YES! I agree with all of what you said, including the depression part. But to be honest, why wouldn't someone who's truly awake to what's going on in the world feel some depression? The fact that they fight against it in hopes of making a better future for themselves in spite of being depressed is so admirable.
And yes, they are so literate and well-informed. They know more about politics and history (at least the ones I know) than I could have ever taught them myself and that they certainly didn't learn in school. Their passion inspires me when I feel like giving up.