Why Are so Many Young People Unhappy?


Why are so many young people unhappy? To cite just one example, Reuters reported
in 2019 that “Suicidal thinking, severe depression and rates of self-injury among
U.S. college students more than doubled over less than a decade.” And unhappiness is hardly confined to Americans. As the social commentator Kay Hymowitz recently
wrote, “Germans are lonely, the bon vivant French are lonely, and even the Scandinavians
. . . are lonely. The British prime minister . . . recently
appointed a ‘Minister of Loneliness.’” People have more money, better health, better
housing, more education, and live longer than at any time in history, but people—especially
the young—are unhappier than at any time since data began to be collected. Why? There are any number of reasons: increased
drug and opioid addiction, less human interaction because of constant cellphone use, and young
people’s fears for their future are the most widely offered explanations. But the biggest reason is the loss of values
and meaning. Let’s begin with values, and I’ll focus
on America. The United States was founded on two sets
of values: Judeo-Christian and American. This combination created the freest, most
opportunity-giving, most affluent country in world history. This is not chauvinism. It’s fact. That’s why people from every country on
Earth have wanted to emigrate to America—and still do. Chief among the American values was keeping
government as small as possible. This enabled non-governmental institutions—Kiwanis,
Rotary and Lions Clubs; book clubs; the Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts; bowling leagues; music
societies; and, of course, churches—to provide Americans with friends and to provide the
neediest Americans with help. But as government has gotten ever larger,
many of these non-governmental groups have dwindled in number or simply disappeared. Another set of values is referred to as middle
class or bourgeois values. These include getting married before having
a child, making a family, getting a job, self-discipline, delayed gratification, and patriotism. All of these have been under attack by America’s
elites, with the following results: The majority of births to millennials are to unmarried
women. Yet, according to a 2018 Cigna study, single
parents are generally the loneliest of Americans. The percentage of American adults who have
never been married and who have no children is at an historic high. Then there is patriotism. Until the 1960s, Americans grew up loving
their country, admiring the Founders, and believing in America’s values—most especially,
liberty. Americans did not ignore the bad parts of
their history, but they were wise enough to recognize that what made America exceptional
was not its flaws, which were all universal, but its virtues, which were not. This strong American identity provided generations
of Americans with roots, community, optimism, and meaning. Which brings me to the most important reason
for all this unhappiness: a lack of meaning. As Victor Frankl, the renowned Austrian-American
psychoanalyst, wrote in his masterpiece, Man’s Search for Meaning, aside from food, the greatest
human need is meaning. And nothing has given Americans―or any other
people, for that matter―as much meaning as religion. But in the West since World War II, God and
religion have been relegated to the dustbin of history. The result is that more than a third of Americans
born after 1980 affiliate with no religion. This is unprecedented in American history. And it’s even worse in Europe. Maybe, just maybe, the decline of Protestantism,
Catholicism, and Judaism—those great providers of meaning—is the single biggest factor
in the increasing sadness and loneliness among so many young people in America and around
the world. A 2016 study published in the Journal of the
American Medical Association, JAMA Psychiatry, found that American women who attended a religious
service at least once a week were five times less likely to commit suicide. And common sense suggests this applies to
men as well. Young people have been told God is nonsense,
their country is essentially evil, their past is deplorable, their future is bleak, and
marriage and children are not important. Why are so many young people depressed, unhappy,
and angry? It’s not capitalism, or income inequality,
or patriarchy, or even global warming. It’s having no religion, no God, and no
country to believe in. And what does that leave them with? No meaning. But there is always Instagram. I’m Dennis Prager.

100 thoughts on “Why Are so Many Young People Unhappy?

  1. This video was made possible by a generous grant from Colorado Christian University. CCU is offering PragerU subscribers a $1,000 scholarship for online courses through CCU Online. Learn more at PragerU.com/CCU

  2. One big reason is that they were told if they borrow 100's of thousands of dollars for a humanities degree the would prosper. Instead they ended up serving coffee or working for Vox

  3. I tend to think its the decline of civil society, that includes religion and culture, not religion and belief in your country specifically.

