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To wonder why anxiety and depression are so prevalent?

(149 Posts)
Triplesalchow Fri 01-Dec-17 14:53:53

I am struggling dreadfully at the moment. I have had anxiety for a long time and recently I feel things slipping into depression. I'm getting some professional help.
I'm reluctant to share with many people close to me as I worry they will think I'm jumping on some kind of bandwagon. I know so many people with similar issues, people at work are off sick with it and you can read about how common it is in the media daily. Why is that the case? Was it always like this but it's just being talked about/ diagnosed now? Is it modern living? In which case why can't we as society change our lives to improve our mental health? Nothing really happened in my life to trigger it. Anyone got any insight into this?

BeerBaby Fri 01-Dec-17 15:00:25

I believe it's the stresses of modern day life. Were always looking for stimulation. Were bombarded by things to see, hear, do etc. Were addicted to screens. Our lives have become over complicated very quickly with 24/7 culture.

This has happened in a very short space of time and evolutionary we've not caught up.

Also we're not a healthy culture. We don't generally look at the good things or have gratitude for what we have. We just want more.

Also our communities have been destroyed by commuting. Full time work, shifts etc so our support networks have decreased.

Triplesalchow Fri 01-Dec-17 15:06:19

That is all so sad and depressing. Feels like out of our control...

easyReader Fri 01-Dec-17 15:07:09

I don't think it is, I think people are simply less adept at dealing with stress.

They also understand that they don't have to deal with it; the safety net is there for them to be "off sick" with it.

I also agree that there's some bandwagon-jumping.

AdalindSchade Fri 01-Dec-17 15:08:15

Life is pretty crap
Everything is expensive and it's now the norm to run out of money every month rather than have a savings cushion for many people
Working long hours means relationships and friendships suffer
Smartphones destroy concentration spans and ability to enjoy low tech pastimes
Imposter syndrome and fomo
Globalisation of media meaning we know everything about everywhere making the world seem more frightening and dangerous when objectively it is less dangerous than it used to be
Obesity and fast food
So much other stuff. Modern life isn't conducive to good mental health.

elliejjtiny Fri 01-Dec-17 15:11:07

I think it's a number of things. It's definitely talked about more. There is less stigma about having mental health issues. It wasn't that long ago that people with mental health issues were locked up in institutions and never mentioned again. Also there is the genetic factor. People with mental health conditions who would have been locked up in institutions are now living in the community, having relationships and having children. I'm not sure if the suicide rates have decreased.

gemdrop84 Fri 01-Dec-17 15:12:13

It's something I often wonder about. Have a look at Ruby Wax Ted Talks on YouTube-What's so funny about mental illness. She basically says our primitive brain cannot cope with modern day life. In cave man days we would face predators and kill or be killed. These days we have the same physical response under stresses but (and I quote Ruby) we cannot kill the traffic warden/estate agent/ex husband! So it builds up, effecting our brain chemistry and causing these mental health illnesses.

Breakfastat Fri 01-Dec-17 15:13:47

Because we aren’t taught how to look after our mental health, on how to understand, feel and manage our emotions. For example self love, mediation, journaling, exercise. Yet it’s drummed in to us from a young age that we must eat 5 fruit or veg a day and brush our teeth etc

MoistCantaloupe Fri 01-Dec-17 15:18:41

I think the bandwagon thing is mainly people misusing the words.
Not understanding the difference between feeling anxious a lot, and having anxiety and panic disorder which can be disabling. Or feel stressed and low, and calling it depression.

I disagree it's because people do not know how to cope with stress, as we see highly organised, motived, powerful people dealing with anxieties or depression. Definitely daily habits, living, lack of self care, need to please others and being judged etc. Lack of authenticity and vulnerability as people try to be the 'best version of themselves' for others. And a genetic factor as well too. Lots goes into it I think!

BackInTheRoom Fri 01-Dec-17 15:19:08

Look into the link between gut Microbiota and anxiety.

scortja Fri 01-Dec-17 16:28:25

This is a really good article

The demoralised mind

"[demoralisations] driving features – individualism, materialism, hyper-competition, greed, over-complication, overwork, hurriedness and debt – all correlate negatively with psychological health and/or social wellbeing."

Triplesalchow Fri 01-Dec-17 18:37:25

Lots of interesting points. I'm going to check out the ted talk and that you tube video when I've time later. The article looks really interesting too. Had a quick read and makes a lot of sense. Thanks for replying. I am going to focus on reducing the consumerism, technology and stuff that stresses me out and lead a simpler life... I agree we need to be teaching our kids how to deal with emotions and how to look after their mental health.

