Why Are So Many Young People Unhappy? And Who Is To Blame?

Why Are So Many Young People Unhappy? And Who Is To Blame?


Out and about this morning,  I marvelled – as I always do these days – at the tangible fear around me.  Nobody seems to notice the contradictions.  I saw three people in a shop, all wearing masks, all standing shoulder to shoulder chatting right beside a “social distancing, keep two metres apart” sign 😀  Then a member of staff, wearing a perspex mask,  licked her finger again and again,  in order to separate plastic bags… It would be hilarious were it not so serious.  The  above video was made, I think I’m right in saying, just before lockdown, so that particular fear (of sickness and death) is not included in the possible reasons for unhappiness among young people.  Whatever, the following quote from Mark Twain is perhaps why there is so much unhappiness around, and not just among the young.  How many people spend any time investigating the “why”?  Goodness, according to the several conversations I’ve had today, nobody is spending time investigating the “why” for allowing the Government to control us to the point where they can tell us what to wear.  Over to you!


Comments (34)

  • Laura

    Personally, I think young people are so unhappy because they are totally undisciplined, generally speaking. Obviously there will be some young people who come from good homes where the parents do discipline but I think too many kids get their own way all the time, and in the long run, that doesn’t make them happy Saying that, when you speak to some young people about this, they’ll tell you that they had a strict upbringing but saw bad example, especially from their father.

    That’s a great video – speaks so much truth. However, the lack of values and meaning comes, in the end, from a lack of personal discipline, IMHO. The Mark Twain quote really says it all. The young today are too busy demanding their own way that they don’t stop to ask why they’re on earth in the first place.

    August 5, 2020 at 1:50 pm
    • Lily


      I see your point about discipline, although I wonder why you singled out fathers for giving bad example. I can think of mothers who drink too much, for example, so I wonder why you said “fathers”?

      I agree that’s a great video – the Prager U videos are excellent on lots of topics.

      For me, it’s obviously the absence of God in the lives of young people which leaves them clueless and without a solid foundation in their lives. It’s very sad, but religion is mocked and humanism is thought to be the be all and end all, so except for those with a lot of character and an independent mind, very few will even realise that they’re missing out on the most important thing of all in life – God.

      August 5, 2020 at 2:07 pm
      • Nicky

        I think I can guess why “fathers” – the demand mentality usually comes from the father, not the mother (that’s why she drinks, LOL!)

        I’ve heard young people, older young people, saying that the rows in their houses came from the father always demanding his own way and shouting at his wife if she didn’t do his will. So, that makes sense to me, that young people seeing that and living with it, would become demanding themselves (especially boys) and therefore end up being unhappy.

        August 5, 2020 at 3:28 pm
      • Laura


        I said “especially fathers” bad example because it’s usually the father who is demanding, not the mother. When they see their father being contemptuous of their mother, demanding food on the table, that sort of thing, then it causes them confusion and unhappiness. For boys it’s a terrible role model.

        I agree about the absence of God but even if they are in a home which is nominally Catholic, if they are witnessing bad behaviour in their parents, or one of the parents, that is very damaging.

        August 6, 2020 at 10:52 pm
  • Elizabeth

    It is not too surprising,if statistics are accurate, to work out why so many young people are unhappy these days. In my opinion it is due to a complete feeling of meaninglessness in their lives. There is little to no meaningful catechesis to help them find the answer to the question “why am I here?”instead they are hurled into the cult of instant gratification and fear of missing out. Relationships, even among teenagers are immediately sexualised and therefore trivialised. The huge rise in pornography has led to boys having skewed ideas about sex and to girls being afraid that they need to look a certain way, dress a certain way, and be promiscuous in order to fit in. And there is no notion of a spiritual life to lead them in a different direction. No depth, no honing of consciences, little family life for many. It is incredibly sad.
    Recently the most lauded drama on the BBC was Sally Rooneys Normal People. I struggled through the book as it was a book club choice but switched off the tv version in the first episode. Set in modern Ireland it encapsulated all that that country has become. Not a tender exploration of teenage love but rather A sordid vignette of adolescence with out the boundaries of faith or morals. Unsurprisingly the main characters do not find happiness. Yet this was sold as the must see drama for the young. So we do not have to look too far to see why young people are so unhappy today. Of course there has always been a degree of teenage angst; it is part of growing up. But not the existential hopelessness we see today,

    August 5, 2020 at 2:08 pm
    • editor


      “instant gratification” – so true. Their lives are filled with material goods and it never seems to dawn on them that these things really don’t bring fulfilment.

      I hadn’t heard of that drama on BBC but I’ve come to the conclusion that every drama and every modern film/movie will have “adult themes” for which read impurity, immodesty and variations on pornography.

