We’ve all come to know of German philosopher Karl Marx’s famous saying about religion. Religion is the “opium of the people.” He wasn’t exactly incorrect or unsympathetic to religion. He did rightly observe that indeed religion is at “the heart of a heartless world, and the soul of soulless conditions.”
Where he’s wrong is in his view that religion is an “illusory happiness” to society’s pains, much like an opiate. While opiates enable people to forget their pain, they don’t address the underlying suffering, whereas religion places great emphasis on behavior and how to act, which can change our view on our suffering, lead us to action and change our circumstances.
Religion is a viewpoint. It’s an adherence to some truth vs a lie, which can have a much larger positive behavioral impact on someone than just forgetting their pain. Religion can embolden many to act – rightly or wrongly – not just forget. And when used well, can empower as well as instill accountability, forgiveness and gratefulness. These are all powerful motivators to create positive outlooks and behaviors.
Fast forward, you might look at today’s behavioral health services as similar to religious institutions. They affect behavioral change through their processes and some reconstruct the religious body of members and community support through coaches, volunteers, and a slew of therapists. It’s been 150 years since Marx said his infamous words. I wonder what he would say about the rise of behavioral health services today. Perhaps he would say these services, much like religion, only provide “illusory happiness.”
I wouldn’t agree, as you can tell. While these services in and of themselves won’t solve the problem, they’re a positive development. There is a rise of such services and venture capital pouring into them. That’s why we’re hosting SplashX Invent Health – Behavioral and Mental Health. Our focus will be mainly on services that affect behavioral change as a treatment to mental well-being from life’s simple stresses to serious mental disorder comorbid with chronic illnesses.
If you’re passionate about the topic, we hope you join us and contribute to the discussion on June 21 at SplashX Invent Health hosted by HP and Vator. Join us!
Here’s my latest round-up of interesting stories touching on this topic. Sometimes I just list these pieces. But in this round-up, I’m going to share my opinions about them.
Therapies, medication won’t help; A change of parenting will!
I pretty much agree a ton with this piece: Therapy, medication won’t help teens mental health crisis
It is true that many teenagers are finding themselves in prolonged emotional crises….