Culture is an impacting fact in our lives and nothing can change this conceptualisation. Our origins mark our psychological/behavioural history and today I would like to write about this ambiguous and extensive relationship.
A few days ago I was chatting with a doctor about children and upbringing when I became aware of several factors that still occur today.
Even though this person has an academic background in Health and his day to day life deals with health as a whole, I found myself feeling incredulous of his views.
How could it be possible that he was not aware of such obvious problems that he did not even think of asking for the help of a psychologist to help his youngest son(?)
He told me that his youngest son, who was 14 years old, spent all his time locked in his room, that he was very distant, shy and did not talk much. I asked him how he interpreted this behaviour. He replied: "This is your area, you must understand it better than I do!
We started a deeper conversation, emotions, life history of the parents, and then I understood that even if you are a doctor, our culture (in Portugal), closed and prejudiced, continues to ignore and to devalue mental health.
Much has been done in recent years to lift this dense and heavy curtain that prevents us from seeing what is behind it, but it is still not enough.
The culture that was given/passed down and introjected into us has built a wall in our psychic life which is resistant and difficult to break down, preventing us from accessing the reason and logic of being.
Tearing down these walls and rebuilding bridges to our true self, to finally accept who we are and discover what we do not want to be, is hard work but it is worth it.
I would like to give you a new perspective from my reflection, to understand the impact of this transgenerationality that can be interpreted in many different ways, but they are all valid.
Awareness is created through the transformation of society, if there is greater awareness of the importance of mental health from the moment a person decides to become a parent.
They are going to generate a new being, so they must know that having a child is not only about having the financial conditions, but no less important is knowing if they, as adults, are in a good psychological condition to take this step.
The bonding of this new being begins to be important from the day they know they are "pregnant". A new and challenging task begins for the couple: knowing how to nurture the embryo/infant.
Nurturing is not only a matter of the woman having a good diet for the good development of the baby, but also of establishing an emotional connection of love and affection.
Not forgetting that this nutrition is part of a whole in the good physical and mental/psychological development of the baby. The mental factor is simply forgotten most of the time because for most people a baby has no memory of emotions, which is a big lie.
The baby feels all of his emotions from the moment he is an embryo.
It is not only the body that is formed during pregnancy. The personality, intelligence and traumas are also in gestation.
We could mitigate and get around a number of problems if there was a consultation which was added to the pregnant woman's medical career during pregnancy where the future father was also part of this psychological journey.
In conclusion, this problem exists and will continue to exist as long as there is no cultural re-education. It is urgent that a new perspective on the role of attachment emerges.
We must help those who don't know, and raise the awareness of those who undervalue it.