huge trouble inside).

Then stood another type of attachment — disorganized (D-type): people with this type of attachment often respond to caring of a person as the source of heat and at the same time fear.

This is typical of people with borderline level of personality organization, and often occur after violence or rejection in childhood. Such people "stick" to the object of attachment and at the same time "bite" him.

Unfortunately, disorders of attachment is very common. But the good news is that the attachment type can be changed. As a rule, for this is good therapy (two or more years). But it is possible to change the type of attachment and the presence of a stable, secure, long-term (more than 5 years) relationship with a partner.


5. Autonomy

People seeking psychotherapy often has the disadvantage (but a huge potential, once they are in therapy came). People do not what really want. They don't even "choose" (listen to yourself) what they want.

In this illusory autonomy may shift to other areas of life. For example, patients suffering from anorexia often try to control something that they feel accessible, choosing instead their desires own weight.

6. The constancy of self and object

It is the ability to stay in contact with all sides of self: both good and bad, both pleasant and not cause elation.

It is also the ability to feel the conflict and not to split.

This contact between the child I was, who I am now and the person that I'll be there in 10 years.

It is the ability to consider and integrate all that is given by nature and what I have managed to develop. A violation of this paragraph may be "attack" on their own body when it is unconsciously perceived as part of myself. It becomes something separate that can be forced to starve or cut etc.


7. The ability of recovering from stress

If a person has enough Ego strength, then, when he encounters stress, he is not sick, does not use to exit from it only one rigid protection, no breaks. He is able best to adapt to the new situation.


8. Realistic and reliable self-assessment

Many people are unrealistic and too hard to rate yourself, have a critical of the harsh Super-Ego.

Possible and the opposite situation — on the contrary, high self-esteem. Parents praise children, wanting to have the best of everything, including the "best" children. But such unwarranted praise, devoid of its very essence of love and warmth, gives children a sense of emptiness. They don't understand what you really are, and they think that nobody in fact knows. They often act as if entitled to special treatment, although in fact not earned it.


9. The system of value orientations

It is important that people understand the ethical standards, their meaning, were flexible in following them. In the nineteenth century spoke about "moral insanity", rather what is now called antisocial personality disorder. This is a serious problem with the misunderstanding, Nekustamie person different ethical, moral and value standards and principles. Although at the same time, such people can be saved other items from this list.


10. The ability to stand the intensity of emotions

To make emotions means to be able to stay with them, to feel them, while not acting under their influence. It is also the simultaneous ability to remain in touch with emotions, and thoughts — his rational part.


11. Reflection

The ability to remain ego-dystony, the ability to look at ourselves as if from outside. People with reflection is able to see what is their problem, and accordingly, to treat her thus, to solve it, effectively helping yourself.


12. Mentalitatea

With this ability people are able to understand that the Other is a completely separate personality, with its own characteristics, personality and psychological structure.

These people also see the difference between what they feel themselves offended after someone else's words and what actually the Other person didn't want to offend them. The offense is most likely caused by their own personal experiences and personal characteristics.


13. Variability of defense mechanisms and flexibility in their use.

14. The balance between what I do for themselves and for their environment

It's about the opportunity to be themselves and to take care of their own interests, including the interests of the partner in a relationship.


15. A sense of vitality

The ability to be and feel alive. Winnicott wrote that the person can function normally, but be as if inanimate. On internal martelossi wrote many psychiatrists and psychotherapists.


16. Accepting what we cannot change

It is the ability to sincerely and honestly sad, to feel sadness at the fact that you cannot change. Acceptance of its limitations and mourning what we would like to have but don't have.

Be mentally healthy! published


P. S. And remember, just changing your mind — together we change the world! ©

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