With more technological advancement and ease of life for humankind on one hand, we have seen an equal (if not more) increase in the amount of mental health issues in the new generations. It is an important topic that has been considered taboo for way too long. With more and more people suffering from a bad mental health, the best thing we can do is talk about it and increase awareness among people, specially parents, regarding it. We need to normalize it, to embrace the fact that it is normal to suffer from depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, substance-abuse disorder, eating disorder, personality or psychotic disorder. If we don’t address the fact that there is a problem, we would never find a solution for it, and that is when the real problem arises.
Does Social Media Have Anything To Do With It?
The truth is, as much as social media has helped to eased things for us, it has also contributed to decreasing our self-confidence as a generation. When we see so many people around us living their best lives and achieving so much, it messes with our heads. And that has not only accelerated the number of mental health issues globally, it has also increased the problem of not addressing these issues. Because when we look at people being so happy, we don’t want to admit that we don’t and intentionally or unintentionally enter into a competition of who is doing better. We don’t see the problems they face, the struggles they overcame, the hard work behind getting the job they’re boasting about on Instagram, the different opportunities that were available to them. No, we just immediately get stuck in a constant cycle of what they have and we don’t.
However, all is not lost and there are also many people using their platforms to increase awareness about mental health. There has also been an increase in the number of celebrities recently who have started talking about this and how they suffer from mental health issues. This has not only helped to normalize it but also goes on to show how everything that is portrayed on social media is not how it actually is.
What Can We Do?
Talking about it is the main solution to the problem of an increase in mental health concerns. Not talking and pretending it doesn’t exist would take us nowhere, and we have been doing it for far too long. Even today, in many countries and cultures, the existence of mental health problems is not acknowledged and going to a therapist is looked down upon. However, this only causes further problems and people suffering from depression, anxiety or any other mental health problem end up being harmful to themselves and people around them.
Parents and teachers alike need to understand that mental health problems are as normal as a physical injury and there are solutions to these problems. Therapy should be made available at all schools. Young, impressionable minds should not be exposed to social media very early on. Personalities should be allowed to develop on their own without being compared to people around the world.