First we have to ask ourselves: Why do we have mental breakdowns? More importantly, what can fuck an individual up to such an extent they have no choice but to have a mental breakdown? One word can answer all: Avoidance.
We all have problems within our lives, whether it be financial or health related. Some have bigger problems than others; we could be stressed because we have no money to pay for rent, whereas someone else could be mourning the passing of a loved one. In the long run, there can be no sure way to directly avoid these hurdles life throws at us and we aren’t always at fault for their occurrence. However, no matter the causality of a situation, no matter the severity of distress a particular problem causes, we are all responsible for how we react.
We are responsible for how we respond to any situation we run into; how we mourn, how we cry, how we curse and blame for the fault of the problem. No one is telling us to do so, we aren’t being held at gun point with someone screaming “You have to spend two weeks lying in bed depressed and miserable after losing your job!”, it is a choice, yet our natural human instinct would be to do exactly that. In the harsh reality of the 21st century, we spend the majority of our time resenting the causality of the problems we face, and far too long avoiding the responsibility we have to better our situation.
Can you see from this, how easily we can fuck up our mental health? First, we encounter a problem, which no matter the size will negatively effect our mental state. Second, we focus solely on the causality of the problem for a prolonged period of time. Finally, if we have a particular mindset – generally associated with poor mental health – we avoid solving the issue; a sure fire way to exponentially pile the weight of worry and anxiety on our already fragile shoulders. The more we avoid, the longer our problems remains unresolved, the more problems we essentially cause for ourselves. It’s a detrimental cascade of pressure and depression that will eventually cause even the strongest of souls to crash and burn – hence the term ‘melt’-down, as our mental state is remarkably similar to the collapse of a Nuclear Power Plant.
The point of this post is to simply state that we will never be able to avoid problems in life, whether they be our fault or not, but we have a choice to avoid the responsibility of the problem. With the way the majority of us think, it is mentally easier to neglect responsibility for a strenuous situation, which certainly has some truth to it. Yet, with the way the majority of us think, we are dragging ourselves down a dark path.
Take heed of this final example: You just got dumped from your partner after being together for a whole year, whats your natural reaction? You turn to anger and sadness, clambering for any way to get them back. This is you focusing on the causality of the problem – they broke up with me, they are to blame, I feel terrible – but at the same time, this is you avoiding the responsibility. They are not forcing you to feel like that, you have a choice in the matter; you could sit their mourning and stuffing your fact with Ben and Jerry’s ice cream, or you could take responsibility, you can accept that nothing can be done and choose to move on and distract yourself, fulfilling your life with meaningful activities.
It’s a mammoth task to ask this of someone, especially someone who is suffering from depression and anxiety, but the quicker we accept the responsibility for the problem, and stop pondering the causality, the quicker the problem goes away. Less problems consequently lead to an improvement in mental health, can you argue with that?
I am trying to climb out of the pit of my mental health I find myself in today, and I believe my first step is to slowly adopt this mindset, maybe it can be your first step too.