I was listening to my podcast of The Writers Almanac with Garrison Keillor, and he shared some information about Dr. Karl Menninger, who I had not previously heard of. Seems Menninger, like Alfred Adler, opposed Sigmund Freud’s idea that mental health issues were the result of internal conflicts within a person, and instead looked to societal or social factors.
Adler and Menninger both seemed to agree on the idea that mental health is about developing social interest in people. What does that mean? I think this quote by Menninger that I heard cited today says it beautifully:
When Menninger was asked, “What should you do if you think you are having a mental breakdown?” Menninger replied, “Lock up your house, go across the railroad tracks, find someone in need and do something for them.”