Our contemporary Western society, in spite of it's material, intellectual and political progress, is increasingly less conducive to mental health, and tends to undermine the inner security, happiness, reason and capacity for love in the individual; it tends to turn him into an automaton who pays for his human failure with increasing mental sickness, and with despair hidden under a frantic drive for work and so-called pleasure. Let us beware of defining mental hygiene as the prevention of symptoms.
Symptoms as such are not our enemy, but our friend; where there are symptoms there is conflict, and conflict always indicates that the forces of life which strive for integration and happiness are still fighting. The really hopeless victims of mental illness are to be found among those who to be most normal. Many of them are normal because they are so well adjusted to our mode of existence, because their human voice have been silenced so early in their lives, that they do not even struggle or suffer or develop symptoms as the neurotic does.
They are normal not in what may be called the absolute sense of the word, they are normal only in relation to a profoundly abnormal society. Their perfect adjustment to that abnormal society is a measure of their mental sickness. Their conformity is developing into something like uniformity. But uniformity and freedom are incompatible. Uniformity and mental health are incompatible too... Man is not made to be an automaton, and if he becomes one, the basis for mental health is destroyed.