Existentialism and Depression have become a millennial obsession faster than duck faces and chokers, taking the world by storm. This sudden obsession and the further need to identify with it by conforming yourself to a certain set of ideas that are different than your own is very confusing.
I believe the basic fundamental reason behind all this is FOMO, the fear of missing out. Because this is what literally defines an average everyday millennial’s actions. All his actions are predicated on the fact that he is going to miss out on something, therefore he must do this.
This FOMO generates a herd-like mentality which is very easy to tack on to as more and more people join it. And as a result, there is a mass of people just joining this so-called movement all of a sudden without any apparent reason.
And why this is so peculiar with existentialism and depression is a really interesting thing to think about.
By some perverse logic, what happens is that being depressed or having an existential crisis actually becomes cool.
Because it helps you stand out, helps you differentiate.
In today’s highly “emotionally aware” world, this differentiation on the basis of being emotional really carries a lot of weight and thus is used by people to stand out in whatever way they can. When they realize that this would garner them more attention, then their psyche modifies to the fact that they are also depressed.
They see these posts on social media about how life has no meaning and why depression is the only option and start to think that way because they see nothing else and hear nothing else. It essentially becomes an echo chamber in which these kind of thoughts are resonating again and again.
This further gives them an excuse to use these mocked up issues to explain away other, more problematic character trait deficiencies which need to be addressed in another manner. But since it is essentially misdiagnosed, it is not.
And this is bad. Because firstly, it conditions a person in such a negative manner that even if he is not depressed, he will become so just because he has been telling himself he is.
Secondly, it devalues those who are actually depressed and not faux depressed. This skepticism created because of cases of herd mentality harms those who are actually suffering from these problems wherein people don’t take them seriously, generalizing the real and fake crowd.
So, this is my humble plea to all millennials. Not all sadness is depression. Not every roadblock in your life should make you want to kill yourself. Depression and existential crisis are clinical terms that should not be taken lightly just by seeing a few lines on an Instagram post out to gain followers.
Image Credits: Google Images