A teenager crying about something dumb: “OMG I’m so depressed because my mom said I can’t stay home for school! I don’t feel like going to school at all. *crying emoji* now I’ll post myself crying on my finsta.” This scenario, a teen who has no idea what depression is but calls themselves depressed as soon as they start to feel slightly bored or any other mood swing they experience caused by puberty, is all too common today.
On social media, depression has been trending as many adolescents believe that being bored one day and happy the next, feeling like your parents don’t understand you, and easily becoming upset at stupid situations that occur in everyday life are the signs and symptoms of depression. To these people, it is yet another aesthetic, another “something” in their life to call attention to.
According to Ranna Parekh’s entry “What is Depression” from the American Psychiatric Association, “Depression (major depressive disorder) is a common and serious medical illness that negatively affects how you feel, the way you think and how you act.” Looking at this definition and the seriousness of the condition makes me wonder why is depression trending on social media for adolescents.
Heart-rending songs are climbing the charts.
As a 15 year old girl in a generation where phones are used for almost everything, where people can shop online for anything and, where Twitter is used as a public diary to express anyone’s feelings – even political officials (I’m talking about you, Donald Trump) – I get it.
A lot of our favorite artists write songs about their own difficult experiences, using sad lyrics to describe their agony. These artists are labeled as “cool” and “deep” so the music they create is automatically “cool” too. It isn’t. At least the lyrics aren’t. They’re miserable and gloomy. It’s even more miserable if you can relate to those gloomy lyrics.
There is no beauty in depression.
Depression is a black hole in the depth of your soul, draining every cheerful emotion you ever had, only to feel lost and in a state of desolation. Through the levels of depression, you begin to lose yourself, and shy away from everyday activities. Even if you feel a bit of happiness, anything you do wrong, whether no one noticed or not, that bleeding feeling of anguish comes back again, as if it were karma, coming to take control of you. Again, and again, and again. It’s like running in a hamster’s wheel, from this big, scary monster, making absolutely no progress.
Depression is real and it is not an aesthetic. Of course people use words loosely and are not careful with what they say, but when it comes to depression, that’s not okay. The bottom line is, depression sucks. How can anyone see beauty in depression? How can feeling hopeless, believing you have no purpose in this cruel world, or questioning your existence be considered pretty? Depression is not a trend, it’s a serious mental disorder. Stop using it to describe a brief moment of sorrow that would be forgotten in three hours, or less, because it’s “trending;” this overlooks the solemnity of actual depression.