A mental issue is defined as any abnormality in the emotions or thoughts that affect a person’s normal self of happiness and causes that person distress. They can be either long term or short term and believe it or not, most of the youths in today’s time are suffering from mental issues in one way or another. You may not see it but it is there. To know this you do not have to be a psychology expert.
You can see this in the form of the growing popularity of dark humor, the growing cases of suicides, and the growing cases of a college dropout. Dark humor is made by those people who have mental issues in one way or another as they see the dark side of human society and use humor to cope with them. We do not have to tell you the relation between suicide rate and mental issues are it is pretty direct.
But these are anecdotes, what about the stats? Well according to the WHO it is stated that more than 60% of the youths in the developed nations are suffering from some form of mental issues and around 80% of the youths in the developing area are suffering from mental issues. In this case, the age range of youth is from 12 years to 30 years.
This is a wide range of ages and considering that the majority of Nepal is considered to be a developing area, you get a shocking number of youths. Add that the major working force of Nepal falls under this age group which is from 16years to 40 years of age, you get almost half of the working force suffering from some form of mental issues. But what is the cause of these mental issues? The answer is closer to home than you may think. Sit tight as this is gonna be a long one.
Causes of Mental issues in the youths
You may not realize this but you do not need to have a specific set of events to have a mental issue nor do you need to suffer a tragic event. It can be caused by small events or a bunch of small insignificant causes piling up to form a big cause.
1. Generation Gap
It may seem bitter to some but the generation gap is one of the leading causes of mental issues among youths in the context of Nepal. Before a kid experiences the world and becomes mature enough to handle their own emotions and thoughts the first line where they seek acceptance and understanding is from the older generations but when the older generations have no idea what that kid is talking about, then s/he is either ignored or misunderstood.
This especially the case in Nepal where the people from just a generation ago have no idea what the world has become due to the fast technological advancement and as a result, the youth of this generation find it hard to be understood and acknowledged by the older generation leading to the sense of isolation and depression. This feeling causes anxiety and anxiety is a mental issue. Now, this may not be the case for everyone but we are generalizing here and this issue is prevalent and consistent in the minds of general youth.
2. Trust issues and emotional suffocation
Dark emotions need to be dealt with and they are everywhere. The best way to deal with them is to share them and a lot of youths today have trust issues so they don’t share their emotions. How does one feel when they are unable to share due to their trust issues?
They feel a sense of loneliness and or anger but since they have nowhere to express their emotions grow gets suffocated and get piled on. Now trust issues can be caused by a lot of things like betrayal, seeing people backbiting others, or even if someone spills their small secret. They also feel loss and rejection as well as anxiety. This causes them mental issues as a part of their energy is spent on either hiding these or dealing with these emotions daily.
3. Pressure on the youths
We just mentioned that the world has become more competitive. This is true for many aspects of life in this day and age. The competition has increased in getting a job, getting an education which leads to pressure to get any sort of financial stability. Not only this but there is competition in love and friendship as well. Nepal has become more or less progressive over the past few decades and this means more open towards love as well. Back in the days, love was not accepted so many people didn’t dare to fall in love.
Love is more or less accepted but there is still some amount of restriction as well. Because love is more accepted the competition has also risen to impress the ones you love before someone else impresses him/her and gets that person. What all this leads to is pressure. The pressure to get a job, the pressure to be financially stable, the pressure to get a degree, and pressure to get love. Not only this but society puts a lot of unnecessary pressure on the youths as well such as pressures of being friendly with everyone, being richer than someone, or getting married. Now all of this causes depression and anxiety which is the base of all the mental issues present.
4. Fake news
Is everything that you see on the internet true? The answer is no and you should not believe everything you see on the internet. For the youths, everything is on the palm of their hands on their cell phone or the computer but that does not mean everything on their hand is good. In this information era, everything is done through mass media, and some media are meant to cause mental distress among the people. Why they exist is another question but in general, they exist due to publishing false information without verification or just for business.
While this is good for their business, this affects everyone else in a bad way. Add the fact that anyone can see anything that happens in the world and everything that gets highlighted in the media is either dark or bad news, this gets to the mind of the youths. This is not to say that there are no good things on the internet but just that bad things are highlighted more than the good things and there is a lot of fake news/information. All this does is cause high amounts of anxiety and may even cause anger issues as well to the Nepalese youths and as a result.
5. Broken Family and Relationships
When you first read this topic of this article, you probably were expecting to find this as the main cause of the Mental issues in the youths. You are not wrong as this is the major cause of mental issues in the Nepalese youths but this is not the only cause. The reason why we put this as the last cause is because people already know about this but not much of the other subtle causes that have been mentioned so far.
