Turn on the TV for 5 minutes or tune into social media for 2 minutes and you are very likely to hear the term narcissism or some variation of it. Just as ADHD, Bipolar, and Anxiety have become common terms in popular culture used to describe “abnormal” behaviors in others. Each of these is mental health diagnoses that have a specific list of symptoms for someone to meet the criteria to actually be diagnosed. Let’s take “Bipolar” for example, a woman could be experiencing changes in her mood due to her hormones changing around that time of the month, and if noticed by a family member she might hear “oh there you go acting bipolar again” or a child who may have just had too much sugar and is now bouncing off the walls someone might say “his ADHD is through the roof.” Narcissism has now become a pop-culture term. Someone may look in the mirror or post a picture on social media and before they can even put the phone down from a post someone has already called them a narcissist.
Now, this is not to say that some people who post pictures are not narcissists because some really are, but to be a narcissist just like the other mentioned diagnosis one must meet specific criteria. The point is though mental health diagnoses are used casually it has opened the door for a casual conversation surrounding mental health and it has finally come to a point where the stigma of having mental health disorders is dissipating. Now that mental health has become more popular than ever before many people are educating themselves on mental health diagnoses and seeking help. Many people are finally able to place a title or label on your mother’s controlling behavior or your father’s emotional distance. Growing up with parents who suffered from mental illness without seeking treatment can be very hard on the mental health of their children. Many people laugh and joke about this generation but one thing that they are getting right is taking care of their mental health.
The saying “the grass is greener on the other side” has been fully processed by this generation and they have discovered why. This generation has now added the grass is greener because “it’s fake” and the grass is greener “where it is watered.” I find both statements to be very impactful. We now know that you never really know what is going on behind closed doors. On the outside people can appear to have the perfect life with the perfect parents and children. Their children are now telling their stories and truths about just how cruel those parents were at home. They now discuss how the image was intentionally put on for the public while the kids who are now grown adults will need mental health counseling to deal with the childhood that still haunts them. The good thing about all of this is that their children learned what not to do.
What they have said about the grass being greener where it’s watered is ringing true. Things and people that are nurtured and cared for blossom and grow beautifully. You can clearly see the difference between plants and grass that are properly cared for and those that aren’t. The beauty that nurtured plants behold stands out like a sore thumb. I love riding through neighborhoods where the entire neighborhood takes pride in their lawn and landscape. It is clear that they are taking out the time to take care of their yard (or hiring someone who is able to do it for them, either way, the job is done). It is the same way with humans. You can see the results of the people who were nurtured by loving parents. Unfortunately, you can also notice the ones who weren’t. Don’t you just love being around positive people with great energy? It’s just like that car ride through a well-kept neighborhood.
As adults, we are capable of saying, “I have been through some rough patches and would like help moving beyond those challenges so that I can thrive in life. I no longer want to be held back by my past.” Counseling gives you the opportunity to work through your disappointments and challenges. Let’s move beyond the pain from our childhood so that we do not create it in another generation. We can’t do anything about the past, but we can do something about our present and future. Counseling and or coaching can help you with both.
by Markesha Evans