Distractions & Increased Mental Illness
In this episode, I discuss several major mental health issues that are growing during this global pandemic. According to initial research, there is an alarming increase in the number of domestic violence, suicide, drug overdose, and child abuse cases during this pandemic. Now, I know it’s easy to quickly put the blame on macro forces beyond our control such as COVID-19 and the mandatory quarantine. And I agree that there is no doubt these forces play a large role in this increase, but I also want us to explore these issues from a micro perspective as well.
So in this episode, I talk about how many of us use distractions to manage our mental and emotional struggles, and how many of our distractions have been taken from us seemingly overnight. As a result, a lot of stuff of mental and emotional issues are surfacing for people and it can be difficult to deal with. So I want to share some tips on simple things you can start doing to maintain balance and manage yourself well during this crazy time.
All right. Hello and welcome to another episode of the restored mind show. My name is Matt Codde and welcome to today's episode. And on this episode I want to talk about the idea of growing mental health concerns that are happening during this pandemic specifically. And I want to address some things we can do as individuals, um, to, you know, obviously maintain and develop better mental health during this time and some things that we just want to consider, you know, um, from, from kind of a micro perspective and then obviously from a macro perspective as well. So, um, I was doing some research before this, um, episode just to kind of get in tuned with some of the statistics that are being reported. And you know, I came across some interesting stuff. So obviously, um, if you've dove into this all, you're going to see things like during this, uh, crisis.
And this is not just again, set just in the United States, but other countries are reporting things like this as well. But during this crisis, um, you know, I read that over the suicide hotlines, the calls have risen by over 800%, you know, from, from normal numbers. Right? And so you're seeing a pretty significant impact on the mental health of, of individuals. Right. But again, we know that the mental health of one individual impacts their family unit, obviously. Right? You know, uh, very directly and in which then grows and impacts as well. And we, we need to acknowledge the ripple effect of this stuff as well, not just from an individual standpoint but from a macro standpoint. And then, um, domestic abuse is, has risen as well, or a cases and reports of domestic views not, and this is not counting obviously the unreported stuff. That's probably, I would argue much higher than what we have reported.
Um, child abuse as well. And, um, and just people reporting from like national surveys on just their overall mental health from that that's being impacted from this, uh, coven 19 crisis. Things like depression, anxiety, substance abuse, um, you know, all of these things are, we're seeing numbers rise. And, and I asked myself, okay, is like, you know, it's, it's kind of a chicken or an egg thing, right? You know, it's like, okay, obviously this coven 19 pandemic is causing stress in people's lives, right? Which is exacerbating other things in their life as well. And you know, it's easy for us to look at this, um, as at the pandemic and say it's the cause of all of these things. And I just want to at least put that to question for a second. Like, of course it is contributing. I have no doubt in my mind about that.
And I think that it, um, there's a lot of things that are contributing to it though. It's like there's the stress of constantly, you know, seeing news headlines and people fear mongering and panic and what that does, you know, because again, panic is contagious as well. And you know, the first think the first, um, video that I, or you know, the first episode I put out when it came to this, you know, managing ourselves during this crisis series was this idea of the two, the two pandemics that we have on. We have the actual Corona virus pandemic, and then we have a panic pandemic as well, right? Or a, you know, where we need to realize kind of like the herd mentality of fear and panic where if everyone around you is freaking out, like it's naturally going to cause those feelings within you, even if you don't even know what you're freaking out about.
Right. And, and it's important to at least pay attention to what you're consuming. And that's the first thing that I want to say, you know, as far as just kind of some guidance this week is this, like, we need to pay attention to what we're bringing in, right. And you know, I was hurting, I heard someone talk about, you know, it was a kind of like a, a coding term or um, you know, software development where it's like this idea of, you know, garbage in, garbage out. Well if you, if you put garbage into the system, right, you're going to get garbage out, right? And it was, uh, there was this kind of acronym, right? And same thing though, when it comes to us as far as what we consume, you know, I mean, if we're consuming just garbage content, if we're just sitting there on social media all day, every day and consuming so much news that we're watching the same, you know, headlines, but on each different channel, again and again and again and again.
