Monday, September 18, 2006

Childhood depression up?

Speak to most people and they will recall details of a happy childhood filled with blissful ignorance. Yet apparently children are no longer happy in their innocent youth so lets ask someone who wasn't a child that long ago: me.

"NO I WAS NOT HAPPY AS A CHILD, GO AWAY!" In between stressful evenings trying to manage a huge workload of posters, 101 irrelevant textbook questions and "research", I spent most of my time alone because people didn't like me and I didn't/still don't like them. There was extreme pressure, followed by long stretches of boredom. I was being forced into the child processing machine and I didn't fit!

Then there are the stories. Rich kids always telling you exactly where they have been on holiday and for how long. Popular kids always telling you how many parties they went to last week. Smart kids always bragging about their grades. Fit kids always showing off their brawn. What did I show off about? Sarcasm. "Oh wow you went to Florida? Did you notice?" "At this party, how many people had a good time without drinking? Nobody? Oh so only mentally incapacitated people enjoyed it." "Wow 10 A's, you must have been studying the Labour manifesto closely this year." "So you went to the gym? Me? I'm not so insecure about my looks and I don't like the idea of out living my grandchildren, but don't let me put you off."

So it is hardly surprising children are feeling down in such a competitive and selfish society. Families are not sticking together, parents don't have time for their kids, exam results are even more important now. The government is trying to tackle anti-social behaviour with ASBOs, instead of engaging lessons and decent leisure facilities. Youth centres are being replaced with passport registration offices. Everybody must be academic, even if they don't want to be. Religion has almost disappeared from British culture and now there is a void where morals once existed and people have lost faith in all areas of life. The idea that principles may be more important than money no longer seems credible. In fact what has actually happened is that people have become far more cynical (I was just ahead of the times) :)



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