April 29, 2021 – The term “languishing” was coined by sociologist Corey Keyes, PhD. His research has suggested that the absence of a mental disorder does not necessarily equate to mental health and well-being.

Instead of focusing on conditions like depression, Keyes favors an approach called “predictive health,” which monitors predictors and behaviors that are linked to positive mental health and well-being. 

Positive emotions, life satisfaction, a sense of meaning, interactions with society, and positive relationships are all concepts that are tied to our sense of mental well-being. Matthew Iasiello, MA, an Australia-based researcher and PhD candidate who studies well-being, tells Verywell that people who are languishing “are scoring poorly across those domains.”

At first glance, these people might seem depressed—but they’re not. Iasiello says that even though this group of people would not be diagnosed with a mental health condition, “they’re very far from getting the most out of life.”



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