A sick society

Australians are falling apart at the seams – not only with respect to grossly bulging waistlines making us one of the unhealthiest nations in the world – but it seems from a plethora of mental health issues, too.

Modern living seems to be getting us down in a big way with latest statistics indicating one-in-twenty of us is seeking help from social workers, psychiatrists or psychologists. More alarming is that one-in-ten Aussies are gulping down anti-depressants to seek solace from the challenges of the real world.

What is happening to our national ethos of the rugged individualist prepared to tackle adversity under any circumstances? On these statistics we are just a bunch of wussy wimps.

Okay, so the world today is not a real magic place (albeit we should not lose sight of the myriad wonders that do happen each and every day) but is it really as bad as these depressing statistics indicate?

It is hardly surprising that research suggests financial worries and fears over job security are taking a toll on our emotional well-being. But both these issues have always been a factor in many people’s lives. And while there are comparatively ‘new’ issues such as terrorism causing us grief, living through the Cold War era of mutually assured destruction was not a lot of fun, either.

What has changed is our growing dependence, mentally, on a quick fix to our problems. The pop a pill and feel relaxed approach is simply a variant on our consumption of alcohol in earlier generations.

You have to wonder, too, about the skyrocketing prevalence of social media which, despite their ability to seemingly connect us all the better, in reality appear to be creating far more disconnect than is desirable.

The all-encompassing intrusion of news media with their constant barrage of negativity can hardly be a beneficial thing, either.

But if we do not work to cultivate strong mental well-being then our mounting health problems will simply continue to soar.