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Zachrisson, A. (2019). Mental health – a normal state?. Scand. Psychoanal. Rev., 42(1-2):87-92.

(2019). Scandinavian Psychoanalytic Review, 42(1-2):87-92

Mental health – a normal state?

Anders Zachrisson

How can we conceptualize mental health; what is the relation between mental health and normality; and what has psychoanalysis to say about these questions? After a short resume of the views concerning normality and melancholia in the last centuries, the author turns to Freud and Bion. For Freud, mental health at best seems to be a relatively mild neurotic state, and perfect mental health is an unattainable ideal. Bion underlines the dynamic nature of the concept; mental health comprehended as a process. Problems connected to the individual’s subjective view of his or her mental health are considered, and some consequences that the questions under discussion have for psychoanalytic treatment are discussed. The author concludes with a reflection on the complex relation between mental health and normality.

[This is a summary excerpt from the full text of the journal article. The full text of the document is available to journal subscribers on the publisher's website here.]

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