You hear about it, every now and then. About rising rates of depression among 18-30 year olds. About how many people in my own generation are being medicated for depression. And they have a lot of theories.
But those theories are wrong. Because I know why we are so messed up.
We more than likely have a shared childhood trauma.
Because we were the first generation that would have had the opportunity to see the movie The Never Ending Story at an impressionable age.
In case you haven’t seen the movie, or for whatever reason have repressed this trauma, and don’t know what I’m talking about, let me explain. See, in the movie, the hero, Atreyu, starts off his journey to save a magical land along with his horse, Artax.
Atreyu and Artax are best friends.
And this is awesome, right? This kid has a horse and it is an awesome horse and the boy and his horse are going to save their entire world! LIFE IS GOOD!
Right, so. Spoiler alert:
THEN THEY KILL THE FUCKING HORSE.
And we are not talking “Horse dies noble death saving Atreyu.” No. NO. You know how the horse dies? YOU KNOW HOW THE HORSE DIES?
THE HORSE DIES BECAUSE IT GETS TOO SAD.
Seriously, Atreyu and Artax are traveling through The Swamps of Sadness and it’s all “The sadness can get to you!” But it’s just SADNESS, right? Yeah, being sad sucks, but it’s not like being sad is dangerous.
UNTIL YOUR HORSE GETS SO SAD THAT IT DIES.
I MEAN, YOUR HORSE JUST FUCKING STANDS THERE AND SINKS INTO THE SWAMP BECAUSE IT IS REALLY REALLY SAD.
THE HORSE. IS SAD. SAD HORSE. HORSE IS SADDED TO DEATH.
HERE IS THE SCENE RECREATED IN LEGO FORM FOR YOUR BENEFIT:
You’re a kid, you don’t believe anything bad can happen to that horse. This was before The Lion King and at least then there’s someone to blame for Mufasa’s death and, hey, your brother isn’t actually going to toss you off a cliff into a stampede and kill you.
But oh no! Never Ending Story teaches you that something you love is probably going to die, with no way to save it, because it was just too damn sad to keep going.
And THAT, ladies and gentlemen, is why our generation is fucked up. BECAUSE WE WATCHED A HORSE DIE OF SADNESS.
YOU STUPID HORSE!
-Ashly is an IHO Geek contributing writer who was traumatized at an early age by this scene as well as the one from Willow where all the men turn into pigs. Seriously. You can see the trauma’s effects on her Twitter, @newageamazon