As of recently, there has been a lot of talk about our society and the well being of our entire nation. Racial division is at an all time high, politics is putting the individual at war with those who simply differ in opinion, our education system is failing at protecting the nations future generations, and the discrimination of legal citizens compared to illegal immigrants, is no less then appalling.
Whether our diet is working against us, or the current events that are unfolding right before our eyes, the mental health of this nation is declining rapidly. One in seven adults, and 5% of children in the United States, suffers from a depressive disorder, according to the report from WHO (World Health Organization) in 2001 (Essay, 2013). The view of one’s self has shifted, in a way, from objective reality to a more emotionally driven subjective one. Mental illness can change the persons attitude towards life, self and society, and society’s attitude towards the individual (Essay, 2013). Mental stability, that we once had, is now destroying us from the inside. It is time for human science, especially Psychology, to stand up and say, “enough, is enough.”
The family structure has been ripped apart, our children are the ones who are paying the price. The rise of Autism, and the dumbing down of education are systematic consequences of the nation’s selfish actions, have deeply affected the stability of family, home (security), and the development of those who will grow up being forced to deal with the mess this current generation has started. It leads to a great social harm to the population due to lack of opportunity to lead a normal life, to study, to work, and to communicate (Essay, 2013).
A new approach to the mental health of our society is needed to develop solutions to our nations current problems. A humanistic type of Trans-Personal Psychology would be a great start in finding solutions for a clear and definite future for all of us. This new field of studying the human psyche will focus on understanding of behavior, mental associations, and the spiritualized self. Out of all the fields of study Trans-Personal, seems to be the most human oriented study of human experience. A reaffirmation of the self, as a spiritual being, one with its surroundings, and other forms of life.
First step will be to understand an individual’s behavior based on their belief system, or lack thereof. Secondly, interpret those behaviors and find a baseline for constructive social behavior. Next, fundamentally examine society and its behavioral norms, creating lists of constructive behavior and destructive.
The new study will include cultural and environmental aspects of behaviors, across the ethnicities within our nation. Finding solutions to help those in minority status rise above that mentality and become a full functioning citizen. It will consider the experiences and influences of individuals and come up with a solution to create an environment of security, education, and oneness within the community.
Within Cognitive Psychology, in terms of helping Trans-Personal perspective, can give an understanding as to how certain stimuli affect our thought processes and can predict our emotional state toward that stimuli, and the behavior in which is exhibited. Examining the rational and irrational thoughts and expressed emotions toward situations and specific stimuli, for example, “The Rebel flag, portrayal of mass shootings, and political ideology.” Therefore, with this information, we can then interpret the findings on a Trans-Personal level and agree on solutions that help improve individual’s way of life, health, and overall well-being.
Behaviorism can give an understanding behind the growing behavior of anarchy and civil defiance within our nation and our youth. Since the election of President Trump, there has been a rise is social and civil unrest. This behavior on a massive scale, whether it be individual cities or towns, or metropolitan capitals of states, needs to be understood where this behavior is coming from and how it started, and whether it is needed for society to move forward. The rise of mental illness has led to this behavior against authority, the fellow man, and states rights. Behaviorism, therefore, can help this new Trans-Personal perspective in its determining of need for such behavior, and the state of self that is the result of such behavior.
Social constructionism, on the other hand, can explain the meaning and understanding of current events, and how they are influencing our society, our politics, and our communities. As our American culture changes, and as certain meanings evolve, so to does our sense of self and mental state change, in order, to process everything rationally and with common sense. Under Social Constructionism, we create the reality in which we exist, therefore, through context, construction, and awareness of the power of the situation, we can begin to piece together a society of peace and understanding instead of fear, ignorance, and mental instability.
One of the main ideas behind this new form of Trans-Personal theory is with an Existential-Phenomenological perspective. With the influence of a natural attitude, an individual, assumes, without thought, based on experiences with the situation, there is a sense of “taken things for granted.” Our understanding of the world around us, has become so causal, that normal everyday behaviors our seen as understandable, and/or reasonable. As a diverse society, we can not move forward without explanation to how we experience the world, the situations around us, and the reaction to current events within our nation. As a nation, we need to have a better understanding and meaning behind our experiences, and how they affect our behavior, and even our mindset.
Mass shootings have, now, dominated the mental state of all Americans, and even those who watch from afar. With every tragedy, we try to comprehend the mindset of those individuals who have made the choice to commit such destruction within our nation. Politically, they are the breeding ground for Leftist political agenda, where even facts are thrown out the window. The most recent of the mass shootings occurred in Parkland, Florida. Factually, we understand that a student, who was bullied, shot and murdered 17 of his fellow classmates. The issue as seen through politics is guns, but the real issue is the mental illness caused by the behavior of bullying. Criminals will always have access to firearms or other methods of destruction, but the mental state of individuals within our youth and our education system needs further examination. There needs to be a shift from the “profiting” state of mind to a more compassionate, empathic state of mind and of self.
Another problem occurring in our nation is the rise of racial discrimination, whether towards African-Americans or toward European-Americans. Ever since the reelection of Barack Obama, race relations have had a turn for the worse. With the increase of violence between police officers and the African-American community, these situations have been turned into increases of discrimination and a rise in racism in America. An understanding of mentality within our nations law enforcement and within the African-American community is needed to help explain such claims and whether the mental health of both groups is influencing the outcomes and/or behaviors of these individuals. Through the lens of a Trans-Personal perspective, we can, not only, examine spiritual mentality of these individual groups, but also see if the claims of racism and discrimination our true, or if they are situational occurrences based on the “natural attitude” toward racism in our nation.
The state of politics has take a very strange turn with the election of Donald Trump as President of the United States. Once again, a division of our nation was created. The terms used by the leftists, when describing President Trump are more harmful then useful, and besides ridiculous. Calling him mentally ill, making him unfit for office continues the negative attitude toward those who are mentally ill or are suffering from some form of mental illness. Again, the question of mental health is raised, whether it be mass shootings, racial division, or our political system. “Regardless of how one views the President, those who care about the well-being of persons with serious mental illness ought to unanimously condemn the accusations of mental illness being lodged against him” (Baldwin, M. L., 2017). “…mental illness is not an attitude, like racism or sexism; and it is not a behavior, like collaborating with enemies. To treat it as such for political purposes is to deny the science underlying the diagnosis” (Baldwin, M. L., 2017).
In conclusion, with the current state of our nation, the mental health of all citizens needs an overall examination. Through a type of Trans-Personal perspective, we can begin anew. A new way of viewing the world around us, as well as, the people, and the way of life we live. By examining the spiritual well-being of the self, the psyche, and the relative meaning of life, we can transform our existence to a more meaningful one, than continuing the mundane everyday life.
Essay, 2013. Mental Illness as a social problem. Retrieved from http://www.proessay.com/mental-illness-as-a-social-problem/
Baldwin, M. L., 2017. Playing politics with mental illness. Retrieved from https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/beyond-schizophrenia/201707/playing-politics-mental-illness