It’s undeniable that mental illness has become an increasingly prominent topic over the past decade. It seems as if endless social media users plaster their pages with articles and posts about these issues. Many sufferers are finding the online world can empathize with their condition, and the official diagnosis statistics are at an all-time high.
This sudden prominence may be due to our increased understanding of mental health problems and ability to access information, or rather because on an inherent increase in the conditions themselves. While a definitive answer to this question is impossible to know, it’s undeniable that the discussions around mental health are going to become increasingly important in the upcoming years.
What Is Mental Health?
Up until very recently, the intricate workings of our brain were relatively unknown. What it meant to be in good mental health, and the repercussions if things went wrong, were so falsely interpreted that it led to extreme medical interventions. Some of the most controversial hospital cases surround those suffering from “insanity,” and the dreaded historical lunatic asylums are still a well-known horror to this day.
Fortunately, when we now talk about mental health, we can understand it more pragmatically. As neuroscientists have begun to map our consciousness, we are better able to recognize and define normal brain processes. Subsequently, if any of these systems go awry—such as the fight/flight response regarding anxiety disorders—then the symptomatic result falls under a diagnosis of mental illness.