There are growing cases of teen depression all around the world. Even when teenage is supposed to be the most wonderful time of their lives, teens suffer from isolation. What really causes this form of depression and what can be done to prevent it?
Teenage is considered to be the golden age of one’s life. And why not, since this is the age when one is blooming, free from responsibilities, and as energized as he or she can be. Making endless friends, sharing carefree giggles, learning life as it comes and sparkling with ideas and creativity, teens are ready to take on the world. With all the energy pouring in, rejoicing the freedom and feeling the blood pumping up with ambitions, it is supposed to be no less than the state of nirvana. Unfortunately, the reality contradicts this notion. Teenagers today are suffering from issues trying to suppress it all within themselves just because they are scared to confess about it. This has devastating consequences and is very unhealthy, to say the least. One such problem that the teens suffer from is isolation.
Isolation is defined as the state of being in a place or situation that is separate from others; it is the act of separation itself. Despite having a whole lot of friends “apparently”, as they put it, teenagers have the sense of being lonely, of not actually being connected to people, which results in the growing feeling of alienation. In fact, untreated depression has been identified as the leading cause for suicide by the United States’ Department of Health and Human Services. Even after being surrounded with social media platforms which encourage one to socialise more, it is ironic how teens have ended up being isolated instead.
As per a survey provided on www.ineedalighthouse.org, approximately 20% of teens suffer from depression before they reach adulthood. That’s a staggering number! The causes of this problem range from hormones and inherited traits to early childhood trauma. The problem worsens when one suffers from depression despite being free from the aforementioned causes. Coming to cell phones, over the years, mobile phones have percolated into our normal lives and have become an integral part of our daily routine. Waking up and checking our cell phones for text alerts regularly, taking out time to use a bit more of our mobiles, or using them to pass our time has become a very common habit. Mobiles are our go-to option and our last resort. Socialising is about talking to people and interacting. Take a second to think about it, how can we really be social if all our focus is concentrated upon a device that won’t even talk back to us? (No, Siri is a program and not a human being.)
Low self-esteem is in itself a huge problem and it highly contributes to depression. It makes one feel under-confident, stops them from speaking, makes them question themselves unnecessarily and develops the tendency of being hesitant every time. What does this further do? It stops them from communicating with others. People end up spending a lot of their time overthinking. Yes, one should spend time with his or her own self, but to curse oneself and restraining from expressing ideas and emotions is certainly unwanted. Peer pressure is an important factor. Bad influence is one thing, but to think of oneself in a lowly fashion just because one’s peer does something and brags about it is not the only way to go about. The peer may be right or might even be better, but that does not mean that the person not following the same path is wrong or worse. Vulnerable minds are prone to fragility and often become victims of manipulation. Again, while we should keep our minds open to listen to other’s opinions or ideas, we also need to keep in mind the difference between appreciation and application. Regarding someone’s opinion is a good thing. But to beat up oneself for not acting upon the same is a disrespect to the self.
Blaming technology seems a fair and logical option, but at the same time we need to question our use of technology. Depression stemming from technology is a state of mind and we hold the key to change our minds. We need to socialise in literal terms by speaking up and interacting. Maybe it’s all about expressing ourselves and maybe we are doing it wrong. Maybe, we can just try to go and speak up to someone. We need to accept the fact that there’s something wrong in the way we are doings things and not in the things that exist. We need to realize that we are grooming ourselves for the future, and then ask ourselves what kind of people do we want to become? Teenage is an eventful phase, and we are the only ones to make it into a phase that is worth remembering.
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