Mental Health

Why not consider unhappiness a mental illness? If you are unhappy, something is wrong.

This seems to be the era of mental illness. Looking around it sure seems like everyone is going over the top. We didn’t talk about it much back in the day, and now everyone is talking about it. We went from a stigma to almost looking it is used as an excuse for laziness, lack of ambition or responsibility. I can’t do this or that, because I’m sad. I have to take care of my mental health.

What’s wrong with people these days? 

Are people less healthy than they ever were?

The thing is, we are not the happiest country in the world, far from it. And we haven’t been for a long time. People are getting therapy and medications to help them deal with reality. Life. But do we really need to teach people, or drug people, do deal with reality? Maybe that’s a problem with reality.

If people are unhappy because they are stressed about money, or health, or how difficult life is, or politics, or sexism, or social injustice, or even just because they go to high school, maybe what we really need to do is change society.

Until we can to that, coping is something that they may need assistance for, but at the point at which it becomes a nationwide phenomenon, accompanied by an epidemic of suicide and even when it doesn’t get that far, anxiety, depression, and straight up unhappiness, we need to think about the real problem.

I applaud the fact that people are being open about it. Even though it bothers me if a child of mine seems lazy and unmotivated. I moved out when I could. I supported myself. I did what I needed to do. Why can’t they do what I did? But was I happy? Am I happy now? No. Quite frankly no. Watching them struggle is making me even more unhappy, but I don’t want to fault them because they expect to be happy, because they won’t settle. They shouldn’t have to adjust that expectation, like I did.

Maybe therapy and medications are only a temporary solution.

The more permanent solution?  Don’t laugh. Higher taxes. The countries with the highest taxes also have the happiest people.

That’s because they get a living wage. That’s because if they were to lose their job, they don’t also lose their health insurance, if they even had any in the first place. That’s because they don’t have to pay for their education. Maybe they can afford housing. Maybe they can afford childcare. Maybe they can get help if they need it, and that helps alleviate anxiety, even if they don’t need it. Maybe they have pensions when they’re old. They have services for their taxes. Safety nets. And the gap between rich and poor is less, but more importantly there are less poor, period, and more middle class.

Here in the US of America, too many of us think that taxes is a redistribution of wealth from rich people who earned it all by themselves and deserve to keep it.

Let’s correct that. The rich didn’t earn everything they made in a vacuum. They have benefited from a lot of help. No man is an island. We are all in this together.


2 thoughts on “Mental Health

  1. This is a thoughtful and insightful article that shines a light on the importance of considering societal factors that contribute to mental health issues rather than solely relying on therapy and medications.
    Joanne Tomlinson

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  2. I have typed and erased so many responses, but I keep seeing Ms. Tomlinson’s post above and it all seems so futile. Let’s just say that I agree with you, but I also add that your country’s mind set will never see a change to a more socialist way of life. Canadians have had socialized health care for so long, only a few very old people remember when you had to pay the doctor’s receptionist for services rendered. Dentistry is another problem, but Australia has that covered. But I also agree with the Buddha who said that the source of unhappiness is desire for material possessions. In a society where economic stability is measured by how many doodads were sold last year, that’s not about to change, either.


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