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Do You Have Mental Health Problems or You Just Built a Shit Life?

We have romanticised mental health issues and it is not as good as we think. Most mental health issues are circumstantial, you address the circumstances and the problem disappears. But we don't tell that to people, instead, we urge them to take medication and sell them the idea that we all must have a therapist, a stranger to talk to about that feeling we had on Thursday when we were washing up the dishes or got a bollocking from our boss. We have romanticised mental health problems but I think people have started to see through this charade. 

Don't get me wrong, raising awareness was very much welcomed as we really didn't pay attention to it but we went too far and have created an even greater problem. People got rid of the "stressors" instead of managing them. We got rid of things that are worth living for and replaced them with technology or shall I say, another stressor and now Gen Z and Millenials are walking around with no purpose in life. Congratulations! We have created a shit life and nobody is telling that to people black and white. Instead, we have these so-called "mental health experts" running around selling mental health problems allowing people to indulge in their misery instead of lifting them out of it. 

When somebody goes to a psychologist, with for example depression, the first thing any doctor worth their money will do is check if that person is sufficiently embedded in society. What do we mean by that? They ask very simple questions; do you have an intimate partner? Do you have family around you? Do you have children friends, a job, a career, an educational pathway, adulthood responsibilities or a routine or are they active participants of public life i.e. community? If the answer to most of these is "no" they are not depressed they just built a shit life that is not sufficiently motivating or inspiring to get out of bed. Now, translate that to the younger generation who replaced human connections with technology and tell me that most of their struggles are not self-inflicted. If you are reasonably embedded in society and feeling depressed they then dive into it because it is likely that something is bothering you. But if you are not socially involved they tell you to go get some friends, a job, a partner, spend time with family and come back to see how that changed things. No Prozac, no therapy is needed. You need socialisation that is all too scary to the younger generations as data is showing. Needless to say, parents can change that by removing the bloody gadgets they pushed into their kids' hands and getting them involved with other kids. Child psychologists will tell you that your job as a parent is to socialise your kid by the age of three so your kid will not be rejected by others. Give them the iPad and the phone and see what happens. 

We have created two generations that are obsessed with self-care (bordering narcissism), as the end goal rather than to be in service to others. We made them believe that more money would make them less anxious, and that work is the devil they must run away from because that is what causes stress, burnout, and all other mental health issues. We feed them with headlines like "The Great Exhaustion Era" making them believe that we are worse off than the Victorian factory workers. Great exhaustion era? PLEASE! We never had a better life despite the current societal challenges which every generation had to grapple with. We are not different if anything, we have it easier but we are misusing our resources including technology. 

We have created a generation (Gen Z) that half don't feel that they are thriving. Why? What does thriving even mean to them? Is it really all about finances, buying a house, a car, etc.????? If this is what it means well, then the solution is not crying about a pay rise or a promotion they didn't get. The solution is not "I don't want to serve capitalism so I don't work". The solution is figuring out what would "thriving" look like and what as an individual, given my abilities, opportunities, responsibilities, skills etc I can do to start walking toward it. It might not be buying a house to start but what about living in a way that doesn't cause misery? How about starting with that? How about stopping the consumption of content that forces them to believe that their life is extremely hard? How about starting with that? How about making decisions for themselves instead of waiting for the government or the employers to sort their lives out? We know that no direction and too many choices in the absence of a decision send signals to your brain which causes anxiety. So why don't we teach these guys that hey, you won't be anxious the moment you figure out the way so focus on that instead of indulging in your misery in the form of therapy, support group and online moaning including the endorsement of TikTok videos that validate your misfortunes. 

Why can't we see what we are doing to people with the constant push of mental health issues? The same as what we started doing to kids when the FDA approved the use of Ozempic instead of telling them to get out, play at the playground or join a sports club. No, let's give them something that will possibly mess them up for good. Parents, save your children, please! Gen Z and Millenials, you are way stronger than what they led you to believe!!!! Come on guys you all got this without a stupid therapist. Arm yourself with some friends and family members who support and listen to you (so you don't expect your employers to do that and HR to be your therapist) and tackle life head-on. It is a good game. As Jordan Peterson says "Some games you don't get to play unless you are all in. Being alive means you are all in, no matter what you do, you are all in. This is going to kill you so, why not play the most magnificent game while you are waiting for death?" Don't die before you actually die. You got this guys. 

PS: There are clinical mental health problems that require medical intervention and I also acknowledge the fact that therapy is sometimes needed (It helped my brother). But not in the proportion that is sold to us. It has also been proposed that separating mental, physical and emotional health is somewhat flawed as there is only one health. When you are struggling with physical health it will impact your emotional and mental health. When you are struggling with emotional health it is likely to impact the other two and so on. A holistic approach to overall health is needed and everything I wrote about above is part of it. So no, Prozac will not fix your problem if you built a shitty life. It is like HR trying to fix engagement with the monthly pizza party while the entire system is broken. 

Exciting news! My second book, "Blind Leading the Disengaged - From Kindergarten to Employee Experience," is dropping in April! It's a treasure trove of solutions and cool ideas to shake up your people management game. But before we get there, let's chat about where we're at now—The Corporate Kindergarten, as I spilt the beans in my first book. Check it out, and let's transform your workplace from a daycare to an awesome employee experience hub!:

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