How mental health can affect the younger generation?
We all believe that the younger generation are happy, confident and loved, we want to believe they have no stresses, worries or sadness in their focus. Our society passionately believes that kids play, run and laugh insanely without even the knowledge that mental health issues exist never mind that they live within them. I have even encountered some of the older generations openly believing that mental health issues don’t exist at all never mind within the younger ones, who “have never felt stresses” because the world is easy these days. Yet I have encountered young children with self-consciousness, stress and heavy loads of sadness that they cannot explain. Which are all aspects of mental health issues, today I want to bring to light that children are just as affected by mental health issues as adults and we should be able to discuss this openly with them. I believe that we are so scared to talk about mental health issues that many children of the next generation will not understand the dangers of mental health issues. Your mental health is increasingly important and something we all must live with for the rest of our lives and we should treasure it, build on it and love it incredibly. I think we often forget that our minds need the same amount of attention as our bodies get, we teach our children to eat vegetables and take up sports but what aspects or lessons do we give them to help improve or manage their mental health.
We pick up habits of self-doubt and negativity from many aspects of our lives; the people we love, the places we visit and the house we live in are just some examples, All areas that our children can pick these up from. Mistakenly calling names like ‘stupid’, ‘no good’ or ‘weird’ or consistent negativity (not necessarily aimed at them) can all be picked up and impact on mental health both in a small and massive way. This instantly scares me as I come to the realization the number of times my own negativity could have impacted the next generation, the tiresome long days have dragged all my energy which has turned to anger, sadness or sleepiness and spread to the younger side of my family. I fear for my future generation when my own mental health issues become too much and pass the negativity on again. repeating a cycle, we can’t seem to stop because we are afraid of mental illness, we are afraid to be open and give ourselves the opportunity to manage.
I know first-hand how name-calling can affect someone’s self-esteem but we never realise the impact our own negativity against ourselves can have on other people. Without consciousness, we are teaching our children, the next generation that its okay to bully ourselves. To make ourselves feel bad by calling ourselves nasty names “I’m ugly, “I look disgusting in this dress/shirt’ or ‘I’m gross’ and this be normal. Which in turn spreads to themselves and they begin to feel bad about who they are because they see everyone around them with this behaviour. I want us to be able to give the next generation the opportunity to grow with self-love, confidence and ability to be open about their mental health. Throughout our lives, we will all experience mental health issues in some form and our society has turned us into judgmental bullies that sadly speak before we think how other people will feel.
“Mental health problems affect about 1 in 10 children and young people. They include depression, anxiety and conduct disorder, and are often a direct response to what is happening in their lives.” (https://www.mentalhealth.org.uk/a-to-z/c/children-and-young-people) Many children are able to live a life of contentment not realising the stresses of the world until they are well into their teens or adulthood, however, some children develop in an atmosphere that is increasingly stressful.
I have taken this opportunity to learn how children may develop mental health issues and the ways we can learn to help them improve and manage. Children can develop mental health issues for a range of reasons for example bullying, moving to a new house, being abused, parents separating, death in the family also be no clear reason at all. Mental health issues can be presented in their behaviour and unfortunately, this is punished and forgotten instead of talked about and improved against. We often forget that children have bad days in the exact same as ourselves but for some reason, we don’t accept this as normal and instead of allowing them to be sad. To try and help children with mental health issues like depression and anxiety we should encourage an open environment to ensure they are able to talk about it and noticing the change in their behaviour or language.