Dr. Catur: Comparing Our Life with Others Dangerous for Mental Health

Comparing one’s life with others is often considered something normal. However, such behavior can actually have a negative impact on one’s mental health and even trigger mental health disorders.

mental illness
Illustration of a depressed person. (Pexels)

ACTNews, JAKARTA – Have we ever compared our lives with other people’s? Do we always think that others have better lives than we do, and that the grass is always greener on the other side?

Comparing one’s life with the lives of other people might be considered normal. In fact, this behavior actually has a negative impact on one’s mental health.

ACTNews interviewed a member of the Indonesian Psychiatric Association (PDSKJI), Dr. Era Catur Prasetya who is also an Aksi Cepat Tanggap (ACT) medical volunteer. According to him, every human being has a tendency to compare their self-achievement with those of others.

“We often compare our life with other people’s. For example, like asking ‘Why am I still single while many of my friends are already married with kids?', or ‘Why I can’t make my parents happy like others?’” said Dr. Catur, Thursday (9/16/2021).

Doctor Catur added that the habit of comparing one's own achievements with others cannot be separated from one’s upbringing. It is often the root of the problems faced by every human in their adulthood.

"Since we were kids, many of us were taught to always compete. For instance, we were forced to focus on academic achievement and class ranking. At our workplaces, we are always pressured by our superiors, work overtime for hours, and consider it normal. All of that is not mental health friendly," he said.

This problem, according to Dr. Catur, can be prevented by creating a family and education curriculum that is friendly to mental health, such as by changing the parenting style so that it doesn’t focus solely on achievements.

"We are always required to be number one, but what is more important is to provide character education from the beginning. Hence, we shouldn’t compare our achievements at home, at work, and in our social life. Everyone must be aware that this has an impact on mental health," he added. []