Mental health in global crisis: why our poor mental health is a collective problem and why we need to attend to our planet, society and each other in order to heal
Audio only version
Addressing the survival of our civilization, this is one the most pressing interviews ever featured on the MindHealth360 Show. Daniel Schmachtenberger is one of the most brilliant systems thinkers and social philosophers of our time. Combining astounding intellect and depth of knowledge with profound concern and wisdom, he is tackling the many issues that threaten humanity. Founder of the Civilisation Research Institution (a think tank focused on preventing global catastrophic risks) and founding member of The Consilience Project (which publishes cutting edge research on catastrophic risk), he advises governments and institutions on the risks we face as a species and planet (such as AI, exponential tech, biological warfare, species extinction, climate change, biodiversity loss, dead zones in oceans, and the global health crisis, and is a much sought-after speaker whose interviews regularly reach hundreds of thousands of people worldwide.
In this vital and deeply thought-provoking interview, Daniel focuses on the epidemic of poor mental health. He explains why our world system is inherently unhealthy, why poor mental health (anxiety, depression, addiction, ADHD, body dysmorphia, suicidality) is linked to our collective (rather than individual) trauma, and why our health is inextricably linked to the political, economic, sociological structures in which we live, which disregard the true meaning of life and our fundamental wellbeing. An expert in Integrative Medicine through his own struggles with chronic illness, Daniel has helped open several Functional Medicine clinics, and is head of R&D at Neurohacker Collective, which develops high performance nutraceuticals.
With 1 in 5 people on a mental health drug and with suicide rates in the US increasing by 36% between 2000 and 2021, Daniel rightly views the status of our metal health as a catastrophic risk and very real crisis. He looks at our global health from a complex and holistic systems-perspective, and argues that we urgently need to attend to our planet, society and each other in order to heal – and even save – ourselves before it’s too late.
Discover why the world crises we face are impacting our mental health, why a profound shift into modernity (and away from an evolutionary lifestyle based in nature, good nutrition and community) is killing us, and why it ultimately takes a collective, holistic and fundamental redesign of civilization to restore our individual well-being.
It is my longest interview yet, but well worth listening to it in its entirety in its life-affirming, thought provoking, sobering and vital pearls of wisdom from one of the great thinkers of our time.
- Why our mental health is in collective crisis, and why poor mental health is not an individual problem
- Ways our poor mental health is inextricably linked to the issues we face collectively (i.e toxins, industrial agriculture, capitalism, climate change), and why focussing on solutions for individual healing is fundamentally skewed
- Why modernity is unhealthy sociologically (ie. social media, tech, disconnect from nature, etc) and physiologically (i.e poor soils, antibiotics, toxins, poor nutrition, etc), and how it negatively impacts our nervous system and mental health (causing addiction, depression, anxiety, suicidality, ADHD etc)
- Why our ‘progress narrative’ (of increasing health and GDP and decreasing child mortality and world poverty, etc) is such a dangerous worldview by cherry-picking, decontextualising and disregarding wellbeing, quality of life, feelings of purpose, meaning and love (which are essential to our psychological health)
- Why the conditions in which we evolved (nature, community, natural nutrition) are vital to our good health, and what it means to our mental and physical health to be living without them
- Why our institutions, economic structures and social environments negatively impact our mental health
- How our nuclear lifestyles are driving poor mental health, addiction, depression, anxiety, compulsive disorders, body dysmorphia, etc
- Ways tech is changing the development of our brains, why it is linked to the rise of addiction, ADHD, ADD, etc, and how it is impacting children, teens and adults differently
- Why Functional Medicine is beneficial (by testing underlying causes of poor health, such as toxins, gut issues, inflammation, infections, etc), yet why it overlooks our collective health and the fundamental root causes of poor health
- The ways in which focussing on “fixing” ourselves and others keeps us lonely, and why love, connection, and intimacy is the best path toward healing
- How we can develop emotional capacity to cope with and navigate our mental health crisis, including being present with those in their suffering without trying to “fix” them
- Why deep and rich family and community relationships are essential to our mental health
- The lessons Daniel learned from his father’s recent passing about survival, trauma, addiction and the purpose and meaning of life
About Daniel Schmachtenberger
Daniel Schmachtenberger is the founder of the Civilization Research Initiative focused on finding a way through the twin attractors of increasing global catastrophic risks and control dystopias, addressing the underlying drivers of each and the unanticipated effects of our aggregate choices.
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