Depression is an illness involving your moods,body and thoughts. It affects every aspect of your life. There is growing evidence that teens are in the grip for a mental health crisis, yet most keep it to themselves. The social taboo that has been associated with depression makes it unlikely for a teenager to approach an older person for help. Parents and teachers also find it difficult to confront and discuss issues surrounding depression. Here are some sensitive issues that still cause depression among teenagers.
‘We have become a project of our parents’Most 19 year olds who just graduated from high school cite this as the main reason why they were always depressed. Now that they are done with high school, all they wish for is that their parents would give them the freedom to be a project of themselves and make decisions that are in their best interest.Parents burden teens with unrealistic demands in the name of protecting their sense of self-worth. Such expectations from parents forces them to do what they don’t like. It’s time children stopped being a project of satisfying their parent’s ego.
Your performance equals your value. Schools and teachers have become exam and results-oriented too much that they have forgotten the need to develop all rounded students ready to conquer the world. With the society also sharing the same mentality, the pressure has become intense.Under pressure to get the best results, schools tend to get
inclined into making students believe that only exams determine their success and if they don’t pass, then their lives are doomed.This is also the mentality among some parents, who pile pressure on their children to post impressive results in exams. They make teens believe that how they perform in school determines their value. This makes those who are not good at books to end up depressed and feeling like a disappointment to the society. Which is not true.
The digital era.The internet has gone through a major growth spurt at a time when cases of teen depression have plummeted. Therefore,the internet is largely linked to depression. However, I have to mention that the internet is one of the best things that ever happened to our generation if it’s not abused. But when misused,it can become the most dangerous weapon against humanity,hence the reason why we need to use it carefully and productively.
The selfie culture.The selfie culture has grown quite immensely in the last few years to position itself as an essential part of the youth culture. Selfie shave become a determinant of how valuable one is to the world. If you can take cute selfies and pose with flashy objects, then your value increases and people’s perception of you also improves.This gains you massive social media followers, and with followers comes the social media royalty. But this only applies to the few lucky ones. But what about the rest, who are the majority?They develop low self-esteem, fall victim to cyberbullying and segregate themselves from the ‘lucky’ fellows in the society.The other form of bullying is body shaming. How would you feel seeing your image being turned into a meme simply because you don’t have a flat tummy? Yes, that’s how teens end up being depressed.
The influencer generation. The influencer generation has become the main avenue through which you can reach out to teens nowadays. Social media icon sand royals are now the trendsetters and decision makers in most teens’ lives. This has, however, been abused widely. Those who don’t have the influence curate fake lives to display on social media, something that can make someone feel vulnerable and wretched. The pressure among teens to emulate these fake ‘icons’ leads them into depression the moment they start realising that they can’t hack it. When reality kicks in, disappointment and self-pity takes toll, resulting in depression.
‘Depression is your own making’.This is the most repeated excuse whenever a person commits suicide or gives up on life because of depression. What most don’t understand is that the despair that usually accompanies depression makes the thought of taking one’s life the only available escape from the pain. The emotional torment usually affects even the day-to-day functioning of a person.Circumstances lead people into depression – people don’t lead themselves into depression. And depression is not about how weak or strong a person is, it’s a mental illness that needs to be taken seriously and proper channels set to help the affected. We are losing many lives to this silent monster! With world renown celebrities like Eminem, Channing Tatum,Angelina Jolie, Britney Spears and Lady Gaga increasingly talking openly about their own mental illnesses, there is much greater awareness than there used to be and hence less stigma, which should make it easier for the youth to seek help. Teachers and parents should also be ready to help these teenagers, and not judge them. Let’s fight depression!
For more information on lifeology grab a copy of The Insyder in The Sunday Standard.