Too many people I know are struggling under the weight of Anxiety and Depression. Obviously it is not just limited to people I know well or even at all, it is people I hear about, read about, neighbours and people I do business with. It breaks my heart because I have been there and I know how truly awful it is and every time I see another person suffering I can't help but lose a little hope and suffer along with them.
Why does it seem that more and more of us are being touched by it. Is it because the stigma is no longer so strongly attached and we are just simply more comfortable talking about it with each other? Were there just as many people affected by it 10 years ago as there are today, but we just didn't know what to call it or have the level of awareness that we do today?
I'm holding my breath as I write these words - But are we partially responsible for our own demise?
When I think about myself and please understand I am not generalising and saying everyone is the same as me, but when I take a good long hard look at myself and my own behaviour, I can summarise it in very simple terms. I want to do it all, be it all and have it all.
A common part of human nature is our ambition and drive to do better or be better. It could be that we want to excel in our chosen profession, be the best parents ever to our kids, keep the perfect home or buy the perfect house. We may strive to be healthier, fitter, skinnier. Maybe we want all of the above, but at what price? What kind of pressure are we putting ourselves under?
Who says we have to be everything to everyone? Is someone holding us to it or does the expectations come from ourselves? Is society to blame or are we just being our own worse enemy?
The pressure to be everything is certainly out there. It is increasingly common for women in this day and age to be juggling full time jobs with a baby on their hip. For men and women to be working longer hours to afford the payments on the mortgage and pay for the medical expenses, schooling and extra curricular activities. Some are trying to do it all whilst starting up their own business so they can hopefully afford to steal a few more moments with their loved ones in a waking day.
Stay At Home Mums and Dads certainly don't have it any easier. They are not just expected to care for and raise the children in a loving environment. There is an unspoken pressure on them to also maintain a perfect home, cook nutritious meals, have the kids participate in various activities or lessons all the while volunteering their time at the school canteen, various committees AND complete a bathroom renovation.
OK I may be over exaggerating a little, but then again maybe I am not.
You just need to take a look at the over-complicated bills that we are paying these days. They aren't just the normal utility bills like gas and electricity and rates any more. There are bills from orthodontists, chiropractors, pediatricians, podiatrists, child psychologists, dermatologists, allergy specialists, speech therapists, occupational therapists, swimming lessons, music lessons, football registration, netball fees, basketball clinics and that's just for the kids. No wonder we are so damn stressed.
And to top it all off we try to manage something that kinda resembles a social life, remember to book in a date night and possibly even sex with our partners and all with a smile on our face and a cheery hello when we bump into anyone we know.
It is no wonder Depression and Anxiety is running rife, hell I am surprised we are not all running around the streets naked with a football under our arms and singing the National Anthem or something equally as bizarre.
I know that Depression and Anxiety is caused by so many factors including chemical imbalances, grief and neurological disorders, but we can remove some of the additional stresses in our lives that exacerbate the condition.
It is time to slow down people and be a little kinder to ourselves, relieve some of the pressure and lower our own expectations. No one is going to do it for us, it is our own responsibility and it is something every single one of us owes ourselves AND our children who are watching and learning from us.
Emotional Rant over. As you were.
Today is World Mental Health Day 2012. For further information please visit this website.
Do you burden yourself with pressure or have you set your own bar too high?
Do you find yourself wanting to do it all, be it all and have it all or am I just a raving looney that is over watching people I care about struggle?