Empowering Young People for the African Renaissance
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Depression kills

Depression which has become one of the serious issues among the youth is a state of low mood and aversion to activity that can affect a person’s thoughts, behavior, feelings and sense of well-being. People with a depressed mood can feel sad, anxious, empty, hopeless, helpless, worthless, guilty, angry, ashamed etc. They also lose interest in activities that were once pleasurable, experience loss of appetite or overeating, have problems concentrating, remembering details and so on.

According to new estimates of depression released by the World Health Organization, on 23 February, 2017 the number of people living with depression had increased by over 18% between 2005 and 2017. Depression is the largest cause of disability worldwide. More than 80% of this disease burden is among people living in low and middle income countries like Ghana, it is a situation that can happen to anybody. It causes mental anguish and affects people’s ability to carry out everyday tasks, with sometimes devastating consequences for relationship with family and friends.

Many factors explain why youth increasingly immerse themselves in dark cyberspaces at the expense of engaging with family, school and other essential real-world activities. Social media, video games and the like offer a convenient babysitter for today’s parents who work longer hours than those of decades past. Moreover, addictive technologies draws the youth like moths to a flame. Yet no factor has pushed youth digital immersion more than decades of flawed pop-culture, parental advice that convinced parents and schools to turn youth loose with digital devices.

Even though youth may be in the same room with their parents, they might also, thanks to their phones, be immersed in a painful emotional tangle with dozens of their peers or they are following other people’s lives on the different social media platforms and feeling self-loathing. They easily get caught up in discussions about suicide with any person anywhere in the world or in their own country whom they have never even met. This is usually via an app that most adults have never probably used before.

Youth should resort to educational programmes or things that will be useful for their lives on the internet rather than what will put them into depression. Also parents should have time to know their wards, what goes on in their lives as well as listening and observing them to prevent them resorting to untrusted sources for information which will harm their well-being.

Let us all fight against depression.

By Linda Adzeoda
(Communication Officer) 4/17/*17


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