The 2019 World Internet Conference was all about talks on the effects of the internet on our mental health. Obviously, the internet brought about a lot of good things in our lives. It has entertained us with various programs and applications. Work was made easy and convenient because of the internet. But how can it affect our mental health?
The Coronavirus pandemic is affecting all of our lives right at this moment. It causes a lot of unexpected changes in the world. And since it is the main reason why people’s emotional and mental stability is at stake, it is essential to take action seriously. So during this pandemic, all of us should focus on getting better overall health to fight COVID-19. But first, we have to acknowledge the effects of the Coronavirus in our lives before we can make necessary adjustments.
Mob Mentality And Panic Buying
There is a different level of panic that goes around during this time of crisis that gets worse due to mob mentality. It is where individuals get influenced by other people around to behave and act in an overly emotional and impulsive way. Yes, preparing and stocking up goods is an excellent idea. However, hoarding too much leads to a shortage for others, especially the ones who honestly need it. But we can’t blame them. Some of these individuals believe that hoarding is entirely necessary because they think there is not enough supply for everybody. The behavior is not acceptable, but people react to terrifying situations differently.
Feeling Of Emotional Isolation
Since the virus gets to pass on from one person to another through droplets from cough and sneeze, social distancing becomes a way to prevent it. Therefore, we have to keep physical distance no matter what, so that it can flatten the curve. However, physical isolation affects our emotional balance. It somehow heightens the feelings of sadness and loneliness due to the limited people we surround ourselves with. And though we can take advantage of the technology and use it to cross distances between friends and family, we still require more than that. In some unfortunate instances, connecting with people through technology sometimes heightens the emptiness we feel because we miss and worry about them more after knowing their conditions.
Boredom And Mental Exhaustion
Being quarantined inside our houses for an extended period can make us feel uneasy. That is regardless if we love staying at home and are working from home. That is because, in the back of our minds, we have this desire to going outside. We love to explore and experience a lot of things, and getting stuck in the four-cornered wall is not going to help us achieve that. Sometimes, even if we try to fight boredom by listing things we mean to do, we find ourselves unable to start with it. Some instance, even our hobbies or the ones we love to do eventually turns out to be a tiring activity and uninteresting anymore.
Overconsumption Of News And Media
Through the help of technology, we all have access to knowing what is currently happening in the world during times of crisis. It is great because we can raise awareness of that. However, overconsumption of sometimes inaccurate information is damaging to our mental health. It is because some news only intensifies the anxiety and fear we have. That is why even if we find it evident that we are looking at the not-so-credible source, we still believe the information we get from there. And to add damage to that, we often share false information online. Sadly, it soon becomes the truth of everyone. It is okay to get informed. But we have to be mindful of how much time we need to spend consuming news information.
It is okay to feel sad and alone in times like this. The emotional and mental struggle we are dealing with is valid. However, I would like to say that we are here for you during this difficult time in the global crisis. Stay safe!
Being a participant of the 2017 World Discussion on Mental Health Conference, it helped me widen my horizon about mental health. As far as I know, this topic is vast and can cover how an ordinary mind goes or the mental stability of a person, to how a person copes when something happens to him. It can also be about mentally challenged children who may be bullied by others. Depression, stress, ADHD, autism, anxiety, and all other mental health conditions that people are suffering are included in this discussion.
As much as we care for our physical health, we should also be aware of how our mental health goes. Usually, people have a happy disposition, especially when things go their way. But when trying times occur, it is when our mental health is being challenged.
Because of this mental health conference, I have opened my eyes to different circumstances in which our mental health is usually led to a struggle. And by understanding these circumstances, we can then learn how to handle our strained mental health when things don’t go our way.
Of course, we all know that each of us has experienced the ups and downs of life. But people have different perspectives on how one handles these things, so that makes the difference. For example, others take their breakups just fine while others may really have trouble moving on, or maybe even do bad things like practice self-harm, get obsessive, and other things. During these times, when the pain or confusion is unbearable, one can always call on certified counselors to help them get through the tough times.
