Martian Pioneer Children Show Signs of Depression

Heavy gear may prevent children from absorbing adequate sunlight on Mars.
Heavy gear may prevent children from absorbing adequate sunlight on Mars. | Source
Sterile light therapy centers fail to attract young Martians.
Sterile light therapy centers fail to attract young Martians. | Source

Mars Community Manual

School buildings in East Cydonia
School buildings in East Cydonia | Source

Doctors Suspect Poor Light Processing Is to Blame

June 9, 2032 -- CYDONIA, MARS -- Is the Martian physical environment compromising children’s development? In videos released to the public this week, children at the Cydonia colony on Mars are seen exhibiting symptoms of Seasonal Affective Disorder year-round. This is despite the highly touted light therapy regimes that have been in place since Mars colonization began in 2023. The latest video from Cydonia Academy is fueling speculation that our youngest pioneers are failing to develop sensitivities to crucial light spectra.

Case Study Features Martian-Born Phoebe Brahms

The case study of greatest interest involves a seven-year-old with the pseudonym Phoebe Brahms. She is the only child reared entirely in the Martian environment. Brahms appears “unusually dejected” in the evaluations of two Earth-based developmental psychologists who observed video of the child this week.

Dr. Stephen Sanborg at Tufts Intergalactic University observed, “Her apathy is more typical of that seen in teens and is a cause for grave concern. She is seen merely moving through the motions of gravity training games [in the video] and has withdrawn from freetime social interactions almost entirely.”

Dr. Oscar Herbst of UW-Milwaukee Intergalactic added that Miss Brahms apparently took little pleasure in a visit to the colossal Central Park replica dome. “It’s the closest thing Mars has to Earth. It’s virtually indistinguishable from New York pre-flood. And yet the carousel, the wind and the kites, the concerts and shaved ice – none of it piqued her interest.”

Dr. Herbst emphasized, “This isn’t the case of a spoiled or ungrateful child. While Phoebe’s symptoms are most severe, they’re found to a lesser but still concerning degree throughout the Cydonia Academy student population. That’s 90 of 90 students aged two to sixteen. This is a serious sign that human beings need to develop on Earth until reaching adult height and physical maturity.”

Children are not only disinterested in the light rooms available on Mars, but also seem to benefit little from light exposure. Scientists believe that children have a critical developmental period during which exposure to sunshine on Earth is crucial. The specific time window has not been identified.

Melatonin supplements may help children to process sunlight on Mars.
Melatonin supplements may help children to process sunlight on Mars. | Source

Related News: Revolution on Mars?

As discontent stirs on the Cydonia colony, drama students at the University of Wisconsin are imagining a colonial political revolution on Mars.

A Milwaukee theater poster for June 2032
A Milwaukee theater poster for June 2032

New Regimen to Combat Mars Depression

A new treatment regime combining air ionization with more powerful light therapy is underway to treat signs of depression linked to light processing. A potentially more powerful treatment of melatonin is likely to be approved. However, sources close to Icelandic Intergalactic Cargo speculate that the requested melatonin supply shipment won’t reach Cydonia's depot until six to eight months after August’s scheduled launch.

A Call for Change: Let the Pioneers Return Home

The case of Phoebe Brahms is renewing calls for legislation concerning off-Earth procreation. Doctors say that the scientific community can only do so much to warn pioneers of health complications. Said Dr. Sanborg, “We’re fighting a losing battle against nature. People will have children regardless of planet of residence. We need to support a more practical policy to enable families’ return to Earth before the mother’s second trimester.”

Dr. Herbst concurred and added, “It’s time for public policy to get up to speed with developments in the colony. Obviously the private market system isn’t serving the interests of all colonists.”

In related news, drama students at Dr. Herbst’s university in Milwaukee performed a mock revolt by the Martian colonists against the major Martian investment companies. The sold-out show reached record views in its genre on both YouFace.Mars and YouFace.Earth.

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Comments 15 comments

Sabbatarian 4 years ago

Brilliant. I'm not sure that earth-raised humans should be held up as the barometer for mental health, though...!


carlarmes profile image

carlarmes 4 years ago from Bournemouth, England

Loved this Hub,great work, enjoyable to read. I like the concept. Will Mars become a Republic?


