Mental health issues are a serious problem in Canada, the United States and other western nations. In the 20th century and even in the early part of the 21st century, there seems to be a stigma attached to individuals who say “I go through periods of depression. There are times when I can’t even get out of bed to face the day” or “I was so stressed that I would cry and cry and cry before I got to the office. I would have to sit in my car for 15 minutes before I got the courage to walk to the elevator.”
If you talk to health professionals, these stories are not uncommon. Neither are those that aren’t told by strangers but in confidence by your spouse, siblings, friends, co-workers and neighbors. Those from people, who realize that something in their life is just not right, that they need to reach out, and ask for help to put their life back into balance before it’s too late.
For some, they are able to get the necessary treatment and escape the pain to once again enjoy the fruits of a full and rewarding life. For others, the path is different. They continue on a very slow downward spiral where noticeable changes in behavior (e.g., withdrawal, isolationism and deterioration in hygiene) are acknowledged by those closest to them. For this group and for others – those who are able to mask the pain and suffering – the ending of their life by suicide nevertheless becomes a shock to those closest to them: their family, friends and coworkers.
In our society no group is immune from these deadly phenomena. From preteens to the elderly, from low income earners to high income earners, from blue collar workers to white collars workers, we are all susceptible.
It is unfortunate but as a society, we are fixated on quickness: drive through windows, fast food restaurants and even communication. When have you last received a text or email from someone under 20 with complete words? The king’s language now seems to be destined to that of the uneducated or common folk. And it seems that the medical solution for this problem lies in the “quick fix,” masking of the problem as opposed to dealing with the core or the real issues. For many, the solution to their problem lies in an increase in alcohol consumption, the use of illegal substances, the abuse of prescription painkillers – substances that are all very addictive, and which can only add to the problem as opposed to providing the solution they are seeking.
Addictions are increasing at an alarming rate, and marijuana use will definitely be up when it becomes legal in Canada. Alcohol consumption is also rising: more females are drinking, and there is a 7% increase in smoking too. Overall, cigarette smoking is reported to be lower but the reality is that the number of cigarette smokers worldwide has increased due to population growth – according to new research from the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation at the UW. It is my belief that the cigarette smokers are still smoking just as they were before but perhaps in a different method. The use of electronic cigarettes, which still carry the nicotine, is rising and marijuana smoking is also steadily increasing.
As we have reported in our newsletter from 13th April, 2018, titled The Impact of the Gut Microbiota: Bioaccumulation from Commonly Used Drugs, the medical treatment being recommended for mental illness may be contributing to the depression. As a recap, The European Molecular Biology Laboratory released a study on the impact of drugs on the human microbiome. 1,000 drugs were screened on how they affect gut bacteria. They found out that one in four drugs inhibited the growth of bacteria in the human gut. The various drugs caused antibiotic-like side effects and promoted antibiotic resistance. The drugs were from all therapeutic classes, including antipsychotics, proton-pump inhibitors, hormones and anti-cancer drugs. The importance of the study our gut microbiome directly influences many factors in health, including mood, immunity, and obesity. Interestingly, the drugs’ effect on good bacteria was greater than the effect on pathogens.
We have a crisis on our hands in all sectors of society.
The underlying issue still remains: the people are not happy and are looking at external means in order to compensate for something missing deep within. Drugs will never satisfy the emptiness, they only work to temporarily forget the despair.
Lives today are out of line and need order. Realignment is needed through proper nutrition, natural medicine and a caring hand with lots of love, without judgment. The cure can’t be prescribed or found on the street, it runs so much deeper than that. As the rates continue to increase and as the media coverage shows the despair, it would seem that society is just as lost or unwilling to provide a collective remedy. If it ever were to really be tackled, it would mean a complete overhaul to what we are now doing, and I don’t think they are willing to write that sort of a prescription.