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 - especially with the spread of Covid 19 - a potentially killer virus. And that is the key point - potentially. Of those who get it, the current stats show that 98.3% will survive no problem - and those that do die will have significant underlying health issues and will be primarily in old age. But just because you are old or have health issues does not mean you are going to die. Fear not! You can take actions to ensure that you don't get it and that you don't pass it on by following government guidelines.
This is what we have too often.
This is why the pros played as kids!
Sharon was recently overlooked for promotion in her job after 20 years service. During that time she had taken on numerous extra responsibilities, from voluntary to leadership roles, in a company that is widely regarded among its staff, to be a toxic work environment. When a new employee with limited experience joined the company and was offered promotion after a very short spell, there was a strong sense of revolt among the staff. While the new employee was very nice and obliging, the sense of injustice among the staff towards Sharon was palpable. The new employee had been promoted after developing a strong personal relationship with one of the VPs and had other links within the company. For Sharon, this was the last straw and she felt she had to resign. It was hard for her to leave the company she had shown such loyalty to, but the minute she left, she felt a huge weight lifted off her shoulders. The company recruitment process was rotten from top to bottom.
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.
Numerous accounts of high profile athlete's suffering from depression have surfaced in recent times. This openness and honesty is both refreshing and healthy as it normalises issues that affects the majority of families at some level in some shape or form. Previously, people suffered in silence, almost ashamed to reveal their reality to the people around them. Truth be told, it is extremely common, normal and most importantly, very treatable! Unfortunately, some still choose to keep their struggles to themselves due to a perceived stigma around mental health and some unfortunately take it to the next level - often a permanent solution to a temporary problem.
At the football World Cup 2018 in Russia, the president of Croatia Kolinda Grabar-Kitarović flew to Russia economy class. She took a regular seat with her fans in the stadium at all of the matches bar the semi-final with England where she was busy at a NATO conference. At the final, she is spotted in the crowd with her people and invited to the VIP section. She is told she can't wear her jersey or nation's colours in this section. She wears them anyway - supporting her team all the way!
After the narrow loss, she is invited to the presentation podium with national leaders of both Russia and France. While other leaders stand under umbrellas, she greets her team and the opposition with pride in the spilling rain getting drowned wet! She embraces each player at the end, both winners and runners alike like long lost sons! Social media takes it viral! The people of Croatia are ultra proud!
Recently I was presented with the challenge of addressing a group of parents and teachers of a cluster of schools in a midlands town – primary and secondary around the whole area of mental health and young people. This prompted me to investigate some of the major issues driving the growth in incidence of youth mental health issues.
Performance psychologist - accredited with Irish Institute of Sport