SantaCruz profile image

SantaCruz 4 years ago from Santa Cruz, CA Author

Thanks for your thoughts, gentlemen...

Carlarmes - Will Mars become an independent republic? The colonists can only seriously entertain that possibility once they can sustain themselves physically (outdoor crops are a key for food, fiber, medicine and so forth). Then there's the need for defense, which might be provided by allies on Earth... I still have lots of documents to review.


SantaCruz profile image

SantaCruz 4 years ago from Santa Cruz, CA Author

Sabbatarian - You raise an interesting point about psychology and what is "normal" or "good." Should definitions of mental health developed on Earth be accepted for Martian contexts?

Implicit in your comment is the understanding of psychology as social just as it is individual. Traits that are valued in colonists' home countries don't always align with the communal orientation that settlers need to survive.

That said, the idea of ALL children being listless and withdrawn on any planet just doesn't seem right to me. There ought to be some student council presidents & class clowns in the mix, don't you think?

You make me think about my Earthling biases. Thanks :-).


Sabbatarian 4 years ago

You're right, SantaCruz, that children shouldn't be listless anywhere. Class clowns always help, though I think that importing some professional clowns from Earth would just solve that problem. I'm wondering now about school integration. How will the process of assimilation be for the earthling students in their host culture? They can't be in the Earth-school-pods forever...


SantaCruz profile image

SantaCruz 4 years ago from Santa Cruz, CA Author

I think the issue is generating happiness organically on the red planet, not importing some red-nosed clowns from Earth... But it makes me wonder, how many clowns could you pack into a VW rocket?


Ausseye 4 years ago

Hi Santa: Aren’t VW VERY very small cars, so the clown power will be down. Depression usually leads to sad mad and bad types……so is that why war won the day on Mars of old…..a plant gone down the path of doomsday and big colourful weapons of destruction. Recolonise Mars to bring on a war of the worlds…boy what will movie producers do AWRESOME WE'EL …..make depression a common feeling. Like the hub makes the worlds go to war about what’s best for a child…..Lord Of has a Ring about it!!!


SantaCruz profile image

SantaCruz 4 years ago from Santa Cruz, CA Author

Yes, VW rockets are small, hence the comical effect!

I like to think that a Martian war involving Earth-based people isn't inevitable. It will be interesting to see how intentional communities on the planet develop though - and will the settlers ultimately war among themselves?


Sabbatarian 4 years ago

There won't be wars if there enough clowns...


SantaCruz profile image

SantaCruz 4 years ago from Santa Cruz, CA Author

I'm OK with the clowns provided that the colony is unable to inspire home-grown entertainers.

However, no mimes allowed.


Woodchip 4 years ago

Interesting that an actor with no speech would be to your dislike.


SantaCruz profile image

SantaCruz 4 years ago from Santa Cruz, CA Author

It's about efficiency. But we digress! The REAL outer space news this week has been fascinating, from the discovery of lakes on Saturn to the touchdown of NASA's secret space plane after its 15-month mystery mission. A Mars One settlement is seeming less far-fetched every day.


viking305 profile image

viking305 4 years ago from Ireland

The truth will be out about Mars soon. Love the hub and believe that Mars has already been colonized for years now for real.

Shared on Twitter and voted awesome


Bindhu 20 months ago

The biggest soucre of lethargy when it comes to the space program in the US is the fact that colonies on the Moon and missions to Mars and beyond haven't left the drawing board for decades in the most shameful way. They were abandoned while NASA focused on PR projects like the ISS to the tune of some $6 billion annually. Space exploration was given a budget of roughly $400 million a year.Couple this with a cultural change which views bankers and CEOs as the ultimate heights of achievement, and you have a public that doesn't care because it doesn't see space exploration as realistic or something that NASA would be willing to take on.


Keris 20 months ago

Ahh Mars, we hate to give up on thee!Well, Percival Lowell and Edgar Rice Burroughs not withstanding, Mars is tuinnrg out to be an interesting place to visit.Maybe if Google finds a way to seed the whole planet with nano-probes and micro-sats as part of their Solar System Internet in the near future, maybe they'll give virtual reality guided tours?It could be a hit and cheaper than actual traveling there.

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