Welcome, Healthcare Leaders
This edition of Go With the Flo looks at anxiety and depression. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), approximately 300 million people in first world countries suffer from one or both of these conditions. And a possible solution to ease these mental ailments is to focus research on resilient individuals. Do you feel the same way, or should research go toward another potential cause? Post your comments at www.candycampbell.com or one of our social media outlets.
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Re-energize Your Life Cruise to the Greek Isles
Nurses, sign up for the most fun and edutaining CEUs imaginable! Join me on a Re-energize Your Life Cruise to the Greek Isles in May of 2019. Get all of the information and sign up.
The Legal Nurse Podcast
Time to listen once again! I am featured in episode 220 of The Legal Nurse Podcast. Among the items I talk about are how I was called to be a nurse and what I wouldn’t do to get laughs. Take time out of your day and enjoy.
High Anxiety and Resilience
A few weeks ago, it happened again: A student came to my office overwhelmed with anxiety and personal trauma because of the stresses of nursing school. As a professor and advisor, I’d like to say this wasn’t common. A few years ago, I could say that, but not today.
In the current environment, approximately 10% of any given class of 30+ students admit to having extreme symptoms of anxiety or depression that impact their studies. In fact, it’s said the average college student today faces the same level of anxiety psychiatric patients faced in the 1950’s.
This is disconcerting, to say the least, considering we academics are in the business of growing our next generation of nurses. And as nurses ourselves, we must be able to “keep it together” and be fully present in order to care for others.
A World of Depression
The news is full of statistics that tell a sad story in first world countries. In 2016, the World Health Organization (WHO) reported more than 300 million people suffered from depression.
It seems many are incredibly anxious and unhappy these days. Anti-depressants are among the top ten prescribed drugs, substance abuse has skyrocketed, and suicide rates climb daily. Still, the average person in a first world country lives in abundance never seen by so many in history.
Researchers who study anxiety and depression found that simply becoming more active can trigger the flow of serotonin in your brain to put the bounce back in your step. For others, medication may ease the darkness.
Why We’re Losing the Fight Against Depression
Interestingly, more research funds are invested to study problems surrounding the anxiety that leads to depression. A better plan would be to redirect these monies to study individuals who have encountered terrifically difficult situations and come through with incredible resilience.
But this isn’t happening. Why? As I tell my grad students, “Follow the money, honey.”
Pharmaceuticals and individuals who offer analysis have a recurring stream of income if they appear to assist but offer no cure. Think about it. In what other industry do we recognize a problem and work to continually analyze but NOT eradicate it? You may create a goal to outgrow the need for analysis, but how is that working for you?
Resilience is the Key
Consider: if we invest more time and money to study the habits of highly resilient people, we are apt to turn the tide of anxiety and depression in first world countries.
Over the past few years, several researchers have taken on this challenge. Much of the research focused on persons who suffer from PTSD as a result of severe traumas such as war. These days, even the modern workplace is recognized as a location for the trauma that results in high anxiety and depression.
Research suggests that any two people, given the same stressful environment, may have entirely different reactions. One becomes anxious and depressed while the other develops what might be called a stress immunity.
It’s About Positive Thinking
Positive thinking isn’t new. Norman Vincent Peale’s iconic book, The Power of Positive Thinking was heralded as a cult by some and similar to hypnosis by others. Yet, he may have been onto something in terms of stress release and building resilience.
Ironically, people in third world countries are seen as generally more resilient. Why? Perhaps it’s because they are more thankful for the little things. In the 1970’s, a researcher, Richard Easterlin, wrote about this unusual phenomenon.
His conclusion? No matter how many comforts we attain, our level of discomfort rises when the pain and suffering of everyday life decreases. It’s a paradox of the human condition.
Let’s Be Grateful
As nurses, we have a unique ringside view. We see this pain and adversity many times a week as we work to alleviate discomfort and help our patients with the healing process. Indeed, we have reason to be grateful, because we know we are ALL just one breath away from eternity.
This and other workplace stresses often tend to impact our personal well-being and stress. What do you do to manage stress and contribute to your own work-life balance? That’s an idea worth exploring.
As a matter of fact, I have been so anxious to help others who struggle with this concept, I’ve come up with an idea: if you want to alleviate some of the stress in your life, join me and some other nurses & their families for a Re-Energize Your Life cruise to the Greek Isles, May 20-29, 2019.
Bring a friend or significant other, study the work-life balance with me, and earn CEUs while we learn and grow together.
Learn more about the cruise
Candy Campbell, DNP, RN, CNL, CEP, FNAP, is an international speaker, award-winning actor, author, and filmmaker. Find out more at https://candycampbell.com
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Yours for livelier communications,