Anxiety and Depression
More and more people are suffering from higher levels of anxiety and depression. Emergency room doctors have noticed that severe attacks of anxiety seem more common on weekends. It is not immediately clear why the increase in anxiety and depression is noticed mainly during weekends. However, doctors suspect it has something to do with loneliness. Although many of us have hectic professional lives, we are becoming increasingly isolated. Personally, I think the doctors might be right.
Increased incidents of anxiety and depression could be linked to feeling lonely and isolated. We often have friends on Facebook, but a large majority of people seem to have fewer friends in the off-line world.
Both depression and anxiety are considered diseases of loneliness. Our lives today are lonelier than they were a decade ago. To find a job we may have moved away from family and friends. We have isolated ourselves in our own little bubbles of work, shopping and home. Many people have done the same thing, and as a result we have become lonelier.
Communication seems to be something that belongs on the internet. Whilst, we are happy to communicate with a perfect stranger on the internet, we are less likely to start talking to a fellow shopper. I have to ask myself if doctors are not in fact trying to treat loneliness with pills and psychotherapy sessions.
Loneliness is certainly one of the reasons why the increase in anxiety and depression is now more prominent. There are, however, other factors as well. We are still living in tough financial times, and employers do push their staff to the limit. Many of us work longer hours to make ends meet which leads to stress. We don’t feel that we have time for ourselves, let alone time for other people in our lives. Our modern hectic lifestyles do not really make time for friendships and love.
Poor finances can also lead to increased anxiety and depression. We have no money left over at the end of the month to enjoy the simple things in life. Possibly there isn’t enough money in the household budget to go out for dinner with friends, or enjoy a night at the movies.
I have thought about loneliness a lot recently. Someone I used to live close to developed depression after having moved away from our home town. One Saturday night she suffered an anxiety attack, and ended up in the emergency room. It took her a little while, but she soon realized that the trade-off for her well paid job was loneliness.