We are living in extraordinary times. Stretched to the hilt. Barely coping. Rushing around, multitasking as we go – on our mobile phones, checking emails, juggling multiple balls in the air all at once. The pressure is intense and often overwhelming. We are being stretched further and further, with more demands on us and our children than ever before. But you can’t, as far as I know, stretch time.
Yet we are expected to just keep going, look good, be effective and keep up with the rat race of life. Certainly not talk about it. And, most of us appear to do just that. But how many people are struggling to cope behind closed doors? Its hard to keep going at such a pace before the relentless stress and pressure causes endogenous exhaustion – chronic fatigue, burnout, stress, anxiety and depression.
The statistics speak for themselves – the time people take off work for ‘stress’ is the biggest financial cost employers face. Anxiety and depression are the number one health burden to the world, increasing despite the efforts to improve access to quality psychological treatment. Nearly 65 million prescriptions for anti-depressants were given in 2017, and this rate has doubled in the last decade.
But what are the causes? There are many, and that’s the very problem. Society is actually causing the very problems that we then try to solve, not particularly successfully. In a nutshell, whilst policy and what we might think and say day to day may seem to be fair and equitable, it simply isn’t, because change isn’t being reflected in day to day behaviour. The best intentions are pointless without action. Actions speak louder than words.
In effect society is stuck between old and new times. The issues are at multiple levels – for example, traditional education is still a one size fits all system. We treat differences often as disorder. Gender equality still has miles to go, reflected for example in the fact that there are still far more men in high powered jobs than women, despite equitable numbers training alongside each other. More women still do the lions share of child and household duties, often alongside trying to juggle a job. The discontent this causes in a relationship are considerable.
These factors and many others have had an increasingly clear impact on families with only 50% of marriages surviving over time. There is a significant issue in regards to changing roles and fair sharing duties and indeed the divorce rate rises dramatically in two-parent working families. If you have a child struggling at school, then thew chance of your marriage surviving is only 10%. Family lives are out of balance in regards to equaninimity.
We know the risk factors for health issues but most
are so prominent now that even the younger members of the royal family are campaigning to raise awareness. Divorce