As a battler of depression myself, I can tell you it’s a serious thing.
I can also tell you that it’s a mental issue.
But when I say mental issue, you automatically presume mental illness. Do not mistake me, I do not mean mental illness, but rather a mentality issue. The mentality of so many people who are depressed are because of their outlook on their life in comparison to other peoples.
When a young adult learns that another person lives another way, this may cause existential angst on what the meaning to a “good life” is spurring reflective thoughts and introspection. When young adults observe the habits and culture of a different human being, either envy or disgust ensue. When these habits and cultures do not become fulfilled the young adult becomes confused. Depending on how severe the confusion, this may lead to suicidal thoughts, anger tantrums, etc.
Young adults are told how to live their lives everyday when it comes from teachers, parents, to random adults in the street. However, when it comes to dictating their actions, they realize that the free will they have speaks louder to them than their older counterparts. This then becomes a animosity between authority and oppressed. The young adult believing they are being oppressed of their free will lashes out in anger or emotion. This loss of respect and authority comes from the lack of a realistic vision of life. Young adults felt entitled to their opinions even though they have not worked a day in a steel factory or coal mine (myself included). However, in comparison to myself, the realization that one must do hard manual labor before reaping the rewards is a pragmatic ideal that has been a generalization all my life (I grew up in the Mid-West, go Hawkeyes!)
This is what is scary for myself. I fully realize the nature of our situation, and yet I see no absolute solutions. A nation addicted to fast and friendly, now is becoming aware of the real world: a world in which manual labor is the key. Many philosopher write about these issues, in particular Karl Marx and Hannah Arendt. Both realize the nature and reality of labor and alienation. Labor being the driving force behind man’s desire to fulfill reality, and alienation being the deprivation of that said reality.
When people become alienated from their work, they become restless and unstable. They begin to cling to ideologies without using their reason, they start to follow leaders in which they don’t agree with, they lash out in anger against their very brothers and sisters. And is this not what we see in our country of America today? A generation of workers, alienated from society, seeking their works approval? And what of the other? A generation of workers, completely void of labor and pure society? No longer has a balance been achieved, but rather a counterweight on societal pressures.
But this is not a bad thing. Striving for convenience is all that is left in this world (in my honest opinion). However, when half of the country is still laboring to provide the other half with luxuries, the unfavorable alienation occurs. An unfavorable alienation based on the fact that one receives without creating, causing a void in transaction. Marx and Arendt concur this notion with money and currency. The lack of receiving goods for goods, only increases the feeling of alienation. We have seen the benefits of capitalism in the Western world, but in other parts of the countries, we are alienating them in the process.
Just as how the child – parent relationship becomes strained from the alienation and oppression, so do other countries participate in the same relationship with other countries. When a country produces a commodity only to receive currency, how does that benefit the country as a whole? Thus the cycle of alienation occurs, with less and less being awarded to the laborers causing distress and turmoil within societal structures of reality.
Society and labor are interlinked. Without labor you do not have society, without society you do not have labor. Because of their inherent link, when one is deprived of one, unrest occurs. Unrest that is felt in the mind like ever before, a seeping feeling of darkness and disapproval. The feeling that the world is against you and you must fight against the oppressors to defend your freedom. What is the world to you if you are not happy?
How different is this mentality from that of a depressed child? Nothing. In both regards the mentality towards reality is the same. A feeling of oppression, seeping alienation, societal deconstruction, unrealistic perspectives. All of these feelings pouring into the mind at once causing massive depression and suicidal thoughts. But if labor is the issue in adults, why are so many young kids so susceptible?
Entertainment. Simple as that. As adults and workers, the labor aspect of their life fulfills both their need and their kids need for labor. This leaves society to bear the weight on a young adults mind. The only things that become of importance, are who Taylor Swift likes or what album Kanye West drops. Which are not bad in themselves, but are lacking a great proportionality to labor. Young adults today are fed the idea that they are entitled to everything, by simply being born, without a drop of labor. This does not mean I am advocating for the increase of all physical labor, or the relaxation of industrial advancements, but rather maintaining a balanced mentality in which supports the continuation of life.
Too many of times have we lost the lives of so many young ones due to this feeling of alienation from society. But in fact they are just missing their invincible summer, which comes from the knowledge and reading of life. But without a teacher to guide them, one ultimately comes to the conclusion that life is fickle and life being fickle is not a life to be lived. This conclusion has taken the lives of so many great people with futures ahead of them. Suicide is always a choice. If you are in absolute physical pain, then it is understandable, but if you are mentally distressed I highly recommend getting therapeutic help, sometimes all it takes is a caring ear and kind words to lift your spirits. In the more extreme cases, I’d have to do some case studying and what not, but in general I believe that the standard mental fragility of the American has become so lax that we are now concerned with a new problem.
However this problem has always been the issue, since the alienation of the working class to the alienation of the younger generation, it seems alienation is taking over our minds.