Society has this funny way of gripping you as soon as you’re born. No choice is ever offered, it’s a subscription that no one can quit, yet we never signed up to.
We begin our journey as children, a book full of empty pages, our minds void of prejudices.
Initially we learn what we know from our family, peers, experiences and school.
School is the tool which is supposed to prepare us for our interaction with the world. How we interact with others and our knowledge of the working world are learnt here. But what about some of the most important lessons such as; happiness, confidence and mental health awareness. Learning to be humble, giving, and compassionate. Lessons on coping strategies for experiencing life’s trauma and adversity.
The society we inhabit has plenty of faults, and if we’re truly serious about educating, we should be focusing on the divide between the rich and poor, we should be looking at all the evidence behind the reasons for past and present conflicts in the world. Not just passing on what we’re told in the mainstream media. True education presents all the evidence and lets us come to our own conclusions.
Though I could easily yap about the education system some more, that’s not what this article is about.
I want to write about depression and anxiety, but I find my mind veering off in a hundred different directions in search for a cause. Because there has to be a cause for the 1 in 4 that experience mental health problems. A quarter of the population. A number that high doesn’t require vast amounts of introspection, it requires detection into the source.
If a dog shows symptoms of depression, we ask why. Rats too..
In Berton’s studies, when rats and rodents are isolated, separated from their social group or forced to live with larger animals that bully them, they stop exercising and eating — just like their human counterparts. While they’d normally do just about anything for a taste of something sweet, they’re no longer willing to press a lever or run through a maze to gain access to junk food treats.
When it comes to people diagnosed with depression and/or anxiety, we ask what’s wrong with them, doctors throw tablets and usher us out the door, unless you get ‘a good one’. They should all be good surely? Their profession is healthcare, care being the prevalent word.
Yet we can’t put all the blame in one basket, understaffing and massive lack of NHS funding has drastically cut the amount of time allocated for our care. How does a person with depression (an illness that depresses expression) tell a potential stranger all about their problem in 10 minutes?
Diagnosis and treatment for depression isn’t something that can be done quickly. More time needs to be invested into each individual who experiences mental health illnesses. Tablets can be a crutch for some but they will never address the root cause.
While the people are told to look inwards shouldn’t there be at least one person looking at not just local, regional or world factors that could be influential on mental health but societal causes too. Such as the social injustice of appointing a man who has previously been accused of social cleansing, to lead an inquiry into Grenfell. The tower that went up in flames and potentially killed over a hundred people due to cheap cladding:
The cladding system on Grenfell Tower was reportedly passed by a building control officer from the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea on 15 May 2015, despite a nationwide warning that the combustible insulation it featured should only be used in conjunction with cladding that does not burn.
The next month, samples of the cladding were erected “for the council’s planners to look at and approve”.
But also in July, according to separate leaked internal emails, the council was looking for “good costs” and cheaper cladding panels were substituted, saving almost £300,000.
And outdated fire regulations:
One newsletter passage, focusing on what to do in the event of fire, said: “Unless there is a fire in your flat or in the hallway outside your flat, you should stay inside your flat.
This is the society we have to live in. Where housing for the vulnerable is dangerous, because it saves money for the people that already have more than enough. We see companies treating their employees like shit, because they know job security is more scarce than ever.
No wonder mental illness is on the rise, this isn’t the society I would have selected given a choice. I can only imagine, if there were some sort of choice between a multitude of societies, what would be the name of this one…