Inspirational woman is living proof of how life can get better after battling mental illness
Mental health is a silent killer and something that, although we are doing our best to do so, isn't discussed enough.
Whether it is depression, social anxiety or another form of mental illness, it can destroy lives and end in tragic circumstances. Unfortunately, we are living in a world where mental illnesses are on the rise, with someone being diagnosed with depression or anxiety every 2.1 minutes in the UK alone.
However, it is not just in the UK that mental illness is on the rise. Research carried out by Dr. Jean Twenge, a social psychologist at San Diego State University who is the author of Generation Me: Why Today’s Young Americans Are More Confident, Assertive, Entitled—and More Miserable Than Ever Before, shows that depression and anxiety has been on the rise in America since the 1930's.
Twenge believes that the root of this growing misery lies in the ways in which young people live their lives, especially when compared to previous generations:
"Obviously there’s a lot of good things about societal and technological progress," she said, "and in a lot of ways our lives are much easier than, say, our grandparents’ or great-grandparents’ lives. But there’s a paradox here that we seem to have so much ease and relative economic prosperity compared to previous centuries, yet there’s this dissatisfaction, there’s this unhappiness, there are these mental health issues in terms of depression and anxiety."
“Modern life doesn’t give us as many opportunities to spend time with people and connect with them, at least in person, compared to, say, 80 years ago or 100 years ago. Families are smaller, the divorce rate is higher, people get married much later in life.”
While smaller families and late marriage are seen as a positive by many, mainly due to the fact it is seen as representative of women getting a greater standing in the workplace, Twenge believes that this lack of compassion and security is contributing to the rise of depressed individuals. She also believes that the prominence of celebrities on social media haven't helped, saying:
"There’s clear evidence that the focus on money, fame, and image has gone up," she said, referring to various surveys that have been conducted in which young people are asked about their goals in life, "and there’s also clear evidence that people who focus on money, fame, and image are more likely to be depressed and anxious."
One girl who knows all about the effects that mental illness can have on someone's life, is Aurora Holt. Holt took to Twitter a few days ago to share her story of overcoming her demons, and understandably, it has gone viral. Sharing a series of images, including one her engagement ring, Holt says:
"Sept. 21 2016 I decided to take my life. Luckily I failed & 365 days later I'm engaged,going to college & starting my future. Don't give up."
Unsurprisingly, her story has captured the imagination of other Twitter users, who have been sharing their own stories of battling depression, with the majority of people calling her a role model and praising her for her bravery and going public with her story.
Holt's story shows that despite how bad things can become, you never know what might be around the corner. Since she tried to end her life, Holt has gone on to do more than she ever would have thought was possible, and she deserves all the plaudits she can possibly get for that.
If you have been affected by any of the issues in this article, contact Your Life Your Voice on 1 800 448 3000, Samaritans on 116 123 or the National Suicide Prevention Hotline on 1 800 273 8255. For recorded information, call Mind on 0300 123 3393.