The freedom vs. health paradox

Main Article Content

Craig Hassed


We all want to be free but freedom is both an outer and an inner state. For example, we want to be free of the suffering brought about by external factors such as oppression, bullying, injustice, discrimination, deprivation and illness. We also want to be free inwardly in the sense of being free of the suffering brought on by internal factors such as worry, anxiety, fear, depression, obsession, compulsion, addiction and attachment. There may however be a paradox in our pursuit of freedom in that we tend to pursue the former without paying much attention to the latter. As a result we may find the opposite of what we seek – freedom, health, happiness – because outer freedom is actually dependent upon inner freedom.

In this article we will explore how unfettered freedom is central to the causation of poor mental and physical health whereas, paradoxically, freedom, health and happiness are brought about by discipline, reason, restraint and setting limits.

Article Details

How to Cite
Hassed, C. (2017). The freedom vs. health paradox. The International Journal of Whole Person Care, 4(1).
Author Biography

Craig Hassed, Department of General Practice Monash University

Associate Professor

Department of General Practice

Monash University


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