14 Jun, 2019What To Do With Jeremy Kyle And Love Island?
The impact of the 21st Century world and the digital revolution are far reaching and seem to be shaping the way we think and feel. We are bombarded with external pressures from every direction.
From advertising picking up on our fears or making us feel ‘not good enough’ (“Germs are everywhere – buy our cleaner,” “You need a better car to impress your friends,” “What a foolish mistake – if only you’d bought your glasses from us”); to reality TV which turns emotional turmoil into entertainment; to the urge from social media to always be online and gathering ‘likes’ and comments for everything we do. Don’t even get me started on soaps…
Every now and again, one or other of these forms hits the headlines – most recently when the Jeremy Kyle Show and Love Island were both associated with participant suicides. And in a world where we crave sensationalism, these tragedies themselves become part of the drama.
It would be easy to race to decry reality TV (or leap to its defence) but the rights and wrongs of this particular type of entertainment aren’t the issue.
I believe that a wider debate is needed. Mental health, depression and anxiety are taboo subjects. 800,000 people take their own life every year and, in the vast majority of cases, those around them are astonished that someone who, on the face of things, seemed fine, was at such depths of despair.
I am no stranger to those feelings. In my 20’s – when, to the outside world, I was enjoying massive success and fame – there were times when I wanted my life to end. I had been diagnosed with chronic fatigue and M.E and much of the time I felt like I couldn’t cope. I wanted to go to sleep at night and never wake up.
Thankfully, over time, things improved and I learned strategies and tools which helped me cope. But, by far the most significant help I received came from being able to talk about how I was feeling.
And this is what modern society makes so difficult. People are so bombarded with messages about how they should look, and feel, and act that they find it massively difficult to express how they actually feel.
If they did, they would come to realise that it is normal to feel worry, stress, anxiety, sadness, depression and frustration. I have dedicated my professional life to support, coach and inspire people to deal with these negative emotions and develop the skills to feel more positive and equipped to living in the modern world. I have seen many people change and transform their lives with through the coaching I do with them and have developed tools, techniques and strategies that support people to think greater than they feel.
We need to create a society where people feel more open to express what is going on for them and more experts are on hand to support people in developing healthy thought processes.
A wider debate is needed here and I welcome people’s comments. What do you think is needed to create a world where we all feel that we can speak up and that we are living in an environment which celebrates positive growth and open and honest conversations?