  4. People are taught that the MONEY is the key to everything in life!!! We ALL are a slave trying to make that almighty DOLLAR

  5. Come to live in South Europe. Despite the economic problems, that geographical region has the lowest suicide and unhappiness rate of all Europe. And living in there is better than living in any other place in the world, trust me.

  6. I am happy because I have meaning and purpose. I support and protect my family, I want to see my children grow, I want to be the best father for my children, the best husband for my wife.

  7. Maybe it might be the poor parenting of past generations and it's not always the phone and social media. Definitely a source of depression but not the leading source I would say. The hot flaming garbage America calls a education system needs to be updated and fixed and they actually need to deal with problems among the students. But I find it hard to beleive that lack of patriotism is the cause of depression among the masses, the reason there is no patriotism is because the politicians are corrupt nowadays and they are trying to take our rights for the most part, second amendment, first amendment, etc. But I do agree with the religion argument mostly, religion is what gives people purpose but if people dont want to beleive in religion it shouldn't be forced upon them just because America was founded upon it. While I am a Christian and I do beleive in the values of America, i feel these rights have been tarnished by the corrupt politicians. I feel the reason for depression among the masses isn't because of capitalism or patriotism, it is because the past mistakes and misleadings of those before us and because of those mistakes is what makes things seem so hopeless.

  8. Christianity on the way out is a positive, its a destructive middle eastern trash religion like Islam. However that has left a Void in society. A void which can be found in exploring the traditions of our Pre-Christian European Pagan forebears. We still celebrate distorted christianized & commercialized versions of the High festivals. Lets bring back the true meanings and remember who we once were. And no jesus is Not the reason for the season.

  9. I think it's because they've been brainwashed by a liberal education system, and force-fed leftist propaganda by SKY NEWS and the BBC. They think the world owes them a free living.

  10. Just tell them they are special and give them a participation trophy 🏳️‍🌈🏳️‍🌈🏳️‍🌈

  11. What about private companies that try to make a positive impact in the world, aren't they providing meaning? Obviously, it applies to only a small portion that actually have big ambitions.

  12. This is why we must return to Jesus and repent for our sins. Jesus is a great medicine, anti-depression drug, and father figure. We need Him and He needs us. May God grant us peace in Jesus’s name!

  13. I find it hard to blame this unhappiness in the lack of faith. While I won't deny faith is a very good source of meaning, it's also the biggest source of sin, and I don't mean in the religious sense. All religious people I've ever lived with were bad in some way, shape or form, while all agnostics and atheists were good in many ways, shapes and forms, in the "practice what you preach" way, while most religious folk were hypocrites, agnostics and atheists preached peace and respect while practicing only peace and respect.
    I often say that we are living the end times, that there will be no future, and it often falls on deaf ears, or it's treated as a joke, but I assure you, it's not. I began to think like this when I first started studying modern history; you see, Japan is the country with the highest suicide rate in the world, and it has been like this for a while, japanese society was facing a dangerous downfall while the rest of the world was still growing, but japanese society was the very pinnacle of evolution, what every society should try to be, with honor and respect, so why was it colapsing? And now the rest of the world caught up to Japan, we have achieved the pinnacle of social advance as well, while not perfect it's damn near, and while not on Japan's level, we have a good level of equity, and like Japan, suicide rates started to climb fast, it's at an all time high, depression too, which is a strong indicator that our society, western society, that is, is also starting to colapse. Want proof? The advance of new wave feminism, a movement that was born to end sexism is now the very definition of sexism, the fight against racism now uses the same discourse Hitler used to defend white supremacy only, instead, it defends minorities supremacy, politics and debates have evolved from discussions to all out fights, absurd movements like antivaccine and flat earth have never been so strong, and new ones pop up at every minute and gain more and more followers, reason and objective value have been trown in the trash can, now all value is subjective, specially in art, people can no longer understand and accept science and fact that have been around for milenia… The colapse of our society has begun, and try as you may, there is nothing we can do to stop it. Like everything else, it has a beggining, and now it will have an end.

