Mental Health in 2021

January 17, 2021

Mental health. A topic of discussion that is being increasingly spoken of with greater importance. It’s getting the attention that it has needed for a very long time. We hope this invokes self-reflection regarding your own and of those around you.

Mental health diseases and disorders can be diagnosed. Commonly, anxiety or depression can manifest, among many. 18% of the US population, that’s 40 million people, suffer from anxiety per year, while 6.7%, or 16.1 million suffer from diagnosed depression. Those are reported numbers! The demands of the way we are asked to live and be, while confronting a multitude of expectations put upon us by the World and then us upon ourselves often results in anxiousness. When the mechanisms for coping with the anxiety begin to fall short in supporting, depression can quickly ensue, if it wasn’t already present. Depression can always be thought of ‘a part of you, either conscious, unconscious, or subconscious, thinking or feeling like it is living a way of life that is currently does not want to, imminently will, or had experienced’. Understanding this, the opportunity lies to reclaim our states of being, and perception of our sense of mental health.

The millennials and generation Z are particularly afflicted with challenges to their states of mental health. The World is asking individuals to know themselves more than ever, and know themselves earlier than ever, too. Many of them, through mediums like social media, dedicated time to experience, engage with, support upholding of their online identities, finding themselves often in inauthentic comparison, and immersing themselves as a form of distraction. Factor in increasing life responsibilities, relationships, substances, world events, education, studies, later nights and earlier mornings resulting in poorer sleep; the assault on sense of being body, mind, soul is an inevitability for the majority. Life Noise. Where is a place of refuge? Where can improvements be sought? Silence, and a space for contemplation, making sense and gaining clarity must be sought out if there is any hope of evolving out of this before getting absolutely smothered mentally.

We must first understand that all of us to a varying degree have some form of strain relating to our states of mental health. Some tolerate it, others cope, while some find themselves taking medications to support the symptoms stemming from the challenges being faced there. Psychosomatic, meaning body symptoms originating from psychological stress or psychological processes impacted can be pronounced; no one is spared from the important duty of acknowledging, at least, their own mental health. Take inventory of how your body feels when you feel stressed? Where do you go?

Interestingly, what many people are revered for is the exact response they had to the strain associated with their mental health. When something strains us, we have a tendency to rise up in such a way as to make sure it doesn’t happen again. We adapt, or maladapt. In there, compensatory behaviours, ways of thinking and acting can be what make people effective in what they are doing, but very often, at levels that aren’t sustainable. Burn out happens for many. Day offs to catch your breath, spend time with the strain, and find resolve for it is scarce as a time out can’t be taken in a fast paced world that demands relentless output. And so, in order to cope, behaviours adapt to lighten the burden of strain. The alleviation may benefit in the short term, but mental health suffers. Sleep, energy, concentration, sense of self, body mind and soul all get hit. This can spill over onto others and in other areas of our lives. Self-medication in various forms occurs. Medication, substance and alcohol use, sex, gambling, working more...

Life experiences that occurred at any point in life can leave a lasting impact on the state of one’s mental health. Many of these wounds that we carry are not seen. Sometimes by others, and not even ourselves.  The depth to which each of us was affected by them varies, too. How we acknowledge, cope, addressed, responded to, and continue to react to it is different, too.

The opportunity for addressing and bringing the greatest improvements to our mental health exist now, more than ever. The tools are here and are available. What is also present at the same time, are an abundant amount of sources of distractions, misinformation, hinderances and opportunities for perpetuations of debilitating our already challenged mental states.

So, how do you cope? If you don’t know, it’s time to find out.

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