Friday, 26 May 2023

When Campaigns Are Too Successful...

This year’s big week, run by the Mental Health Foundation, starts on Monday. Its theme is anxiety, a disorder affecting a quarter of adults, according to the foundation – a statistic that sounds unbelievably large until you read its description of the condition, which seems almost broad enough to take in the full sweep of human experience.
“Lots of things can lead to feelings of anxiety, including exam pressures, relationships, starting a new job (or losing one) or other big life events. We can also get anxious when it comes to things to do with money and not being able to meet our basic needs, like heating our home or buying food.”

We used to call this 'life' once, didn't we? And got on with it? In fact, wasn't it once a peculiarly British trait? 

Britain is certainly more aware than it used to be. Diagnoses have broadened – more of us see grief and stress as mental illnesses than we did a decade ago. Therapy-speak infuses the language: triggering, boundaries, projection, self-care – stiff-upper-lipped Brits have expanded their vocabularies.

No more, it would seem... 

The theme of last year’s mental health awareness week was loneliness. Previous years have covered nature and mental health, kindness and body image. These awareness campaigns seem to work by stretching the concept of mental illness into the realm of common experience – linking anxious feelings to anxiety, or relating depression to the stresses of everyday life.

Which isn't good for anyone. Except those peddling snake oil 'cures' and remedies. They must be making out like bandits... 


  1. I suppose that our low grade politicians have made sure these grifters receive copious amounts of our taxes, which is probably why they are able to hold these events. And finance lobbyists to make sure the money keeps on coming.


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