Warning – this blog gets into some discussion of society and where I see anxiety causing stresses originate. It is my opinion and my experience on my road to recovery – please do not be offended if these thoughts do not align with your political ideology.
You know there seems to be a lot more depression and anxiety around to day than there used to be – maybe it’s true or maybe it’s a perception. Is it just that we are all older now and see the grown up problems when, as kids we were oblivious to it. Because back in the old days (there you go, I must be getting old) kids were allowed to be kids and have fun as they learn and as they grow. Nowadays we seem to molly coddle and wrap our kids in cotton wool while schools hammer them with homework to get as much ‘learning’ done as they can.
Seriously though, what is the point of flooding our future grown ups with so much irrelevant crap that all we really are doing in filling them full of anxiety – I mean who decided that everyone should go to university and get a degree? All we are doing is creating a future population of highly educated unemployed – where are the tradespeople and unskilled workers going to come from? I on’t want this to get into a long political debate because that isn’t what this is about – this new social model just seems to be bent on creating high levels of anxiety in our kids rather than letting them get outside and learn as they play.
Then this anxiety becomes the norm, the anxious kids become anxious adults and develop depression because they don’t think they can achieve what their parents, friends and society want them to. Depression then sets in and becomes the norm – until eventually some bright spark in the government asks why there seems to be an increase in suicide rates…
Social media, yes folks including blogging, also seems to be adding to the mix. It now is possible for everyone (apart from a small group) to have access to self promotion and having themselves ‘heard’ by many. What used to be a soapbox in the park is now a Facebook page, a Twitter account, Instagram, Snapchat, LinkedIn or even a website. And these electronic soapboxes allow for so many more people so see and hear the opinions of people who generally may not be following the social norms where previously these opinions were only heard in the pub or by people walking by in the park or people reading the placards of the person walking up and down the street.
So as the majority can more easily see the opinions of these minority groups, individuals start to wonder what is right and what is wrong, what is true and what is false. Once again causing anxiety.
It used to be the case that of an evening a household would sit down for dinner together and talk about the events of the day – opinions and experiences would be shared and the ‘air would be cleaned’. The family dinners seem to be falling away with parents too busy to cook and the kids either too busy with their homework (because they have to get into university) or on their electronic device doing something parents have no idea about. At least with homework parents can attempt to interact with their offspring – even if they also have no idea what it is about – and generally the kids are happy for the distraction – but with the electronic devices… well just try to leverage your youngster away from killing all those people in the latest version of Grand Theft Auto or Call of Duty…. The ability for families to sit together and talk is disappearing.
There have always been outlets for individuals to talk and get their emotions expressed – the “traditional” stay at home mums used to have the sewing groups, the book clubs, the gin afternoons and other social activities where the women would get together and talk about their problems – including that grumpy git of a husband who comes home from the pub in time to watch the news and have dinner. Of course the husband had been at the pub after work talking with his mates about the problems he was having – including the nagging wife who didn’t like watching the news.
Society has changed so that these are no longer the norm – the informal counselling sessions, as right or wrong as they have been, have dropped away. Men and women are equal and everyone has the right to do as they see best for them, within broad socially accepted guidelines – traditional roles and responsibilities have eroded and it is difficult for some people to know where they fit and what their role in life is. Another cause of anxiety.
The world is a changing place and technology, while a massive help in some areas, also seems to be the cause of a lot of stress and anxiety. From the kids on their games no longer engaging in family discussions through the 24 hour news cycle to the ease with which cyberbullying can occur – there really is no escape from the pressures of life and society – stress and anxiety increase, the need for more formal therapy evolves, pharmaceutical use increases but still depression reigns supreme and suicide rates increase.
Maybe we need to look at a new model for society – I know my stress levels have reduced considerably since I stopped watching the news, reading news sites and even unfollowing (or unfriending) the majority of ‘radical loonies’ who were my ‘friends’ on Facebook – bit I still maintain a good number of friends of varying ideologies because society and our knowledge can only improve if we allow differing opinions and views to be heard – what we must remember is balance is important and that free speech is a way to allow for the sharing of opinions, attitudes and stresses while relieving pressure and reducing anxiety.
*Guys, please remember these are my experiences and are expressed here to demonstrate how I perceive things and what I have done to fight through the conditions – feel free to comment or disagree with anything but please let’s not get into debates or arguments over ideologies.