Stress is also a challenge to one’s mental health. There are different stressors for every one of us. For employees, one may be stressed over the attitude of their employers or with their co-employees. Housewives may be torn between wanting to stay at home for their children and wanting to look for work to have their income. In this conference, I have learned to understand more about how life goes with proper treatment and how to be free of worries to be able to keep ourselves not just physically healthy but mentally as well.
Many of us have out of this world perceptions and beliefs about finding love. There is just so much fascination about it to the point that topics on love attract everyone’s attention even in the movies, books, songs, stories, and the like. Even if we deny it, somewhere inside of us lies hopeless romantic hearts carefully, patiently, and not to mention – painstakingly, waiting for that moment to finally meet the one.
Conspiracy theorists have their own version of every situation. Often, conspiracy theorists say that governments have a role to play in unfortunate incidents. For example, in the 9-11 attack, they made a very detailed narrative of how the US government may have rigged the situation to their advantage. Conspiracy theorists are arguing that an unfortunate event is an “inside job.” Their side of the story borders on typical storylines of science fiction movies and tv series.
In your lifetime, you may have heard from your loved one some extraordinary stories they experienced. These stories can be the landing on the moon being merely orchestrated by NASA, that the 9-11 attack came from the White House itself, that there’s a secret group controlling the entire world, or that aliens are always in contact with us. These are called conspiracy theories.
We all do something, ranging from quirky to self-destructive, that seem on the surface to have no benefit at all. — Teri Woods Ph.D.
Throughout our lives, some things would entirely shake us to our core, those unexpected chilling moments that cannot be explained even by modern science. It is how supernatural beliefs were formed because not everything is explainable by a rational explanation.
Mental illness is a serious and complex issue. Thus, this is not always easy to explain or to understand, even to those who suffered from different disorders for many years. It is true for those who have loved ones dealing with problems such as depression, paranoia and the like.
Superstitions are said to be created as a long-established form of coping mechanism during uncertainties or out-of-control circumstances. Superstitions about certain things in life provide a comforting feeling for believers amidst chaos and confusion.
It is a questionable postulation that superstitious behavior that implicates largely mental action, as opposed physical behavior, could even be considered behavior because it is not observable. — Ann Olson Psy.D.
While others find no harm believing in superstitions, there have been concerns from medical experts especially those who are mainly concentrated on mental health that these beliefs would affect how believers understand and accept therapy or counseling.
Superstitious Belief Is Rampant
Do you find yourself knocking on wood when you said something foreboding, and you want to reverse or counteract what was spoken? Or are you spooked by seeing 13 falling on a Friday or a black cat crossing your path? Are you that person who does not walk under a ladder and instead go around it? These are just some of the usual superstitions we grew up knowing, and some are still advocating up to this day.
According to a poll made by Gallup, it was found that about 25% of Americans are quite superstitious; that’s about one in four people living in the country. That number says a lot about following certain beliefs that usually have no scientific basis.
Thoroughly confused, I was informed that knocking on wood ensures that you don’t “jinx” something you really want to happen. Rather than question the logic of this deeply illogical practice, I latched on. — Emily Green Psy.D.
Where Superstitions Originated
One would wonder – where did all these superstitious beliefs originate? Somehow, whoever invented these notions must have some foundation, right? Psychologists explained that superstitions commenced from certain traditions around the world and ended up in households all over the world, which have, by some means, made quite an impact on people’s behavior towards certain things. Much of these also come from life’s uncertainties, wherein if you yearn for something, you’ll find comfort and control in superstitious behaviors.
When people are faced with chaos and uneasiness, it makes them feel like they are losing traction and control; therefore, the tendency is to find solutions for the lack of oversight from outside sources such as superstitions.
What About Rational Thinking?
Reality is, being overly superstitious significantly affects a person’s state of mind and behavior, influencing everything related to mental health issues and therapy. From a person’s performance and preparation for a specific challenge to the responsiveness to given placebos, the effectiveness of specific psychological illness treatments is wholly dependent on the patient’s responsiveness and positive thinking. Therefore, when superstitions are getting in the way of treatment, it’s time to take it down a notch or completely disregard the belief. This should be done to make way for scientific approach when dealing with mental health conditions.
Every behavior we repeat offers a reward. It doesn’t matter if the reward isn’t obvious. — Teri Woods Ph.D.
