Nowadays, mental and emotional problems receive a lot of coverage in the media and there are plenty of people that talk about them on social media. Therefore, what is taking place is a far cry from how things used to be.
In the past, mental and emotional problems were rarely spoken about and, if someone was trying to work on their issues, they would often be labelled as someone who was working with a ‘shrink’. It was then not that they were doing the right thing by reaching out; no, it was as if they were doing something that was shameful.
A Lot Has Changed
What they were doing wasn’t right and they would have been working with someone who was just trying to pry into their life. In reality, this probably would have been someone who was actually trying to assist them.
Fortunately, reaching out for support is not always seen in this light and the people that offer support are generally seen in a different light, too. Ultimately, this is exactly how it should be.
If someone has a problem with their car or if they have a physical problem, they are likely to do something about it. They will have a problem and they will take the next step.
Shame has undoubtedly played a part in why so many people have kept their inner problems to themselves. They would then have been in a bad way, but the fear of being cast aside and even ostracised would have prevented them from reaching out and doing something about what they were going through.
A Slow Process
But for every person that does reach out for support, there are probably a number of people that keep what they are going through to themselves. For people like this, the view that they have more to lose than they have to gain by opening up will be causing them unnecessary problems.
Nonetheless, as more is done in society to encourage people to get the help that they need if they are not in a good way, it should gradually become easier for people like this to do something about what they are going through. For someone like this, it will be important for them to realise that having inner problems doesn’t make them unlovable or less-than anyone else.
It would be easy to say that what is taking place in society, when it comes to mental and emotional problems, is good. There is then nothing about it that is making matters worse and creating unnecessary problems.
However, what this would overlook is the fact that what it means to be human is slowly being redefined. For example, if someone experiences anxiety or feels down from time to time, they can be seen as someone who has mental and emotional problems.
Pathologizing the Human Experience
Someone can then come to believe that they have mental and emotional problems; when in truth, they might not have anything wrong with them. What they are experiencing can simply be a normal part of being human.
But, by being conditioned to believe that they have a problem, they can end up creating a problem out of nothing. One is then not going to develop a healthy relationship with their inner world or learn how to accept the different inner experiences that they have
After developing this outlook, they can pay a visit to their doctor and end up being put on medication. Not only might this stop them from feeling anxious or down, it might stop them from being able to feel altogether.
One of the things that makes them human – the ability to feel – will have been stripped from them, and this is going to make it a lot harder for them to enjoy their time on this earth. What this will do is allow the drug industry to make even more money; surely they wouldn’t be behind the all this just make more money?
Also, what this focus on mental and emotional problems has done is created the impression that it is normal to have them. It is then not that there is anything wrong with society or that one has experienced some kind of trauma; it is just that this is how life is.
This takes away the need to change what is going on in society and for people to deal with their own trauma. In other words, it is a great way to make people passive, to simply tolerate how the world is and to avoid their own inner wounds.
A Badge of Honour
And due to the amount of exposure that mental and emotional problems have had, there are people that have formed an identity around them. Their mind will have got attached to what is going on for them, which will make it even harder for them to change their life.
To this part of them, no longer having mental and emotional problems would be seen as something that would cause them to die. What this shows is that the mind can form an identity around anything.
A Big Difference
Anyway, while being anxious, fearful, depressed and angry, for instance, from time to time is just part of life, that doesn’t mean that always being this way is a normal part of life. If someone is practically always anxious, fearful, depressed and angry, for instance, it is likely to show that something isn’t right.
Apart from living in a very dysfunctional environment, this could show that someone is carrying a lot of trauma. What’s more, it could show that their diet is not good and are nutritionally deficient, they are not getting enough sleep or exercise, and that their relationships are not very fulfilling.
It could be said that while mainstream society has come a long way when it comes to mental and emotional heath, it has a very long way to go. For society to actually make people well as opposed to the opposite, it is clear that a lot needs to change.
Still, this doesn’t mean that someone just has to hang in there until this happens – this could take many decades anyhow. There are a number of things that someone can do, such as healing their inner wounds, eating the right foods, getting enough sleep, exercising, mediating, and having healthy relationships, for instance, and, as they do this, their influence can start to change the society that they live in.
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Oliver JR Cooper
Oliver JR Cooper
Author, Transformational Writer, Teacher & Consultant.
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.