Depression has risen by 10% in adolescents in this decade. It’s worth mentioning, however, that it is mainly focused on girls. The rate of depression in boys has actually decreased since 2005.
Many psychologists blame this depression on the rise of social media. But is that really the reason? Correlation is not always causation. They say it’s the “pressure” to have the perfect body in comparison to all the celebrities we see. Or it’s the necessary branding of our identity that we must conform to on social media outlets. Or the need to reassure one’s self-esteem through likes. But is that really the reason?
Although all these issues are worthy for distress and anxiety, they are not the reason for the growing rate of depression. Depression in when you can no longer imagine a future for yourself. Teenagers are thrown into a situation and they feel trapped. They see no escape or no hope for their own futures leading to depression. Many teenagers choose self-destructive methods to cope, or should I say distract themselves. Drugs, drinking, drama. All these outlets cause noise. All these Ds hide depression.
The biggest cause for depression is school, according to Time Magazine and the Telegraph. It is not the stress of school although it does cause anxiety for all teens. But the foundation school instills in teenagers. “If you’re a failure at school, you’ll be a failure the rest of your life”. There’s pressure from society, media, families and teachers to excel academically. All this pressure not only hits self-confidence, determining one’s value through grades, but it makes adolescents feel out of control when it comes to their futures. Unsure of how their future looks like. For some, this becomes so severe that they no longer see a future for themselves. Also known as depression.
For many school isn’t the main cause of depression, but add on personal problems or family issues, and teenagers feel trapped. School causes this sense of entrapment due to how aware teenagers are today of the difficulties of getting a job.
Education, today, does not cater to different talents and aptitudes. Art, music and dance are no longer included in the majority of institutions. And when they are, they are not taught seriously. The lack of subject areas is not the only issue. Students graduate school without having learnt anything. This is because many have to conform their way of learning or thinking to quickly absorb the material for the current test before they forget it.
There is no foreseeable solution to the education system because it is built to be the most efficient structure from an economic standpoint. The lack of focus on individuality and diverse skills has caused schools to become a source of pain, often depression for teenagers in the 21st century.
By: Talia Riad