Mental Health & Politics?

Hello Everyone -

I never thought I would be writing a blog someday about the impact of the media and politicians on our mental health. Friends have told me they can no longer watch news on television - because they get depressed or agitated. Clinician friends of mine have told me patients are seeking advice on how to deal with their relatives at holidays who have opposing political views. I have personally attended low key cocktail parties and dinners which turn into highly charged political debates. 

What is really insane is our current day political environment. I have my own theory on why things have gotten so toxic, and a little advice for those who are getting depressed or agitated about politics.

There are two very large - influential groups (media and politicians) who have a huge incentive to make and keep our country divided. I personally dislike seeing millions of Americans fall for the damaging game these two large institutions are playing. 

I don't care if you are watching Fox News or MSNBC - their goal is to make you agitated with anyone who may have opposing political views. They will use fear or any other tactics to get you into their "echo chambers". The media has never done so well until they found this magic formula of bashing either the liberals or conservatives. However, you must realize you are being manipulated. The "paragons of virtue" in the media have abandoned truth as an key tenet of their work. Investigative journalism has almost disappeared and opinion journalism now reigns the airwaves, print, and social media. It is all about the media making more money. However, lets not have them cause more mental health issues than we are already facing.

Mental health professionals are advising patients to watch less news. If you do watch news, I encourage you to step back and watch how they are trying to manipulate you. Print and social media are both following the same playbook. My advice is to be aware of the game they are playing and laugh at some of their ridiculous stories and techniques. The link at the bottom of this blog really demonstrates how the media has been successful in manipulating Americans.

The second major institution causing significant divisiveness within America is an even more hideous group of characters - our Washington Politicians. When Ross Perot garnered enough votes (18.9%) to knock out George H.W. Bush in the 1992 election - the Republicans and Democrats came together to raise more barriers for any third party. These hurdles make it virtually impossible for a third party to ever have a real chance of winning. They changed ballot laws, registration fees, debate rules, and other elements to ensure a two party system. An evenly divided America is great for a two party system - and they want to keep it that way. Isn't it interesting how politicians can come together on the issue of limiting our choices? In many ways - I believe we have a one party system. The two parties actually agree on many things which are bad for those they are supposed to serve. Both parties agree on No term limits, reckless spending, premium healthcare for themselves, and more perks than I have time to list. 

I realize just watching our politicians in action can be depressing. However, the "cock roaches" in Washington are really scampering these days due to the current (and long overdue) cultural revolution taking place. 

Should you be spending holiday time with any family member(s) who may have opposing political views, I encourage you to not fall for the "lets divide America bait". I would point out to your friends and family how the media and the two party system has incentive to divide us. Since most Americans don't trust the media or politicians, let's enjoy our holidays by coming together and denouncing these two self serving institutions. They should be our targets of our frustration - not each other.

Douglas Colbeth1 Comment