THE GREAT REPRESSION

A Nation of Imitation

Cole Filer, MWHS News Editor-In-Chief

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Only in the U.S. are we fed the promise of an idealistic “American Dream,” only to have it be the one thing that has chained the majority of people in our country down to a lifetime of depressive mediocracy. Although it is true, for the most part, we all have an equal opportunity for prosperity and success, it is also true that in order to be successful in our country, one must conform to however society wants them to look, act and most importantly, feel.

We live in a nation of imitation. Due to rampant consumerism and the idolization of celebrities we build our lives around whatever is seen on social media or TV, which oftentimes only displays a very surface level of human emotion and instead focuses more on outwardly appearances. In the quest for celebrity many will lose sight of whatever it is that makes them special, and in place they become a hollow version of themselves as they have lost almost all substance.

Largely, it is now seen as weak or awkward to discuss how truly you feel about something. Neglecting how you feel due to outside pressure as to maintain an image will do nothing but create a divide between who you know yourself to be, and whatever version of you you chose to show. Doing this can make one feel as if they are locked in a metaphorical prison, effectively trapped within themselves. The repression of emotions, dark or not, can oftentimes be very detrimental to a person’s mental health and may very well lead to depression.

For centuries depression has loomed over our great country like a giant cloud, as of recent this has become increasingly evident. According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, 40 million adults in the U.S. suffer from some form of an anxiety disorder, the number has continuously increased as time has gone on. Obviously there is no solid solution to this epidemic, but trying to understanding what has brought us to this point may be very beneficial.

To curb the direction our country has currently paved for itself, I strongly feel that normalizing open discussions based around mental health is important. Not one person should ever have to feel afraid of themselves for feeling certain emotions or thinking certain thoughts. Just talking to someone about how they feel and being truly genuine goes a very long way. Although it is true that in our society being authentic can oftentimes lead to unforeseen consequences, I personally feel that I would much rather live my life the way I want to live it rather than in fear.

If a person doesn’t feel comfortable enough to show others quite how they truly feel, I find it very beneficial to have these open conversations with ourselves. Being comfortable with oneself is a giant step in the right direction and a move that I personally feel we should all be taking. Another way to do this without being vocal is to find whatever outlet fits a person the best and express themselves through that.

Instead of repressing one’s emotions and keeping them locked away out of fear, a person should own the fact that its theirs, and theirs alone to feel. Knowing who one is and owning every bit of oneself is by far one of the most empowering things a person can do. Once one person starts to talk openly about they feel, other people will start to follow suit. This metaphorical prison escape is by far a daring one, but once a person’s chains are broken and they get a taste of freedom there will likely be no going back.

In doing this can be very beneficial to a person’s all around health, it will do very little to change the fact that we live in a very intolerant environment. However, once a person accepts themselves for who they really are it shouldn’t matter much what others think. By accepting and being okay with the fact that one isn’t some movie God or rockstar truly makes them something much more than that: human. People are scared of what they don’t understand and right now that’s being an authentically genuine human being.

In time, like-minded people will start to surround a person that has truly accepted oneself. Instead of being the person chasing after celebrity and forcing oneself to repress what it is that makes them unique, one can be the person that people chase due to being unique.

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