Whenever I have looked through a paper or a news website over the years, I have often come across news stories that go into how so many people are suffering mentally and emotionally. What often comes up is that these people’s lives are being derailed by anxiety, depression and/or suicidal feelings.
After I hear about things like this, I am rarely shocked by what I here. One of the reasons for this is that I think society is dysfunctional, which is why I think that it is more of a surprise if someone hasn’t got mental and emotional problems than it is if someone has.
A Number of Factors
What plays a big part in what someone’s mental and emotional is like as an adult is what their early years were like. If this was a time when they were abused and/or neglected, it can be normal for them to suffer as an adult.
The trouble is that even if this was a time when they didn’t get what they needed to grow and develop in the right way, it doesn’t mean that they will actually realise this. They might have created all kinds of defences, defences that would have been created to allow them to survive their early years.
Through having a less-than nurturing childhood, they can end up with a number of different issues. With this in mind, if they were to look into why they are depressed and/or suffer from anxiety, for instance, they may find that these are the effects of what happened when they were growing up.
To look deeper and to find out what is going on, and then to deal with the cause, would be the ideal. But, out of their need to avoid pain and through having the need to stay loyal to their parents (and to protect them), they can end up living on the surface of themselves.
As a result of this, they can come to the conclusion that the reason they feel this way is due to a ‘chemical imbalance’. Now, they might have an imbalance within them, but this is unlikely to be something that just happened.
There is going to be a reason why their brain is not working in the right way, and it could be due to the trauma that they experienced early on. Yet, in the same way that their time in the education system most likely won’t have allowed them to develop self-awareness and self-knowledge, they are unlikely to be given the guidance that they need if they were to see their Doctor.
Not only would their early years have affected their brain, these years would have also had an impact on their gut. And while the mind is often seen as the most important area when it comes to mental health, it is actually the stomach that plays a bigger role.
If this part of their body is not in a good way, it is going to be incredibly difficult for them to function at their best. What this also means is that even if someone’s early years were not abusive, they could destroy their mental and emotional health through having a bad diet.
One of the things that ruin the gut microbes is sugar, and so much of what is eaten in today’s world is full of sugar. Ultimately, a poor diet leads to poor mental and emotional health; it’s as simple as that.
Along with the diet, what is also going to make it harder for someone to function is if they don’t have close connections with others. Speaking to people online, for example, can’t replace real relationships.
One Step Back
If someone had a dysfunctional childhood, it can mean that they didn’t get the guidance that they needed to be able to develop connections with others. In fact, what could feel safer is to keep people at a distance.
Naturally, this is going to cause them to suffer; not only will they find it hard to regulate their own emotions (system), but they will rarely have anyone around them who will be able to help them to do this. However, while someone can experience life in this way due to having a rough childhood, they could have lots of people in their life.
They are then going to spend a lot of time around others, but this doesn’t mean that they will fully show up. Instead, they can be someone who generally covers up how they feel, which will mean that these people won’t know what is really going on for them.
Due to what happened in the beginning of their life, they are likely to feel as though there is something inherently wrong with them. This is then why they need to put on an act and to hide their true-self.
Perhaps this is why so many people suffer in silence even though they are surrounded by family and friends. So, as childhood abuse is so common, the education system rarely allows people to understand themselves (it usually does the opposite), a lot of the food today is poor, technology often replaces real relationships, and so much of the modern day world is about escapism, I would say that it would be a real shock for mental and emotional problems to be the exception as opposed to the rule.
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Oliver JR Cooper
Oliver JR Cooper
Author of 25 books, Transformational Writer, Teacher & Consultant.
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That which is contained within these articles is based on my own empirical understanding and is true for me at the time they were written. However, as I continue to grow, what I perceive as the truth will inevitably change and as a result of this - parts of these articles may not reflect my current outlook.