Category Archives: I.E.G. Articles (Society)

What Society Thinks of Mental Health

*This is my opinion, taken from my own feelings and experiences and the experiences of people I know who suffer from poor mental health too.*

You should just get over it

Not everyone feels this way, but I’ve heard so many people say that they feel people who suffer from anxiety or depression are simply weak. That they can’t handle their emotions or life in general. “Everyone has bad days, so just move on.”

This isn’t what mental illness is. Anxiety does not equal nervousness. And depression does not equal sadness. I feel that a lack of education about mental health, or a lack of experience with it, would be the only reason why someone would think this way.

It’s not as important as physical health

For me, this is crazy. The thing is, if we care about our mental health more, we will be better equipped to deal with everything else in life, and we will actually be better at looking after our physical health, too. Everything starts in the mind, so, take care of it. Simple.

Mental health = mental illness

When people say mental health, they don’t mean mental illness. Just like when you say physical health, you don’t mean a physical disability. No. Mental health means caring about the state of the mind. Nurturing it, working it, loving it, moulding it. Therefore, mental health is for everyone. Don’t only start caring about mental health once it’s too late and you do suffer from ill mental health.

Mental health practices are for hippies

I’m paraphrasing, but people often think that spirituality or yoga or meditation or mindfulness are hippie dippie techniques. They’re not. Don’t be so closed minded. These things help so many people, ill or otherwise. Ask any successful person in this world, and they’ll tell you that they probably meditate or do yoga or practice some form of spirituality at some point in their week. It helps us stretch the mind, body and spirit and better align them in order to feel stronger and go at life with everything we’ve got. Plus, don’t knock it till you’ve tried it. But if they’re really not for you, there’s so many other ways that you can strength your mind on a regular basis to better your mental health.

Mentally ill people are crazy

Crazy is such an awful word. Yes, some point with extreme mental handicaps can come off are unstable, irrational, or impulsive, but ask yourself who is this worse for? You, or them? They have to live with it. It’s their reality and they didn’t ask for it. So who are you to come along and make things worse by calling them crazy?

Plus, mental health issues or mental illness covers a large umbrella of illnesses and disorders, from the common ones like anxiety and depression, then bipolar disorder or eating disorders, as well as the more severe ones like schizophrenia, disassociation disorders, personality disorders, and more complicated ones that some of us haven’t even heard of.

So no, people with poor mental health aren’t crazy. Not all of them are unstable, in fact the majority aren’t, and the ones who are don’t need your judgment – they have enough to deal with. Why not turn it into support or education or simply mind your own business.

It’s not a priority for children

Luckily, this is changing in some schools, but I for one know that my life may have been different if mental health and well-being was practiced or at least talked about in schools. This would help children grow into healthy adults who are better equipped to deal with life’s lashes. Similarly, if the various mental handicaps that can occur in people were taught in schools, students may be diagnosed sooner, feel less judged, be better understood, and generally live a less stigmatised life.

Education is, after all, everything. It can give so much to us, if only it would give mental health more light…

Thank you for reading. You are a part of this society and so if you make a change in your mindset and better educate yourself about mental health, you will be effectively changing the world for the better for future generations.

So, please do…

If you need any help in bettering your mental health, or better coping with anxiety, depression, and stress, then my book “You’re As Mad As I Am” may be for you. Check it out here, and download a free sample to see what it’s all about.

If you want to hire me to write about mental health (or other), then don’t hesitate to get in touch!

Perspective

I find that perspective is the most important tool to checking yourself (or rather, getting yourself in check). As I’ve gotten older, I’ve found my ability to check-myself and put things into perspective has increased tenfold, and I’m writing this IEG article today about perspective because this morning I finished reading “The Fault in Our Stars”, my old friend Tahlia’s favourite book.

I say old friend, not because she passed away three years ago, but because I had known her since we were toddlers. We grew up together. My mom taught her how to ride a bike. We went to the same primary school, the same senior school, and she was very present and important in my life, even with our differences .

Perspective for me has become strong since her passing. A twenty year old girl was taken from the world due to an illness. It’s horrid. It’s cruel. We all knew she would pass before 40 but it was Tahlia, you know? If anyone would survive and stick their middle finger up to Cystic Fibrosis it would be her.

But alas, it took her.

And I hated myself because I didn’t get chance to meet up with her one last time before she passed. We spoke, and if there was any bad energy before, it was long gone. I forgave her for our somewhat troubled teenhood, and she was over my leaving our friendship group. We moved on. We were adults and we were happy for each other.

