Anti-Wall Street Protests, good grief! As a mental health expert I am extremely concerned from the mental health perspective about the anti-wall street protests. I find it seriously disturbing clinically! Specifically, my concern is with regards to the quantity of people that look to “others” to give to them rather than working hard to find the answers within themselves! This is not simply a political debate between democrats and republicans, nor is this simply class envy as some are suggesting.
The concept of coming together as a group to state your opinion is not the problem, in fact that is healthy and of great therapeutic value, well, it can be when implemented wisely. The clinical concern I have is not in the concept in and of itself that there is the use of a group format to share thoughts. “Power to the people”, “tax the rich”, “one earth one humanity”, “free health care”, “we want a live-able wage whether we work hard or not” –these are just but a few of the statements made during interviews and signs that have been held up by those attending the protest. These are clinically disturbing statements when it comes to one’s mental health and wellness philosophy. And the nerve, to feel it is acceptable human behavior to march over to a person’s house you do not know and feel you have a right as an individual within a mob to go to that person’s personal property. Oh dear, where are the healthy boundaries? This is of significance from a mental health angle. What are one’s morals and code of ethics? Where is the work ethic? Where is the self confidence, drive, and motivation to make a difference through hard work? What are we teaching our youth? Where is self-empowerment and determination to succeed through ambition, creativity, and passion? Good grief I say, good grief, we do have a problem on our hands! As a solution focused therapist whose goal is to help people to help themselves get to a better place, it is clear to me the lack of self empowerment that is being displayed. I value helping others through a strength based approach to find within themselves their inner voice and the courage to enhance themselves. I see this protest, this group and what is being displayed as a representation of a client in need of help to help themselves to find within themselves their ability to move forward to a healthy and positive place.
I share with you my readers the following points to ponder:
- This protest is not simply a political debate between democrats and republicans. This protest represents the mental health debate! How do we as a person feel mentally well? This is a debate of a mental health/wellness philosophy between feeling like a victim vs. self empowerment.
- I am concerned about what this protest is doing to those involved and those lives that are touched and impacted due to this behavioral choice. I am additionally extremely concerned about where this protest is going. This is a case of “group think” which could potentially lead to injury (emotional, physical). Individuals coming together with a wide range of messages covering many different topics all under the disguise of anti-wall street is worrisome and not therapeutic to the soles of the individuals within this mob. It is a fleeting feel good of bonding, belonging, and self-identity within the acceptance of others feeling one’s voice is being heard in the masses. As a mental health expert I must speak up and share this concern in the hopes that it will set forth mindful awareness to those that are sitting at home watching the news and identifying with the protesters to recognize the importance and value of self empowerment rather than self victimization. We are not frozen with no options, rather create options.
- “Externalizers” – This term I identify as people who blame others outside of themselves for their misfortune and look to others outside of themselves to help them in abundance, give to them, and problem solve for them not as a teammate but rather as a giver-receiver relationship. It is crucial for one’s mental health/wellness to be an “internalizer” – where you look within self and identify what choices you can make today to move forward.
- Entitlement. The concept that one believes they are entitled to be given to just because they are alive shows a lack of self worth and confidence. None of us are entitled, who among us is? To believe one is and should receive from another simply because another has more and you have less is unacceptable as a mental attitude if one wishes to grow and enhance who one is.
The youth culture must be educated about this and I am hopeful that parents are discussing with their children of young and old this topic. From a political mental health awareness perspective this demonstration paints a very poor light on the Democrats as a party. This style of protest paints a picture of Democrats that they are victims, weak, cannot survive when the going gets tough, unsuccessful in their own right only successful on the coat tails of others, and externalizers. This protest paints Republicans as a party of those who are self empowered, internalizers, powerful, confident, strong, and therefore experience a sense of emotional and mental wellness. Is the picture this protest is painting true? Certainly to categorize one party in such an extreme way in contrast to the other would be disturbing for some, would it not? Certainly all Democrats and all Republicans do not view themselves nor are they the terms that were just described, right? This is extreme is it not? Interesting is it not?
This topic deserves attention as this protest is going in a very bad direction for the health and wellness of our culture. As a psychotherapist, a mental health expert, I do believe political party and view of how one copes with life’s challenges are tied into one’s mental health/wellness. Let us be self aware of our thoughts, actions, and what messages we are instilling in our children. Let us use this protest as an opportunity to evaluate our own inner thoughts and behaviors, be aware of our mental health and wellness philosophy, and have conscious awareness of how we cope with life and its challenges as they come our way.