  14. As a German I fully agree. Many of our young adults nowadays seek instant gratification rather than gradually putting their efforts into a healthy relationship/family, a sustainable career or a functioning community. The loss of religion has made us lose our values that gave us meaning. Greetings to all of you American patriots! Looking forward to visiting the US in the near future; still the greatest country in the world!

  15. You are absolutely right. The left is destroying family and nation and the young. It is in our schools that they first plant the seeds of our ruin.

  16. Not that long ago, the Chinese used to live in what was described as "bleak despair". Seems as if that tactic has now been perpetuated upon the USA. God help us if Bernie gets in, but if he does, the lessons which have been omitted from history will be experienced first-hand by modern sheeple. They will get scarred, but scars are important reminders of lessons best not forgotten. Cheap vodka and drugs will keep those mindless minions under control. Worked for the USSR.

  17. Religion, patriotism, the American "dream" … We hate all that now because we realized that it is simply not worth fighting for all that
      So, for the first time in history, our job is to learn to live without those values

  18. Part of the problem is kids are taught enough to believe what they've been taught, but not taught enough to question what they've been taught.

  19. studies show that the feeling of… 'the cows allays need me"…is an extremely compelling reason farmers are so content with their lives. hard work, and the feeling of being needed…may be the secret to happiness??

  20. Because of the unrealistic expectations uoon them. They are not allowed to learn for themselves.
    They are programmed and every ounce of self is quashed.

    This wrecks their potential and there is a feeling of worthless inadequacy.

  21. When my friends turn me down for a day of snowboarding just to "chill" which is code for 'watch TV and look at my phone' I have to admit it really hurts. The slopes are much less fun alone.

  22. Sources of misery:
    1. Atheism: shunning of Judeo-Christian beliefs and values.
    2. Singletons: shunning of marriage and traditional family values and having children.
    3. Single-parenthood: trying to go it alone and have children out of wedlock.
    4. Anti-patriotism: believing that your country's history is corrupt and that our American culture is not worth preserving.
    5. Socialist values: believing that the government can and should provide for all of your needs.
    6. Isolationism: avoiding public gatherings such as church, malls, movie theaters, bars/nightclubs, social clubs, and sports leagues while furthering your obsession with your smartphone.
    7. Alarmism over false narratives: fake news, climate change hysteria, Trump Russia collusion, Kavanaugh sexual assault, the gender wage gap, rape culture, etc.

  23. It's not capitalism or income inequality says the multimillionaire, part of the 1% club that keep getting richer. Yeah, sure, young people being unhappy has nothing to do with the erosion of middle class that was caused by this wild neoliberal form of capitalism, no its because they don't go to church as often. Give me a break, millennials are unhappy because this aforementioned form of capitalism has failed them. They are starting their lives with diplomas in one hand and huge debt in other, they are entering work market in which there is no security and in which work has been devalued, they are entering a property market where rents keep getting higher and so on. Lets face it, in America everything is about money, i mean sure, it cannot buy you happiness but it sure is a very important prerequisite that leads to a good life.

  24. Yeah religion is a coping mechanism for struggles in life. Im not religious. Its about the community you have. Making time for friends and family. I try to force myself to get out of my house anytime I can.

  25. This is the biggest, most insulting piece of shit video I've seen in a long time. It is completely out of touch with today's youth. Just awful.

  26. One additional point sir.
    Not false religion, don't forget that important part.
    False religion gives bad name to true religion, to God.

    Gin,

  27. I don’t agree that it is no God, no religion, and no country to be proud of. But……

    Truth. Truth is critical. It is my most favored value of them all.

    Definition of truth on our channel: that which WORKS, in the loooong run and in the biiiig scheme of things.

    If the Bible has ALL the answers, then everyone would still be believing in it. There is a reason why people have left it behind.

    So the Bible seem to lack the complete picture for bringing full complete emotional fulfillment for men, women and children.