It’s so special that she read the first edition of the first book in my Eternity series. She popped up to me and was enthused about it. It felt amazing that she was still supporting my dream after we hadn’t spoken properly since school.

I could go on about our time together and how unique our relationship was and how awful it was to hear that she’d passed and how I broke down at her funeral in 2015, but that’s our business. She knows how I feel.

The reason I bring her up is because these days when I feel crappy and get tired and feel low – I remember her and how she was ill her whole life but it never stopped her from living.

When I don’t feel like writing, I remember how she believed in me and how she too was a writer who had her voice cut short. And so, in her honour, I must continue to write. Always. It would be a slap to the face not to.

Perspective.

Not everyone has someone who can help them to put things into perspective, so I’m here to help.

There are so many people who aren’t able to live as we can, and so we must live instead.

Stop wasting time being angry with people you love (or people you don’t love, especially), as it just doesn’t matter enough. It just doesn’t. What if they got sick or were hurt and you couldn’t see them again? Would all the anger have been worth it?

Put your anger into perspective.

Put your sadness into perspective.

Put your unproductive days into perspective.

Think.

It’s easier said than done, I know. There’s days when perspective doesn’t happen, but at least try. For some reason, I’ve been bitter and angry lately but I put my emotions into perspective and realised that I’m angry for internal reasons, not external, and I can’t take it out on others.

It really helps to be honest with yourself and do this for yourself, too.

Ways to gain perspective:

  • Appreciate that there are many of those who are less fortunate than you and though everyone’s problems are valid, it can help you to drown a little less in them when you consider this.
  • Think of those who are gone. You have life and they’d give anything to have it.
  • Read.
  • Write.
  • Watch films.
  • Meditate.
  • Do Yoga.
  • Walk.
  • Speak with a friend.

Doing these things can help to clear your head and gain some perspective. A clearer, wider view of your life, your problems, your actions, and your purpose.

These things are important for a better life. They’re important for being a better person. You will be in better control of your emotions, too. A lot of people are bad people without realising it. They’re bitter, angry, selfish, poisonous, negative and sometimes downright awful. But perspective helps you to realise what you’re doing and thinking, in order to move forwards with a better mind.

When I put things into perspective, I realise I have a lot to be grateful for. I have achieved a lot for my age and where I come from and what I have. I’m lucky. I should remember that. I should hold on to that. I will always try to have perspective in trying situations, and you should, too.

So please, try.

How Your Prejudice Affects a Person’s Life

We all have prejudices. They stem from our upbringing, influences, and our experiences. From these things, we are kind of “taught” how to act in a certain situation. And this extends to how we treat others, too.

However, how often do we actually consider what our prejudices do to other people. How we make them feel by having these prejudices.

Prejudice is defined as “preconceived opinion that is not based on reason or actual experience”

I think the simple way to put it is “pre-judgement.”

Here’s some examples of how prejudice or pre-judgement works from my point of view:

A person is brought up to believe in the teachings of Christianity. However, they have parents who are a bit strict. The see people outside of their religion as sinners. The child will grow up to believe this, too. They will largely associate with other Christians and believe those without a faith to be bad people. This is forming a prejudice against non-Christians.

Another example is this –

A person has been treated wrongly by a member of a certain race. They were rude or violent or scary. This person then believes that all members of that race must be the same. They see this as fact because they have “experienced it” and therefore they see nothing wrong in their beliefs. However, this is prejudice. They are making a pre-judgement of everyone of a certain race based on one poor situation. It is a gross overgeneralisation.

We know what prejudice is but we don’t know what the effects are on others. How it makes them feel to be the subject of prejudice.

Here’s but a few ways your prejudice affects those on the receiving end of it:

  • Loss of friends
  • Lack of opportunities
  • Lowered job prospects
  • Lower income
  • Less relationship opportunities
  • Racism
  • Sexism
  • Homophobia
  • Violence
  • Verbal abuse
  • Treated as less than
  • Excluded
  • Mental health issues: anxiety and depression, namely
  • Less education/unfair treatment in education
  • Discrimination
  • Loneliness
  • Poverty
  • Limited to one ideal
  • Stereotypes
  • Deaths
  • Incarceration
  • Unfair and inaccurate portrayals in the media

This is a lot. Imagine if any of these things effected you and your life. It would severely hinder it on a day to day basis, and more often than not, the person or people have no real reason to have such a prejudice against you in the first place.

Sickening, isn’t it?

