Taboos Around Mental Health

by Courtney Sheehan

Combating and embracing Stress, Anxiety and Depression in the modern world

We’ve always made it our mission at Elysium, to talk about the things that hurt. The challenging conversations that get stuck in your throat on the way out. Those situations, days and periods of life that don’t make it to instagram.

For far too long, Mental Health has been shrouded in stigma. Treated as a taboo subject and one we largely ignored, locked away or tried to forget about. 

Which has created a social environment so difficult, so full of judgement and discrimination, that those suffering mental health issues choose (or feel forced) to suffer in silence. 

In the last few years the conversation around Mental Health has definitely been brought into the mainstream, more than ever before, and the general call from most voices has been the importance of speaking about it more openly, without the shame. 

And at Elysium, we are all for it, though we know, there are plenty of more positive changes that need to be made. Because by changing the way we approach mental illness and creating a more open and unprejudiced conversation, it’s easier to see the symptoms, understand them, and get the help needed.

Modern society continues to drastically and exponentially change the way we as human beings interact, communicate, eat, exercise, connect, (the list really does go on and on), it’s not only normal, but 100% inevitable that there will be some transition, teething problems to come up against. 

In any average metropolitan city, there are millions of noises, distractions, and a mountain of information that our brain is constantly downloading, day in day out. It’s constant.

The somewhat mechanical way in which we live our lives means we spend very little time in nature, hours seated in front of a screen, lack physical movement and consume processed foods. And we haven’t even mentioned the lack of social and human connection that this pandemic is demanding.

Does any of this sound familiar?

These are all situations that can cause high levels of stress, anxiety and other mental health issues, if not managed correctly.

Mental health doesn’t discriminate. In fact, experiencing poor mental health can affect every single one of us –  at any age, any sex, any race. Which should really be the driving force behind each and every one of us tackling this issue head on (pun intended), as a global community. 

The contrast between the way we discuss mental health to that of our physical health, is really worlds apart.

How many times have you casually called in sick to work with the flu? 

Or explained to a friend of a sore shoulder?

And with zero to no hesitation. No stigma. No shame.

And How many times have you freely cried in front of someone after an awful day?

Would you feel the same when speaking about feelings of depression or anxiety?

It doesn’t get treated the same, right…

So why don’t we feel comfortable discussing our struggles with anxiety as we would a sprained ankle? When they are both equally important?

Having poor physical health can lead to an increased risk of developing mental health issues. 

And vice versa. And when our mindset is positive we can cope with ups and downs. Our mood is stable, we feel energetic and optimistic.

So it’s simple really, mental health and physical health can not be thought of as separate. The two are intrinsically and intricately intertwined, and we need to start treating them that way.

 

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