It seems like mental health problems are on the increase and the internet has played a significant part in the rise, particularly among younger people. How much can be blamed on the internet, and just how common are mental health issues?
A higher demand for mental health services
The higher demand for qualified professionals means there are more study paths when looking to train as a psych np, or any other profession dealing with mental illness. Degrees help those interested in the profession to learn and gain experience from work placements while gaining their qualifications. Many people who choose this career have known someone who has received a mental health diagnosis.
Why is the internet to blame?
The internet has made life easier in so many ways, but for many, it means that if a problem doesn’t have a quick fix, we can become stressed. Thirty years ago, we all had to find solutions to problems and setbacks without the internet, and while life has never been perfect in any era, people accepted that solutions to problems took time to establish.
The instant updates online today are also partly responsible for poor mental health. News sites, Facebook and other websites, and social media platforms, constantly scramble to post the latest news and reports on all the worse aspects of life, because bad news gets clicks, shares and comments. We have the advantage of being able to communicate with people all over the world, but this makes the world feel smaller than it is, and so the negative events in the news feel more condensed. It’s easy to fall into the trap of missing the good parts of life because they are harder to find online.
Why are young people affected so much?
Young people never had a time in their life where information wasn’t so readily available. While older people are more able to fall back on more traditional methods of problem solving when technology fails, the younger generation have never had to rely on anything else. Many people have hundreds if not thousands of online friends, and a single post can receive hundreds of likes and comments, which don’t match up with the reactions they get offline. Rather than making social media users feel more connected, it can lead to feelings of isolation, depression and anxiety, and heighten any existing mental health issues.
It’s not all doom and gloom though. Mental health issues may be on the rise, but so are the number of services and other help and support that anyone who is struggling can access. More people are open to talking with their friends and family. Employers tend to be more understanding than they used to be, and while there is always room for improvement, it’s a start. The first thing to do is speak to your doctor and they will refer you to the right services.
If you have an interest in helping people with a mental health problem, it’s a worthwhile career to pursue and there are so many career paths to choose from.