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ANXIETY: SIMILAR FOR HAMLET AND FOR US

ANXIETY: SIMILAR FOR HAMLET AND FOR US

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To have anxiety, or not to have anxiety, that is the question? Whether ’tis nobler in the mind to suffer. The slings and arrows of my outrageous fortune. So begins a soliloquy by Hamlet in a play by William Shakespeare. Well, sort of. Throughout Hamlet’s acts, his feelings were never validated, so he was basically pushed to his mental breaking point. Was he thinking of suicide or being killed by those slings and arrows? We don’t want to have these thoughts, either.

There was no “my” in the Soliloquy. Still, I added this for the personal effect of showing extreme wealth while contemplating existence. Eventually, Hamlet’s life ended over his inability to cope with the emotionally stimulating events that led to his anxieties. Overall the actions, (or lack of same) from Hamlet and other characters around him show us what transpires when fear is not acknowledged, validated, or helped but passed as a regular event. 

Continuing, Hamlet feels responsible for all the immoral behaviors and actions in his homeland and now wants to make everything right. How does Hamlet relate to today’s stress and anxiety? Very, very much so, at least I think it does. For us today, due to the constant bombardment of social media, we feel the ever-mounting stress to solve issues like racism and sexism. Many of these problems have been around since America’s inception; however, today, more platforms are accessible. They allow us to be both seen and heard quickly and accurately. Although this is sometimes helpful, it also creates more anxiety and stress than the pressure to make societal change builds. 

As one looks further into Hamlet, it describes his peculiarities when disastrous events occur within his life. This is eerily similar to adults and can reveal to us a picture of might be transpiring in our minds today. 9-11 and COVID19 are but two examples of catastrophic matters. Generally, when they occur, our fear rises, and there is a heightened anxiety level across the land.

Hamlet, like people in current times, has and had symptoms of continual fear, sorrow, loss, worry, suspicion, and most significantly, they turn an assortment of many forms of anxieties. Diagnosing anxiety is not much different from Hamlet’s time, but it is much more prevalent today. It is also increasing at an alarming rate every year. There are several reasons individuals have developed a form of anxiety, including increased worrying or stress and exhibiting one of the symptoms of depression. 

Many people now live in horrible conditions that often burst into anxiety or a panic reaction where these feelings are basically swept under the rug for future use. In Hamlet, many characters may have had various anxiety feelings and issues that were not talked about for fear of losing status or their rank in his army. Also, they were afraid of their own deaths… Unfortunately, like in present times, these feelings are rarely discussed out loud and or mainly treated as isolated incidents. For many, the sentiments continue over and over anytime, a similar situation occurs. Shall we say, Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder?

When someone validates our feelings, it can help us get some satisfaction of being heard and not alone in the universe with our emotions. Yes, Hamlet, too. We are citizens here, and we deal with our feelings, our stress, and our anxieties the best we can, but we need to be seen and heard, too. Our messages must be plastered all over the media and on billboards. Even more important is that we are treated both fairly and equally. Everyone out there,

WE ARE HUMANS, TOO!!!

Today, anxiety occurs way too often in people. One in four of us have Mental Health Issues. Give mental wellness a chance. Individuals like myself who deal with anxiety are not much different from anyone else, yes, even Hamlet, and deserve to live our lives without fear of repercussions. Remember that our perspectives are critical, too. Equality does not have to be a privilege, but it needs to be commonplace everywhere we might be. People with Mental Health Issues can and do recover. Now, recovery is not only possible, but it is also probable. Keep in mind everyone, anxieties, and Mental Health Issues are not death sentences. 

See and hear everyone in the NewsBlogs.

Editors note: This is a series article. Next month, another Mental Health and other Shakespeare post will be published on Mental Health Affairs. 

About the Author

Howard Diamond CPS (Certified Peer Specialist)

Howard Diamond is a New York State Certified Peer Specialist from Long Island
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