The Way We Live Now: Mental Health

Mental Health

I wonder how many books have been published in the eight years since 2003 on the pursuit of happiness? If, indeed, happiness can be achieved by pursuit, rather than being a fleeting by-product of other activities and states of mind. Happiness studies are beginning to figure on progressive curricula – that’s new. But are we after the impossible? Mental equilibrium, acceptance, contentment, satisfaction, happiness: are they separate or part of a continuum ?

I can’t remember the ‘happiness’ rankings in various countries as quantified by a fairly recent (was it UNESCO?) inquiry. That some countries live by a general philosophy of life more conducive to contentment than others is quite plausible. But clearly mental health is linked to economic circumstances, even if being happy isn’t dependent on having a lot of things. (Another recent study showed that, once the basics of life are assured, extra possessions don’t add more than fleetingly to people’s level of satisfaction) For more medical research visit .

However, anxiety, fear of poverty, loss of status, uncertainty, all these things are on the rise. As in 2003, the psychological and mental results begin to hit the headlines as the cuts work their way through the system. Let’s not be unduly pessimistic but we should expect some long-term consequences.