    The reason why people are lonely is because they are not good at connecting with other people. There is more avoidance of pain, than seeking of pleasure – BECAUSE they tried seeking immediate gratification, and it burned them and their self-esteems.

    The key is learning the basics of male and female dynamics, and for men to be rewarded for providing and protecting women again.

    Right now it is not worth the risk at all to get married and have babies. Although it is what provides meaning and happiness, again, it’s not worth the risk.

    The reward of practicing RESPONSIBLE POLYGYNY however, as explained on my channels, and on IG (@3girlsinlove), however?

    Now THAT will excite any man – if he KNEW that was what he could get if he focused and became a man and established his financial foundation first!

    Setting that standard as men will rectify the entire dating market, and solve the problems of instagram girls, prostitution, easy casual sex and dating apps.

    Women will follow, if men take the lead.

  28. As someone who spent 8 years in Catholic school, I have to say God isn't the only source of "meaning." You make your own "meaning." I never found it in religion. Instead, I found it meaningfull contributing to society as a civil servant. Best job I ever had. I've never felt so much purpose.

  29. I don’t know if it’s true, but I am religious, love America and am married and planning on children and my life is all considered amazing. So for me at least, it holds stock. I also don’t t use social media..so +1.

  30. Nah, religion gives empty meaning because it has "answer to every question" but all the answers are lies.

    Ethics, national values, libertarian values – that makes us human, that makes us better, that makes us satisfied and happy.

  31. It’s simple. Jews and various elite Zionists have destroyed all western civilizations as a stepping stone towards their waste of shit New World Order – which will fail. Again.

  32. I’m 20 years old, everyone who’s unhappy around my age that I’ve noticed have done so with their own decisions, drugs, alcohol, constant sex, media, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram. They just can’t seem to quit indulging themselves and hardly spend a moment to talk with family face to face. A study has been done that proves those who stay away from social media are happier.

  33. That's easy. Now that chilvary is dead, we can be open to tell the truth without fear of shame.

    We as a society rose our women on Disney Princess'es and fantasies about marrying into riches and being saved from a terrible fate. Of course in real life, we know that is only a fairy tale and not real. Women didn't get that memo.

    The reality for women is being saved by a sugar daddy who makes 6 figures a year, and never making sacrafices on making relationships work on top of it like men do which if both follow through on compromise, that is the best way to go.

    As a result to this, most women from playing house when they wrte kids planned out their entire future, but never thought it through as their expectations are impossible to meet. And in this let alone, because most expect "Prince Charming", they are chasing a dragon that they can never cstch because it is not real, they are in denial of excepting this fsct of course and want the drsgon so to speak, so natutally because their expectations are too high, most men find their expectations ugly, no man wants to be with them including the "hot studs", and that is why they are depressed and misetable.

  34. "Everyone is sad because they just won't shut up and be a straight white conservative Christian man like me"

  35. Because they don't have any of the foundations that other generations had an it's not even their fault.

  36. The reality of why so few people believe in religion, is because science has explained fairly well how the universe came into existence, evolution, ect. It isnt that I dont want to believe in God and life after death, I just cannot ignore science. It would be like choosing to believe gravity doesnt exist or that the earth is flat, theres overwhelming proof that the earth is round(ish) and that gravity is a thing. Would love to believe my grandpa and husband are watching over me, but everything I have been taught suggests otherwise. Please dont attack me lol im not saying anything against religion or the people who believe, I just cant throw away all the scientific data that paints a vastly different origin story from the one in religious texts. But I am all for peoples right to believe whatever they want and am respectful of my christian and muslim friends. I dont push my belief system on them.

  37. Some thoughts on why people are depressed:
    • Slave to computers/technology. Forced upgrades. Forced software subscriptions.
    • Less mystery in the world… the “age of exploration” has passed.
    • Trying to meet societies standards of success so that you won’t be labelled a “loser”.
    • Social isolation, everyone on their iphones.
    • Less people go to church, where good news was preached every week and you were surrounded by people who loved Christ and loved you.
    • More people addicted to porn because of easy access, which treats people like objects to be used and promotes human sex trafficking.
    • Burden of increased need to perform in school and work in order to compete in a fast-paced dog-eat-dog world.
    • Teaching of evolution tells people that they are just animals, so they justify their immoral behavior and place less importance on spirituality.
    • People addicted to online news and entertainment which distorts the reality of what is truly important.
    • People straying from what is really important… love of God, family, and friends. Following the golden rule, loving your neighbor.
    • Needing to appear a certain way for people to like you and risk condemnation and ridicule.