Now I'm not saying consuming any of this stuff is necessarily necessarily bad, but when we're doing it that much, it's obviously it's unhealthy, right? And so being, being attuned to what you're consuming is just so, so, so important during this time, you know? And that's why it's like, if you are like at least challenging this idea of what you're consuming from an information level, and then I really do challenge, you know, as we've gone through this more and more, I challenge you to limit your intake on news, on social media because again, we might think it's productive, but at the end of the day, if something major happens, like you will hear about it like naturally, right? You know, like I, I mean, and, and you don't need to go every 15 minutes and check the headlines, right? And you can limit the kind of content that you're, uh, that you're consuming.
And, um, you know, when it comes to managing our own mental health, and this is one of the things that I wanted to kind of suggest is we need to ask ourselves as individuals, because again, if we, how we manage this as a community, as a state, as a country, as a society, as a global population, is going to ultimately come down to how we all manage this as individuals, right? And on an individual level, we need to be able to manage our emotional response that's happening within our body and how we interact with that. What we tell ourselves about that. All of that stuff is going to get manifests in certain ways and I just want to propose the idea or at least at least put the thought out there and to get you thinking about this with yourself because some people will say that, you know, all of these things that are on the rise that I talked about are a result of the coven 19 pandemic and I, yes, there's an, there's an aspect of that, but there's also the aspect of look how much of our normal distractions have been removed from us and with this social isolation component.
With those two things combined, you know, is stuff arising within us that we've just haven't been paying attention to. You know, that we've been kind of letting just go on in the background, right? That voice in the mind, have we just been letting it run the show? You know, I mean that and again, anger or all the other things that are within us is is this stuff causing it or are we just getting to the point where we've removed enough of our distractions that we date that we use every day, whether it's sports or all, you know, I think things that aren't bad, right? But you know, if we operate at such a pace where we're just always distracted, I mean, and we can even argue this, just take a look at how much you look at your phone and I'm 1000% guilty of this.
Again, I'm not saying I'm in no way saying that I don't, I don't struggle with this as well, but I mean we need to realize how much distraction actually comes into our life. I mean, a lot of us sit watching TV on a phone, on an iPad, on our computer, like four screens simultaneously in front of us and, and then some of this stuff starts getting taken away from us and stuff is starting to surface from within. And what we do with that and how we handle that. Again, we can look at that as healing opportunities or you know, letting that take over can be very, very negative. Right? And so just this idea of distraction in general, right? And noticing how much you rely on distraction to manage yourself. Right? Because again, distraction is not necessarily bad, but if it's your only coping mechanism will then when we, when it gets removed again against your will in many cases when you're forced to against stay at home socially isolate, self quarantine, well then it makes sense that stuff is naturally rising up in people.
And that's why these increases of anxiety, depression, um, you know, even, you know, anger, things like that. It does, it doesn't surprise me that these things are rising, you know, and I don't necessarily believe it's a hundred percent attributed to this outside force of this covert 19 pandemic. As much as I believe that, look, this pandemic has forced us into situations that we aren't usually in. And a lot of stuff within people is rising to the surface. Right. And, and again, so just being aware of what's arising in you, right? And being aware of how much you use distraction in your life and how much you practice distraction. Um, and, and just that, just that idea, I just want to throw that out there this week is just, just being attuned to it at least, and kind of looking at yourself with that of like how much do I distract myself from my own emotions, from, you know, what's going on within me and what do I use as my distractions?
Right. Um, and, and realizing that that can be a coping mechanism that you use, that you might not even be aware of. And, and more importantly, when that stuff does surface, figuring out for yourself, you know, in many ways, or you know, that through counseling, through other things. Um, how can I, how can I best handle this stuff when it does surface so it doesn't manifest into something really horrible like these things we're seeing with domestic violence, um, child abuse, uh, you know, alcoholism, drug abuse. I mean, just go through the list of all this, you know, suicide, obviously all these horrible things that we're seeing on the rise. Well that starts, that starts as an at an individual level, right? And realizing that internally and, and making sure you're taking care of yourself is, um, is going to be huge, you know, for everyone.
