An article about regret and mental health by Moya Sarner, published at:
Being able to feel regret – the right kind of regret, which can be understood, worked through and can lead to remorse and repair – is the strongest sign of a life meaningfully lived, of a healthy mind. “That’s not an easy thing to do,” Wrottesley says, “but with practice, it does get easier, because the more we can allow ourselves to make mistakes, if we can learn from them, the fewer mistakes we make. But the hope is that over the long course of treatment – between five and 10 years or more for her most disturbed patients – she can repair some of the psychological damage from neglect and abuse in their early lives, and their regret can become focused on others rather than the self. Yet, strange as it sounds, there are people for whom this kind of regret can become a safe haven, because it can protect them from the pain and risks of living a full life.