Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Mentally Healthy?

I’ve wondered if there’s a test to determine if someone is mentally healthy. Obviously, we have depression checklists where displaying a certain number of symptoms, especially over a long period of time, is an indicator that someone should seek profession help. But what about a checklist to show strong mental health?

Well, I've discovered just such a list! It was put together by Dr. Jonathan Shedler. It’s interesting to read and rate yourself. Clearly no one would score perfectly but the more statements I can answer affirmatively, the more sane I should be. I found it was an enlightening exercise! Read on and rate your own mental health...

- Is able to use his/her talents, abilities, and energy effectively and productively.

-Enjoys challenges; takes pleasure in accomplishing things.

- Is capable of sustaining a meaningful relationship characterized by genuine intimacy and caring.

- Finds meaning in belonging and contributing to a larger community (e.g. organization, church, neighborhood).

- Is able to find meaning and fulfillment in guiding, mentoring, or nurturing others.

-Is empathetic; is sensitive and responsive to other people’s needs and feelings.

-Is able to assert him/herself effectively and appropriately when necessary.

-Appreciates and responds to humor.

-Is capable of hearing information that is emotionally threatening (ie., that challenges cherished beliefs, perceptions, and self perceptions) and can use and benefit from it.

-Appears to have come to terms with painful experiences from the past; has found meaning in and grown from such experiences.

-Is articulate; can express self well in words.

-Has an active and satisfying sex life.

-Appear comfortable and at ease in social situations.

-Generally finds contentment and happiness in life’s activities.

- Tend to express affect appropriate in quality and intensity to the situation at hand.

- Has the capacity to recognize alternative viewpoints, even in matters that stir up strong feelings.

- Has moral and ethical standards and strives to live up to them.

- Is creative; is able to see things or approach problems in novel ways.

- Tends to be conscientious and responsible.

- Is psychologically insightful; is able to understand self and others in subtle and sophisticated ways.

- Is able to find meaning and satisfaction in the pursuit of long-term goals and ambitions.

- Is able to form close and lasting friendships characterized by mutual support and sharing of experiences.