EQ, IQ, Feeling Blue and Working Through

Ken Donaldson, EQ IQ and emotional intelligence

I have some alarmingly bad news to share (take a nice long inhale, followed by a nice exhale, then continue)…

The following are based on the U.S. adult population:

  • 3.1% (6.8 million) suffer from Generalized Anxiety Disorder.
  • 6.7% (14.8 million) suffer from Major Depressive Disorder. (This is the leading cause of disability in the U.S. for ages 15 to 44.3, the median age at onset is 32.5, and it’s more prevalent in women than in men.)
  • 2.7% (6 million) suffer from Panic Disorder.
  • 6.8% (15 million) suffer from Social Anxiety Disorder.
  • 8.7% (19 million) suffer from Specific Phobias.
  • 1.0% (2.2 million) suffer from Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD).
  • 3.5% (7.7 million) suffer from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).
  • 1.5% (3.3 million) suffer from Persistent Depressive Disorder. (A “low grade” depression formerly called dysthymia, which continues for at least two years.)

Not so good, huh?! (I warned you!)

But what if most of this was preventable, or, at the very least, more manageable?

It is!

How, you ask?

Simple: EQ, otherwise known as Emotional Intelligence.

EQ is simply the ability for a person to recognize and manage their own emotional state, be able to communicate their emotions in effective and appropriate methods, while also recognizing the emotions of others and being able to connect one’s own emotional state with the emotional state of another.

Easy? No. Simple? Yes.

The problem: We live in the Dark Ages of emotions. We’re taught virtually nothing about emotional expression or management in mainstream education. Even if you go way off the beaten path, you’re still not likely to catch much information about EQ.

Most of the above diagnoses, and impact thereof, could be greatly reduced if we were taught some emotional management skill sets in our formative years of education.

Our education system, unfortunately, seems to be obsessed with IQ, FCAT, SAT and ACT scores, all to the detriment (and denial) of EQ.

But wait, it gets even worse (sorry…take a few deep breaths again):

Mental illness (and substance abuse) annually cost employers well over $100 billion per year. 

However, with proper treatment, 65% to 80% of individuals will improve, thereby resulting in lower total medical costs, increased productivity, lower absenteeism, and decreased disability costs.

Just think of the savings we’d make if we acted proactively, instead of reactively.

And proactive prevention, undoubtedly, would also result in less domestic violence, less crime and less substance abuse.

Do yourself a favor and equip yourself by reading about EQ, seeing a therapist or simply by becoming more emotionally aware. And if you’re a parent, please put as much, or more, emphasis on your children’s EQ as their IQ.

Stay tuned to my blog for more about EQ.

And Marry YourSelf First!…today.