Monday, October 10, 2011

Smells Like No Teen Spirit

Its still Cool to be Depressed!

I just had a harrowing talk with an overambitious ‘depressed’ kid – the 3rd unhappy soul in a row this week (as part of my mentoring gig). I dont mean to be unsympathetic but they’re all young, go to good schools and colleges, come from good families, are well fed, have the latest gadgets, bikes, cars…well, they've got no ‘real’ worries, actually, most of them have no problems at all, but it is supposedly "cool" to act all depressed and sad. What’s up with all these teenagers being depressed? Teen Angst? I don't think so.

Maybe Depression is still a global trend or perhaps people (not just adolescent teens) are drawn to this trend because there really is reason to be depressed in today's world. Generation gaps are indeed widening, we are stuck with fixing a lot of problems the spoiled baby-boomers put off. Divorce is at record highs. The youth tend to be socialists, or at least more liberal... but the world is capitalist, and more conservative than that. The News doesn't exactly have anything nice to tell us about the world (not that we'd watch if they did).

But let’s face it - in the 60's people got off their asses and voiced their opinions. They did something about it. They were active. Now we sit around and look miserable. At least 90% don’t care. Have we lost hope in fixing the problems that are inevitably going to be here?

By not being depressed, I don't mean "just have fun". You can do many other things. Being not depressed doesn't mean you're happy go lucky all the time and unaffected by any catastrophe. It just means that you aren't constantly miserable and self absorbed in your own misery. It means you can look pass whatever miniscule or gargantuan difficulties you have and still find something that's worth living for.

In 25-30 years or so, the kids I know will be all grown up, probably stuck in dead end jobs, in huge debts, with no time to actually have fun. And they'll ACTUALLY be depressed. And perhaps, then they'll look back at their youth, remember my advice and say "god, I wish I didn't act depressed all the time back then, cause I could've had a lot of fun instead. Only if they realize!!

Note: This blogpost was originally titled "Misery Incorporated"!


  1. I find myself again nodding, like the last post. I observe this in some of my students. But this being a rural place, the percentage is miniscule when compared to the students in the urban range. You must read the poetry that these kides write: dark, gloomy, talks of hurt, blood, etc. Being depressed, dark and suicidal is seen as 'cool' and 'sexy.'

    Do you think it is the family setup as well which allows feelings as these to be rampant?

    Joy always,

  2. I wouldn't blame the family always. At least, not in the case of the kids I know. They have everything that a kid of their age yearns for and its still not enough! They don't even see the glass half empty, they see it empty and dry!!


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