Oct. 10 marks World Mental Health Day. I revisit my column from a month ago and give a pathway to some forms of mental illness and what we can do about it.
Last month I opened up about mental health and how we need to bring it to the forefront of discussion. A lot of you may have been left wondering what mental health is exactly. Mental health by definition is a person’s condition with regard to their psychological and emotional well-being.
I think a lot of the reason about why mental health is so new to us is because we don’t fully understand it yet. It is relatively new in the medical field and is a fast rising issue in today’s world. This week felt better than any other to help introduce to those who are not familiar. Oct. 7 to Oct. 13 marks Mental Health Awareness Week.
I always seemed to brush back the topic of mental health because I really never understood it. That is until I had friends and family members go through it with anxiety and severe depression.
In addition to anxiety and depression, there are many different forms of mental illnesses. Bipolar mood disorder, personality disorders, trauma and eating disorders, to name a few. The most common are anxiety and depression.
After exchanging emails and conversations with doctors in recent weeks, I was told that more people are suffering from psychological distress more than ever. More than 8.3 million people suffer from this.
Serious psychological distress is a combination of a person feeling sadness, worthlessness, and restlessness that gets strong enough to get a person to impair their emotional and physical well-being. Another alarming statistic that I was told was that the number of teenagers admitting to thoughts of suicide has doubled in the last decade.
So, I asked why. This can be a multitude of reasons. Increased parental pressures, the increase in terroristic events, the pressure all teenagers face now days. The pressures can range from social media, trying to impress everybody to performance in sports and academics to appease friends and parents. Increased financial pressure and reduced sleep are also factors. Being exposed to abusive behavior evidenced by the frightening rise in child and domestic abuse. The rise in usage of electronic media and the decline in social interaction were also mentioned.
So, what is the solution? I feel that there probably isn’t a solution that is easy. As is the situation with many difficult topics in the world today. Keep in mind that outside of the types of illnesses and the reasons I listed are only a short list of the many, many different cases out there. My solution and our solution should be is to carefully re-examine the contributing factors and adopt a healthy change. However, with how we got here as a society due to the contributing factors, I don’t see it getting better before it gets much worse.