Aspects of mental health; Safeguards against mental illness
The following program is produced by the University of Michigan broadcasting service under a grant he made from the National Educational Television and Radio Center in cooperation with the National Association of educational broadcasters safeguards against mental illness. A program from the series human behavior social and medical research produced by the University of Michigan broadcasting service with special assistance from Mental Health Research Institute of the University of Michigan. These programs have been developed from interviews with men and women who have the too often unglamorous job of basic research. Research in medicine the physical sciences the social sciences and the behavioral sciences. Occasionally you will hear what may seem like strange or an unfamiliar sound. These are the sounds of the participants office his laboratory or clinic where the interviews were first conducted.
The people you will hear today are Dr. Paul Dudley white of Boston Massachusetts and Dr. Leonard J DOOL of the Institute of Mental Health at Bethesda Maryland. My name is Glenn Philips. How is it possible to live with the stresses of everyday life. This is by no means a new question. People have been asking themselves this for ever with our society adding new dimensions and that is new stresses. The question does become one of vastly greater importance. One of the stresses of our contemporary society is leisure time for the next few moments. Dr. Drew Dr. White will offer their observations. The first question tonight was addressed to Dr. Drew. I asked him what he considered to be some of the preventive measures that one might take to help in maintaining a stable emotional or mental health. He answered
this way. I see a total program of mental health existing in a series of levels. Reduce and six one might be the general promotion of. Mental health by increasing the strength of toleration of individuals and communities to stress and in a very nonspecific manner. This can be accomplished in a variety of ways through community organisations and improve broadened educational programmes by the maintenance of a high level of community morale through varied cultural and social programs run by people aware of the psychological and emotional needs of the community and by the establishment of recreation leisure time activities for citizens of all ages. Community changes causing psychological destruction should always be made with the understanding the ways in which the changes in society affect the way people think and behave. I'll be the first one. The second would be what I call the
elimination of deprivations and I'd say in many ways that a community can help restore and make up for the psychological and social deprivation suffered by its people. I'd say both the official agencies and the unofficial helpers are important in this work. Specific programs which might be instituted are such things as housekeepers for family in which the mother is keeping families together in times of disaster rather than following the old dictum. Women and Children First. The use of substitute mothers and children's wards the pre and post delivery program for pregnant women in a variety of other ways of helping to maintain an emotional equilibrium and people in times of crisis. The third way of prevention might be called the interruption of a pathogenic train of events by diminishing or eliminating stress which leads to disaster. It's a neighborhood in which rising tensions seem sure to precipitate violence we need this kind
of program temporary relocation of agitating or sparking personalities in such a situation might very well interrupt the rising tide of emotion and permit the neighborhood to be restored to some sort of emotional balance. The fourth would be the prevention of major mental illnesses of delinquency and drug addiction. By early detection and referral to available community resources people with incipient mental illness or emotional disturbance can be detected by an interested community by the work of public health nurses through welfare activities by ministers schools business and industry. Some people so detected can be helped by minor treatments that get to them in time and through the work of guidance and other personnel minimally trained in psychology or psychiatry. Other people require even more skilled help for these people. Perhaps the psychiatric emergency service with skilled people who might be most up 5th would be the prevention of permanent disability by the treatment of psychological disturbance.
This treatment would consist chiefly of the recognition of full blown illness and referral for treatment and the sixth would be the arrest of illness by the treatment and the subsequent rehabilitation deal through coordinated activities of the private practitioners the institutions the clinics in the community. I just say that working on the six levels each community depending on. Son of special needs and problems can organize a series of overall planning and preventive programs from planning highways to organizing schools from establishing treatment and rehabilitation clinics to setting up industrial mental health programs. The whole range of the community's activities can be oriented in terms of the basic psychological and social needs of its populations. We'll hear from Dr. duel once again toward the end of the program. But as he has intimated leisure hours are going to become one of the major problems in years to come. This is said also by many other experts. Dr. Paul Dudley White is
one of the expert who speaks often on this subject. I asked him how people could put their leisure time to construct if you he answered this way. But I suppose most people cannot. I do not. I think it's possible for this to happen in the use of leisure. But it takes a good bit of planning and a good deal of intelligence and perhaps education and with this in mind I think I'd rather speak of my own. Experience with some thousands of patients and hundreds of friends and my own self. As to my own recommendations for the use of leisure that I think may need to be implicated in the program of. Many Americans and others throughout the world today. For points I'd like to make. And the first one. Is that of the value of the use of the exercise in some of the leisure time.
