(this is part of an article I wrote for the website depressionteenshelp.com under the pseudonym Denny Dew)
Depression in teens: Why is it on the increase?
Several years ago, depression in teens was virtually unheard of. Now, however, it is within teens and young people that depression is increasing at the highest rate.
There have been changes within society, and undiagnosed and untreated psychological problems are becoming more and more common.
Most human activities are becoming alienating to the individual. Both production and consumption are diverging away from being truly human acts, and rather are becoming increasingly regulated by habits which have little human significance at all.
Two examples of alienation
I only have the space to discuss a couple of examples here.
On the production side, an example of alienation is the loss of authenticity in relationships formed within working environments. These days, one can buy a book about how to talk to employees, but do we really need to be told how to talk to a fellow human being? Simply, no we don’t.
Nevertheless, when a manager talks to an employee, the human relationship is lost. Rather than a conversation and relationship being formed between two human beings, it takes place between two abstractions. This is why there becomes a necessity for a book to assist us in accomplishing such natural acts, as communication between two human beings.
On the consumption side, the act of buying has lost almost all of its human qualities. It’s no longer a meaningful, human, or productive experience. Needs are artificially created and induced, and the reasons for purchase are far removed from a genuine and intelligent use of an object.
This type of consumption is a psychological problem because it alienates people from their true humanity, and impacts negatively on their dignity as human beings.
Alienation is a SPD
Let me recall the idea of SPD. An SPD, Social Patterned Defect, is a psychological problem which produces suffering and limits our level of contentment. It’s also a problem that society fails to recognize as such, despite it being widespread. Alienation is a psychological problem that lowers our self-esteem, and is thus an example of an SPD.
It contributes to the production of fear, which is the main ingredient of all personality disorders. This fear is the reaction to a less-than-human way of living, which is seen as inevitable. This fear can ultimately transform itself into depression.
Depression in teens can originate from the conflict between a natural craving for a full human existence, and the pressure to conform to the less-than-human way of living imposed on us by society. This conflict is a source of self-doubt and fear.
The problem is in the required conformity
Depression in teens: what causes depression in teenagers)