What’s disconcerting about being superstitious, especially if it concerns mental health, is the way people would understand and accept the diagnosis thinking that it’s just some sort of supernatural event in a person’s life which can be eluded or conquered easily. People’s performance to achieve goals that are elicited from superstitious behavior disregards the process of learning how goals should be met.
Superstition And Therapy
In therapy, if a superstitious patient’s uncertainty for obtaining mental health goals is heightened, there is a possibility that the superstitions are also increased. However, if provided with a lucky charm, they will become more positive in the outcomes, and their performance in conquering their conditions becomes more pronounced.
Whatever the setting may be, superstitions become precarious when they start to interfere with wellness and activities of daily living.
Debunking common myths related to mental health problems are encountered during counseling. The things you hear during counseling about assumptions on psychological illness will surprise and worry you.
It’s quite startling and disheartening that in this modern age, people still believe in myths concerning mental illnesses. At this point, the majority are expected to be at least oriented about the existence of mental health issues regardless of location or race.
Mental illness is real, and it affects everybody in some random way. However, there are still a lot of negative attitudes towards mental health issues that fuel discrimination and stigma, making it harder for people to reach out and subject themselves to counseling, and for therapists to efficiently promote healing.
Exposing Mental Health Myths
To completely eradicate unsubstantial and problematic beliefs regarding issues on psychological well-being, here are three of the most common myths that people until now still believe.
On the low end are individuals afflicted with severe and persistent mental illness like schizophrenia in which life experiences tend to be profoundly and concretely limited. On the opposite end are individuals known as the worried well – high functioning individuals who possess an acute awareness of consistent though tolerable difficulties. — Jeremy Clyman Psy.D.
Psychological Illness Is Not Real
Mental illness is as real as cancer or the flu or whatever physical condition that you can think of. Until this day, there are still those who believe that mental health problems are just a “state of mind” which people can easily “get over.” Mental illnesses, if not addressed appropriately, create distress and don’t immediately disappear when someone utters the magic words, “shrug it off.”
The pain felt in certain parts of the body will not quickly subside without proper treatment, and no matter how many rituals or chants you’ve done to call out your gods for a reprieve, physical manifestations don’t go away. This is precisely the same with mental illness.
Mentally Ill Individuals Are Dangerous
No thanks to inaccurate media portrayals, other people see mentally ill persons as violent and potentially dangerous. A lot of people are intolerant of mental illness due to what they see on their screens. Prediction of violence is mostly overrated that whenever someone is recognized as mentally ill, the first thing that comes to mind is intensity and assault. Though the previous attacks seen in the news are committed by personalities who were diagnosed with a specific psychological illness, the scope and nature of violence are more complicated and is not entirely linked with mental issues.
Sadly, there are some mental health professionals who still advocate for the removal or mental/emotional amputation of certain human aspects because they are destructive or self-destructive. — Noah Rubinstein, LMFT, LMHC
Mental illness and violence are not exclusive; in fact, researchers disagree that mental illness is a definitive predictor for doing violent acts. Looking at a particular psychological illness, it is concluded that people who struggle with mental illness are no more violent than those without mental illness. Countless reports excluding mentally ill people from certain communities are in itself, already an act of violence; unfortunately, people who suffer from mental diseases are the ones who are usually excluded. Furthermore, it is also essential to note that those who struggle with mental illnesses are more likely to become victims of violence rather than being the purveyors of violence.
There Is No Escape From Mental Illness
Here’s some good news for you non-believers. People do and can recover from psychological conditions. In the advent of modern medicine, different kinds of effective psychotherapeutic treatments, medications, and services are materializing. By now, people should be aware that with proper psychological care, individuals who are mentally ill can survive their condition and go back living their lives productively and healthily.
The benevolent view would be that there will be more access to treatment for everyone. A more cynical view suggests an increase in pathologizing normal experience (e.g., converting shyness into social anxiety disorder) . — Bruce Poulsen Ph.D.
People have this habit of immediately jumping to conclusions without prior research or proper information-gathering. Though it may take some time and more convincing for the majority to take mental health seriously, changing behaviors and perception can be possible.