The mental health of Americans has been in decline for years. Don’t let the political talking points fool you into thinking this is pandemic related. Shutdowns, masks, social distancing, and all the other things that happened due to the pandemic did not cause a spike in mental health issues like depression out of nowhere. The spike was already happening.
And on and on. No matter the struggle, there will always be someone there to tell you what you’re doing wrong to explain why you aren’t getting better.
What if we simply understand that life is hard? Anxiety and depression are hard. Living in poverty is hard. Living with bipolar or chronic illnesses is hard. Going outside isn’t always going to fix that. Being positive isn’t going to fix it; some days will just be hard and miserable.
I like the suggestions. I’ve used some of them, including “Are you sure” and sharing my struggles. It depends on the situation and the relationship I have with the person. A good friend, my spouse, someone I feel comfortable with already? I’m making sure they are OK when I suspect they might not be. Someone I work with or don’t have that kind of relationship with, and maybe I share a bit about my struggles or offer to listen if they need someone to talk to.
Any of the suggestions can work or not work. The important thing is that maybe that extra question lets someone know they are not alone, which can make all the difference.
Mental health is complicated. The solution to one individual case is complicated. The solution to the lack of resources is complicated. Telling people to get more exercise, let alone selling them the diet and workout that will solve all their mental health issues, is a fraud, isn’t it? Saying that we simply need to give everyone free therapy without addressing the serious shortage of therapists is as well.
Anyone who suggests there is a simple solution to the mental health problem facing us as a country and the world is not to be taken seriously.