And then also from everyone from a global perspective as well. And then so finally in the last thing I want to talk about is just taking care of, of your soul, you know, your, your inner being. And one of the best ways to do that is through connection. You know, at least that I know. And I was, it's funny, I was playing golf with two of my friends this, um, this past week we went and played a few holes of golf and just to get like outside with, with some friends and I, and I said it, I had just like set it out loud and it was like, you know, it was kind of, I dunno if it was received well, but it's just that idea. I was like, man, this is just good for my soul. You know, like, like just talking to people, like just, just, and not about anything specifically.
Just kind of like shooting the breeze, whatever, you know, hanging out and just, um, just having that connection. Because again, we're communal beings, right? We need connection with people. And, and yes, I'm not saying that you have to go and have these huge raging parties at your house, but I am saying like, you know, it is, um, it's important to, to, to take care of yourself and to connect with people. And sometimes even quick, like two minute phone calls can be enough to rejuvenate you. And so, you know, give yourself some grace during this time. You know, I, I understand there's a lot going on and, um, and it is, it is a tough time, right? Like, there's no doubt about that. But again, managing yourself during this time is, is really, really important. And so I just want to, um, you know, suggest that idea of connecting with other people this week.
You know, and that's like the main thing that I want to encourage is that idea of even if it is through a zoom call or a phone call or even a handwritten letter, you know, just taking the time to do, taking a dedicated amount of time to focus on connecting with another person. Um, instead of just practicing these distraction behaviors and going on social and, and going through and watching binge watching the same show you've already on Netflix, it's like, no, no, no, no, like, take the time to actually say, Hey, look like, let me, let me reach out and connect with someone. Let me, let me reach out and call a friend I haven't called in a while. Or, you know, even your parents, right. And by the way, this on today's show, I do want to issue out a very, very happy mother's day to all the mothers out there who, whose job cannot be understated.
You know what I mean? Like, I mean the things that just my wife and watching her, you know, as we become parents and my mom and um, and, and all the, all the mothers out there, I mean, just the amazing and the amazing role that you guys take on. And uh, the, the how hard you work to do what you do. Just again a huge thank you. And, um, and a celebration of, of all of you, um, is, is much, uh, much calls called for this week. It one day hardly does justice to what, um, what you guys do. So I just want to say thank you for that from, uh, the restored minds community. And so finally, just to kind of summarize, uh, this episode up, um, you know, taking care of yourself, right? And paying attention to your distractions. Um, you know, and, and again, addressing these kinds of crisises on an in an, on an individual level, right?
Because we've handled it well as individuals. We'll handle it well from a societal level and trying not to change everyone focused on yourself, you know what I mean? And again, really focusing on establishing some community and connection to take care of yourself because we're not meant to live in an isolated way. Right? And when we can actually connect with others that will help with those, um, you know, those feelings of isolation, which then manifests into other things as well. Um, and again, the finally, I just want to extend the idea to just have some grace towards yourself this time, you know, during this time, like T, you know, you don't need to burn both ends of the candle right now, right? This is really about just kind of going through this time until we reopened and until we were able to return to, you know, we're, we're places of businesses are opening up and to return, um, you know, to life before the pandemic to the best of our ability.
And so, um, you know, thank you for tuning in this week. I really hope this was helpful. And again, uh, you know, uh, if you need help, if you're looking for help, especially with anxiety, you know, we have our overcoming anxiety program open, you know, where we're doing weekly calls. Um, you know, where I'm feeling questions and all that, and also the masterclass as well. And we also have some free resources and assessments [email protected] So you can always check that on. We have some links down below this episode, um, to link you up with that to make sure you're, uh, you're, uh, all set and prepared, um, and have the tools you need to really be successful. So thank you all and, um, you know, I wish you the absolute best happy mother's day and have a wonderful week. Alright. See you guys soon.
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