Written By: Kamo Sekwena
According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), depression is a common and serious medical illness that negatively affects how one feels, think and how you act. It causes feelings of sadness and/or loss of interest in activities that one once enjoyed doing. I would like to argue about depression being a medical condition and say according to me, “it is rather a mental condition as it triggers the psychological wellness first and most”. As we commonly or are made to believe that it happens to grown-ups “old people”, that too is debatable. At any stage of our lives, we are prone to get depressed, we are all vulnerable to depression as we grow.
There are a lot of things that happens in a person’s life as they grow, and evidently, it gets tougher and more challenging when a person reaches their youth years. When a person enters their youth or rather puberty, a lot of things changes and gets confusing. The youth gets faced with the challenges of dealing with peer pressure, getting things “right” and fitting in, that we “lose ourselves”. As people grow more into the late teen years and twenties, the stress levels escalates so much that it becomes too much for some of us to bear, leading into a slow depression phase.
Social media, trends, the society, parents are some of things that piles up in young lives because we try so hard to satisfy and live up to all of them that we end up living a lie. What has become a low but rapidly growing problem, is the fact of being afraid or “too cool” to seek help where we feel overloaded or lost. The youth has become consumed by the concept of “what will people say?” instead of thinking of their own well-being and sanity. Although some of the things that lead to depression in youth years are “manageable” before “killing us”, most young people don’t have a lot of people they can trust with their own life and therefore believe they can sort things out by themselves.
I can without a doubt say that, it is not easy to speak out about what you are going through, especially to your parents, even to your “best friend parent”. You think of all the things you will have to say, some of which most cannot tell their parents because of reasons that are somewhat “obvious”. The “easy” people you can talk to “friends” don’t always have the best of advice or them too, become amazed and touched that they don’t really know what to say to comfort or make you feel better. It gets too piled up that your minds starts playing the worse kind of scenarios that stresses you more and more by the day. We often try to distract ourselves by keeping ourselves busy most if not all the time, or surround ourselves with people that make us “forget” about our problems, but the reality is, we forget for that moment only.
It can be agreed or debated that students and unemployed youth go through the roughest stress in their lives. When you are a student, you are confronted by multiple challenges of having to get the best results in school, social challenges and of thinking for your parents and reputation. You have to make sure that you balance your academic life with everything else that is happening in life and produce the best of all sides. Also, having a qualification(s) and being unemployed has the greatest negative impact on young people. Imagine having studied for four years with the hope and excitement through the last bit of your qualification, of working and fulfilling your dream in life, only to be home because “there are no jobs”. That is something that slowly causes depression amongst us.
Depression is becoming a rapid killer in us and needs to be discussed and raised as an issue of major importance to be tackled as a nation. We see our fellow sisters and brother become suicidal and jump off college apartments, overdose pills and cut themselves in order to escape their horrible ordeals. Depression is real. Depression does kill, it can be dealt with if we stop judging others.
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