James Donaldson notes:
Welcome to the “next chapter” of my life… being a voice and an advocate for mental health awareness and suicide prevention, especially pertaining to our younger generation of students and student-athletes.
Getting men to speak up and reach out for help and assistance is one of my passions. Us men need to not suffer in silence or drown our sorrows in alcohol, hang out at bars and strip joints, or get involved with drug use.
Having gone through a recent bout of depression and suicidal thoughts myself, I realize now, that I can make a huge difference in the lives of so many by sharing my story, and by sharing various resources I come across as I work in this space. http://bit.ly/JamesMentalHealthArticle
When you take a look at the way our society is progressing it seems to be an advancement towards the “do it yourself” attitude. Leave your home, go to school, find a job, buy a house, have a kid, treat your neighbors well, and with any luck you live a healthy life without losing any of the former. Isn’t this how society is telling us how to live? With the extreme number of growing people reaching out to their doctors for help with depression, anxiety, and suicidal tendencies, could this possibly be the way we should be living?
Why do we live this way? Why is it that family and home are the first things we are supposed to give up as we become “adults”? If you return home to your loved ones then you are seen as a failure in our society. Let’s take a look at a group of people who look at this a little differently, the Amish. They have one of the lowest depression and anxiety rates of any culture. When children hit 18 years old they are sent out into “the real world” and they have two years to decide if they would like to stay or if they would like to return home. The decision is completely up to the young adult. A shocking 80% decide to return home and live a slower paced life where they are surrounded by loved ones.
Playing on a team can be a very fun and fulfilling experience. Everyone uses their strengths to achieve the goal of winning. Even if you do not win the ultimate championship of your sport, you feel good because you all tried to the best of your abilities. If you try and fail, you do it as a group, then move on as such. However, when you are on your own in life and things are going poorly because you aren’t doing well in this crazy world, it can be devastating. You are failing and you are to blame no matter how little your childhood has prepared you. How different would our lives be if we treated life more like we played on a team? What if you had support around you your whole life instead of living on a lonely path running you head first into debt? What if you found purpose in having a strong family and community rather than simply being a never-ending payer of bills? What if contributing to a team was more important than contributing to the economy as a consumer? Would we feel differently about life in general? Ironically, a giant percentage of the population that we deem successful are taking anti-depressants or anxiety medications. So how can the “do it yourself” model be the right one?
Is this way life is designed to be or just a symptom of the economy we live in? The easy answer is that we adapted to this lifestyle due to politics, media, and the puppeteers above. The modern age we live in with the industrial and technological revolution has provided us with enough amenities that we have forgotten our roots and have disconnected over time. The availability of food and other necessities means we do not need to work together to stay alive. However, there is a large difference between just living for the sake of living and thriving within our roots! We as humans have deeply rooted connections that are built into our DNA. The reason we have been divided may not be the most important question, rather how in this modern age do we create a stronger community? Is it possible to come together and become more of a family that supports each other to find purpose and love?
Maybe our concept of success is a what needs to be reimagined to fit our real human necessity… connection!
Below is an extremely interesting podcast by Joe Rogan and his guest Johann Hari. Please read his description above the video on why this interview is so very relevant to this blog. This podcast (JRE or The Joe Rogan Experience) can also be found on any relevant podcast app.
I started this wonderful podcast between Johann Hari and Joe Rogan in a spot that speaks to the main point of this blog article but I am sure you will love watching it in its entirety. Johann wrote the book “Lost Connections: Uncovering the Real Causes of Depression – and the Unexpected Solutions.” As a child, Johann had dealt with his own mental challenges. As an adult, he went on a forty-thousand-mile journey across the world to interview the leading experts about what causes depression and anxiety, and what solves them. He learned there is scientific evidence for nine different causes of depression and anxiety―and that this knowledge leads to a very different set of solutions: ones that offer real hope.