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Mental Health - what has happened to resilience?

(71 Posts)
seamstress Thu 25-Feb-21 17:33:25

I'm honestly not sure where I stand on this one - I think that far more resources should be put into the treatment of serious psychological disorders - depression, schizophrenia, eating disorders and so on, but are we becoming too flakey about what are normal human experiences? I've had several email from the likes of Waitrose and Sainsbury's asking me if I want to opt out of mother's day emails presumably to protect me from any trauma - well my mother died many years ago when I was a teenager and there was no counselling for anything and I was expected to get on with it- I don't think that is necessarily the right attitude either, but surely sadness and grief are normal reactions to a bereavement- not a clinical disorder to be "treated" like an illness. Just wondered whether we are treating normal emotions as pathological. Should we expect/encourage children to be resilient when faced with life's setbacks, whilst acknowledging their emotions, or predict they will suffer mental health issues? It seems like we are gravitating towards the latter.

Anniebach Thu 25-Feb-21 17:43:26

I am sure where I stand on this one , more needs to be done for mental health.

As for grief, it doesn’t always mean one moves through the grieving process and recovers, many do , some do not.

Let’s not go back to the ‘pull yourself together days’ .

Galaxy Thu 25-Feb-21 17:46:08

That's interesting. I think the get on with it idea is not that helpful, but children do need resilience.
I suppose I dont think receiving or not receiving an email promotes resilience.

Lillie Thu 25-Feb-21 17:46:37

oh dear, that is a bit twee. I lost my mum when young too, but Mother"s Day doesn't arouse any more grief in me than today seeing a meadow of daffodils that she loved, or wearing some of her jewellery.
Is it just the loss of a mother they are talking about? If we look at it a different way what about mothers who have lost babies then? What about all the mothers who wont see their children this March 14th due to covid restrictions?

Blondiescot Thu 25-Feb-21 17:48:07

Couldn't agree more, Anniebach. People suffered in silence for years (and many still do). Yes, we should be teaching our children to be resilient and trying our best to equip them with the resources to cope with things like sadness and grief, but let's not take a step backwards to the days where mental health was something to be ashamed of or swept under the carpet. It costs nothing to be kind.

TwiceAsNice Thu 25-Feb-21 17:51:02

Hear hear Annie. Grief especially can be horrendously traumatic and difficult. I think what is going on at the moment is terrible for young people and children. I’m fed up of people thinking children are resilient and can manage ok because they are “only” children. They are not “resilient” they are scared and anxious and depressed and are dealing with all kinds of loss and have hardly any control or choice right now and as I work with them it worries me a lot. Mental health difficulties for adults and especially teenagers has gone through the roof in the last year and there will be repercussions for years after COVID

Lisagran Thu 25-Feb-21 17:59:13

Should we expect/encourage children to be resilient when faced with life's setbacks. I think parents and schools should be helping children to develop resilience, but that is not the same as “pull your socks up and get on with life”. It’s necessary to acknowledge the emotions experienced when their is grief, but if one can be helped to develop coping strategies, then perhaps these events need not destroy one. It seems quite a sensitive move on the part of supermarkets to consider the effect of such advertising?

Anniebach Thu 25-Feb-21 18:00:37

How many have lost their mothers to the virus in less than a year ? couldn’t be with their mother in her death bed .

Kate1949 Thu 25-Feb-21 18:00:47

It depends on what has happened to you. I used to be in the 'pull yourself together' brigade until one more awful thing (after many others) broke this camel's back. Now I really struggle with life. I consider myself resilient because I am still here.

Lillie Thu 25-Feb-21 18:04:46

That's a good point Anniebach. And not being able to see mums in care homes.

EllanVannin Thu 25-Feb-21 18:13:24

In this day and age you can only be resiliant to a point when so much has happened this last 12 months " on the doorstep " as it were where we've all known someone who's died in this pandemic alone. Life as we know it hasn't been normal for anyone which is bound to take its toll sooner or later.

Kate1949, I've tended to be like yourself and it's been tough going, though knowing at the same time that if I give in, I've "lost the fight ".

Eviebeanz Thu 25-Feb-21 18:14:09

It seems clear to me that people need consistent and meaningful treatment/ support when they are acutely mentally unwell/experiencing a mental health crisis. It seems equally clear that people need support/help when their issues are less severe but longstanding and equally debilitating. I don't believe in pulling yourself together... However I can't work out what to do with the current idea which seems to be to encourage those in need to feel free to air all their problems and make themselves vulnerable etc but then with no support to catch them when they fall.

grannyactivist Thu 25-Feb-21 18:17:20

seamstress I think you're articulating what many, particularly older people, seem to be thinking. People may talk about their own disrupted childhoods and say they 'just got on with it', but what they often don't talk about is how difficult that all was and how it affected them emotionally.

The reality of course is that resilience is often born through the way we deal with hardship. We become resilient if there is adequate support, if we feel we are not in this alone and if we are affirmed and valued. People who are crumbling under the weight of life's difficulties (i.e. the people who may be thought to lack resilience) are often those who don't have appropriate support, who are shouldering what feels like too many burdens and who feel isolated and alone.

Many of my clients were already struggling with life and what's kept them hanging on by a thread (which is what 'resilience' can feel like) is a simple ten minute daily phone call to tell them how well they're doing and that they're not alone and life will get better eventually. For some that will be enough, but for those with pre-existing anxiety and depression it has been a very long year and they will need mental health support for an equal amount of time afterwards.

