Jun 17

The Paradigm of Mental Health

Did you ever notice how hard it is to convince someone to think like you? It’s WAAAYYY easier to find people who ALREADY think like you and just hang out with them, right? On one hand, we hear phrases like “birds of a feather flock together” to describe our conceptually-driven tribalism. On the other hand, our parents told us, “Don’t hang around those kids; you become who you hang around!”

Do we become who we hang around or do we hang around people who think like us? More than likely, we become who we hang around when we’re kids and then we hang around people who think like us when we begin to become self-aware in our teens. And then it becomes more and more distinctly tribalism based on ideologies as we get older.

Okay, that was a little tangent. The thing I want to talk about today is paradigms and how stinkin’ hard it is to shift them- ESPECIALLY in other people.

Paradigm (noun)

a typical example or pattern of something; a model.

“there is a new paradigm for public art in this country”

Some people are super aware of their paradigms. Others are completely unaware. Some paradigms are socially acceptable, some are considered conspiracy theories. Some of us chose our paradigm, some are just doing what our parents did, or our spouse does. But the reality is that we all engage in a paradigm that has shown its relationship to a certain outcome. Here are a few examples:

Church: We pick a church that is MOSTLY in line with what we believe about God and man. But the paradigm may be missional or sacramental or evangelical, or some other model of belief and behavior.

Politics: UGH. I’m not going there.

Vaccines: HECK NO.

Health Care: Some people love mainstream, Western medicine and view everything through their doctor’s advice. Some people are so holistic that they get called “crunchy”.

Vacation: I know, this one is silly, but some families view vacation as their chance to lay on a beach for a week and do NOTHING. Some families are so active on vacation that no one wants to go with them.

So, we should all be on the same page now about paradigms. Now let’s talk about paradigm SHIFTS. This is REALLY difficult for most people. Imagine if I came to you and said, “Hey, a lot of what you “know” about your faith is incorrect, so let me show you why.” The conversion rate on that has to be like 0.00000001%. Same goes for any paradigm. People have to be looking for a shift before they make one.

But we live in a world where there is a “prevailing paradigm” around certain things. Even TALKING about these paradigms can get you into trouble. For the sake of making this email less than 10 pages, I’ll talk about the one that gets US into trouble: Mental Health.

Mental Health has become so tribalistic in the “prevailing paradigm” that it’s difficult to talk about with many, many people. Even the most compassionate among us can easily misstep when discussing their opinions and experience. There are some who view even the slightest bit of anxiety as a mental health problem and those who don’t believe mental health is even worth discussing as a reality. There are medical professionals who believe it’s a medical problem that should be treated with medication and there are professionals who believe medication is a conspiracy to cause harm on purpose. Some people blame mental health problems for the rise in societal failings, others blame society for the rise in mental health problems. The “prevailing paradigm” seems to be “no one can determine what good mental health is or why there are people with poor mental health”.

Obviously, we believe that there needs to be a paradigm shift when it comes to mental health. In the current climate, it is almost taboo to take a position. But we have one and here it is:

A healthy brain and body creates the foundation for good mental health.

If you or someone you love is struggling somehow, take a look at the paradigm being used to look at the struggles. Maybe it’s time for a shift.

P.s. We just launched the June Jumpstart program. This program is uniquely designed to help you pick up the slack after being out of school a while and get their brain on track for August and the new semester. Just for June, we are going to be offering this incredible program with extended protocols and unlimited support from our directors ALL for 45% OFF for the first 10 people. We can’t even offer it to more than that because it’s too time-intensive for our staff! Schedule a free consultation now to learn more!