Welcome onboard! Thank you for taking the time to read and respond. Great points! I haven't thought about it from this perspective. Reading your comment made me think about all this differently.
It's true that with more information available, more awareness around mental health is created and more people talk about their feelings openly. It's a bit of 'the chicken or the egg'. Do we have more people nowadays struggling with their mental well being or are we more aware and open/encouraged to talk about it?
It is also true, that more people may confuse mental illness with sadness or other normal emotions. I often hear the word 'depressed' used in contexts that another word would be more appropriate. E.g. 'I'm so depressed cause I missed the bus', or 'Feel depressed cause I burnt my dinner'.
As we know mental illness doesn't need a cause. We may not be able to pinpoint an exact event or trauma that has contributed to the development of our depression or anxiety (and any other mental illness).
Adolescence is a time of discovery, hormonal change, experimentation and a fascination with the self and preoccupation with notions of eternal love, loss, death etc. Romanticizing struggles and hardships, trauma and inability to fit in is a normal part of being a teen. At the same time young people today are faced with choices about their future at a time where the world seems to becoming more and more unstable and uncertain by the minute. In an era of climatic changes due to human presence on this earth, economic and political instability, collapse of traditional values and ideals, globalisation etc and a future very uncertain it's not hard to not feel down. However, in a healthy person these factors by themselves won't develop an illness. But they may contribute, especially, if there is some predisposition or inclination towards mental illness which can be exacerbated by drug and alcohol abuse, trends, peers, music, movies and literature etc.
Or it could also be related to ingredients in the food we eat, the air we breathe and the water we drink, the pesticides, preservatives, GMOs etc. Maybe it all comes down to cooking after all. Research suggests that there is a link between our stomach and our brains. Our immune system is located in our stomachs and if our diet is poor in nutrients needed for the maintenance of a healthy brain, then depression, anxiety, mood swings and other illnesses could develop.
Prevention is better than cure for sure!