      Yes, little wonder so many young people are unhappy through to miserable today.

      August 5, 2020 at 10:12 pm
  • westminsterfly

    The Catechism states that we were created to ‘know, love and serve God in this life, so that we can be happy with Him in the next’. The fact that so few ‘know, love and serve God’ in this life is the fundamental cause of much unhappiness, but then happiness in this life isn’t a right, as some people seem to think it is. Our Lady said to St Bernadette at Lourdes: “I cannot promise you happiness in this life; only in the next”.

    August 5, 2020 at 2:50 pm
    • Fidelis

      Westminster Fly,

      I had forgotten that Our Lady said that at Lourdes – it’s very important to remember that, happiness is only promised in the next life. That really is the message of the Gospels, as well.

      August 5, 2020 at 9:02 pm
  • Nicky

    I agree with everyone about the absence of meaning and Godlessness in modern life being the basic cause of unhappiness among the young.

    It’s like St Augustine said: “You have made us for yourself, Lord, and our hearts are restless until they rest in thee.”

    August 5, 2020 at 3:30 pm
  • editor

    Interesting comments so far, but I wonder how many would agree with me that the blame for unhappy people, especially the young, has to rest, primarily, at the door of the Catholic Church. Yes…No?

    August 5, 2020 at 5:08 pm
    • Athanasius


      Yes, absolutely!

      August 5, 2020 at 9:19 pm
    • westminsterfly

      Yes agreed. So few ‘know, love and serve God’ because the Church has failed all the generations since Vatican II. Pope Pius XII was reported as saying “I am concerned about the confidences of the Virgin to the little Lucia of Fatima. This persistence of the Good Lady in face of the danger that threatens the Church is a divine warning against the suicide that the alteration of the Faith, in its liturgy, its theology, and its soul, would represent.” It seems to me that the Church has been on a suicide mission since Vatican II.

      August 6, 2020 at 8:43 am
    • RCAVictor


      Agreed on where the blame lies. I wonder if there is any such survey data about the state of mind of young people back in the 1950s, i.e. the last decade in which the Church was faithful to her mission.

      The materialist obsession was not so overwhelming then, there were no cyberspace social networks; technology was not a prominent feature of daily life; churches, seminaries and schools were booming; the West was enjoying the afterglow of its victory over fascism; Hollywood had not yet been transformed into a Communist/cultural Marxist tool; abortion was illegal, homosexuality was a shunned disorder; atheists were crackpots and malcontents.

      For those with a crystal ball, however, there were some dark clouds gathering: rock ‘n roll music appeared, the James Dean cult of the rebel appeared in Hollywood, the “beatnik” generation was gaining followers, the race issue in America was beginning to be exploited by the Communists; the liberal Roncalli was elected Pope; the Bilderbergs started their secret meetings; weapons and supplies pre-positioning was quietly taking place in Vietnam…

      And then we had the 60s, the decade of full-on decadence, confusion, disunity, self-doubt in the Church and in the West, and revolution. Being a conspiratorial sort, I’d say that the 60s were well-prepared during the calm of the 50s. Not as well-prepared as the current scam-demic, but still, prepared.

      August 6, 2020 at 3:40 pm
      • editor

        RCA Victor,

        I was a youngster in the 60’s and lived in an apparently thriving parish, faithful sermons – although many years later, I met one of the priests who was a newly ordained when assigned to our parish, and he excused himself for preaching faithfully about Humanae Vitae by saying “In those days, the curates had to toe the party line…. One of the few times I praise a priest and he turns out to have been a closet modernist.

        So, your point is well taken – the rot had set in – no doubt through seminary and teacher training colleges – probably in the 50’s, definitely in the early 60’s.

        August 6, 2020 at 7:40 pm
      • Laura


        Corpus Christi College, the teacher training college in London went really off the rails after the Council. I remember Daphne McLeod of Pro Ecclesia et Pontifice talking about it. She was amazed at how the other headteachers thought nothing of the heresy they were hearing in a talk, and that was very soon after the Council. So, the rot must have been there by the early sixties at the latest.

        August 6, 2020 at 10:48 pm
      • editor


        I know Daphne McLeod personally – she’s been a very good friend to me over the years and I, too, have heard her stories about Corpus Christi. She’s spoken about that experience at her various conferences and I’m sure they are on tape somewhere.

        August 6, 2020 at 11:23 pm
  • Fidelis


    I agree, because if the Church was how it should be, with zealous priests, the true Mass being prayed and the faith being taught in an orthodox way in the schools, etc. there would be more and more in-depth faith among young Catholics and more converts all told. That leads to happiness, obviously.

