Since Brexit, and heightened by the election of Donald Trump in the US, pubs, offices and homes have been in shock, trying to make sense of what went wrong and despairing at the world falling apart. Britain has turned into an unrecognisable dystopia people don’t understand, causing thousands to move and families and friends are being torn apart. Here at Then Change, we’ve seen a dramatic increase in the levels of anxiety and depression since the referendum, but why has Brexit affected us all so deeply and how can we take care of ourselves in such dark times?
Brexit is inherently about identity and relationships with others, including migration, Europe, politicians and experts. Primitive anxieties about our border with Europe led many people to fear the destruction of that border, and with it, the destruction of Britain.
So why has Brexit affected so many people so negatively?
The European Union was established to provide respite and protection from the extreme nationalism of the mid-20th century and has remained as a great force for stabilising otherwise selfish and nationalistic party politics. The fact that people voted to leave this ‘safe haven’ is seen by many as a betrayal of all that is good, in favour for inwards-looking isolation and a crueller, smaller world.
The uncertainty of Brexit is damaging everyone
The result of the Brexit referendum has mainly brought uncertainty, with both Remainers and Leavers becoming increasingly worried about the lies told by the Leave campaign, and it is this uncertainty that is massively attacking wellbeing. Uncertainty is an extremely difficult thing to deal with, and all too often it can lead to fear and blame – which in turn can cause mistrust, hatred and animosity.
What can we do to ensure our wellbeing?
It can be all too easy to let the uncertainty of our current political landscape lead to despair, hopelessness and self-destructive behaviour. We need to give ourselves time to mourn our exit from the EU (in addition to other recent political events, such as the election of Donald Trump in the US), and find the beauty still in the world by reconnecting with our family and friends.
If you’re suffering from depression or anxiety due to current events and the national and international political landscape, the team at Then Change are here to help. For confidential and discreet advice, call us today on 0774 888 1404 or send us a message online.