In the fast-paced and ever-changing world we live in, our lives have been impacted by constant upheaval and new challenges in consonance with the already existing challenges. Being aware of them and understanding their impact on our mental health becomes crucial in order to tackle them effectively.
With global pandemics to daily struggles, there are multiple factors that impact our mental health in this fast-paced world. We have categorized the most important factors as the 4Cs- Climate, Contagion, Conflict, and Conformity.
We are our surroundings. Increasing climate change and extreme weather patterns cause a notable rise in mental health problems, leading to imbalances and a collapse in mental well-being.
Shifting weather patterns, such as unexpected storms, floods, etc., generate insecurity and unpredictability, causing anxiety among people in affected regions.
Extreme weather events like hurricanes, wildfires, and natural disasters can cause trauma, fear, and PTSD due to loss of lives, homes, and livelihoods.
Climate change's global implications, such as rising sea levels and extreme weather events, lead to feelings of powerlessness and distress about the planet's fate and future generations.
Increasing pollution in major life resources, notably air and water pollution creates environmental vulnerability and health concerns, increasing stress levels.
Overpopulated surroundings create competition for resources, employment, and housing, contributing to daily stressors.
With global pandemics and rising illnesses on a large scale, mental health has a general negative shift worldwide.
Physical illness directly impacts mental health through the emotional turmoil, uncertainty, fear, burden of dependency, and social isolation that a patient faces.
The fear of contracting diseases can heighten anxiety, as was seen during the COVID-19 pandemic, and trigger grief thinking about loved ones being affected.
Isolation and lockdowns lead to loneliness, disrupted routines, and financial strain, further impacting mental well-being.
Those who lose their loved ones experience extreme trauma which can lead to many difficulties.
This encompasses both large-scale conflicts like wars between countries, as well as everyday personal conflicts which can severely affect mental health.
Geopolitical tensions create an atmosphere of fear, uncertainty, and social division among communities and different ethnic groups. This heightens cases of social stress and anxiety.
Geopolitical conflicts force people to become refugees, leading to trauma, grief, and mental health challenges for those affected.
Those involved in wars, like soldiers and civilians in conflict zones, often suffer trauma and PTSD due to exposure to violence and atrocities.
Global exposure to wars through media coverage can lead to collective feelings of helplessness and emotional distress due to constantly witnessing violence and suffering.
Rapid societal changes can cause conflicts between generations or cultural norms, straining families and communities.
Financial hardships and economic disparities can lead to conflicts over job security, stability, and resources.
The fast-paced nature of modern life can also result in conflicts in the form of problems with work-life balance, personal relationships, and management of mental health.
The tendency for an individual to align their attitudes, beliefs, and behaviors with those of the people around them can significantly affect mental health.
To pursue societal norms and get social acceptance, individuals may adopt certain ideals and behaviors that don’t align with their personal identity.
These unrealistic expectations from oneself can lead to dissatisfaction and despair, which can cause major disorders in the future.
People often conform to social groups or adopt certain behaviors to gain acceptance, approval, or validation from those they interact with regularly.
Lack of authenticity due to conformity to social groups can create major mental health problems over time.
Various factors specific to mental health make it challenging to effectively diagnose and treat problems.
The stigma around mental health is a significant barrier to seeking and receiving adequate treatment. It sets back all development in making mental health a topic for open discussion and acceptance.
Just like everyone needs to care for their physical health, caring for their mental health help is also for everyone - it’s not limited to people dealing with mental health disorders. For both physical as well as mental health, prevention is better than cure.