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The era of youth depression

Oct 1, 2010, 12:48 PM | Article By: Adelaide Mendy

The 21st century and the era of globalization. Young people have so much to look forward to. We have been exposed to so much development, infrastructural, scientific and technological and the world is simply ours to conquer. So just what could be going wrong. Why are a considerable percentage of youths not energised and so laid back and de-motivated. There are a lot of reasons, most of them highly researched and publicised and others not so much. However, I want to delve into one which seems to be growing (both in young children and those approaching adulthood) and which has a devastating effect, depression.

Being of this hopeful generation, I have been fortuned to be exposed to documentaries, articles and even personal experiences regarding this affliction that was until a little while ago, deemed something suffered by the older generation especially those who feel like they have nothing much to anticipate and be excited about. However, that is no longer the case. Just a couple of days ago, I took the liberty of asking a colleague why he was looking so glum and his answers was shocking. He had no clue why he was feeling this way and lately it had been the norm. He added that he had been feeling sick to his stomach and it had been getting worse with the passage of time. But it was not of a physical nature. So how does one treat an ailment that is not of a physical nature? It begins with understanding it, hence my research on this topic and this article.

Depression is a major disease, and it’s effects are devastating not only on the victims but also on their families as it stretches it’s  ugly  fingers into the soul and steals away hope, contentment and happiness. This genuine medical condition is quite serious and not a conscious choice. A 'down in the dumps day' is not a cause for panic, but when a week of suffering turns into two or three and one’s joy in life is lost, steps need to be taken in order for this condition to be stalled and reversed. The first step which involves the acknowledgement  of the presence of the disease in any sufferer and the willingness to seek treatment will undoubtedly be one of the hardest decisions they ever make, but with assistance and time, this disease can be defeated.


The following are some of the common signs of depression


           Having ongoing feelings of sadness and emptiness

           Suffering from constant fatigue and lack of motivation

           Harbouring feelings of worthlessness and guilt

           Viewing life with pessimism and hopelessness.

           Being plagued by insomnia [the inability to sleep] or sleeping excessively.

           Feeling abnormally irritable or discontent

           Taking no pleasure in previously enjoyed hobbies or activities

           Harbouring dark thoughts especially of suicide or death.(extreme cases)

           Erratic mood swings


These conditions usually do not occur overnight but gradually creeps into one’s life. Research shows that a first and second episode of depression more often than not traces back to stress. When stress is ongoing, the symptoms may also increase proportionally. What may begin as fatigue can move to feeling overwhelmed, and grow into a sense of hopelessness. Catastrophic unexpected events can also trigger an immediate slide into depression.

This terrible affliction .eats away slowly but steadily at a person's self esteem and sense of self worth and eventually one’s ultimate essence, the soul. It is therefore difficult for someone who has never suffered the effects of this illness to understand how completely this illness consumes and over powers and individual.

Bullying  is also a major factor in depression among teenagers which in some states carries a penalty for the offender or offenders. Different people react differently to depression and then again it depends on the severity of the depression. The road to recovery is painful and difficult as one day you are up on cloud nine and the next it feels like your world has come crashing down around you. And in the partially developed mind of such an innocent, the world becomes an oyster of punishment from which they wish to escaped, a form of escapism that draws them deeper into themselves and on to the fore mentioned. However, being surrounded by family and friends who would promote positive thinking in you is integral to the recovery process. Recommended therapies usually last from six to eight months depending again on the individual and the degree of depression he or she suffers from.

The toll is not only evident on sufferers of the disease but also on their chosen network of people, who love then and want what is best for them, assisting them in the course of recovery if they are willing to take the first step  As the percentage in victims of depression rise everyday, it is up to us to try and reduce the rate. By doing something as little but as significant as standing up against bullying especially, cyber bullying. Many teens might argue in the case of depression gone bad[suicide] that they did not have an actual hand in the death of a fellow peer and all of this would be said without a twinge of remorse,

Do you know what my answer to that is, you might think because you did not participate in their actual  death, you have somehow gained absolution. But the truth is you played a part in their untimely demise and you know what they say, if you are old enough to play the bully, then you are old enough to know better. The point is, we owe it to ourselves as human beings to do our part in the eradication of this disease. So today, let us each make a silent vow to be  better  people  in every way that matters especially being of positive influence to those who need it. Do further research  on this and other psychological ailments of this nature to be better informed and in a more fitting position to detect and be of aid to someone in need. The kind word or genuine advice can save a life.