Mental health, like dandruff, crops up when you least expect it.
-Robin Worthington

From The Road Less Traveled by M. Scott Peck, M.D.:

We know very well why people become mentally ill. What we don't understand is why people survive the traumas of their lives as well as they do... All we can say is that there is a force, the mechanics of which we do not fully understand, that seems to operate routinely in most people to protect and to foster their mental health even under the most adverse conditions...

I think we need to apply the concept of resistance to the phenomena of accidents as well as to the phenomenon of disease, to think in terms of accident-resistance as well as accident-proneness. It is not simply that certain people at certain times in their lives are accident-prone; it is also that in the ordinary course of things most of us are accident-resistant...

If readers examine their own lives at this point, I suspect the majority will find in their own personal experiences similar patterns of repeated narrowly averted disasters, a number of accidents that almost happened that is many times greater than the number of accidents that actually did happen.

Furthermore, I believe readers will acknowledge that their personal patterns of survival, of accident-resistance, are not the result of any process of conscious decision-making. Could it be that most of us really do lead "charmed lives"? Could it really be that the line in the song is true: "'Tis grace hath brought me safe thus far"?

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Also on Beliefnet:

  • The Connection Between Trauma and Weight Gain
  • Finding a Therapist

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