Understanding Depression: Unraveling the reality of a silent struggle

Mollentinah Ajiamo, Founder and Host, Young Twenties and Trying (YTT) Show. PHOTO/Mollentinah Ajiamo.
Mollentinah Ajiamo, Founder and Host, Young Twenties and Trying (YTT) Show. PHOTO/Mollentinah Ajiamo.

By Veronicah Njoki

  • It is not a sign of weakness, yet it is not definitely a bad mood that it would eventually disappear.
  • Mollentinah is the founder and host of the YTT Show, which targets youth in their twenties as they speak out about their challenges. 
  • The reality is that everyone, regardless of their gender, deserves a space where they can openly express their feelings.

In a world that emphasizes the importance of happiness, the nature and nuances of depression remain misunderstood. 

This is a silent battle that millions globally struggle with, with the weight of societal misconceptions and stigma overshadowing their lives. 

It is not a sign of weakness, yet it is not definitely a bad mood that it would eventually disappear. It’s a real, invisible struggle. 

Depression is not just a sad feeling; it’s more of having a persistent raincloud around you, dimming your colors of life. 

But here is the thing: as much as depression may seem like a heavy raincloud, there will always be hope. 

In the vibrant phase of her twenties, Mollentinah Ajiamo comes out as a young woman who is poised to embark on an amazing journey into the hosting realm. 

She connects with her peers about challenges in their twenties, particularly concerning mental health.

Young Twenties and Trying

Mollentinah Ajiamo is the Founder and Host of the Young Twenties and Trying (YTT) Show, which targets the youth in their twenties as they speak out about their challenges. 

Mollentinah started the YTT show in 2022. Her unique decision to start this show comes from recognizing the youth’s aspirations and struggles.

As a woman in her twenties, she also intimately understands that most young people have career uncertainties and academic stress. 

She wants to give her peers space to discuss personal development, relationships, and mental health. 

Through the YTT Show, Mollentinah focuses on resonating with her audience by navigating with them through their early childhood complexities.

Mollentinah also sees the potential within the media space to influence society. 

As the host of this show, she aims to contribute to breaking down the mental health stigma and thwarting the misconceptions around it, allowing a positive cultural shift. 

Her vision for this show is not just entertainment but having meaningful discussions and inspiring a youth somewhere. 

Pervasiveness of depression

On the reason behind the YTT Show, Mollentinah sheds light on the global spread of depression. 

She says, “Depression is not a passing period of sadness or a mere mood swing. It is a persistent and complex mental health disorder that is characterized by a constant feeling of hopelessness, despair, and lack of interest in almost everything”. 

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), 13% of young people in their twenties suffer from depression. 

This figure underscores the universality of depression and emphasizes its status as the leading mental health condition in the world. Beyond these statistics, it is important to realize that this figure represents real individuals, each steering their unique journeys in the depression shadows.

Why young twenties

Much of the foundation of future life trajectories lies in your decisions as a youth. Mollentinah says, “Through addressing mental issues at a young age, you could get support that would have a long-term outcome. 

Mollentinah says all people should open up and share their problems to get help. PHOTO/Mollentinah Ajiamo.

One of the major challenges of managing depression is the fact that it is silent. Unlike the physical illness that is meant to manifest with visible symptoms, depression will often hide behind a normal facade. 

Due to the stigma that surrounds mental health, people are afraid of being criticized, judged, or rejected if they happen to speak out.”

She adds, “I started the YTT Show because, sometimes, people are embarrassed or ashamed of the feeling of depression. People will often withdraw from their family members and friends, making it more difficult to share what you are experiencing or feeling. 

According to her, “It is important to remember that being depressed is not a sign that you are a failure. Most people around you are willing and ready to help you navigate through life issues without judging or hating on you.” 

Most youth who come out and speak are ladies.

In one of her shows, she calls out men, saying, “In most societies, there is a harmful expectation that men should never show vulnerability, particularly when it comes to expressing their emotions such as depression or sadness. 

This societal pressure discourages men from pouring out their emotions, and this creates a toxic narrative that links emotional expression to weakness. 

The reality is that everyone, regardless of their gender, deserves a space where they can openly express their feelings.”

There is an emotional release that comes with one expressing their emotions, as it alleviates the emotional burden that comes from what is depressing you. 

Opening up allows you to seek professional help, such as counseling and therapy, from mental health professionals.

The biological basis

Depression is not solely a consequence of a lack of willpower or a form of personal weakness. 

Mollentinah emphasizes the need to understand that it has a biological basis that involves complex interactions between environmental, genetic, and neurological factors. 

There are imbalances in the neurotransmitters, for instance, dopamine and serotonin, which play a very crucial role in the depressive symptom’s development. 

To understand depression, you need to acknowledge that it has multifaceted origins. Depression is not wholly a result of one factor but a convergence of neurochemical, genetic, and structural changes that occur within your brain. 

Depression impacting youth

Depression can have an intense impact on different aspects of youths’ lives. 

This could be attributed to disrupted sleep patterns, impaired cognitive function, and changes in physical health and appetite. 

The impacts of depression go far beyond the emotional feeling. Work, relationships, and your overall life quality may suffer, resulting in a cycle of isolation and despair.

In one of her shows, Mollentinah shares how the impact of depression on our daily lives goes beyond a young individual, affecting their professional endeavors, relationships, and overall well-being. 

She shares that “Depression is a silent force that erodes resilient foundations, leaving behind an emotional debris. 

However, within these throes of your internal cyclone, you can find resilience in acknowledging your struggles and aspirations.

The power of overcoming

Most young people fear being judged, especially if it comes out of expressing their depressive conditions. YTT Show provides a safe space for all young people to speak up. 

The show has such a transformative power on young individuals. The show raises awareness and nurtures a supportive community through shared narratives and candid conversations. 

Mollentinah clearly shows how proud she has become of her performance. 

She says, “Through the deep discussions in YTT, we give relatable insights, break down stigmas, and contribute to empowering the minds of young individuals navigating mental health hurdles.”

Depression is a complex challenge that needs collective effort and human effort to navigate through it. 

Thanks to the YTT show for providing a platform for all the young people to air out their challenges and seek help. 

By acknowledging depression’s diverse manifestations, we are all capable of creating a safe space for each other. 

Young people with depression ought to be empowered to seek therapy. This would help them embark on a journey to their mental well-being. 

YOU MAY ALSO LIKE: Personalized remedies to put depression at bay

Dear reader, imagine if depressed young people spoke out; their shared voices would shatter silence, erase stigmas, and create a supportive society. 

The world would be a better place!

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