BeerBaby Fri 01-Dec-17 18:42:50

I get depression and anxiety sometimes and the best things for me are reading books, going for walks and really just putting the balance back into life. It's good to stand back and just take time out from it.

OldWitch00 Fri 01-Dec-17 18:44:57

part of it is a choice. honestly you can jump off the merry go round and learn to be happy with less. you can slow down a hectic life and enjoy every day. would you be happier with a simpler life?

Crumbs1 Fri 01-Dec-17 18:47:35

I think there are lots of reasons including higher stress living, greater expectations of success, more marriage break up and single families.
Then we mollycoddle our children more and they are losing the ability to deal with problems themselves. We understandably want our children to be ever happy, ever content, to live a perfect life with all their problems sorted for them. I think that’s really damaging and isn’t preparation for later childhood and adulthood. We probably need to trust our children more and allow them to take more risks.
We’ve also pathologists minor angst. It’s normal for teenagers to be gloomy, to think everyone hates them, to worry about exams, to burst into tears for no good reason. Now we tell them they have mental health difficulties and take them to be treated instead of providing simple reassurance. That’s not to say there aren’t serious mental health problems that rear their head in teen years but they are quite rare.
I also ( sorry) think babies stuck in nurseries for long hours with care workers who are paid a pittance from a very young age are more likely to suffer later difficulties related to separation and attachment. I understand there is often not much choice but I do think it has consequences.

RickGrimesStoleMyHat Fri 01-Dec-17 18:50:39

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

JamPasty Fri 01-Dec-17 18:52:15

I don't think it is, I think people are simply less adept at dealing with stress. They also understand that they don't have to deal with it; the safety net is there for them to be "off sick" with it.

Bullshit. We don't go off sick because we can't be arsed to deal with it. We go off sick when we're not able to deal with it any longer.

PerpetualStudent Fri 01-Dec-17 18:53:30

I think the construction of mental health in Western medicine is an insiduous way of ensuring those who feel the most unease and dissatisfaction at our hyper-capitalistic, neoliberal society are corralled into seeing their perspective as an indvidual fault and coerced into pouring their energies into self improvement, instead of mobilising in communal action to bring about the fall of capitalism.
Im a hoot at parties....

CitrusSun Fri 01-Dec-17 18:56:39

I wish our kids had some guidance on this stuff in their curriculum, Life is bloody tough and I would rather there be some guidance on keeping well physically and mentally than some of the lessons they have, also gentle introduction to managing money in the real world, surely this type of thing would be beneficial for secondary school age kids in prep for later life

alltheworld Fri 01-Dec-17 18:56:48

I have been wondering the same thing. Seems to me that depression has always been around but that anxiety has become much more prevalent over the past decade or so.

dimsum123 Fri 01-Dec-17 18:58:07

I suffer from depression and anxiety and know many others who do too, but also others who appear to be immune.

I know my problems stem from a childhood of neglect and abuse. A lack of love, care, attention and affection as a child can literally affect the brain's development and make it much more likely you will suffer from mental health issues as an adult.

Vitalogy Fri 01-Dec-17 19:03:12

We've lost touch with nature whilst at the same time destroying it I was just coming on here to say the same. We need to get in touch with the inner self again, meditation can help with this. Learning to just "be". All the noise and constant stimulation of the senses stops us from doing this.

Wormysquirmy Fri 01-Dec-17 19:03:35

perpetual I'd like to meet you at a party! I think there is a lot of truth in what you write.

I think our gut microbiology has changed hugely due to diet/antibiotics/cleaner living/fluoridated water. Success is seen as going off to uni and moving far away. Families are rarely close by. Communities are less prevalent. Finallly, constant stimulation from social media is literally buggering and we can no longer be bored

OldWitch00 Fri 01-Dec-17 19:04:06

i'm sure there's a genetic component as well not just a learned response to stressors.
I agree that people want instant relief from stressors and have lost the ability to long term plan.

DavidPuddy Fri 01-Dec-17 19:06:26

I don't see how it can be down to our children being mollycoddled when presumably many of those having anxiety have not been children for a long time and are more like to be of a generation "mastered" by their parents.

This term was specifically used by my grandmother when talking about new born babies, by the way.

I have often wondered if the fashion for tough-parenting, CIO, etc. in previous times has been a cause of the apparent prevalence of anxiety in many people now.

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