lot of young millennials in the world today are facing the same problem: The problem of battling depression and sustaining stable mental health.
Unlike all other problems, the intensity of the problem in Bangladesh is as radical as it can be. Being a millennial myself, I understand how difficult it is to keep oneself undisturbed by the chaos in the surroundings and not get washed away by the heated competition around.
Everywhere I go and everywhere I have been, people are always competing -- be it for power, money, love, or even basic needs such as food, shelter, medication, clothing, and education. In keeping pace with this kind of competition prevalent in the world today, it is extremely difficult to uphold your mental peace.
Joblessness and purposelessness
This is probably the most vital problem in Bangladesh today. Not only the young generation, but many people from all walks in Bangladesh are either suffering from the crisis of joblessness or purposelessness.
Owing to nepotism and increasing pressure in society to prove their self-worth, generation Z particularly is on its way to relinquish their existence by taking huge leaps of faith every now and then. The depression is only really an after-effect of the damage caused by these leaps of faith.
Broken families and divorce rates
A generation gap has been created through an inclination towards social media, rather than spending time with family members to create strong bonds with each other, the result of which is evident in the high number of divorce rates and broken family ties. The psychological burden created likewise is also responsible for depression.
Self-esteem and confidence
Due to continued bullying and shaming, the resulting delineated self-esteem and confidence to stand out among peers also play a part.
Talking mental health
The stigma -- that people diagnosed with mental health problems cannot be included as equal members of society -- keeps them silent about their problems.
Even family members are not playing their part in advising their children on how to tackle the problem, as they have been taught to not raise their voices.
The youth of Bangladesh must remember to set up their goals and work towards them without sacrificing two very important things -- happiness and self-satisfaction
Juvenile delinquency and addiction
Juvenile delinquency and addiction to drugs, alcohol, etc are prevalent among the youth today, especially the ones from upper class backgrounds. This is the consequence of peer pressure to appear “cool” or not to become someone who does not belong to the group.
Sleep schedules and work-life balance
The points mentioned above are responsible for the work-life imbalance and unhealthy sleep schedules prevalent among the youth today. The stress created causes depression.
A strenuous lifestyle
The strenuous lifestyle resulting from the heavy environmental pollution, the high population, lack of security, and traffic jams in Bangladesh create chaos in the mind, paving the way not only towards generating depression, but also towards expanding it.
What can be done?
Physical exercise can be a way of eradicating depression and mental health problems. If we can include any form of physical exercise (from skipping to running to yoga to cycling) as an essential part of our daily routine, we can efficiently fight the battle of depression against ourselves.
Government measures to oversee family values
The family values responsible for depression and mental health problems need to be overseen and supervised by the government and its regulatory policies.
In this regard, introducing the system of public psychological advising such as family, marriage, and divorce therapy, conducting awareness campaigns to remove stigmas and stereotypes against mental illness, and providing access to an emergency helpline like 911 can be effective.
Meditation and recreational facilities
Both the public and private sectors can play their part in fulfilling their social responsibility by creating opportunities for meditation and recreation for ordinary people.
It will not only fulfill their individual need for self-esteem (see Maslow’s hierarchy of needs) but would also be helpful for the reputation of the organization they run or work for.
More engagement in community service and volunteerism
Tanzil Ferdous, an emerging global young leader from Bangladesh believes: “If the youth are engaged and motivated to do community service, they will be deterred from extremist activities.”
I would like to add that participation in community service will not only deter young people from extremist activities, but will also help them tackle the problem of depression.
Overall, the youth of Bangladesh must remember to set up their goals and work towards them without sacrificing two very important things -- happiness and self-satisfaction.
Maisha Mehzabeen works at the Dhaka Tribune and is a graduate in economics.