As a matter of fact. Exercise should hardly be considered as a part of the leisure. Programme because it is so essential to health is just as important as eating and sleeping and working. But it's often neglected. It has great value not only physiologically. But also from the standpoint of prevention of disease and perhaps best of all it has a valuable relaxing effect it's the best antidote I'm sure. From nervous strain tension. And if we only had could you lose this exercise in what we call our leisure time now. Every day or at least a few times a week we would need to take so much medicine I'm absolutely sure that now what kind of exercise people ask. Well it really doesn't matter. The kind that's present to the individual. To which he's not necessarily accustomed to but which he's thinks he will like and he can then
gradually accustom himself to whatever exercise. He undertakes. For example rocking swimming fishing or. Mountain climbing or bowling. Almost any kind of exercise. Tennis and golf. They're all good. It really rather depends on the individual liking of the of the person and his strength or ability or act too good for that exercise. And it should be to the point of physical fatigue a pleasant physical fatigue that. Can be sure. One of the important ways of utilizing some of the leisure time that we all have. And which. At the present time is neglected. A few people are enthusiastic about exercise. I'm enthusiastic about exercise simply because I know how beneficial it is. Some people say well you don't need to exercise you can sit in an armchair all your life and and live to be old and be
happy but there are very few very very few people who are really healthy without exercise. It's necessary in a program of positive health. Well so much for the first point which is really essential. For hills and not necessarily simply use of leisure time although that some of the leisure time that we have now should be so employed. A second point I might make now and that is the importance of reading in one's leisure time reading is almost a lost art. It's a wonderfully relaxing and interesting pursuit but with the advent of television and radio and all the methods of spoonfeeding today it is I'm afraid much neglected. But many of the great books of the ages. Have ready for us to dip into. And not only from the standpoint of instruction but for real enjoyment. Reading should be resumed
by millions of people who have neglected it. I can hardly recommend it. I'm afraid I myself haven't had enough time. To do much much reading as I would like but I take every opportunity that I can. And I find it very. Helpful. It's relaxing it's been interesting and it's instructive so much then for. One important use of leisure time which should be reestablished in this country and perhaps in other parts of the world too. But I asked Can this then be beneficial mentally as well as physically. Dr. White commented. Yes indeed you know there's a great deal of talk about psychosomatic physiology in psychosomatic medicine. Well after all the realization of the effect of the mind on the body that is of the psyche on this so much is as old as the hills it's been known as the only kind of medicine that was practiced for thousands of years. It's only relatively recently that we've been
able to reverse the process and by treating the body improve the mind we now have some mental or psychic medicine and physiology always been they had to circle the mind in the body. One acts on the other that for exercise improves the mind. There's no doubt that some of our ancestors realize this these Stoic philosophers in Greece. Found they could think more clearly and discuss subjects better apparently by walking along the stairwell. They were really prominence and they are engine of the word stoic is the rocking on prominent thing. Personal philosophy and perhaps just the muscular effect on improving the circulation squeezing but back toward the brain. It was one reason that the story flashed first walked on the store. We know I think once in a while if you look we can think more clearly if we get up and pace up and down and read dictating letters and then maybe some point to it but there's no doubt that the cobwebs and the mind are in a much
clearer by. Exercise in the same way the use of the mind in reading has a beneficial effect on the body. It's bilateral and I can therefore recommend both of these particular uses of leisure. Whole heartedly. Dr. White has spoken of exercise and reading as means of putting leisure time to constructive as well as helpful you. What if hobbies however to promote relaxation as well as fun. Dr. White said some people would regard reading or exercise as a hobby. But I think there are to be some very special interests that everyone should have an interest that perhaps isn't primarily physical or primarily mental. It may be anything. Again one may find a hobby in collecting things collecting books collecting stamps. One may find a hobby in working on wood carving. One may find a hobby in painting or in music but it can be and should be cultivated.
Everyone I think from use up. In order to have some special interest in later life should develop some kind of a hobby whether it's actually playing a musical instrument or. Absorption in musical programs or trying some painting. On a sculpture. Or tending flowers gardening. There are many. Wonderful hobbies that I think constitute a very important use of leisure. A certain amount of leisure time and this could consume quite a few hours a week and then we come to the fun. Well after all a great many people spend all of leisure time having fun. Without paying attention to these first three points which I think very vital. And yet I wouldn't deprive. Anybody of having at least some of his leisure time spent in just fun. By that I mean. Doing what he wants to do. And sitting in front of the. Television and watching some interesting
programs. But not making it permanent occupation. What I find so many do. I have nothing against TV or radio. If there are adequately or properly and there are slaves and not a Masters but the present time so much the leisure time of my patients they admit that. After a hard day in the office they come back home and they sit in front of the television go to sleep they've driven their car into their office they walk a half a block that's the most exercise they take right back to their car and they sink exhausted when they get home but I'm sure that's not a very good program not a very good way to use their leisure. Without outside interests such as hobbies or special interest outside of one's work or his profession what happens to the body physiologically while leading this routine life. Dr. White concludes by commenting about this.
