5 social and economic determinants of mental health

Photo by: UNICEF | Berulava

After a few anxiety-related episodes, I’ve started to become more acquainted with my mental health. While I’ve always been aware of the link between mind and body for the ultimate wellbeing experience, never have I been so in tune with all the body of knowledge surrounding mental health.

What strikes me the most is the persistent use of the word “health” to describe a field of study that is still very much affiliated with “illness.” To set the record straight, health is a holistic state of physical, mental, and social wellbeing. It’s not merely the absence of disease. Good health…


Think about it

Agent Smith interrogates Morpheus in The Matrix (Photo by Warner Bros.)

A few weeks ago, I rewatched The Matrix. And boy, was the social commentary astounding. It was almost like I'd never seen it before. Maybe that's what you get when you first watch a social critique when you're only twelve years old.

One specific part of the plotline stuck to me and the dialog still rings in my ears. To set the scene, Agent Smith is interrogating Morpheus. He wants to find out the location of Zion, the last human city on Earth. …


Luckily, there's a way to fix it

Protests in the 1970s United States as a result of stagflation. (Photo by H. Armstrong Roberts / ClassicStock / Getty Images)

We've always known the economy is devious. For those who weren't in on it, the pandemic drew the curtains open. We all know it now. And we're finally coming to the conclusion that we need a new system. But it's not only the money, the figures, the unabashed "growth" that's taking the best of us. There's a much sinister side to the economy that affects all of us, even if covertly.

This bastard child of "The Economy" lurks in the shadows and is rarely addressed in public. He's called "Mental Illness". Theirs is a less than subtle relationship, which isn't…


The mental health case for universal basic income

Photo by: Abhyuday Majhi / Unsplash

As we near Mental Health Awareness month, it’s important not only to raise awareness of mental health but to engage others in solutions that go beyond the confines of psychology.

Admittedly, I’ve been having frequent anxiety-related difficulties and understand the drainage and debilitation associated with carrying a disturbed mind. Surprisingly, there’s one treatment that isn’t administered by trained professionals, doesn’t require any medication or any other mind-easing practices: universal basic income (UBI). That’s the idea that everyone, regardless of age, gender, or race receives a monthly payment to cover their most basic needs. Hence the words income, basic, and universal.


3 benefits of breastfeeding to our modern society

Brazilian mothers breastfeeding their babies during the 10th National Breastfeeding Conference in 2008. (Photo: Paulo Santos / Reuters)

Three years ago, the world stood in awe as United States delegates to the World Health Assembly threatened to withdraw their endorsement of breastfeeding. It was a dark time, back when Trump still ran the country. His administration was heavily crucified for defending the interests of baby-formula manufacturers to the detriment of breastfeeding and its countless health contributions. But they didn't care, and neither did the big corporations behind all the lobbying.

In today's world, it's always profit above all else, right?

The health benefits of breastfeeding are scientifically known and popularly discussed. …


Severing the link between the government and the people

Movie poster for “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest” (1975). Credit: United Artist / Fantasy Films

Not all wars are fought on the battleground. Today, many of them are political. Soldiers with the strongest economic sponsors win. Combat arms don’t bring out their machine guns or bazookas anymore. Silent but just as deadly, they bring out their suits and their cash. Then, they sneak into the obscure halls of the national Congress and use every tactic at hand to sway the law in their favor, checkmating civilians.

There’s a name for this: lobbying, a form of advocacy that aims to influence governmental decisions. Legend has it that the practice stems from President Ulysses S. Grant’s administration…


But are too self-absorbed to care

Humans play God reviving dinosaurs in Jurassic Park, directed by Steven Spielberg in 1993. (Photo by Universal Studios)

Last week, I asked myself “what are the stupidest things humans have ever done?” Like anyone with internet access, I procured the oracle. Google immediately produced thousands of results to my question.

What caught my eye was a Reddit post from about a year ago asking the same thing. Guess I wasn’t the only one wondering. Apart from the expected “elected Donald Trump” and “ate Tide Pods,” most comments were surprisingly thought-provoking and hypercritical of mankind.

One answer really hit home: we are driving ourselves to extinction. From where we’re standing, that does appear to be the next logical step…


Was it always this oppressive?

A mother in Bangladesh cuddles with her one-year-old son. Photo by: Suzy Sainovzky | World Vision.

The summer before my senior year of college, I found out I was pregnant. Until then, I was reluctantly walking down the beaten-down path toward "success." I was just another type-A student in the dog-eat-dog battleground that was my school.

Pregnancy really shook things up

A career immediately after graduation was suddenly out of reach. I was terrified, but at least I got a free pass from all the mind-numbing recruiting events. No more ass-kissing. Still, even though part of me was relieved and wore the mask of indifference, inside I felt hopeless.

A pregnant woman at a career fair? It was certain death. Everyone…


It’s a toxic system we have yet to escape

Photo by: Markus Spiske | Unsplash

Overview

“Economics” is a very loaded term. It’s such an intimidating bundle of topics like data, society, numbers, money, and the world as a whole, that we’re better off just leaving it to the pros. It’s overwhelming and complex, so why take any interest in it, right?

Well, that’s kind of the point. By keeping the masses blind to the real truth behind economics, a group of very powerful people was able to erect a system that’s always in stealth mode, preserving the gospel truth of the rich who keep getting richer. …


How did we get here and where do we go now?

One of São Paulo's favelas, Paraisópolis, in contrast with its higher-income neighbors. (Photo by: Vilar Rodrigo)

It’s time we stop referring to economic inequality as a mere “gap” between the have and have-nots. That ship has sailed. What we have now is a growing black hole that has been tearing our so-called democracies apart, crippling their abilities to provide for their citizens.

If left undeterred, it will unleash upon us a huge beast capable of nasty social catastrophes. Yes, you read that right.

The phenomenon is global in scale. Wealth is concentrated in the hands of a select few, while everyone else is stuck in a quagmire. The world’s billionaires claim as much wealth as over…

Vitoria Nunes

Writer, practical idealist, and mom. Reimagining society one word at a time ✌🏽 Instagram @RebelThinkrs

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