Image by Daniel Reche from Pixabay 

It was something that you wish had not happened at all! Not in the wildest of your dreams! The government shutting down literally everything! Booming business firms shut down, schools and colleges abruptly closed, black market turned vegetable and fruit markets; thronging malls with no people, streets empty and transportation almost impossible. But all the time in the world at hand, people shut together within the four walls of their homes; the world did turn upside down with the pandemic hitting coast-to-coast.

On one hand munching on new recipes all day long, non-stop Netflix and youtubing. Teens insta-reeling on every nook and corner of the house and street. Chatting and fighting, cooking, cleaning and sleeping. In the evenings, everyone getting together on rooftops, the sky filled with colorful kites and laughter. But that wasn’t the only thing; there was an acceleration in depression, anxiety and suicide. Suicide being the top on the devastating list, causing grief to the loved ones. Some of it was due to economic reasons, though not the solution understandable at least. In most of the cases it was teenagers and young adults under bouts of depression and anxiety, had reached this terrific end. Important health organisations had called for a national emergency.

It is impossible to forget the suicide of Sushant Si Rajput, who was an outstanding actor. He was one among the many youngsters who had fallen prey to this social disaster. Was pandemic the reason behind death among young people? Or was it a prevalent problem even before that? Researchers in the American Foundation of Suicide Prevention had stated, SUICIDE being the major factor in the death among youth. Mental health has become the focal point of the nations in the well being of their younger generations.

“The rise in number of youngsters having mental illnesses is on upsurge with limited awareness and an age-old taboo revolving it.” – Ipshita Das

It’s a taboo that needs to be broken in narrower societies like the Indian society. A recent study has proved that in India mental health issue is the prime cause for non-fatal disease. One in seven people in this country are affected in varied levels. The National Survey of mental health Resources has found that only 3800 psychiatrists are to avail with the needed 11,500. The National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) has seen an increase in deaths occurring due to suicide in the recent times and the reason is very obvious.

To find the solution for this prevalent issue, lot of research is going on. It is very alarming that mental health that was rare at a point of time is affecting societies together. With many people being succumbed under this, the question is why is it affecting a lot of people nowadays? Especially the young people more often than not are the ones that are easy prey. Scholars say that basic lifestyle changes has contributed to the ascension of mental health issues in GEN Z. young kids who lack forbearance commit suicides for reasons such as flunking in papers or for being scolded by parents.

The attitude and lifestyle of youth nowadays is the main reason behind depression, suicide, anxiety and a whole lot of other problems. With the present generation born into the digital era, than the previous generation who were born during the development of technology, they are in general are addicted to all sorts of ventures in social media apps and platforms. Spending their time in Instagram, facebook and snapchat their connection to most of their peers is virtual than a real connection. Socializing through virtual media has made them more lonelier than ever. Over the previous generations children went out to play and young adults went out to befriend and meet new people.

“Half of all mental disorders arise before the age of 14. If untreated, they extend into adult life, affecting education, employment, relationships, and even parenting.”
- Tarun Dua. WHO.

But under the influence of virtual reality people nowadays are lazy to go out and have fun with their family and friends. When parents go out in the morning and come late at night they don’t have the energy to play with their kids. In many cases, one parent works in the morning shift comes home tired at night, and the other partner leaves for work while the other spouse is sleeping. So parents themselves cannot spend time with each other resulting in divorces. The children are left in day care where they are under the supervision of other people. Because these children don’t get the proper care and nourishment of their parents they are emotionally deprived. At a point of time these children are affected with loneliness and depression since they are not given a sense of security and love. Many children not under proper supervision of their care givers fall for online scams and sometimes it results in suicide. Suicide after losing money in online rummy has become a frequent headline in the newspaper.

Isolation and loneliness at many times results in lack of mental health and suicide. In the older times, people lived in communities. A house had a hierarchy of grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, nieces, nephews, mother, father, siblings etc. Where there would be no time to be lonely at all. Times have changed now where wealth and a nuclear family is preferred than a big family with generous expenses. When children are left unmonitored chances are really high for them to develop anxiety and loneliness. They then fall into greater risks of drug abuse at a very young age which is the next major problem when it comes to youth. But communal living is the number one cure to loneliness and separation anxiety. People living in a communal lifestyle are less prone to anxiety and depression. It’s important to treat people with kindness and hope, in a fragile world.

During the pandemic, a video of a young man named, Giorgio became sensational. Giorgio had recorded his relationship with an older gentleman, Emil who was a widower aged 72. Every day by 2 PM the young man could hear the songs played on piano, which later found to be played by Emil in remembrance of his wife who had died just recently. They became friends and enjoyed their time by playing duets together. A memorable music they played was “River flows in You”. One day Giorgio gets the news of his neighbour’s death. In a short period of time these two people had become friends and had been for each other during the most loneliest of times, the pandemic. Emil had confessed that playing with his new friend had eased the pain of his wife’s passing away. While Giorgio plays a song written as a tribute for Emil he shares these words from his heart,

“Dear Emil “
Let me know what you think
Its my very first song
And im glad I can share it with you
Thanks for keeping me motivated”.

Another cause of depression in the digital epoch is fast fashion and perfectionism. With media often portraying perfect beauty, perfect partner, perfect family, perfect children, perfect job and perfect vacations; people unable to attain these high standards struggle with anxiety. “Look at me” is the motto behind this culture wherein Cars, phones and clothes become outdated in a small spectrum of time. Imperfections at job, family and relationships stress them so much that there is constant fear and suppression of angst. It’s a fake culture based on materialistic values compromised for ethical living with satisfaction. Wabi Sabi is a Japanese philosophy to live a complete life along with its natural imperfections.

What mental health needs is more sunlight, more candor, and more unashamed conversation.” – Glenn Close. EVERYDAY POWER

People can adapt to philosophies like this to empty their minds and detoxify their stressful lives. Some also follow decluttering and reusing of old clothes against fast fashion. Materialism makes people focus on themselves so much so that they become self-centered and apathetic. They document a fellow human beings suffering than run to help them. These are the lifestyle changes that has made man what he is today. Awareness is being made to help recover from these attitudes and lifestyle. These are some advice that professionals give to main a good mental makeup and well-being. When things go beyond this a visit to a good psychiartist is a the solution. One of the drawbacks in the Indian society if the lack of health professionals in this area. With the few psychiatrists available the cost is expensive for normal people to approach. Government needs to intervene in this issue and allocate proper budget plans to make the treatment available for everyone with a good infrastructure.

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