One gets into a program not simply of indolence and physical indolence and then activity but of a tendency to continue to. Eat well too well to gain weight through slowly through the years from youth onward so that the age of 50 most men weigh 20 or 30 pounds more than they did 25 which was their fighting weight. That extra weight isn't harmful under the skin out of part of the body. But a few ounces of fat that's been put on. Penetrating the artery walls causing a rusting of what we call answerer sclerosis is almost certainly a consequence of this way of life and prosperity has brought with it this misfortune to us so that we have an epidemic a really a very serious epidemic of atherosclerosis involving this rusting process involving the arteries supplying the heart muscle and supplying the brain supplying the legs. I'm sure
eventually we'll find that it's a preventable disease and it isn't God's will that a man should die suddenly at 45. That's our fault. And that's why we must carry on vigorous research today not just in one field but in the whole gamut of problems which include to read ity and stress and strain physical exercise and many other factors that may be responsible. But at the present time it looks rather as if what I've outlined already as I'd suggest as useful ways of employing our Lesia may be very helpful for our. Health and longevity. Such a waste of time. For a man to be educated highly neglect his health and at the age of 40 suddenly die of a heart attack. That's a waste of 30 years at least of his life no matter how brilliant he is. And we're going to be able to do something about that and we need many many millions of dollars for
the research that is necessary to bring us the needed guidance for the Prevention of this stood said fallen upon this country. It's good to Astros closest to the heart primarily are the brain all the rest but it's of the artery wall an extraordinarily neglected part of the anatomy which we're now working on. Well leisure time can be spent in part probably in preventive measures which will delay the onset of that epidemic disease that is now. Headlined in the paper every day. That was the renowned surgeon Dr. Paul Dudley white of Boston Massachusetts speaking about the use of leisure time in our years to come. Unfortunately Dr. White's advice is not heeded by all of us. And the most common mental problems do arise. I asked Dr. Linder Jade Duell might be talked live with these normal stresses and strains of everyday life. He
commented. The daily stresses and strains of life are normal. I don't think this is neurosis. I don't think you will ever ever have. A situation in life. Where there is no stress or strain where there is no crisis where there are no problems. I think what we have to do in life is to learn how to cope with problems. Now you say how do you help people. Learn to cope with problems. I think this is part and parcel of the whole development of it being from the child. It's somewhat like. Immunology. It's somewhat like. Getting vaccinated against a disease. You begin to learn how to cope with simple problems. And then you find that similar problems later on can be handled. You learn that the first separation between child and mother when he goes off to school for the first time may be the prototype of separations later in life. If the pattern is that one develops
as a trial our pattern is that one carries on later. So if one were to really do something about prevention one might say we have to start early in the total education system of our society. We have to be able to teach people healthier ways of coping with problems than they may be using. Kid may find it to face a very difficult situation the only way to do it is by silence in the draw. This is the thing he might learn at home. Maybe the first thing one of the first things we can do when he gets into the school system might be to teach him that there are other ways of coping with crises than with drugs. We may in fact do very often teach him that hard work is one way of dealing with Christ's teaching that there are other kinds of ways of handling. People learn how to cope with crises not only from their parents and not only from the school. They learn from. Everything around us. This is where I get back to my total value system in society. If they learn for example.
From their family that cheating is verboten that they learn from their school that honesty is the best Elsie. And yet when they turn around and find that all the heroes of America cheat whether they're on TV or in politics or what have you. You begin to wonder which has a stronger value in the development of kids. The old saying You learn by imitating and not by what you hear. They don't do what you say they do what you do. Is the important thing is that kids may listen to all the values in the world is preached by parents but if they learn that the parents cheat. This is the thing that they'll follow. And if you tell a school the American government says one of my moral values then you learn in the papers and on television every day that there are no values you tend to find the kids in the Tate. There's no value system. And so I think we have to take a very careful look at our total society. And. How we're teaching our kids at all but not only how parents are teaching them how
to live not only how those schools are teaching them in a little but her whole society is teaching him how to live. And these are the things that are laying the groundwork for all the ways that people cope with. Problems all through life. This is why I would say that you can't just deal with an individual by dealing with him along. You gotta understand the total family. You gotta understand the total community in our total national Morris. However one must recognize that these daily stresses and strains do arise in one's life. But then Dr. Drew comments to this question Is it good for one to have someone just to turn to as the saying goes to discuss their problems without having to consult with necessarily a psychiatrist or a psychoanalyst. I think that if people have people to turn to when I are faced with a problem like they may be able to solve it very simply by just talking it out. Sometimes you have to go beyond that. It's more than just some talk.