    August 5, 2020 at 9:00 pm
  • Miles Immaculatae

    It’s true that young people are hungry for meaning and values. That’s why veganism, radical environmentalism, and Woke ideology are so popular.

    I am 30 now, and my impression based on the past decade of my my life as a young Catholic adult is that the Conciliar church doesn’t really like us. So the secular culture is not entirely to blame… Opening the windows of the church to the world didn’t help anything.

    August 6, 2020 at 12:58 pm
    • editor

      Miles Immaculatae,

      Spot on about the various causes embraced by the spiritually starving young today.

      30? Goodness, you’d pass for 18! For the record, the only photo of myself that I can even remotely stand to look at, was taken when I was 30. All those years ago and never a camera to equal that one 😀

      August 6, 2020 at 7:43 pm
  • RCAVictor

    On the other side of the coin, though, I’ve been a member of two traditional parishes since 2008, and both of them are overflowing with young people, teenagers and younger, whose lives, I daresay, are vastly different from church-less youth, or even Novus Ordo youth.

    That’s because both they and their parents are constantly being taught from the pulpit to avoid and/or carefully restrict access to the evils of the modern world: TV, movies, internet, cell phones, popular music, bad magazines, drugs and alcohol, sex outside of marriage, etc.

    They can even be set apart visually. For example: no purple hair; no rings in their noses, ears, tongues, or eyebrows; no tattoos; modest clothing; respectful towards adults; keeping a watchful eye on their younger siblings during Mass and afterwards.

    Those youth seem mostly well-adjusted to me, though it’s hard to predict what will happen when they become adults.

    August 6, 2020 at 10:24 pm
    • Laura

      RCA Victor,

      I’m glad you rounded off your comment with that mention of it being hard to predict what will become of the young “traditionalists” once they become adults, because I suspect that some, if not most of them will break free. I already know of one young man, brought up in a strict “traditional” family, who, the minute he got away to university in a different town, went a bit wild. I won’t put it any stronger than that.

      August 6, 2020 at 10:42 pm
      • RCAVictor


        I suppose going to university was his fatal mistake, since almost every university in the world is a stronghold of Marxist poison and its concomitant degenerate lifestyles.

        I wonder why his parents didn’t send him to an orthodox Catholic university? Or did they?

        August 6, 2020 at 10:53 pm
      • Laura

        RCA Victor,

        There’s no such thing as orthodox Catholic universities in the UK – just universities.

        As for parents “sending them” – modern young people do their own thing, these days. That’s part of the problem. There’s very little discipline in the schools – even at primary level – and their parents tend to take the easy way out and let them have their own way at home, so no discipline at school or at home, then they insist on going to university, all a recipe for lapsation.

        August 6, 2020 at 10:57 pm
      • RCAVictor


        My experience with traditional families and parishes is so different from what you describe that I’m having trouble picturing it. The SSPX school in my former parish was very closely disciplined, and no teenager there would dream of attending a university without the consent of his parents, not to mention a lot research and conversations with the PP.

        The homeschool co-op in my current parish is the same: strong discipline, faithful parenting, carefully targeted universities.

        That said, I’m sorry to say that I can “relate” to wildness at universities: having grown up Protestant under the thumb of a very strict stepfather, I misused my college career to enjoy getting away from my parents. I wouldn’t go as far as to say I was “wild,” but I was certainly rebellious.

        August 6, 2020 at 11:12 pm
      • editor

        RCA Victor,

        In my one glorious week in the USA (Woodstock, Virginia), I remember coming out of Mass (TLM in local parish, young priest), to find a group of friendly women manning (so to politically incorrectly speak!) some tables where they were displaying textbooks and other resources for home-schooling. That’s how “normal” it is over there to home-school. Not so in this part of the world.

        Ditto, all that you describe about school. The only SSPX school in the UK is in the south of England – at one time it was a boarding school, although I think that may have changed and they may take local children. Not sure about that but even so, it’s a very long way for a Scots pupil to travel (500 miles) to get to school every day!

        It’s not usual to have an SSPX school locally. And certainly there isn’t one anywhere in Scotland. So, we are in a very different position from the parents you mention in the USA

        August 6, 2020 at 11:21 pm
      • RCAVictor


        I wonder how the SSPX school in England compares with what I’ve described here (in terms of discipline, parental input and authority, PP input, etc.).

        Odd that the UK is so far behind us in these matters. In fact, the shoe is on the other foot amongst the elitist types, who claim that the USA needs to adopt everything that the UK does!

        August 6, 2020 at 11:29 pm
      • Athanasius


        This is quite an interesting subject, the more so since the SSPX England school has come into the conversation.