Kate1949 Thu 25-Feb-21 18:25:49

Yes indeed Ellan.

Lisagran Thu 25-Feb-21 18:36:36

Some very good points, grannyactivist. I feel this is very pertinent -
We become resilient if there is adequate support, if we feel we are not in this alone and if we are affirmed and valued. People who are crumbling under the weight of life's difficulties (i.e. the people who may be thought to lack resilience) are often those who don't have appropriate support, who are shouldering what feels like too many burdens and who feel isolated and alone. Resilience is not developed on one’s own, and needs support from others to be maintained.

BBbevan Thu 25-Feb-21 18:38:33

I have always thought myself very resilient. Glass always half full. Since Christmas I have been very weepy, for no apparent reason. It has taken me by surprise. Hope it goes soon .

mumofmadboys Thu 25-Feb-21 18:46:34

Hope you feel brighter soon BBbevan. If not, please see your GP.
I think to be bombarded with Mothers day adverts if you are suffering from infertility could be very painful.
It is time we try to be more sensitive to each others emotional needs

BBbevan Thu 25-Feb-21 19:35:00

Thank you Mum of mad boys I have a great DH and a DD living near so I will be fine

Missfoodlove Thu 25-Feb-21 21:38:27

Where do you draw the line?
Gransnet, not every member is a gran, Father’s Day, Valentines Day, could Easter upset non Christians?
I could go on and on.
We do need more balance.

NellG Thu 25-Feb-21 21:57:59

I can see what you're saying seamstress, however

From my perspective I do opt out of such emails if I can. I am estranged from one of my children, Mother's Day comes and goes and every year I have to stop and take a deep breath because the constant deluge of Mother love stings a great deal. I also lost a child over 20 odd years ago - I still think about him every day. I lost my mum four years ago after a lifetime of a difficult relationship which was never resolved. So in all honesty I think I'm pretty resilient, after all I'm still standing and I'm far from needy - I just enjoy the option of not having my face rubbed into something I can't have just because I bought something once from an online store.

To me these emails are just a simple thoughtfulness that give people like me the choice to 'shore up' a bit before the onslaught of an event that's no longer that inclusive of us. As they take nothing from Mothers who are not in my, or a similar, situation I don't see them as very harmful.

grannyactivist - a lot there I can agree with.

Jaxjacky Thu 25-Feb-21 22:18:08

Missfoodlove I’m with you.

Anniebach Thu 25-Feb-21 22:24:20

There is a choice, if you have no problem with the emails ignore them

Doodledog Thu 25-Feb-21 23:39:25

I don't think it is as simple as 'just ignore them', as you have to see them to ignore them.

I think that the 'sensitivity' of companies asking of people want to opt out of references to things is a cover for their doing so in case customers just unsubscribe altogether.

I must admit that 30 years after my father died it is only on Fathers' Day that I feel sad. I remember his birthday, obviously, and other anniversary dates, but for reasons I can't quite explain it is Fathers' Day that is, not quite upsetting, but sensitive.

As for anyone being offended about Easter - that's completely illogical, surely? If someone wants to celebrate it they can - it is entirely optional. You can't celebrate Mothers' Day without a mother or a child, and it's the same with Fathers' Day, Valentine's Day etc. They are not optional, as you need a named person to take part with you, so there is a huge difference.

Rosie51 Thu 25-Feb-21 23:43:53

I'd like to think we're much kinder, and more aware, these days towards mental health problems. Mental health always has been, and continues to be, the Cinderella of the NHS, so more funding is definitely required. In the matter of opt outs for emails, I see nothing wrong in this being offered. I opt out of the Mother's day emails, not because it's especially sad or hard for me (although I did lose my mum to a very horrible death) but because they're totally irrelevant. I don't need my inbox filled with marketing emails from every company I've ever dealt with. For one of my daughter-in-laws they are a horrible pointer to the IVF failures (including a miscarriage at 15 weeks) she and my son have endured. People need to develop resilience, and I'd say my D-i-L has it in spades to keep trying, but people need support and understanding to get there. Would we really want to go back to the times eg where men (and it was almost exclusively men) who were "shellshocked" were condemned as cowards or "weak characters" ? There is a balance to be had. Yes, some need to toughen up a bit, but this does not negate that consideration costs nothing. Some will ignore the emails, others will prefer not to have to deal with them. Surely it's good company policy not to p* off your potential customer base?

B9exchange Fri 26-Feb-21 00:05:19

I quite like the idea of being asked if I want to opt out of Mothering Sunday (its real name) emails. There is just something about it that can cause hurt. For some years I would try and turn my face away from card shops emblazoned with encouragement to honour my mother, it was like a knife in the wound now that I no longer had one. Not so much is made of Father's Day, it doesn't have the history behind it, but I accept it might still cause upset to some.

My own mother would always send me a card on Mothering Sunday once I had children, with 'from one mum to another' inside. I used to think it was daft. But I remembered and I now buy cards for my three DiLs and DD, and put the same message in. I am sure they think I am quite mad, but it means that I can now go into card shops (or could!) with a purpose and no longer have to avert my eyes.

As others have said it must be hard for a large number of people, not just the bereaved, but those who have suffered miscarriages, lost children, or are unable to conceive. For years now the Church offers small bunches of daffodils to anyone who would like a bunch on Mothering Sunday, instead of just mothers as it used to, there is no discrimination.