Have you ever wondered, why does mental illness exist? You may have if you struggle with or are affected by your mental health and wellness. In life, it is common for us to be faced with challenges for which we feel ill-equipped or overwhelmed. Stressors are all around, and our ability to effectively manage our challenges are based on a number of factors. One of these factors is hereditary, which provides us the DNA or building blocks that form the basis of our biological and emotional make-up. A second factor is our social environment, which teaches us things about ourselves and others, and how to navigate our world. Our social environment is made up of our parents or caregivers, school, peers, jobs, our social network of friends and acquaintances. It is through the messages we receive, most significantly in our formative (yearly) years which are often adopted and accepted as we connect with our world as we get older, that we establish a lens, a kind of filter through which we experience certain emotions, thought patterns and belief systems. As a result of the interaction between genetics and the social environment (often referred to as nature / nurture), we establish what can be called a "personality."
Improving Your Mental Health
Our personality is made up of many parts, sometimes wholly integrated into a positive sense of self but at other times competing for dominance of our other parts, leading to fragmentation of self. To achieve a one's healthy self (good self-esteem and self-mastery), the parts of our personality must work as a collective that calls into plays its parts as needed while not abandoning the whole.
Fragmentation leads to physical and/or emotional distress, conflict with self and others, making it difficult to find resolution to one's challenges or problems (whichever term you prefer). It is through examination of the various parts and their relationship or lack thereof, that one can begin the process of increasing awareness of self, what parts of personality need to be harnessed and called upon, in order to problem solve one's way out of distress. Often beyond the conscious level of awareness, the guidance of an experienced psychotherapist can help clients bring to the surface (awareness) the degree to which the various parts of one's personality are fragmented and how to acknowledge each part and get them to work together towards integration of the whole person (good mental health)