Is Mental Health Really More Of A Modern Issue?

Hiya again, Feminista readers!

Once again, it’s my turn to grace you with my (virtual) presence. As you may have already gleaned from previous posts, our current topic is mental health. This was a topic I wasn’t sure about – I wasn’t sure how comfortable I felt writing about it, and then I was sorely lacking in inspiration. So when I remembered today was my turn to post, one of my first feelings was of panic. What the heck was I going to write about? But it’s all good, because my creative juices got flowing and I had An Idea. So here goes…

Maybe it’s just me, but I’ve been very much under the impression that mental illness is a very modern issue, worsened by the internet and the rise of 24/7 media, as though it didn’t exist before the world wide web and permanent TV news channels. It’s often blamed on social media and Photoshop, setting impossible-to-follow standards and making us all feel generally rubbish about ourselves.

And that’s at least partially true. I do think that social media and the internet has increased the amount of mental illness around the world. But what if it’s been there all along? People say that the stigma of mental health is slowly beginning to be broken down, as more and more mental illnesses seem to appear – what if those two facts are interlinked? Maybe it’s because more people feel comfortable talking about it that more mental health issues are beginning to surface. Perhaps there’s always been this many, it’s just that we’re only just beginning to open up and tell people about them, so the sudden flood of discussion about mental illnesses makes it seem like there’s more than there ever were before.

I’m afraid that’s pretty much all I’ve got to say today. It was just a thought that got me curious.

Thanks for reading!

An Overthinking Teenager

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4 thoughts on “Is Mental Health Really More Of A Modern Issue?

  1. Victoria says:

    I think that part of it is that today we have a much greater ability to diagnose and distinguish between mental illnesses. In the “olden days” all forms of depression/anxiety/etc. were just referred to as nervousness and nervous breakdowns, especially in women, and were often written off as over-emotional-ness and “treated” with solitary confinement or extra rest (which is often counter-productive), or forcing them to socialise, which was also a negative way to deal with it. It was all very hush hush, and talking about it wasn’t really acceptable

    Liked by 1 person

    • An Overthinking Teenager says:

      Yes, that is so true! Advances in medicine have let us diagnose much more accurately, which I guess lets us recognise illnesses for what they really are and perhaps makes it appear as though tons of illnesses are sprouting up, when they’ve really been there the whole time. Talking about it is also much more commonplace, which I guess also helps raise awareness! Thanks for taking the time to comment 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Elizabeth the Evil Overlord says:

    I think people have more information about things that give them anxiety due to constant media being thrown at us. That said, we are also more comfortable talking about mental health and accepting that it can be helped, now that there are pills for a lot of things that couldn’t be helped thirty or more years ago. There was a big mental health initiative being sponsored by 3 blogs for the last 2 weeks that may interest you. Start at itstartsatmidnight.com for the Shattering Stigmas event if you’re interested.

    Like

    • An Overthinking Teenager says:

      Ooh, I’ll definitely have a look at the mental health initiative thing! More info is definitely true – now it’s becoming more “socially acceptable” the media are definitely talking about it more. And yes, there have been big advances in medicine referring to mental health, which is brilliant! Thanks for stopping by and commenting 🙂

      Like

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