Usually phrases like the above are horrid cliches often used in negative ways to tell people to do things that they are not ready for.
So then, why do I have it as a title? My life has been a tad topsy turvy lately, two of my closest friends have been suffering the ill effects of depression and mental ill health whilst I myself have been on the opposite end of the spectrum so to speak, finding myself getting a job, being told many many positive things about myself by a senior university lecturer and just finding a lot of things clicking into place. For my friends to be worse for wear though, that was eating away at me, my heart was slowly being destroyed as I worried about them both.
However, one of them who I am very close to, they were willing to be 100% honest with me and to share everything with me. They were brave enough to listen to what I had to say and despite not wanting to do the thing that would make them better, they found the courage to do so.
I go over in my mind and in my emails/texts to see the messages that I have shared with people, and I look at where I am, and where they are now. I don’t think anyone of my friends has shown anything over than great bravery to talk to me, their friends, and/or a professional about their mental health issues. They’ve all taken very very tough decisions, but ultimately the short term difficulty from taking those decisions was worth it for the successes that were achieved in the medium to long term.
This story from the Guardian asks why British children are so unhappy. Anyone trying to give a single answer to this question would be extremely naive. There can be all manner of studies, research and opinions on it, but ultimately it comes down to the individuals.
I personally believe that we need remove the culture of consumerism as the article suggests. Far too many young people are obsessed with the latest technology and consumer goods, but contrary to popular belief I do not agree that they are constantly stuck indoors playing computer games. I feel that the media portrays young people in a negative manner, whilst its reporting of social issues such as drinking and smoking as well as sex can cause, certainly in sensitive and suggestible young people, a lack of confidence and the belief that they are somehow abnormal. Why the media sees fit to generalise in such a manner, and to imply that almost all the nation’s children are going out drinking at 11pm at night, I do not understand.
Everyone is unique, and they have their own ways of dealing with things and reacting to things. No single mind is the same, and it frustrates me that the media has an agenda to push that all young people are the same when we really are not.
I would argue that the media has a significant influence on people, it causes us to change our views about things and about people, so when it pushes a certain agenda which is inaccurate only those who take the time to question it see that it is a generalisation.
I find myself avoiding newspapers and the news as much as possible, despite being a Politics student, because it is full of bad news, as bad news is what sells. There is a lot I disagree strongly with, and it upsets me to read. I’m sure I am not the only one. Something must be done to have the image of young people improved in the eyes of the media.
What does this have to do with mental health? Well, I believe that it does us no favours to constantly see things that society is supposedly telling us to do, when in fact it’s the media telling us society wants us to go out and get drunk every night, to have wild sex and to take drugs. Some people don’t do these things and see themselves as outcasts, abnormal. Combine this with irrational thinking that often comes with mental health issues and you have a recipe for disaster.
I’m sorry this is such a random blog post, it represents my state of mind as it currently stands and I always like to write honestly and as a representation of my beliefs at one particular moment.
I just wanted to express that it’s easy for us to do the easy things and look for easy ways out. To ask for help indirectly, but it’s the more difficult things that really make us who we are, that get us through the tough times.
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