Is it me? Or is there an epidemic?

The past few years I have noticed an increase in the number of my friends and family suffering from either stress, depression, burnout or just severe melancholy (among the usual maladies of life).

According to statistics, at least 10% of the Belgian population are taking anti-depressants:

http://deredactie.be/cm/vrtnieuws.english/Health%2Band%2BEnvironment/1.2582201

http://www.flanderstoday.eu/current-affairs/pill-day-drift-away

It appears to me that we as a society are really struggling to survive. Life is increasingly complex with more and more choices but with less money and time to do it all.

The media does it’s best to make us feel inadequate and insist we purchase the latest toy for fear of missing out or look at the number of magazines that play on our feelings of not being as good as everyone else, or as slim or as pretty or as beefy or wearing the right clothes or having the right accessories or best car or live in the best area for the right school. The list goes on.

Family life is no longer as simple. Marriages fail, relationships struggle, Kids are juggled between parents, friends and schools. People get old, sick or infirm. Jobs change, priorities therefore change accordingly. It is simply overwhelming at times.

Jobs are changing too, no longer do we do a specific job any more with the tasks being assigned to the right person. Nowadays when people are ‘let go’ they are not always replaced and that means their workload is spread out among the remaining staff, most of which will not have the requisite skill set nor the time or experience to take those tasks on. But take those tasks on they must or suffer the consequences.

There are far more low paid jobs. The governments say more people are employed than ever before, but they omit to say they are all at the lower end of the pay scale. A lot of people work two or more jobs, just to keep their heads above water.

No need to mention the disparity between the bosses and the workers salaries, which is enormous. A lot more needs to be done by the companies themselves and or with government interference if nothing changes. (I severely dislike the phrase ‘ We have to think of the shareholders…” it makes me shudder.

There also seems to be a lot of discontentment in many European countries and a lot more people are divided instead of united. Not just the language issues or borders, but immigration issues and the foreign policies in various countries don’t help, nor does Brexit, which has caused yet another peak.

I don’t even need to mention the terrorism. As far as I am concerned the terrorists are winning. We can’t fly easily any more, anywhere large numbers of people gather is an easy target. Monitoring is on the increase, civil liberties are being eroded (even if this is shown to be untrue or not as bad as we think it is, the perception remains the same).

I know we shouldn’t let all of that stop us from living, but I can’t help wondering if it couldn’t be handled better. Less negative reporting (especially the images), less blaming, less sensationalism please. We need more positive stories, solutions that are not too woo woo. Practical ideas to help everyone. We need to start teaching life skills in schools. (Instead of religion?)

I don’t have the answers, who does?  But I am concerned for my friends and family and their health and happiness.

If you happen upon this article, please don’t be afraid to reach out and ask me or someone else for help in whatever format you desire. But do ask.

The important thing for me is that we all build local support networks, we are all suffering in some way, no family is untouched by some form of issue in some way or another.

We can’t all go on pretending things are all hunky dory when they are not. #lifematters

Be vulnerable, look after number one first, you cannot fill a glass from an empty bottle. You cannot be the rock forever. Don’t struggle alone.

I have two ears, please make use of them.

A problem shared is a problem halved.

With love

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