When people think about the mental issues in Youth this the first thing they think of. It is because this is a direct cause. If you have a broken family and broken friendships then regardless of the situation, one will spiral down and have some subtle form of mental issues. The thing is, broken families and friendships are not even that rare in Nepal.
We know that it is a hard pill to swallow but the majority of the family and a lot of relationships be it romantic or friendly are broken in some way in Nepal. It can be due to one irrational member or envy among the members or even just economic issues.
Solutions for mental issues in Nepalese youths
So by now, we know what causes these mental issues in Nepalese youths. Is there any solution for it? The good news is that there are a few solutions for it but they are rather hard ones. When the problem has spread as much as it has, it becomes rather hard to fix this issue on the whole but it has to start somewhere.
1. Listen to the youths
The main problem with us is that we do not listen to anyone much. The youths today are filled with emotions and newer generations are starting to become more and more emotional. With emotions comes thoughts but people just don’t listen. We are at fault for this as well as we do not listen to the issues of the generation younger than us thinking that their issues are nonsense. What this does is create a never-ending loop of this same thing happening again and again.
Things that are for use may be huge for them and if we just listen to the youths, then at least they won’t have so much suffocated emotions inside them. What we do after listening is up to us but as long as we listen we will prevent their emotions from being clogged up and this in itself is one huge step towards solving this problem. One listener may not make much of a difference and it does not have to. As long as each individual does their part, sooner or later this will make a difference.
2. Understand or at least accept them
With the change in generation, the mob mentality is becoming more and more scarce and individuality is becoming more prominent. While this is happening, there are bound to be a lot of odd-balls among the youths and more often than not they are the ones who are suffering from major mental issues. The first step is listening to them. While you are listening to the youths, try to understand their viewpoints.
People underestimate how good the feeling of being understood is. It gives them happiness and a sense of belonging, somewhere where they feel home. This is especially the case in Nepal where there are a ton of ethnic groups, each with their own beliefs and they are changing with time. As long as the youth is not on the wrong track and the only issue between the two of you is you not being able to understand him/her, all you need to do is accept that person for who they are.
3. Guide them
Let’s be honest here, youths are lost at this time. The old ways don’t most of the time and they have no one to guide which is adding to their pressure. If you are an older person, then talk to them and listen. This is always the first step. After talking to them share your own experience with them and warn them what not to do. As people grow older, they make more and more mistakes so even if you don’t know what to do, you know what not to do. This will be a guide in itself.
If you can guide the youths by advising them what to do then it is a great thing but the least you can do is advise them on what not to do. While guiding them, don’t sound like giving lectures though as they have enough of those in their daily lives from school to work. Once they feel like they are being watched upon by the elders, the youths will gain a certain amount of confidence to face the issues in their lives. While this is admittedly a general thing to advise, this general thing is somewhat rare in Nepal.
4. Let the youths have their privacy
One of the most annoying things that youth can face is their seniors being too nosy about their lives. While you should indeed talk to them and advise them as well as try to understand their issues, you don’t need to be nosy and be intrusive. One of the main reasons youths don’t open up is because the people of the older generation are nosy and intrusive. As the generation is passing by, people have become more and more concerned about their privacy and people of the older generation fail to notice that.
While you should observe them see if they are going in the wrong way or not and are doing fine or not, any more than that and you will be intruding in their private space and no one likes that. Again this is especially true for Nepalese people. The advice is, if a youth is hiding something and is being secretive, ask them and inquire about that but don’t engage until you have to.
5. Give them time to mature.
They are called youths for a reason as they are not old yet. This means that they are still somewhat immature and their immaturity is also a cause for their mental issues. As a person of an older generation, all you can do is guide them and watch them grow at their speed. Maturity does not come in a day and a protected environment so give them time and don’t push them to become mature. The average lifespan of a human has increased by more than a decade when compared to the lifespan of 50 years ago so they have more time to grow.
What we have seen a lot of older generations do is push the youths to grow faster at the pace where they grew up. This is not a solution as everyone has their speed of growth and their way of growing. The youths will stumble and fall but as long as you give them support when necessary and leave them to their own, their mental issues will decrease. Since the pressure of growing up is gone, they won’t have to worry much and when they look for your support you will be there their stress will be halved, and the less the stress, the less the mental issues for the youths.
If you want to learn more about mental issues why don’t you check out “Why Do People Hide Mental Illness” and along with this you can check out “How to spot Fake News” so that you don’t get stressed by them as well?