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In an era where the importance of mental health is increasingly emphasized, it's crucial to take a closer look at the factors contributing to the worsening state of mental well-being. The question of why mental health appears to be deteriorating is a complex one, but it demands our attention and consideration. In this blog, we will delve into the evolution of our approach to mental health, uncovering how a fundamental shift in perspective has played a significant role in the current crisis.

The Historical Perspective:

To understand the deteriorating state of mental health, we must first acknowledge a significant turning point that occurred around 40 to 50 years ago. It all began with the discovery of the first drug designed to assist individuals grappling with severe mental health challenges. This groundbreaking revelation marked the inception of an entire industry dedicated to mental health medications. However, this development was not without its pitfalls. Research in the field of mental health has often been characterized by uncertainty and a lack of robust replication. What's more, the prevailing concept at the time was the assimilation of human struggles into the medical model – the biomedical model. According to this model, mental health issues were reduced to a list of symptoms, attributed to neurobiological and neurochemical imbalances.

A Paradigm Shift: 

While this perspective held sway for many years, it has since been called into question. There is now mounting evidence that discredits the notion of mental health problems being solely the result of chemical imbalances. In reality, human experiences are incredibly complex, influenced by a multitude of factors, and are not easily boiled down to neurobiological causality.

The Impact of a Narrow View: 

One of the critical consequences of this paradigm shift is the tendency to view individuals as mere collections of symptoms rather than considering the entirety of their lives, experiences, and stories. When we reduce mental health issues to a checklist of symptoms, we oversimplify the intricate tapestry of human existence.

The Cost of Neglecting the Whole Person: 

The repercussions of this narrow view extend far beyond just mental health. Studies have shown that people are dying prematurely – between 8 to 25 years earlier – due to preventable lifestyle diseases. This alarming trend can be partially attributed to the biomedical model's prevalence, which focuses solely on the physical aspects of health while ignoring the mental and emotional dimensions.

Mind Management:

A Holistic Approach So, what can we do to address this crisis? It begins with a fundamental shift in our approach to mental health – a shift towards what we might call "mind management." This holistic concept emphasizes the importance of managing one's mind to navigate life's challenges effectively. It's not only about addressing mental health struggles but also about maintaining physical brain health and overall well-being. When our minds are in a state of balance and resilience, we are more likely to make choices that positively impact our physical health. This interconnectedness highlights the undeniable link between mental and physical well-being. Without a healthy mind, we may not prioritize what we eat or how we take care of our bodies, contributing to the prevalence of preventable diseases.


In summary, the worsening state of mental health is a multifaceted issue with deep roots in the way we have historically approached mental health challenges. The shift towards a biomedical model, which reduces individuals to a list of symptoms and disregards the complexity of human experiences, has had far-reaching consequences. To address this crisis, we must adopt a holistic perspective that acknowledges the interconnectedness of mental and physical health – a concept we've termed "mind management." Only by embracing this comprehensive approach can we hope to improve the state of mental health and well-being for individuals and society as a whole.

In this episode, you'll discover:

  • The decline in mental health can be attributed to a historical shift towards a biomedical model, which oversimplifies mental health issues by reducing them to neurobiological and chemical causes.
  • This narrow view neglects the whole person and has led to a rise in preventable lifestyle diseases, with people dying prematurely by 8 to 25 years.
  • To address this crisis, a holistic approach called "mind management" is proposed, emphasizing the importance of balancing mental and physical well-being to improve overall health outcomes.

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Dr. Latt Mansor:

Why do you think mental health is becoming worse and worse?


Dr. Caroline Leaf

So even, so that's a, that's a really great question. And it's a nice loaded question as we know. So we see that mental health is increasing. We see that it's worse in children. Now, when you do the global surveys and so on, children used to always be better than adults now it's swapped around.


And so we have to look at the crisis and when it started and what's going on and the big picture of this whole thing is that we shifted our view of how we handle human behavior around 40, 50 years ago. And it was with the advent of finding the first drug that they use for people that were really battling with, you know, having extreme cases of mental challenges and it calmed them down and so started a whole industry, literally an industry of medications for mental health.


And the research has been very dicey and shaky and not very well replicated and when it, and, and along with that was a whole concept of subsuming the idea of us as humans going through challenges in life, which we have been since the beginning of time, subsuming the impact of life on humans into the medical model, the biomedical model, where it was, a list of symptoms with a neurobiological, chemical, neurochemical cause.


That has been disproved, never really was proven, and that, but that model is very strong and very dominant. So I believe that a massive contribution to the mental health crisis is that shift because there is enough data now supporting the fact that with, when we don't consider the whole person, and we don't look at everything about the person, and we don't see the stories of the people, and everything about their lives, and we just look at a list of symptoms and diagnose, On a very very incorrect scientific foundation, we're going to get worse, and the research shows people are dying 8 to 25 years younger from preventable lifestyle diseases, which is really in your wheelhouse, and that's got a lot to do with the shift of the biomedical model.


And if we don't process what we're going through, it affects our metabolism, it affects everything about how we are as a, as a human. And so, you know, that's kind of why I believe the crisis is there. So I call it one of the crisis of mind management. That has made to a crisis in mental health and mind management encompasses managing your mind to manage the struggles of life But it also looks at how are we going to keep our brain health physically and our body health physically aligned But that comes from the mind if my mind's not right I'm not going to care about what I eat or how I supplement and soon that is.


Dr. Latt Mansor:

That is a great answer. And, and it's so true how we are treating on the surface. We're treating the symptoms. We're not looking at the root cause. And that's, that's very true for not just mental illness, like you said, for chronic illnesses, for metabolic dysfunction and all of that.

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