        I don’t really know how that school operates now under the present District Superior’s supervision, but I can say that under the last District Superior, since departed from the SSPX, the strictness went beyond Catholic to become Puritanical and harmful. I’m thinking specifically of the letter he sent to parents advising that mothers who wore slacks and kept a TV in the home had to sign a form pledging to rid themselves of both before their children could come back to school. Needless to say half the children never returned.

        This raises the question of where the line should be drawn in relation to the inculcation of Catholic discipline in children, bearing in mind that they are children. That particular DS was so obsessed by women’s trousers and the TV that he pushed aside the formation of the children in th interests of serving his obsession.

        On the other hand, I have come across a number of Traditional parents over the years who have been so fearful for their children’s souls that they have actually placed them in danger by stifling them with over-protection.

        The consequence has been that when they reach a certain age, recalling their Catholic upbringing as restrictive and unhappy, the turn to wine, women and song, to borrow a phrase. There has to be common sense in Catholic parenting, not to liberal yet not too puritanical either. It’s a difficult balance. You may take this as absolute Gospel from a single man!

        August 7, 2020 at 12:19 am
  • Athanasius

    It is fairly standard today for children not to be baptised. At a guess I would say around 80% of children and young adults fall into this category. Herein lies the source of their unhappiness, the absence of divine grace and the consequent influence of the devil on their souls and minds. It is not great surprise that since baptism has decreased in the young, suicides have increased exponentially. Exacerbating secondary causes for unhappiness in the young include the pressure to succeed in exams, social media, low-paid employment (known as exploitation) or outright unemployment. Without God in their lives, having never been taught anything about Him, they cannot fulfill that inner desire of the soul for happiness with God. Hence, they seek happiness in sex, drugs, alchohol and any number of other illusory pleasures which, rather than bringing happiness bring sadness, guilt and quite often despair. It all stems from them having been robbed from infancy of the knowledge, grace and love of God.

    August 7, 2020 at 12:34 am
  • Miles Immaculatae

    David Starkey points out that during the Middle Ages there were various cults of child saints. He compares this to the way the globalist elite have canonised Greta Thunberg. Essentially, humans are innately religious, and if traditional religion is removed from society, then religiosity will manifest itself in other forms, for example, radical environmentalism.

    Today, I bought a copy Thunbergs ‘No One Is Too Small To Make a Difference’. I am astounded by the maturity and eloquence of Thunberg’s writing. She was only sixteen when she composed these speeches, and she claims to have authored them substantially by herself. She is obviously a prodigy. And she is sincere. She is an extraordinarily powerful orator. Young people want something to believe in. And Thunberg inspires young people. She is the child saint of the globalist secular religion.

    Greta Thunberg is such as missed opportunity for the Church. Imagine, instead of pressuring national governments for climate action, she campaigned for the consecration of Russia to Our Lady’s Immaculate Heart. But if she did that, then we would never have heard of her. I am certain that there are plenty of young Catholic prodigies in the world, but the hierarchs of the globalist secular religion will never permit them to have a platform.

    August 9, 2020 at 10:25 pm
  • Lily

    Miles Immaculatae,

    I’d be amazed if Greta wrote that book herself. She’s a puppet, so the book will be unlikely to be her own writing.

    I do agree we are missing a zealous, inspiriting Catholic young person. That would be a miracle in the present crisis situation of the Church.

    August 10, 2020 at 2:28 pm
    • Miles Immaculatae

      If she did write it, she’s a prodigy. I certainly wasn’t capable of composing prose of that standard until I was 24-25.

      If she didn’t write it, then that’s quite abusive, to use a child as a proxy for your own ideology. They knew precisely that Greta would be an excellent tool for indoctrinating the young who are naive and easily deceived.

      I am aware that her parents are highly educated, resourced, and connected. So I am suspicious.

      August 10, 2020 at 4:05 pm
      • RCAVictor

        Miles Immaculatae,

        If I were you, I’d be suspicious about anything and everything regarding Thunberg. The Communists have been using/propping up youth as propaganda tools since at least the 1930s.

        Unlike you I do not have a medical background, but I wonder if her Asberger’s Syndrome comes into play regarding her alleged eloquence. And I had to laugh at this introductory sentence in a description of this illness:

        “He also tends to have an obsessive focus on one topic…”

        August 10, 2020 at 4:18 pm
      • Miles Immaculatae


        I don’t have a medical background.

        She might well be a savant, which is not uncommon in people with ASD.

        August 10, 2020 at 8:33 pm
  • Michaela

    RCA Victor,

    I agree totally – Greta Thunberg must have had mountains of help writing a book, and I definitely wouldn’t waste a penny on buying a copy. That would be asking to be propagandized.

    Sorry, Miles!

    August 10, 2020 at 8:17 pm

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