Poor mental health is a huge issue among young people across Ireland and at the extreme end of this continuum; we continue to lose too many young people to suicide on a weekly basis – often a permanent solution to a temporary problem.
While the problem of suicide is vast, this is the end point of a continuum that often begins with stress, anxiety and depression. In young people, these symptoms and presentations are increasing exponentially and this is something that should concern us all. In my opinion, it has reached epidemic proportions with huge proportions of young people feeling inadequate and indulging in self harm. The statistics will support my view.
Many people set out with great aims of losing weight and improving their health from time to time – often for a wedding, graduation or some other life event. Many experience it annually after Christmas excesses. Gyms and weight loss clinics become inundated with client self-referrals as new enthusiastic and eager customers look to improve their health. There is very often a significant fall off in interest after a few weeks as those enthusiastic exercisers get caught up in other aspects of life and prioritise other things over their previously set exercise plans.
It is generally considered not politically correct to say that a child is fat. I am going to be controversial! Maybe we are doing them a disservice! Maybe we are failing to identify them as overweight and putting measures in place to address this health issue. Besides, the fact that they might be overweight is hardly their fault – more a byproduct of what they are given by their parents to eat. The kids don’t know any different but the parents should.
Everybody has anxiety! We just all experience different levels of it with some people more pre-disposed to it than others. It is a topic we hear a lot about recently - a mental health issue that often went undisclosed and unspoken of in times of yore.
Typically, anxiety can be categorised into 2 levels;
1. Trait Anxiety
2. State anxiety
We all have a natural level of anxiety. We call this our trait anxiety or the level of anxiety that we are normally predisposed to. This can vary between individuals with highly anxious individuals experiencing a high level trait anxiety.