When we talk to our parents about being sad or just about not feeling enthusiastic enough, they’d always reply that it was temporary and we’d eventually lose it given time. We never did now did we? Depression is real and something serious but it is looked down upon and simply treated as ‘not happy enough’. It makes the average individual unproductive and sometimes even anxious. But depression is not something which fell upon a small demography of people, everyone is cursed with depression but on different levels, and everyone treats their depression in their own special way. The advent of social media has connected everyone in the world but also turned depression into an epidemic.
Everyday when I scroll my news feed on any platform I would find at least ten posts about depression or how depressed a person is. in the recent years posts like these have increased and I appreciate them as they are creating awareness about this monster in our minds. But little do people know these accounts are normalizing depression and turning it into a simple emotion. The seriousness of this phenomenon is decreasing day by day as people are starting to see it as a meme. Being depressed is now considered as ‘being cool’ and if you’re depressed people will like you more.
Depression marketing is something which is necessary to raise awareness but it becomes pathetic when people start using it to grab attention. I know a few people myself who even admit to using this serious issue to get some likes and shares. Oh how oblivious we are thinking likes and shares actually matter. But yeah do ‘like and share this post’ to promote my ego. I have seen some Youtubers who care about nothing but money who would make videos falsely claiming about their deep depression and suicidal tendencies for more subscribers. Pathetic it maybe but at least awareness is being raised for such a monster that can control the mind. As we all know,
The ends justify the means.
On June 24, 2019 a body was pulled from the East River in New York which belonged to a famous Youtuber named Desmond Amofah aka Etika. I liked watching his over the top reactions about different things related to Nintendo. They were funny and he was famous for it but no one would see his videos and see a tortured soul but a fun loving guy who loved making people laugh. This man died of suicide by drowning because he was tired of his life. He used to show cryptic messages on both twitter and his Youtube videos that he plans on suicide but no amount of rehabilitation could save him.
Amofah’s now-deleted final video, which has since reuploaded to YouTube by others, directly discusses the negative effects of social media on his health.
“It can fuck you up,” Amofah said. “It can give you an image of what you want your life to be and it can get blown completely out of proportion, dog. Unfortunately, it consumed me.”
His viewers used to make fun of his ‘depressive persona’ believing it to be nothing but a meme, which proves the point that depression marketing is not just creating awareness but also normalizing the monster.
If you are reading this post with some level of attention you’d know how I saw depression as a spectrum. I believe with age people become more depressed as it is in the nature of humanity to crave for the ‘good old days’. My grandmother always tells me about how one day she will die and join her close and dear ones. I could hear the sadness and distress in her voice whenever she told me that as a child. She lost her husband, my grandfather, two years ago and whenever she talks about dying the sadness and distress increases. But I also hear a certain impatience, almost like she’s eagerly waiting. As a child I couldn’t understand what she was talking about and just felt sad, but now I’m older and I understand.
We can’t really beat the monster but we can subdue it. Manipulate yourself to be happy and you can bring the darkness under control.