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October 19, 2020

The Human Mind


When a trout rising to a fly gets hooked on a line and finds himself unable to swim about freely, he begins a fight which results in struggles and splashes and sometimes an escape. Often, of course, the situation is too tough for him.

In the same way the human being struggles with his environment and with the hooks that catch him. His struggle are all that the world sees and it usually misunderstands them. It is hard for a free fish to understand what is happening to a hooked one.

Sooner of later, however, most of us get hooked. How much of a fight we have on our hands then depends on the hook, and, of course, on us. If the struggle gets too violent, if it throws us out of the water, if we run afoul of other struggles, we become “cases” in need of help and understanding. Statistics say that one out of every twenty of us is , or has been, or will be, in a hospital for mental illness: and the other nineteen of us don’t feel any too comfortable all of the time, even if we have no fears of such an extremity. The minor symptoms of the struggle are legion; mental ill health is certainly as common as physical ill health and probably much more so. Cicero said: “The diseases of the mind are more numerous and more destructive than those of the body.” He was right. But they are not always recognized as such.

Karl A. Menninger

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