Full disclosure - The motivation to write this blog came S03E3 of Rick and Morty - Pickle Rick. But to be fair, the guys at Adult Swim have got their finger well and truly on the pulse when it comes to understanding modern psychology. The link to the clip from this episode is in references below.
In this scene, Rick’s views on psychology are being challenged. He, in his current pickle form, is on the shrinks couch, unloading some baggage. For those who dont watch, Rick is a an alcoholic, adventure junky, scientific genius. Pretty much a veteran metaphor if you drop the scientific genius part. Anyway, The shrink makes the argument that mental maintenance is not exciting, it's not and adventure, but it is necessary. Rick, like most of us, sees things differently.
We all look to mental health with a “Fix it when its broken” approach. Why don’t we take the “maintenance, improvement and optimisation” approach that we take with our physical fitness?
When it comes to physical fitness we know that training and maintenance is essential for peak performance. We lift weights to get stronger, we do cardio to get fitter and we stretch to maintain mobility. We do this because we understand the need to maintain our fitness in order to get the most out of our body, for optimal performance and an optimized life.
Taking it even further, in our search for physical optimisation we seek professional help. We go to classes, bootcamps or even hire a personal trainer. Some of us go to nutritionists and diet coaches. These physical health professionals are great. Not only for optimisation, but they give us the tools for sickness prevention. The better shape we are in, the lower the chance of getting sick.
What would happen if we stopped working on our physical health. We Would get fat. We would get lethargic. We would eventually get sick. Now our focus has moved from prevention to repair. In the worst cases, to emergency response. When we completely neglect our physical health we get obese, become diabetic, we have heart disease or cancer or ____ fill in the blank. It’s fair to say that, when it comes to physical health, prevention is the best cure and as a society, we understand this. Well, we are getting there.
But we don’t share this view when it comes to mental health? When it comes to mental health we wait till we are sick before we do anything. There is no thought of maintenance. No preventative practises. There is plenty out there, but as a society, we don’t think of mental health as something that needs maintenance.
We all get stressed, Most of us get anxiety in some form or another. A lot of us go through depression at different stages of life. It’s time we start looking for preventative tools and seeking professional help for maintenance rather than waiting till it’s an emergency.
A 2010 survey of ADF members is said to have received results from 49% of active adf members.
In its conclusion the survey showed 27% feared their career progress would be negatively affected if they went to a psych.
37% said they didn’t see a psych because they feared it would decrease their chances of getting a deployment.
And I have to agree that when I was in, I would have thought the exact same thing.
It’s time for our psychologist and psychiatrist to update their marketing plan. Start to show the world that its ok to go to them for maintenance.
It’s time for our society to understand the need for mental health preventive tools and maintenance practices.
It’s time to do more yoga. Take a cold shower. Sit in an ice bath for 10 minutes a day. Practice meditation. These simple tools can become the foundation for your mental health maintenance routine.
REF: Rick and Morty S03E03 Pick rick.