Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Questions about mental health in our world today



Turn on the TV, there’s been a shooting.

Turn on the TV, there’s been a kidnapping.

Turn on the TV, there’s been a bombing.

Turn on the TV, there’s been tragic accident.

Turn on the TV, there’s been a natural disaster.

Do I sound like a broken record yet?

You can’t turn on the television, radio, or log onto the internet without being bombarded with negative news. I am starting to wonder if this is on purpose. Are we supposed to live in fear? Is it somehow easier to do that? Does it make us stronger to live in such a world that broadcasting all the bad all the time helps us be prepared for the next bad thing?

My next thought is, how is everyone’s mental health as a whole? Are we all really holding it together? Are we cracking at the seams slowly?

Let me take you back to another time of fear and shock. Let me take you back to the first real attack here on US soil. Let me tell you what I witnessed as an 18 year old girl in her first month as a college student. A girl who was going out to make something of herself in this wonderful world. A girl who is now shaped differently then she originally planned. September 11, 2001 changed me.

I worked at a grocery store during my first semester of college. I woke up, reacted to the news of what had just happened just like any person would. I was curious. I was shocked. I was confused. But I went on to work because that is what I was supposed to do. 

I watched grown adults come and go all day in different forms of emotions. There were people who knew people who were in that city that day. There were people who were firefighters who were called to protect our small town during that scary day. There were veterans who have fought in many wars and couldn’t comprehend what had happened that day.

Fast forward a few months. Many of these same people I encountered were now on antidepressants and anxiety medications. They couldn’t shake what had happened and it made them uncomfortable. It should make them uncomfortable. There is evil in this world that exists. There are people in this world who want nothing more than to see people suffer. 

Now fast forward almost 15 years I ask myself, in a time that we all argue about mental health, and the lack of information and care available, if we are all taking care of ourselves. Are we getting the help we need to help us through these tough times? Are we taking time for ourselves?

The answer scares me, because I for one have come into contact with people who have told me they can’t afford mental health. They can’t afford to pay to speak to someone about their pain. They don't have time for themselves. Is this really okay?

In the world as we know it today, we are all exposed to so much negative. What we see today, everyday on the news is like reliving the pain we all experienced on that first shock of 9/11. We see it magnified daily with all forms of tragedy. We see people tearing each other down on their own beliefs when these events happen.

When can we get a break? Are we going to be forced to just stop turning on our tvs, radios, and computers? Is that the answer?

What do you think? Is mental health becoming more of an issue because of the negativity we are exposed to on a daily basis or is it something bigger than that?

I’d love to have a conversation with you about this in the comments. I really am interested to see how others view this topic.


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