On balance: lifestyle, mental health and wellbeing
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Given the supremacy of the biomedical model in defining our understanding and treatment of a wide range of physcial and psychological disorders, it is perhaps curious that simultaneously, scientists, clinicians, governments and patients routinely employ the concepts of "lifestyle" and "balance" to try to explain the causes of bodily disease and psychological disorder. Concurrently, the health advantages that are assumed to be inherent in a "balanced life" have been exploited by a rapidly expanding consumer market in "wellbeing"-by companies and individuals promoting food supplements, "wearable fitness", diet trends and the self-help material. Exploring the tension between the biomedical doctrine and the parallel preoccupation with balance and lifestyle has provided the impetus for this special issue. Emerging originally from papers presented at an interdisciplinary conference held at the University of Exeter in June 2015, and augmented by two further comment pieces, the collection of articles aims to explore the ways in which changing notions of "balance" have been used to understand the causes of mental illness; to rationalise new approaches to its treatment; and to validate advice relating to balance in work and family life.
The author like to thank the Wellcome Trust for funding the conference “On Balance: Lifestyle, Mental Health and Wellbeing”, hosted in conjunction with Professor Mark Jackson’s Wellcome Trust Senior Investigator award “Lifestyle, Health and Disease: Changing Concepts of Balance in Modern Medicine”.
This is the final version of the article. Available from Palgrave Macmillan via the DOI in this record.
Vol. 2, article 16075
Place of publication