• Leslie Crews

Politics and Cyber Crime: Mortal Enemies of Mental Health

I am feeling a lot these days. More than the normal anxiety that I’ve lived with since I was a kid. This overwhelming, towering feeling that the world is crumbling, and there’s no way that I can stop it. The simplest thing, like going into the city, having to drive through the perceived landmines that my psychological thriller, true crime loving brain highlights in my most ridiculous, outlandish post-apocalyptic nightmares.

Ah. Where would an anxious person be, without their super-realistic nightmares? I know where they’d be. Asleep. Unlike me on the most random of nights. My day could be great. I could be chugging along, re-upholstering furniture and working on personal projects. Then later in bed, once I’ve reached the end of my Pinterest hunt, the clock tells me I’ll need to prepare for the work day — in three hours. Great. Thanks a lot, random insomnia.

If this were any other time in America, a lot of you would call me crazy. But the truth is, a lot of people feel the same way. It’s hard to watch the news and see constant reminders that human rights aren’t considered a birthright, but for people who were already fighting silent battles with mental health, this shit is hor-ri-fy-ing!

My heart sincerely goes out to everyone that has recently recognized and accepted that they’ve been suffering with depression, anxiety, or other mental health battles. I’ve learned that it can be hard for some people, having been through tremendous personal trauma, to recognize when they need a mental health check-in. If you are one of these individuals — keep going. You can do it.

How does anyone wrap their minds around the mess that is happening in the world today? Children have gone missing and human-trafficking alerts are going viral.

Formal education taught us that the worse wars were behind us. Yet here we are, global countries in crisis, with the bonus of cyber crimes.

This anxious brain needs everyone to take the largest chalkiest “chill pill” they can find, and chew it up. And no, you may not have water, because everyone knows chewing pills is disgusting, but you do what you must in crisis and THIS is certainly a crisis.

Victims of data breaches won’t know the impact of their loss for years to come. Fascinating medical technology is being created to help heal our bodies. But like many computer devices, these devices are vulnerable to cybersecurity vulnerabilities. The cyber threats to our humanity are as real as any other. It’s a lot for the brain to process, but this is the advanced world of technology that we’ve read about and dreamed of.

As a computer security analyst by trade, having an anxiety disorder makes me a rock star at identifying risks. And it makes me feel like the effects of my ever-churning brain are being used to help protect people and businesses. But I’d like to turn my brain off occasionally, so… please chill.

For our collective mental health, the world needs humans to be more compassionate.

I want to start a family, but truth is I’m scared. Scared of what the world may be if people don’t begin to look at each other as equals instead of someone they must be superior to. You waste a lot of time when you’re trying to be better than [whomever], have more than [whatever]. We live in a world where people can’t afford to take care of themselves but aren’t “poor enough” to qualify for public aid.

These are things that keep me awake at night. Insomnia isn’t pretty.

This normally optimistic, but anxious cyber crimes and unsolved mystery podcast loving brain does not turn off these days. Presumably because I’ve yet to strike the balance between my need to be informed of what’s happening in the news and the ability to take care of my mental health. Allegedly there is a balance, but I’ve seen no proof of this.

It’s a challenge to wake up knowing that I somehow must keep composure and push through the surmounting pile of mess swirling in my head. Some days I can push through. I’m not always successful.

A year ago I’m certain someone would call me crazy. But I know I’m not alone.

Every day is an opportunity to change how you behave and how you treat others. Your silent acts of compassion could lead to therapy breakthroughs and prescription decreases for a lot of people.

Choose kindness. This anxious brain appreciates it.

I hope this helps someone.

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