A Times magazine article, “America Has Reached Peak Therapy. Why Is Our Mental Health Getting Worse?” discusses mental health and how “trends are going in the wrong direction.”
More people are seeking care, stigmas are being lifted yet depression, anxiety, stress and suicide rates are rising. Experts think the lack of mental wellness can be “down to the very foundations of modern psychiatry.”
While the therapeutic field is nowhere near where it needs to be, restructuring is not going to improve the current mental health crisis. There is a deeper issue that no amount of improved therapy could solve, and if we want to improve mental health, we need to focus on the root cause of why and how we got here.
Ignorance of thoughts and emotions
They have taught us what to think, that materialistic possessions, vanity and other people’s opinions are the most important things. It’s led to a society of people who lost track of their values and stress about inconsequential things, like how many people comment on a social media post or if their suit is pressed enough to make the “perfect” impression.
They have also taught us what to feel. Nothing. They have trained us to sabotage ourselves and ignore our intuition and emotions based on the idiotic notion that life is a contest of strength and wills. Maybe emotions were not ideal when we were running from lions, but since that is no longer a concern, not focusing on emotions is like sending a telegraph. We are rejecting the very resources that help us.
Leads to a mental health crisis
Both occurrences produce a society of individuals that are easily manipulated by marketing and mass media. People trained to believe the world is an awful place and that if they buy things or get that oh so perfect hair or face then everything will be ok.
They get stuck in loops of thought that do not seem to go away and create a taxing mental load. When, if taught how to manage thoughts, the looping would fade and alignment with goals would be the expectation.
We’re here because we are holding ourselves back
People aren’t ready to rise to a new consciousness because the things holding them back are still serving them. The fleeting feeling that alcohol gives them is worth it, even though it makes them feel worse the next day.
Most people do not have the cognitive skills to manage emotions. They feel stuck, and turn to drinking, fucking or other coping mechanisms. Unfortunately for some, drinking soon doesn’t become enough and they find other outlets like hard drugs. The only thing that separates a Wall Street broker from a drug addict is their location and circumstances.
The only difference between a drug addict and a shopping addict is semantics. They are both doing the same thing, escaping emotions they have not been taught to manage.
The cure is education
Lack of education, and not knowing there is a better way, is the genesis of the mental health crisis. We are meant for greater things and we are limiting ourselves, which is contributing to pain. A pain that if felt (instead of numbed with alcohol, sex, binge watching, workaholism, etc), would lead most people to improve their life. But since we ignore it, turns into gossiping, obsessions with celebrities and the need to buy more things.
In a world of luxury, we became lazy and forgot that true happiness comes from learning, growing, and pushing our limits. With thought and emotional education, people will learn there is a better way. They’ll learn that accepting emotions makes dealing with them easier and that emotions are helpful, even if they cause temporary discomfort.
As someone who faced the pain and came out better for it, I hope you give yourself a chance. Because, for lack of better terminology, this shit (people reducing and numbing themselves) is painful to watch.