October is just one of the months throughout each year that many organizations work to raise awareness about mental health issues. Whether your focus is on National Depression and Health Screening or World Mental Health, Mental Illness Awareness, as far as I’m concerned, the topic of mental health cannot be overstated, nor can it be talked about too much. And it turns out that our addiction to smart phones is not so smart.
According to a recent study, “Mental health issues in our world populations have been steadily escalating for the last three decades. Most recently it became a primary public health concern as the COVID-19 pandemic brought the issue to the forefront. The World Health Organization (WHO) released a scientific brief in March 2022 stating that the already existing global prevalence of anxiety and depression increased by yet another 25% in 2020 as populations struggled with the fear and social isolation that accompanied the stress of quarantines and shutdowns.”
It is my intention to continue to write and speak about this issue to bring more and more people into the discussion. Because the addiction is so widespread, it’s often more difficult to penetrate the awareness of those who are addicted. The same thing is true of drug addicts – it’s difficult to acknowledge to themselves that they have a problem. How do we raise awareness about this global addiction that is on one hand giving us access to information we could never have imagined 30 years ago, while simultaneously destroying our peace of mind and our health? Once again, the topic cannot be overstated.
The Upsurge Of Mental Health Issues Aligns With The Mass Use Of Technology
Scientific correlations are linking the mass use of technology in the last 30 years with the upsurge of anxiety and depression that we are seeing across the globe. Specifically, the associations relate back to the unnatural stimulation of dopamine and how it is affecting our biochemistry.
Addiction to smartphones is widespread. In the world today, 6.64 billion people utilize one. That translates to 84% of the world population. As recounted on CNN, a 2016 poll from Common Sense Media stated that 50% of teens self-reported that they felt addicted to their mobile devices. A 2018 Pew Research Report showed that 45% of teens said that they use the Internet ‘almost all the time.’ Yet other polls show the overwhelming number of times people check their phones every day, slaves to every notification, even sleeping next to the devices.
Thoughts, Trauma, And Toxins Drive Behavior
The chiropractic profession has long recognized the role of thoughts, trauma, and toxins (the 3T’s) in the realm of health and disease. Technology in this sense has become a toxin that also affects our thoughts and drives behaviors. Particularly relevant in chiropractic clinics, symptoms of back, joint and limb pain that can accompany depression are highly common. Within primary care settings, a difficulty is that a high percentage of patients with depression present exclusively with physical symptoms, which may be interpreted as symptoms of a somatic illness, which can result in undiagnosed depression.
Help Raise Awareness
I hope you will read and share the entire report provided in the link below entitled Depression, Dopamine, and Drug-free Interventions. As far as I am concerned Mental Health Awareness Month is every month. Please join me in helping to bring greater awareness to this global issue.
If you have a loved one who has suffered with substance abuse and mental health issues, please check out the following organizations. They are here to help.