Despite the severe media censorship in Afghanistan, daily news reports suggest an increase in suicides, ranging from 12–year–old children to middle–aged men who hang themselves. In a place where joy and happiness are not accessible, and the culture of happiness has not been established, lives are likely to be bitter and dark, and spirits will be depressed and broken. Afghanistan has been one of the most despondent countries in the world in recent years, and it appears that it will remain at the top of this list for years to come.
Fundamentally, human life has always been intertwined with suffering and sorrow, and it appears that the nature of human life is such that grief and sadness are inherent. This has led, over thousands of years, to reducing human suffering and striving for moments of joy and happiness in life becoming one of the virtues of humanity. In fact, this was the purpose for which philosophy, religion, art, culture, law, ethics, and the like emerged, to find a path to human happiness and alleviate their pain and suffering.
There are numerous factors that can lead to a lack of happiness, particularly when it comes to collective depression. War and insecurity are two of the most prominent, as the presence of death and destruction can cause people to experience grief and mourning on a daily basis. Furthermore, war often leads to poverty and deprivation, which can further exacerbate these feelings. Additionally, this phenomenon can also be attributed to cultural and political influences.
In some cultures, happiness is seen as a virtue and is highly valued as a way of boosting morale. Conversely, in other cultures, mourning, grief and sadness are preferred over joy and happiness, or at least happiness is not regarded as a priority. Cultures that value living happily also create ways and means of achieving it and use various occasions to promote it, from natural changes in seasons to social and contractual events. In such cultures, every occasion is used as an opportunity to inject happiness into the fabric of society, allowing people to forget their sorrows and problems for a day or a few days and practice being happy. In Afghanistan, however, there is no culture of celebrating happiness, or it is very weak and underdeveloped.
Politics plays an even more significant role. Authoritarian and oppressive regimes can break the spirit and psyche of society, take away people‘s hope, and turn the social environment into a large prison where no one has the freedom to breathe. In open societies and free countries, governments consider it their responsibility to do all they can to reduce people‘s suffering and increase their happiness. In some countries, ministries have been created for the purpose of promoting happiness, and in others, specialized institutions are employed to combat mass depression and general apathy. Since the Taliban came to power, mourning and grief have greatly increased in Afghanistan, particularly for women who had jobs outside the home and are now confined to their homes, deprived of their duties, deprived of their economic resources, and unable to form social relationships. Young people are the second victims of this pervasive hopelessness and depression. However, the number of victims is much greater than this.