National Geographic : 1924 Oct
Mind-health, DO you know about the new phase of warfare against disease called Mental Hygiene? It is teaching people to guard their mental health-just as they have been taught to guard their physical health. Physical health depends to a great extent upon mental health. Excessive anger, hatred, envy, jealousy, fear, revolt, malice-a hundred and one mental conflicts if persisted in-often cause seri ous mental and physical trouble. With continu ing wrong thoughts and emotions we can't be well. That is one of the first things that Mental Hygiene teaches. Its underlying idea is as old as Time. The only new thing about it is that it has now been developed into a science that can be used to prevent mind-sickness and to solve in dividual mental problems. Frequently people who are ill take remedy after remedy, travel north, south, east or west-all to no avail. Why? Because the source of the trouble -wrong thinking, false beliefs, distorted imagi nation, misdirected emotion-never has been touched. Such illnesses are not physical diseases although they may be accompanied by physical pain and may be manifested by sleeplessness, nervousness, indigestion and many other physical symptoms. If you were physically ill-if anyone in your family were threatened with diphtheria or scarlet fever-you would do something about it. Mental sickness is quite as real and likewise should have prompt attention. There are men and women-graduate physicians -trained especially to treat troubles of the mind and to teach Mental Hygiene. Their work is known as psychiatry and all over the country The time has come when Mental Hygiene the science of mental health-should take its place with other major activities in the great field of preventive medicine. As the work of prevention progresses, much of the mental suffering, mental deficiency, criminality and insanity in the world will be reduced. The cost of caring for the patients in mental hospitals alone is nearly $75,000,000 a year. The economic loss, because of their disability, is more than $200,000,000 annually. In several states, one out of twenty of all people who die s d1 li_ di first wise and successful physicians are practicing it. Dr. William J. Mayo, of the Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn., says that mental ailments are the cause of more misery than tuberculosis or cancer. If you are feeling ill and find no physical reason for your discomfort, your doctor may discover that the real trouble is with your mind. This may be true, also, of those who have difficulty in maintaining a happy personal relationship with family, friends or business associates. Chronic worriers and pessimists show evidence of un healthy mental operations. Frequently it is possible to straighten out your own mental difficulties. Sometimes talking them over with some wise man or woman who is by nature a mental hygienist will help to solve the problem. If you have a serious trouble do not keep it bottled up. Repression often is harmful. Associate with happy, normal people. Exercise and have all the fun you can. Don't devote every minute to work. Take time for recreation - re-creation. For centuries religion, philosophy /, ' and inspirational writings have . helped men and women to gain r8 poise and mental control-to \\ know themselves. Healthy- ' minded people who have learned . / how to plan and direct their lives /.\ harmoniously are consciously or unconsciously employing mental f hygiene. Mental Hygiene is needed to help millions of people to think right, act right and feel right. The number of beds in public hospitals for the insane in this country equals those occupied by all other sick persons combined. In 26 states in the Union, in Canada and in many European countries Mental Hygiene So cieties have been formed to help those who are mentally troubled. It will be worth your while to get in touch with them. The Metropolitan Life Insurance Company will gladly tell you where they are located and will mail you a list of books relating to Mental Hygiene if you will ask for it. Sa u.e euuin a hospital for me insane. HALEYI nFISK., resident. .f i E Pr11id i' sC Published by f "!," . METROPOLITAN LIFE INSURANCE COMPANY-NEWYORK Biggest in the World, More Assets, More Policyholders, More Insurance inforce, More new Insurance eachyear "Mention the Geographic-It identifies you."