I was taken aback when a really good friend of mine confided in me about her depression trouble. She is barely 21, having the time of her life in one of the best colleges of Mumbai, parties twice a week and always has friends to hang out with. I would secretly envy the fact that I couldn’t enjoy my college life the way she did. She looks like the cute girl next door and is amazingly talented in the field of creative art. Outwardly everything seemed picture perfect in her life.
One day while we were candidly talking she opened up about her issue. She told me how she has been struggling in terms of trusting people. She is having sleepless nights awaiting results for qualifying the course in which she wants to make a career, meanwhile, all her friends had already begun with their college for post-graduation. This is her third attempt to qualify for the course and it’s critical for her to clear it this time else her family will force her to either join their business or get back home and help her mother.
What shocked me was the fact that unlike popular belief that depression occurs post 25 years of age, someone who was barely an adult was suffering from it so deeply. She is a living example of all the pain and suffering hidden behind her envious social life.
While admitting and addressing depression remains to be the hot potato of society, there are many individuals like my friend who suffer from depression at a very young age without being aware of it.
The most common reasons for being depressed amongst the teens and youth of today are-
The trend of posting everything online has impacted youth the most. They are constantly under pressure of updating what they eat to what they do in order to prove how they are enjoying their life. This thought of being under the lens all the time puts immense pressure on youth to indulge in activities perceived as “cool” to be acceptable to the society and not be left out.
Pressure of being perfect
Millennials are smitten by the idea of being perfect in everything they do. From having a perfect score on their report cards to winning all the extracurricular activities they participate in and to having perfect body and clothes, they want to be the best in everything they undertake their wing.
Pressure of making a difference
Again the idea of following the traditions, joining the best B-schools followed by working for the best companies isn’t very attractive to today’s youth. They detest the idea of being common. Everyone aims at being different and creating an individual mark of themselves in the world. This idea of making a difference and not being common constantly keeps them worried about if they are on the right track to achieve it or not.
Identifying one’s passion and making a career out of it
No doubt we have various successful entrepreneurs who proved to be successful in making a career out of their passion; it simply does not work the same for everyone. Today’s youth is forced to have a passion and follow it. Simple acceptance of the fact that not everyone is blessed to turn their passion into a career option does not go well with them.
Pressure from family
While one’s family is the strongest pillar of support and unconditional love, their expectation from kids is one of the most common reasons for the suffering amongst the youth. While their expectations are ultimately tied to the well-being of their kids, the constant comparison with others and nagging put immense mental pressure on them.
Bad experiences in past
Failed relationships, being back-stabbed by someone you trusted, being bullied, being targeted for non-compliance with societal norms in any way, etc can leave a lasting effect on one’s mind. This is another common reason for one suffering from depression.
While only a few people openly address it and seek solutions to such issues, most despise the fact of accepting that they have a problem in the first place. The taboo and social stigma attached to the term depression makes many hesitant in seeking guidance and speaking about it. However, with celebrities like Deepika Padukone coming forward and accepting the fact that she suffered from depression and how she over came, it is slowly but definitely the way people think.
I’m glad that my friend voiced up her issue and now we friends are always by her side if she ever needs us or otherwise. The best cure for depression is the company of someone who gets you and your silence. As all you want is someone to understand what happens inside your head while you yourself are unable to figure it out.
My advice to any of you who can relate to any of the pointers mentioned above is to go and talk about it with someone you can bank on. You’ll be amazed to see how much everyone loves you and cares about you and how much they are willing to help you sail through it. There’s no harm in seeking professional help either. It’s more common than you imagine it to be. So, do not hesitate and suffer alone, for the world is still beautiful once you clear your clouded head.