Something so “small” and quick as a pre-judgment or stereotype can cause incredible harm and hurt to one’s life. Be careful with your thoughts for they become actions and behaviours that affect the world around you. And more importantly, the people of this world.

We are all just human, living our lives in our own way. Be open minded and allow people to live their way. Don’t stop them. Don’t control them. And don’t limit them with your prejudice.

Instead, give everyone a fair chance to demonstrate who they are.

Thank you.

You’re Too Smart To Generalise So Easily

Here is your first IEG, thought-provoking article.

I thought I’d start off the IEG articles with a fairly “simple” and easy to digest concept.

Racism. Sexism. Sexuality. Religion. Mental Health. And more.

Yeah, not so simple. But today, all I want to talk about is GENERALISATION.

Generalisation is at the root of most of the bad ism’s, I believe. People are prejudice to one race often based on one poor experience, or what they see on the news. People are sexist due to outdated views or general ideas that no longer apply. And people generalise their own “research” to an entire population of people.

This is dangerous thinking.

I used to study psychology at university, and we had to conduct an experiment of our own. We had to select a sample of people, conduct the experiment, and interpret the results. However, what we weren’t allowed to do was generalise. We could say “our experiment concluded that…in such-and-such percentage of our selected sample.” But we weren’t allowed to say that our experiment proved, without a doubt, that the entire world/persons were represented by our sample.

Understand?

Just because you see “evidence” for your thinking, try not to be so closed minded as to think that there isn’t people out there that could prove you wrong.

For example, you may have had a bad experience with a black person. Maybe they were rude or “too gangster” (*eye roll*) for your liking. Does that really mean all black people are that way? Come on!

You’re too smart to generalise so easily.

We all should be.

So, this post is meant to show you that the “evidence” you think you have about a group of people that then makes you treat those people a certain way, isn’t right or fair to the whole population of people in that group.

Just because you know a stay at home mother, who loves to cook, doesn’t mean you should generalise and push that idea on all women.

Just because you had a bad experience with a certain race or religion, or worse because you see these things on the news, you shouldn’t generalise and think that every member of that race or religion is that way. That’d be incredibly unfair.

Be careful with your generalisations. Open your mind. Don’t seek out evidence that proves your closed-minded thoughts, either. Just be open to people of all walks of life, colours, or creeds. Let them be who they are. The way they live has nothing to do with you unless it hurts you, and even then that doesn’t mean their peers will do the same.

Be kind. Try not to generalise. Please.

And, of course: Inspire. Educate. Guide.

*My IEG articles are meant to inspire thought, reflection and understanding. I’m not telling you what to do, I’m just trying to get people thinking in a way they may not have before.*

Introducing My IEG Articles

Hey guys, those who follow my blog may have noticed that I write about a lot of different things. What can I say? I’m an interesting person, with many interests! This extends to my writing, too. I like to write about many things, mostly things that inspire thought in others.

Enter, IEG.

The IEG articles that I will post on here, on occasion, will be about serious social topics. They may be interviews with real people; my own thoughts; or research I’ve gathered with an aim to educate.

IEG stands for Inspire. Educate. Guide.

Any IEG articles that I post, will aim to get my readers thinking in a way that they may not have done previously. I really want to influence the world, and I believe that the younger generation have a very important job to do – open their minds more than their ancestors did.

IEG will aim to open minds.

Of course, some articles may be considered controversial. They may entice discussion. They may even anger people, but I know those people will probably be the closed minded ones amongst us.

I will say this: I do not aim to offend anyone. Never, ever. I consider myself to be an open minded person, and of course if I ever get my facts wrong, educate me, don’t belittle or try to upset me.

With IEG, I aim to help people find a new way of thinking, not change their thoughts or control them. All you need to do is consider something from another angle for ten seconds, and you may just learn something…

Some topics that I hope to touch on are:

  • Racism
  • Sexism
  • Mental Health
  • Sexuality and identity
  • Third world countries
  • Religion
  • Poverty
  • Abuse (sexual, physical, cyber, domestic, emotional, etc)
  • The elderly
  • Education
  • Lifestyle
  • And more

As you can see, these are some heavy topics and I’ll try to always approach them delicately. I have met so many people who have had issues with the things listed above, and I believe their experiences need to be shared in order to help them feel less alone, and educate people on their affects.

I don’t know how well this project will do, or if I’ll post many, but we’ll see. All we can do is try to change the world, little by little, and I choose to do that with my writing.

I hope you can try to do the same. Stay tuned.

If you or anyone you know has an interesting story to share about any of the topics mentioned above, please get into contact with me. Thank you.