  38. One reason I’m unhappy is cus some old dude on youtube is trying to tell me I’m unhappy for reasons that don’t remotely affect me. Boy learn your place, everything you said “young people have been told” is effectively fact. If you wanna make a change then make a meaning.

  39. It is multiculturalism and leftst crap that is destroying the Western World. Same here in Europe. They undermine everything. For years and years my country is changing. I don't feel at home anymore in my own country. (Muslim) immigrants with their aggressive "culture" of hate and leftist nihilist have destroyed Holland to a point, that I don't think we can recover. All made worse by the horrible EU. Every year we have a record of immigrants flooding our country and educated young Dutch leaving… Americans, don't repeat our mistakes! Close your borders for non-Western immigrants. They will hollow your society out from within. Just as is happening to us. That has nothing to do with racism. Just you need to understand all this multicul stuff is a one way road. They take, you are forced to give…

  40. A lack of values, meaning, and perspective, replaced by Marxism and ecophobia are what makes so many young people unhappy.

  41. Thanks for the the video. I am a college student and I have the same feelings sometimes. I really don't know what I want to do for the rest of my life.

  42. Because these kids were raised not being praised for hard work but for participating. They live daily finding things to hate on & complain about instead of things to look forward to & enjoy life. College is all but useless but to earn debt. Also the lack of Religion, Morals, and REAL Social interaction. No wonder they have no clue how good they have it. It's a sad state after decades of Leftist crap being jammed down their throat.

  43. Progressive instead of conservative values.
    Sadly people like you have a blind love for Christianity.
    So while Christianity is really progressive, you still think it promotes conservative values.
    Western societies became socialist first, Christianity only declined afterwards.

    It's interesting how you start with the 60's.
    Why skip over the New Deal?
    Because then people where Christian!
    Clearly you started with the conclusion that lack of Christianity caused the problem and then cherry-picked data.

  44. We are in the greatest spiritual warfare and destitution in all of human history. This is the root cause and source of all that is going wrong in the Churches, America, families, nations and the world. Most Christians, churches and leaders don't know it and are doing nothing about it. This has been intentionally caused and engineered by the worldwide satanic deep state totalitarianism coup-de-tats who have been bringing this to pass for the last 100 years. They seek to destroy Christianity, families, America, democracies, morals, freedom, liberty and western civilizations to make themselves world rulers. God save us now.

  45. Specific values cannot coexist with tolerance of alternative values. You can have happy people with certain values or you can have multiculturalism and misery.

  46. “Hard times create strong men.
    Strong men create good times.
    Good times create weak men.
    And, weak men create hard times.”

    ― G. Michael Hopf, Those Who Remain

  47. Not that religion and country would give us back happiness. Capitalism is a great system .. but has its flaws too, the larger one being loneliness

  48. Old man telling young people how the root of their problems is their lack of religion and that it was better in their time. You're really asking for that "ok boomer" aren't you ?

  49. There's only one answer. Ask the young. As a teenager, I know for a fact depression isn't coming for a lack of patriotism or religious values, as I'm a patriot, and so are many teens in Europe and America. Depression among the young people is mainly produced by the frustration we get when we try to be better (maybe at school, maybe at social relationships, maybe trying to improve our physical appearance) as we compare to others we admire and imitate unsuccesfully. Religion and patriotism are social values, self esteem is not.

    (I'm sorry if my english ain't the best, It isn't my first language and I'm not even American. However, I thought my opinion had to be shared)

  50. People often ask me why I am so happy given the world. Conservatives ask because of a filthy culture that rebels in sin, while leftists say Trump and fascism. My friends even question it, I am an electrician that works super hard and long days.

