Prozac Nation

I start to think there really is no cure for depression, that happiness is an ongoing battle, and I wonder if it isn’t one I’ll have to fight for as long as I live. I wonder if it’s worth it” – Elizabeth Wurtzel

Picture this – One of the most developed countries in the world possessing arguably the best resources and practices put forth in governance, public policies, business models and education, socio-economic developmental projects, military and technological advancements, scientific progress in sectors like healthcare, security, aeronautics and dozens of other departments – being home to a depressed generation of youngsters!!

Can’t believe it? Well, read on.

According to the latest statistics from the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (an American agency belonging to the ‘Department of Health and Human Services a.k.a. CDC) more than one in twenty Americans aged twelve and older are depressed!! Technically it means that Young America is in depression!

The reasons for this are many. According to an article, ‘Of the people suffering from depression, 80% have reported some level of functional impairment, with 27% reporting that it’s difficult to work, get things done at home, or get along with others because of the condition.’

“Reflecting this high rate of functional impairment, almost two-thirds of the estimated $83 billion that depression cost the US in the year 2000 resulted from lowered productivity and workplace absenteeism,” according to study authors Laura A Pratt and Debra J Brody. In their survey, the authors culled data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey from year 2005 to 2006, which comprised a nine-item screening tool asking about depressive symptoms during the past two weeks.

This has certainly got me thinking about being young and restless in a developed economy like the United States. While every developing nation apes the developed world in some form or the other, it offers us an interesting panoramic view of the reality of being born with a golden spoon. In fact, with minimal social observation skills, any plain Jane can guess that the ‘Generation Y’ in India is already showing signs of the same disease.

These are the list of things which an average upper middle class youngster in India would possess:

(1) A personal computer (2) Television (3) Internet Access (4) Toys (5) An Ipod (6) A mobile with multimedia features (7) Video Games (PlayStation or Xbox) (8) A two wheeler (9) Memberships to various clubs and societies (10) Money

Apart from all this they even get the best of education and lifestyle. And if we gauge their situation, they own everything in this planet for their age and wisdom which probably their parents couldn’t even have dreamt of owning. And yet the younger generation still seems to be unhappy with life.

I wonder what makes us, human beings, unhappy when we have access to everything in the world? And what still makes a few of us happy even though we don’t own everything in this world?

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~ by rb on September 10, 2008.

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