Have you noticed now-a-days, there has been a spike of people feeling depressed? Is it really a recent phenomenon or are people willing to admit it more than in the past? After all, the stigma surrounding mental illness has somewhat improved in the recent years. In our modern world we are constantly surrounded by images of what our life should look like. Our mind doesn’t take a break. From the moment we wake up to the moment we fall asleep. We are absorbing false information unconsciously.
Think about, once you wake up. The first thing you grab is your cell phone to check your social media. Even on your lunch break you are online. Not only that, but if you watch tv, you will be bombarded by commercials created by companies trying to sell you things you don’t need. When you go to the mall, there will be highly edited pictures of models in clothing and makeup. Even in pharmacies if you pass the magazine aisle, there will be dozens of magazines and in the cover are models. You can’t even take a break while you are driving. You will pass a bunch of billboards with ads, and the on the radio there will be commercials.
In addition, if you are bored. There are websites, apps, and games you can entertain yourself with. There is Netflix, Hulu, YouTube and all sorts of video games. It’s like a minefield for our brain. The following is a list of ways our modern world can affect us and in the long run lead to depression:
- Entertainment Media: Movies, television shows, and commercials portray ideal versions of what your life should look like and for the majority us that isn’t the case. Believe in or not, these images become ingrained into your subconscious mind affecting how you feel even when you don’t notice.
- Social Media and Magazines: The images you see of influencers online or of models in magazines are highly edited. Many models have admitted to feeling insecure after seeing their pictures edited. In some cases, it doesn’t look like them. Without even realizing it, you compare your physical body to those images. Slowly, but surely people’s self-esteem become affected.
- Life Distortions: We are constantly bombarded with stories in movies that show overnight success. This isn’t farther from the truth. Just because in the movies the actors build an overnight business doesn’t mean you are failing. The reality is that creating a successful business does not happen overnight. It takes loads of work, patience and determination.
- False Romance: There is a trend in romance movies where the main character. Runs into their soulmate, falling in love at first sight. Love doesn’t work that way. Sure, there can be an initial attraction at first, but a solid relationship takes work and determination from both parts. Not only that, but in some movies the actors go after a person who doesn’t like them and, in the end, that person magically falls in love with them. In real life, if you go after someone who doesn’t like you. You will end up hurt.
- Pornography: This one can seem weird, but porn sells false expectations when it comes to sex. It has gotten to a point, that if your sex life does not look a porn movie. You may end up thinking you are doing something wrong or that you cannot please your partner. In porn women need to be screaming and squirting like crazy to be pleased, but this is false. Women and men can feel pleasure and express it in their unique ways.
- False advertisements: There has been an increase of advertisements online that state your problems will magically be fixed if you buy their products. Whether it’s an acne cream, diet teas, lifesaving hair products, and clothing that will change the shape of your body, etc. These products won’t fix your situation. For example, a diet tea won’t make you lose 30 pounds if you don’t make healthier food choices. People end up buying products that are no good and feel disappointed time after time.
- Work/career burnout: Sadly, people can be viewed as machines. Companies expect their employees to be on top of their game 24/7 while being payed with unlivable wages. Employees can go years working without some sort of recognition. Not only that, but people can overwork themselves to the point of burnout.
- Nutrition: Believe it or not, our grandparent ate healthier than us. Now-a-days, everywhere you go there are fast food restaurants, and the grocery stores are full of processed foods. The food we eat lack the nutrients we need to maintain a healthy brain and body. Research has demonstrated that the food we eat directly impacts our mood.
- Over-stimulation: Spending all day online can mentally burn you out. It’s important for our brain to take breaks from the constant bombardment. Quiet and alone time is essential our mental health. Take a break every now and then, turn your phone off, and simply be present.
- News Media: Some news outlets focus on the negative. The only thing you hear is murder, robbery, corruption, car accidents, rape, kidnapping, death, illnesses, and war. Although it is important to communicate bad things that happen. That doesn’t mean good things don’t occur. It is important for news companies to maintain a balance and also share positive news.
There are ways of minimizing depression. Be aware that not everything you see online is true. Take breaks from social media, tv, radio, and the online world. You do not need to be connected 24/7. Facebook and Instagram isn’t going anywhere, so don’t feel pressured to be online all the time. Build a life according to what you want, not what influencers make it out to be. Don’t compare your physical beauty to magazine pictures and images online that are edited to look better. Don’t believe everything you see on the news and don’t feed into the negativity and fear that is put out there. Be aware that success and love takes time and dedication. It is not a one day process like movies make it out to be. Most of all live a life authentic to you. Be genuine and express yourself how you want. The right people will find you.