    Simple: I have my faith, I have my wife, I have my little girls and son, and I have meaningful work. I follow Jesus’ example to the best of my abilities. I struggle like anyone else with fear, pain, stress, and apathy. But I lay those at the feet of Jesus.

  51. Prager: "Why are young people so unhappy?"

    Young People: "Its a nightmare to navigate this capitalist wasteland when my boss makes 800% more than I do and says I should be grateful for whatever trickles out from his vast reservoir of wealth. Also, the planet is on fire and half of the people in power seem to think this is okay as long as it doesn't cut into their quarterly income projections."

    Prager: "It must be because you don't worship the same god as me."

  52. I am an Atheist and I have to admit, not everyone can replace religion with something that gives their lives meaning (though that's perfectly possible). Perhaps Sweden would be much better off if they were strong believers like the Polish. At least they wouldn't be committing cultural suicide.

  53. Unhappy bc they have been lied to and cheated and they continue to base their sense of meaning on those same blue pill lies.

    Here's the beginning of truth to contrast the lies.

    #1 – Life is NOT fair.

    #2 – In this life, no one is entitled to anything good.

    #3 – Where there is life, there is hope.

  54. People are depressed because politicians have their diseased hearts set on making others bitter for their personal gain. Why was everyone so happy in the 1950s? In 1950, the life expectancy was 65, the poverty rate was 25%, the average full time worker worked 50 hours a week, and the median house size was less than half what it is today. It's because politicians were preoccupied with our Communist enemies overseas, so it was in their interests for Americans to be grateful for the fruits of capitalism. Now we have no evil empire breathing down our necks, so it's more in the interests of politicians to fan the flames of ingratitude, rage, and entitlement.

  55. In our circle, my husband and I are the one's who got married young, had children young (3rd one on the way and I'll be 29 next month!), and the odd one's out that go to church.

    We know so many lovely, successful, healthy people, who suffer from anxiety and depression. While I can't say why that is so for each individual, I do know that life is hard, but having Jesus Christ as a firm rock to set my feet upon + the joy that comes from the sacrificial love of being a wife and mother, is what keeps me grounded in peace. I pray that everyone finds this peace for themselves ❤

  56. What are the Scout Oath and Scout Law? On my honor I will do my best to do my duty to God and my country and to obey the Scout Law; to help other people at all times; to keep myself physically strong, mentally awake, and morally straight. (Official)

    A Scout is trustworthy, loyal, helpful, friendly, courteous, kind, obedient, cheerful, thrifty, brave, clean and reverent. (Official)

    By implication, one can easily deduce a few things a scout does Not do:

    A scout does NOT give his effort to or base his values on social media. He does NOT confine his hopes and aspirations to entitlement ideas of materialism and false self-esteem. A scout does not collect participation trophys. (unofficial)

    A scout does not desecrate his body with slave markings of ink or hardware nor intoxicate himself with drugs even if legally available. (unofficial)

    A scout does Not think himself entitled to happiness, but his life of Meaningful adherence to substantive values typically results in a lasting happiness, which those who have rejected his values can never know.

  57. A new one to add to my short list of favorite (most valuable) Youtubes of all time. Well done Mr. Preager.

    I hope that viewers will understand the love you are pouring out. So many of them need it, even as too many of them reject it.

  58. God said that these things will happen. That as a people we will abandon him and disregard his wisdom that is in the text. That the children will turn on their mother and father, and the mother and father will be discarded, and the generations will forget God. And greed will overcome compassion and selfishness will overtake wisdom.

  59. Because parents have done a horrible job in teaching their kids the cruelty of life. Even if you try, it doesn’t mean you will get what you’ve been working hard for. Parents have have also misled in not guiding their kids when it comes to college, if it’s not going to get you paid don’t even try it. For that same reason all these losers want tuition forgiveness, gtfo, no one pressured you to get a degree in underwater basket weaving to find out it doesn’t pay sh!t. Nothing is free mfrs, just make smarter decisions.

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