I think the key to what you're saying the key to some of my major concerns is the notion that when people are facing crisis they should have available to them people who can be of some normally friends can do this family can do it. In fact family does it many many times and friends often do this. But if family and friends don't do this. If your best friends aren't able to do this maybe we should have available some sort of resource that can give people help in times of crisis no one is the psychiatric emergency service. Another might be something that's been instituted in the Army during the last five or 10 years which is that the whole program of making available to kids in the army who first get into trouble and are brought up to court martial the facilities of the mental health services. But this is resulted in the long run has been a decrease in the need for the prisons in the army from I gather from five to only one. Mainly because if you
can deal with it at the point of crisis you may be able to prevent subs. Difficulties I also would take this one step further and say that people who can potentially grow through crisis might say the United States has demonstrated this very often in its history that when we face our worst crisis that of war and national calamity received to be able to grow the most were able to produce more during and since the last world war and we were able to do in the many years of peace time before. Now I'd like to be able to have people available to people in crisis in a sense used prices for growth rather than for destruction. This crisis can take many paths it can take the path to us. And it also can take that path to a very positive learning experience to achieve. I would go further. How can the communication media be used to assist and promote the emotional and
mental health. Dr. Drew's answer concludes this program. We look back at some of the projects that we've gotten involved in national and some mental health. We've had a big study that we developed and supported with the University of Illinois where we studied the communication and mental health concepts through the media whether it's magazines newspapers or television. We're very eternally aware of the kinds of things that can be potentially communicated by the media. I think with so often been says that we're frustrated that one can use the media to have an education program and we may be able to sell mental health. But if the program following it is a family situation in which the husband or father is totally humiliated by the women in the family and by the children you may completely undo everything that's in the education program and you begin to say well who affects
the kinds of programs. I put on sure the TV and radio programs. Allowed a certain amount of public service type broadcasts. But the bulk of their broadcasts of this other kind and if you look at the bulk of the stuff that comes over the media most of them have got a a sound of context and I think this is some of the findings that exist came out of this Illinois study is that the bulk of them really tear down anything we might do through the educational use of television radio. And newspapers. This gets very frustrating and you realize that the powers behind this news is the total population our population wants this kind of stuff on TV. Advertises one since there are many more people in this world than mental health people and they have their interests in
selling things on radio and TV just as we would like to sell. Them. I think very often these other values seem to be much more important than the mental health issues. A way to conclude this time and here is to quote from the end of my paper where I said that our task is vast and yet in this web of life we must remember that man is unique in that he expects of his world not only knowledge and understanding but solace and consolation. He needs both of our ancestral traditions and psychiatry that of the healer and of the humans. He needs love to ease his burdens. He needs values. He needs a society that respects man more than his products. Money in machines. And then I quoted from Harold Taylor who said Let us remember that the measure of man like the measure of civilization lies in the way that each responds to the demand for imaginative thinking for the solutions of human problems and for the enrichment of human life.
Perhaps we're entering an era where science can give answers to these humanistic problems and at the same time find more plausible explanations of human behavior for illness and its many manifestations. I think what we're seeing is very exciting. I think the future may be a very exciting future where. Some of the things that we've been talking about are. Going to become part of our. Very life and we may have a chance to see a healthier we're on. Next week you will hear Dr. Doolittle who will be joined by Dr. Lawrence Cobb of Columbia University as they discuss the community and mental health on the next program from the series human behavior social and medical research. We extend our special thanks to the Mental Health Research Institute of the University of Michigan for their assistance when Phillips speaking asking that you join us
- Aspects of mental health
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- University of Michigan
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- University of Maryland (College Park, Maryland)
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- This program focuses on safeguards against mental illness. Guest are Paul Dudley White, M.D., Boston, Mass.; and Leonard J. Duhl, M.D.
- A documentary series on the role of behavioral sciences and medical research.
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Host: Canham, Erwin D. (Erwin Dain), 1904-1982
Interviewee: White, Paul Dudley, 1886-1973
Interviewee: Duhl, Leonard J.
Producing Organization: University of Michigan
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University of Maryland
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